- Dec 6, 2016 at 10:27 am #3439081
I am happy if it can put 40-50 amps back into the battery. When dry camping it’s only for Led light and whatever 12volt the lpg items need.
I would like one those 1kw Hondas though :-)Dec 6, 2016 at 10:27 am #3439082
One of the larger benefits I see with PV, for me, is the ability to fully recharge the batteries when we’re driving from A to B. I’m researching my options on how to do this through the seven pin but it’s my understanding that the tow vehicle will only get the house battery to 80-90% without adding an additional charger to the mix. I may be completely wrong here and am still sorting out all the details.Dec 6, 2016 at 10:35 am #3439083
I heard that an alternator does not do a good job of charging house batteries in a motor home so don’t see how it would in a trailer. I would of loved to install roof mounted sale but it was too much of a big job for me. I can try out the post table for a few years and see how it goes.Dec 6, 2016 at 12:42 pm #3439105
I’m researching my options on how to do this through the seven pin but it’s my understanding that the tow vehicle will only get the house battery to 80-90% without adding an additional charger to the mix.
The charge line in the 7-pin is not a super thick gauge wire. Plus deep cycle batteries are happiest when they get a “daily” charge rate of 14.8 volts. Most alternators are only going to put out 13.8 – 14.2 volts when you are driving. Of course you could install an auxiliary higher capacity alternator, regulator, and heavy gauge wiring dedicated to charging your RV battery bank :) solar is cheaper. Usually when driving you are leaving with a fully charged battery bank, so it is kind of a mute point. Most important is preventing the battery bank from dropping below 50% of full AH capacity when camping. A quality Trimetric battery monitor is the only way to know exactly the state of your battery bank.
Down here is So Cal I can run all kinds of stuff during the night and will have a full charge by noon the next day if Mr. Sun is not hidden by clouds or rain. I do have enough battery capacity to last several days of rain without dropping below that 50% threshold. Later this month we will be camping up near Arcata (close to Oregon) for over a week and anticipate little or no sun, and will camp in a place with hook-ups, which will be the 4th time since we owned the camper in 3 years that we have done the hook-up thing. But we won’t be really camping, we are visiting my daughter, so the camper will be our hotel room.Dec 6, 2016 at 12:45 pm #3439107
Edit: Oops Nick and I were typing at the same time.
“I heard that an alternator does not do a good job of charging house batteries in a motor home so don’t see how it would in a trailer”
From the little I’ve read on it, even if I were to optimize my wiring, alternators typically won’t get the battery to the correct voltage.
I’m not tech savvy enough to say but here’s a quote from a discussion at Rv Forums from user Lifespeed:
Bit of a late reply here, but hopefully some useful information. The answer is “it won’t charge to 100% capacity”. This of course assumes the connector is wired for 12V power on both TV and trailer sides. One should be aware that lead acid battery capacity and useful life are significantly degraded by not charging to 100% capacity, or discharging below 50% capacity.
I’ll try to keep this short. Depending on the battery, a full 100% charge can require 14.8V. Your tow vehicle alternator absolutely does not do this as it was not designed to charge deep cycle batteries. It probably only puts out 13.8V to 14V, and then there is voltage drop along typically under-sized wires. Deep cycle batteries also want a specific charging behavior, do a search on “three stage charger for lead acid batteries”. “Charging” from a TV alternator simply by connecting an undersized wire will consequently take forever, and at best get you to maybe 80% capacity. But you only want to discharge down to 50%, so this is a major shortcoming.
I learned all this as part of installing a setup to accomplish rapid battery charging to 100% capacity from my tow vehicle, but I spent some money and effort to do so. I use a DC-input battery charger installed in the trailer, a Redarc BCDC1240. Then I ran 8G wire to the 7 blade connector in both the trailer and the tow vehicle to reduce voltage drop and increase current carrying capacity. I installed a 70A circuit breaker in the tow vehicle at the battery (a typical factory wiring setup might have a 30A fuse and 10G or smaller wire). The battery charger boosts the alternator voltage up to 14.9V and is a real 3-stage charger with boost, absorb and float stages indicated by LEDs.
Unfortunately getting good performance out of your trailer battery is not as simple as connecting a wire to the TV alternator. It is better than nothing. But not much better.
Thread link here : http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=64574.0
My plan is to have my big three wiring optimized so I get the best bang for the buck from my seven pin, and use my existing solar panel to get the voltage the rest of the way there.Dec 6, 2016 at 5:54 pm #3439161
That quote is spot on, other than an alternator output is 13.8 – 14.2, not 14. He is exactly correct that the battery charge rate should be 14.8. BTW, the converter in your trailer probably has a max set-point of 14.4 — big disconnect by converter manufacturers who for got to read deep cycle battery specs.Dec 7, 2016 at 6:40 pm #3439380
All of the dual battery boxes I’ve found don’t have a tapered lid and won’t fit. I’ll either need to figure out a way to mod an existing box so it has a tapered lid or have new brackets welded on top of the trailer tongue so two group 24 boxes.
My box is 8.5″ high with the lid on. I can get it on and off — barely because the front of the trailer is at an angle like yours — I have to tilt the lid forward as I remove it but it is easy to do. I think you said you have 9″ of height to work with. If you get the same box as mine you should have 1/2″ of clearance. If it is too tight to tilt the lid as I do, it would be simple to cut out the back of the lid, leaving you with a 3 sided lid that can simply be slid forward. Install latches on each of the 3 sides to secure it to the box. Get latches you can lock with a padlock.Dec 7, 2016 at 7:13 pm #3439389
Thanks Nick. The boxes I’ve looked at are much taller.
Do you have a link for the one you’re using?Dec 7, 2016 at 9:06 pm #3439416
I am/was confused. It’s the depth that is 8.5″. Anyway, I bought online from a company in Everett, Wa, which might be close to you. They have all kinds of battery boxes. I paid around $50 for mine.Dec 8, 2016 at 4:54 am #3439450
I was confused as well. I had it in my mind that T-105s were 9″ tall, but they are in fact 11″ tall. Even without a battery box (which I wouldn’t do) they won’t fit with the existing bracket.Feb 3, 2017 at 2:27 pm #3448591
Would really like to use my camper in winter but the salt on Michigan roads would destroy it, also don’t fancy driving the beast on snow, one skid and I could end up in the ditch.
My buddy and I are toying with getting a cheap old pop up for ice fishing and xc ski trips.Feb 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm #3448592
“also don’t fancy driving the beast on snow, one skid and I could end up in the ditch.”
That’s my thinking too. I’ve abandoned the idea of towing my trailer to the ski resorts and am now looking at smaller/lighter options, like teardrop trailers.Feb 4, 2017 at 7:16 am #3448696
The tear drops sure are nice.
I often thought a 4×4 class B would be nice for all year round use if I put winter tires on it in November, but they are a crazy price.Feb 19, 2017 at 4:29 pm #3451463
I once saw an older class B Road trek towing a pop up.
That would be a great setup.Feb 19, 2017 at 8:51 pm #3451512
That would be pretty slick.
We’re taking our TT out for a week during spring break this year. Tentative itinerary is a few days near Portland Oregon where both kids will get to choose an itinerary for one day each. Then we’re headed to Mt. St. Helens to drive around the volcano for one day and spend another day in the Ape Caves.
There’s a neat wildlife park near Eatonville, WA,, NW Trek. I thought they used to have an option to park an RV in the park, but after pursuing their website today, I couldn’t find any information on it. It’d be cool to hear the wolves at night.
Any folks have some SW Washington, NW Oregon RV destination ideas, hook a BPLer up.Feb 20, 2017 at 7:08 am #3451553Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
when you say RV destination, do you need to plug into electric power?Feb 20, 2017 at 9:48 am #3451572
My one is in storage until April so should get it out then.
I am looking forward to it.Feb 20, 2017 at 10:46 am #3451580
Yes we’re sticking with sites with hookups for this trip. For the most part, we’ve figured out our campsites with the exception of where we’ll park if we go to NW Trek. We’re looking for things to see and do around Mt St Helens besides touring the monument itself and the Ape Caves.
I’m getting the itch myself. I’ve got a few repairs and upgrades to do this spring, including replacing the vent with a Fantastic Vent. The snow has mostly melted away where I live so I expect to get started soon.Feb 20, 2017 at 12:34 pm #3451591Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Champoeg, Stub Stewart, and McIver state parks are open (I think) and have hookups, fairly nice for being close to Portland. A lot of campgrounds aren’t open this early in season, like in the gorge.
There’s still a lot of snow. Check out recent trip reports on oregonhikers.org. Some people in the gorge and Mt St Helens.
I don’t think the roads east of Mt St Helens are open now, snow. Could have damage from flooding.
Ape Cave is “open” but there’s three feet of snow, gate closed, you have to walk 1 mile through snow to get to cave,Feb 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm #3451592
We won’t be there until April, so we’re hoping for improved conditions by then. We’ll see. Thanks for the tips and links.Feb 25, 2017 at 1:15 pm #3452817
Not long to go to April Ian.
This winter has been a bit of wash for me. I got out on one snow shoe over nighter and out XC skiiing 3 times. We are just not getting much snow this year. I could of easily used our camper over the winter.Feb 26, 2017 at 9:57 am #3452934George FBPL Member
All this talk of batteries and hookups has me felling left out. Anybody want to talk MPG?
21 loaded ;)Feb 26, 2017 at 10:59 am #3452944
Wish my mpg was better. But, among other things, having 100 gallons of fresh water on board is more important to me for those 2 week remote desert campsites.Feb 26, 2017 at 11:55 am #3452955
I’m usually in the 12mpg range.
That teardrop looks like it has a lower profile than most. Can you sit up in it?Feb 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm #3452990George FBPL Member
Nick, I know, apples and oranges. Two weeks in the desert sounds great, but for us the usual is a weekend in the Swell or a week on the road. This is perfect for that and we like the spontaneity we can have with it.
Ian, the inside height is 38″, not crowded for us but maybe not the best choice for big folk. This is a bit less than the T@G teardrop at 42″, but it is also longer inside by a few inches giving it a flatter look.
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