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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Battery Charging While Driving Down the Road

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korbe

California

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Posted: 08/20/12 07:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used my volt meter recently to check my two, 6-volt batteries state of charge. I have been curious as to how well my truck would charge my batteries after a time of dry camping. Here is what I found:

6.39 volts (100%) before camping trip.
6.19 volts (70%) after two days of dry camping.
6.37 volts (100%) hooked up but isolated after 2-hour drive.

This recharging number surprised me. I thought it would take more than one-hours drive to charge the batteries from one day's camping.

I am attempting to figure out how long I need to travel between campgrounds, and still keep my batteries fully charged.


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tenbear

Northern Vermont, USA

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Posted: 08/20/12 07:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you allow time for the surface charge to leak off?


Class C, 2004/5 Four Winds Dutchman Express 28A, Chevy chassis
2010 Subaru Impreza Sedan
Camped in 45 states, 7 Provinces and 1 Territory


Camp, Forrest, Camp!

Boise, ID

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Posted: 08/20/12 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My truck takes a good 6 hours to recharge my dual 6V batteries after a couple of days of camping. I never am able to gt them to the same level that the converter does.

Your diesel has a much higher output from the alternator than I do, but I think you may be measuring the static(surface) charge present when batteries are exposed to charging voltage for a brief time. To get an accurate check, turn something on with a moderate current draw for a few minutes. Something like a powered vent or CRT television. Then measure with everything off.


-2000 Chevy K3500 CC DRW 7.4L, Auto; 2000 Arctic Fox 1150 WB; 1999 Bayliner Capri 1800LS Outboard
-Air Lift bags, Torklift tie-downs, Superhitch w/48", Rancho RS9000X, K&N FIPK, MagnaFlow exhaust.


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/20/12 08:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Korbe,

If you want a better rate of charge the wire needs must be beefed up. Some folks go to #4.

I'm not in a tow vehicle and trailer, but I can tell you I get 30 amps from the OEM charging circuit on a class C.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

korbe

California

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Posted: 08/20/12 08:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Okay, I turned on a light and fan for a minute or two, then turned them off and checked the voltage: 6.33 (90%) that sounds better. Can I assume one more hour of driving would bring it up to 100%, or does it take longer the closer it gets to fully charged?

mena661

Southern California

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Posted: 08/20/12 08:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tenbear wrote:

Did you allow time for the surface charge to leak off?
X2


2009 Newmar Canyon Star 3205, Ford F53 V10
Trojan L16 6V's 740 Amp-hours


mena661

Southern California

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Posted: 08/20/12 08:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

korbe wrote:

or does it take longer the closer it gets to fully charged?
Yes. Resistance builds in the battery. The last 10% can take more than twice as long as the 50-90%.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/20/12 08:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Korbe,

I'd say run the light and fan for 5 minutes.

Charging a battery bank is somewhat like a frog on a log who can jump 1/2 to the end of the log in any jump. Every jump takes about the same time but the amp-hours returned to the battery become smaller and smaller.

The Falcon

Monterey Co, CA, USA

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Posted: 08/20/12 08:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a good topic. In a recent Trailer Life(or was it Motorehome?) tech issues section the author would not commit to a drive time charge rate. All he did was try to steer you to another product(s).

It would be nice if someone could come up with a reasonable time. Is it 100 miles or 500 miles? Is it one hour or 10 hours? I'm sure all vehicles are not the same, but still?

I figure, off the top of my head, my rig should be charged after a couple of hours drive. No real basis for this though.


Precision Guesses
Joe&Jan 2003 Hurricane 30Q V10
2004 Jeep Liberty, Blue Ox, Brake Buddy

tenbear

Northern Vermont, USA

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Posted: 08/20/12 09:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With a truck and trailer, as opposed to a motorhome, a lot depends on the wire connecting the two. I don't think the charging rate will be high enough to recharge the battery very fast.

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