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Old 06-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #1
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Charging TT Battery While on the Road

our trailer has no method of charging the tt battery while driving

should i add this capability? my seven pin connector has 2 extra pins so that part is easy.

where on the tv should the power come from, i assume the car battery with a fairly large wire to the 7 pin, then a similar lead to the tt battery
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem
our trailer has no method of charging the tt battery while driving

should i add this capability? my seven pin connector has 2 extra pins so that part is easy.

where on the tv should the power come from, i assume the car battery with a fairly large wire to the 7 pin, then a similar lead to the tt battery
The charge + port on your seven way if looking at connector on tv is about 5 o'clock.
Are you sure its not already wired?
Most tow packaged optioned vehicles are.
My suburban had did not have tow package but the wire was there but just needed a fuse in the fuse box to enable it.
Look in your owners manual.

Your camper should be wired for it already.
Check lower left terminal at 6 o'clock for 12 v +

Yes u should do this!
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #3
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the tv or tt are not wired for it

the tv is a 2003 ford windstar without tow package, i upgraded the van as needed except tt charging

trailer is a flagstaff 21 rb about 12 yrs old and also has no connections from the 7 pin to the battery anywhere, in fact the 12 volt systems are completely seperated between running system and house system except for the breakaway switch
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem View Post
our trailer has no method of charging the tt battery while driving

should i add this capability? my seven pin connector has 2 extra pins so that part is easy.

where on the tv should the power come from, i assume the car battery with a fairly large wire to the 7 pin, then a similar lead to the tt battery
If you want the job done properly, what you need is a minimum of 6 B&S fused cable run from your vehicle's dual battery in positive and negative to your popup battery and connected at the tow vehicle with a 50 Amp Anderson plug. This type of connection will overcome most of the voltage drop issues smaller auto cable results in. It will give you the best ability to charge your popup battery from your tow vehicle as you drive. A fuse needs to be in the positive cable as close as practible to EACH of the connected batteries. This type of connection is also suitable to provide sufficient voltage to run your 3 way popup fridge on 12V DC as you drive but don't put the battery and the fridge on the same circuit. Use a second cable run from the rear of your tow vehicle if you want to do this. If the battery and the fridge are on the same circuit what you are doing is adding to 'loads" onto the one circuit and that results in less available voltage to both loads. Fridge will not be efficient and battery will not charge at best rate. Two runs from the tow vehicle to the loads is the best way to go. Minimum 6 B&S cable too, not auto type light cable compared with the 6 B&S cable.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #5
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well its not a popup!! and the fridge is 120/propane only

but yes i understand the need for a fairly large cable including the ground connection

we dont boondock except the occasional walmart night so i dont anticipate a huge charging requirement
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:22 AM   #6
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well its not a popup!! and the fridge is 120/propane only

but yes i understand the need for a fairly large cable including the ground connection

we dont boondock except the occasional walmart night so i dont anticipate a huge charging requirement
No worries then, I have been jumping threads and jumped out of the popup into yours. Sorry.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:25 AM   #7
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IMO, the short answer is, no.

There is more to a tow package than the hitch. The factory tow package "usually" comes with an upgraded alternator and a separately fused camper battery isolator.

Your alternator is a single stage charger, sized for charging your car's starting battery and the electronics on board. It is perfectly capable of charging your car's battery and running everything in your car when the motor is running since the starting battery is almost never discharged below 95% of capacity.

The camper's battery is a deep discharge type and is typically run well below 50% before recharging. When connected to your TV, your alternator's regulator will see an average of the two voltages and ramp up its charge rate to the level required by the two batteries. This will result in an higher than needed rate to your car's battery shortening it's life. It will also shorten the life of your now "undersized" alternator's regulator.

Reference: Managing 12 Volts by Harold Barre (2nd Edition)
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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Lou is right, you need to upgrade the TV system to handle the TT load. Same as in boasts and other 12vdc power hogs. Also you must ensure the systems are balanced.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #9
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well i stand corrected, the trailer has all 7 pins connected, one heavy wire(red) leads to the battery, there is also an extra yellow wire from the 7pin, it ends in the electrical box under the a frame

on the van, neither terminals are hooked up to anything. im guessing the yellow wire could be used for a backup light or some other device for use on the road

im pretty sure the windstar alternator would not be suitable for charging the tt battery as well as running the vehicle except as a "top up/ maintainance" charger. the windstar trailer package from ford used the same alternator though, in fact the only difference between non towing and towing windstars was an auxiallary tranny cooler(which i added) and the trailer pigtail for lights and brakes(which i also added)
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem View Post
im pretty sure the windstar alternator would not be suitable for charging the tt battery as well as running the vehicle except as a "top up/ maintainance" charger. the windstar trailer package from ford used the same alternator though, in fact the only difference between non towing and towing windstars was an auxiallary tranny cooler(which i added) and the trailer pigtail for lights and brakes(which i also added)
If you have confirmed the same alternator was used in the Tow package with the parts department at your dealer; then all you need to do is talk (nicely) to your parts guy and ask him to pull up the wiring diagram for your windstar with and without the tow package to see what is missing between the two vehicles.

You have have all you need already; just not wired up and a pre-made pigtail way be available through your dealer.
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