Charging battery in Camper

Submitted: Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2341 Views:3022 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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Is it feasible to charge a battery in a camper using a lead from the car through the 7 pin plug? Is there potential to damage car electronics etc, does it require any additional hardware or should it be set up like a dual battery system?
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Reply By: Member - Graham - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
I had a similar situation with a work trailer, i installed a basic dual batt system as suggested by a auto sparky, a line from batt to a solinoid , solinoid wired to ign with a manual switch in car and use a circiut breaker instead of a fuse. cost at the time was about $50
Check with local auto sparky to re your vehicle, (electronics) mine was an early diesel. electronics were radios.
AnswerID: 8382

Reply By: Member - Paul- Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Keith, I ran a 2nd battery in my camper trailer for 4 yrs & had no problem. I charged it via a 6mm cable direct from my cranking battery
in my pajero. this was isolated by a relay(soleniod) when the engine was not running. I used 50amp anderson plugs between the trailer & the car so I could connect & disconnect. this system is simple & reliable & I had no problem with my electronics (the pajero is full of them)
hope this helps. regards, Paul.
AnswerID: 8383

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
Brylite also make a 12 pin trailer plug that is a conventional 7 pin plug, with 5 more HD pins capable of 25 amps each. I use 3 for positive and two for negative. Have used this setup for 20 years.

Actually just found this website looking for a picture of the 12 pin Brylite. It also shows you a picture of the Anderson Plugs. Both are towards the bottom of the page.

Also shows a lot of intormation about wiring etc. for partially what you want to do.
http://www.aroundoz.8m.com/diy_vehicle_fridge_wiring.htm
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FollowupID: 4058

Reply By: Nordave - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
Keith. i am about to do this with my camper and would like to point out the following. (I am and electrician by the way.)
1 When a battery charges it gves off a flammable gas,hydrogen, this is
why you are always told not to check your battery levels with a match. Although in normal stuations this is not a lot of gas if the battery is in a cuboard etc it may cause an explosive situation.I am going to mount my extra battery in a ventilated box on the draw bar.
2 If you flatten the battery in the camper,when you run the engine a very large current will flow to the discharged battery. the normal 2.5 or 4mm cable that is in trailer plugs will not handle this and will melt and short. This Idea of having a seperate 50 amp plug is good but you will need more than 6mm wire to handle this . One solution may be to fit a circuit breaker to limt the current flow. I sugest you have a talk to an auto electrician to determane the amount of charging current etc available as this will vary with the set up of your electrical system and the size of your altenator.
AnswerID: 8386

Reply By: Peter S - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
The other thing to consider is that if you discharge your trailer battery alot, then the potentail of damage to both batteries is quite major.
The amount of current between the 2 when in connected together can cause heat up in both batteries. The uptake of this is is bending plates shorts and reducing life of batteries.

All this behind us what are you giong to connect ie Fridge lihts and all the goodies or a few lights.
If a fridge then
I would recomend a good quality battery isolater (not a straight soleniod)

If just a couple of lights then a regulated 40 watt solar panel will keep you going for quite a long time.
AnswerID: 8388

Follow Up By: Keith - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
Peter
I would only be running lights off the battery in the camper. The fridge stays in the back of the Jackaroo and has it's own dedicated power line. I agree that a solar panel would do the job but thought that when we are touring it seems a waste not to utilise the vehicle alternator. Pehaps I would be better off with a conventional dual battery system in the car and power the camper directly from the second battery??
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FollowupID: 4053

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
Keith, Jaycar have a small solar panel

STOCK-CODE: ZM9030 Qty 1+ $159.00
10 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panels - Amorphous

and with a GEL Cell battery would run your fluoro lights.
A 20 Watt would be preferable, but how many hours do you use the fluoro lights and what wattage are they.

STOCK-CODE: ZM9062 Qty 1+ $359.00
20 Watt 12V Solarex Solar Panels - PolycrystalLine
Those are from Jaycar:
www.jaycar.com.au

However, if you did go to the 20w you would be far better buying this:
http://www.coiltek.com.au/Products/solar_panels.htm
BP SX40 $396 incl GST and Aus wide delivery.
I have never found a cheaper price than that. Panel life is 25 years, so a good investment. I run 2 x BP SX60




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FollowupID: 4059

Reply By: Member - Graham - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
I had a similar situation with a work trailer, i installed a basic dual batt system as suggested by a auto sparky, a line from batt to a solinoid , solinoid wired to ign with a manual switch in car and use a circiut breaker instead of a fuse. cost at the time was about $50
Check with local auto sparky to re your vehicle, (electronics) mine was an early diesel. electronics were radios.
AnswerID: 8394

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
I wouldn't recommend using the stardard trailer plug for charging as the voltage drop by the time it gets to the trailer battery will probably mean that you'll get no charge anyway.

I have starter cable running from my Rotronics controller to a 50 amp anderson plug next to the 7 pin trailer socket. This works well.

Another (more expensive) option is to get one of those regulated 12 volt chargers that run off 10+ volts - try www.12volt.com.au
AnswerID: 8408

Reply By: Drew - Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002 at 01:00
I have this setup in my trailer and was provided by local 4x4 company. Works extremely well using additional solenoid/isolator of some type and I have had no problems. It has Anderson plugs connecting and heavy wire running from the second battery. When camping I also trickle charge the camper battery using a solar panel (very small)
AnswerID: 8433

Reply By: Axel + Karen - Wednesday, Nov 13, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2002 at 01:00
Keith , is feasible, have used 7 pin plug for over 12mths no problem, is LARGE SIZE not small as normal used on car,, we use the rotronics w/ender system,, main bat isolated from 2nd bat as soon as engine off ,,,all acc run from 2nd bat [fridge ect] ,,, also have 3rd bat in trailer.. 6mm wire from 2nd bat to 3rd thru 7 pin plug + and - ,,,pin no2 aux or reversing sig =neg,,,,pin no5 elec brakes = + power,,,,system works as no need for brakes on our trailer [under 750kg] power LOSS is minimal,,,, bat charge rate at idle,main 14.8,, no2 14.7 no3 14.6volts,,, the beauty of the system is that only 1 plug to connect,,and is easy and cheap to cofigure,,have 6 power points in trailer for lights and fridge ,radio ect// when trailer independant of car ,power lasts 4 days/nights,,plugged into car ,3rd/2nd bats in series , power for7/8 days without starting vehicle ,,, always recharge bats when volts drop to 10.5 never lower,,,,takes35/45min at idle to bring back to FULL charge ......
AnswerID: 8490

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