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Powermax Converter


kinseypw

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The converter in my Cougar just bit the dust and I need a replacement.Looking on Amazon and Ebay I see Powermax converters at about $40-50 less than the WF-9855 that came with the trailer. Local dealer in Yuma said they never install anything but Iota that are more expensive than the WFCO. Anybody have experience with the Powermax? Are they decent quality and do they last?

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I was very happy with our Iota and the Wizard attachment, it did a great job of maintaining our batteries.

 

Get a quality converter, dead batteries are expensive so you want to coddle them.

First rule of computer consulting:

Sell a customer a Linux computer and you'll eat for a day.

Sell a customer a Windows computer and you'll eat for a lifetime.

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IMO, Iota's and Powermax's are fairly close in performance and reliability. They use a lot of the same charging strategies and algorithms. An IOTA would have a slight edge simply because the Powermax units are notorious for very poor documentation, support, and knowledgeable tech support. With an Iota there are enough units out there that local repair shops and end users are fairly familiar with their workings. Getting one factory repaired is another matter.

 

Personally... I wouldn't consider anything other than a Progressive Dynamics. They are designed, manufactured and repaired in the U.S. They are highly reliable and have a very good customer support/service reputation. Are they leaps and bounds better at their job than the others? Not terribly under most circumstances, but they are generally the first to introduce new innovations and charge profiles.

 

For me, reliability and customer service is worth the extra money. They also sell factory refurbished units with full warranty from time to time if money is the main issue.

 

In order of personal preference... it would be a PD, then an Iota, a Powermax, and as a last resort.. a WFCO.

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Get a quality converter, dead batteries are expensive so you want to coddle them.

A cheap converter will cost more over time because of battery failures and you have the added inconvenience of lost power and extra work replacing them. The WFCO is popular with RV builders because they are cheap and few customers know the difference.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

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I'm with Yarome on this one. I've owned two Progressive Dynamics 9200 Series 4 Stage (Bulk, Absorption, Float, Equalize) Smart Chargers with Intelli Charge and have been completely satisfied with their trouble free so far NO failure performance. Their charging algorithm is around 14.2 to 14.4 Volt Bulk (With regular Equalization cycle) Charge followed by 13.6 Volt Absorption Charge afterwhich they settle in and Float at 13.2 Volts which in my opinion is best for long term floating unlike some brands which float at higher voltage. They are compatible with flooded lead acid or AGM. Best I recall 60 amp or 80 amp are over $200 subject to rating, look on Amazon and E Bay and other RV outlets.

 

A good quality multi Stage Smart Charger will increase battery life in my opinion and are well worth their price

 

John T coming to you live from LaGrange Texas Walmart where I spent the night then bought gas for $1.62 after my 3 cent discount yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

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I wouldn't think of getting a converter repaired myself unless it was something dead simple like a bad power cord or dead fan and that I'd do myself.

 

If the converter was under warranty I'd accept a factory exchange if it was offered but waiting a month or more for shipping and repair would be more aggravation than the cost of a new converter. If we were moving at the time of year it died return shipping issues would only add to the cost and aggravation.

 

I might wait for winter, when we parked for a while, and do a warranty claim then. Then toss the replacement in a basement bin as a spare or to have to sell to someone needing one.

First rule of computer consulting:

Sell a customer a Linux computer and you'll eat for a day.

Sell a customer a Windows computer and you'll eat for a lifetime.

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Something nice about the Wizard equipped converters is how well they will charge your batteries if you get behind due to shade or weather. Plug the converter into your generator, a 1000 is more than enough, put the Wizard into boost mode and your converter will start cranking out well over the rated charge amps into the battery. Our 45 Amp Iota pegged a 50 Amp meter for the first few minutes of a charge cycle when the batteries were below 80%. I was glad I hadn't bought a bigger Amp rating as that would likely have put the battery bank over the safe charge current limits.

 

We also found that using the converter in conjunction with our inverter when we had iffy power but didn't need AC or heat was a good way to avoid the power issues. Just plug the converter into the iffy power, they are usually happy from 90 to 135 volts, and let it keep your batteries charged while you live off the inverter. If you have big power draws (above the converter Amp rating) the battery voltage will drop but the converter will bring them back to full as soon as the draw stops. We had no issues keeping ahead of our use if we kept the fridge and water heat on gas.

First rule of computer consulting:

Sell a customer a Linux computer and you'll eat for a day.

Sell a customer a Windows computer and you'll eat for a lifetime.

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Progressive Dynamics would by far be my first choice. So I'll "pile on" with that. The others will "do", but for the reasons Yarome stated I'd do PD. Worth the money, IMO.

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