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Old 04-07-2019, 06:56 PM   #1
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Recharging battery with truck

I just purchased a FR R Pod 179, 2019. I am in total panic that my battery will run low while dry camping and I will not be able to retract my slide out.
I would like to avoid buying a generator. In order to keep my battery charged I know I can plug my R Pod into the truck and start the truck. My question. Why don't more people do that? What's the point of the generator when I have a truck right on site?
Thanks
Ric
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:11 PM   #2
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Don't expect much current getting to your battery from your truck. The wires are thin and the distance is great. If you want maximum charging from your truck try using jumper cables from battery to battery. I added 4 gauge wire from my power distribution box under the hood of the truck to the trailer battery. I have not found my amp meter to see how much power I am getting.
You truck will provide enough power to run you slides in (I think.)
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by trekkerman View Post
I just purchased a FR R Pod 179, 2019. I am in total panic that my battery will run low while dry camping and I will not be able to retract my slide out.
I would like to avoid buying a generator. In order to keep my battery charged I know I can plug my R Pod into the truck and start the truck. My question. Why don't more people do that? What's the point of the generator when I have a truck right on site?
Thanks
Ric
first you'll go through a lot of gas running your truck to try and charge the batteries . the best way is as mentionned in the other post to hook up jumper cables and run the truck but still to charge a dead battery would cost you gallons of gas . a generator maybe a pint of gas and do it better . plus it's not good for a gas truck engine to idle that long
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
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As mentioned you will get some charging from the truck while towing but usually only enough to cover small usage. You will accomplish nothing ( but wasting gas) by plugging in to the truck and letting the engine idle for a while. You can get a small inverter generator for a few hundred dollars. Even then you may need to run it for a few hours every morning and evening.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:18 PM   #5
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What type of truck? My ram has factory a/c current plug. Battery charger and extension cord. Get a jumper box, my craftmans jumper box, also does my tt tires, charges phones etc.
Lots of ways to due things.
Congrats on the tt.

I use a honda gen though.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:21 PM   #6
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Due to line loss the power coming from the generator travels thru so much small wire the end result is the tv alternator does little more than provide a trickle charge. Will recharge the battery in days.

If you really boondock a lot you will need a generator. Or 110 outlet. Or solar and sunny days.

Or more batteries. Donít run the furnace. A power hog.

A voltmeter to tell you where you are on power is a good plan

Run the battery down more than 50% and the battery will die early.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:32 PM   #7
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I dont think the OP's main concern or question was to charge the battery with the TV. I think that was a small side question. His MAIN question if I am not mistaken is if hooking the TV up to trailer will provide enough juice to pull the slide in. I literally had this exact same concern myself. I just picked up my 2018 Wolf Pup 18TO Yesterday. I asked the technician while they were giving us the run down on the TT, if the truck could supply enough juice to pull the slide in. He did say the truck should supply enough juice to retract the slide but would NOT charge the battery very fast. I have yet to test this out or not, but that did make me feel more comfortable about dry camping. I was extremely worried about dry camping then being stuck with a slide out and not being able to go anywhere. So OP, I think you will be able to retract the slide if battery dies while boon-docking with your TV. As for charging up while boon-docking, I agree with everyone else in that the TV is more of a trickle charger. Again, I have to test either of these, but both do make sense. I hope these answer your questions OP?
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:17 PM   #8
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Not sure about the slide outs. Don’t the electric ones have a handle to move them without power.

I think all rv’s should have a voltmeter. Batteries last longer. My hydraulic slides can be run with a battery operated drill in a pinch.
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:38 PM   #9
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The hydraulic ones use a cordless drive because you are turning the pump. As for electric I have no idea yet. I just parked the trailer in my driveway last night and haven't had a chance to look more in depth to it. I asked about the slide getting stuck out due to battery being dead and was told the TV could supply enough to slide in. I h
Do want to look into ho to access my specific slide motor though.
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:15 PM   #10
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I think you are right in planning ahead for battery or electric motor failure.

The electric slide-outs on my 5th wheel each have a way to extend or retract them with a battery-powered electric drill or manual crank. I'll bet there is a similar way in your trailer.

During warranty work, the dealer left my battery connected for several weeks, which discharged the battery enough that there wasn't enough power to raise and lower my trailer's landing gear to attach my 5th to the trailer. I connected my running truck to the trailer and within 5 minutes I had enough power to raise and lower the landing gear. Here again, I could have used an electric drill to power the landing gear externally.

Be sure to check if your tow vericle sends power to your trailer. Some won't unless a fuse, relay or both are installed.
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekkerman View Post
I just purchased a FR R Pod 179, 2019. I am in total panic that my battery will run low while dry camping and I will not be able to retract my slide out.
I would like to avoid buying a generator. In order to keep my battery charged I know I can plug my R Pod into the truck and start the truck. My question. Why don't more people do that? What's the point of the generator when I have a truck right on site?
Thanks
Ric

If you 'main' worry is not being able to retract your slide, that is not really a problem if you have a set of jumper cables (which you should). If/when you are ready to leave and you think that your camper battery is a little low, Swing the truck around and connect directly to your camper battery and with the truck running, bring your slide it. Your truck will recharge your battery a little bit on the way home, but it is still best to charge your battery at home With A Battery Charger...


Enjoy your dry camping with not worries. (buy jumper cables today and put in truck for when you need them)
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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x2 on what J8manski said: If your battery dies or is low enough you can't bring your slides in, just hook up your TV through the 4/7 pin or battery to battery with jumper cables. With the engine idling you should be able to bring in your slides.

For long term, consider a suitcase solar panel (120W Zamp). I use one to keep the single battery topped off in my Lance TT. I use the same solar panel for my Georgetown, but with two batteries it just isn't quite enough. I've added a second suitcase solar panel (100W Dokio) for this upcoming season. I also use the 100W Dokio panel to keep the Georgetown coach batteries topped off when in storage.

I'll give a plug here for the Dokio product line. They have fantastic customer service. When they couldn't solve my problem with the new unit, they sent me a new controller. That solved all issues. AND, while Amazon has a 30 day return policy, Dokio has a 1-year replacement warranty on their products.

My primary solar panel is the more expensive Zamp. It works fantastic, but is the heaviest and most expensive. My second panel (Dokio) is much less expensive and easier to use. Time will tell as to which has the longer life. I've included Amazon links for each below:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:40 PM   #13
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In boondocking it is sort of important to know the voltage of your battery.

A voltmeter of some sort.

I bought a battery monitor 2 recently. BM2 app.

Attaches easily. Mine is in the 12 volt fuse box. I had an open fuse space.

This less than $40 item transmits to your cell phone. Amazon. Keeps history and warns you when the battery is at 50%.

Makes me sleep better.
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:56 PM   #14
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...I would like to avoid buying a generator...
Then you need to go solar (more expensive than a generator) or give up using electricity. However, if you only camp one or two nights at a time, adding a second battery could solve the problem.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:05 PM   #15
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Jumper cables would work on an emergency . As many have said, the cost to recharge your trailer by running the truck engine is highly inefficient. As one poster said, to more efficiently make sure your trailer battery is charged, run a proper wire (4ga. minimum) from your truck battery, through a continuous duty solenoid to the charging pin in your plug. (or get someone electrically inclined to do it for you.) Very simple.
Most of us have generators because if we do extended boondocking, we like to be able once or twice a day, give our batteries a full charge or we just may want to do a cappochino or run the microwave!
Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:31 PM   #16
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What type of truck? My ram has factory a/c current plug. Battery charger and extension cord. Get a jumper box, my craftmans jumper box, also does my tt tires, charges phones etc.
Lots of ways to due things.
Congrats on the tt.

I use a honda gen though.
How many amps or watts is your factory plug rated for?
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:45 PM   #17
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For what it's worth I have had to do this and running the truck will work. Once upon a time my convertor failed while at a campground, the following morning didn't have enough power to bring slides(4) in. Wasn't smart enough to carry a battery charger at the time so only thing could think of was hooking to truck and let it run, walked the dog and did a few more chores and in about a hour had enough power to bring slides in and hit the road, after a six hour drive it had charged two batteries enough to make it through the night with no issues and had enough power to get slides and make it home where I changed converter out.
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:21 PM   #18
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Just makes one wonder if I plug into my 7 way plug and can produce enough amps to close slides which in my case it does why does it not produce enough to charge battery
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:56 PM   #19
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All good comments.

My 2 cents:

The 7 pin connector on your TV supplies something like 7 amps to charge the battery. This is a trickle, and you're running your TV to do it. It's great on the road while towing, but that's not even enough power to run a small three-way fridge...on the road.

If you're going to boondock,
a) MANDATORY, get a generator. Here's one recommended by Consumer Reports. It's a terrific generator. Champion makes good ones as well. I have a 2 KW generator and it can do everything but run the AC, and when running as virtual shore power, it will charge the battery at as much as 30 amps...not a measly 7 amps or less.
b) OPTIONAL, add solar.
Unlike a generator, solar works more or less continuously when the sun is up. Granted, it only delivers full power when the sun is high and it's not cloudy. I can boondock indefinitely in sunny CO with just a 100 watt panel system and a single group 24 battery. Your mileage will vary. One of these kits will do the job for you:
Renology
Windy Nation I have the Windy Nation kit and love it.

The fact is that without good charging, you will drain your battery too much too often and quickly ruin it.
A typical single battery system in a basic RV is a group 24 (about 80 amp hours) or group 27 (about 100 amp hours). YOU GET TO USE HALF...somewhere near 40 to 50 amp hours. For perspective, your furnace will draw between 5 and 10 amps when running, and in cold weather it might run as much as 4 hours a night...20 to 40 amp hours.
One day/night of routine use will consume ALL the battery has to offer safely. Things will keep working after that, but the battery is being ruined.

You'll enjoy camping if you don't try to cheat physics. Using the TV to charge your RV battery is cheating physics.

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Old 04-10-2019, 11:57 AM   #20
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I just purchased a FR R Pod 179, 2019. I am in total panic that my battery will run low while dry camping and I will not be able to retract my slide out.
I would like to avoid buying a generator. In order to keep my battery charged I know I can plug my R Pod into the truck and start the truck. My question. Why don't more people do that? What's the point of the generator when I have a truck right on site?
Thanks
Ric
It could be because the truck alternator does not put out maximum wattage till around 1500 RPMs. Leaving the truck at idle generally will not charge a battery very well, or not at all. At the most it would take a very long time to charge a battery. A small generator will charge the battery better and quicker.

Or better yet I would purchase a small solar panel to keep your battery charged up. Much cheaper than a generator.
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