Battery Charging - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-15-2005, 07:00 PM   #1
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Is it possible to over charge the trailer battery while connected to tow vehicle.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:02 PM   #2
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Joe, would you turn off the "Caps Lock" please?

Thank you.

My experience has been that I do not overcharge. I do not run any equipment in the trailer while I am towing; my fridge is only 2-way and does not have a 12 volt option. I have read here that power from the tow vehicle's altenator (or generator) will just keep up with a refridgerator's battery draw. I think calling it a "charge line" is a misnomer...
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:36 PM   #3
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It would seem to me that if the tow vehicles battery is not over charged when the trailer is not being towed, that when the trailer is connected, it's battery should not be over charged.

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Old 12-16-2005, 12:10 AM   #4
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OK Kids, some people, like my Mother, need to type in caps so they can see what they have typed better. I am almost there myself.

Anyway, thats a good question. Not knowing a TON about auto electric, I am curious how that works myself. I just had my charge line done, and will be using it this week for long periods of time WITH the fridge going. Since I will be staying where there are hook ups, and not having a big fear of the battery dying and leaving me stranded, I can try to remember to check the voltages pre and post tow with fridge going.

I suspect the answer is NO, since I haven't heard of a single person complaining they boiled thier battery from being connected. Folks do it all the time, for thousands of miles.

Now, I have a part deux of this question. I replaced my car battery the other day (It was getting to be that time and I didn't want it to breath it's last breaths on the road, so I did it as a precaution) and I noted the charge line is tapped directly off the positive terminal of my battery, with an inline fuse.

Whats the difference in doing it that way, or tapping off the alternater. I don't remember where I saw it, but it seems I read going from the alternater is really the correct way to do it.

I may be wrong in how they did it, and thats just a new line from the alternater to the battery. I haven't drilled down too deep in there. And when it's 28 degrees out, and it ain't broke.. I don't feel compelled to look.
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Old 12-16-2005, 04:21 AM   #5
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The voltage going to the vehicle battery is regulated by the computer depending on state of charge, etc. You don't want the wire to your trailer battery hooked up directly to the alternator, because that way your trailer battery would definitely overcharge on a long trip. Factory set-ups have a relay which essentially disconnects the charging line to the trailer battery when the ignition switch is off. When the ignition switch is on the vehicle battery and the trailer battery are connected in parallel. If you don't have the relay, you should pull the trailer connector plug when you are using the trailer. Neither battery will overcharge as long as the computer is regulating voltage between the alternator and the batteries.

I learned about this system through a failure of the PCM (computer) in my 1999 Jeep that resulted in a trip to the dealer on a flatbed. Fortunately, it was still under warranty. These modern engines don't run very well when the battery voltage drops to about 7, which mine did. The alternator and the battery were good, but the computer wasn't letting the battery charge. A new PCM solved the problem.
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:46 AM   #6
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Is it possible to over charge the trailer battery while connected to tow vehicle.
No more than it would over charge the tow vehicle battery

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Old 12-16-2005, 12:32 PM   #7
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If the battery was hooked directly to the alternator, and the alternator didn"t have a built in regulator, you could cook the battery and/or the regulator.

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Old 12-16-2005, 03:17 PM   #8
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Chevy recommends that the charge line be connected to the starter terminal. That's high current easy to connect place and goes directly to the battery. I'm sure where the shop connnected my charge line. They did put a solenoid in line. The charge line is disconnected when the ingnition is turned off. This is a little different than an isolator.

As long as the tow vehicle battery is not getting overcharged the trailer battery won't get overcharged.
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:38 PM   #9
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So, is there any way to tell exactly how much charge the battery has (in the trailer, I mean?)
Other than asking at the RV store..........
Christine
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:02 PM   #10
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I have a manual tester which I use.I find it more accurate than gauges.You can buy one at most Auto service centers.

http://nbjindun.en.alibaba.com/product/500...ery_Tester.html

This is the type I use.
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:18 AM   #11
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I have a manual tester which I use.I find it more accurate than gauges.You can buy one at most Auto service centers.

http://nbjindun.en.alibaba.com/product/500...ery_Tester.html

This is the type I use.
Thank Chester, I'll tell His Lordship (hubby)
Christine the Battery Queen
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:49 PM   #12
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Yes,

It's called a Hydrometer. You can get one for less that $10 US. You draw up water from each cell and measure the specific weight and it will tell you just how much charge is in each cell.

If you will wait a day I'm sure the Shutins on this site will give you the complete sicentific facts on how, why, etc this works.
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:39 PM   #13
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Shutins, DM? Hmmmm!
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:58 AM   #14
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If you will wait a day I'm sure the Shutins on this site will give you the complete sicentific facts on how, why, etc this works.
Shutins Why Darwin, are you saying some of us don't have a life

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