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Old 10-17-2015, 12:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: In my 36CKTS 5th Wheel
Posts: 374
Extra Alternator?

I am looking at a F-350 to pull my recently ordered 36CKTS 5th wheel. The salesman asked me if I want an extra alternator. He did not know, and I don't know, is my 5th wheel batteries being charged by the truck as I am traveling, and would I need the extra alternator for that task?

Steven J. Scheinin
2015 RAM 3500 4X4
6.7L CTD Dually pulling a
2016 Cedar Creek 36CKTS

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Old 10-17-2015, 01:08 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 38
Your fiver is being charged by your alternator. However, the wire run from that alternator to the battery is VERY long. So unless that wire is fairly large say at least #2 or larger you are not going to get enough voltage to the batteries to charge them efficiently. They will charge. It will take a long time to get them fully charged. Back to the large wire: the natural limiting factor is going to be the seven pin pigtail from your truck bumper to the rig. That pigtail has all the wiring to run the brakes and lights and the charging. But that wire is definitely not #2 or larger. Probably something like #10 at the most.

Bottom line: if you are planning on boondocking it is unlikely you will be able to keep your batteries charged using your truck. In my signature block there is a URL to my blog. One of my entries there discusses my own experience with this exact problem: expecting the truck to keep my batteries charged between camping spots.

You will also see that I am a big solar proponent on RVs.

Enjoy your new rig!


Show Low and Rio Verde, AZ
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:18 PM   #3
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Location: Idaho
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When I ordered the 250 I passed on that option.


Good choice on the 1 ton!
2016 F350 6.7L LB CC Reese 28K 2014 Chaparral Lite 266sab
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." 2014 19 days camping 2015 17 days camping201620 days camping
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