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Old 04-03-2016, 02:58 AM   #41
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Yes 5 amp at 120vac is quite do able Brian, economical and matches my existing charger's output. Thank you. Will design a safety on the 120vac truck bumper to trailer connection when hitching/unhitching.

I did say that keeping my veggies cold with electricity was not cheap nor easy. This is why 2/3way absorption units are so popular. On the other hand I wouldn't trade any of this design-build stuff for any amount of $ savings. Thanks again for your advise.
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Old 04-03-2016, 04:35 AM   #42
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Thank you Brian .... I have some learning to do.


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Old 04-03-2016, 06:25 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
On the truck charging, I am thinking of inverting the truck's battery/alternator 12vDC to 120 vAC, sending 20amps ( wired for 30amps in case it can ) over to the truck's hitch. It will bypass the 7 pin trailer connector for obvious reason as well as safety. From there to the trailer's True Charge 40 I already have and will install in the 21ft.
This makes sense if you have a use for the 120 V AC power in the truck. It also transmits power at the highest voltage (and thus lowest current) in the system, which is good for efficiency.
But...

That "suitably effective and safe 120 V AC connection between the vehicles" might be tough, so an alternative would be to place the inverter on the trailer, and just feed DC power conventionally though the 7-pin connector. The inverter and True Charge together would form a DC-to-DC charger, built up out of routinely available components (instead of looking for a specialty charger). The 120 V AC connection between them can be entirely within the trailer, where it is easy to safely and effectively make the connection.

Regardless of the inverter location, you would need to switch the input of the charger between shore power and tug+inverter sources, either manually or with an automatic transfer switch as commonly used with onboard generators.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:45 PM   #44
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I would use the GPL-8DL: it appears that the only difference is the terminals, and the -8DL has more suitable lugs to bolt ring terminals to, rather than the automotive style posts of the -8DA. (I assume that the "L" or "A" simply describes the terminals.)
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Yes the L, A and a few others I think are the terminals, automotive lugs are non-starter.
In the Lifeline Batteries naming scheme:
  • deep-cycle and marine names start with "GP" (for "general Purpose"?
  • all product names then have "L-" (presumably for "Lifeline")
  • that's followed by the case size description (usually a BCI group designation)
    • utility size: U1
    • industrial sizes: 8D, 4D, L16, 6C, 4C
    • automotive sizes: 31 or 3100, 30, 27 or 2700, 24 or 2400
  • then the terminal type
    • T = threaded post, A = automotive post, L=L-blade
  • and if it is a 2-volt (single cell) product, "-2V"

So the GPL-8DL would be an RV/Marine, Lifeline, BCI size 8D, with L-blade terminals (in 12V because that's what an 8D usually is). I would want "L" or "T" terminals.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:01 AM   #45
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Regarding discussion of using lithium batteries, a point to bear in mind is that they require a special fire extinguisher (Class D) should they catch on fire. But maybe that only happens on Boeing Dreamliners.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:26 AM   #46
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Just a quick note about AGM batteries, troll around the early Mazda Miata forums (and like other folks have mentioned-off road forums) they had AGM's located in the trunk (away from engine heat) and many owners report 6-9 year battery life. So double or triple lifespan claims against traditional batts are not too far off base.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:44 AM   #47
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I may be the odd duck, but I was a mechanic for 38 years and I like the ability to check specific gravity. I can see a need or want to have an AGM battery but it's not for everyone. I go with Handyman Bob and vote for Trojan or Crown lead acid. I have a really nice refractometer that checks batteries and antifreeze. I think if my batteries were inside my trailer rather than in the storage box like they will be I may think differently.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:59 PM   #48
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I may be the odd duck, but I was a mechanic for 38 years and I like the ability to check specific gravity.
Since an AGM battery doesn't use up water, there's nothing to do to maintain the electrolyte, so not being able to check it is not an issue. If the purpose to assess the charge level of the battery, then that makes sense to me. Perhaps if going for the premium-priced AGM battery type, it is worth also putting in a proper battery monitoring system.

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Originally Posted by AKCamper View Post
I go with Handyman Bob and vote for Trojan or Crown lead acid.
AGM batteries are lead-acid. Handy Bob prefers flooded batteries to AGM or gel types.
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:28 PM   #49
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Brian,
I realize that AGM batteries are lead-acid. You can't find a better way to check not only the condition and the state of charge of a battery than by specific gravity (although a Bogart Engineering's TM-2030 does a great job of monitoring charge levels).
Everyone has their own opinion, but after reading the "Battery Charging Puzzle" where Handyman Bob says:

"Now, I will tell you why I am not a fan of the new technology batteries like gel cell & AGM: Your charge system has to be set at a lower voltage for them, so more of the power your solar panels could produce is not available for use. (Lower volts equals fewer watts.) Take a look at this web site: Sterling Power Products. Like me, this guy takes heat from people who don’t like his common sense approach when getting to the truth, but he knows what he is talking about. With sealed batteries you end up with less power in the same amount of space and weight. Big ones are available, but they are very expensive. All this so you don’t have to add water and can’t check the electrolyte to monitor their condition. Suit yourself, but this really doesn’t sound like a good bargain to me. Unless I owned a rig that had extreme access issues, I would not even consider anything except Trojan flooded deep cycle 6V golf cart batteries."

And, like I said I like to monitor the batteries by specific gravity. I did it for decades as a mechanic. But that is just me, each to their own.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:37 PM   #50
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Off topic ( sort of ), just bought four CR2032 button batteries at Mountain Equipment Coop. Cost for four was $2, plus 24 cents tax. Made in China.
A pack of four brand name CR2032 batteries at London Drugs is $14.99. Plus $1.80 tax.
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