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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Charging batteries off the truck

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Kalabin

Alaska

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Posted: 05/30/12 09:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey guys I was wondering if someone might have already done the math on this. I'm curious without using a generator using my truck's 12v charge how many amp hours of charge I would get over idling for x amount of time.

The reason being is my camper is due for some repairs this summer so I may not get as much camping in after all, and I plan to just save up the cash and splurge on a Honda / Yamaha for next season. Curious how much idling I would need to do this summer in order for x amount of charge off the truck.

I am not sure which converter my camper uses in the wolfcreek. Any guestimates with the math breakdown would be nice.

Jason


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2oldman

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Posted: 05/30/12 10:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From the umbilical not much. Using jumper cables.. much better.

Kalabin

Alaska

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Posted: 05/30/12 11:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

From the umbilical not much. Using jumper cables.. much better.


Yeah I was planning on using the 7-pin (truck) to 6-pin (camper), it's 12V is fused @ 40amps I believe.

Hey there

Pendergrass, GA

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Posted: 05/31/12 12:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Alaska Jason,

The fuse is 40 amps; but the wire is about #14 or so and many feet long. I tried it and only got a "surface charge". Too much voltage drop in the line to push many electrons thru.

Kurt


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msiminoff

Silicon Valley, CA

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Posted: 05/31/12 02:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AkJason wrote:

Yeah I was planning on using the 7-pin (truck) to 6-pin (camper), it's 12V is fused @ 40amps I believe.

As others have mentioned: Due to the small wire size & resulting voltage drop, don't expect to do much charging through the stock wiring in your truck... As a result, you are likely to be doing a lot of idling, which is not an efficient way to charge your camper"s battery.

However, if you are willing to upgrade the wiring and connectors you can charge at (nearly) whatever a amperage your alternator can produce @ idle. As a point of reference, I use 2ga wire between my truck and camper and (with the camper batteries discharged) I see more that 75A of charge current with the truck @ idle.

Cheers
-Mark


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joe b.

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Posted: 05/31/12 04:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are not big electric users in our TC. I wired the camper plug with #6 gauge wire both for power and ground. With our group 31 AGM battery we can go several days without having to recharge the battery. We run everything we can on propane so a few lights in the evening and the Fantastic fan as needed is about it for our electrical needs. We have a built in generator in our TC but on last years trip to Alaska never started it a single time. After two or three nights camping the truck alternator will recharge the battery usually by noon when driving.
I am considering removing the generator from the TC. We also have a Honda 2000i but don't use it except after storms.


joe b.
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joe b.

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Posted: 05/31/12 04:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My previous truck had a 130 amp alternator. The current Chevy has a pair of 125 amp alternators. I have a 50 amp breaker in the charging line. I figure my fantastic fan will use about 20 amp hours per evening/night the lights the water pump the other small power draws will use another 10 or 15 AHs of power. So I figure one hour of engine time will cover one night of camping. After two night camping a couple of hours of driving will have the house battery recharged. Just add up all the power you plan to use per day and go from there.

campn4walleye

Central WI

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Posted: 05/31/12 05:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We too have found that we don't need a genny. We could camp for almost a full week without needing to charge the batteries. We didn't use a houseful of lights of course and were careful, but not "frugal". It could be that we were on the lake most of the time, so we use less power than most.

On those times that we stayed extra long, DH would switch out batteries between the boat and 5er.

Now that we have the TC and larger batteries, we're hoping that we can stay out even longer.

BTW, what is the news on your TC?


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MNtundraRet

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Posted: 05/31/12 08:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 40 amp fuse is needed because of current used for all circuits: lights, turn-signals, brakes, brake-lights, 12v circuit in trailer, and battery-charging. The single battery-charging circuit will only give you 10 amps charging for every hour the engine is run because of wire gauge and length. Next to worthless because of the many hours needed to replace amps used.

The only workable option is a heavy-gauge set, or two, of jumper-cables. Connected between truck battery and trailer battery. Make sure to connect the two the same method used for jump-starting a vehicle. You may get around 40 amps each hour this way.

It may take 2+ hours this way to do what you need per your post.


Mark & Jan "Old age & treachery win over youth & enthusiasm"
2003 Fleetwood Jamboree 29


AnEv942

CA

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Posted: 05/31/12 09:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Umm I must be dense, Im not clear on as to the why? You said camper was going to be down for repairs...so how does that require/relate charging from truck as an interem?

Also I thought you already picked up small gen?

But I guess mostly curious about camper status. Last I recall you were negotiating repairs from shipping damage. You have possesion of camper-repaires already made? Sorry just confused...


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