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Old 04-19-2014, 12:59 PM   #1
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Battery charging

If your airstream is not equipped with an inverter, do the batteries still charge while driving? Hooked to landline? Or do you have to charge them independently?
Thanks!!
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:10 PM   #2
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If your airstream is not equipped with an inverter, do the batteries still charge while driving? Hooked to landline? Or do you have to charge them independently?
Thanks!!
Most all Airstreams have a "converter", which changes the city power to a 12 volt charging system.

If the tow vehicle is wired properly, it charges the trailer batery/batteries when the engine is running.

Unless the wiring has been modified, when you plug the trailer into city power, the Univolt will automatically charge the battery.

This of course works only if the system is still original.

Andy
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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An inverter operates off of the batteries to generate AC, so, no, you don't need an inverter. If what you meant to ask about was a "converter" then yes, typically the converter provides two functions. It operates from AC, often called "shore power" and provides 12 volts DC to operate things like lights, LPG detector, radio, furnace blower, refrigerator controls, etc. It also charges the battery or batteries.

When connected to the tow vehicle, one wire in the 7-way connector provides a connection to charge the batteries from the tow vehicle. In some vehicles this is disabled when the engine is not running but in some it is not. It is therefore a good idea to disconnect the 7-way connector when parked to avoid the possibility of trailer power drains discharging both the trailer and tow vehicle batteries unless you know that your tow vehicle disables that line when not running.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:01 PM   #4
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I think almost all Airstreams came with a converter to charge the batteries since all the systems are 12 volt, If the lights and furnace work when you plugged into 110 then it has a converter, Though it could have been taken out or in some cases switched off with the mystery switch behind the sofa. Yes there is a charge line from the TV to the camper. It actually does very little in the way of charging the batteries. Might get them up to half charged if you drive a long ways. You can charge the batteries independently.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:04 PM   #5
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Actually,

Many 'inverters' are actually inverter/chargers that do a far better job of properly charging your batteries than any mere converter can. Look at any inverter/charger from Magnum Energy.

There is a very large selection of very sophisticated battery charging
that many trailer folk have never seen.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:23 PM   #6
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Many long but good answers above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilliamsmd View Post
If your airstream is not equipped with an inverter, do the batteries still charge while driving?
Yes, though in some cases minor modifications to the tow vehicle are necessary to do this.

Quote:
Hooked to landline?
Yes, except for some much older (early 1960s and back) ones.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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If the tow vehicle is wired properly, it charges the trailer batery/batteries when the engine is running.
Andy
Andy,

I have a 2007 23D International pulled by a 2009 F-150.
Last week, while towing all day long (like 12 hrs), I noticed the battery gained no appreciable charge.
Is this normal ? Is there something I could check ?

Many thanks,
Steve
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:23 AM   #8
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Andy,

I have a 2007 23D International pulled by a 2009 F-150.
Last week, while towing all day long (like 12 hrs), I noticed the battery gained no appreciable charge.
Is this normal ? Is there something I could check ?

Many thanks,
Steve
All the connections should be checked, especially the blades in a flat blade connector.

Andy
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:48 PM   #9
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All the connections should be checked, especially the blades in a flat blade connector.

Andy
Just a rough guess, but how long should it take to charge a battery through the umbilical cord ? Like a day, or two days maybe ?

Thanks again,
Steve
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.thomps View Post
... I have a 2007 23D International pulled by a 2009 F-150. Last week, while towing all day long (like 12 hrs), I noticed the battery gained no appreciable charge. Is this normal ? Is there something I could check ?

For newer tow vehicles (not sure if the 09 F-150 is included, but I think so) Ford included BUT DID NOT INSTALL the required fuse and relay for charging the battery to a towed trailer. This kit (fuse and relay) were usually left in the glove compartment at the time is sale of a new vehicle.


I believe one of the relatively recent threads dealt with the fuse size and install location.


I did not have the fuse or relay installed on the 2010 F-250 I acquired last year. I spent an hour at the Ford parts desk while the parts guy searched for the proper fuse and relay. He threw up his hands and stated that he could not find a Ford part number for the relay. He gave me the fuse and suggested I go to a NAPA type of parts store and purchase the 5 prong relay. Found the relay at the first parts store I came to for 12 bucks.


The Airforums search function may help here, also look in the FTE - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forum.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:37 PM   #11
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Just a rough guess, but how long should it take to charge a battery through the umbilical cord ? Like a day, or two days maybe ?

Thanks again,
Steve
Steve.

How long does it take, ball park, to charge a battery?

How long does it take to fill a bottle?

Humor makes us all smile.

The answer is the time depends on the size of the battery, it's condition and the available charging rate.

Charging a single, typical Airstream trailer battery, from a good tow vehicle that has been properly wired, can take just a couple of hours or so.

Certainly, not a long time at all.

Andy
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:45 PM   #12
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Thank you both Andy and Dennis !
The help is much appreciated !
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