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herons 07-22-2019 11:14 AM

Charging a Battery on the Road
 
I'm wondering if a Noco Boost Plus GB40 1000 amp 12v Lithium Jump Starter would be useful in topping up up Group 27 deep cycle Scamp battery? Could it be used with an inverter to run a trickle charger, for example. Or possibly in any other fashion?



I'd like an alternative to using a solar panel (mine is only 25W) or a generator (don't own one) to keep our battery fresh when it reaches 12.2V.



ARVZ 07-23-2019 10:27 PM

Doesn't seem like the Noco GB40 is designed to recharge an RV battery. It is designated as a 5VDC, 2.1 Amp USB charger. We should always RTFM (read the f------ manual) and/or call the company for clarification on off-label uses like this!

The starting surge is very high amps, but typically only lasts for a few seconds, not long enough to melt the battery connector cables and set them on fire, and the Noco has a much higher voltage than the discharged starting battery when you first start the car.



None of the battery boosters I have seen had cables large enough to safely handle the amps involved for more than a few seconds; some may not have any functioning protection circuitry or fuse and could burst into flame and even throw melted copper around. Modern products are not necessarily trustworthy.

If you try to directly or indirectly recharge the RV battery with the Noco (and the Noco doesn't melt or catch fire or just shut down), the charging rate will keep slowing down as the Noco voltage drops and the RV battery voltage comes up. The charging will stop completely when the two voltages are about equal, but that will not be at a full 12.8+ volts. If you could recharge the Noco somewhere else, probably several times, you can possibly eke the RV battery voltage up every time, but I doubt you can get it fully recharged this way, especially with the inefficiencies and voltage settings of the inverter and trickle charger and batteries to account for. Entropy wins every time. It's kind of like trying to fill a leaky 5 gallon bucket with a juice glass.


A very cheap way to get more PV is to buy the Harbor Freight Thunderbolt Magnum 100 Watt system, currently at ~$150 with the correct coupons. They also sell a handy connector cable set and connector hub for expanding the system. What the heck, it's all plug and play, the panels make real electricity; set it up when you make camp. It may be the cheapest and fastest way to get more PV connected to your battery.



https://www.harborfreight.com/100-wa..._q=solar+panel


https://no.co/gb40

https://trail4runner.com/2019/01/28/...-boost-review/

herons 07-24-2019 06:55 AM

Thank you for the detailed response. We are planning to purchase the Noco as a jump starter for the TV. I was just thinking out of the box about possible different ways to use it. Guess not!

Raspy 07-24-2019 10:10 AM

herons,

Using a battery, to run an inverter, to then run a charger, to charge another battery, is an extremely inefficient way to charge a battery. And further, it would only work until the first battery was discharged. This would be a ridiculous way to try to "top up" your house battery, and at best, would have a very limited result.

If you want to use solar, and your panel is too small, get a larger panel. A very good way to to this is to get a 100 watt suitcase system.

Another method would be to use jumper cables directly from your tow vehicle battery to the house battery, with the tow running.

If you don't have a definite and repeatable way to bring your house battery to 14.1 volts, you are likely to damage it.

stude 07-25-2019 03:37 AM

This is about Heron's and Solar Panels
 
I would go to a 100W Solar Panel a decent Charge Controler, a decent Inverter, that way you keep your battery charged then you can charge batteries, phones, Laptops, Camera's etc. Maybe no all at once and when your actually on the road you run a wire from the tow vehicle to the Trailer that keeps the battery charged while your driving either if you know who do it or you hire a Automotive electrician to do it for you. Better if licensed Electrician does it in case your trailer catches fire, you have some one to go back to.
THis is how we kept the battery in the Toad charged, nothing worse when you finally arrive where you need to do some food shopping and the battery in the car is dead.
stude

Justus C 07-25-2019 06:04 AM

Here is a short write-up from eTrailer that covers what you want to do: https://www.etrailer.com/faq-charge-...e-driving.aspx

Steve L. 07-25-2019 06:10 AM

I interpret your question as wanting to charge the trailer battery while towing to the next camp site (on the road). Not all tow vehicles handle this well.

1. I've seen 400 watt marine wind turbines with controller for under $200. Mount that puppy to the trailer roof and you'll be good to go. Might have to be careful going under overpasses.:omy
2. Mount up second alternator and voltage regulator dedicated to the charge line on the 7-blade. I know 2nd alternators were offered as part of our ambulance package and I've also read where they are used on some of those annoying cars with thumper speaker systems due to the heavy electrical loads required.
3. Upgrade to a marine voltage regulator. Some are designed to keep two separate battery systems charged. You might want a marine alternator as they are designed for a heavier duty cycle.
4. I've run across battery isolators that are supposed to do the same thing. Generally, isolators are supposed to keep from inadvertently draining both batteries but some will allegedly treat the two batteries (car and trailer) separately for charging purposes.

charlsara 07-25-2019 06:14 AM

My experience with batteries and charging: We bought our all electric Lil Snoozy in 2014. It was equipped with a cheap charger and a group 27 marine battery. We could keep our Truckfridge and the other stuff going if we plugged into a campground pedestal every night. This soon became limiting. I wanted the ability to camp at least three nights without solar or using the generator. I installed 2 each 225 amp hour, six volt golf cart batteries and a 25 amp smart charger from CTEK. We were still limited to three days after which the batteries would be at about 60 amps hours remaining. Using advice gleaned from here and other places. I installed a #6 wire from the tow battery through a fuse to a Anderson plug on the rear bumper. Another Anderson plug on the trailer and ran the wire to the batteries. Now after three days off grid I can plug the wire in and drive for 30-40 minutes and have 100 percent topped off batteries. All without the hassle of mounting solar panels. I haven't tried it yet but 30-40 minutes of idling the truck will top them off to. The key to a charge wire is to get it large enough to flow enough amps. The # 14 or 12 commonly used will likely not do the job.

Raspy 07-25-2019 07:40 AM

Charlie,

You and I are on the same page, except I've been doing it with jumper cables as a temporary measure. My new HQ19 comes pre-wired with an Anderson plug at the tongue that is pre-wired to the batteries. So, I'll run a pair #6 conductors from the TV battery, with a fuse and cutoff switch. Then simply plug in the trailer and charge it up. This will work fine when driving or when parked and idling.

The jumper cable method works fine, but is awkward. About a half hour idling does what the generator needs more than an hour to do. With this charging method and an inverter, I don't need the generator and have been leaving it at home. Plus, the new trailer has solar.

ZachO 07-25-2019 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charlsara (Post 750075)
I installed a #6 wire from the tow battery through a fuse to a Anderson plug on the rear bumper. Another Anderson plug on the trailer and ran the wire to the batteries.

Is there a more detailed write-up about this? Sounds like you're skipping the 7-pin and running a dedicated wire from vehicle battery to trailer battery?

ARVZ 07-25-2019 08:50 AM

Redarc BCDC 1225D DC to DC Dual Battery Charger?
 
I have been researching the Redarc BCDC 1225D DC to DC Dual Battery Charger, which can use input voltages from 9-32VDC to properly charge virtually any battery technology at the RV battery. It also acts as a battery isolator, and an MPPT solar charge controller that uses PV input instead of TV alternator for RV charging when available. One advantage of the managed DC to DC charging design is using a #6 or #4 wire instead of getting into the 2/0 range to control voltage drop to the RV battery.



$370, but it is replacing/functioning as 3 devices, reducing wire costs, and extending battery life by fully charging them no matter how far away they are.



https://redarcelectronics.com/collec...ttery-chargers


Etrailer has them, or buy direct. Does anybody have experience with this system?

charlsara 07-25-2019 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZachO (Post 750097)
Is there a more detailed write-up about this? Sounds like you're skipping the 7-pin and running a dedicated wire from vehicle battery to trailer battery?



Yes. The #6 wire is to big to run through the 7 wire plug. The Anderson plugs work well and are easy to find. I only plug mine up when I need it. The hardest part installing it is running it under the truck. Keep it secure and well away from moving parts and the exhaust. You only need the positive cable to go all the way to the vehicle battery. The ground side can be bolted to the truck frame. I used a 30 amp fuse near the vehicle battery. A relay is good if you canít remember to unplug it.

charlsara 07-25-2019 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 750083)
Charlie,



You and I are on the same page, except I've been doing it with jumper cables as a temporary measure. My new HQ19 comes pre-wired with an Anderson plug at the tongue that is pre-wired to the batteries. So, I'll run a pair #6 conductors from the TV battery, with a fuse and cutoff switch. Then simply plug in the trailer and charge it up. This will work fine when driving or when parked and idling.



The jumper cable method works fine, but is awkward. About a half hour idling does what the generator needs more than an hour to do. With this charging method and an inverter, I don't need the generator and have been leaving it at home. Plus, the new trailer has solar.



I will still carry my generator for when I need AC!

charlsara 07-25-2019 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ARVZ (Post 750101)
I have been researching the Redarc BCDC 1225D DC to DC Dual Battery Charger, which can use input voltages from 9-32VDC to properly charge virtually any battery technology at the RV battery. It also acts as a battery isolator, and an MPPT solar charge controller that uses PV input instead of TV alternator for RV charging when available. One advantage of the managed DC to DC charging design is using a #6 or #4 wire instead of getting into the 2/0 range to control voltage drop to the RV battery.



$370, but it is replacing/functioning as 3 devices, reducing wire costs, and extending battery life by fully charging them no matter how far away they are.



https://redarcelectronics.com/collec...ttery-chargers


Etrailer has them, or buy direct. Does anybody have experience with this system?



I have read about these. If you need to run a number 4 or 6 wire to power the charger, It seems to be overkill. My #6 wire charges my batteries to 14v. Maybe it makes sense if your going to use solar to.

ZachO 07-25-2019 12:45 PM

Sounds easy enough, thanks!

My only question is: how is the charge controlled? I guess the alternator is charging the vehicle battery, and so it's charging the trailer battery, too, and it must have a built-in controller? Otherwise it would fry the vehicle battery.

charlsara 07-25-2019 03:51 PM

The alternator has a built in voltage regulator.

Raspy 07-25-2019 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZachO (Post 750137)
Sounds easy enough, thanks!

My only question is: how is the charge controlled? I guess the alternator is charging the vehicle battery, and so it's charging the trailer battery, too, and it must have a built-in controller? Otherwise it would fry the vehicle battery.

Adding the Anderson plug and the additional heavy gauge charging wire works alongside the conventional 7 pin charging wire. No conflict there.

All it does is connect the trailer batteries in parallel with the TV battery and use the truck alternator to charge them both up. From the truck's point of view, it just looks like a larger battery.

But the setup should have a fuse and a disconnect. The disconnect can be a relay that pulls in automatically when the TV is running, like a continuous duty Ford solenoid hooked to the "ignition" power in the truck, for instance, or a high amp switch that manually gets turned on and off.

Every manufacturer seems to supply a different amount of power to the seven pin, and some are pretty feeble. The heavy wire provides closer to full alternator output and will charge the batteries faster than with the generator plugged in to the shore power plug on the trailer. It reduces or eliminates the need for the generator.

I have no interest in running my AC on the generator. If it's so hot that I have to close myself up in the trailer with the AC on, I might as well be at home. Or, if we are in Phoenix in the summer, I hope we are at an RV park and we're plugged in, during a very brief stay.

Bottom line: The generator is probably not going along anytime soon.

ZachO 07-25-2019 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 750156)
But the setup should have a fuse and a disconnect. The disconnect can be a relay that pulls in automatically when the TV is running, like a continuous duty Ford solenoid hooked to the "ignition" power in the truck, for instance, or a high amp switch that manually gets turned on and off.

So then by disconnect you mean something like a battery isolator so the trailer battery doesn't keep draining the vehicle battery when parked?

Ford continuous duty solenoids aren't really my expertise... :D

Raspy 07-25-2019 05:07 PM

Zach,

Yes, something to disconnect the trailer battery from the TV battery. Automatically, would be nice.

A manual high-amp switch is also fine.

Or one could simply unplug the Anderson plug, back by the rear bumper of the TV to do the same thing. And have a fuse up near the TV battery, just big enough to carry the load.

I'm still deciding how to do mine.

gordon2 07-25-2019 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 750161)
..

I'm still deciding how to do mine.

Consider a VSR, Voltage Sensitive Relay, such as this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00400IYTK

You wont have to hunt down an ignition "hot" line and risk confusing the tug's computer.


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