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Old 06-08-2008, 05:06 PM   #15
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Run a separate #4 line from a connection block with a connector for the trailer. From there to the house circuit. That line in the 7 way isn't going to do much charging, too small.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:20 PM   #16
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IMO, the easiest solution is do do what Terry and Over59 suggested and install a dedicated, seperate charge line. Use a bullet connector or similar that can be simply disconnected at the same time as your 7-pin.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:41 PM   #17
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Charging the batteries using tow vehicle

I just took a look at the current version 2 manual on the Active Technology web site. in particular, the new wiring diagram does have the battery in parallel with the brake controller. I wonder if I take this version 2 manual to my Airstream dealer if they will re-wire it to the current spec. The trailer is still under warranty. And it would bring it into compliance with the airstream users manual for use of the charge line.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:54 PM   #18
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Charging the batteries using tow vehicle

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Originally Posted by Over59 View Post
Run a separate #4 line from a connection block with a connector for the trailer. From there to the house circuit. That line in the 7 way isn't going to do much charging, too small.
Yes, I've also been thinking along this line - A power cable like the big rigs have, a coiled 12vdc to some sort of connector. Anyone know the connector type?

But I am thinking about running it via a battery box, with say, 4 more gel batteries in it to give me more amp hours running dry (solar).

-- 12vdc truck --> battery box --> trailer

The battery box can live in the truck bed being charged by the truck or the trailer's solar unit until I locate a camping spot, then placed by the front end of the trailer for the stay. This would give me more stored power and a separate charging line from the truck to the trailer.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:17 PM   #19
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Yes, I've also been thinking along this line - A power cable like the big rigs have, a coiled 12vdc to some sort of connector. Anyone know the connector type?
The battery box can live in the truck bed being charged by the truck..........
Just put a new battery in the GT and was looking at these trolling motor connectors. Boater Sports Trolling Motor Connectors - iboats.com
Water proof and heavy gauge. Unfortunatly they didn't have a full set in the store. I went back to the stock configuration.
It's been reported that the charge lines from the TV don't do a very good job of recharging. The wire gauge is typically too small and the voltage drop too great.
A seperate charge line to the bed makes sense.

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:32 PM   #20
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Yes, I've also been thinking along this line - A power cable like the big rigs have, a coiled 12vdc to some sort of connector. Anyone know the connector type?

But I am thinking about running it via a battery box, with say, 4 more gel batteries in it to give me more amp hours running dry (solar).

-- 12vdc truck --> battery box --> trailer

The battery box can live in the truck bed being charged by the truck or the trailer's solar unit until I locate a camping spot, then placed by the front end of the trailer for the stay. This would give me more stored power and a separate charging line from the truck to the trailer.
Kent,

Be very careful if you are intending to go solar. There are a lot of systems out there that promise you the world and simply can't deliver the amperage to properly charge your batteries.

Further, if you are intending to run a charge line from your solar charge controller to a separate battery bank in your TV, you had better plan on using the exact size and type of batteries with the possibility of replacing the existing ones so all of the batteries match. You'll have charging problems otherwise. Plus, don't expect your TV to adequately charge a remote battery bank unless you have a very large alternator and a properly integrated battery isolator or separator.

Also, given the distance from your trailer to your TV, anything less than 4/0 cable will present an unacceptable voltage drop to the remote battery bank. This stuff is about an inch in diameter and very expensive!

Your idea is workable, but complex and needs to be properly planned with the right equipment and will require a significant investment ( I sell and install solar charging systems, and just installed a 200 watt 2-panel system with 4 new Lifeline batteries and a 2000 watt sine wave inverter for $5K in equipment).

You might just buy a Honda or Yamaha generator if your only desire is to keep your batteries charged while boondocking, like lots of folks here on the forums.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:09 AM   #21
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Charging the batteries using tow vehicle

Lew:

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Be very careful if you are intending to go solar. There are a lot of systems out there that promise you the world and simply can't deliver the amperage to properly charge your batteries.
I found that out at Quartzite... I have 2x85w Kyocera KC85T panels (When the Airstream dealer move them from my Safari to my Classic, I _lost_ the ability to tilt the panels... It is still on my list of items to be fixed on my classic), one ProStar PS-30 solar controller, two Optima blue top batteries, and a 1000 watt Xantrex Sine Wave Inverter. I got through all four days, but I needed the generator (Honda 3000 inverter, also used at home with a xfer switch to power 4 circuits in the house) on that last day to fully charge the batteries for the trip home.

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Further, if you are intending to run a charge line from your solar charge controller to a separate battery bank in your TV, you had better plan on using the exact size and type of batteries with the possibility of replacing the existing ones so all of the batteries match. You'll have charging problems otherwise. Plus, don't expect your TV to adequately charge a remote battery bank unless you have a very large alternator and a properly integrated battery isolator or separator.
When I was thinking of this project, I was not planning on the TV to charge the battery pack. But I do like the idea. I have two large batteries and two alternators in the truck. I might even add a panel to the top of the box... Put another solar controller in the box to charge the batteries using solar and what the truck can spare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Your idea is workable, but complex and needs to be properly planned with the right equipment and will require a significant investment ( I sell and install solar charging systems, and just installed a 200 watt 2-panel system with 4 new Lifeline batteries and a 2000 watt sine wave inverter for $5K in equipment).
Yes, some planning. I was just so irritated when after driving for 10 hours, the batteries decreased in voltage - not happily topped off like in my Safari...

The truck was able to charge the safari batteries (same as I am using now) after 10 hours of driving just using the charge line from the 7-pin.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:36 AM   #22
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I'm wondering how much power drain there is on the house batteries from the Actibrake unit drawing 17-22 amps every time we hit the brakes...

Ham radio people swear by the Anderson PowerPole connectors. They are heavy duty and capable of handling high amperage.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:57 PM   #23
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I'm wondering how much power drain there is on the house batteries from the Actibrake unit drawing 17-22 amps every time we hit the brakes...

Ham radio people swear by the Anderson PowerPole connectors. They are heavy duty and capable of handling high amperage.
Agreed!

These are excellent connectors, and can be had in varying cable sizings......right up to 4/0. If you are looking for a removable connection point, I would definitely go with these!
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