Battery didn't charge while Driving - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-08-2010, 09:22 PM   #1
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Question Battery didn't charge while Driving

I almost always camp at sites with power - so I rarely pay much attention to the battery (other than taking it out for the winter). However, last week I spent 5 days in a site with no power and became somewhat obscessed with checking the power levels

All was well while camping - and I expected that the 6.5 hr drive home would charge the battery.
However, when I got home, I checked the battery and got virtually the same reading as when I left my campsite!
- The fridge was turned off for the trip home.
- The trailer was plugged into the SUV and brakes, lights etc all were working fine.
- I checked for a blown breaker in the converter - everything looked OK to me.
- The battery is new (replaced late last fall) and all the terminal connections are solid.


I have it plugged into my house power now - so I'll see if that charges the battery.


Any ideas?? Could the converter have gone bad somehow? Is there any way to check it? Trailer is a 2006 so the converter is 4 years old.
A bad connection with the plug to the SUV? Sometimes I have to plug in/out a couple times to get the signal lights to work.

Electrically challenged in Portland, Anne H
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:37 PM   #2
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Depending on your TV wiring, you might not have the 12 volt power coming from the vehicle to power up your camper. Some vehicles come with it, and some do not. If you vehicle came from the factory with a 7 pin round bargman style plug, then it should have it. If you had your TV wired with that plug, who ever installed it probably only ran the lights and the electric brake wiring.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the idea Mark - is there any way that I can check to see if the plug is the issue? I did have the TV wired after purchase.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:54 PM   #4
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If you have an electrical tester that works for 12 volt, you can start your vehicle and do not turn on any lights, and test for 12 volt current coming through the receptacle on the rear of your vehicle. I have attached the schematic. Now, as you are looking at the picture that I have attached to this message, you are looking into the plug on the trailer, so imagine the plug inserting into the recepticle and that is the terminal that you need to check.
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bargman_wire_harness.gif  
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #5
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On the tow vehicle 7 pin connector pin 4 should have 12 volts and pin 7 should be ground. If you have a meter check those for power or use a test light. There should be a heavy wire from pin 4 to the front of the car to connect to the battery. The document center on here has the wiring diagram under electrical, 7 pin plug.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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Although I haven't tested the pins, there are only 5 wires coming out the back of the plug - so it looks like you guys are correct - thanks!
It never occurred to me that the guys who installed the plug wouldn't have hooked everything up!
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:04 AM   #7
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So, if I can verify that the DC pin isn't hooked up - is that a DIY sort of thing or should I have it done? How would you run a wire from the plug to the battery? Or, can you piggyback on wiring that already exists in the tail end for the lights? Would my Honda Pilot wiring harness already have something that I could use in the back?
(the things I think about in the wee hours!)
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:12 AM   #8
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Hi Anne
I don't know that this will help It's more of a rant!!
we got our boler 5 years ago from a very knowledgeable fellow who gave my DH a diagram of how the tv should be wired to charge the battery---- DH took his truck & said diagram to (where DSIL works) garage --was told there was no such thing as charging the trailer battery from the tv!!!!
again just in June this year I was at a West Marine nearby buying a swing arm jack thingy
saw a converter on sale -was talking to a sales fellow about charging the battery mention about doing it from the tv ....... was told no,no, won't work can't be done!!!
was he just trying to make me feel like a dumb female?

we know it can be done --maybe others don't

OK rant over!!
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne H View Post
So, if I can verify that the DC pin isn't hooked up - is that a DIY sort of thing or should I have it done? How would you run a wire from the plug to the battery? Or, can you piggyback on wiring that already exists in the tail end for the lights? Would my Honda Pilot wiring harness already have something that I could use in the back?
(the things I think about in the wee hours!)
Some vehicles come with a 12 volt cigarette style outlet in the rear cargo area, if your Pilot has this outlet, you can tap into that wiring harness. I am sure with all of the options that cars and trucks come with these days that there is something that has a 12 volt supply to the rear of your vehicle.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:31 PM   #10
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There is a good video tutorial on etrailer.com about wiring electric brakes and running a power feed to give 12v power at the plug. The power feed should come directly off of the battery with 10 gauge wire and must have a 30 amp fuse/breaker and should have an isolator to allow the current only to flow from the battery, not the reverse direction. These parts are easy to get and it took me (a non-mechanic) only about 45 min,
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by joelh View Post
The power feed should come directly off of the battery with 10 gauge wire and must have a 30 amp fuse/breaker and should have an isolator to allow the current only to flow from the battery, not the reverse direction. These parts are easy to get and it took me (a non-mechanic) only about 45 min,
I don't think you want to come directly off the battery. This will cause the TV to continue to charge the trailer's battery from the TV battery when the TV is off, thus draining the TV battery. The 12 volts to the trailer must come from a switched source, or have a relay controlling it. One way to do it would be to have a relay where the "control" side of the relay is tied to the rear running lights, and the "power" side is connected to the battery. This way the trailer would only be charging while the TV is running.

Good luck,
Doug
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelh View Post
There is a good video tutorial on etrailer.com about wiring electric brakes and running a power feed to give 12v power at the plug. The power feed should come directly off of the battery with 10 gauge wire and must have a 30 amp fuse/breaker and should have an isolator to allow the current only to flow from the battery, not the reverse direction. These parts are easy to get and it took me (a non-mechanic) only about 45 min,
Sounds great. I couldn't find the specific video though. Do you have a link or the name of it.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:27 PM   #13
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Mark, doubtful Joe will be answering up Last Activity: 01-01-2011 01:02 PM.

Hopefully someone else has viewed the videos and will be answering up soon.



On Edit. I just looked at etrailer. Any of these help you?
http://www.etrailer.com/info.aspx?productgroup=Wiring
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Doug_H View Post
I don't think you want to come directly off the battery. This will cause the TV to continue to charge the trailer's battery from the TV battery when the TV is off, thus draining the TV battery. The 12 volts to the trailer must come from a switched source, or have a relay controlling it. One way to do it would be to have a relay where the "control" side of the relay is tied to the rear running lights, and the "power" side is connected to the battery. This way the trailer would only be charging while the TV is running.

Good luck,
Doug
I have a relay setup similar to this. The switching current for the relay can be any source that is hot only when the key is on. Very simple circuit and easy to wire. It positively disconnects the TV when the key is off

Mine is 10g from the TV battery, through a 30 amp breaker, then through a continous duty starter relay, and back to the trailer plug.

Man, I gotta start looking at the post dates !
David
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