I almost hate to bring this subject back up, but I'm at an impasse. I just bought a brand new 3-stage converter/charger cause my batteries never reached 80% even plugged into shore power for two weeks. My biggest obstacle is that the converter is 20' from the house battery bank (330Ah). The new converter reads 13.4 at its terminal and 13.01 at the batteries all the time. I have never seen it at bulk or absorption voltage (14.8V).
I have an Intellitec Battery Isolator Controller so when the motor is running the alternator is charging the batteries at 14.4V thus I'm not at risk of depleting the batteries given my bus usage, I just want the fastest possible charge going into the batteries from shore an generator power. I am considering buying an additional battery charger to install in the battery compartment which is open to the elements.
I understand a little about what I need: 20% total Ah max current; Bulk - Max amp to 14.8V; Absorption - hold at 14.7 reducing amps to 3A; Float - 13.4V continuous.
I go full-time next week and I just can't see paying another $180-500 for just another battery charger that meets the above requirements. Especially, when, for $600, I could go full solar. I can't move the current converter or the batteries. The wiring to the batteries is 4/0.
I can't keep doing what I have been. I considered a Battery Tender, but their max is 5amps. Looked at Xantrex, boy are they expensive. There has to be a middle ground. Am I missing something? I'm currently supplementing the converter with an old school auto battery charger that I have to watch closely so as to not boil the batteries (It raises the battery voltage up to as high as 16V if I don't disconnect it; I usually turn it off at 15V. I then turn it on and off for 2 hours maintaining the voltage between 14.4 and 14.
. The converter is then fine for a float charge overnight.