Charging while towing

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby RJ Howell » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:27 am

pchast wrote:An inexpensive solar charger has been working for me, about 6 years now..
I have 2 medium size emergency light style AGM batteries. I only have a
few led lights and a stereo radio.
:thumbsup:


I've heard from a few that do just what you are. One actually charges up his 80ah house battery with it (from the TV) and he uses some heavy wattage everyday! I'm still scratching my head over it and wondering why it hasn't burned out yet.. So ya, folks are having success, yet I won't go there. It's just not built to be used as your using it.

It's working for you, so good!
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby RJ Howell » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:39 am

capnTelescope wrote:[
The Casita's Power Dynamics thang had the pin 4 wire connected directly to the trailer battery at the factory. You MUST disconnect that wire. The DC-DC charger output is not connected to/thru the PD at all.


My Commercial trailer is an rPod, 182g. Looks like a pregnant TD! I've been told the same on the rPod and am tracing the wiring back and investigating. If this is true, then I have to have a junction/splice/buss bar at the panel. On mine the #4 (12vdc hot) pin goes directly aft to the panel. I hope to get to that part soon.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:20 pm

pchast wrote:An inexpensive solar charger has been working for me, about 6 years now..

There you go, it works! :dancing I was wondering.

RJ Howell wrote:I've been debating location of a inline fuse.

Generally, a fuse/breaker is used to protect the wiring, since the insulation is going to be the first source of fuel for a fire if there is a short. So closest to where the juice is coming from is where you want the fuse. In our case, the juice is coming from the TV. So, on the trailer, a fuse at the TV (front) end of a wiring run is appropriate, and on the TV, the fuse needs to be right off the battery. Just the TV battery fuse "should" do the complete job. YMMV.

RJ Howell wrote:It's just not built to be used as your using it.

I think it's mostly marketing. How many people want a DC/DC charger vs. how many want a Solar Charge Controller? 8)

RJ Howell wrote:On mine the #4 (12vdc hot) pin goes directly aft to the panel.

We're twins! That's better stated than whatever I said before. My Pin 4 was wired to the same panel terminal as the battery +. Must disconnect to use a DC/DC charger.

:beer:
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Brad
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby RJ Howell » Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:30 pm

capnTelescope wrote:
RJ Howell wrote:I've been debating location of a inline fuse.

Generally, a fuse/breaker is used to protect the wiring, since the insulation is going to be the first source of fuel for a fire if there is a short. So closest to where the juice is coming from is where you want the fuse. In our case, the juice is coming from the TV. So, on the trailer, a fuse at the TV (front) end of a wiring run is appropriate, and on the TV, the fuse needs to be right off the battery. Just the TV battery fuse "should" do the complete job. YMMV.

Notes below on what I found today

RJ Howell wrote:It's just not built to be used as your using it.

I think it's mostly marketing. How many people want a DC/DC charger vs. how many want a Solar Charge Controller? 8)

Like I said, I know a few doing so and surprised they're working.. Guess it means opening two up and comparing modules.

RJ Howell wrote:On mine the #4 (12vdc hot) pin goes directly aft to the panel.

We're twins! That's better stated than whatever I said before. My Pin 4 was wired to the same panel terminal as the battery +. Must disconnect to use a DC/DC charger.

Notes below

:beer:


'capnT' what I found today was interesting. My incoming 12vdc from the #4 pin is tapped to the outgoing battery cable just before my panel at this 30a auto-breaker. This shows me the panel is protected, yet my battery is not from the alternator. Yup, I need a fuse inline! That side is not protected!
Image

Disappointment was to find my Converter/charger is integrated with the panel.. Bummer.. This makes a change out to lithium a bit harder or should I say a bit more challenging.

I do also have to say that those that wired my trailer need adult supervision when working. What a mess in there!
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:56 am

RJ Howell wrote:I do also have to say that those that wired my trailer need adult supervision when working. What a mess in there!

Mine, too. From what I've read, it's an industry standard.

RJ Howell wrote:'capnT' what I found today was interesting. My incoming 12vdc from the #4 pin is tapped to the outgoing battery cable just before my panel at this 30a auto-breaker. This shows me the panel is protected, yet my battery is not from the alternator. Yup, I need a fuse inline! That side is not protected!
capnTelescope wrote:Can't hurt, might help.

Image

Disappointment was to find my Converter/charger is integrated with the panel.. Bummer.. This makes a change out to lithium a bit harder or should I say a bit more challenging.


Is the wire with the yellow insulator from the trailer battery? and the two together go to the TV and the panel? If so, then the one from the TV would be the one to power the DC/DC charger. The output from the DC/DC charger would go to this breaker on the panel side. Could that be the fuse you want?

Let's talk about my Teardrop for a second. I have two chargers in my Teardrop, one that plugs into shore power, and a solar charge controller for my solar panels to plug into. They are both hardwired to the battery. In your case, the PD panel is the shore power charger and the DC/DC charger would be the equivalent of (drum roll, please) my TD solar charger. This is proven to work, by yours truly.

The TD battery does not discharge back into either of the two chargers when they are off. Chargers are made that way. Also, the unpowered charger will just think the other charger is the battery. Not that an unpowered charger is exactly a deep thinker. :NC 12 volts is 12 volts to the powerless. Power to the powerless!
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Brad
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:18 am

RJ Howell wrote:Disappointment was to find my Converter/charger is integrated with the panel.. Bummer.. This makes a change out to lithium a bit harder or should I say a bit more challenging.

Um, yeah. A shore-powered lithium charger will do half the job. The challenge comes from persuading the non-lithium panel charger to mind its own business and not try to charge the battery. This might not be possible, since the PD panel also wants to provide DC power to the 12V part of the trailer. PD's literature does not give me enough info to say with any certainty how to make that work. I'm sure that Progressive Dynamics would gladly sell you a lithium version of their panel. Some PD panels already come in two versions.

Oh, what the heck. It's only an extra couple hunnert bucks for a new panel. YOLO. $>

It's easy for me to say that when we're spending your money. :R
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby RJ Howell » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:29 am

capnTelescope wrote:Is the wire with the yellow insulator from the trailer battery? and the two together go to the TV and the panel?


The two together are the TV and TT battery, the yellow insulator is to the panel. Kinda silly how it's done. The pin connector comes in up front, where the is another auto breaker and a perfect spot to connect and not travel an additional 20ft (+-) to get back to the same spot near it's start.. Weird, but probably another industry standard.. :roll:

The red 12v is the one you see on the left. It runs right by this fuse, yet doesn't touch it. That fuse receives the return lines and goes to the battery. This now leads me to believe the alternator 'is' fused to the TT battery. Tell ya, I'm learning by the minute here! :thinking:

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:39 am

My mind is boggled. :?
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby RJ Howell » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:52 am

capnTelescope wrote:My mind is boggled. :?


Yup! Mine as well.. Adult supervision would have helped when it got wired..
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby capnTelescope » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:00 am

Can you draw us a picture of which wires are going to/from where? Might help to un-boggle us.
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby RJ Howell » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:25 am

capnTelescope wrote:Can you draw us a picture of which wires are going to/from where? Might help to un-boggle us.


I'm heading out to verify (test) the wires and confirm my assumptions. I'll then do a flow-chart.
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Re: Charging while towing

Postby RJ Howell » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:14 am

Here we go.. Hopefully clearing up some of this mess they call wiring.. The only unconfirmed fusing is now from the TV. I will research this a bit more yet I believe that 12v feed comes through the TV's fuse box.. Now I can see that I'm 30a breaker protected between the TV battery and the TT battery aft of the 7 pin harness.

The second red in the return photo is my Solar plug on the rear of the trailer. I now know this is fused, cool!

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Re: Charging while towing

Postby kmack67.km » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:20 pm

pchast wrote:An inexpensive solar charger has been working for me, about 6 years now..
I have 2 medium size emergency light style AGM batteries. I only have a
few led lights and a stereo radio.
:thumbsup:


I just want to make sure I am following this correctly. Are you connecting the 12V aux supply from your tow vehicle to one of the solar charge controller inputs?

Best regards,
Kevin
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