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Old 11-25-2015, 01:51 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
I've really liked the Black & Decker VEC1093DBD 40 amp charger. Unfortunately, I can't find it for sale on line right now. Amazon lists it, but with the caveat "currently unavailable." The Black & Decker BC25BD 25 amp charger looks promising (maybe it supersedes the other model?) but I haven't used one so can't vouch for it.

I also have a Battery Doctor charger (#20085) I really like for charging the battery in one of my trailers. My favorite feature is that it remembers my settings: I push the buttons to choose battery type and charge rate (flooded battery, 8A charge in my case), then whenever I plug it in, it powers on and goes to work with those settings instead of defaulting to the lowest rate as the common Schumacher chargers all seem to do. I see on the Wirthco web site they now have a model 20087 with 16A max charge current as well.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:53 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Thanks Family wagon

Does the amperage matter for the charger? i assume higher = better

Also any recommendations for a battery monitor?
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:20 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
I can't make any recommendation about battery monitors. Seems like I've seen a few models mentioned in these forums, but I'd be hard-pressed to find them... external search along the lines of "site:skoolie.net battery monitor" on your favorite yahoo/google/bing/duckduckgo/etc could be a good place to start.

Higher amperage will charge a battery faster, which most people consider "better." Depending on the size of the battery, it could also ruin a battery faster. There are various guidelines or rules of thumb as to the recommended charging rate. Mostly it depends on the amp-hour capacity rating of the battery bank and the battery construction (flooded lead, AGM lead, etc). There wasn't any mention of your battery bank's size, nor whether you prefer a permanent-install charger or something portable, so I've just mentioned the two I have experience with. I've used that B&D at 40 amps charging a series pair of J305P-AC batteries. These are rated 330AH at 20 hours. Trojan's "Battery Maintenance" web page says "When selecting a charger, the charge rate should be between 10% and 13% of the battery’s 20-hour AH capacity." I was at the high end of that range. Charging below that guideline is perfectly safe, but it'll extend the charging time. The recommendation may be different for different manufacturers or battery chemistries.

Confession: I sometimes use that big charger on that trailer I mentioned earlier when I'm in a hurry. It has an automotive-size deep cycle battery, maybe 80 AH I guess, and I sometimes start it at 20 A or occasionally 40 A charge. It tapers down pretty fast from there. In this case I accept the trade-off that fast charge might shorten battery life as being better than the damage a customer will do if he runs this battery until it's very deeply discharged (because I sent it out less than fully charged), or the inconvenience to me if I have to go out and charge or replace the battery while it's out on a job.
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:30 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
I'll look at the batteries tonight and see if I can figure out what their AH is!
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:52 PM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I can still buy that charger here, but not online.

I also have one and love it. I have been using that model for the last 6 years.

My friend that lives off grid uses his to charge his battery bank from the generator.

Nat
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