Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-27-2019, 08:36 PM   #1
Member
 
DG N. AL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Hillsboro, AL
Posts: 32
Residential Refrigerator & Trailer Battery Charging Problem Solved

We have a 2018 Cedar Creek 36CK2 with a Samsung residential refrigerator. The trailer came with 2 Interstate deep cycle batteries. Our problem has been that driving a 12-13 hour day would just about discharge the batteries. If we did the "park at Walmart", we would run the generator for a couple of hours before going to bed to recharge the batteries. We would run the generator the next morning until we were back on the road (maybe an hour). By lunch on the next day, the batteries would be dead. Our truck wiring has the hot wire in the trailer plug, but the gauge of the wire was too small to keep the batteries charged.

I considered adding solar to the trailer to charge the batteries in route, but that looked expensive and possibly unreliable. I decided to upgrade the wiring between the truck and trailer to charge the batteries. I ran 2 gauge wire (hot and ground) from the truck batteries to the trailer batteries. I put heavy fuses (i forget the amperage) at the truck and trailer batteries. I used 175 Amp quick connectors to make the connection at the trailer. I put a continuous duty solenoid in the hotwire on the truck so that the wire is only hot when the truck key is on. This is to keep the trailer from draining the truck batteries when the truck is not running. I wired the solenoid thru one of the upfitter switches on the F250 so that I can manually cut the solenoid off. This allows me to manually turn the power off when the trailer is not connected. Just to be on the safe side and give more reserve, I added two more batteries to the trailer giving a total of 4-12 volt batteries. When they need replacing, I may consider using 4-6 volt golf cart batteries.

We just completed a 1600 mile round trip and the batteries on the trailer stayed fully charged. I think this will solve the charging problems of the trailer batteries while towing the trailer. I watched the alternator gauge on the truck this trip and it never left the normal range.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Plugs.JPG
Views:	53
Size:	52.3 KB
ID:	254927   Click image for larger version

Name:	Solenoid.JPG
Views:	55
Size:	47.7 KB
ID:	254928  

DG N. AL is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-27-2019, 09:27 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 31,684
Great job.
You built a battery isolation/charging system something like most MHs have.

A solenoid connects the chassis batteries to the house batteries with heavy cables when a charging voltage is available.
twinboat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 11:02 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,644
Good job. That is similar to what I have done. I just swapped a constant duty solenoid for a voltage sensing relay.

I am not sure why this is a new thing for 5ers. Boats have been charging "house" battery banks from the drive engines for decades.
__________________
Professional mechanic.
2018 Ram 2500 HD Mega cab.
mobilemike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 05:07 PM   #4
Member
 
masterdrago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 50
It would be interesting to me to know more about your installation. Fuses? What type wire? How run? Encased in what? How connected at the battery (s), etc. How run through the 5r hitch? Anything else you might recommend in the installation?
__________________
Kenneth & Joy Drake Lake Conroe, Tx 2017 Ram 3500 Limited Dully towing a 2018.5 Montana 3791RD SOLD thru this forum
masterdrago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2019, 08:20 PM   #5
Member
 
DG N. AL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Hillsboro, AL
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
It would be interesting to me to know more about your installation. Fuses? What type wire? How run? Encased in what? How connected at the battery (s), etc. How run through the 5r hitch? Anything else you might recommend in the installation?
I used this for the wire. I terminated the wire with these lugs. I used the type of fuse pictured below. I put a fuse at both the truck battery and the trailer battery. I put heat shrink on the fuses and all of the lugs.

I ran the cables down the left frame rail. There was a major wiring harness on that rail and I zip-tied the cable to it. You could run the cable in a corrugated loom if you desired. I put my plug above the trailer connection in the bed of the truck (see pictures). I mounted the solenoid on the firewall of the truck. My truck is a 2012 Ford F250.

On the trailer, I used an electrical fish tape to pull my cable from the pin box to the front compartment. I was able to run the fish tape right beside the trailer light cable. My batteries and inverter are in the left corner of the front compartment.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	11498923_lit_0meg100xp_pri_larg.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	13.1 KB
ID:	255148   Click image for larger version

Name:	Lug.PNG
Views:	43
Size:	208.1 KB
ID:	255149  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20190729_142804_LI.jpg
Views:	73
Size:	217.6 KB
ID:	255150   Click image for larger version

Name:	20190729_142834_LI.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	183.9 KB
ID:	255151  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20190729_142907.jpg
Views:	59
Size:	280.1 KB
ID:	255152  
DG N. AL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2019, 10:21 PM   #6
Member
 
masterdrago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DG N. AL View Post
I used this for the wire. I terminated the wire with these lugs. I used the type of fuse pictured below. I put a fuse at both the truck battery and the trailer battery. I put heat shrink on the fuses and all of the lugs.

I ran the cables down the left frame rail. There was a major wiring harness on that rail and I zip-tied the cable to it. You could run the cable in a corrugated loom if you desired. I put my plug above the trailer connection in the bed of the truck (see pictures). I mounted the solenoid on the firewall of the truck. My truck is a 2012 Ford F250.

On the trailer, I used an electrical fish tape to pull my cable from the pin box to the front compartment. I was able to run the fish tape right beside the trailer light cable. My batteries and inverter are in the left corner of the front compartment.
Much thanks for the details. I was looking to do a project like this but needed some guidelines.
__________________
Kenneth & Joy Drake Lake Conroe, Tx 2017 Ram 3500 Limited Dully towing a 2018.5 Montana 3791RD SOLD thru this forum
masterdrago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2019, 01:23 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 171
Excellent post, with very helpful detail!

I have thought about doing this but always wondered about how to bring it all together.

I really like the concept of using the upfitter switch for positive control.

Did you “marry” the charge line (wire ties, etc) to the trailer connection cord?

How did you connect to your trailer batteries?
__________________
2016 F-350, 6.7 4x4 CCLB DRW

2016 Arctic Fox 29-5K
Gray01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2019, 03:02 PM   #8
Member
 
DG N. AL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Hillsboro, AL
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray01 View Post
Excellent post, with very helpful detail!

I have thought about doing this but always wondered about how to bring it all together.

I really like the concept of using the upfitter switch for positive control.

Did you “marry” the charge line (wire ties, etc) to the trailer connection cord?

How did you connect to your trailer batteries?
I did not "marry" the charge lines with the trailer cord, but I don't see a problem to do so. In fact it is probably a good idea. I made the connection to the trailer batteries in the same manner as the truck except that I connected the positive on one end of the parallel run and the negative on the other end. I do all my trailer battery connection that way. The theory is that it should promote equal charge and drain on all four trailer batteries. I hope that makes sense.
DG N. AL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2019, 03:17 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by DG N. AL View Post
I connected the positive on one end of the parallel run and the negative on the other end...I hope that makes sense.

Yes, I understand that explanation.


Your layout makes it much easier for me to create a plan of attack.
__________________
2016 F-350, 6.7 4x4 CCLB DRW

2016 Arctic Fox 29-5K
Gray01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 09:56 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: MN
Posts: 13
DG N. AL,
Excellent write up here. I've been researching a project such as this for a couple of weeks now (moving to a res fridge in the new trailer) and this is one of the most complete references that I've been able to find. I take delivery of the new trailer next week so I just started getting things wired on the truck side. For the most part our systems are similar so I'll just bullet list my configuration (for now, I can add a few pics when I get it all installed).

For the solenoid I went with a Stinger SGP38 80-amp isolator. This is essentially the same thing that you're using, I just had a spare in the garage so I'm going to run with it. I like that it has both a hot trigger and a ground trigger (like a "normal" relay, instead of getting ground from the mount). I'll wire the hot side of the trigger to an ignition hot source and wire the ground into a switch that I have in the cab. This will allow me to quickly and easily shut everything down should the need arise (you could just as easily run the hot wire through the switch too, I just prefer to switch low amp grounded feeds when possible).

I added a digital multimeter to help monitor the charge output. It's inexpensive and I'll be able to tell at a glance how things are working.

Rather than run directly off the battery and depend on the voltage regular in my truck, I'm isolating the batteries in the 5th wheel with a DC to DC Battery Charger. I ordered the 40a unit for my application. I'm hoping that having this charger in the system will provide for a better charge for the camper batteries than I'd get going direct off the truck.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing. It's nice to know that I'm on the right track.
rebby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 10:53 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,644
The DC to DC charger is a great addition. It solves several problems.

Voltage drop during charging.

Voltage drop to voltage controller in the truck 25ft away.

Manages charging to large battery bank size differences between the truck battery and the house batteries.
__________________
Professional mechanic.
2018 Ram 2500 HD Mega cab.
mobilemike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2020, 08:51 AM   #12
Member
 
SafeDave's Avatar
 
Forest River Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 75
With the setup mentioned and the 40AMP DC to DC charger, how big of an inverter can you power with 4 T105 batteries? Thanks
__________________
2020 DRV MS38RSSA
SafeDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2020, 06:39 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
PulNSerenity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray01 View Post
Excellent post, with very helpful detail!

I have thought about doing this but always wondered about how to bring it all together.

I really like the concept of using the upfitter switch for positive control.

Did you “marry” the charge line (wire ties, etc) to the trailer connection cord?

How did you connect to your trailer batteries?

He just needs to do the whole project over again, record it, & post it on youtube! It is a great post! I may do something like this down the road.
__________________
2006 Keystone Montana 3500RL
2016 Ram 2500 w/Air Bags & Slider Hitch
PulNSerenity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2020, 07:30 AM   #14
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4,988
To the OP, that power usage does not seem right. I have a Haire 10.3 resident frig and recently had a different experience during a 300 mile drive on a 90F day. When I started, my single RV 12V battery was not fully charged, only read 12V on the meter. When I arrived to the new cg, my truck had charged the battery to 12.7V and the refrig had been running and we arrived at it's normal 39F inside temp.
I did end up getting a new RV battery, since the old one would not hold a charge. My truck does have a 2 battery system.
grindstone01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, charging, problem, refrigerator, residential refrigerator, trailer



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dumb & Lazy Question #2: Chassis battery charging during storage cment Truck Conversions 1 12-16-2018 04:08 PM
Discovery Overheating Solved Not Cooling Solved Scott2kDisco MH-General Discussions & Problems 3 06-12-2018 10:51 AM
Monaco Knight House Battery Charging Problem solved robertj1979 Monaco Owner's Forum 1 03-21-2017 02:29 PM
Residential Refrigerator and Battery Charging Savannahdan RV Systems & Appliances 62 01-31-2014 10:43 AM
House Battery Charging Problem Solved vicsryd Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 3 06-07-2005 05:51 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.