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Old 11-12-2018, 10:31 AM   #1
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Charging trailer's battery while driving?

Will the truck's electrical system charge our 2005 24ft Zinger batteries while driving? Our trailer has the standard round plug-in to the truck
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:37 AM   #2
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6 wire or 7 wire plug? If it's hooked up correctly it will.
If you have the 7 wire plug, here is a diagram of how it should be hooked up to work properly.
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:23 PM   #3
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Also check your owners manual for the location of the trailer 12v + fuse in your tow vehicle. Had a truck once with the factory tow wiring but the connector wire for the brake controller and the fuse for the battery charge was in the glove box and the owner had to install it.

If you have a test light you can check the plug on your truck per the diagram that Lloyd posted. Check with the key on and the key off. Had a truck that only had power with the key on but my current GMC has power all the time. Just connect the clamp to a good ground-bumper or frame- and then touch the test light to the correct location.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:58 PM   #4
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Yes it will charge the batteries. But, mostly by definition.
Unfortunately the reality of electrical transfer of 12 volt is very difficult.

The losses from the front of the tow vehicle to the battery on the towed vehicle is pretty big.

The answer is a bigger wire. However, manufacturers do not do that for the most part.

So the answer is yes, however do not expect much.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:16 PM   #5
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Like the previous posts have said, it will work, but for it to work well you need a heavier wire.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:47 PM   #6
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Maybe!
If your Ford has the charging relay and fuse, prior to 2013 these came in a bag and not always got installed if you bought the truck new it should have a bag with a few parts these need to be installed. Somewhere around 2013 Ford started installing these from the factory, ask me I know, had a 2009 and did not have these installed, have a 2013 but due to another charging issue I thought ( so did 1 fellow at the dealer ship and the internet) that these were required, later another dealership guy said no cause any vehicle after 2013 had them installed. I had other charging issues with the truck. You can check and see if at the 7 prong connector there is 12 volts on the pin that is supposed to provide the charging power. (I found that pin from internet search and I did not have 12 volts there. My truck required a dealership investigation.

Hows that for a short answer!

Good luck
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:29 AM   #7
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Charging RV battery from tow vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeil View Post
Will the truck's electrical system charge our 2005 24ft Zinger batteries while driving? Our trailer has the standard round plug-in to the truck
It should charge the battery while you are towing. Most auto alternators put out 13 plus volts which will charge a 12v battery. There are two caveats, however. The alternator must be able to deliver enough curren to run the tow vehicle electrical load (headlights, vent fan, etc), and any load the trailer is drawing as well (interior and exterior lights, fridge, fans), and have excess capacity with which to charge the battery. Make sure you have minimal drain from the trailer devices.

If you have a vehicle with a towing package from the manufacturer you should have a larger than standard alternator.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:38 AM   #8
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Yes, if you have a volt meter or vom, you can check the static voltage of your trailer battery and expect to find between 12.8-12.4 volts if good. While the truck is plugged into the trailer and running, you should expect to see between 14.2-13.4 volts.
The good news is the system will not allow the trailer to draw off your trucks starting battery once low and threaten to not start your truck. It's a one way diode type hook up.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:58 PM   #9
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An easy way, once you're hooked up to the vehicle, and not plugged into shore power. Assuming you have the same 4-LED monitor panel, you will probably get 3 lights when the TV is not running, (indicating standing battery power) and 4 lights when your TV is running and charging. Mine works that way.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:58 AM   #10
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I've got a slightly different question, "Should the battery be getting charged while plugged into the house 120VAC?

More info: I had to change my battery box so I removed the camper battery leads and removed the battery. While I had the battery removed from the camper, I thought that I would make sure that the camper was supplying plenty of VDC to charge the battery. I connected the voltmeter leads to the camper POS and NEG leads and got a reading of 10vdc. I thought that was too low and should at least read 12vdc. A friend of mine thought that the camper "senses" the battery charge level and adjusts the charging voltage accordingly. My reply was that the camper should "sense" a disconnected battery as being in a very low charge state and supply at least 13vdc (or something like that) to charge the battery. The only other thing to add is that I turned OFF my Converter circuit breaker and the voltage dropped to 0 (zero) while it was OFF, turning it back ON resulted in the same 10vdc being read.

Am I being concerned over nothing?
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:21 AM   #11
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Battery issues

Short Answers to your questions

Battery should be charging when plugged into a RUNNING vehicle, as well as when plugged into shore power.
Battery voltage is approximately 12 volts, when being charged either way the battery voltage should rise to approximately 13.5 volts, this voltage will NOT drop as the battery charges, otherwise the battery would charge at the lower value.

It is CURRENT that drops as the battery charges NOT voltage. Some chargers including most new vehicles, need to sense battery voltage in order to actually start charging, however the inexpensive converters supplied by manufacturers do not do this and will output voltage and current to the battery leads, even if there is no battery. Not to say that a manufacturer converter isn't a better unit, hence the 10 volts.

Further to this the inexpensive converters used in RV's do not taper off when charging the battery, which means that if you are plugged into shore power the converter is likely putting out maximum or almost maximum current (2-3 amps) continuously. This means over a long period of time, you may boil all the electrolyte out of the battery which means the battery is likely to be garbage and need replacing, (worst case). this is why when parked for long periods of time it is best to disconnect the battery (Battery Switch) or disconnect lead and protect it from shorting out on the frame of the RV, remember it is powered as long as you are connected to shore power or a running vehicle.

To test a battery, short of having a expensive battery tester, automotive shop piece of equipment.
1. Ensure that you are not connected to shore power
2. Ensure that you are not connected to a vehicle or in the case of an RV the engine is NOT on.
3. Measure the battery voltage with as little equipment running it should be approximately 11.5 - 13 volts.
4. While monitoring battery voltage engage some electrical load (ex: a slide motor, water pump, etc), the battery voltage should drop while running the load however it should drop (say 12 volts initially drops to 11.1 volts) and remain fairly constant (11.1 volts) and return to almost the starting voltage when the load is stopped.

It the voltage drops constantly while the load is running the battery is weak and probably close to needing a replacement. Take it to a shop and have a proper load test performed.

Long reply but I hope this helps.

Ernie
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:24 AM   #12
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I haven't checked the actual battery voltage yet and will do that when I get home today. So, should I be concerned that it was only reading 10vdc?
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:05 PM   #13
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Your converter should be putting out 12+ volts.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:14 PM   #14
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Here is a link to RV converters. This should/will give you the correct info instead of false info.
https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/po...specifications
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:34 PM   #15
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As mentioned in a prior response check the tow vehicle +12V pin for voltage. My Chevy required me hooking up a wire to the fuse box to get +12V to the trailer connector.

This link shows pin location and function
http://lamartrailer.net/wp-content/u...g-Diagrams.pdf

This is for wiring +12V to connector on tow vehicle.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:40 PM   #16
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When connected to your TV with the small gauge wire, possibly 12 gauge or smaller, for the charge circuit it would take days for the TV running to ever make much difference in the state of battery charge. It's main purpose is to keep a fully charged battery topped off & will never charge enough to overcome a weak or dead RV battery.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonakin View Post
I've got a slightly different question, "Should the battery be getting charged while plugged into the house 120VAC?

More info: I had to change my battery box so I removed the camper battery leads and removed the battery. While I had the battery removed from the camper, I thought that I would make sure that the camper was supplying plenty of VDC to charge the battery. I connected the voltmeter leads to the camper POS and NEG leads and got a reading of 10vdc. I thought that was too low and should at least read 12vdc. A friend of mine thought that the camper "senses" the battery charge level and adjusts the charging voltage accordingly. My reply was that the camper should "sense" a disconnected battery as being in a very low charge state and supply at least 13vdc (or something like that) to charge the battery. The only other thing to add is that I turned OFF my Converter circuit breaker and the voltage dropped to 0 (zero) while it was OFF, turning it back ON resulted in the same 10vdc being read.

Am I being concerned over nothing?
The battery voltage without vehicle running or shore power should be 12 volts, if it is less than that (like 10 volts) you have a bad cell and the battery is toast.

If you are checking the battery with the vehicle running or plugged into shore power, then battery voltage should be around 13.5 volts. If it is over that the converter is faulty and will boil your battery dry very quickly and ruin other 12 volt equipment. If it is less than that (13.5 volts) the converter is still faulty and needs to be looked at (replaced)
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:43 PM   #18
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I have been dry camping before and ran the battery down to the point the landing gear would not lift the camper plugged in the truck and it supplied plenty of power to raise the camper to hitch up. As soon as i plugged up the truck you could hear the alternator start to whine as it supplied power to the camper. Do not know what brand truck you have but mine works good.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:43 PM   #19
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Yes even with a battery that will not run a high CURRENT device like landing gear will still have a voltage, therefore as soon as you connect the truck, the alternator senses the low voltage battery and outputs high CURRENT to charge the battery, OR supply the HIGH CURRENT device . THIS is all normal. Unfortunately a converter is not quite an alternator.
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