Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-12-2019, 03:39 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 13
Do the batteries recharge while towing?

We are newly retired and are now the owners of a 21 foot travel trailer (FR 21FBRS) and we love it! We are very experienced with boondocking, water conservation and limited electricity after many, many years of camping in a tent and pop-up, but we have never had a gas refrigerator or gas heater before.
We are planning a Fall New England trip, staying mostly in State Parks with no electric hookups. I understand that the gas refrigerator and gas heater will still draw electricity from the batteries. I am guessing that we will probably have to run the gas heater at that time of year. How many days would you think we could get from 2- 6 volt batteries while we conserve as much electricity use as possible? We are thinking of staying 3-4 days at each campground. Will the batteries recharge during the 2-4 hour tow to the next campground? We are hoping to not have to buy a generator. Any advice would be appreciated.
__________________

jwalt313 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2019, 03:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 291
With conservative furnace use, you can get 3-4 days out of the 6 volt batteries.

That is the same setup I have.

I use a Mr Buddy Heater if it's really cold and we need more heat. I crack two windows and have not had a problem as it's rated for indoor use.

I keep the hot water heater off and only use the water pump as need (I don't leave it "on").

LED lights help but I still keep the light use to a minimum. A battery powered lantern comes in handy if you really need to conserve power.

I few hours behind the truck WILL NOT RECHARGE the batteries. It will help, but will not give them a full charge.

I recommend a gen if your moving from one boondocking site to another so you can maintain the batteries properly. I'm looking at one as well.
__________________

2rad4u is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 17,627
Most tow vehicles only provide a trickle charge at best.
Your furnace will be the biggest power drain. Fridge and water heater will not use much.
We are also experienced dry campers but we wouldn't be without our trusty Honda 2000i.
2-4 hours of towing will NOT fully charge depleted batteries.
I think you're going to need a generator or solar panels.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
Equalizer WDH
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2019, 07:59 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Brandon Fl
Posts: 59
We added two 100 watt solar panels to help recharge the batteries while on the road as well as parked. We can get about 15 amps on a good day plus the trickle from the trucks alternator. Using two 6volt golf cart batteries and a solar controller. We keep the converter off most of the time to keep from cooking the batteries.
2ondago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2019, 12:56 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Baraboo, WI
Posts: 198
I added an extra 6 gauge wire from the power distribution box under the hood of the truck to the battery. I hope that I get a better charge due to the heavier wire. I will be checking the charge rate when I borrow my friends amp meter this weekend.
BarabooBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 294
Understand that when you plug in your tow vehicle it puts all the batteries in parallel. If the trailer batteries are low, they will draw down the TV battery and all will equalize. The alternator senses SYSTEM voltage so it will not sense a real low battery and hit the system with its full amps. The initial "hit" will bring them up some but it takes a LONG time to get them to peak charge as the alternator drops off. This is also the case with a standard converter when you plug in to shore power or run a generator; initially the amps are high and the voltage jumps up pretty fast but as you approach "full" the converter will back off. With the better after market converters they will stay at high discharge longer. I was amazed at how much better my last trailer charged after I switched to a PD 60 amp converter from the stock POS 40 amp. So yes, you'll need some help.
nayther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2019, 01:56 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 157
Suggest buying this voltage meter below ($12) and plug it into your 12 volt outlet in your trailer.. With the vehicle engine off, the meter will read your battery voltage (around 12.3 volts).. Then start your engine, check the voltage and it should read around 14 volts if charging properly..


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Prime-Produ...oAAOSwdHpbykIF

(Amazon sell the same meter but $40)
__________________
Clint...
2015 F350 4x4 gasser.. 2017 Rockwood 2506S TT
Ardenvoir, Washington (near Wenatchee)
clintbonnie73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2019, 01:59 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
rracer5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Full Timing It
Posts: 2,355
X2, 3 & 4 on the TV not fully recharging your TT batteries. Also, if you haven't already checked, you should check to see if the 7-way receptacle at the rear of the TV has a live 12v power from the alternator. Depending on the manufacturer, some ship the vehicle with fuse/relay for that circuit already in place and some are supposed to be installed by the dealer as part of the "towing package" prep. (if it came equipped) before you take delivery. On my old Chevy (2002) even though it had a so called trailer package, I had to install my own 40 amp. fuse in the power distribution box under the hood in order to feed the constant 12v power to the 7-way trailer receptacle.

If you want some peace of mind just in case, you might consider either of the 2 economical (& quiet) inverter gensets below.


https://www.harborfreight.com/900-ma...arb-63025.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/2000-w...tor-62523.html
__________________
"PT Crew Members Since 9/2010"[/I][/B]
2011 RAM 2500 HD 6.7L CTD Crew
2014 Sanibel 3250
rracer5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2019, 02:11 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 33
I have a 2017 21FBRS and have found the following by applying an amp meter to the trailer to get an idea on what the draw is for the different systems. Here is what I recorded. Keep in mind that each item includes the parasitic draw.

Base parasitic draw - 0.17 ah
Refer (on gas) - 0.58 ah
Furnace - 2.6 ah
Hood Fan - 1.23 ah
Hood light - 1.38 ah
Bath Fan (on high) - 2.67 ah
Ceiling light (1) - 0.45 ah
Ceiling lights (all) - 2.54 ah
Lights on JN Sofa (1) - 0.27 ah
Scare Lights - 1.14 ah
Porch Light - 1.52 ah
Hot Water Heater (on gas) - 0.78 ah.


For what it is worth to you.
DanMistyMiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2019, 03:06 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 45
Suggest you check your tow vehicle fuses, my 04 Silverado is fully wired for towing, however the fuse for the battery circuit that feeds the trailer connector was missing.

Also be careful when you are boon docking to unplug the trailer from the tow vehicle, I spent the night at a Loews and left the trailer plugged into the tow vehicle, had to get a jump to get it started the next day. My cpap discharged 3 batteries to the point the tow vehicle would not crank.
__________________

__________________
Jerry & Sally Martire
Culpeper, VA
2008 FR Flagtstaff 831RLSS
2004 Silverado 2500HD diesel
transmission_doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries, towing

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:57 AM.