Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-01-2012, 09:51 PM   #11
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 21,169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Instructor View Post
You'll be fine. It makes no difference where a 12v power supply to the batteries comes from, or even if it comes simultaneously from multiple sources. If properly wired, you can charge your batteries from the solar, from the built-in "factory" inverter, or from the 12v supply from he tow vehicle. The tow vehicle supply is the least effective, due to wire size and length of run.
Fire Instructor,

I am making an assumption here that the batteries you are referring to are the camper's batteries and not the trucks starting batteries.

With that in mind you are correct that "It makes no difference where a 12v power supply to the batteries comes from." The highest available voltage will drive the charge. If the solar controller is providing a higher voltage than the onboard "converter"; that will be the battery charger; if the converter is outputting a higher voltage; it will. The truck's alternator also provides charging voltage and for it to be the charging source it would have to output a higher voltage than your solar controller.

I do see the logic that putting an external "plug in" charger on the truck battery does not damage the truck's alternator. I assume that is because the bridge diodes in the alternator become reversed biased and block the incoming voltage.

How that will work with the solar panels mounted on the truck is not clear to me. Without a diagram, I just can't get my head around it.

To use the onboard converter, you need shore power as you know. It "converts" 120VAC to 12 volt nominal DC. Inverters take battery 12 volt DC power and make 120VAC for use in your TV and coffee maker. If you have shore power there is no need for the truck or the solar panels to be running.
__________________

__________________

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 10:38 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Fire Instructor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Upstate (Albany Area) NY
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Current is only supposed to flow from the alternator to the truck batteries and the Bargman plug when the engine is running. Current will not flow from the truck batteries to the camper or vice versa with the ignition key off.
Herk - My Dodge isn't wired that way. In fact, look at my posting from earlier today on my solar mod, and you'll see that just having the TT plugged into the truck confused the HECK out of me earlier today.... I recall an old thread from the "other" forum, that said that Dodges could be wired, or changed, from always powered to powered when key is on with a very minor wiring change under the hood.
__________________

__________________
Fire Instructor

2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 Quad Cab w/Cummins Turbo Diesel, 2009 Rockwood 2607, and 3 'yaks!
300W of Suntech Solar, a Rogue MPT-3024 Controller, and a Xantrex PW2000 Inverter
Fire Instructor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 10:47 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Fire Instructor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Upstate (Albany Area) NY
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Fire Instructor,

I am making an assumption here that the batteries you are referring to are the camper's batteries and not the trucks starting batteries.

To use the onboard converter, you need shore power as you know. It "converts" 120VAC to 12 volt nominal DC. Inverters take battery 12 volt DC power and make 120VAC for use in your TV and coffee maker. If you have shore power there is no need for the truck or the solar panels to be running.
Yes, I was refering to the TT batteries, and NOT the tow vehicle batteries.

The "onboard converter" in my Rockwood is actually a 120v distribution panel, with a built-in converter. If I turn the 120v breaker that runs the converter to the off position, the 12v is fed by only the solar panels, I can then plug the 120v feed for the TT into my Xantrex, and have 120v available at all of the outlets, plus the outlets are still protected by the breakers in the distribution panel.

<WOW! I had to re-read that twice to make sure that it made sense.... I sure hope it makes sense to SOMEONE!>
__________________
Fire Instructor

2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 Quad Cab w/Cummins Turbo Diesel, 2009 Rockwood 2607, and 3 'yaks!
300W of Suntech Solar, a Rogue MPT-3024 Controller, and a Xantrex PW2000 Inverter
Fire Instructor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #14
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 21,169
Just spent over an hour with Volume 3 of the GMC service manual.
That is the one that covers the wiring and electronics.

It is just too darn complicated to predict what the outcome will be to the computers and electronics. So, I give up and put this one in the "too hard to do" pile.

Good luck and good night.
I need a
__________________

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 11:00 PM   #15
Drinkin beer on the beach
 
Rod Johnson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fallbrook, CA
Posts: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Without a key in the ignition there is no path from the trailer plug to the vehicles batteries due to the relay in the engine compartment fuse block.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Instructor View Post
Herk - My Dodge isn't wired that way.
Yeah, neither is my Chevy. I'm sure it varies from year to year and model to model.

I wasn't sure, and verified two ways.

With my truck running, the battery monitor in my trailer indicates the batteries are charging. Probably because the 14.4V output from the alternator.

With my trailer on shore power and the converter charging, and with my truck off, I'm seeing 14+ Volts at my truck battery with a multimeter.

Short of ohming out the wiring from the bargmann connector to the battery with the ignition switch off, I'm pretty sure they are hardwired to each other.

I might also add that I've had my truck well apart several times. The first week I had it, I put in a substantial car stereo. That included some mods to the battery, alternator charge wire, and underhood fuse box. It was at this time I found that Chevrolet left 2 wires disconnected from the factory for the trailer brakes. Not knowing what they were for, and assuming The General put my truck together right, and assuming I must have forgotten that I disconnected them... I just plugged the blue wires together, and slipped the red wire with the ring terminal over the bit +BAT terminal right there.

Later that month I installed a pretty crazy remote starting alarm... Never again... And of course the offroad lights and junkyard factory foglights... Did I mention that alarm? And stereo?? Yeah, I've taken that truck WAAAAAY apart and cut my knuckles on sharp spots even the UAW doesn't even know about.
__________________
2014 Silverado 2500 6.6L TD and 4X4
2011 Carson Standard Duty Car Hauler
2012 Forest River Stealth SK2112
Rod Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 11:05 PM   #16
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 21,169
Hmm. Might be 2500 specific. I have a trailer plug light that I use in the Bargman socket in my truck bed. It only works if I have the ignition on.

Like I said, the truck is set up for the test tomorrow.
I will let you all know what I find.
__________________

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 11:07 PM   #17
Drinkin beer on the beach
 
Rod Johnson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fallbrook, CA
Posts: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Hmm. Might be 2500 specific. I have a trailer plug light that I use in the Bargman socket in my truck bed. It only works if I have the ignition on.

Like I said, the truck is set up for the test tomorrow.
I will let you all know what I find.
I was just thinking about that...

Hell, maybe I put that ring on the wrong terminal? And its not fuse protected like its supposed to be.
__________________
2014 Silverado 2500 6.6L TD and 4X4
2011 Carson Standard Duty Car Hauler
2012 Forest River Stealth SK2112
Rod Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 11:31 PM   #18
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 21,169
This is the correct connection.
You are correct.
It is hot all the time. If the camper is powered it should provide charging current to the truck battery.

I still have concerns about hooking up the solar controller at a random location in the truck.
Lou
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Installing Auxiliary 12-Volt Feed to Trailer.pdf (457.4 KB, 20 views)
__________________

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 11:43 PM   #19
Drinkin beer on the beach
 
Rod Johnson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fallbrook, CA
Posts: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
This is the correct connection.
You are correct.
It is hot all the time. If the camper is powered it should provide charging current to the truck battery.

I still have concerns about hooking up the solar controller at a random location in the truck.
Lou
Look at that. This post proves you're a standup guy. And trust me, that goes a long ways.

I would add that for the most part, my tow vehicle sits unused between trips. 2004 model, and it has 30k miles on it. I go through batteries like oil filters, like windshield wipers, like car washes?... Seems like everytime I'd go out to use it, the battery would be dead. And of course, then the battery would never be quite right again. I leave the trailer on shore power because it keeps the truck charged up. I mentioned that ridiculous remote starting alarm right? It sucks all sorts of power.

Can't wait to finish up this solar project. I'm learning so much, I hope to run my workshop off grid. Then I can keep all my project cars nice and freshly charged.
__________________
2014 Silverado 2500 6.6L TD and 4X4
2011 Carson Standard Duty Car Hauler
2012 Forest River Stealth SK2112
Rod Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #20
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 21,169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Johnson View Post
Look at that. This post proves you're a standup guy. And trust me, that goes a long ways.
I could claim it was an April Fool's Joke; but that would just be silly.

I am still going to check out the truck Bargman light issue. It will only work with the ignition on. It may draw its power from the parking light circuit.
Amazon.com: Blazer C8020 Light Buster Trailer Hitch Accessory Light-1 each: Automotive
__________________

__________________

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar

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



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:01 AM.