My solution for charging a battery.

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by Aladin Sane, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    So, the family and I are taking off in two weeks for a ten day trip out to Yellowstone. I don't own a generator, the pup battery won't power everything for the full stay in the park, so I had to figure out a way to charge a battery while the pup is parked at the campsite. I got a 6 foot pigtail for my 7 pin connector. I put battery clips on the hot and ground wires to hook up to a battery. Now, I can charge the battery while driving around the park by plugging the pigtail into my 7 pin connector, setting the battery in the back of the truck bed and hooking it up to the battery clamps. The hot wire in my 7 pin connector is switched by the ignition switch, so I won't drain my trucks batteries (yes I have two in my diesel super duty) while the truck is not running.

    It does look a little strange having the pigtail go up and into the topper on the truck, but I can live with that. I had not seen anyone else post about this type of solution. I have not taken any pics yet, but I may get some up later.
     
  2. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    Like your idea, and have done something similar in the past Recommend you put the battery in something like a plastic milk crate, and tie it down so it doesn't go rocketing around during fast stops or evasive maneuvers.

    Enjoy your trip to Yellowstone! I recommend signing up for an early morning grizzly viewing hike.
     
  3. edh

    edh Active Member

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    Sounds like a good plan, and would second the importance of securing the battery for travel, they're pretty heavy and you don't want them heading toward the cab at high speed if you stop suddenly. Would also suggest covering the battery if your bed is open, they have a way of walking. Please post after your trip to let us know how it worked out.
     
  4. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    The truck has a topper. I will keep the battery in place with a ratcheting cargo bar. I will of course post pics when we get back.
     
  5. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a great idea! You will definitely do plenty of driving around at Yellowstone.
     
  6. mchance47

    mchance47 New Member

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    Now THERE'S a great idea. Thanks for sharing it!
     
  7. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I built one and use it from time to time. It is not the best charger, but it give you a boost. I think I get about a 0.5v increase in 3 hours of driving around. I don't think I can get the battery past about 95% charge, because of voltage drop.
     
  8. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    A tip of the cap to you sir! If you're going to drive around, you might was well use the alternator to charge your battery, right?

    I've just run a set of jumper cables to the PUP and let the truck idle, but driving around is a good idea.
     
  9. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    One thing to keep in mind, an automotive charging system is intended to maintain a battery, not charge it. As you drive around you not only have the normal load of a/c, radio, lights, etc, you have just added a massive load at the end of a very small wire. YMMV
     
  10. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  11. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I had done a lot of looking around when trying to come up with this solution. I had not come across that site. I had looked at several devices intended to keep the battery in a vehicle towed behind an RV charged up. In the end, this seemed like a much simpler, and cheaper option. I think the heavy duty alternator and dual batteries in my diesel rig will help with the charging while driving. I will report how things go when I get back.
     
  12. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  13. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I actually prefer swimming in the Firehole river near the Madison campground. We normally get up and spend all of each day in a different area of the park. We have a picnic lunch somewhere along the road or trail each day. We get back to camp, grab our swimming suites and rinse off in the river. We will cook a hot evening meal, and sometimes prep something for breakfast the next morning, and then we do it all over again.
     
  14. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    At what cost? Plus you don't get a full charge. There is a reason dual battery systems have extremely large or dual alternators.
     
  15. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I got it from your first post, I understand you don't think this will work. I hooked up a depleted battery to this set up this afternoon with the truck idling in the driveway. The battert was at 12.1 volts before I hooked it up and indicated 13.8 volts once hooked up. I didn't let it run very long, but getting that much voltage at the end of that "very small wire" just at idle was pretty encouraging to me.
     
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  16. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    I am assuming your battery is just a small group 24/27/ 31. What your are doing will work just fine. I have done something similar using the 12v outlet. Just don't expect it to charge quick.

    Also some trucks will adjust the voltage to match the overall load since the voltage regulator is controlled by the ECU and is not preset.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  17. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    cheaper than the gas for a generator, gen won't give a full charge unless run for HOURS.

    opportunity charge is good.
     
  18. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Well-Known Member

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    I'm a big fan of using the TV to charge the battery. Not a fan of generators. And your not really trying to fully charge the battery just want to refresh the charge so it'll last the trip. It can be fully charged at home. Keep us on formed how it works.
     
  19. davido

    davido Active Member

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    It sounds like this will work for you as long as you tow the trailer enough hours during the trip to keep the battery above 50%.

    Another option would be to add a second battery wired in parallel. I upgraded from a single group 24 deep cycle to two group 24 deep cycle batteries, taking my total capacity from about 80ah to about 160ah, giving me 80ah usable before dropping to 50%. If I'm careful with the furnace that will get me a week of camping.
     
  20. ribs1

    ribs1 Member

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    100% this. Charging from the TV is a great if you plan to drive around anyway.
     

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