Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: WFCO WF-8955AN vs. Xantrex XADC-60
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 > WFCO WF-8955AN vs. Xantrex XADC-60

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J&W

Wisconsin

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Posted: 09/13/09 08:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

smkettner wrote:

Although you might be able to ebay the 55 and buy a 35 amp WFCO to keep it original.


I don't understand this How would I benefit by going to the 35 amp? Is it easier to get the 35 amp into bulk mode?


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smkettner

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Posted: 09/13/09 09:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes. The trigger to get boost mode on a WFCO is getting the distribution panel voltage below 13.2 volts. The voltage will sag more on the 35 amp vs the 55 amp and will trigger boost mode sooner. So with the 55 it puts out 40 amps and holds the voltage at 13.6 and thinks all is fine. Starts at 40 and quickly tapers off just as you saw. Same set up the 35 cannot put out the 40 and voltage sags to 13.0 volts or less. This puts WFCO into boost and it will continue putting out 35 amps for at least four hours and will not taper off until the distribution panel voltage hits 14.4 volts.

On mine (WFCO 55) the oem 25'+ of #6 wire and flimsy ring terminals caused a full volt drop near max amps. This would have the battery at 12.4 during initial charge but the distribution panel at 13.4 and while it put out max amps for a few minutes it never went to boost mode and the amps quickly tapered off. Now with #2 wire and heavy lugs I have 0.2 volt drop and the panel is held below 13 volts during initial charge. This puts a measured 60 amps into the battery (4xGC2) for three hours before it hits 14.5-14.6 volts and starts to taper the current. Once in boost mode it charges like a rocket, night and day difference.

If I am not quite low enough but I want boost mode I can use the inverter-microwave to heat a cup of water for 20 seconds and it pops right into boost.

Sometimes I think it is a lot of bother to make the WFCO work. If spending money I would probably get an XADC as a replacement. My charge wire was easy to pull as it just drops through the floor and runs along the frame to the front compartment.

PD you can control but it tapers off amps before it hits boost voltage so largest is best with a PD. This tapering off apparently also allows the PD to more easily change to boost mode on its own.


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BFL13

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Posted: 09/13/09 10:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

J&W wrote:

BFL13 wrote:

It will take much longer than three hours to charge that battery bank fully, but you will be able to figure that all out with your set-up doing your pre-trip experiment.


How long do you think it would take to do a 50-80 on this bank with two 40amp Vectors?


I use two 35 amp Vectors on two 12s of 120ah rating each and it takes one and a half hours. On four batteries it takes twice as long with same amps, so three would take about two and a quarter hours with two 35s.

I have experimented with placement of the chargers and found it was faster to put one on each battery instead of balancing by putting them both across the whole bank. This is from by-passing the parallel cables and their resistence I think.

Your idea to charge the two end ones and let the middle one equalize with them sounds good but you are still using both sets of parallel cables in a way. So IMO you might as well put both chargers across the whole bank. You could time it each way to find out. Be worth it to know if it does save any time. 12s have two-part posts for each terminal (a wingnut and a post) so it is easy to clamp two Vectors to one terminal with 12s.

Yes generator VA becomes the limiting factor with high amp charging. I have four batteries and charge with three Vector 35s (600w each) and one 20 (335w) for 125amps total. This takes 2,135 watts until amps taper so our Honda 3000 gets to do its stuff

BTW I put two 35s on the pair of 12s (one on each) and a 35 and a 20 across the pair of 6s. Faster than putting all four chargers across the bank of four, eliminating the parallel cables between the 12s and 6s. Each pair takes that one and a half hours and done together so that's the total time to recharge the four while camping.

If you win the Lotto you can just get a Prosine 2.0 and get the same job done for less bother than having a mess of Vectors to play with


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BFL13

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Posted: 09/14/09 09:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

J&W wrote:



So you would put both pos clamps on one pos post (say on the right battery) and both negs on one neg post on the left battery? Or the pos from one charger on the right battery pos and the neg from the same charger on the left neg post? And vice versa for the other charger?? Probably no difference between these scenarios?


I am not sure how that second way would work; I am suspicious of it but let others who know better say if it is ok or not.

I would put both positive clamps on the pos post of the outside battery at one end and both neg clamps on the neg post of the outside battery at the other end of the bank. Or one charger on each outside battery if that works faster. (you should really clamp the neg clamps to the rig's frame not to the battery neg post, but with the battery neg disconnected --see below--you must use the battery post)

Access to the battery posts can be a problem. I try to have the "working posts" I clamp to nearest the outside of the compartment, which means crossing the parallel cables with one battery turned the other way around.

While charging, I plug the shore cable into the gen, which means it is no longer into the inverter, and turn the converter back on. Then I disconnect the battery bank from the rig by taking off the neg wire and let the rig get its DC from the converter. Hook up chargers and plug them into the gen directly or to the rig's outside receptacle.

This means there is no DC draw from the rig on the batteries subtracting amps at the same time the chargers are trying to put amps in, which would effectively be charging with lower amps and therefore take longer with more gen time. You still have to manage your gen watts useage until the batteries come up enough so the chargers don't take all the gen's supply. Part of that management is not to run too many DC things so the converter wants more watts. Mainly you have to manage your DW inside the rig so she doesn't turn things on while you are out there slaving away with the batteries

J&W

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Posted: 09/14/09 08:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

smkettner wrote:

If spending money I would probably get an XADC as a replacement.


I would like to get another XADC-60, like I had on my previous TT, but am not sure how well it will go into the box where the WFCO is. For now (time and money), think I will go with the dual vectors. Thanks for your input.

J&W

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Posted: 09/14/09 09:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

So IMO you might as well put both chargers across the whole bank. You could time it each way to find out. Be worth it to know if it does save any time. 12s have two-part posts for each terminal (a wingnut and a post) so it is easy to clamp two Vectors to one terminal with 12s.


So you would put both pos clamps on one pos post (say on the right battery) and both negs on one neg post on the left battery? Or the pos from one charger on the right battery pos and the neg from the same charger on the left neg post? And vice versa for the other charger?? Probably no difference between these scenarios?

BFL13

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Posted: 09/14/09 10:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another note on using two chargers with amps read-outs on them.

With one charger you might have your stopping point when amps get down to say 10amps. With two chargers on the job to get the same stopping point you would let each get down to 5 amps.

Also once the amps get down below 20 each,say at 18, you might want to disconnect one charger. The other will jump back to 36amps and carry on down normally. Except I find it only jumps back to say 34, so a couple amps disappear somewhere. Perhaps the batteries were only taking 34 out of the two 18s due to some losses or it is really better to keep both going, no idea, it just happens.

BFL13

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Posted: 09/14/09 09:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tee hee-- you are on the slippery slope. Soon you will get another battery and decide that three 1093s would be just right but then you will need twin Hondas....

The usual spec for the 1093DBD says input wants 700w. Seems right based on:

My Vectors have max watts until battery voltage hits 13.9 and amps taper. After that the voltage keeps rising into the mid 14s but with the lower amps figure then, watts is never again as high as it was in Stage 1.

My 35amp is rated at 600w and 13.9 x 35 is 486. 486/600 is 81%
My 20amp is rated at 335w and 13.9 x 20 is 278. 278/335 is 83%

Your 40 ought to be 13.9 x 40 = 556 so at say 80% it should want 695w. So that 700w sounds right.

Yes others here have posted some work on various RV converter brands' specs and they are in the same ball park around 80%

You can confirm the watts draw of your Vector if your inverter has a watts read- out.

I plugged the charger into the inverter which was on one set of batteries and charged another battery that was low enough SOC to make the Vector go to full amps and read off the watts on the inverter read-out. It came close to what the Vector specs said on its box. As soon as the amps on the charger tapered the watts dropped off.

When you get the second Vector you can try it all out. I bet that Honda will handle them ok.

You might keep running out of gas for the Honda running it harder now depending on how long you are gone etc. There have been posts about extra tanks for them and advice on where best to carry a Jerry can and all that.

J&W

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Posted: 09/16/09 10:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The new Vector showed up today as planned. I had drained the battery bank down to about 55% (12.15 volts). Hooked up the tag team, and they started charging away. Unfortunately, forgot to open the vent on the gas cap, and the gen choked and quit at some point - so not sure how long it was running out of the first 45 minutes - probably not long at all. After I got her going again, in 2 hours they were pretty well charged. Did a couple of measurements just out of curiosity: Both vectors said 40.6 on the LED, but when I put the ammeter clamp on the leads independently, they both read 42.5ish. Not sure if that means my Craftsman ammeter is a bit off or what. Then later, after the amps had dropped a bit, I had a combined reading of 78 amps going into the bank, but when I measured current between the positive post of the right hand battery (where both pos charger leads were connected) and the pos post of the middle battery - it read about 50 amps. I'm not sure if that is normal or not - thinking of it now - I should have taken the next step and measured between the middle and left battery too. I am guessing that would have bee even less. Won't have much more testing time before I leave so I guess it is what it is. Seems like all will work out okay.

J&W

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Posted: 09/14/09 07:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

While charging, I plug the shore cable into the gen, which means it is no longer into the inverter, and turn the converter back on. Then I disconnect the battery bank from the rig by taking off the neg wire and let the rig get its DC from the converter. Hook up chargers and plug them into the gen directly or to the rig's outside receptacle.


This is how I have done it in the past, however, the Vecs say they take 785 watts. Times two - that's 1570 watts out of the 1600w available (continuous). I'm guessing with just 30 amps left over, plugging in the shore power would trip the reset on the gen in not too much time. The math doesn't seem to work on that 785 watts though - even at 14.4 volts, 40 amps is only 576 watts, where are the other 210 watts going? Is the conversion from ac to dc really only 73% efficient?

If it turns out that they really do take that many watts, I think I will have to plug the chargers into the gen, leave the shore power plugged into the inverter, and unfortunately take the counter-productive hit on the batteries for any power needs while using both chargers, after dropping to one charger, I will be able to plug the shore power into the gen.

I ordered another vec this morning, and should get it on Wednesday, so should be able to do more testing then.

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