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Old 07-26-2016, 09:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
Thanks for the info. I need to replace mine because we sometimes tow at night or in the rain. I just calculated the clearance and the brake lights must draw at least 8 amps with incandescent bulbs. With my fridge drawing 13 amps on DC, I am definitely going to get too much voltage drop when towing to keep up the charge on the camper battery, much less add to it. With LEDs and making sure I have as large a wire size on the TV as practical, I might have a chance of supporting the fridge on DC with the tow vehicle.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage (minivan)
OK, now you've confused me. And maybe I'm missing something, but bear with me.

The power for your trailer battery/fridge comes from an auxiliary power pin in your hitch receptacle, which should come from a trailer aux power fuse in your tow vehicle's fuse box (or some other fuse if you had to wire the aux power yourself). Your tail lights and brake lights are powered through 2 OTHER pins in your hitch receptacle, and should come from separate fuses in your tow vehicles fuse box (or directly from your current TV tailights if you had to wire this in yourself). This is how everybody's systems work and MOST of us have incandescent bulbs. So I don't understand what your saying about larger wires. The only other issue I've seen is that some newer cars don't have turn signal flashers, so the turn signals are turned off and on by something in the Body Control Module. This thing may not be able to handle the extra current from the TT's turn signals if they are incandescent, and therefore if you hook them up to your tail lights, there are special harnesses that have a separate power wire that hooks to your battery or something else thats "hot" and just uses the TV's turn signals as an "input" to turn your TT's turn signals on and off.

My 1988 Coleman used Aux power to run the fridge (I don't know how many amps, though), and I had incandescent lights. Pulled it with 3 different Dodge Caravans. Never had an issue. But these had turn signal relays, not BCM powered.

Furthermore, I'm assuming your A122 was designed this way. So if I'm misunderstanding, you may need to elaborate on exactly what your problem is. In any case, I don't see the fridge-turn signal connection.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
OK, now you've confused me. And maybe I'm missing something, but bear with me.

The power for your trailer battery/fridge comes from an auxiliary power pin in your hitch receptacle, which should come from a trailer aux power fuse in your tow vehicle's fuse box (or some other fuse if you had to wire the aux power yourself). Your tail lights and brake lights are powered through 2 OTHER pins in your hitch receptacle, and should come from separate fuses in your tow vehicles fuse box (or directly from your current TV tailights if you had to wire this in yourself).

Furthermore, I'm assuming your A122 was designed this way. So if I'm misunderstanding, you may need to elaborate on exactly what your problem is. In any case, I don't see the fridge-turn signal connection.
True - the lights have 2 circuits through the 7 pin, and battery charging and the fridge run off the aux pin. But they all share a common ground (negative) wire. ALL current going to the trailer returns through this single wire. Diagrams recommend 12 Gauge wire which is rated for 20 amps where up to a 5% voltage loss is acceptable (household wiring).

Actual voltage loss is going to depend on the resistance of the parallel path of the metal-to-metal contact through hitch, trailer frame, and TV body/frame. Whether or not the ground wire runs all the way to the engine compartment, alternator, or ties off at the rear of the TV also makes a difference.

I did measure voltages at the camper battery with the fridge running and the tow vehicle plugged in (not hitched up) and running. I saw 12.8V at both idle and 1500 RPM, running lights off. I saw 12.7V running lights on. Camper batteries were at 12.7V prior. But I don't have a lot of confidence in that one test. My digital meter failed completely a day later. But if valid, the measurement implies my camper battery is not being charged while towing. And my camper battery may be being discharged by the fridge. Which matches up with what a lot of seasoned campers have said happens.

I want to repeat the test, measuring at the fridge, and at the camper battery. And while doing the test, I want to disconnect the camper battery and see if there are changes in voltage at the fridge (I have a disconnect wired in).

I also want to check the gauges of the vehicle tow wiring, and see if there is room for improvement to reduce the voltage losses.

I can also reduce the voltage drop caused by the current drawn by the clearance and trailer lights by switching to LEDs.

My goal is to see 13.2 volts or higher at the camper batteries when the TV engine is running, and the fridge is on.

Hope this explains my concerns
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:55 AM   #13
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I hate getting behind vehicles with overly bright rear lights. Some LEDs are so bright and directional they make if uncomfortable to have them in my sight and harder to see anything else at night. Blindingly bright brake lights are a menace on the road.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:32 AM   #14
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I can say that I run with the fridge On, and the headlamps On my TV turned On (it helps to increase the charge to the batteries) and have had no problems keeping the fridge cool. That was true before the LED replacement.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pooneil View Post
I hate getting behind vehicles with overly bright rear lights. Some LEDs are so bright and directional they make if uncomfortable to have them in my sight and harder to see anything else at night. Blindingly bright brake lights are a menace on the road.
x2...seems like EMS vehicles around here have EXCEEDINGLY bright rear LED lights...especially brake lights...hate getting behind them for sure. Not sure about 'menace' but definitely uncomfortable...
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
True - the lights have 2 circuits through the 7 pin, and battery charging and the fridge run off the aux pin. But they all share a common ground (negative) wire. ALL current going to the trailer returns through this single wire. Diagrams recommend 12 Gauge wire which is rated for 20 amps where up to a 5% voltage loss is acceptable (household wiring).

Actual voltage loss is going to depend on the resistance of the parallel path of the metal-to-metal contact through hitch, trailer frame, and TV body/frame. Whether or not the ground wire runs all the way to the engine compartment, alternator, or ties off at the rear of the TV also makes a difference.

I did measure voltages at the camper battery with the fridge running and the tow vehicle plugged in (not hitched up) and running. I saw 12.8V at both idle and 1500 RPM, running lights off. I saw 12.7V running lights on. Camper batteries were at 12.7V prior. But I don't have a lot of confidence in that one test. My digital meter failed completely a day later. But if valid, the measurement implies my camper battery is not being charged while towing. And my camper battery may be being discharged by the fridge. Which matches up with what a lot of seasoned campers have said happens.

I want to repeat the test, measuring at the fridge, and at the camper battery. And while doing the test, I want to disconnect the camper battery and see if there are changes in voltage at the fridge (I have a disconnect wired in).

I also want to check the gauges of the vehicle tow wiring, and see if there is room for improvement to reduce the voltage losses.

I can also reduce the voltage drop caused by the current drawn by the clearance and trailer lights by switching to LEDs.

My goal is to see 13.2 volts or higher at the camper batteries when the TV engine is running, and the fridge is on.

Hope this explains my concerns
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
The computer controlled charging systems used on many new vehicles makes it next to impossible to get an accurate read of the charge voltage to the trailer while the TV is idling. I cannot speak for Hyundai, but I know on later model GM vehicles it gets rather complicated.

On my Silverado, after certain parameters are met (basically cruising down the highway with a fully charged TV battery and no high amp accessories are turned on), the TV output from the generator will be 12.9V. Just enough to sustain the battery and the other required electrical drain.

However, if I simply turn on the headlamps (or turn on Tow/Haul mode), the output voltage of the vehicle goes to 13.9-14.5. That will increase the charge to the trailer. And from an experience of having dead batteries after a long trip without the headlamps On with the fridge running on 12V, and then many long trips with the headlamps On and the fridge on 12V, I learned there is truth in these facts.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:48 AM   #17
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On my Roo, the same company makes both incandescent and led versions of the stock light. I swapped out the guts. Kinda wish FR would spend the $5 more for the LEDs in the first place.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:06 AM   #18
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I wouldn't worry about the ground connection. The ground is REALLY through the hitch itself. The ground wire is just an "extra" connection.
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:09 PM   #19
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I wouldn't worry about the ground connection. The ground is REALLY through the hitch itself. The ground wire is just an "extra" connection.
Sometimes true, sometimes not. Without knowing the resistance or the voltage drop of the path through the hitch, you can't make an accurate determination. The test would be with the fridge and lights turned on, disconnecting the TV ground wire, and see if there was any difference in voltages at the camper.

I suspect one would find that the path through the hitch is quite variable in resistance, hence the inclusion of the ground wire in the spec. If the ground wire wasn't needed for circuit reliability/performance, it probably wouldn't be there.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
Sometimes true, sometimes not. Without knowing the resistance or the voltage drop of the path through the hitch, you can't make an accurate determination. The test would be with the fridge and lights turned on, disconnecting the TV ground wire, and see if there was any difference in voltages at the camper.

I suspect one would find that the path through the hitch is quite variable in resistance, hence the inclusion of the ground wire in the spec. If the ground wire wasn't needed for circuit reliability/performance, it probably wouldn't be there.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
I guess we can agree to disagree. I think the wire is a CYA addition. If there isn't enough contact for a ground, I suspect there isn't enough contact to pull my TT.
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