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Old 04-19-2007, 10:12 AM   #1
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precorguy
batteries not charging off truck?

hi all:

we were in florida recently and on our way back - the trailer was hooked up to the truck (of course) and i thought that the truck alternator could charge the trailer batteries?

we were on the road for about 6 hours and we have about 1/2 charge when we started out and only the same when we got where we are going.

since it is a new truck - i had them check that the truck was providing a positive feed to the trailer and they confimed that it is.

i added a second 12 V battery to the front of the trailer and they are hooked up in parallel ---- but i expected that they would charge just the same.

what am i missing?

they charge fine when hooked up to shore power! we are doing some dry camping this summer and i want to make sure that they are going to charge between campgrounds.

help!
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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MikeM
On another board I saw some people having the same problem with their vehicles/trailer. The problem was attributed to either the TV wiring did not support it or the wire was not sufficient gauge for the distance to really charge the TT battery.

I guess I would confirm the Bargman connector is receiving voltage from the battery.

There is a wiring diagram at the below link.

http://www.marksrv.com/wiring.htm

With the last trailer to confirm charge voltage I did not get fancy.

I took a voltage reading of the battery when unhooked, (around 12.6 or so) and then connected the vehicle when it was running and took another reading. Should be 13 volts or so after you first start the vehicle. The reading definitely should change if it is receiving a charge voltage.

mike
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:33 PM   #3
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emam
We were under the same impression that the truck would charge the batteries while driving. This we had to find out the hard way was not true. I guess the typical truck connectors are just a trickle charge and it would need to run for quite awhile to recharge the batteries in the coach.

I've heard that you can get a different size cable run back from the trucks alternator to the set up so they will charge the coach batteries, I believe the guy fro South Africa that had asked a few questions said he was going to have this set-up installed. You might want to check with him and see what set-up he was talking about.

I was told if you need to charge the batteries up to full charge, plugging in to a 30 amp socket should charge them in an hour.
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:50 PM   #4
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Mark
Charging is a complex issue. My list of battery truths:

-One hour won't do it.
-Tow vehicles will only charge a little.
-Trailer chargers are OK, not excellent at charging.
-Two six volts are better than one 12-volt.
-3 stage chargers (intelligent) are the way to go, whether its portable, or on the coach.

And this is the most extensive battery education background you can get:

http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:14 PM   #5
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That's weird, my truck charges my batteries back to full charge in very little time. Many times I've just plugged the cord back into the truck, put the truck on high idle while dry camping and within an hour I was back at full charge.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:01 AM   #6
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Mark
You might be back at full charge, but it won't last long.

Its too hard for me to explain, because I am not that deep cycle savvy. To get up to 100% in a deep cycle requires a constant slow "top off".

So if you took two 100% charged batteries, one of which was charged via a 3-stage charger, and one from the truck, you would see the truck-charged battery drain faster, as the "quality" of the charge was not that good.

Does that make sense?

(Also I think that some trucks might need special wiring to deliver the charge via hookup.)
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:12 AM   #7
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tinybluetj
Check your wiring! When I had my TV done, I speciffically asked for a 12V line to be run. When I picked it up, the guy told me that he did not put one in because it was not safe, it would shock me when I touched the car. He only told me this AFTER I asked him about it! (We all know that this is not true, but whatever!) I called around and found two other places that did not run 12V, only the light wiring. Maybe the wiring just isn't there...
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:47 AM   #8
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I can't say I've ever heard that the TV can charge the batteries. All I can say is don't depend on the TV for charging. If you plan on doing dry camping, take a generator. Your converter is what does the charging, and last I knew that had nothing to do with the 7-way plug. Maybe I'm wrong though .

Jon
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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mbart5fan
As Mark said, it may register full charge after a short time towing but will draw down quickly. It is called a "surface charge". Turn on your lights for a few minutes or let the battery sit for a few hours to dissapate this charge and you'll notice a difference when testing with a volt meter. On a 7-way connector one wire is usually dedicated for trailer battery charging. See MikeM's link to show wiring diagram for 7-way plug. As I have only towed with GM products, I can only speak for them, but they have always added charge to my trailer batteries while towing.

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Old 04-25-2007, 05:43 PM   #10
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I went all last summer letting the truck charge the batteries while going to and from campgrounds and never used the electrical hookup to charge the batteries. The only time we ever camped with electric hookup was the last trip of the season, knowing we would be using the heater, and we all know how fast that drains the batteries. It could be my truck, as I have the snow plow package that included the 135 amp alternator.
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