Battery Charging Wire? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-27-2006, 08:38 AM   #1
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Hey Gang,

I'm just about finished with the electrical in the Chubby Bunny. We bought a new tow vehicle that has a battery charging wire (black). Now, my question is, how do I connect that to the battery for charging? I just don't know. Is there some mechanism or whatnot that goes between that wire and the batter? I ASSume there is, but I don't know. I've looked in the forum archives, but haven't seen anything concrete. Thanks!

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Old 06-27-2006, 08:40 AM   #2
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Chris are you asking how to attach it to your car battery or your trailer battery?
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Old 06-27-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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That may sound like a silly question, but my suv came all set up for towing, except that I had to connect the red wire under the hood before it would actually charge my trailer battery.
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Old 06-27-2006, 10:23 AM   #4
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That may sound like a silly question, but my suv came all set up for towing, except that I had to connect the red wire under the hood before it would actually charge my trailer battery.

Well, my new vehicle has a 7-pin connection; I've changed the trailer's connection to 7-pin as well. The "battery charger" pin on the vehicle is hot, so it must be connected already. I want to know how to connect that wire to the trailer's battery for charging. It's not necessary, but it might make things easier. Right? Could a wire leading to the trailer's battery overcharge it? I don't know. Ask me about Shakespeare and T.S. Eliot, not about RV wiring! Thanks.
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Old 06-27-2006, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
but haven't seen anything concrete.
Well, of course NOT. This IS fiberglass...


(I'll be in my room.)
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Old 06-27-2006, 05:04 PM   #6
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Well, my new vehicle has a 7-pin connection; I've changed the trailer's connection to 7-pin as well. The "battery charger" pin on the vehicle is hot, so it must be connected already. I want to know how to connect that wire to the trailer's battery for charging. It's not necessary, but it might make things easier. Right? Could a wire leading to the trailer's battery overcharge it? I don't know. Ask me about Shakespeare and T.S. Eliot, not about RV wiring! Thanks.
All [b]I did was make a connection from the appropriate pin of the trailer's 7-pin plug to the positive terminal of the trailer's battery. What will happen (I think) is that your tow vehicle's alternator or generator will recharge both the tow vehicle's starting battery and the trailer's house battery together at the same rate.
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Old 06-27-2006, 06:02 PM   #7
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The wire that is being used as a charge wire should be at least 10 guage to handle the current and be fused at 30 amps or have a 30amp circuit breaker, either manual reset or auto reset, near the alternator connection or a remote 12V take off point, to protect the wire and your tow vehicle and trailer....the other end can be hooked up directly to your trailer batterywith a lug onto the positive (+) post.....I would also put inline, in the engine compartment, a relay capable of more than 30 amps, controlled by the ignition switch circuit to open the circuit when the ignition is turned off, so that you don`t kill the tow vehicle battery if you drain the trailer battery and haven`t unplugged the trailer connector...i.e. leaving electric fridge on for too long if touring a museum or just sightseeing....Benny
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:25 AM   #8
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[quote]
The wire that is being used as a charge wire should be at least 10 guage to handle the current and be fused at 30 amps or have a 30amp circuit breaker, either manual reset or auto reset, near the alternator connection or a remote 12V take off point, to protect the wire and your tow vehicle and trailer....the other end can be hooked up directly to your trailer batterywith a lug onto the positive (+) post.....

Thanks for the information. So, the trailer's battery won't overcharge? As long as I have a 30 amp circuit breaker, I should be safe? I'll get it wired this morning.

Ever poked your fingers with those little copper wires when doing wiring? Ouch!

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Old 06-28-2006, 03:55 PM   #9
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Your alternator has a regulator built into it , if it`s newer than about 35 yrs old....so no problem.....and the ouch would be ouchier if you were working with steel cables with a broken strand.....the relay that I mentioned is the type used for fog lamps, etc., and is a black cube about 1" square and can come with a mounting flange...they`re cheap....and the circuit breakers are about half the size and the resetable ones come with a button on the side for manual reset and the auto resets work like your headlamp ones which reset themselves....so if you hear something clicking at the breaker there is a problem in the system and it`s kicking on and off......good luck.. .....Benny
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:49 PM   #10
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Your alternator has a regulator built into it , if it`s newer than about 35 yrs old....so no problem.....and the ouch would be ouchier if you were working with steel cables with a broken strand.....the relay that I mentioned is the type used for fog lamps, etc., and is a black cube about 1" square and can come with a mounting flange...they`re cheap....and the circuit breakers are about half the size and the resetable ones come with a button on the side for manual reset and the auto resets work like your headlamp ones which reset themselves....so if you hear something clicking at the breaker there is a problem in the system and it`s kicking on and off......good luck.. .....Benny
[indent]This is all good things to do but I read somewhere that by not installing a Battery Isolator you run the risk, if you have drained your trailer battery too low, as soon as you turn on ignition the tow battery will send what ever power it has to the trailer battery to even out the power, thus, you may not have enough power to start your vehicle.
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:00 PM   #11
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[indent]This is all good things to do but I read somewhere that by not installing a Battery Isolator you run the risk, if you have drained your trailer battery too low, as soon as you turn on ignition the tow battery will send what ever power it has to the trailer battery to even out the power, thus, you may not have enough power to start your vehicle.
I don't thing the charge wire can carry enough current to make any difference. If would take a couple hours for the TV battery and the trailer battery to equalize.

If you're ever really concerned, just start the TV then plug in the trailer.
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:38 PM   #12
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Suppose if the trailer battery was near dead or dead and tried to pull high current it would trip the breaker that is in the circuit....I`ve been using this system in RV use for 30 years without a problem.....Benny
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Old 08-10-2006, 12:48 AM   #13
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Suppose if the trailer battery was near dead or dead and tried to pull high current it would trip the breaker that is in the circuit....I`ve been using this system in RV use for 30 years without a problem.....Benny
I too have upgraded my tow vehicle ('06 Nissan Frontier) and installed the factory wiring harness for towing and here's my situation. Before I had a '99 Chevy Astro with the old style 4-pin wiring harness so this 7-pin stuff is new to me. I'm confused about function of the pin on the TV marked "+ Battery". I metered the pin and found 0 volts when parked, 12.7 V with the key in the ignition turned to ACC, and 14.1 V with the engine running. I traced the mating wire through the harness of my Scamp and found that it splices into the trailer's main battery wire. The wiring looks correct according to Scamp's schematic.

I peeked inside the factory wiring harness and found a red, blue and white wire that look about AWG 16. The other brown, black, yellow and green wires look about AWG 18 or smaller. There's no AWG 10 gauge wire suitable for charging. Without risking damage to the connector I couldn't tell which wire was connected to which pin. In addition, Nissan tells me that the truck is not set up charge the trailer's battery. They also told me that if I attempt to charge the trailer's battery with the truck's alternator that I may damage the alternator, violating the warranty. Maybe the 12 volts supplied by the TV is only for accessories inside the tralier like the 12 volt heater element for the fridge. You mentioned relays, and I remember installing 2 relays under the dash, but I thought those were for the brake, reverse, turn and running lights.

Any ideas would much appreciated.

Fred
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:04 AM   #14
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Ask someone else at Nissan -- If the truck positive battery is connected to the trailer connector, then the trailer battery will be charging (but not very fast because of the wire size) -- Nissan engineers shouldn't be ignorant of the typical RV wiring -- It's highly unlikely that your alternator would be damaged because it should be seeing the average voltage of both batteries and charging at a lesser rate.

Personally, to make battery charging more efficient (it's a long way from the front of the TV to the trailer battery in feet), I run my own charging wire (#8 or even #6) from the TV battery, thru an autoreset circuit breaker, and then back to the trailer connector -- That way I get a minimum voltage drop and faster charging.

However, if I bought a new vehicle that was wired to supply + battery to the trailer, I might be lazy and live with it...
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