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Old 12-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Adding additional batteries to tow vehicle

I am thinking about adding several 12 volt batteries or one large 12 volt batteries...on the bed of my tow vehicle (truck). I want to wire this so it will charge when the truck is running, add the ability to charge at a campsite with 110volt power, and provide a plug and mains switch on my AS.

I'm hoping this will be a solution to add some boon-docking power to my rig without adapting the AS or loosing storage in the trailer...

Any suggestions, schematics, turn-key solutions?

Thanks, John T.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:04 AM   #2
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you'll need a battery isolator and most likely a new alternator if you are planning on adding more than one battery. A battery bank will need to have your car running the next day after a night of use to recharge and it will also take a while to get it to full charge. If you're boon docking look into solar and since you are here in So Cal you'll have great sun exposure and if your AS is parked in the sun it will ALWAYS be charging and topped off with a good charge controller. Adding 60-100 lbs of battery to your TV multiplied my multiple batteries even when you aren't towing might not be advisable if you're a tree hugger or worry about gas mileage. keep it in your AS and add a couple of 130 watt panels and you can probably be boondocking indefinitely aside from food and water
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #3
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A couple of pick ups ago I had an aluminum cab over camper.I had 2 batteries under the hood and 2 more in the camper.I upgraded to a very heavy duty alternator(hi duty cycle) and large gauge cables to carry the amperage.I ran a large dual battery isolator under the hood with huge heat sinks compared to what you normally see.With a 12 volt compressor type refer I used a lot of watts.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clicker187 View Post
I am thinking about adding several 12 volt batteries or one large 12 volt batteries...on the bed of my tow vehicle (truck). I want to wire this so it will charge when the truck is running, add the ability to charge at a campsite with 110volt power, and provide a plug and mains switch on my AS.

I'm hoping this will be a solution to add some boon-docking power to my rig without adapting the AS or loosing storage in the trailer...

Any suggestions, schematics, turn-key solutions?

Thanks, John T.
I explored this for a while and ultimately went in other directions, though I do have a group 24 under the hood wired the same way you would wire a larger bank. You can mount a group 24 in the stock battery holder and then get a a 2nd battery kit from chevy and mount a group 78 chassis battery on the right front fender next to the firewall.

Before I gave up on it I came to the conclusion that L134 batteries are the best fit for the situation and can be mounted in any number at the front of the bed, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, depends what you want, what you can afford and how much weight you're willing to haul. Easy to make a plywood box with some vents.

You want to upgrade to a large-frame alternator if you do not already have one in your truck. You may already have a DR44 or AD244 alternator which are large frame. You have to run #6 or larger cable from the alternator to the battery bank. I use marine cable because it's flexible and is jacketed with two conductors. Somewhere there should be an isolator relay, mine is on the right front fender.

Put fuses close to the battery bank to guard against disaster.

Use an Anderson Power Pole connector for the line to the trailer, don't rely on the 7-way. Or don't run the 12v at all and put an inverter/charger in the truck somewhere and run a 120v line to the trailer.

I gave up because of cost and weight. I have two group 27s (stock) in my trailer and 1 group 24 in the truck, plus a group 78 for starting. Provides for a three day weekend of boondocking in practice which is enough for me.
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