This project was as much a repair as it was an upgrade. The original charger-converter in the camper was not only a “dumb” one that always fed the batteries the same voltage, it was, apparently pumping in so much voltage that it was boiling the batteries dry. In other words, the original equipment was wearing out and was out of date by today’s standards. Rather than pull out the old one and replace it with another “dumb” version I bought a Powermax Boondocker Converter Charger for a replacement.
Before continuing, I need to make it clear that you can put all I know about this stuff into a thimble and have room left over. My good friend Ron, though, was willing to take this project on and I appreciate it very much.
We pulled the old unit out and removed the old charger-converter from the case. It was plain that some of the components on the circuit board have been pretty hot. This verified even more that this repair/upgrade was needed.
The new unit fit inside the old case and there was room in front and behind it for air to flow. In addition, there’s now no top on the case at all, so it’s pretty much open air. Ron did some wiring and testing while I installed two new marine type batteries. The old ones were 10 years old and had been tortured by the old charger/converter so it was time to upgrade them too.
In a couple of hours we had a new four stage charger/converter online and hard at work. Here’s hoping that the new setup will give us years of trouble free service.
Here’s a February, 2016 update on this project: At about 2 years the unit failed. It stopped running altogether. It was still under warranty so I took it out and returned it to the manufacturer for repairs. In about 10 days I received a replacement (refurbished) unit at no cost aside from the cost of sending the damaged unit to them. I installed it and so far so good.