Battery in Camper

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 18:12
ThreadID: 14020 Views:2064 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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Hi every one
Need some help on an electricfying question .
I am in the process of getting ready for a months trip to Outback NSW and decided to install a second battery in my Jayco J8 camper . I fitted in a 40 amph battery which I connected to the power wire and earth wire in the van which powers the 3way fridge while travelling and 12 volt lights when camping , saves the hassle of not having lights working when using the vehicle of a night . Also fitted an inline fuse close to the +terminal of battery . This worked well until a friend said that if I left the battery connected while travelling it would charge the battery as well but a inline trickle charger would have to be installed to prevent a large amp draw through the power wire when the vehicle was started .These are readily available at the Auto acccessories shops he advised but guess what , the couple of shops I spoke to knew nothing about them . Another friend who is a residential / commercial electician was asked his view and he agreed about the draw through the small wire when starting the vehicle but said this is easily fixed by installing a diode inline . Does anyone know anything about this before I make tracks to an auto electrician ? A simple mater of supplying a second power source for 12volt lighting is turning into a highly technical matter .
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Reply By: Member - Tom (NT) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 18:34

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 18:34
A diode is a one way flow for DC power think of a foot valve on a water pump it will let the power flow one way but not the other
AnswerID: 64460

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 18:40

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 18:40
I actually had a similar problem with my dual battery setup in the Surf. Because the electronic isolater only cuts the power draw in one direction the car can still drain from the aux battery. Because I have an 80a/h deep cycle I didn't want the car pulling 700amps out of the 20amp rated battery! ARRGH.
I suggested the idea of a diode to my whiz bang smart ass brother, who informed me that a diode would cause anywhere up to a .5v Voltage Drop therefore inhibitting my deep cycle from getting a full charge.
I only have 8g amp wire running from the isolator to the deep cycle so it's probally not able to suck too much out, I was also worried about perhaps melting the 8g while starting the car, but in all honesty it has been working great now for over 4 months with a lot of use and nothing seems to have been damaged, the deep cycle is still running brilliantly so I figure, what the hell, don't fix what ain't broke.
AnswerID: 64461

Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 20:43

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 20:43
We have done what you have done installed a second battery in our camper but we are using a Arrid twin charger to charge the second batt and run our 3 way fridge while traveling and running lights when camped. we ran 6mm wire from the main batt in our car to a anderson plug to the camper, through the twin charger to the second battery. The Arrid twin charger make up for any voltage drop and stops any drain from the main battery, installed it ourselves in about 1 to 2 hours.

AnswerID: 64490

Follow Up By: Nino & Kerry (VIC) - Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 19:00

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 19:00
testing photos

baz stuck in forest

FollowupID: 328298

Reply By: Eric Experience. - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 21:39

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 21:39
This subject has been covered many times, please read the arckives. Eric.
AnswerID: 64516

Reply By: Member - Cruisin (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 06:40

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 06:40
Hi Kenny

Have just been down this path. I have an ARB dual battery system in the Cruiser and have installed a 3rd battery in the Camper. I have run a pair of big cables (25mm2) from the Aux battery to the 3rd battery. Have put a 50A resetable fuse on the positive at both batteries and this is joined via Anderson plugs. From the 3rd battery I have connected some distribution bars for positive and negitive which then feed into an 8 way fuse block for individual 12V items around the camper.
All 3 batteries in the vehicle are Exide Extremes and when camped, the Aux battery and the 3rd battery in camper are in parallel providing 50-60 Amp/Hours without dropping the batteries below 60% charge. Works well.
I dont believe that you should charge a battery via the small Trailer plugs. I know lots of people that do but its far from ideal.
This power issue is the Wholy Grail of Camping.
Hope this helps.

Cheers Cruisin
AnswerID: 64558

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