Charging while towing

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:05 pm

ntsqd wrote:Good find for wiring in the ~$20 battery separation solution.

The only thing that I would caution about is the note about having a switch for self jump-starting. That is a bad plan. Neither the conductors, connector, or the constant duty solenoid are able to handle the amount of current that can be present during a jump-start. ...


You are correct that the components and wiring involved aren't up to the job of a direct jump start. :thumbsup:

But, it's not a terrible plan. :D The "jump start" schemes where you plug the jumping battery into the cig lighter work by recharging the starting battery. It'll take a few minutes to recharge the TV battery to where it will crank, which beats walking for hours to get help. Bow Hunter, your idea is fine as long as you realize the limitation.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:12 pm

ntsqd wrote:Good find for wiring in the ~$20 battery separation solution.

The only thing that I would caution about is the note about having a switch for self jump-starting. That is a bad plan. Neither the conductors, connector, or the constant duty solenoid are able to handle the amount of current that can be present during a jump-start. ...


You are correct that the components and wiring involved aren't up to the job of a direct jump start. :thumbsup:

But, it's not a terrible plan. :D The "jump start" schemes where you plug the jumping battery into the cig lighter work by recharging the starting battery. It'll take a few minutes to recharge the TV battery to where it will crank, which beats walking for hours to get help. Bow Hunter, your idea is fine as long as you realize the limitation. If the battery suddenly craters and won't hold a charge, which isn't uncommon ("It started last time I tried."), you need a direct jump and a new battery ASAP.
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby ntsqd » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:58 pm

What you're proposing is not what I'm cautioning about.

I'm looking at one of these for self jump-starting:
http://www.amazon.com/Antigravity-Batte ... rt+battery
Way easier to carry this around than to move the trailer battery.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby bdosborn » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:45 pm

ntsqd wrote:I'm looking at one of these for self jump-starting:
http://www.amazon.com/Antigravity-Batte ... rt+battery
Way easier to carry this around than to move the trailer battery.


There's a complete lack of any kind of technical information regarding this product? Or am I missing something... :?

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby ntsqd » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:57 pm

Do some research on those. A Ford Dealership tech friend of mine in SD has one in his pocket all day while at work, as do most of his co-workers. Says that they're pretty amazing for jump-starting vehicles.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:14 pm

That's a pretty nifty unit. :thumbsup: All it needs is an air compressor. :D
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby wincrasher » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:48 am

What a long and confusing thread! My Escape only has a 4 prong plug to connect the trailer. I don't want to modify by running a cable from the battery.
It does have a 110v inverter plug and a 12v power port (formerly known as a cigarette plug :shock: ).

I keep my trailer on a battery tender jr when storing it at my shop. It's a 4 stage charger with a max output of .75 amps I believe.
The trailer has a built in converter/charger and a 30 amp shore power connector.

My main concern is charging while traveling and essentially keeping ahead of the draw from my refrigerator. It's a dometic chest type that draws 3-5 amp on average.

So my options are essentially this: plug the battery tender into the 110 outlet or run from the power port to my trailer battery. I have cable and connectors to do all this. I get the inefficiencies of going DC-AC-DC. I doubt the tender would really do any good at all considering the low amperage. How many amps are these cigarette plugs? Another option would be to put the fridge in the back of my SUV and just plug in to the cigarette plug directly. But what's really the difference between doing that, and just running the cable from the plug to the battery?
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby ntsqd » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:01 am

Max amps for a "power point" or Lighter socket is 15A.

Can triple that with these: http://www.powerwerx.com/anderson-power ... -sets.html Couple them with this wire: http://www.powerwerx.com/wire-cable/red ... -cord.html or this wire: http://www.westmarine.com/duplex-wire

Perhaps a better option would be to look into the bendable solar panels and a MPPT controller?
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby KennethW » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:23 am

{{My main concern is charging while traveling and essentially keeping ahead of the draw from my refrigerator. It's a dometic chest type that draws 3-5 amp on average.}}
KISS
Is that 3-5 amps at 12V = 36-60 watts or 3-5 amps at 120v = 360-600 watts
If it is 12V one can run a 12V power cord from your trailer thru the rear door of the TV to the 12V power port.
On the trailer one can put a small solenoid (like in a cars fuse box)on the + wire using the tail light power wire to switch it on and off.
In this way the trailer charging will work with any TV with a 4 prong and a power port. Most newer cars have a running light setting on their headlight switch. Just turn it to it and when you drive it will charge ,when you stop it will disconnect.
That is the way I do it.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby wincrasher » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:26 am

Thanks Ken. Yes, that is DC.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:18 am

Somehow I missed this discussion. Sorry for coming in late.

I think your best option is to run a 12V extension from the Dometic forward to the TV, like KennethW described. It's the least expense. Just use some heavy-ish wire to accomplish the connection. 14 or 12 gage should do it. That will run the fridge. I'm not sure I understand how you'll charge your battery this way, though. Kenneth, can you elaborate? Are you also connecting directly to the trailer battery?

I generally advocate the DC-AC-DC method, because it works. But, you would need a bigger charger. It would also require the wiring mods you don't want to do.

3-5 Fridge Amps (times) Battery Hours must be less than Charger Amps (times) Drive Hours. Add some cush to the Charger Amps to keep up with other drains. Now you're spending some semi-big bucks for a smart charger. Plugging into your 120V power port probably won't handle much more than a 10-amp charger.

I'm using this charger, which is 7.2 amps, but I'm not running a fridge, just LED lights & a FanFan.
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby dales133 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:12 am

You definatly want to go the anderson plug route for charging with 6 B&W cable.
I've bone plenty of research and it has next to no voltage drop over the distance of your average car +camper lenth.
I'd post some pics of the waterproof housing I got today but it will have to wait until tomorrow now...wiring my led tail lights on the coffee table!
Burnt my fingers with my new butane soldering iron too boot
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby KennethW » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:44 am

{{I'm not sure I understand how you'll charge your battery this way, though. Kenneth, can you elaborate? Are you also connecting directly to the trailer battery?}}
The + wire coming from the TV goes thru the solenoid then to the TD battery. The tail light wire is wired to the switching lug of the solenoid when you turn on your lights you also energize the solenoid connecting the TV to the TD's battery.
I just used a ford headlight relay And use a power port inside the lift gate.
No TV wiring required. So I can use any TV I want without any new wiring. tv
But I am nor running a frig.
I am running a cpap.
Last edited by KennethW on Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:46 am

Thanks, Kenneth. I thought so, but I wasn't sure.

WinCrasher, I think I can boil it down to this: If you really, really don't want to do any mods to the Escape, plug your new, bigger, spendy smart charger into the 120V AC power port via extension cord. You don't have to add any relays, or solenoids, or mess with the Escape's wiring. It's very simple. All it takes is money. $>

Let's talk about the "inefficient" issue for a sec. You won't be able to get more amps out of the charger than the 15A max going into the power port. Any more than, say, a 10 amp charger wastes money and risks blown fuses. Other than that, I think you're OK.

That's the $0.02 from the DC-AC-DC nut-nut. :)

Good luck! :beer:
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:58 pm

I want to clear up a contradiction between 2 of my posts. Two posts ago,
capnTelescope wrote:It would also require the wiring mods you don't want to do.


I wasn't thinking about the 120 VAC power port when I wrote that. the 120V port should take care of the key-on/key-off connect/disconnect. If the power port turns off when you turn the car off, you have the DC to AC part already done for you. The rest is even easier.

capnTelescope wrote:All it takes is money.


:beer:
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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