Battery charging - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
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Battery charging

I have my trailer at a storage facility and did NOT remove the battery for the winter. I go out every couple of months, hook up, and read or do something with the trailer until the battery is charged back up, and the lights are bright again.

Someone recently told me that I could overcharge and ruin the battery by doing this. That doesn't seem likely to me, but I've been wrong once or twice. Who is wrong, me or them?

Mon
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:55 PM   #2
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Seems to me you are going out to plug in your trailer every once in a while, not leaving it plugged in for months at a time? This is the correct thing to do. Leaving it plugged in all the time is what could damage your battery. This is because most simple converter battery chargers in most trailers are not designed to taper the charge off as the battery is filled. The battery could have its electrolyte boiled away. You can purchase intelligent or smart battery chargers that can be hooked up indefinitely and keep your battery fully charged without damage.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I go out every couple of months, hook up, and read or do something with the trailer until the battery is charged back up, and the lights are bright again.
What do you mean by "Hook up"?
  1. Plug the trailer's 7pin connector into your tow vehicle's 7-pin receptacle and run the engine until the battery is charged by the alternator?
  2. Plug the 30 amp 110 volt shore power cable into the storage facility's power and have the trailer's converter charge the battery?
Actually, either way works, and like Rene said it is better than leaving the shore power connected 24/7 if your converter is old and does not have a 3-stage smart charger.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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Number 1....with my car running....and that's the trailer's seven pin into my van's 4 pin

The facility does not have electric available.

Mon
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:34 AM   #5
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Number 1....with my car running....and that's the trailer's seven pin into my van's 4 pin

The facility does not have electric available.

Mon
Without knowing how you have things wired it's difficult to say how your battery is getting charged but one difference between the 4 pin and the 7 pin connection is the battery charging circuit. If you are somehow charging your battery from the light circuits (4 pin) you should really find a better way. Raz
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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A couple of other options.

  • Use a small solar charger left on the trailer. Example:
Schumacher SP-200 2.4W Solar Battery Maintainer : Amazon.com : Automotive

  • Use jumper cables from the car to the trailer battery. It will charge it much faster. If you have a 4 pin connector on the car, I don't think you are charging the trailer battery at all.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:45 AM   #7
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Well, it is what it is. As long as I have the trailer fooled, I won't complain.

I have no idea how it's wired, Uhaul put the 4 pin connector on my van. I made an appointment to install the 7 pin, they said they had no problem doing it. The day of installation when I walked in I reminded them I was there to have a 7 pin installed. It was only when the guy doing the work showed up, that they told me they NEVER install 7 pin, only 4. Since it was late afternoon and I was leaving to pick up the trailer in 5 hours, I told them to go ahead, I'd adapt. It works, for now, anyway.

Mon
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
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.......... It works, for now, anyway.

Mon
OK. Just don't let the battery set while it is low in charge, especially in freezing weather.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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I have never seen a 4 pin connection setup for charging a battery.
Would be very interesting to see how you are charging your trailer with your tow vehicle with a 4 pin connection .
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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Ok, what I did...

...I decided to just pull the battery and put it on a trickle charger for the cold month.

While I would SWEAR that it charged the one time I tried it hooked up to my running van, I could be wrong. I would STILL swear the lights were brighter afterwords, but it could be that I saw only what I was expecting to see. It must be a pretty good battery because it apparently has NOT been charged since I picked it up last April!

Facts all seem to point to my hook-up NOT charging the battery, so I will go with that!

Thank you ALL for your input! And I'll be looking for solar (with a controller) for NEXT winter!

Mon
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #11
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You may want to stop at Walmart or such places and buy yourself a simple plug in battery monitor - you can get them for under $20 and just plug them into the 12 volt plug in the trailer to see what the real state of your battery is.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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You may want to stop at Walmart or such places and buy yourself a simple plug in battery monitor - you can get them for under $20 and just plug them into the 12 volt plug in the trailer to see what the real state of your battery is.
Or you can buy this one for less than $3, but you need to get permission from the electronics police here, first.

2012 Mini Car LCD Battery Voltage Meter Monitor 12V Black Red Digital Screen New | eBay
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #13
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Or you can buy this one for less than $3, but you need to get permission from the electronics police here, first.
I would suggest that even the electronics police would have to agree that its way better to have one of those than just having your trailer lights as your guide to determine the state of your battery!!
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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Or you can buy this one for less than $3, but you need to get permission from the electronics police here, first.

2012 Mini Car LCD Battery Voltage Meter Monitor 12V Black Red Digital Screen New | eBay
What's wrong with that one? I've got a couple of those in the glove box.
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