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Old 03-13-2017, 10:28 AM   #1
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1976 25' Caravanner
Salt Lake City , Utah
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TV Charging Needed With Solar and Inverter?

I'm finishing setting up my 12-volt wiring. Have 300 watts of solar, two Lifeline GPL 6CT batteries for 300 amp-hours, Samlex EVO 2212 2200 watt inverter/charger. Using a Blue Sea Systems 12-position ST Blade Fuse Block.

I'm ready to finish the wiring of my 7-blade connector for the external 12-volt and battery charging, and wondering if this is really necessary with my solar-inverter-charging setup. I'm inclined to run the wire from the 7-pin connector to the Blue Sea fuse block just so it is there if needed, but wondering, assuming I have sufficient solar for charging, if the TV-to-trailer charging connection through the 12-volt fuse block is redundant or not.

Thanks for any thoughts/advice. I'm curious as to how others may have approached and/or solved this issue.

Richard
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:33 AM   #2
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I revamped my system, same amount of solar as you. I did connect my TV charging to the new system because I like the idea of alternator charging as I am driving down the road. More, reliable continuous amps from the alternator, in my opinion.
Larry
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:07 PM   #3
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Isbrodsky:

Yes, that makes sense. With the inverter/charger my 12-volt fuse panel gets its power directly from the batteries. So the charging voltage from the tow vehicle will go directly to the batteries from the fuse panel. Do you see any problems with this? I do understand that the truck's alternator will regulate the charging voltage. And to some extent the inverter will continue to monitor the battery charging process. I just want to make sure I get it right.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:32 PM   #4
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I am not sure what you are saying. The way mine is wired is the TV charging line goes directly to the battery bus. It is fused under the hood of the truck with a 40 amp fuse.

Larry
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:42 PM   #5
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Yes, I see what you are saying. In my trailer's original wiring (and this is also shown in the '76 shop manual) the main charge line enters the trailer via the 7-pin connector. The positive line is fused at that point, and both pos and neg go to the 12-volt distribution panel. They then run off the panel to the trailer battery, the pos line being fused again.

And I just got off the phone with the folks at Samlex (ie., the EVO inverter) and they tell me I should connect directly to the battery, with an isolator in-line. This is what I will do. It was simpler than I thought. The weakest link will probably be the gauge of the charge line running from the truck starter battery. I know some folks upgrade this, and I'll look into it as well.

Larry, thanks again for your help.

Richard
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:24 PM   #6
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Exclamation Warning: 40A requires 8 AWG minimum

8 AWG is pretty hefty wire and it won't fit most 7-way connectors. What's more, the circuit breaker is the only device limiting current on that wire. Expect to reset the CB frequently if you allow the house battery to discharge to a low level, demanding more current.
A 12V to 12V three-stage charging regulator might be the solution.
Consider running a separate 6 AWG line with
Anderson Powerpole connectors. Expensive? Doesn't bother me, you're paying!
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:11 PM   #7
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I think the wire from alt to 7 pin hookup is not large enough to do a lot of charging to batteries short of some 6-8 hrs of driving time and then the batteries will not be totally charged.. that is just to keep batteries up on non solar units for emergency brakes, LP sensor, reefer etc.

I woiuld think with 300 watts of solar a good charge controller and the sun out, all thing being equal, the batteries will be getting a better charge from that. the batteries dont care where they get voltage from the higher the better up to about 14.8v during charging.

Now i am not sure if there wouild be a problem with higher voltage from solar causing an issue at alternator but suspect not.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:51 AM   #8
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My original wiring for the charge line coming into the 7-way from the umbilical cord was 10-gauge. It then proceeds to the cover, which holds in-line fuses, where it jumps up to 8-gauge. The ground wire jumps up to 6-gauge at that point. I will just replicate what was there for both pos and neg lines, wire directly to the battery bank, and also put a battery isolator in-line, near my batteries, on the positive charging line. I know that some people upgrade their charge lines from truck to trailer; I'll leave this for a future project if needed.

With my 300 watts of solar (soon to be 400) I doubt I'll be needing to use the charging feed from the truck and I like the option of turning that connection on and off as needed with the isolator, which will also monitor TV and TT batteries, directing charging current to where it is needed. I have been told that I need to test my truck alternator to make sure its voltage output is correct (no more than 15 volts).

Thanks for all your thoughts and advice.
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