Battery Charging - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-07-2014, 07:08 AM   #1
Senior Member
Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Posts: 651
Battery Charging

My first trip is coming up and I want to make sure my batteries are fully charged when I get there. What's the best way to do it?

The trip is about 250 miles one way.

Super Start® Marine
  • 12 Volt
  • 20 Amp Hour Rate (Ah): 75Ah
  • Battery Type: Deep Cycle
  • Marine Cranking Amps (MCA): 530 MCA
  • Reserve Capacity (min): 140 Minute
  • Reserve Capacity At 23 Amps (min): 150 Minute
  • Reserve Capacity At 25 Amps (min): 130 Minute
Let's assume they are currently at 50%.

Is the drive enough to fully charge them?
Would it be better to connect to house power for a couple of days?
Or should I fully charge the batteries with a battery charger?

I'm sure I will have more questions after you have answered these!

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Old 04-07-2014, 07:28 AM   #2
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Roy in TO's Avatar
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,967
I'm not electrically knowledgeable enough to give you a specific calculated answer.

Assuming you are charging with your tow vehicle, the answer lies in the output of your alternator and the amount of power you are using elsewhere. Many vehicles have a higher output or HD alternator as an option. What is in yours?

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Old 04-07-2014, 07:59 AM   #3
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Bob Miller's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,912
I'm guessing that the battery is fairly new. If not, some of the following may not be all of the answers you need.

You said "Batteries", is there more than one in the trailer?

If you are trying to charge 3 batteries, (1+2) unless you have a heavy duty alternator in your TV, as well as real heavy charging line to the trailer, you may not be able to bring those batteries up to full charge in about a 5-6 hour drive (if ever, see below)

Perhaps more critical than the output of your TV alternator is the size of the wires running to your trailer from the TV. The funny things that happens with TV charging are:

As there will be some voltage drop in the wire running from the front of the TV to the trailer's battery, this will reduce the charging current passing into the battery and, if the drop is enough due to bad connections or undersize wire, it can prevent the trailers battery from ever getting a full charge.

The TV's charging system will see all of the batteries (TV & trailer) as one large battery and, as the TV battery voltage rises rapidly, it can cut back on the charging rate before all of the batteries are fully charged.

Hopefully Parkliner built in a Converter/charger designed to support the battery load and I would allow at least three days for that system to bring everything up to full charge.

I typically leave my Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 equipped system plugged in 24/7 so that it's 3 stage charger can properly charge and desulfate the battery, so it's always at 100%. (Yes, that was a blatant plug for PD-4045's)

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:37 AM   #4
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Rather than leave it all to chance I like to plug the trailer in at home a couple of days prior to leaving to confirm things are working as they should. One the second day its plugged in I turn the fridge on as well to cool it right down well before heading off & putting food in it as the fridge takes a long time to cool down.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:02 PM   #5
Name: Tim
Trailer: Aliner folding & Weekend Warrior toy hauler
Posts: 68
You have given none of the needed information.

Originally Posted by Huck View Post
...Is the drive enough to fully charge them?
I don't know. Is your tow vehicle wired to charge the trailer battery? If so, what gauge wire was used?

Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Would it be better to connect to house power for a couple of days?
Maybe, what converter does your trailer have?

Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Or should I fully charge the batteries with a battery charger?
Maybe, what battery charger do you plan to use?
Shopping for a fiberglass TT
Currently own;
2009 Pontiac Vibe pulling a 2009 Aliner Sport = 22 MPG
1998 Ford E150 pulling a 2006 Weekend Warrior toy hauler = 8 MPG
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:28 PM   #6
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
Posts: 588
I would charge the batteries at home. At 50% they are basically dead. Your batteries should not be stored for any length of time at 50%. A good 4 stage smart charger would do a good job for at home maintenance.
To enjoy your first trip you'll want to start off without worries of how your vehicle charging system will function.
Have fun,

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