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 > Continuous duty solenoid

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mtnstarman

Piney Woods

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Posted: 02/09/12 04:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Earlier today I ordered 40' of 4 gauge wire and a couple of 50a self-resetting breakers. I'll pick up a Tekonsha or equivalent solenoid tomorrow and do it all up right. Thanks all.

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 02/09/12 04:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What kind of plugs did you settle on for connecting/disconnecting your camper and batteries from the rig?


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JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 02/09/12 05:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Matthew_B wrote:

mtnstarman wrote:


I thought I could run one wire from the + post on my chassis battery thru the solenoid directly to the + posts on my deep cycle(coach) batteries and use a short wire from the - posts on the coach batteries directly to the frame nearby. Is my thinking flawed?


That was my original plan but after digging around a bit to see how the truck was wired I figured it was quite non-ideal. Remember charging power comes from the alternator, not the truck battery.

The wires to charge the battery are only #6 on my truck. The great big fat wires from the battery go to the starter, but only a small wire goes from the common power point to the battery. That adds extra drop. By going to the alternator output, I get more charge.

The wires from the frame to the block and the frame to battery negative are very small. The only large wire is from the block to the battery negative. A good return to the alternator is to connect to the block or the battery negative. Connecting to the frame adds the extra resistance of the puny ground wire. If you do want to use the frame as the return, add a fat jumper between the frame and the block.


Also, another good reason not to use the frame is Steel has a higher resistance to it naturally than Copper when it comes to conducting electricity.

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 02/10/12 11:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mtnstarman wrote:

JoeChiOhki wrote:

What kind of plugs did you settle on for connecting/disconnecting your camper and batteries from the rig?


No plugs. I'm using a truck cap and will remove the batteries when not camping. Will just use 3/8" crimp-on connectors on the 4 gauge wire, which will be left in the truck bed. When the DW wants to go with me I'll put my TC back on the truck so she'll have a few comforts. When I'm alone I'll use the truck cap quite a bit.


You know those leads will still be hot coming off the alternator, right? You also know that flooded wet cell batteries have to be vented outside (I.e. a truck cap is considered "inside").

mtnstarman

Piney Woods

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Posted: 02/10/12 02:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JoeChiOhki wrote:

What kind of plugs did you settle on for connecting/disconnecting your camper and batteries from the rig?


No plugs. I'm using a truck cap and will remove the batteries when not camping. Will just use 3/8" crimp-on connectors on the 4 gauge wire, which will be left in the truck bed. When the DW wants to go with me I'll put my TC back on the truck so she'll have a few comforts. When I'm alone I'll use the truck cap quite a bit.

Matthew_B

The boonies near Dallas, Oregon

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Posted: 02/09/12 05:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mtnstarman wrote:


I thought I could run one wire from the + post on my chassis battery thru the solenoid directly to the + posts on my deep cycle(coach) batteries and use a short wire from the - posts on the coach batteries directly to the frame nearby. Is my thinking flawed?


That was my original plan but after digging around a bit to see how the truck was wired I figured it was quite non-ideal. Remember charging power comes from the alternator, not the truck battery.

The wires to charge the battery are only #6 on my truck. The great big fat wires from the battery go to the starter, but only a small wire goes from the common power point to the battery. That adds extra drop. By going to the alternator output, I get more charge.

The wires from the frame to the block and the frame to battery negative are very small. The only large wire is from the block to the battery negative. A good return to the alternator is to connect to the block or the battery negative. Connecting to the frame adds the extra resistance of the puny ground wire. If you do want to use the frame as the return, add a fat jumper between the frame and the block.





JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 02/10/12 03:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mtnstarman wrote:

JoeChiOhki wrote:

mtnstarman wrote:

JoeChiOhki wrote:

What kind of plugs did you settle on for connecting/disconnecting your camper and batteries from the rig?


No plugs. I'm using a truck cap and will remove the batteries when not camping. Will just use 3/8" crimp-on connectors on the 4 gauge wire, which will be left in the truck bed. When the DW wants to go with me I'll put my TC back on the truck so she'll have a few comforts. When I'm alone I'll use the truck cap quite a bit.


You know those leads will still be hot coming off the alternator, right? You also know that flooded wet cell batteries have to be vented outside (I.e. a truck cap is considered "inside").


I want to come directly off the chassis battery, not the alternator. Is there anything wrong with that approach? Yeah, I plan to build a sealed battery box thats vented to the outside.


Yes, the truck's battery will limit the responsiveness of the charging system, plus you'll be adding unneeded cycling to your starting battery as it will be drawn off of for charging current vs the alternator directly.

You want your feed to go from the charging pin on the alternator to your disconnect then on to your batteries with a negative return line coming back again to the alternator's grounding connection.

mtnstarman

Piney Woods

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Posted: 02/10/12 03:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JoeChiOhki wrote:

mtnstarman wrote:

JoeChiOhki wrote:

mtnstarman wrote:

JoeChiOhki wrote:

What kind of plugs did you settle on for connecting/disconnecting your camper and batteries from the rig?


No plugs. I'm using a truck cap and will remove the batteries when not camping. Will just use 3/8" crimp-on connectors on the 4 gauge wire, which will be left in the truck bed. When the DW wants to go with me I'll put my TC back on the truck so she'll have a few comforts. When I'm alone I'll use the truck cap quite a bit.


You know those leads will still be hot coming off the alternator, right? You also know that flooded wet cell batteries have to be vented outside (I.e. a truck cap is considered "inside").


I want to come directly off the chassis battery, not the alternator. Is there anything wrong with that approach? Yeah, I plan to build a sealed battery box thats vented to the outside.


Yes, the truck's battery will limit the responsiveness of the charging system, plus you'll be adding unneeded cycling to your starting battery as it will be drawn off of for charging current vs the alternator directly.

You want your feed to go from the charging pin on the alternator to your disconnect then on to your batteries with a negative return line coming back again to the alternator's grounding connection.


Thanks Joe, I'll do it that way, just didn't want to fiddle around with the alternator. Truck still in warranty.

mtnstarman

Piney Woods

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Posted: 02/10/12 02:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JoeChiOhki wrote:

mtnstarman wrote:

JoeChiOhki wrote:

What kind of plugs did you settle on for connecting/disconnecting your camper and batteries from the rig?


No plugs. I'm using a truck cap and will remove the batteries when not camping. Will just use 3/8" crimp-on connectors on the 4 gauge wire, which will be left in the truck bed. When the DW wants to go with me I'll put my TC back on the truck so she'll have a few comforts. When I'm alone I'll use the truck cap quite a bit.


You know those leads will still be hot coming off the alternator, right? You also know that flooded wet cell batteries have to be vented outside (I.e. a truck cap is considered "inside").


I want to come directly off the chassis battery, not the alternator. Is there anything wrong with that approach? Yeah, I plan to build a sealed battery box thats vented to the outside.

unimogdave

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Posted: 02/10/12 04:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gonna stir the pot here.

Sounds like more of an effort to build a system to jump start the truck then charge a aux battery. There is a reason that consumer battery chargers are typically 10 amp. You cannot control the voltage out of your alternator so you are not going to be able to pump 60 amps into your batteries (unless they are shot and have internal shorts). If that was true, I would be burning up wires and popping fuses on my stock trailer charging circuit every time I hooked up after a weekend of boon docking. Sure you can draw 60 or 350 amps out of a battery because your dropping it across a basic short (car starter or winch). A couple of lights and a 12V fan will go a long time. Why not get a LED light and then you can use one battery and run a number 10 wire? Invest in a meter and charge the batteries when they get down to 12Volts. Whether you connect the batteries with booster cables (heavy gauge wire) or not, they won't charge a whole lot faster with 14.5 Volts into a 12V battery. The 150 amp alternator charges the battery, runs the lights, heater blower, power seats etc etc. Its not there to charge the batteries or you would need a way to bump the voltage up to maintain the high current flow. I can camp for a weekend with two batteries running my water pump, furnace, led lights. I would save the heavy gauge wire for connections to high power ham radio transmitters or other resistive loads. Note, all your vehicle grounding is via the frame. While yes 10 gauge steel wire conducts less then 10 gauge copper, your 000 gauge truck frame will handle 2,000 amps :-)

Here is what I think you should do. If you have dual Battery trays like my Silverado, I would get an Aux deep cycle mounted in the engine compartment, connected with a battery isolater. Run a #10 wire to your Shell and enjoy your boon docking.

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