Charging a Battery on the Road - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2019, 11:14 AM   #1
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Massachusetts
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Question Charging a Battery on the Road

I'm wondering if a Noco Boost Plus GB40 1000 amp 12v Lithium Jump Starter would be useful in topping up up Group 27 deep cycle Scamp battery? Could it be used with an inverter to run a trickle charger, for example. Or possibly in any other fashion?



I'd like an alternative to using a solar panel (mine is only 25W) or a generator (don't own one) to keep our battery fresh when it reaches 12.2V.


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Old 07-23-2019, 10:27 PM   #2
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Doesn't seem like the Noco GB40 is designed to recharge an RV battery. It is designated as a 5VDC, 2.1 Amp USB charger. We should always RTFM (read the f------ manual) and/or call the company for clarification on off-label uses like this!

The starting surge is very high amps, but typically only lasts for a few seconds, not long enough to melt the battery connector cables and set them on fire, and the Noco has a much higher voltage than the discharged starting battery when you first start the car.



None of the battery boosters I have seen had cables large enough to safely handle the amps involved for more than a few seconds; some may not have any functioning protection circuitry or fuse and could burst into flame and even throw melted copper around. Modern products are not necessarily trustworthy.

If you try to directly or indirectly recharge the RV battery with the Noco (and the Noco doesn't melt or catch fire or just shut down), the charging rate will keep slowing down as the Noco voltage drops and the RV battery voltage comes up. The charging will stop completely when the two voltages are about equal, but that will not be at a full 12.8+ volts. If you could recharge the Noco somewhere else, probably several times, you can possibly eke the RV battery voltage up every time, but I doubt you can get it fully recharged this way, especially with the inefficiencies and voltage settings of the inverter and trickle charger and batteries to account for. Entropy wins every time. It's kind of like trying to fill a leaky 5 gallon bucket with a juice glass.


A very cheap way to get more PV is to buy the Harbor Freight Thunderbolt Magnum 100 Watt system, currently at ~$150 with the correct coupons. They also sell a handy connector cable set and connector hub for expanding the system. What the heck, it's all plug and play, the panels make real electricity; set it up when you make camp. It may be the cheapest and fastest way to get more PV connected to your battery.



https://www.harborfreight.com/100-wa..._q=solar+panel


https://no.co/gb40

https://trail4runner.com/2019/01/28/...-boost-review/
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:55 AM   #3
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
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Thank you for the detailed response. We are planning to purchase the Noco as a jump starter for the TV. I was just thinking out of the box about possible different ways to use it. Guess not!
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:10 AM   #4
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Trailer: Black Series HQ19, Oliver LE2
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herons,

Using a battery, to run an inverter, to then run a charger, to charge another battery, is an extremely inefficient way to charge a battery. And further, it would only work until the first battery was discharged. This would be a ridiculous way to try to "top up" your house battery, and at best, would have a very limited result.

If you want to use solar, and your panel is too small, get a larger panel. A very good way to to this is to get a 100 watt suitcase system.

Another method would be to use jumper cables directly from your tow vehicle battery to the house battery, with the tow running.

If you don't have a definite and repeatable way to bring your house battery to 14.1 volts, you are likely to damage it.
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Old 07-25-2019, 03:37 AM   #5
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This is about Heron's and Solar Panels

I would go to a 100W Solar Panel a decent Charge Controler, a decent Inverter, that way you keep your battery charged then you can charge batteries, phones, Laptops, Camera's etc. Maybe no all at once and when your actually on the road you run a wire from the tow vehicle to the Trailer that keeps the battery charged while your driving either if you know who do it or you hire a Automotive electrician to do it for you. Better if licensed Electrician does it in case your trailer catches fire, you have some one to go back to.
THis is how we kept the battery in the Toad charged, nothing worse when you finally arrive where you need to do some food shopping and the battery in the car is dead.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:04 AM   #6
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Here is a short write-up from eTrailer that covers what you want to do: https://www.etrailer.com/faq-charge-...e-driving.aspx
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:10 AM   #7
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I interpret your question as wanting to charge the trailer battery while towing to the next camp site (on the road). Not all tow vehicles handle this well.

1. I've seen 400 watt marine wind turbines with controller for under $200. Mount that puppy to the trailer roof and you'll be good to go. Might have to be careful going under overpasses.
2. Mount up second alternator and voltage regulator dedicated to the charge line on the 7-blade. I know 2nd alternators were offered as part of our ambulance package and I've also read where they are used on some of those annoying cars with thumper speaker systems due to the heavy electrical loads required.
3. Upgrade to a marine voltage regulator. Some are designed to keep two separate battery systems charged. You might want a marine alternator as they are designed for a heavier duty cycle.
4. I've run across battery isolators that are supposed to do the same thing. Generally, isolators are supposed to keep from inadvertently draining both batteries but some will allegedly treat the two batteries (car and trailer) separately for charging purposes.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:14 AM   #8
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My experience with batteries and charging: We bought our all electric Lil Snoozy in 2014. It was equipped with a cheap charger and a group 27 marine battery. We could keep our Truckfridge and the other stuff going if we plugged into a campground pedestal every night. This soon became limiting. I wanted the ability to camp at least three nights without solar or using the generator. I installed 2 each 225 amp hour, six volt golf cart batteries and a 25 amp smart charger from CTEK. We were still limited to three days after which the batteries would be at about 60 amps hours remaining. Using advice gleaned from here and other places. I installed a #6 wire from the tow battery through a fuse to a Anderson plug on the rear bumper. Another Anderson plug on the trailer and ran the wire to the batteries. Now after three days off grid I can plug the wire in and drive for 30-40 minutes and have 100 percent topped off batteries. All without the hassle of mounting solar panels. I haven't tried it yet but 30-40 minutes of idling the truck will top them off to. The key to a charge wire is to get it large enough to flow enough amps. The # 14 or 12 commonly used will likely not do the job.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:40 AM   #9
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Charlie,

You and I are on the same page, except I've been doing it with jumper cables as a temporary measure. My new HQ19 comes pre-wired with an Anderson plug at the tongue that is pre-wired to the batteries. So, I'll run a pair #6 conductors from the TV battery, with a fuse and cutoff switch. Then simply plug in the trailer and charge it up. This will work fine when driving or when parked and idling.

The jumper cable method works fine, but is awkward. About a half hour idling does what the generator needs more than an hour to do. With this charging method and an inverter, I don't need the generator and have been leaving it at home. Plus, the new trailer has solar.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlsara View Post
I installed a #6 wire from the tow battery through a fuse to a Anderson plug on the rear bumper. Another Anderson plug on the trailer and ran the wire to the batteries.
Is there a more detailed write-up about this? Sounds like you're skipping the 7-pin and running a dedicated wire from vehicle battery to trailer battery?
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:50 AM   #11
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Redarc BCDC 1225D DC to DC Dual Battery Charger?

I have been researching the Redarc BCDC 1225D DC to DC Dual Battery Charger, which can use input voltages from 9-32VDC to properly charge virtually any battery technology at the RV battery. It also acts as a battery isolator, and an MPPT solar charge controller that uses PV input instead of TV alternator for RV charging when available. One advantage of the managed DC to DC charging design is using a #6 or #4 wire instead of getting into the 2/0 range to control voltage drop to the RV battery.



$370, but it is replacing/functioning as 3 devices, reducing wire costs, and extending battery life by fully charging them no matter how far away they are.



https://redarcelectronics.com/collec...ttery-chargers


Etrailer has them, or buy direct. Does anybody have experience with this system?
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Is there a more detailed write-up about this? Sounds like you're skipping the 7-pin and running a dedicated wire from vehicle battery to trailer battery?


Yes. The #6 wire is to big to run through the 7 wire plug. The Anderson plugs work well and are easy to find. I only plug mine up when I need it. The hardest part installing it is running it under the truck. Keep it secure and well away from moving parts and the exhaust. You only need the positive cable to go all the way to the vehicle battery. The ground side can be bolted to the truck frame. I used a 30 amp fuse near the vehicle battery. A relay is good if you canít remember to unplug it.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Charlie,



You and I are on the same page, except I've been doing it with jumper cables as a temporary measure. My new HQ19 comes pre-wired with an Anderson plug at the tongue that is pre-wired to the batteries. So, I'll run a pair #6 conductors from the TV battery, with a fuse and cutoff switch. Then simply plug in the trailer and charge it up. This will work fine when driving or when parked and idling.



The jumper cable method works fine, but is awkward. About a half hour idling does what the generator needs more than an hour to do. With this charging method and an inverter, I don't need the generator and have been leaving it at home. Plus, the new trailer has solar.


I will still carry my generator for when I need AC!
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ARVZ View Post
I have been researching the Redarc BCDC 1225D DC to DC Dual Battery Charger, which can use input voltages from 9-32VDC to properly charge virtually any battery technology at the RV battery. It also acts as a battery isolator, and an MPPT solar charge controller that uses PV input instead of TV alternator for RV charging when available. One advantage of the managed DC to DC charging design is using a #6 or #4 wire instead of getting into the 2/0 range to control voltage drop to the RV battery.



$370, but it is replacing/functioning as 3 devices, reducing wire costs, and extending battery life by fully charging them no matter how far away they are.



https://redarcelectronics.com/collec...ttery-chargers


Etrailer has them, or buy direct. Does anybody have experience with this system?


I have read about these. If you need to run a number 4 or 6 wire to power the charger, It seems to be overkill. My #6 wire charges my batteries to 14v. Maybe it makes sense if your going to use solar to.
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