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Old 05-30-2017, 09:16 AM   #1
LRL
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Trailer Battery not charging off of TV

On shakedown trip home in March, all electrical systems worked just fine. However, on the past two weekend trips, we've noticed that the TV isn't charging the trailer battery as it should. I've checked the 7-pin output from the TV, and all pins, including of course, the one that should send power to the trailer batteries, are live and working. But somehow, power isn't getting from the TV to the trailer battery. Please advise as to what I should next check.

All trailer lights and electrical components appear to work fine. The solar charger works fine, and shore power works as it should.

Any advice welcome! Thanks all you wonderful forum helpers.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:29 AM   #2
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I have a Tacoma that I use to pull my Escape 21. I don't think the alternator in my truck has much effect on the trailer's batteries due to the distance between them, which is nearly forty feet. Distance means a lot in DC circuits. I rely on solar panels and the occasional shore power to keep my batteries charged.

There have been other threads on this subject. Do a search for them to give you more info.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LRL View Post
On shakedown trip home in March, all electrical systems worked just fine. However, on the past two weekend trips, we've noticed that the TV isn't charging the trailer battery as it should. I've checked the 7-pin output from the TV, and all pins, including of course, the one that should send power to the trailer batteries, are live and working. But somehow, power isn't getting from the TV to the trailer battery. Please advise as to what I should next check.

All trailer lights and electrical components appear to work fine. The solar charger works fine, and shore power works as it should.

Any advice welcome! Thanks all you wonderful forum helpers.
Are you running your fridge on DC while towing? The fridge uses a large amount of power and may result on a battery draw even though your alternator may be charging. We run our fridge on propane when towing and this results on the tow vehicle charging the trailer battery fine.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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Are you running your fridge on DC while towing? The fridge uses a large amount of power and may result on a battery draw even though your alternator may be charging. We run our fridge on propane when towing and this results on the tow vehicle charging the trailer battery fine.
Yes, I am running the fridge on DC... as I was taught to do at orientation. I've followed the long -simmering debate between propane and DC fridge power, and am probably ready to switch to propane, if indeed it's true that the fridge can draw more power than the TV can supply.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
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if indeed it's true that the fridge can draw more power than the TV can supply.
Lee, This was our experience. We started on DC when under tow, but discovered the batteries were not keeping up, even with solar. Since switching to propane all is good
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:13 PM   #6
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Yes, I am running the fridge on DC... as I was taught to do at orientation. I've followed the long -simmering debate between propane and DC fridge power, and am probably ready to switch to propane, if indeed it's true that the fridge can draw more power than the TV can supply.
We were the same as you, we ran on DC as this was what we were told at orientation, but as Steve said, running on propane, this is good, in fact better. However, you should also remember that when running on propane, you have a flame in the mechanism somewhere and you should be careful, especially when you pull into a gas station. May fill up on the outside pumps.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:42 PM   #7
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I discussed getting a three-way fridge or two way with Reace before purchasing the trailer. He told me that if you left camp with depleted batteries and ran to another campground, with fridge on 12V, that when you arrived, you would have depleted batteries.
Vehicle can't supply enough power to run the fridge on 12V and charge the battery.
So, I got larger two-way fridge and drive on propane.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:24 PM   #8
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LRL,
Back a year ago or so when the great refrigerator debate was raging, my research on the 2-door model ETI started installing in late 2014 showed that model used 170 watts (I think)
on 12volt DC supplied by the battery or batteries. On a perfectly sunny day with the sun at a high angle the solar panel we have can supply 150 watts.
I count on very little, if any, charging from the tow vehicle. So with a 20 watt or more deficit while you use your battery for the fridge while towing, you probably are losing ground all day long, as Reace told Glenn Baglo. Glenn's solar panel may have been one of the earlier models that only put out 90 watts, so that was good advice then still holds today.
I tried running on battery/solar today and the fridge did fine, but we switched to propane mid-afternoon to make sure our batteries were fully charged from solar before dry camping tonight.
This should just be a game, and not something you count on everyday. For best results, and in warmer weather, the fridge needs propane when not on 120volt.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:57 PM   #9
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The only time I run the fridge on 12V DC is on ferries and tunnels that require the propane be turned off. There have been a couple of times when I was traveling less than 2 hours from home to a campground with hookups that I have run on 12V DC, but that is rare.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:14 PM   #10
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The only solar I have are a couple 40 watt portable panels.
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