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Old 11-12-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle charging batteries

I suspect my batteries are not getting charged from the tow vehicle. I spend so many nights in parks, it is always plugged in. last night boondocked at a casino and the batteries did not charge much after a day long drive. I have new batteries, converter works great when on shore power and at the park?? Any quick check to make sure things are right?
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:28 PM   #2
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I suspect my batteries are not getting charged from the tow vehicle. I spend so many nights in parks, it is always plugged in. last night boondocked at a casino and the batteries did not charge much after a day long drive. I have new batteries, converter works great when on shore power and at the park?? Any quick check to make sure things are right?
What make and model is your TV. Some Don't have the fuse installed...
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:36 PM   #3
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In my half ton 2007 GMC the trailer charging fuse was optional. At first I did not add a fuse because I feared running down the truck battery if I forgot to unplug when parked. After two years I installed the 40 amp fuse and it seems to help keep the batteries charged without a problem so far.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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I suspect my batteries are not getting charged from the tow vehicle...
cuze they aren't, at least NOT much.

hoping/expecting to significanly CHARGE the coach batteries via the alternator and wiring is futile.

it can take a WEEK of driving (50 hours+) to effectively juice 2 group 27s...

many threads on this,

including calculations,

wiring, fuses, user reports...

and so on.

seek and ye shall find...
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it's a rookie urban online gypsy myth

that the tv does MUCH to juice 'em.

cheers
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:12 PM   #5
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If the voltage regulator on the TV reads the TV battery as fully charged, it will shut down so as not to overcharge the TV battery, thus not charging the trailer battery. The trailer battery will slowly equalize with the TV battery and get charged up, but that could take a long time.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:19 PM   #6
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2air's certainly right on two points: 1.) IF you have the wiring, etc. hooked up, you'll get a trickle from the TV to the house batteries, but not much more, and 2) many threads on this. Since about '07 or so, GMC pickups (at least 3/4 ton diesels) came from the factory without the charging circuit hooked up at your fusebox, so you might be gettin' nuthin if that's what you're towing with. But if I recall correctly - and I might not - in this condition you also get no trailer brakes. You could check whether ANY juice is available with a simple voltmeter; but to get an accurate read on how much is flowing, you'll need an ammeter. Any RV tech located anywhere ought to be able to help you with this.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:35 PM   #7
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Interesting. looks like I need to dig deep into this one. I have a prodigy brake controller and 2008 Ford f150. I sure do not want the trailer to drain on the truck however.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:04 PM   #8
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the 150 came with the proper bits (fuses and stuff)

and WILL supply enough juice to the coach batteries to offset any trailer braking needs.

and the 7 pin is SUPPOSED to be ONE way flow

and the truck battery IS isolated from being drained by the trailer...

but looking at the older threads on this could be useful too.

think about HOW FAR down the trailer batteries are...

40, 50, 100 amps down?

then sort out HOW MANY amps per HOUR are available from the 7 pin...

in THEORY and IDEAL conditions, then in actual use.

u can certainly recharge a LAPTOP or CELL PHONE or ipod IN the truck...

but it may take ALL day (while driving) 2 do this.

but again HOW MANY amps is that vs the 2 deep cycle things on the trailer???

to paraphase "electrizics is electrizics"

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Old 11-12-2009, 09:08 PM   #9
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I have a somewhat different experience than those of the other posts. This past season I've been boondocking every other weekend. I had a conventional whitebox travel trailer (new AS Flying Cloud 27 on order; such anticipation) with 2 group 24's. I would operate my lights, lcd tv, and the fan for the heater each night; all night. I would then drive the next day for about 6 hours. At the end of each day of driving my batteries were always fully charged.
Maybe it was my TV (Mercedes ML320 BlueTec), but I can't imagine it charges any differently than other TV's.
I've never done any tests to determine the exact amount of amps and volts going through the umbilical cord; just my experience at the end of each day seeing that my batteries once again were at full charge.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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I drove all day and the batteries indicator on the wall of the streamer was showing 1/2 charged. On shore power showing 3/4 charged. It just seemed last year it would charge as I drove all day. As usual, it gets complicated and I thank all for your feed back. Still, brakes work great, all the running lights are perfect, I wonder if any of the 7 pin connectors is getting dirty or rusty? Maybe its just me???
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:26 PM   #11
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Battery Charging

Thanks for the clarification on this. I drove a day last summer expecting a charged system and got to a site without power. Was surprised that the battery didn't get much life after a day on the road.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:36 PM   #12
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...I wonder if any of the 7 pin connectors is getting dirty or rusty? Maybe its just me???
if something is DIFFERENT from previous experience LOOK for changes.

dirty connectors, LOOSE connectors, blown fuses, damaged wires and so on, at either end of the juice line.

a multimeter is useful...

just old threads on the same issue, PLENTY others too...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ing-18941.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...cle-43917.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f398...cle-42615.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...ing-34309.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...nda-21420.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...cle-11414.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...car-24550.html

cheers
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:30 AM   #13
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thank you for threads. all good stuff and now I have a feel for what can be expected.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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Michelle
In my half ton 2007 GMC the trailer charging fuse was optional. At first I did not add a fuse because I feared running down the truck battery if I forgot to unplug when parked. After two years I installed the 40 amp fuse and it seems to help keep the batteries charged without a problem so far.
Another thing to consider. the size of the alternator. I have a diesel and tow package that includes a 110A alternator. There are options for 160A alternator and a second 110A alternator. I also have a volt meter installed. I can watch the regulator and see if it charging or topping off.
I have solar panels installed on my trailer. In 4-5 hours of driving the two G27 batteries get fully charged.
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