Battery Charging While Driving Question...? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-23-2011, 08:16 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Boots
Trailer: 1988 Scamp 13
Posts: 1
Battery Charging While Driving Question...?

Hello Everyone,
My wife and I recently bought a 1988 Scamp 13. We dig it.

I have a question about the auxiliary battery charging, i have searched the forums and haven't quite found what i'm looking for. We will almost never camp with shore power so we will be relying on the battery charging up while we drive (maybe solar someday). The scamp has a 7 pin round tow connector and I have bought the adapter to convert my 4-flat into a round 7. I have also added a hot wire from my truck battery into the correct pin on the 7 connector....and it tests hot (thanks to info i found here). I understand that until i install the correct selenoid this set up can drain my truck battery if i leave it plugged in while the truck is off.

My question is, does the scamp have any kind of regulator (or should have) so the battery doesn't get overcharged and cooked while we drive (often 3-4 hours)? When we bought it we were told it has a "trickle charger". If the scamp does have some kind of trickle charger, where should i look to verify its existence?

Thanks so much for your help. I have already learned a heap looking through all the info on this site.


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Old 11-23-2011, 09:10 AM   #2
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Posts: 314
Welcome to the forum Boots,
When the TV is charging the aux battery, it is the same as the charging for the truck battery. No trickle charger is involved. Chargers are used when attached to shore power and converting 120V to 12Vdc for charging. You don't need to worry about over charging when you are on the road. You should isolate your truck battery though to prevent draining.

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Old 11-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1984 U-Haul / 02 Mazda pick up
Posts: 174
I installed a relay in the void behind a tow vehicle tail light.

I tapped into the tail light feed wire and fastened the new lead to the relay coil.

The other side of the coil is fastened to ground.

The wire from the battery ( make sure it has a 30 amp fuse in line close to the battery ) goes to one of the relay contacts.

The other contact goes to the proper contact on the 7 pin plug.

Make sure both the hot wire and ground wires lead directly to the battery terminals in the trailer.

The feed wires from the tow battery to the camper battery are at least 10 guage. Bigger is always better.

Now when towing, the lights are always on in the TV thus energizing the relay and thus the camper battery. This assures that you can not drain the TV battery unless you happen to leave the lights on on the TV.

The regulator in the TV takes care of the charging of both batteries.

When you are plugged in to 120 volts, the converter takes care of charging the camper battery.
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:17 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 2,785
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Be sure to have a self resetting circuit breaker mounted at the tow vehicle point of the 12V hot wire connection. You can get these at the auto store. I use a 30 amp.

This may keep you from catching something on fire should you develop a short.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
Posts: 8,125
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Originally Posted by Boots View Post
My question is, does the scamp have any kind of regulator (or should have) so the battery doesn't get overcharged and cooked while we drive (often 3-4 hours)?
There is no charge regulator for the 12 volt line from the tow vehicle, as there is no need for one.

Any "Trickle Charger" in the trailer would only operate when plugged in to 110 volts AC.

The tow vehicle's alternator/generator is keeping the charge "topped off" for both the tow vehicle's starting battery and the trailer's "house" battery when connected and going down the road. There is no way that this will overcharge the trailer's battery. On the contrary, it will probably undercharge the trailer's battery if that is the ONLY way it is recharged.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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