Charging while towing

Anything electric, AC or DC

Charging while towing

Postby Miriam C. » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:43 pm

I am fixin to make a sticky for ways to charge the TD battery through the tow vehicle. Please feel free to post your way and please add pictures of the steps. :worship:

This is a kit that Susann posted in the Ladies forum. It is probably expensive because of the 40' wiring harness.
http://www.lslproducts.com/TC_Broch.pdf
“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.â€
User avatar
Miriam C.
our Aunti M
 
Posts: 19673
Images: 149
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: Southwest MO

Postby len19070 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:58 am

You can do this several ways, But I use a simple method that has been used on towing rigs for decades with no problems. This is the way an RV dealer will do it

A wire (#10) off of the hot terminal of the battery, to a 30amp fuse/breaker then back to the trailer.

On the tow vehicle side Beef up the ground on the plug to a #10 wire, and on the trailer side extend those hot & ground wires to the trailer battery.

Unplug it when your not towing.

I generally use a Bargman 7 prong plug (for tow vehicle and trailer), but any plug with more than 4 prongs will work.



Happy Trails

Len
:peace: :peace: :peace: :peace: :peace:
http://s26.photobucket.com/user/len1907 ... 20trailers

"If you do good things, good things will happen to you"..... Earl Hickey
User avatar
len19070
3000 Club
3000 Club
 
Posts: 3054
Images: 24
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:44 pm
Location: S.E Pa. Morton

Postby lisasweetie » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:30 am

Thanks Auntie M, you are the best.
:worship:
Lisa,

ImageImage
User avatar
lisasweetie
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 140
Images: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:05 am
Location: Timberlake, NC
Top

Postby iplay10us2 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:51 am

Len:

I have the 7 round on my trailer already and an adapter on my car to convert my 4-way flat to a 7 round so I can make the turn signals, etc work. Would I just run a wire from the battery to the unused battery lead on the 7 round on my car and upgrade the ground wire (if needed) and just plug them together to charge?

Oh, and I would wire in the 30amp fuse, too.

Thanks.
Susann
User avatar
iplay10us2
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 720
Images: 53
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:51 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR
Top

Postby Nitetimes » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:08 am

Gotta agree with Len here. This tends to get way over complicated around here. I don't believe it's all that difficult to disconnect your plug at night or when you stop for an extended period of time. Like he said, travel trailers have done it that way since....well pretty much since forever and it works!
If you like all the fancy dodads and can wire them in then go for it, if not just run a wire, stick in an inline circuit breaker at each end and just 'pull the plug'. :thumbsup:
Rich


Image
ImageImage
-
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to
keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government.
- Thomas Jefferson -
Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take a butt kickin'.
User avatar
Nitetimes
7000 Club
7000 Club
 
Posts: 7909
Images: 194
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:44 am
Location: Butler,PA
Top

Postby madjack » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:54 am

...there are lotssa ways to do this but unless you are into spending extra for stuff you just don't need, Len's way is an industry standard and is hard to beat...I would look in the fuse box and find an unused, switched circuit...most newer cars will have several......run a 10ga power lead from the fuse box (or the battery + terminal) to rear of vehicle...you will need a 10 ga ground wire as well...since I tow several different trailers, which all have 4-flat plugs, I like to take the charge and ground wire and run them to a 2-flat plug similar to to a trolling motor connection...this allows me to keep the standard 4-flat plug and not worry about 4to7 adapters. On the trailer, run your 2 10ga wires to the battery and put an additional inline fuse(on the + side) as close to the battery as you can...this setup will work quite well and keep ya protected as well......
madjack 8)
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
most all personal problems can be solved with the proper application of high explosives
User avatar
madjack
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15103
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana
Top

Postby Nitetimes » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:02 am

madjack wrote:...there are lotssa ways to do this but unless you are into spending extra for stuff you just don't need, Len's way is an industry standard and is hard to beat...I would look in the fuse box and find an unused, switched circuit...most newer cars will have several......run a 10ga power lead from the fuse box (or the battery + terminal) to rear of vehicle...you will need a 10 ga ground wire as well...since I tow several different trailers, which all have 4-flat plugs, I like to take the charge and ground wire and run them to a 2-flat plug similar to to a trolling motor connection...this allows me to keep the standard 4-flat plug and not worry about 4to7 adapters. On the trailer, run your 2 10ga wires to the battery and put an additional inline fuse(on the + side) as close to the battery as you can...this setup will work quite well and keep ya protected as well......
madjack 8)


:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Simple, ain't it?? 8) 8) :lol: :lol:

On another note....most pickups and some SUV's already have a fused charging wire running to the back, it will most likely be orange and may not be connected up front or possibly just not have the fuse installed yet. They started doing this sometime in the 90's and it's now pretty much standard even if it doesn't have a tow package.
Rich


Image
ImageImage
-
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to
keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government.
- Thomas Jefferson -
Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take a butt kickin'.
User avatar
Nitetimes
7000 Club
7000 Club
 
Posts: 7909
Images: 194
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:44 am
Location: Butler,PA
Top

Postby madjack » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:51 am

YEP, it ain't rocket science...just be sure the charge wire(+ side) is fused on both sides (at trailer battery and car/truck battery) for safety...don't want any smoke escaping...by the way, the orange wire on our Pontiac Aztek is designated for the brake controller and is not heavy enough to use for charging............
madjack 8)
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
most all personal problems can be solved with the proper application of high explosives
User avatar
madjack
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15103
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana
Top

Postby Nitetimes » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:54 am

madjack wrote:YEP, it ain't rocket science...just be sure the charge wire(+ side) is fused on both sides (at trailer battery and car/truck battery) for safety...don't want any smoke escaping...by the way, the orange wire on our Pontiac Aztek is designated for the brake controller and is not heavy enough to use for charging............
madjack 8)


:D You will consider that I did say 'most likely' and not beat me too bad right?? ;) :D :lol: :lol:

Most pickups have a blue wire for the brakes so it should be the other heavy wire in the harness (except white=ground). We didn't do a lot of lighter SUV's so I can't say for certain on them.
It would probably be helpful if anyone that's found an OEM charge wire in a particular vehicle would post the vehicle (and year), wire color and where found. Might save some folks a headache or two.
As always, when you are playing with your vehicle wires it's a good idea to have a 12v wire tester on hand, they don't need to be expensive and they can potentially save you a lot of fuses and $$$!
Rich


Image
ImageImage
-
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to
keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government.
- Thomas Jefferson -
Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take a butt kickin'.
User avatar
Nitetimes
7000 Club
7000 Club
 
Posts: 7909
Images: 194
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:44 am
Location: Butler,PA
Top

Postby madjack » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:55 am

Nitetimes wrote:
madjack wrote:YEP, it ain't rocket science...just be sure the charge wire(+ side) is fused on both sides (at trailer battery and car/truck battery) for safety...don't want any smoke escaping...by the way, the orange wire on our Pontiac Aztek is designated for the brake controller and is not heavy enough to use for charging............
madjack 8)


:D You will consider that I did say 'most likely' and not beat me too bad right?? ;) :D :lol: :lol:

Most pickups have a blue wire for the brakes so it should be the other heavy wire in the harness (except white=ground). We didn't do a lot of lighter SUV's so I can't say for certain on them.
It would probably be helpful if anyone that's found an OEM charge wire in a particular vehicle would post the vehicle (and year), wire color and where found. Might save some folks a headache or two.
As always, when you are playing with your vehicle wires it's a good idea to have a 12v wire tester on hand, they don't need to be expensive and they can potentially save you a lot of fuses and $$$!


...naw Rich, it would be way to much trouble and effort :lol: ...I'll have to check the schematic since I am going by an 8 yr old memory...and I am easily confused :o ...at present, i don't even remember a blue wire........
madjack 8)
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
most all personal problems can be solved with the proper application of high explosives
User avatar
madjack
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15103
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana
Top

Postby wlooper89 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:15 pm

My arrangement is a 25A inline fuse at the tow vehicle battery positive terminal and #10 wire back to a 7-pin connector at the hitch. The wire is always hot as I did not want to make any other changes under the hood. There is also a fuse in the line from the trailer battery. In addition to this minimal setup I put in one bell & whistle, an automatic charging relay from Blue Sea Systems installed in the trailer electrical compartment. This permits leaving the trailer electric cable hooked up to the tow vehicle while camping as it will automatically disconnect the two batteries if there is no battery charging from either the tow vehicle or in the trailer. It is totally unnecessary. I added it just for fun. :thumbsup:

Bill
Last edited by wlooper89 on Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
wlooper89
Gold Donating Member
 
Posts: 581
Images: 75
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:47 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Top

Postby Senior Ninja » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:19 pm

Madjack,

I'm planning to add another deepcycle battery to the one I already have to provide power for Field Day in June where I will be using the batteries to power my Ham radios. Can I still charge them from the battery terminals in the car.
Thanks,
Steve
Building the TD was the best thing I ever made.
Senior Ninja
Donating Member
 
Posts: 608
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:16 pm
Location: Bakersfield, Kahlifornia
Top

Postby madjack » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:19 pm

Senior Ninja wrote:Madjack,

I'm planning to add another deepcycle battery to the one I already have to provide power for Field Day in June where I will be using the batteries to power my Ham radios. Can I still charge them from the battery terminals in the car.
Thanks,
Steve


I will say PROBABLY...you might wanna charge only one at a time if they are severely depleted to avoid over-stressing the alternator...part of that would depend on the size of the ALT...if it's oversized, it would probably be OK...if not, one extra at a time would be the way to go....
madjack 8)
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
most all personal problems can be solved with the proper application of high explosives
User avatar
madjack
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15103
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana
Top

Postby Senior Ninja » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:55 pm

:applause:

Great Idea Sir. I'll try it.
Thanks,
Steve
Building the TD was the best thing I ever made.
Senior Ninja
Donating Member
 
Posts: 608
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:16 pm
Location: Bakersfield, Kahlifornia
Top

Postby madjack » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:06 pm

Steve, just make sure you are running at least a 10ga wire with a 30A fuse as close to the battery as possible...BOTH the tow vehicle battery and the 2nd battery.............
madjack 8)
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
most all personal problems can be solved with the proper application of high explosives
User avatar
madjack
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15103
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana
Top

Next

Return to Electrical Secrets

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests