Understanding the 12v system and battery?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by Kasey Redrum, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Kasey Redrum

    Kasey Redrum Member

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    Can you help me understand how and when the battery turns on? We just got this 2005 Rockwood 1610, battery was dead so I went out and bought a new one. Hooked it up and it works. Ok so this is my confusion, how does the battery stay charged when you are camping? If I hook up battery, but then plug into power at campsite, is the battery now being used? Or recharged? If I go boon docking and use up the battery, then return home, how do I recharge the battery?? I do not have a battery charger. Or does the Popup electrical convertor recharge the battery if I plug it into AC.? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    So ....
    Its all very easy. As far as a 2005 goes, yes the Pup's electrical system will charge the battery while your are plugged into 120v at a campsite, or at home. While plugged into 120v, the converter powers the 12v things in the Pup, but also charges the battery at the same time. Half the Pup works on 120v, and the other half works on 12v battery power. Battery (12v) powers the ceiling lights, outside porch light, ceiling fan, water pump, blower motor in the furnace, and possibly a few other things. 120v powers the outlets that look like what you have in the house at home. There really is nothing that turns on or off as far as the battery or converter are concerned. If you don't have a battery on board, and plug into 120v, everything will work because the converter is powering it all, 120 v and 12v at the same time. If you are out boondocking somewhere that you can't plug in, thats when the battery will power everything except the 120v items in the Pup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    The battery will run your 12 volt items in your camper. Lights, water pump, furnace,radio, lighter sockets, etc.
    The convertor when plugged into shore power will power these items and charge the battery at the same time.
    The outlets, ac, microwave will only work when the camper is plugged in.
    Your tow vehicle MAY charge the battery when driving if it is equipped with a battery charge line, usually it will not fully charge the camper battery.
    Lastly when the camper is just sitting, no plugged in, the propane fume detector will drain the battery down. So when the camper is just sitting disconnect the battery.
     
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  4. JT2

    JT2 Member

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    Hi
    >>If I hook up battery, but then plug into power at campsite, is the battery now being used?
    -- No, if you selected "110/120v" on the power panel in your camper. Yes if you left the panel on "12V" or "battery".

    >> Or recharged?
    -- Hard to know, and depends on the converter/ power center in your camper. Some have charging outputs, some don't. Read the manual, do research, learn.

    >>If I go boon docking and use up the battery, then return home, how do I recharge the battery?? I do not have a battery charger.
    -- Simple answer: get a charger. Get a good one, they're not real expensive. Charge the battery when you get home.
    -- Longer answer: consider a solar hook-up to use in camp. It usually won't fully recharge a battery but will reduce the depletion.
    -- Other answer: you MAY be able to rig your tow vehicle to charge the battery while towing (with the batt. in place on the camper.) Note that this is not always possible or safe.

    Good luck; none of this is hard, just a bit more work.
    Peace
     
  5. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Everything that JT2 mentioned is true depending on how old the camper is, and what type of converter you have in there. However, a 2005 will be new enough that there 'should be' no power panel that needs to be switched over between 12v and 120v. My 2002 Rockwood has a Centurion converter in it, and there is nothing at all to switch on it.
     
  6. Kasey Redrum

    Kasey Redrum Member

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    Wow these are great replies. Few things, are you saying that if I do not plug into the AC at the site, and only have the battery hooked up, that none of my outlets will work?
    And I do not have any switch that lets me choose between 12v and 120v (110). I do have a breaker that turns on or off the AC (power not air conditioning). I guess I was thinking that the convertor is converting the DC from battery to AC. But perhaps this is my mistake? I can not charge via the tow cable as I only have the 4 pins coming from the car for lights only. I have an adapter that takes those 4 small pins and connects to the PUP 7 blade connector.
    My convertor is World Friendship 8712.
    I do know that if I disconnect the battery, hook up the plug to my house, all the outlets and pump and lights work. So at least this means the AC is being converted to DC for the lights and pump, right?
     
  7. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    That is correct the outlets are basically like an extension cord.. extension not plugged in the outlets don't work.

    By 2005 just about every trailer converter was auto changing, meaning it will switch by itself, the default will be 120v ac..

    That will be the "main" power breaker, works just like the mains on your household panel.

    Converter - converts AC power to DC
    Inverter = Inverts DC power to AC

    Correct a 4 pin will provide trailer lights only. Does your trailer have brakes ?

    Wouldn't use an adapter myself, would get the vehicle rewired to a 7 way plug, so it can then charge the (trailer) battery and also allow operation of the trailer brakes (if it has them, Note** you will also need a brake controller if trailer has brakes)

    Yes. but with battery disconnected it will not charge..
     
  8. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    Never heard of nor know anything about this converter.

    On mine there are two systems, the 120 volt and the 12 volt. The battery is connected to the 12 volt. The 120 volt system is connected to the power cord you plug in somewhere. The converter automatically detects there is 120 volts available and supplies the outlets. The battery always supplies the 12 volt plugs and systems. Mine also automatically starts to charge the battery when 120 is available.

    Wrong

    Correct
     
  9. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    After returning from boondocking keep the PU plugged in for days for the WFCO to charge, its a poor charger.
    Disconnect battery when leaving the PU alone. Reconnect and plug into power ever month or two for a day or so, then unplug and disconnect the battery, repeat.
     
  10. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    World Friendship Company - WFCo
     
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  11. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    Guess I have heard of it <GGG>
     
  12. Kasey Redrum

    Kasey Redrum Member

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    Hah this must be why i see people installing cigarette lighters in their popups.
     
  13. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Yep our camper has three.
     
  14. Kasey Redrum

    Kasey Redrum Member

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    Ok great, not sure if I should start a new thread, but which circuit or wire do you tap into in order to install the Cigarette lighter / usb charger ? I like the one that has a voltmeter , 2 usb and a 12v socket. Looks easy enough to mount, but what wire do I grab for the Hot. Thanks guys you have really helped me.
     
  15. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    on the back of your WFCO 8712 should be several 12v wires, Red (battery), Blue, yelllow and green (12v+ for circuits) and a white (12v-).

    I'd splice into the Red wire, it often changes color at a plaxtic plug near the back of the power center to black and goes to the battery and vehicle connector. You'd complete the circuit via the white or a wire attached to the frame.
     
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  16. Kasey Redrum

    Kasey Redrum Member

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    Just wanted to update this thread, with a picture and info. I was able to wire in a USB/Cigarette plug, and I was also able to wire in a computer fan for the back of the fridge. I did end up blowing a fuse, my bad, nothing damaged. So these fuses, seem to be somewhat random in terms of which fuse Amps. So this convertor max out at 15amps. There are 3 circuits protected with 15a fuse which is #4 red, which is from the battery, if this pops then whole thing is dead.then #3 is a 5a fuse, then #2 is 7.5a fuse , then #1 is 15a. The green #3 is 5A, which is for my USB and water pump. The Yello 7.5A is for the two overhead lights, which are now LED. The Blue 15A seems to be for the LP alarm? So are these Fuse sizes specific or do they all need to add up to something??? Manual says nothing about which size Fuses to use. I have been running the fridge all day, with Battery, and plugged into the AC. All seems to work, but man this fuse panel is putting out some heat.
    fuse panel - 1.jpg
     
  17. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    You should turn off the 12 volt feed to the fridge and run the fridge off of 120 AC when plugged in. Your converter is probably maxing itself out trying to feed 12 volt to the fridge, that's why it's getting so hot.
     
  18. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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