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Old 07-25-2016, 09:02 PM   #1
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Is A Charles Industries Charger Great?

I have three battery banks that currently run off of a 14 year old 40 amp charger.
I am considering replacing the charger with a Charles Industries Series 2000 Fifty amp, 3 battery bank charger.
Are Charles Industries products on the higher end? Are they reliable?
I have no experience with this product.
Thanks for any feed back.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:08 PM   #2
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I bought a Charles charger in 1993. It still works.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:10 PM   #3
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I purchased one about 3 years ago after finding that the model was actually manufactured in the USA. I'd do it again.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:18 PM   #4
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I had one that died soon after it went out warranty. I think they are overpriced on a dollar per watt basis. Magnum inverters, in my opinion, provide the best and most cost effective chargers. (I have two, which can provide 100 amps each at 24 volts.) Or, if you want a charger only, I think Sterling is a better bet. (Stay away from Xantrex, if you want support and service).
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:38 PM   #5
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I went with a Blue Sea 40 amp 3 batt charger when I changed mine out. So far....so good.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:52 PM   #6
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Charles has a good reputation. I'm partial to Newmar because I've been selling them for about twenty years with only two or three problems in that time. Their customer service is the best.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:02 PM   #7
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Great luck with products and service from Charles; American owned, made and US personal customer service. I'd have to say the same for NewMar as well. And in both cases both their marine products as well as their offerings to the telecom industry. Yes, they are on the higher end end price-wise and IMO well worth it.
To another poster's point, I had a Magnum inverter which is a great product but they 1)don't offer dedicatedchargers and 2) it was no better a charger than a Charles or NewMar
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:38 PM   #8
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I have an 80 amo Charles charger installed as OEM on my boat. It still works just fine. I would ask how many batteries in each bank and what type of batteries??? 40 amps is pretty weak for a charger in this day and age. I have seen some pretty big boats with 40 amp charger that have battery issues. Why??? Because the normal household 12VDC loads approach and even exceed 40 amps on bigger boats. Also, AGM batteries desulphate by the charge the receive....the bigger the charge, the better. So if you have AGM batteries and a weak charger, you are potentially shortening the life of your batteries.

But, back to your original question, Charles chargers are damn good and their customer service is even better.

WIth that said, I also needed an inverter so bought a Magnum Energy 2000 watt inverter combo 100 amp battery charger. If you do not already have an inverter, I would highly recommend going this route.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:56 AM   #9
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I am using a couple of Charles transformers, one as isolation duty and one as step down/up from 120/240 V. I think they are quality products, albeit a bit heavy.

For chargers, consider the Victron range. They are high quality Dutch products. Something like the Centaur charger: ....features auto-ranging input covering 90-265VAC 50/60Hz input meaning they can be used anywhere in the world.https://www.victronenergy.com/charge...harger-12v-24v

The ability to just plug into shore power, wherever you are in the world, to charge a battery bank is invaluable if you cruise beyond home waters.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:18 AM   #10
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I have a 85 amp, three bank Charles charger which has been trouble free for four years. I'm also using their 30 amp isolation transformer which has also been trouble free.

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Old 07-26-2016, 06:39 AM   #11
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Why would you wish to replace a good functioning charger?

Don't sink it , don't fry it you may get another 14 years, no problem.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:57 AM   #12
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I have a newmar, it quit and they fixed it 2 times under warranty and they finally replaced it with a brand new unit. New unit works great, by the way I changed out my battery bank when I got the new unit.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:13 PM   #13
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A friend replaced a non-functioning Charles charger and gave me the broken charger. I contacted Charles and sent it back for refurbishment (for a reasonable cost). Excellent, personal customer service and the charger has been working on my boat flawlessly for several years.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:40 PM   #14
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I just put in a two bank marine rated Samlex. 2 year warranty advertised at 80 amps. Discussing chargers in general with a Yachtwright I was told that the 80 amp rating was 40 for each bank, not 80amp for a given bank. Because of my large house bank I wanted a single bank 80amp. Seems to do the job just fine though.
Still more I was told that the banks needed to be approximately the same size or the smaller would get cooked. IE: my 1100+ house bank vs my single group 31 starter battery. So I do not have my starter battery tied in.
Any comments to help educated this somewhat confused boater.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:51 PM   #15
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Let it charge the house all the time and every few weeks if the start batt is old use the rotary switch to merg it with the house, overnight.

ONLY DOCKSIDE!
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Old 07-26-2016, 02:41 PM   #16
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The absolute top in chargers, converters and combies is Mastervolt.

Example 12v 50A Charger.

Mastervolt - Innovative power systems - for autonomous use
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:44 PM   #17
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Can't speak to Charles, aside from reading generally good things about them on the interwebs. But, for what it is worth, we replaced the original pos Xantrex 40 AMP on our Tug with a 40 AMP Sterling/ProMariner (same model, just marketed by different companies). Here is some info from one of our member's website on the unit: Installing A Marine Battery Charger Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:07 PM   #18
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This is where the marine industry is really lacking.

Every year I hear of what's the best charger or inverter or combo, but it's all just opinion.

There is no real definitive info on what lasts, performs as advertised, or lives up to real customer service.

I am ready to upgrade to a great inverter/charger or separates, but I have read of no clear cut winners.

I have heard great things about Charles, yet some years back, almost every Charles charger installed in dozens and dozens of Sea Rays I delivered during the sales process had their Charles chargers replaced under warranty the first year or so.

Even then people were saying how great they were, yet I had great personal/in industry experience to the contrary.

So for existing chargers/inverters and combos...especially now the Xantrex is retooled, who has any real evidence of superiority in these categories?

Just having luck with yours helps the discussion, but hardly proves anything.

Maybe time for forums like these to have a favorites/reviews section where people could come up with somewhat weighted ratings based on knowledge of the people rating the equipment.

Oh well......
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:38 PM   #19
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As to product reviews, we generally been very happy with Practical Sailor. While it does lean toward sailboats, many of the products and systems are relevant to all boats. It is actually the only subscription we have kept up.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
This is where the marine industry is really lacking.

Every year I hear of what's the best charger or inverter or combo, but it's all just opinion.

There is no real definitive info on what lasts, performs as advertised, or lives up to real customer service.

.
Reviews and ratings will never be definitive. The issue is that there is no site with any volume of reviews or ratings. With many products I'd look to Amazon for reviews. For all Charges chargers combined there are only 6 reviews, none with more than 3. We can check on marinas, on anchorages, but not on the every day products we use. We do get some good threads here on TF regarding many products so that using search can help gather information, but would be great if there was a site with nothing but boater reviews and ratings of products.
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