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Old 07-21-2016, 08:48 PM   #1
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Smile Charge AS via ZAMP port by Tow Vehicle?

Hi everyone!

This is my first airforums post... I hope my question isn't not covered elsewhere. I searched without success but my apologies if I missed it.

My wife and I just bought a new 2017 Flying Cloud 23!!! Woohoo!

I am knee deep in trying to learn as much as possible before camp night numero uno in a couple of weeks.

One of the (many) things I am excited about is the factory-integrated ZAMP system and as I was researching how I might charge the FC batteries while driving I wondered if it might be possible to connect the tow vehicle directly to the trailer via the ZAMP port on the front... It is already designed to take power input and charge the batteries... Sooo... can I give it input from my tow vehicle?

Thanks in advance for any ideas and help! I have been reading through all the awesome posts on this site for a while now and it's exciting to be joining
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:03 PM   #2
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Your seven pin connector between your TV and trailer, if wired correctly, has a power wire that will charge your battery while driving.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:01 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Airstreaker!

I'm not familiar with how the factory wires the Zamp plug (directly to the battery, or through a trailer mounted controller), but like the above post said, your tow vehicle should charge the the trailer through the 7 pin plug while driving. You probably won't get a lot of charge though, due to the long runs of wire from your vehicle alternator to the trailer battery.

There is so much to learn with a new trailer (or any RV), and with me, battery issues caused the most headaches. I've read, and re-read, this forum a few times and learned a lot: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

Good luck and enjoy your new Airstream!
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Trailbob View Post
Welcome to the forum Airstreaker!

I'm not familiar with how the factory wires the Zamp plug (directly to the battery, or through a trailer mounted controller), but like the above post said, your tow vehicle should charge the the trailer through the 7 pin plug while driving. You probably won't get a lot of charge though, due to the long runs of wire from your vehicle alternator to the trailer battery.

There is so much to learn with a new trailer (or any RV), and with me, battery issues caused the most headaches. I've read, and re-read, this forum a few times and learned a lot: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

Good luck and enjoy your new Airstream!
This may or may not be true. I get 10 - 14 amps, depending on state of charge of the AS batteries when hooked up.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:02 AM   #5
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I believe I read that the zamp plug is for solar charging.
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailbob View Post
Welcome to the forum Airstreaker!

I'm not familiar with how the factory wires the Zamp plug (directly to the battery, or through a trailer mounted controller), but like the above post said, your tow vehicle should charge the the trailer through the 7 pin plug while driving. You probably won't get a lot of charge though, due to the long runs of wire from your vehicle alternator to the trailer battery.

There is so much to learn with a new trailer (or any RV), and with me, battery issues caused the most headaches. I've read, and re-read, this forum a few times and learned a lot: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

Good luck and enjoy your new Airstream!
Thanks so much Trailbob! I had read that when using the 7 pin plug it would only "maintain" the charge of the battery but not actually charge it? I had read that I may need something like this (https://www.amazon.com/CTEK-56-158-A.../dp/B000FQBWCY) charger if I actually wanted the battery to charge while driving off of the 7 port 12V hot pin. I'm a complete newbie with this stuff and I don't have everything with me yet so I can't experiment

My hope was that since the ZAMP port should be connected to the battery in a way that is already designed to accept power to charge the batteries... that perhaps I could trick it into thinking the power coming off the truck was the same as a solar panel and charge the batteries reliably while driving. Perhaps this will make more sense once I have everything in front of me.

We pick up our Airstream in about 10 days... still loads to learn between now & then! I will read through the link you posted. Thanks so much for that!
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by airstreaker View Post
... I had read that I may need something like this (https://www.amazon.com/CTEK-56-158-A.../dp/B000FQBWCY) charger if I actually wanted the battery to charge while driving off of the 7 port 12V hot pin.
Battery chargers needs to be plugged into 110AC to charge/maintain a battery. It isn't used from your tow vehicle charging system to your TT battery.

I have found that my TV alternator charges the trailer battery with no problem while driving. I have seen on my Trimetric battery monitor, more than 14 amps going the low trailer battery, even with my TV idling. My TV has a 'smart' regulator which will charge my TT battery even if my TV battery is fully charged.

However, it won't keep the trailer battery fully charged when the fridge on the Sport 22FB is set to run on battery power while travelling. (I think that the Sport 22 is the only AS with the three-way fridge.)
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Old 07-23-2016, 06:17 AM   #8
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Memory must be shot….sorry, did I read this on the forum?

Does the tow vehicle alternator stop charging when the tow vehicle battery is fully charged. ( otherwise the tow vehicle batt would cook ??????? and I guess the trailer battery would cook too ???)

And is this why you don't get a great charge in the trailer battery while towing?

AND…. Didn't somebody hook up a wire to the TV somewhere ( directly the batt???) to get a better charge ???? Previous poster mentioned " Smart regulator " Could you expand upon that please.

Sorry for hashing up old news again, but I am planning a long road trip, with some boon docking, and charging while driving would come in really handy.And it might help Airstreaker.

BTW Airstreaker…Welcome, and thumbs up for doing your homework. Don't forget to research towing safety ( basically, Concentrate, go slow, no jerky quick maneuvers, give yourself room to brake, learn about how, why, and when to use trailer brakes ) Heat is your enemy. Stabilizers are for stabilizing NOT leveling.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:44 AM   #9
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You are correct to be attentive to the Airstream battery charging that will occur while driving. I believe the best way to manage it is the same way we do when using the stock Airstream power converter (mine is a Parallex 8355). That is to say it is being charged by a very basic, "dumb" control circuit.

The stock Parallex puts out an almost continuous 13.7 VDC to our batteries when shore power is applied to the Airstream. When parked in the driveway after a trip we keep the Airstream's Battery Disconnect switch in the "Use" position for 2 days (we almost always have shore power applied while in our driveway). Then we set it to "Store" until the day before the next trip. That gives the Parallex a day to top off the batteries before the trip.

The most important thing is to check the water level of the lead acid batteries every couple of days while they are under a charge.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:45 AM   #10
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...Previous poster mentioned " Smart regulator " Could you expand upon that please.
In my TV the regulator is part of the ECM (Electronic Control Module). The TV computer allows for charging current from the alternator to the TT battery, through the seven pin electrical cable, even thought the TV battery is fully charged.
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