Battery Charger on Truck or House Battery? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-05-2013, 01:25 PM   #1
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Battery Charger on Truck or House Battery?

I am planning renovations to my truck camper and am wondering about where to hook up the battery charger when hooked up to shore power. I am installing a 12 V 200 amp hour telecom battery (PowerSafe 12V170F) in the camper along with a 140 W solar panel (Kyocera) through a Mark 15 controller. Are there pros and cons to hooking the battery charger directly to the house battery or the truck battery? Does it depend on the type of isolator that I use?

I am looking at a Noco Genius G7200 Smart Battery Charger . Any thoughts or recommendations.

Thanks for any advice.
Dave
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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I'd hook it right to the camper battery. The truck battery should be isolated and should be charged by the truck alternator.

My only thought is that the battery charger is only 7 amps for $120. You could get a nice 45 amp converter for about the same price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Progressive-...81050001696%26
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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I'd second the thought that a 7 amp charger is awfully underpowered for a 200 ah battery. Generally you would want at least C/10 (20amps in your case). Most of the features listed for that charger are common to all three stage chargers. I used a 30 amp Iota unit that works great and cost about $140 in the USA. A more powerful charger means you can charge the battery faster when hooked to a generator or shore power.

Something you might also consider is a good battery monitoring instrument. With something like a Victron BV600 you can measure the actual energy flow into and out of the battery. Not cheap at around $150 but good quality and good data. Also easy to install and compact. You want to avoid discharging the battery mostly 50% and don't use 80% very often. Draining a battery 100% shortens its life even if it is a deep cycle design. You need a meter to monitor the discharge level. Simple voltmeters give only a very rough estimate of state of charge.

If it were me I'd keep my RV electronics separate from the truck's. Accurate battery charging depends on controlling the voltage within tenths of a volt. The long wires needed to connect the vehicle alternator to the RV battery will drop the voltage as will every connection and the battery isolator device itself. Simplicity is a virtue.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:09 PM   #4
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Canadian Tire just started carrying the Noco genius line.
Any thoughts on the GEN Mini 1? (4 amp)
GENMini1 | Genius Battery Chargers
Currently on sale for $60
Amazon.ca has it for the same.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:01 PM   #5
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Almost since the beginning of time, slide in truck campers, towed RV's, and motorhomes (Except ones big enough to have a diesel generator) have used the vehicles engine driven generator or alternator to maintain a charge on the RV's battery when not plugged in to shore power. That said, there is no argument to not connect your vehicles alternator to your RV's battery via a isolator connection of some sort. With a lot of solar you might not need that source, but it won't hurt anything by having it.

Now, as this is a site primarily for molded fiberglass trailers, we might not be that swooft on slide-in campers, but guessing they are similar in the electrical department I ask, "Why aren't you using the battery charger function in the converter?" And the next question might be "What converter do you have and how old is it?"

But remember, this is a molded FGRV site.

Your turn.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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Somerset Truck Camper by Bracewell is a molded fiberglass shell - doesn't that count as an FGRV?
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
"Why aren't you using the battery charger function in the converter?" And the next question might be "What converter do you have and how old is it?"
My boler American has no converter, never did not sure I need the 45 amp of the PD4045 with all its circuits. If I plug it in, I have 1 flourescent light, 1 fridge and 1 outlet running off 120 V. The 12 V runs off the tug or battery, supplies the LED lights and stereo. Ergo the question on just adding the battery charger, right now I just bring along the battery charger for the car if I'm not using solar.

My Trillium 4500 has the original converter that is getting flakey. Essentially the same power requirements of the boler. Don't think I need the PD4045 for that either. Way more than I need in power and size.

Both trailers have simple gravity furnaces. I've been thinking along the lines of plugging the trailer in to cool the fridge and charge the battery before a trip.

Ideal would be a small converter with built in smart battery charger and solar controller. An all in one small and simple just like our trailers.

So my question is like the OP's, will a battery charger suffice and how best to hook things up.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blodn1 View Post
Somerset Truck Camper by Bracewell is a molded fiberglass shell - doesn't that count as an FGRV?

And who here knew or even had an interest in finding out ???

From the Home Page......

"Home of Lightweight Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers RV"

It's just that there are, no doubt, sites that can be of more help for the issues of slide-in campers than a trailer group and vise-versa as well.

But then, what about TRAVCO Motorhomes, they are molded fiberglass and predate all of ours. And GMC Motorhomes are constructed likewise. And there was a short lived Winnebago molded fiberglass motorhome. And we have a non-molded fiberglass BigFoot slide in camper represented, so should we include all of the BigFoot stick builts as well.

I just kinda like a organization that sticks with it's core interests, and BTW, I'm not alone in that issue and am among some of the longest and most prolific members that seem to have started hanging elsewhere as of late.

Think about it.....
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:11 PM   #9
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...we haven't discussed ST tires versus passenger tires for a while...
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:22 PM   #10
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I hear you Glenn,
anything but discuss battery chargers.

So does anybody make a solar and 120 V battery charger?
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:56 AM   #11
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For those beating up the OP for asking about putting a battery charger in a truck camper;
Maybe you should note that the OP only made one post on the forum and that was on 2-5-2013. I doubt they will read your chastisement.

Wow, friendly bunch, maybe I am in the wrong place, I don't own a FGRV I'm only shopping, and trying to learn the idiosyncrasies of FGRVs.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:14 AM   #12
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The Home Page sez it all:

"This website is intended as a free resource for those who are looking for, or who own, molded fiberglass travel trailers."

And yes, date slips do occasionally happen.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
The Home Page sez it all:

"This website is intended as a free resource for those who are looking for, or who own, molded fiberglass travel trailers."

And yes, date slips do occasionally happen.
So in your opinion that statement gives a license for rudeness?

Most all RVs use a battery and some method of charging regardless of the outer body so it seems like a valid subject to me.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:59 AM   #14
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I'm just following the message of the site owners stated intended purpose......

"Don't shoot the messenger"
or
"When the message isn't what's wanted, attack the messenger"
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