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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Camper Battery doesnt charge while going down the road

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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 12/06/21 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Buy a test light or voltmeter and check the charge line at the plug. Once it is charging you may need to use larger wire for faster charging.

You need to test the voltage AT THE HOUSE BATTERY after the engine has been running for 5-10 minutes. You will be surprised how low t s.

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 12/06/21 04:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As said above the rate of energy flow is very little from the alternator to the RV Battery.

covered wagon

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Posted: 12/06/21 05:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

srschang wrote:

You're not going to get much charging through the factory 7 pin plug. The wire from the alternator to the 7 pin plug is too small.


My 02 Dodge Cummins does great no mods except it has the trailer plug in the rear and that's what it's hooked to. I know it's too far but, it does great.

When checking you need to take apart the male part of the 7 pin adapter that's mounted on the camper. The guys building these things get piece rate and so that wire doesn't often get stripped... they just try driving the set screw in tight enough to break thru the wire insulation and that's what I have found twice now. Both times fixing these have had good results.

ticki2

NH

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Posted: 12/06/21 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

CA Traveler wrote:

Buy a test light or voltmeter and check the charge line at the plug. Once it is charging you may need to use larger wire for faster charging.

You need to test the voltage AT THE HOUSE BATTERY after the engine has been running for 5-10 minutes. You will be surprised how low t s.


Low voltage is one thing , no voltage is a different problem


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 12/06/21 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

covered wagon wrote:

srschang wrote:

You're not going to get much charging through the factory 7 pin plug. The wire from the alternator to the 7 pin plug is too small.


My 02 Dodge Cummins does great no mods except it has the trailer plug in the rear and that's what it's hooked to. I know it's too far but, it does great.

When checking you need to take apart the male part of the 7 pin adapter that's mounted on the camper. The guys building these things get piece rate and so that wire doesn't often get stripped... they just try driving the set screw in tight enough to break thru the wire insulation and that's what I have found twice now. Both times fixing these have had good results.


My 03 does great as well.
I don't know about newer RAM's but older ones had a 10 awg wire feeding the 7 pin charging circuit and it passes plenty of power.

bighatnohorse

Gig Harbor - Cave Creek

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Posted: 12/07/21 07:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The fridge could be switching to DC power - the vehicle charge is not enough to keep up with the power drain from the fridge is running on DC power.
That's the first thing that you should check.

Second, after the truck is warmed up and running for a few minutes, check the camper battery (with a VOM) to see if it actually is getting charged from the truck.

After that, you can do all that other stuff that was recommended.


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mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 12/07/21 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

covered wagon wrote:

srschang wrote:

You're not going to get much charging through the factory 7 pin plug. The wire from the alternator to the 7 pin plug is too small.


My 02 Dodge Cummins does great no mods except it has the trailer plug in the rear and that's what it's hooked to. I know it's too far but, it does great.

When checking you need to take apart the male part of the 7 pin adapter that's mounted on the camper. The guys building these things get piece rate and so that wire doesn't often get stripped... they just try driving the set screw in tight enough to break thru the wire insulation and that's what I have found twice now. Both times fixing these have had good results.


My 03 does great as well.
I don't know about newer RAM's but older ones had a 10 awg wire feeding the 7 pin charging circuit and it passes plenty of power.


What's "great?"

If you don't run the battery down much, it does not need much charging.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

Geewizard

WA

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Posted: 12/07/21 08:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cewillis wrote:


Right -- need a dedicated high capacity wire from an engine charge point to the camper battery(s), protected with fuses, and solenoid (or equiv) activated.
My simple circuit .


I agree. My setup is the same and has worked for years.


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 12/07/21 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkirsch wrote:

ScottG wrote:

covered wagon wrote:

srschang wrote:

You're not going to get much charging through the factory 7 pin plug. The wire from the alternator to the 7 pin plug is too small.


My 02 Dodge Cummins does great no mods except it has the trailer plug in the rear and that's what it's hooked to. I know it's too far but, it does great.

When checking you need to take apart the male part of the 7 pin adapter that's mounted on the camper. The guys building these things get piece rate and so that wire doesn't often get stripped... they just try driving the set screw in tight enough to break thru the wire insulation and that's what I have found twice now. Both times fixing these have had good results.


My 03 does great as well.
I don't know about newer RAM's but older ones had a 10 awg wire feeding the 7 pin charging circuit and it passes plenty of power.


What's "great?"

If you don't run the battery down much, it does not need much charging.


Mine have had no problem supplying 20~25+ amps continuously when called upon over the last 30+ years. The 10 awg wire trucks of this era used is the key.

There have been a lot of blanket statements made in this thread that simply don't apply to the OP's 2002 Dodge.

* This post was edited 12/07/21 09:58am by ScottG *

cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 12/07/21 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:


Much simpler and probably more effective is a DC-DC charger.

Modern vehicles vehicles drop the voltage from the alternator to <13.5V shortly after starting. This has is not adequate to charge a house battery. The DC-DC charger boosts that up to the proper charging voltage.


Adequate current transfer is still required in any case -- thus heavy gauge wire.

My alternator - and I suspect all functioning alternators - charges at a voltage determined by the load voltage. While the load voltage is below ~14.3 to 14.4v, the alternator charges at ~14.4 volts. When the load voltage comes up, the alternator drops to the maintenance voltage of ~13.5v. Otherwise, the load (batteries - truck + camper) would never reach full charge.


Cal


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