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Old 06-14-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
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tow vehicle charging tt battery

I'm new to this site so forgive me if this has been discussed somewhere before. I'm wondering if anyone out there has tried using this type of device:

http://www.powerstream.com/DCC.htm

It solves one major problem of trying to charge your TT battery while in tow. As many have found, the tow vehicle alternator is a long ways from the TT battery and thus there is considerable voltage drop. Many report only 12.0-12.5 volts getting to their in-house battery. This is not enough to charge the battery completely.

I've seen many attempts to solve this but the DC-DC device above seems to do the job. I can run on 10-15 VDC input and has a well-regulated (smart) output circuit.

My only complaint about it is the 7.5A limit on output current. This is plenty to charge a battery but not enough if you want to also run some things in the trailer while towing like the refer at the same time.

Has anyone used this type of device or know of one with more capacity on the output? I want a smart device like this one that knows how to charge the particular battery technology and then maintain it at full charge.

Just connecting a solar panel up to trickle charge sounds good, but it is not the best way to get peak performance and lifespan out of a battery. A good AGM battery can run $150-$200 or more. I want to get my money's worth out of it. A high-output solar setup is $$$$.
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:13 AM   #2
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It's funny that you posted this thread because to day I am going to install a Radio Shack brand 350 watt inverter to operate my refridgerator while making a 10 hour trip. this way I will not have to deal with propane. The inverter is going to be wired directly to the breaker panel for the supply voltage and then I am going to install a receptical in the service panel of the refridgerator so I can unplug the refridgerator from it's factory installed receptical into the one I am installing while traveling. I see where some people are having problems with voltage drop, well from what I found out is that if the wiring is too small this is where the votage drop occurs, it's suggested to use 12/2 solid cooper wire as a min.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:04 PM   #3
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Yeah, propane is dangerous while travelling.

I know a few people who have gone the inverter route. It is not a bad solution but you still have to buy a charger.

Wire size is very important. But even using #10 as one friend has done did not solve the voltage drop. There is still a drop within the tow vehicle. There is just no way to get enough voltage to the tt battery using wire alone.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:24 PM   #4
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my TV keeps my battery pretty well fully charged, when unhooked from the TV, the camper battery meter says fully charged. Did this on a 12 hour trip. Works good enough for me.

You can read exhaustive posts on the suppose dangers of traveling w/ the propane on. I'm not going into that discussion here, everyone has their own opinions.

-Mark
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MaxRock View Post
my TV keeps my battery pretty well fully charged, when unhooked from the TV, the camper battery meter says fully charged. Did this on a 12 hour trip. Works good enough for me.

You can read exhaustive posts on the suppose dangers of traveling w/ the propane on. I'm not going into that discussion here, everyone has their own opinions.

-Mark
Same here. No issues with my TV not keeping the battery charged during a trip while running stuff.

And yeah. We WILL NOT get into the propane/no propane while towing discussion here at FRF. You want that discussion go over to that RV. something or another.....
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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Holy moly!! Came across this old thread only to discover that aintgotnun has over 80 million posts!!!!!
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:46 PM   #7
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Holy moly!! Came across this old thread only to discover that aintgotnun has over 80 million posts!!!!!

Thats 36,000 a day !

And he hasnt posted since 2010
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:03 PM   #8
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We fixed aintgotnun's counter. Good thing it was still under warranty!
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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^^^^funny!!!^^^^

As the moderators can see, that good ol "search' tab works!
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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We fixed aintgotnun's counter. Good thing it was still under warranty!
How does that happen ?
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by quarque View Post
Yeah, propane is dangerous while travelling.

I know a few people who have gone the inverter route. It is not a bad solution but you still have to buy a charger.

Wire size is very important. But even using #10 as one friend has done did not solve the voltage drop. There is still a drop within the tow vehicle. There is just no way to get enough voltage to the tt battery using wire alone.
You can use vehicle alternator to charge your van's house battery and to run a 3 way fridge (using 10- 12 amp) running on 12V whilst driving without a DC-DC device.
What is required is minimum 16mm sq copper wiring. I actually used 25mm sq copper wire in positive and negative runs from my auxillery battery under the hood to an Anderson plug (150 AMP) mounted on the rear of the tow vehicle. From there an Anderson plug with two cable circuits. One circuit of 25mm sq cable direct to the house battery in the popup. The second circuit in 16mm sq copper wiring to the 12V fridge supply. The fridge supply utalises a motion fridge switch which stops power supply to fridge when the tow vehicle and popup are parked. This prevents flattening my Auxillery battery when I am parked as the draw of the fridge on 12 V is huge and will flatten your battery in an hour or so. My cable run is protected by 100 Amp fuses inline and close to each of the batteries for safety. Two circuits are required for these two separate tasks from tow vehicle Anderson plug rather than trying to charge battery and run fridge on the one circuit. That would mean placing two loads on one circuit and resulting in less amps available for both the tasks if on the one circuit.
This set up worked well for my 6000 kilometre trip last August. During the holiday I arrived at my destinations each leg of the trip with full vehicle batteries (x2) and full house battery in the PopUP. I also had cold fridge contents during the travel time as well. This was all run from a stock alternator in my 98 Nissan Terrano 2 2.7 litre turbo diesel.
The wiring size prevented the voltage drop over the distance the cable ran. Circuit protected by fuses. No propane whilst travelling required. No expensive outlay for DC-DC device that is only effective using such a device if you drive for very long hours from the information I have read on the DC to DC devices. The cable cost was significant but worthwhile in my opinion as I was able to do the setup install myself.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:12 PM   #12
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Maybe I should have looked at Thread date. LOL. I am a bit late.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:17 PM   #13
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Maybe I should have looked at Thread date. LOL. I am a bit late.
A tad lol !
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:35 PM   #14
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The information in my post still stands as a tried and tested system for charging/refridgerator power supply whilst driving.
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