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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Battery Charging While Driving Down the Road

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korbe

Northern 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.


2004 F250 SD PSD
2004 Crossroads Cruiser CF25RS


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, 1985 Lance 900, 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 Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 2500 MSW watt inverter.

korbe

Northern 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.


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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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