Charging of camper trailer batteries

Submitted: Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 00:25
ThreadID: 19933 Views:2156 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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Hi all,
Just need a little advice.
I have dual Oddysey batteries in my Jeep which are controlled by an ARB smart solenoid and two 90amp wet batteries in my camper trailer which I would like to charge while driving to and from camping destinations. My camper trailer has a pl20 solar regulator which i would like to use to charge my wet batteries.
In order to use the pl20 I would have to reduce the amperage to the unit somehow?? Can this be done to provide 5 to 10 amps to the pl20?
Otherwise I am considering buying an inverter to run a 7 amp three stage charger.
Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Cobes.
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Reply By: Ray Bates - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 09:58

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 09:58
Hi Cobes,
the first thing I must point out is don't be fooled by cable sizes as cable size standards are in a bit of a mess and you don't always get what you ask for.
I nstalled a system to my caravan (I have a Trojan DCB mounted on my drawbar) Upon advise I was told that I needed 8mm auto cable to do the job. This size is completely inadequate for the service. I have now ordered some 4ASG cable from Altronics which will be installed during the week. This is rather heavy cable that is 10mm outside diameter (the plastic) but has a 18.8mm2 core which amounts to almost 6mm diameter and of cause will have to go through an Anderson type plug. This cable will run straight from the main battery via a soliniod. I have been advised by my local auto electrician that as long as you have sufficient size cabling that the fancy gissmos sold for battery control are a wast of money and not neccessary. Think of me wiring up this week
Ray Bates
AnswerID: 95781

Reply By: crozdog - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 17:04

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 17:04
Cobes,

I looked into using a PL20 recently for a similar application, but decided against it - only cause i couldn't justify the cost & complexity. I also didn't like the idea of having high current "Live" wires running through the vehicle. Instead i have bought a great (& cheap iePL20 caravan setup with solar

I believe it is neither elegant nor efficient to run an inverter to run a charger to charge the batteries.

There are numerous posts here & also on the overlander forums discussing how to wire in 3rd batteries & also batteries in trailers. use the search options on each site & you will find heaps of info - beware there is a lot of confusion re wire size. Read Colin Rivers excellent books, posts & web site for clear info on 12v electrics.

Also have a look at alternative power sites like rainbow power company & marine shops such as whitworths. They are also a mine of good info / products.

FYI, I bought Anderson Plugs cheaply online from FARNELL
Part no's
397-4017 red
397-4029 grey
both of which are $6.98 + GST per connector including terminals.
Order two of either part no to get a pair for about $16
AnswerID: 95875

Follow Up By: Poppy - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:42

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:42
Just bought the grey model anderson plug from ARB and cost me $40.00 Did they see me coming or what?
Just crying in my beer
Cheers Poppy
0
FollowupID: 354710

Follow Up By: Ray Bates - Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 19:29

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 19:29
Just baught a 175amp Aderson plug X2 inc GST and postage from Warning Systems for $33.00
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FollowupID: 354875

Reply By: crozdog - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 11:50

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 11:50
Cobes,

In my haste to send my response I stuffed up some HTML coding of a link which meant that the first bit of my reply doesn't make much sense. Sorry for that.

Have a look at this site for something similar using a PL20

The charger I bought is a 7.2A switchmode charger made by "MeanWell", model PB120p-13c from Computronics in WA. It doesn't do an equalisation charge, but does have a "soft start" for flat batteries as well as 13.8v float & 14.4 v boost.

Also find out the specs / info on your batteries from the manufacturer or distributor so you can program the PL20 accordingly. The PL20 manual can be found here, while the technical manual, is here.

Cheers

Crozdog
AnswerID: 96232

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