Charging Battery on Camping Trailer

Submitted: Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 14:40
ThreadID: 19726 Views:2154 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Hi all,

Can someone tell me how to charge the battery way back there on the trailer. Obviously power has to go back through the auxillary post in the trailer plug. Not sure where to get the power from and what gauge wire to use. Any help appreciated
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Reply By: Rod - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 14:56

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 14:56
Robert

Connections
Would advise against trying to use the trailer plug. The contacts will be too small to handle the currents involved. Most common connector for this type of application is the 50A Andersen connector.

Wiring Gauge
I think you'd need around a 10mm conductor or thicker to avoid dreaded voltage drop from the alternator to the trailer. When I say 10mm, I mean conductor (excluding insulation)

Charge Controller
Some options are:
* Solenoid - cheap but introduce voltage drop
* Marine style changeover switch - simple but bulky and manual
* Commercial charge controllers (eg Redarc, Arrid, Rotronics etc)
AnswerID: 94660

Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 15:07

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 15:07
Robert the Arrid Twincharger is specially designed for this job, this is what we use with our camper and we use an Anderson plug and 6mm wire to connect it to the car do not use your trailer plug.

Click on the coloured print above.

Baz.
AnswerID: 94662

Follow Up By: Member - Ross P (NSW) - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 15:47

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 15:47
If you do not want to use a separate plug/cable, maybe the new 12-pin flat plug/receptacles will do the job. The normal upper pins are rated for 20A but the lower 5 pins are rated for 30A.
If you have the 12 pin receptacle on the car, either trailers with 7 or 12 pins can plug into it. Provided you have it wired correctly it works fine.
I use a 12 pin plug on my off-road van and a 7 pin on the boat trailer. I have a 50 Amp Anderson plug on the back of the car but not yet on the van. Intend rewiring the 3-way fridge via the Amnderson plug to achieve minimum voltage drop..
Re wire size, the bigger the better but be carefull of specification. Eg 6 mm auto is only about 4 mm cross sectional area and personally I don't think that's big enough.
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FollowupID: 353566

Follow Up By: David Au - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 22:12

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 22:12
Ross the 12 pin trailer plugs have been available for at least twenty years and are most definitely not 'new'.
I am not at all fussed on the contact type of the 12 pin plugs and would recommend people stick to an Anderson type plug for $20.00 a pair.
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FollowupID: 353613

Follow Up By: Member - Robert R (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 07:10

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 07:10
Baz,

The Arrid system looks good for the job. From the responses I have received there is a lot of SOUND advice. Suppose it is now up to me to decide what is the best system for me to use.

Regards,

Rob
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FollowupID: 353906

Reply By: beatit - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 15:53

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 15:53
G'day Robert,

Totally support what been said above. Have a Pirahna electronic isolator in the car with a heavy duty cable to an anderson plug mounted on the rear bumper, this is plugged in seperately but at the same time as you plug in your trailer plug.

Have had this set up for a couple of years now and it works fine. Just remember to have it fused at the trailer and tie up loose cables when travelling. On one trip managed to drag the cable on a rough section of the track causing is to almost come out of the plug (but not quite) this caused a continued arc that untimately melted one of the plugs. I tape up the cables and safety chain with silver tape when travelling and always carry a spare plug.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 94674

Follow Up By: Member - Robert R (QLD) - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 16:08

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 16:08
Many thanks for your response. Your suggestion will probably be the way I go. This is the first time I have used the forum and find it a great idea

Regards,

Robert
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FollowupID: 353570

Reply By: Dodgy - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 21:52

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 21:52
Gidday Robert.. alot of sound advice there.. Anderson plugs are definately recommended.. Heavy gauge wire also essential and also a fuse or curcuit breaker near the battery comes highly recommended too.. Just incase of any nasties..

Keep your whistle wet and your powder dry.. Regards Dodgy..
AnswerID: 94729

Reply By: Ray Bates - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 22:16

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 22:16
Re Arrid Twincharger. I have a DCB mounted on the drawbar of my caravan. I am using 8mm cable through an ignition activated solinoid switch to an Anderson plug to the DCB. I have 14v ate the main battery (with the engine running) 14v at the outlet of the solinoid switch, 14v at the Anderson plug but only 13.5v at the DCB. but the DCB never seems to be charging very well. Do any of you out there believe that an Arrid Twincharger would help and where should I fit it and the aproximate cost of this item?
Thank you
AnswerID: 94738

Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 22:21

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 22:21
OH by the way Rob welcome mate enjoy.

Baz.
AnswerID: 94739

Follow Up By: Member - Robert R (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 07:03

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 07:03
Baz,

Thanks mate for the welcome.

Regards,

Rob
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FollowupID: 353905

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