Do my breakers need to be on for battery to charge?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by 1Step, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. 1Step

    1Step New Member

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    When the pup is plugged into shore power (either at home 110 or on site 30amp), do the breakers need to be on for the battery to get charged?
    I am so confused about getting juice to the battery!
     
  2. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Why would you turn your breakers off?
     
  3. 1Step

    1Step New Member

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    I presumed that having them on somehow kept a current running to/from my battery.

    Not feeling overly intelligent at the moment and guessing I am completely wrong in my assumption and displaying my total lack of electrical knowledge!
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    No. Although every converter is different usually for your age camper there is absolutely nothing special you need to do. I would take a multimeter and measure the battery voltage while it’s plugged in. If it reads 13 or close to it, it is charging. If not, then something may be wrong.
     
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  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    They need to be on. Your convertor needs AC power in order for it to charge your battery
     
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  6. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Yes, most all converters need the breakers on. Unless you are working on a circuit there is no need to flip the breakers "off".
    You have 2 means of electricity. Battery and shore power. When connected to shore power your battery isnt used. The converter sends out power to both the 12 volt side (dc) and 120 volt (ac) outlets. Your outlets will NOT work on just battery power. The battery powers the lights, water pump, heater fan when not on shore power.
    Your fridge will work best on propane. Dont use 12volt unless traveling down the road. (Even then I still use propane)
     
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  7. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Not true at all - a converter has nothing to do with the trailer's 120 vac system other than being a convenient place to physically mount breakers on it's front panel. It's a logical solution as 120 vac has to be connected to the converter's input anyway and avoids the need for a separate breaker box. In some smaller campers (many popups for example) one of the breakers protecting a couple of 120 vac receptacles will often also be wired to protect the converter, in larger trailers (travel trailers, 5ths, etc) the converter is often protected by it's own breaker. In this latter wiring scheme one could switch off the converter completely yet still have 120 vac feeding all the various duplex receptacles in the camper.
     
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  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    The converter is usually a converter/charger.

    The charger portion takes the shore power (or generator power) to charge the battery.

    The converter portion takes the shore power (or generator power) and converts it to 12v power to operate the lights, water pump, heater fan, and any other 12v functions in your camper.

    The outlets are powered directly through the shore power (generator power).
     
  9. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I always have a multimeter around... I also have a 12VDC Panel just inside my entrance door that is directly connected to the batteries... My batteries read 12.5-6 VDC when switched out just sitting there. If I want them to be charged I have to see this DC VOLTAGE to jump up to over 13VDC...

    If you don't see the higher DC Voltage across the battery terminals then the batteries are not being charged...

    Do whatever you need to do with your breakers to see an increase in DC Voltage across the battery terminals...

    Roy Ken
     
  10. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Not really, IMO your loads are always on the battery bus unless you have an unusual converter with a relay to isolate battery bus from load bus when charging (which also means that you would need to need careful on how you wire up downstream equipment, else you would defeat such a feature). My new Progressive Dynamics "converter" does not have this split personality (I checked with P.D.) (the older model might have). So unless you have a split personality rig - there can only be one flavor of 12- 14V on the bus shared by the battery and loads. Given how much trouble many PUP owners have with electrical issues, I can't imagine the "converter" manufacturers adding such complexity.

    The rub here is that I had looked at some old P.D. converter literature, and thought that my new converter was going to give me this feature. No such luck. But given that I have a PV system, its just as well. Things are sufficiently complex with just a common bus.
     

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