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Old 05-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
Bigger cable, faster charge. Great for dry camping without a genny to charge the battery. The wire in the 7 pin is tiny and can only trickle charge the TT batt, but theses plugs are heavy cable and can carry more current/amperage in a given amount of time.
Agreed that the Bargeman is good for a top up towing for an hour or to charge a depleted battery over many hours while driving.

We were having a discussion on another thread (Surplus Current?) about charging through the alternator but no one had any data. I assume that you are idling your truck for a few hours to charge the trailer batteries. Have you had a chance to measure output using this method?

If you are so inclined, starting from 50% SOC, how many volts and amps can be measured at the battery after 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours? And, how long does it take to reach 100% charged (after taking off the surface charge)? This would be really interesting to see.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:58 PM   #22
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Agreed that the Bargeman is good for a top up towing for an hour or to charge a depleted battery over many hours while driving.

We were having a discussion on another thread about charging through the alternator but no one had any data. I assume that you are idling your truck for a few hours to charge the trailer batteries. Have you had a chance to measure output using this method?

If you are so inclined, starting from 50% SOC, how many volts and amps can be measured at the battery after 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours? And, how long does it take to reach 100% charged (after taking off the surface charge)? This would be really interesting to see.
The biggest problem with Charging the trailer battery with the Truck alternator is voltage drop, a 13 volt alt reading will be below 12v by the time it reaches the Trailer battery and wont charge, you need a step up converter that keeps a constant 14v going to the trailer Batterieshttp://order.waytekwire.com/DATASHEET/80125.pdf
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:05 PM   #23
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The biggest problem with Charging the trailer battery with the Truck alternator is voltage drop, a 13 volt alt reading will be below 12v by the time it reaches the Trailer battery and wont charge, you need a step up converter that keeps a constant 14v going to the trailer Batterieshttp://order.waytekwire.com/DATASHEET/80125.pdf
Agreed Raceday. A typical truck alternator alone just isn't made to be an effective charger for that and some other reasons, too. I keep hoping to see some numbers to prove that wrong. It can be done if put together correctly but it's more involved as I understand it. My friend did it when he and DW, DD, and DS lived on a sailboat for a couple of years.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:40 PM   #24
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Agreed Raceday. A typical truck alternator alone just isn't made to be an effective charger for that and some other reasons, too. I keep hoping to see some numbers to prove that wrong. It can be done if put together correctly but it's more involved as I understand it. My friend did it when he and DW, DD, and DS lived on a sailboat for a couple of years.
We fought that with our show car trailers, they have a winch and a 12 volt battery, But they kept going dead, I had voltage to the battery from the TV finally I decided to figure it out and put the step up converters in them and the batteries stayed fully charged after that
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:12 AM   #25
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Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I can add to the charging discussion.

Most of the stock alternator will only charge for approx 10 minutes some for 20 minutes however, the current drops off quickly after the first 5 minutes.
If your running at idle the charge current will be less than 5A if anything at all.

If you have 100Ah battery and use 50Ah, then you need to replace the 50Ah.
For example a charge rate of 5A constant charge for one hour gives you an idea of how long it would take to fully charge the 100Ah battery. If you can maintain 20A, the math is simple. The issue is the Alternator will generally put out 40 to 50A when the engine first started and will drop down to 10A within a few minutes and sometimes even lower. The design of them is for brining up the starting battery and maintaining it while driving.

I have a battery monitor in our boat and can see the charge rate from the 7.4L Chevy which has a 60A alternator. Our battery bank is 6 batteries (120Ah each) and this method of charging would never be able top of one battery.

I'll be installing a battery monitor in our camper like the we have on the boat with at least 4 - 120Ah batteries for the type of camping we do. Can run all appliances & lights for days and charge when we get home. No need to hear or take a geny along.

Hope this helps
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