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Old 03-25-2014, 06:56 PM   #1
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Charging line to towed

I am new on the forum, 16 years full timing. Our coach is an 05 Mtn. Aire on a Spartan chassis. I am in the process of running a 12v charging line from the coach to my 2013 Ford Explorer that I just set up for towing. It tows fine, however Ford requires the ignition in the accessory position, so the battery runs down during a day of towing if I don't run it during the trip. Running the line is pretty easy, but I think I need to put a diode in series to keep the current only going in the charging direction. I am having trouble finding a suitable diode, and I want to avoid the usual expensive battery isolators.

Has anyone set up a charging line, and if so what did you use for isolation?
Paul R.
05 Mtn. Aire
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2!

I have a charge line running from my coach to my CR-V. I put a 20 amp fuse in the line and a diode at the car battery. Not sure the diode was really necessary but I had an extra so put it there.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #3
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I also use a charge line with 20 A 12 volt auto reset circuit breaker on the coach Chassis battery and on the toad battery and like Ranger I also have a diode on the car battery.

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Old 03-25-2014, 07:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitech6 View Post
I am new on the forum, 16 years full timing. Our coach is an 05 Mtn. Aire on a Spartan chassis. I am in the process of running a 12v charging line from the coach to my 2013 Ford Explorer that I just set up for towing. It tows fine, however Ford requires the ignition in the accessory position, so the battery runs down during a day of towing if I don't run it during the trip. Running the line is pretty easy, but I think I need to put a diode in series to keep the current only going in the charging direction. I am having trouble finding a suitable diode, and I want to avoid the usual expensive battery isolators.

Has anyone set up a charging line, and if so what did you use for isolation?
Paul R.
05 Mtn. Aire
LSL Products make a system for this. Called "Toad Charge" Heres a link
TOAD-CHARGE Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:17 AM   #5
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Check out RVI Brake. They have a charge controller that connects to the front plug and the battery. The controller contains a 15amp fuse and a diode in a waterproof case. Installation time is about 15 minutes and the cost is under $50.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:41 AM   #6
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Thanks for the helpful response! Can you tell me what the diode was and where you got it? Paul-hitech6
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:42 AM   #7
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Great! I will take a look.
Thanks!
Paul-hitech6
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:11 PM   #8
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RVibrake Towed Battery Charger

This setup requires you to run a 12v line from the back of the motor home thru the umbilical cord to the plug on the front of the toad. From there the line goes through the charge controller and the other leads go to the battery. Beauty of this setup is that there are no excess wires between the motor home and the toad. I don't know any of the specifics of what's in the box in terms of diodes but I did test it hooked up backwards and there wasn't any current detected so it was doing the job.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:21 PM   #9
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Charging line to towed.

What a great site! Thanks to your responses from yesterday I bought the RVI tow vehicle charger for $50. Found the 12vdc tow power line on the Mtn. Aire, working with Newmar to find out why it has no voltage on it with the ignition on. May have to run a separate wire, which is not difficult.
Thanks again!
Paul--Hitech6
'05 Mountain Aire
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:14 PM   #10
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On my Dutch Star there was a black wire and an orange wire at the rear plug but neither were hot. I phoned Newmar customer service (1-800-731-8300) and they told me the wires come up to the front fuse panel. It wasn't the fuse panel in with the generator (chassis) but rather under the front dash. I found the wires (used the black one) and there were 2 hot terminals available for connection - one was live and the other was when the ignition was turned on. I used the live connection for now and installed a 15 amp inline fuse. I can change it to the ignition connection if I need to as it only takes a few minutes. Have the last 6 digits of your VIN so they know what coach and chassis to reference.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:00 AM   #11
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Charge line location

Since my house batteries are up front and the generator is in the back, I hooked my charge line to the big cable going to the generator. That cable goes directly to the house batteries. I put a 20 amp circuit breaker at the generator and used a #12 wire back to the toad through the regular plug. Works fine and I have not had any problems. Not sure if a big diode is necessary.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by agiledog View Post
Since my house batteries are up front and the generator is in the back, I hooked my charge line to the big cable going to the generator. That cable goes directly to the house batteries. I put a 20 amp circuit breaker at the generator and used a #12 wire back to the toad through the regular plug. Works fine and I have not had any problems. Not sure if a big diode is necessary.
You should hook to the chassis battery rather than the house battery, i would be a little afraid that that set up could over charge the toad battery if it is hooket to the altanator.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:45 PM   #13
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Charging

When the coach is running, both the chassis and the house batteries are being charged by the alternator. Same current going to all batteries.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:01 PM   #14
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Sorry to tell you all, the size of wire you are running to the toad will cause a drop in voltage, the best you can charge is about 3-5 amps. 20 amp fuse is overkill, and will probably not protect from a short as you think. I put an ammeter in mine, got 3 amp charge when battery on the toad was low, less when near full charge.
Roger
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