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Old 12-06-2022, 11:52 AM   #1
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truck to trailer charging with new Renogy DC to DC MPPT charger

I was wondering do I just run to 6AWG from my Tundra batt back to the trailer? Do I just fashion some type of plugs that let me plug and unplug when I unhitch? Any suggestions?
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Old 12-06-2022, 11:59 AM   #2
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Most run a thicker wire than 6 gauge and usually use welding cable.

As far as connectors, Anderson is the way to go.
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Old 12-06-2022, 12:23 PM   #3
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I ran 6 ga from the truck battery to the rear bumper. At the rear bumper I installed one half of an Anderson connector. They are the go-to connector for this type of thing, but make sure you get the proper size for the wire & amperage involved.

On the trailer I ran 6 ga from the DC-to-DC charger to the tongue. It is bundled along with the 7-wire cable and gets plugged in right next to it.

6 ga wire is good to about 50 amps, so unless you're planning to pull that much from your truck battery you should be good to go. Most DC-to-DC chargers are much less than 50 amps on the TV side, but do the math and double check.

Running the wire through the truck was pretty simple for me. I just found a factory run that was clipped inside a frame rail and zip tied to that along the way. At the front I installed an appropriately sized weather proof DC breaker before the connection the battery in the even the cable shorts out somewhere.
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Old 12-06-2022, 12:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfequity1 View Post
I was wondering do I just run to 6AWG from my Tundra batt back to the trailer? Do I just fashion some type of plugs that let me plug and unplug when I unhitch? Any suggestions?
Which Renogy DC-DC charger are you installing? 6 AWG may be OK for a 20 amp model, but suggest bigger for anything else.

As jeffb831 mentioned, Anderson Power Pole connectors in the appropriate size are the way to go.

Here's a pretty slick install showing use of the Anderson connectors:

https://www.adventurousway.com/blog/...uck-12v-socket
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Old 12-07-2022, 12:39 PM   #5
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That what I did. Used 4 gauge welding wire with a fused blue sea solenoid. One of our Ford up fitter switches controls power from the truck battery back to the Anderson connector to the Renogy. Ground was from the Anderson connector to the rear Ford frame factory ground.
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:35 AM   #6
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We are using the Renogy 20amp DC2DC charger with our 21GT27FBQ and GMC 2500HD. I ran 4 gauge weld cable from battery to a 40 amp breaker in the engine compartment. 4 gauge to the rear followed frame rails. At the hitch used an Anderson 4 gauge connector
So I can plug in if and when needed. From the Anderson ran 4gauge to the Renogy which is mounted in the front compartment and then to the lithium batteries also mounted in the front compartment.
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Old 12-08-2022, 04:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kawboy01 View Post
We are using the Renogy 20amp DC2DC charger with our 21GT27FBQ and GMC 2500HD. I ran 4 gauge weld cable from battery to a 40 amp breaker in the engine compartment. 4 gauge to the rear followed frame rails. At the hitch used an Anderson 4 gauge connector
So I can plug in if and when needed. From the Anderson ran 4gauge to the Renogy which is mounted in the front compartment and then to the lithium batteries also mounted in the front compartment.
Curious why you ran 4ga for a 20amp charger? Even at it's max 6ga would have been enough. Was there some reason?
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Old 12-08-2022, 04:41 AM   #8
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Old 12-09-2022, 02:02 AM   #9
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We could have used a smaller gauge but I used 4 gauge for the rest of the lithium upgrade and had all the connectors and cable to do the job. Never gonna need to upgrade this if we ever went with more amps but after over a year this is plenty of "juice" for our purposes.
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Old 12-18-2022, 10:37 AM   #10
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Great article. Thanks.
Iíve been pondering the same question. I have been using an old 1000 W Honda generator to run a 40 amp AC battery charger to charge batteries on my trailer. Iíve been thinking I should be able to add a 1000 W inverter to the truck and then just run AC back to battery charger on the trailer. Iíve never seen anyone else bring this up and wonder if thereís some caveat to doing so?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler2you View Post
Which Renogy DC-DC charger are you installing? 6 AWG may be OK for a 20 amp model, but suggest bigger for anything else.

As jeffb831 mentioned, Anderson Power Pole connectors in the appropriate size are the way to go.

Here's a pretty slick install showing use of the Anderson connectors:

https://www.adventurousway.com/blog/...uck-12v-socket
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Old 12-18-2022, 12:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Curious why you ran 4ga for a 20amp charger? Even at it's max 6ga would have been enough. Was there some reason?
A 20 amp DC-DC charger outputs 20 amps. The input side could go as high as 30 amps, but I would expect around 25 amps.

Using the worst case of 30 amps, with a 60' round trip from the battery to the DC-DC charger on a 12 volt system (using 12.00 volts), 4 awg has a 3.84% voltage drop. The 6 gauge would be 6.10%. We're usually limiting voltage drop to no more than 3%.

Is it as bad as that? Probably not, but if the trailer batteries are at a low state of charge you could be pulling a lot of amps for an extended period of time from the truck battery/alternator.

There should also be an appropriately sized fuse at the truck battery where the cable to the DC-DC charger connects.

Wire Gauge Calculator:
https://baymarinesupply.com/calculator
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Old 12-18-2022, 08:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kilroy View Post
Great article. Thanks.
Iíve been pondering the same question. I have been using an old 1000 W Honda generator to run a 40 amp AC battery charger to charge batteries on my trailer. Iíve been thinking I should be able to add a 1000 W inverter to the truck and then just run AC back to battery charger on the trailer. Iíve never seen anyone else bring this up and wonder if thereís some caveat to doing so?
It's been done, there is a thread about it somewhere. The person that did said it was working well at the time. The main concern for many was the environment the inverter was in under the hood and how it would effect longevity.
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Old 12-19-2022, 07:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
Using the worst case of 30 amps, with a 60' round trip from the battery to the DC-DC charger on a 12 volt system (using 12.00 volts), 4 awg has a 3.84% voltage drop. The 6 gauge would be 6.10%. We're usually limiting voltage drop to no more than 3%.
Very good point, here is a nice YouTube video from Nate (from Explorist life) explaining it.
https://youtu.be/0xOvINH4tKs
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