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Old 06-24-2011, 04:17 PM   #15
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Do not know the "best way". On my rig just plugging the power cord into the generator and using the built in converter seems to do the job. The recharge time might be a little longer than some other methods, but you can use the 110 in the trailer while you are doing the charging. I have thought about using a battery charger but hate to drag a battery out and hook it up.
My TV with the stock Dodge wiring does not charge the battery much at all. The 100 amp output for the alternator is for a very short, very heavy cable to the battery. Through the 60 or so feet of small wire to the camper battery and back the voltage drop is so severe it does not charge much. I might drive all day and get it to 11.5.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:37 PM   #16
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I have 1 deep cell tied onto a regular battery on board. Do you guys find you need a 70 amp alternator to handle the job?

Getting ready for the first time out after restoration. Or should I say my work in progress.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:11 PM   #17
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1. The MOST efficient way to charge your batteries is to plug your 'shore power' cord into the generator, as several above have mentioned...

2. The LEAST efficient way is the run your TV's engine to charge the AS's batteries! Running a large V-8 engine to charge the trailer batteries only a few amps, maybe 8-10 max is NOT the way to go...

3. Using the generator's DC charging circuit will only result in a 8-10 amp charge, as mentioned by others, and is not an efficient way to routinely recharge your AS's batteries...

4. It's IMPORTANT to run the generator in a routine every day to try and bring your batteries back up to a full charge, if possible...this way you are only replacing the 'energy' used the previous day, which usually takes a shorter period of time...I find that running the Honda i2000 for about two hours each morning after everyone is up and around, keeps our three 100 AH batteries up to snuff after the previous night's session with DVD or Sat TV viewing, along with other misc. 12 volt usage, pump, lights, etc...

5. If you allow your batteries to be discharged deeply by not recharging each day, it will take MUCH longer to bring them back up to a full charge...

6. Solar panels are great, but it takes lots of watts up there on the roof to really be effective, especially if you're parked in some partial shade, etc., etc...unless you're a real 'miser' using your 12 volt stuff, you'll probably need some generator time to supplement the roof-top battery charging...
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grad67 View Post
I have 1 deep cell tied onto a regular battery on board. Do you guys find you need a 70 amp alternator to handle the job?

Getting ready for the first time out after restoration. Or should I say my work in progress.
With the Burb's 120v alt. it took a good 2-4hrs of driving to bring two Interstate deep cycles back from 12.2v. The 7-way just not very efficient.

With our '63 Safari (one D cycle), it took about an hour of TV running at the campsite to charge enough to last one day!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:32 PM   #19
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I ment to ask if early alternator failure was the cause of too much work for too much batterys.
I would like the alternator to match the load requirments.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:42 PM   #20
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Grad,

You could ck with a NAPA store and see what alternators are available for your truck, they may also be able to test it for you. If Dodge had a towing package available for your truck in 99 you should be able to get an up-grade that will help keep everything charged.
A bad battery, wires, or connections all can cause premature alt failure. Inspect all.

Good Luck....
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:44 AM   #21
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charging from the Tow vehicle

Well, I will stick my neck out and let all yall chop 'er off-here is a treatise on charging batts from the TV: One constant topic of conversation is the recharging of trailer batteries from the tow vehicle. Wally would encourage this practice. But, to effectively recharge the AS batteries a additional wiring between the TV and the AS is required. Usually, the complaint is the recharging takes too long, or does not occur at all. Excessive Voltage Drop is the culprit and to understand this reality, a look at what exists is in order. 1) The converter, or charger. My old charger from my AS has a 50 amp output and has two 8 gauge wires from the charger to the battery connection and are less than 2 feet long. 2) The 7 pin connector has a “battery” or + lead as well as a “battery return” or – lead (also known as “ground”)that are 10ga or smaller, and on the trailer end run from the battery connection to a suitable location on the tongue to facilitate a flexible connection to the TV; approximately 5-6 feet long. On the TV end they are approximately 20-25 feet long depending on TV length. 3) The TV has an engine driven AC generator (“alternator”) that varies in output according to TV mfg. As an example, my 2007 Ford Van has an 82-135 amp 12VDC generator. 4) Definition: Voltage drop: the decline of voltage between points A and B of a circuit due to the resistance of the current carrying conductors. 5) Formula for voltage drop: V=12.9 X 2L X I /cm In the above, V=voltage drop in a DC circuit; 12.9= copper resistance standard; L=length, one way; I= amperage in the circuit; cm=wire size in circular mills. The one way length is multiplied by 2. So, as an example, the voltage drop for the above converter to charge the batteries becomes: V= 12.9 x 4 x 50/16509=0.16vdc. You can see this is a very good (small) number. For the Van above to charge the batteries using the 10 gauge wire of the 7 pin connector we have: V=12.9 x 50 x 82/10383=5.09vdc!!!! If the alternator is putting out 14.5volts, then it is trying to charge the AS batteries with a puny 9.41vdc! The voltage drop in this example is severe and will NOT charge the batteries. A smaller current CAN charge the AS battery to some degree (trickle charge), but it is NOT an effective recharging. The 7 pin connector and its associated wiring have been around a long time-so let’s assume a 1963 Cadillac alternator that puts out 30amps: V=12.9 x 50 x 30/10383=1.86 volts! This would allow a recharge voltage of 14.5-1.86=12.64vdc. See, Wally and gang were doing the best they could for the equipment they had. But for effective battery recharging today, the 7 pin connector is long out-dated. So, an acceptable voltage drop needs to be determined and then the required wire size can be calculated. Assuming 13.25 as the minimum voltage required to effectively charge the AS batts, then we can determine the maximum voltage drop as: 14.5 – 13.25 = 1.25vdc. Plugging that figure into our formula gives us the following: 1.25vdc(drop) = 12.9 x 50 x 82/unknown cm=42312. The cm value of a #4 wire is: 41740; the cm value of a #2 wire is: 66369. Now, the example used conservative values: the length could easily be over 25 feet. The output voltage of the particular alternator could be less than 14.5. The charge voltage may need to be a little bit higher than the 13.25. The output amperage of the alternator could easily be more than 82 amps-all of which would require a larger wire size than #4. So, I would opt for the #2 wire. There is a difference in expense between #2 and smaller wires, but the #2 will create an robust connection, besides, the labor to install wire is not dependant on the wire’s gauge. Please note the modified charging circuit will require TWO #2 gauge wires to effectively charge the AS batteries. Even though there is a physical metallic connection between the AS and the TV, it is not robust enough to facilitate effective battery recharging. Safety is always a concern: using such a large conductor attached to an 82 amp (or larger) generator requires the use of disconnect and overcurrent devices at BOTH ENDS. In addition, a robust connector gender pair must be used at the connection between the TV and the AS flexible umbilical. Please note that said connector must be fully insulated at both genders; the new charging circuit is energized at BOTH ends by batteries and must not be allowed to casually fault (short) to the chassis of the TV or AS. Instead of a battery disconnect and a fuse, you may wish to use a DC rated circuit breaker sized to protect a #2 wire (maximum current output of your TV’s alternator). When adding this circuit, the batteries must be removed from the circuit for safety. After this circuit is installed, and you need to do some maintenance, the battery disconnects will protect you and the vehicles. WARNING-check your owner’s manual as to theft deterrent requirements as they relate to disconnecting the battery. An electrical supply or perhaps an off-road vehicle repair shop (BIG winches) will have all the hardware. I doubt if any RV repair shops would have this hardware on site. Although not inexpensive, this circuit will not cost anywhere near what a portable generator or a solar system would cost. At the local NAPA auto store, the costs were as follows: #2 wire=$3.29/ft; disconnects=$42.00 each; fuses and holders $40.00; terminals $2.00 each-so, it appears that the DIY could spend $400.00 on this modification. I believe shopping around will save big $-check with the big box stores-they may have what you want. Also, Craigslist is a possible source for the hardware. When routing the two #2 wires in/under/around the TV, exercise care to protect the wire from excessive heat. I would suggest using insulated clamps to securely mount the wires. If you use “welding cable,” which has an insulation that is abrasion resistant, but vulnerable to cuts, and you want to use “zip ties” to mount the wires, use an insulating material to wrap around the wire wherever you place a zip tie. The soft insulation of the weld type cable is susceptible to “cold creep” which is a cutting reaction to the tight zip tie and mechanical vibration. Such a cut will ultimately be a short between the wiring and the chassis of the TV. One more suggestion: when routing the wires on the TV, keep them the same length, and closely couple them. That is to say, run them parallel along their entire length. These wires will have a hefty EMF around them, enough to possibly foul up a smart phone, or mifi, or GPS, or laptop, etc. This should provide an effective TV recharge capability. Good Luck-Bill Marshall WBCCI 6960
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #22
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WOW now THATS a post!!!

When we sold our 63 the 1000w Yammi went with it, greatly appreciated by the new owner.
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