Battery not charging while towing - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-10-2016, 04:41 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=Darral T.;602976]I think I edited (havent looked back) and said that my fridge is a 1.9 CI. This I think will make ALL the difference in how much amperage is being pulled on the alternator while towing. Again, someone just wrote in and asked "What 12v wire". I ran my own and ran 10ga. It does NOT have a problem getting enough amps to my battery. I've never pulled over 7-8 hours but it's held it.

And one more thing to throw in the mix... my Frontier is a '99 model. "Newish" models- as you call them Carol- could possibly be running borderline on a smaller more "efficient" alternator? Wouldnt be afraid to say so with the way the gov. is pushing for the gas mileage, etc.!! BUT, if the vehicle comes with a "Tow package", then it should automatically include a larger alternator. This is what I found with the Toyota Tacoma when I was shopping for one anyway.

I'm curious as to what size fridge you are/were running?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
:lout I could not run the 20 year old fridge on my old Scamp on DC when towing with either my newish V6 Nissan Frontier or my Subaru Outback. Neither supplied enough power to the trailer to keep up with the old fridges consumption.
Mines a 2011 Nissan with full tow package from the factory.... it might be safe to also say newer vehicles needing more power for all the extra bells and whistles on them that the older ones did not. Bluetooth handsfree, GPS, dual heated seats, AC, rear DVD's etc etc. All those items require power from the alternator ...so depending on whats running in the vehicle there may not be a lot of left over power from the alternator to give over to the trailer. Which may be why some of the auto manufactures do not install a larger charge line to allow more power to go the trailer. Have no idea as to whether that is a factor or not! Simply a theory on my part

The fridge in my old 92 Scamp was a 3 way 1.9 cubic Dometic - I have no way of checking it but as I recall the model was RM2201 - the manual indicated it pulled 8 AMPS ... but I know some here have suggested in reality it pulled as much as 2 AMPS more than that.
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:20 PM   #30
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When my RAV4 was wired, I specified 10 gauge. The installer had to buy some and charged me $25 for it because the norm was 12 gauge.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:22 AM   #31
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Glenn,

I would have gladly paid the difference. I say that because of my experience with mine that I installed which I've been using without fail for over 6 yrs now. My Nissan '99 Frontier had NOTHING on it for pulling.

FWIW, I bought my wiring "kit" from etrailer.com that came with the 10ga wire. It came with various "breakers", male plug....everything! I had already installed a 4-pin for a U-Haul pull. So it plugged into this one saving me a little time on the "basics"- signal, brake lights etc. I also bought my Tekonsha Prodigy from them as well. Also..it was an ALL day job for installing all of this...but it's paid off in the long run...and thus? My fridge runs fine. One thing I havent mentioned, I've stopped to eat before and left the 12v fridge running for an HOUR at least on 12v and still no problems. Havent thought of that til now.

EDIT: I just looked at the specs on my RM2193. 9.58A on 12v? I want to check that this aft and can do it with my volt/amp meter. It only pulls 1.1A on ac...that I've checked!

Here's the etrailer kit (the 5 star rating speaks for itself): https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...ler/ETBC7.html

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When my RAV4 was wired, I specified 10 gauge. The installer had to buy some and charged me $25 for it because the norm was 12 gauge.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:57 AM   #32
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The answer is a good heavy gauge wire to the trailer plug and as important a confirmed heavy gauge wire for the ground as well.
It takes both and many people forget that the ground return is as important or perhaps more important.
I installed one of these in my trailer just to keep track of what was going on



Link to Amazon site for the power monitor:
https://www.amazon.com/bayite-6-5-10...Y9WWVF8AEJVDX2
I installed the 100A current shunt in the ground return of the battery so that it would measure the charging and power from the battery.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:19 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
EDIT: I just looked at the specs on my RM2193. 9.58A on 12v? I want to check that this aft and can do it with my volt/amp meter. It only pulls 1.1A on ac...that I've checked!
Thats not a surprising number! I do not think that a manufacture is likely to overstate the power usage. More common for it to be the other way around. ;-)

If you do a google there are plenty of folks who will suggest the average pull on 12V of a fridge is anywhere from 5A to a high of 10A with many pulling in the 8A range.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:29 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
...
EDIT: I just looked at the specs on my RM2193. 9.58A on 12v? I want to check that this aft and can do it with my volt/amp meter. It only pulls 1.1A on ac...that I've checked! ...[/URL]
A “12 volt system” will typically be at 13.7-13.9 volts (or more) when charging from the converter, solar or tug’s alternator. Let use 13.8 volts for our reference

Your fridge (model RM2193) that is drawing. 9.58 amps at 13.8 volts is using 132.2 watts (Volts times amps).

Same fridge on AC at 120 volts when drawing 1.1 amps is using 132 watts (volts times amps)

The same amount of power!
(Give or take, based on voltage variations, or when the heating element is not on, etc.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:47 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
A “12 volt system” will typically be at 13.7-13.9 volts (or more) when charging from the converter, solar or tug’s alternator. Let use 13.8 volts for our reference

Your fridge (model RM2193) that is drawing. 9.58 amps at 13.8 volts is using 132.2 watts (Volts times amps).

.
If its an older none 3 stage converter you may not ever see 13.7-9 volts may only see 13.4 or 13.3 (have had that situation with two older convertors - in my Scamps 15 year old converter and the other with a 10 year old converter on a SOB ). So basically they are not really ever going to fully charging the battery and you are never going to start out the tow with an battery that is actually fully charged so the drain on the battery from the fridge is going to be more noticeable over a shorter time frame.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:21 AM   #36
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My Norcold 704DE (swing compressor 12/120 AC/DC) draws about 40 watts and runs maybe 50% of the time , depending on the temp in the camper.
I run it while towing with no problems, but then it's current draw is 1/3 to 1/2 of the 3 way units that rely on heat from a resistance heater or LP gas.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:27 PM   #37
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I ran an 8 gauge wire from the battery of my Ranger to the trailer plug. No way that was going to fit in the plug, so I split it, and used heat shrink to make two wires out of it. Then, since Trillium does not have a reverse light, I used the center pin on the 7 blade connector as a second +12VDC supply. This is not yet connected in the trailer, and I still need to add a 40A relay on the truck that is switched on when running. The plan is for the -12VDC to still comes through one 14 gauge wire on the plug, but it also comes through the ball and trailer hitch on the negative ground of the tow vehicle and trailer. Not a great connection, but supplementary to the -12VDC in the plug.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:01 PM   #38
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Don't forget to add another 10 amps for your 2 trailer brakes magnetic pucks. Stuff keeps adding up so the better your charge line the better off you will be.

Making sure your trailer battery is fully charged before you leave is very important. That gets into how good your maintaining your battery when your trailer is waiting for you to take it for a tow. A full fridge fully chilled before you hit the road will draw less power too. It's going to have far more off than on cycles.

On the highway you don't use brakes as often as you do driving on secondary or mountain roads so the draw from brakes vary on how and where you drive.

All this can be significant enough that one guy gets away with their set-up and your setup doesn't perform as well.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:48 PM   #39
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For what it's worth, my Scamp's "Dexter" brakes pull exactly 5.1A combined.

[QUOTE=stevebaz;603184]Don't forget to add another 10 amps for your 2 trailer brakes magnetic pucks. Stuff keeps adding up so the better your charge line the better off you will be.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:53 PM   #40
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Yessir... I calculated it and came out EXACTLY with their answer. I hope by tonight I can do an ACTUAL check on my Scamp and see what it's actually pulling. Dexter says 5A on their brakes and mine checked out right at 5.1! I'm assuming the Dometic fridge will be close to their same stated rating.

Gordon...you brought up something and I ALMOST posted it... I was thinking--- LESS amps on 120v...so if you hook up an inverter.....

ok ok...I understand that you're going to lose it inefficiently during the step-down (resistance) from 120v to 12v and converting ac/dc....yada yada....but it is a "fun" thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
A “12 volt system” will typically be at 13.7-13.9 volts (or more) when charging from the converter, solar or tug’s alternator. Let use 13.8 volts for our reference

Your fridge (model RM2193) that is drawing. 9.58 amps at 13.8 volts is using 132.2 watts (Volts times amps).

Same fridge on AC at 120 volts when drawing 1.1 amps is using 132 watts (volts times amps)

The same amount of power!
(Give or take, based on voltage variations, or when the heating element is not on, etc.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:23 PM   #41
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As the brake coils warm up they will draw less amps, but the controller corrects for this automatically.
If you are using the brakes enough to make a difference then something is very wrong.


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Old 08-11-2016, 06:20 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
...
ok ok...I understand that you're going to lose it inefficiently during the step-down (resistance) from 120v to 12v and converting ac/dc....yada yada....but it is a "fun" thought.
Well as long as we are having fun!

But I am a little confused with the discussion about the brakes. If you are thinking about total load on the tug's alternator, then I get that the power draw from the brakes is something to consider and can be part of the reason if the tug's battery is being discharged while towing.

But if you are talking about the available power on the charge line, then I am confused because the charge line is (typically) a separate wire directly form the tug's battery. If the charge line is enough to keep the trailer battery going (maybe while running the fridge), has nothing to do with the brakes as long as the alternator can supply enough power for both, as well as the lights, keeping the tug's battery charged, and any other power draw.
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