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Old 05-20-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
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Battery Charging While Camping

Please feel free to point be to another thread, but my '63 Safari only charges when connected to the tow vehicle. That's fine, but I would like to have the 12v kept charged when camping to run my fan and ext. light etc.

So, can I connect to city power at the camp ground, plug a battery charger to one of the 120v external plugs on the camper (in case the camp ground only has 30 / 50 AMP connections) and charge the battery that way while in use?

Any recommendations on small quality chargers for this purpose would be appreciated as well.

Keith
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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Is the converter in your Airstream not working at all? The converter should charge the battery in your Airstream when plugged into shore power. The converter should also run all of the 12 volt DC components in the trailer. We need to know a little more of what's going on in order to give proper advice.

Brian
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:10 AM   #3
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My '58 was wired the same way originally. What you need is a 45 or 55 amp charger/converter. This unit, which converts 110v AC to 12v DC, will charge your batteries while plugged in to a 110v receptacle, 30 amp service preferably. It will also provide 12v to your trailer if you were to remove your battery for whatever reason. The Intei-Power unit below is a quality three-stage charger which is what you need. It won't boil your battery(ies) dry.

Amazon.com: Progressive Dynamics PD9245CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series 45 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-in Charge Wizard: Automotive
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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Thanks Brian, the 63 has no converter, it only charges off the TV. I really don't want to add anything to the TT permanently so I was looking for something I can just plug in and use when camping.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:25 AM   #5
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my 2 cents
do the up grade to a converter well worth the time and $ its all good.

be safe

Indy
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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Adding a converter/charger would be a lot easier that hauling around a battery charger and hooking it up each and every time you wanted to charge your battery. Converter/chargers are VERY easy to install. Does your trailer have a 12v fuse panel? If you do, all you need to do is hook up positive and negative leads on the converter/charger to the fuse panel then plug it in. Piece of cake.

If you are absolutely against the idea of adding a converter/charger, then yes, you could buy a battery charger and hook it up to your battery. But that would be a pain. You'd have to put it away at night or when it rains and these battery chargers are NOT smart chargers. They will boil your batteries dry if you leave it plugged in.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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Thanks Indy, I think I may be leaning that way, just trying to be cheap but probably at the risk of being unsafe.

Hey I looked at your blog, nice TT. Where did you get the new entry hiding step? Mine could use a replacement.

Keith
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:33 AM   #8
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Thanks Mike,

OK OK, I'll quit being a cheap lazy ass and do the right thing. My circuit breaker box is in the rear storage compartment, not a lot of room back there, do these babies need a lot of clearance?

Thanks guys.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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OK, last question since I have your attention. If you could help me understand how this works from a wiring perspective. I have a battery that drives 12v only. It has a 12v connection coming from the tow line and one going out to the 12v circuit. That along with a ground.

Where does that 12v connection come into contact with the AC circuit breaker in the back of the vehicle? Are the 2 circuit breaker back there split 120v and 12v? with the 12v feed off the battery going there first?

It's raining here today, so I think I'll go home and do this in the rain ;-)

Keith
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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Call Randy at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics

Great Company!!!!
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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It's Easy

Here is a drawing showing how to connect the Converter
Attached Images
File Type: bmp 12 volt power converter.bmp (576.1 KB, 100 views)
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Sfri View Post
OK, last question since I have your attention. If you could help me understand how this works from a wiring perspective. I have a battery that drives 12v only. It has a 12v connection coming from the tow line and one going out to the 12v circuit. That along with a ground.

Where does that 12v connection come into contact with the AC circuit breaker in the back of the vehicle? Are the 2 circuit breaker back there split 120v and 12v? with the 12v feed off the battery going there first?

It's raining here today, so I think I'll go home and do this in the rain ;-)

Keith
The only connection would be the converter, if you ad one. A converter takes 110 AC and converts it to 12 DC while monitoring the battery charge. A cheap battery charger does the same thing, but does not have the monitoring ability and is meant only for short use.

The fuse panel is different than the breaker box. The 110 AC system uses the breakers, while the 12 DC system uses automotive fuses. Again, two separate systems.

If I were you, I'd install a converter. Much less for you to deal with once you complete the installation.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:11 AM   #13
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I agree it's well worth retrofitting a converter. Also will be a good resale point. But if you use the external battery charger use one which will shut itself down when the battery is fully charged so you don't fry the battery.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #14
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The step is the original came with our baby.
wire brush and new paint love it.

thanks for the kind words.

Safe Travels

Indy
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