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Old 03-18-2010, 06:17 AM   #1
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Battery charging

Hey all, recall I recently got my new-to-me '73 Prowler TT that I pull with my 2008 Tundra (with towing package). It's at an RV shop right now getting the exterior plumbing redone because it was leaking. I could have done it myself, but time is tight and I just want it done and over with, and knowing that it will be done right.

What is the best way to charge the battery on the TT? I don't have a charger in the TT, so obviously, getting one of those would be nice. On the short trip this past weekend, I pulled the truck up in front and used some jumper cables to add a little charge to the battery. I am pretty sure that the power pin (top pin) on the 7 pin connector is tied directly to the positive wire of the battery. I will make 100% sure of that when I get the TT back from the RV shop. So, in this configuration, I expect the truck to charge the battery while the motor is running (and make sure to unplug from the truck when parked at a campground so it doesn't drain the truck's battery).

My followup question is, do I need to add some kind of breaker to the system to prevent it from drawing too much current from the truck (i.e. a deeply discharged battery putting too much load on it)? I would assume (I hate that word) that the truck is designed to handle that kind of thing, but the truck owner's manual doesn't give any specs on the trailer electrical hookups. I'm an Engineer and I like to *KNOW* things rather than guess at them.

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Old 03-18-2010, 06:52 AM   #2
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I have the TT battery connected to the constant 12 volt line so the TT battery gets charged when on the move. I added a relay that puts the 12 volts on the connector to the TT only when the engine is running. (actualy I have the relay in the TT and have a 13 pin connector connecting the TT and the car and the relay control wire in there too)
While at a stop the TT and car are "disconnected" and I can not empty the car battery. The wire resistance from car to TT battery is enough to limit the current.
And, a 12 volt line traveling to the end of the car MUST have a fuse near the battery. (preventing smoke signal broadcasting)

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Old 03-18-2010, 08:01 AM   #3
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If your dry camping, and aren’t running a generator to charge. Try a solar charger, they’re pretty simple and quite. Just make sure you get a charger not a maintainer.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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When connected to shore power your battery should be recharged by the converter/charger. If it is not working try checking for a blown fuse. When towing there should be a charge line from the tow vehicle to the battery of the trailer. When not connected to anything you will need to learn how to conserve battery power or get a small generator or solar panels. Generators are much cheaper up front. But do not get one of the cheap contractor types, They are really loud. Instead look at Honda or Yamaha.
Don and Lorri
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:53 PM   #5
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It seems to me that the batteries on the TT should be charged by the alternator on your Tundra thru the connector. The Tundra should have an isolator that prevents the TT from discharging the truck starting battery. Sometimes the towing vehicle has an additional battery under the hood that is part of the system to the TT. My .02 cents. Milt
Joyce, Milt 2000 Safari Trek 2830
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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The best way to charge any lead acid battery is with a proper 3-stage charger.. There is some discussion on the automotive type "Smart Chargers" as to how good the quality control is but if you get one that is set properly that's a very good option. You want it to be about 1/3 the size of your battery (That is if you have, I think it's a G-29 battery (100 amp hours) you want 30 amps of charge) NOTE if you get one of these get one with 3 charge rates and 30 as the middle one

Example 3 amps, 30 amps. 100 amp starting

That way you can use it as a jump-starter if you need

A product you can buy that I know works well. Several reports of it's quality including my own, is a Progressive Dynamics 9200 series converter. I have a 9180 with charge wizard (same thing basically) and I need to "maintain" my batteries once a year (clean and water) I've spoken with others (Today in fact) who find even that to be "high maintenance" These chargers are specifically designed for flooded wet cell type batteries such as my Interstate U-2200's (GC-2 size)

The 9200 comes in several sizes, again go for about 1/3 the size of your batteries, (or 30 amps of converter per 100 amp-hours of battery)

And two "Types" Plug in (20 amp plug) and "hard Wired" you want the plug in type.

The difference between the 9200 and an automotive type portable

One: Automotive comes with battery leads.. You''ll have to get your own for the 9200

Two, The "Jump Start" setting

Three: Quality control

Four: The thing that makes the 9200 (or 9100 w/wizard) an OUTSTANDING converter/charger (There is best and then there is OUTSTANDING) is that after 20 or so hours of the batteries sitting at full charge,,, It will briefly over charge them.

This stirs up the solution in the battery to prevent stratification

It makes sure all cells are at full charge (Equlized)

and it may help prevent or reverse sulfacation (Which kills batteries)

You can hook it up with battery clips, same as an automotove type

or you can wire it in hard,, This unit can be left plugged in 24x7 with no damage to the batteries.

Home is where I park it!
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battery charge

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