Charging of camper trailer batteries

Submitted: Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 00:25
ThreadID: 19933 Views:2343 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.

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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

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
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
FollowupID: 354875

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

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 11:50

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.


AnswerID: 96232

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