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Old 03-10-2016, 07:32 PM   #15
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Another way to charge your trailer battery as you drive is to buy a Continuous 12 Volt Solenoid. You hook it up so that the Solenoid is activated when the tow vehicle ignition switch is on. That way you do not have to disconnect the trailer plug when stopped .
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Prospector View Post
A lot of trailer have a 12 volt disconnect switch between the batteries and the 12 volt fuse panel.
For my set-up, that's a wing nut.

Now, I've been caled a wing nut, but I'm talking about an actual real wing nut.

No, really. I unscrew a wing nut and disconnect the negative cable.

Not, not me personally, the actual metal ...

Never mind.



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Old 03-13-2016, 10:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Your 15.+ volt charger is a purpose built charger. It works very well in your situation but does need to be monitored. It is not automatic.

Many, probably most, RV users don't have a battery monitor or want to wait for the battery voltage to climb up to 15.+ volts.

They want to start the generator or plug in and go about there business.

Your charger, if forgotten, will boil out and overheat the batteries in a few hours.

Sure, it will work for many users but it can be a dangerous thing if left on its own, which is why it is a special order item from 1 vendor.
Absolutely, mine is purpose built. You can leave it on for many hours without hurting your batteries. Anyone that starts their generator and goes about their business forgetting about it isn't camping right in my opinion and likely anyone around them but yes, you should check in on it every hour or so. It isn't as dire as you make it out to be if you forget for a couple hours. It could be dangerous if you forgot about it for a day or so or you don't keep your cells topped off.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:15 AM   #18
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I have to disagree that there is little or nothing to gain from a charge line .

Most charge lines are fused at 20 amps. With the lenght of the run and gauge of the wire, I believe it should carry at least 15 amps to the trailer battery.

Take the 15 amps a 6 hour drive and you have sent 90 AH to your battery bank.

Considering many trailers only have 180 AH of battery capacity and should only be down to 50% charge, that's more then a little gain.
You may have 10 - 15 amps. Have you measured the volts/amps at the trailer hook-up? Those are set up to operate 12v brake lights and brakes etc... I'm willing to bet the impact to the trailer batteries is minimal over a 6 hour drive. If you measure 14.8v or more at the hook-up when charging the batteries via the tow vehicle I'll relent and reverse my position. I doubt you'll find that since there is no charge controller in the loop. I bet you'll find somewhere in the 12.5v - 13.5v range which is maybe a trickle charge which is where my statement came from.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:04 AM   #19
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I'm willing to bet the impact to the trailer batteries is minimal over a 6 hour drive.
I haven't measured the voltage and amperage at my trailer light connector, so this is only shaky anecdotal evidence at best. I know that when I am in travel mode, and spend 5-8 hours driving/day, I can stop for the night (maybe a total of twelve hours or a little more), use lights, water pump, fans, and also the furnace if needed, and my two 6v 220amp/hr batteries don't get below 12.2 volts before I start driving again.

It might be helpful to know that I have a 21 foot long trailer body with pretty good insulation, and I'm sure that helps run the furnace a little less when it has to.

I will point out that I don't know what the battery state of charge is as I haven't let the batteries sit without a load for at least thirty minutes to check that, but the voltage as I am getting ready to leave in the morning is good, so there is something good happening as far as charging is concerned in my case. Your Charging Situation While Driving May Vary.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:16 AM   #20
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You just can't check the voltage at the trailer connector.

If the trailer battery is not connected, there will be no demand on the charging system.

You would need to check the trailer battery voltage while driving down the road. That way the alternator is running at optimum speed.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:21 AM   #21
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True. I wonder who I can get to sit back there and use the voltmeter while I'm trucking down the road. Any volunteers?
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:35 AM   #22
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You just can't check the voltage at the trailer connector.

If the trailer battery is not connected, there will be no demand on the charging system.

You would need to check the trailer battery voltage while driving down the road. That way the alternator is running at optimum speed.
Not nearly as much fun, but you could have someone hold the engine speed at your cruise RPM, while in PARK, and then check the voltage.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:11 PM   #23
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Not nearly as much fun, but you could have someone hold the engine speed at your cruise RPM, while in PARK, and then check the voltage.
No way. That's all sound and no fury. I'm not gonna fail to give someone the chance to get some wind in their hair!
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:01 PM   #24
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Ok, Ok, " Simulated " driving down the road.

Then again, a baby monitor, trained on the volt meter, could work
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:16 PM   #25
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OK, if you have a backup camera, jack up the rear wheels and watch the voltmeter on the hitch, while gunning it in reverse.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:22 PM   #26
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In my previous trailer I installed a Xantrex Linklite Battery monitor which measured instantaneous current as well as calculated battery capacity by either subtracting from "user inputed" battery capacity when drawing current from the battery or adding when charging the battery. I could not get more than 15 to 20 Ah into my batteries over 3 hours using 7 pin charge line when hooked to truck and running down highway. I would record Ah when I left campground in morning (batteries partially depleted) and note the increase in Ah when I pulled into driveway at home 3 hours later. Drove this trip 20-25 times and never saw more than 20 Ah into batteries.

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Old 03-13-2016, 04:34 PM   #27
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OK, if you have a backup camera, jack up the rear wheels and watch the voltmeter on the hitch, while gunning it in reverse.
Wind.
In.
Hair!

Oh well. I guess you guys are anti-fun.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:34 PM   #28
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Batteries showed fully charged when we got to the campground. Good enough for me for now. ��

There is a bit of a windstorm in the Seattle area today. We beat the worst of it, but I was able to get a feel for how the trailer/truck do in some pretty strong crosswinds. Thankfull we were tuned into NOAA..
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