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Old 09-10-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
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Charging spare battery

After a recent dry camping trip I realized I need to add to our current electrical set-up (pun intended), and I need some advice.

I want to carry a spare battery tied-down in the bed of our truck and charge it from the 7-pin connector when we are not towing. I suspect I need some kind of regulator or charge controller between the 7-pin and the battery to avoid overcharging. I’ve looked online and found lots of references to solar set-ups but no direct information regarding what I want to do.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks!
Dave
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: Charging spare battery

Dave, all you need to do is to get a plug, and only hook-up the 12V feed and a ground to this plug with some 10G wire (buy a short chunk of 10/2 cab tire, the good quality black rubber coated stuff), and put alligator clips on the other end of the wire to connect to the battery. No regulation needed, as it is provided by the charging system of your truck.

You would have to make certain that the positive alligator clip was protected from coming off and grounding out, and that nothing could, or would, fall against it.

So all you need is the male plug end, a short length of 10/2 cab tire, and two alligator clips.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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Re: Charging spare battery

Having the postive wire protected with in line fuse is a good idea. the fuse should preferably be near the point where the wire goes into the seven pin. also don't forget that when the battery is removed those aligator clips will be live so you will want to make sure you unplug from the seven pin before you unplug the battery.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #4
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Re: Charging spare battery

The charge line to the connector should be fused, but it can't hurt to add another, maybe even a lower wattage as the draw won't be that big. Good idea on disconnecting, doing the plug first would be key.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Re: Charging spare battery

Thank you both for the prompt replies! What I like best is that my normal inclination to over-complicate things was wrong.

Dave
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: Charging spare battery

Over complicating an issue, methinks we can all suffer from that from time to time.

My biggest fault is over analyzing purchases, finding reviews and looking at alternatives. People who just go an buy what they need without shopping around suffer much less anxiety. I do kinda like researching stuff though.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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Re: Charging spare battery

I'm with you on the research aspect Jim. Half the fun for me is digging around, weighing compromises and getting the product I want at the price I want to pay.

Dave
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Re: Charging spare battery

I assume your trailer is hooked up. Then it would be better to purchase a battery charger and plug it in at the c/g and charge the battery. If you are not hooked up, then you do not have a source to charge an extra battery. The on board converter is a poor battery charger, you will be quicker and better results using a 3 or 4 stage charger to charge an extra battery.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:18 PM   #9
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Re: Charging spare battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (jim)
I assume your trailer is hooked up. Then it would be better to purchase a battery charger and plug it in at the c/g and charge the battery. If you are not hooked up, then you do not have a source to charge an extra battery. The on board converter is a poor battery charger, you will be quicker and better results using a 3 or 4 stage charger to charge an extra battery.
Hi Jim;
No, we carry the spare battery only when we are dry camping. It serves (via inverter) to run chargers for the various electronic paraphernalia, cameras, flashlights and other stuff we tote along. This preserves the trailer batteries for pumps, lights and the ever-so-nifty marine fan that cools us at night.

Dave
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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Re: Charging spare battery

So you want to be able to charge the extra battery using your trailer plug on your tow vehicle? Here is what Etrailer says

Can the 12 Volt Outlet on Trailer Connector Adapter, # HM47675 Charge or Maintain a Trailer Battery
Question:
1994 F250 Camper / Towing package Can the 12V accessory plug on this item be used to charge or maintain a battery in the towed trailer?
asked by: Mike

Expert Reply:
The 12 volt outlet on the Hopkins Multi-Tow Trailer Connector Adapter, # HM47675, can be used to maintain a trailer battery but it will not be able to charge it. The gauge wire used to provide power to the 7-Way is too small to effectively charge a battery, but it will provide enough power to keep it from draining.
expert reply by: Michael H

Have a question for the experts? click here.

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