Do I have a 31 foot battery charger?

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  #1  
Old 06-02-10, 02:23 PM
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Do I have a 31 foot battery charger?

I have recently acquired a 31 foot Coachmen travel trailer. Looking at the power panel I noticed it said the inverter had a feature that would automatically charge the on board battery when hooked up to an AC power source. Now, today, my battery charger went up in a puff of smoke. Couldn't I hook a battery to the on board battery in the RV with jumper cables to charge it up?
 
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Old 06-02-10, 03:37 PM
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Not really.
It will charge to a certain degree but the truck battery voltage will affect the charging of the RV battery.
If yours is like RVs that I am familiar with the lighting in the interior is all 12 volt.
The lights will not work off shore power without the on board charger.

You also need to be certain what you have.
An inverter converts 12 volts DC power which is battery power to 120 volt AC power.
A battery charger converts 120 volts AC to 12 volts DC to charge the battery.

You have one or the other or a combination of the two.
 
  #3  
Old 06-03-10, 07:14 AM
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I stand corrected. An inverter it is not. I went and had a closer look and here is what it says. 45 Amp Power Converter with Battery charger. Input 6.8 Amps 120 VAC. Output 45 AMPS VDC includes 3 Amp charging rate. A little further on it goes on to say that the unit includes a battery charging option.
So I did not give you the correct information. My apologies.
I'm having a heck of a time with batteries and charging systems around here and I was desperate so I hooked a lawn tractor battery to the one in the RV and it did what I needed it to do.
I'm not certain I want to make a habit of doing that but at least I got things going this time. Now I need to find out why the tractor isn't charging but that's another story.
 
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Old 06-03-10, 10:03 AM
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batt charger

As mentioned before most RVs use 12V power for most of the items including frig controls,furnace controls,lights ect. Without the converter you will be running entirely off the batt which will discharge over time. You could buy a batt charger and keep charging the batt, or replace the converter. I would do some checking to see why the thing burned up before hooking up a new one. Start by having the batt charged and load tested. I have been told that when these units are made they fill them with magic smoke,and when the smoke leaks out they quit working,but this might be a lie.
 
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Old 06-03-10, 05:31 PM
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Based on your specs the converter that you have is mainly used to power all the lighting and other devices when plugged in.
45 amps would be what the RV maker has sized your load at, likely with a small amount of over capacity.
The battery charger portion is likely regulated and at 3 amps is not very big.

You would need to replace it with something similar if you want to use it plugged in, otherwise you could add an extra battery and a bigger charger.
 
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Old 06-04-10, 02:30 PM
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It's true, it's true! About the smoke I mean. I just had a grinder that all the smoke leaked out. Quit working as soon as it started leaking.
Anyway, I wasn't very clear and I must apologize. My communication skills need some tuning up(ergo;three divorces). The battery charger that quit working on me (the magic smoke thing again) was a standalone from Wal*** that I was using to charge my truck battery. I was standing there, scratching my head trying to figure out what to do for as charger when I saw the RV sitting there plugged into the house current. Then I remembered what I had read on the label inside the converter. So, I jumpered my truck battery to the RV battery and in a couple of hours, I had enough charge to start the truck. No magic smoke leaked from the RV or the converter so I guess I'm ok.
 
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Old 06-04-10, 03:04 PM
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No prob...communication is sometimes tuff.


btw...RVs are wierd wired critters. I spent 6 hrs trying to help my neighbor cause we thought there must have been an inline fuse or fusible link that had blown. Turned out to be an automatic reset ckt breaker up in the gooseneck that had apparently decided to not reset. Why they wired from the battery to the breaker, then back to the converter...I still haven't figured out.
 
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Old 06-05-10, 05:22 AM
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Just to clarify a few things.
Your Converter that is 45 amps output, will charge any 12 volt battery when plugged in to hydro. The breaker your talking about at the gooseneck, protects the circuit when using battery voltage to run landing gear,slideouts etc. You also should have a charge wire in your 7 pin connector for towing, that allows your vehicle to charge battery as well when plugged in and engine running (or while towing) provided your tow vehicle has that wire connection hooked up as well. That allows you to charge trailer battery while driving as well as using your vehicle to power the trailer in a dead battery situation and no hydro to plug in to. Just be sure to double check your polarity on those wires for battery hook-up, as some manufacturers use black and white cables, instead of red and black like a vehicle, or green as well. Sometimes your black will be + 12v, or red will be +12 volts, and white or green will be - 12volts. One easy way is to follow white or green, or black and it will be bolted to frame or metal at other end, which tells you it's -(ground). If you have a multimeter that will indicate reverse polarity, that's even better. Mine will show -12volts if hooked up backwards. You may also find that even though converter says 3 amp charge, it may provide more than that , depending on how much load you have on the converter from items turned on in trailer that require 12 volts, such as fridge, lights, pump, stereo,etc. Some converters will use what ever is left over from the 45 amps, on the charging circuit to battery, thus supplying more than 3 amp charge. One other thing to remember as well, is your monitor panel inside that tells you the battery condition. When your plugged in and battery is being charged, the monitor panel will likely read full for battery , but if you want actual charge condition of battery, you need to unplug from hydro, or shut off breaker that powers converter, to get a true reading of battery condition/charge. The monitor panel will sense charging from converter, and reads that as a full charge on battery.
 
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