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Old 03-10-2011, 10:24 AM   #15
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Wow! Who knew? Thanks for sharing. I am going to show this to my son. Do you need to have the truck running when you use the inverter?
No. With 2 big batteries, that hasn't been a problem. I am sure there are others here that could tell us how long it would take to be a problem. If I were to use a Skill saw etc for a long period of time I probably would run engine from time to time just to keep the batteries up. A few years ago we were at a family reunion where another member had brought a TV and CD/DVD player to show pictures and videos on. It ran for a long time (I have no idea how long now) and I didn't run the engine. I have hauled that invertor around in the engine compartment for about 8yrs now.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:51 AM   #16
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Very interesting, Cliff, and certainly good to know-even in a pinch. I have a 4k inverter that was too big for my trailer, but I carry it around. Might come in handy one day.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:12 PM   #17
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A word of caution about running things in the Trailer from the TV bats. If you run to long or have too high a demand, you could end up with dead TV bats come morning. I typicially disconnect the trailer plug from the TV and just run on the dual 12V bats I have in the front cargo area or when we had a TT dual bats mounted on the tongue behind the propane tanks. Just my thoughts
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:49 PM   #18
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A word of caution about running things in the Trailer from the TV bats. If you run to long or have too high a demand, you could end up with dead TV bats come morning. I typicially disconnect the trailer plug from the TV and just run on the dual 12V bats I have in the front cargo area or when we had a TT dual bats mounted on the tongue behind the propane tanks. Just my thoughts
That's good advice. We only use it for the microwave for a few minutes. Most other things in our RVs will run off the 300 watt on the RV battery.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:37 PM   #19
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That's good advice. We only use it for the microwave for a few minutes. Most other things in our RVs will run off the 300 watt on the RV battery.
I was only asking that out of curiosity, and would only use it in an emergency, i.e., to run the air compressor from the outside plug on the TT to fill a flat tire until I could make it to where I could call AAA. I most likely would use nothing more than my computer, music, maybe the TV.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:17 AM   #20
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Oh, again this depends on the size of the inverter, but in MANY vehicles, including as I recall Chrysler products, GM products and my Workhorse, there is, somewhere (usually under the dash) a bolt or two that are battery positive, these are connected to the battery direct, no fuse, and with fairly heavy cable.

I can not, however, speak to your truck.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:12 PM   #21
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Oh, again this depends on the size of the inverter, but in MANY vehicles, including as I recall Chrysler products, GM products and my Workhorse, there is, somewhere (usually under the dash) a bolt or two that are battery positive, these are connected to the battery direct, no fuse, and with fairly heavy cable.

I can not, however, speak to your truck.
Thanks, I'll look for them. I thought what I'd do is next time I have it in for service, i'll ask one of the guys there, too.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:33 AM   #22
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"Here's another idea from someone who knows nothing about the electrical workings of either her trailer or truck: Would it be too much of a drain on my truck batteries to leave the trailer hooked up and run the inverter in the trailer?"

I believe all newer trucks are set up so that the truck batteries CAN NOT be drained by a trailer through the harness--electricity can ONLY flow from the truck to the trailer (diode? in line). Also, battery charge line not live unless truck is running.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:05 AM   #23
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I believe all newer trucks are set up so that the truck batteries CAN NOT be drained by a trailer through the harness--electricity can ONLY flow from the truck to the trailer (diode? in line). Also, battery charge line not live unless truck is running.
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Thank you, Joe. I've decided to ask my Dodge dealer about all the 'ins and outs' of using the trailer. Before I go off on another long trip, I'm still thinking of getting a small Honda generator.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:03 PM   #24
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I hope your Dodge dealer is much better than most--I haven't run across any service advisors (I am a Ford guy) who knew anything about towing, trailer hookups, etc., unless they are trying to deny a warranty claim due "to towing too much load" or some such deal.
This forum and others like it can be a better source of information, particularly other Dodge owners.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:35 PM   #25
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I believe all newer trucks are set up so that the truck batteries CAN NOT be drained by a trailer through the harness--electricity can ONLY flow from the truck to the trailer (diode? in line). Also, battery charge line not live unless truck is running.
Nope, Dodge has always kept pin 4 (battery +12VDC) hot even when the truck is shut off. It was so in my 1996, my 2002 and I just checked pin 4 to pin 1 (ground) in my 2011 and got +12.72VDC. Therefore, the safe approach is to unplug the trailer from the truck if you're going to draw heavily on the trailer batteries for a sustained period of time (like, overnight with the furnace running and no AC power). Otherwise, you may well find the truck batteries dead when you try to start it up.

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Old 03-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #26
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Nope, Dodge has always kept pin 4 (battery +12VDC) hot even when the truck is shut off. It was so in my 1996, my 2002 and I just checked pin 4 to pin 1 (ground) in my 2011 and got +12.72VDC. Therefore, the safe approach is to unplug the trailer from the truck if you're going to draw heavily on the trailer batteries for a sustained period of time (like, overnight with the furnace running and no AC power). Otherwise, you may well find the truck batteries dead when you try to start it up.

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Rusty, I'm getting a little confused. I always disconnect the truck from the trailer as soon as I park. I'm starting to lean toward getting a Honda 1000 and using my 100 watt inverter (if Dodge says it's okay) in the truck.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:32 PM   #27
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Then you're fine. I didn't mean to confuse you - I was responding to Wingnut60's post. Dodge doesn't use a battery isolation relay, so the truck batteries are connected to the trailer batteries as long as the trailer cord is plugged into the truck.

Plugging a 100 watt inverter into your truck's lighter socket is an entirely different matter and shouldn't create any problems unless you were using it for a sustained period of time with the engine not running.

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Old 03-12-2011, 06:01 PM   #28
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Then you're fine. I didn't mean to confuse you - I was responding to Wingnut60's post. Dodge doesn't use a battery isolation relay, so the truck batteries are connected to the trailer batteries as long as the trailer cord is plugged into the truck.

Plugging a 100 watt inverter into your truck's lighter socket is an entirely different matter and shouldn't create any problems unless you were using it for a sustained period of time with the engine not running.

Rusty
Thank you very much for your time, Rusty.
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