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Old 09-01-2016, 01:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
Just to give you an idea as to how much power your battery has left, take a look at the battery test (using a wind turbine dump load resistor) that I did on my original 85Ah battery that came with the TT 4 years ago. It has never been discharged below 12.0 Volts and has always had a charge on it. I used it for my work bench electrical projects and as a UPS supply for my home office. Even keeping it healthy, its age took a toll on it.

RVing with SOLAR battery Ah test

Since you only use the battery for over night stops, I would just purchase a 12VDC battery that has 100Ah (inexpensive Interstate 100Ah should do the trick), that should get you through the night with no issues. Interstate, Trojan, USBattery all have them. If you are thinking of longer stay overs, then you may want to look at other power sources, SOLAR , generators, more batteries....

The Honda rewire job took an afternoon to install.

Don
Thanks! Yeah, I read about your test the other day, good info. My battery certainly hasn't been treated as good as the one in your test. Like I said, it's been completely discharged at least once, probably more than that. So, I'm planning to go with an upgraded battery. Probably a Trojan if I were to decide and order it right now today, but I'm still researching what I really want/need. I've been tossing around the idea of running dual batteries, but we so infrequently go without power, I don't think it's necessary. Same for solar. I like the idea, we just don't generally use the trailer that way. In fact, in almost 3 years, we have never spent a night in the trailer without some kind of shore power.

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Originally Posted by 33 RLDS View Post
Plus today's vehicles are not like when I first started driving when alternators were in the 40-63 amp range. Today 150 amps or more are the norm and don't some diesel rigs come with 2 alternators? I have never showed up anywhere without a full charge in my TT with my 145 amp alternator in my TV.
My truck is a gasser, but it's a "Tradesman" and came with 2 160A alternators (designed for ambulance/firetruck use). So, yeah, I got the power, just need to see about getting it to the rear bumper. As it is, if I can get a good charge back on the battery after 6 hours of driving, that should be sufficient; my first day will be 8 hours (maybe more) and second day around 6, then we're on shore power for 4 days solid. I wish I had a second battery in the truck to drive an inverter, but that's a project for another time; perhaps a good use for the old TT battery after I replace it (in the short term, it'll be a good battery to "learn" with).
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:17 PM   #12
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Camper_bob, if your truck came with the tow pack from factory, you're likely getting a good 15 amps of charge, if not more through your 7 way connector.
If this doesn't fill the bill, get yourself a winch connector.



You can pull several hundred amps through them when wired correctly. Wire it from your front batteries on a solenoid that is ignition controlled (so theres only power transfer when the engine is running) to the rear bumper, then run it the rest of the way to the trailer batteries.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:16 PM   #13
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I've given this a lot of thought as well and my problem is with the excessive "intelligence" in the 2016 Ford (and probably other brands.)
The 'charge' wire from under the hood to my 7way is a 16 ga wire. There is no way that this wire will provide a decent charge no matter what alternator the truck has.
That wire is also a sensor wire that tells the onboard computer that the attached trailer has a battery. And it's deeply imbedded in a long and complicated wiring harness - no hope of tracing where the other end comes out.
If I replace or bypass this line I have no idea what impact this will have on the onboard computer. For example if I run a 6 or 4 ga wire from the TV battery to the 7way and cut the original wire, the computer will never understand there's a battery back there-and perhaps that won't matter-or perhaps it will upset the charge system.
And if I leave both wires connected - the onboard computer will see it's own battery on that line and think it has a trailer back there even when it doesn't.
I do think running a completely separate circuit back through its own connection (such as a winch connector) might work.
I just think it is a shame Ford doesn't understand the need for a good stiff charge line.


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Old 09-05-2016, 07:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BuddyRay View Post
I've given this a lot of thought as well and my problem is with the excessive "intelligence" in the 2016 Ford (and probably other brands.)
The 'charge' wire from under the hood to my 7way is a 16 ga wire. There is no way that this wire will provide a decent charge no matter what alternator the truck has.

If I replace or bypass this line I have no idea what impact this will have on the onboard computer. For example if I run a 6 or 4 ga wire from the TV battery to the 7way and cut the original wire, the computer will never understand there's a battery back there-and perhaps that won't matter-or perhaps it will upset the charge system.
And if I leave both wires connected - the onboard computer will see it's own battery on that line and think it has a trailer back there even when it doesn't.
I do think running a completely separate circuit back through its own connection (such as a winch connector) might work.
I just think it is a shame Ford doesn't understand the need for a good stiff charge line.


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To ease your mind the F150 uses the blue wire (brake controller) to determine if there is a trailer connected to the TV (sees the resistance from the TT's brake circuit). The Trailer's 12VDC charging wire goes to the trailer charging relay under the hood (the one you need to install, for some reason Ford does not install it and leave it in the glove box). The relay is activated by the ignition switch. There is no computer connection to this charging circuit. As for charging the TT battery, if the TT's battery voltage is lower than the TV's battery voltage it will pull the TV battery lower and the trucks alternator voltage monitor will increase the Voltage/Amps to the 12VDC trucks battery, which also charges the TT's battery.

Don
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:14 PM   #15
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Thanks Don, but your information is out of date. 2014 was the last year Ford used a charging relay that had to be installed.
They changed in 2015 and again in 2016 they changed pretty much all the electronics behind the dash to a Ford engineered solution (they used to use a Microsoft Solution).
The result is that the whole system is much more integrated and much more complicated. I know it uses more than the brake line - because it can detect my boat trailer (5 pin) or a U-Haul trailer (4-pin) neither of which have a brake line or a charge line. It appears to be detecting all three (lights, brake and charge) and determining what type trailer you have based on what it finds. It then configures a bunch of stuff in the electronics based on that determination.
That makes it scary stuff to start changing wiring.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:34 PM   #16
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Thanks for the update, I have to go to Ford for my oil change next week, so I will see if the parts guy will print me out a new wiring diagram. I will take a look at it and see what the options may be

Don
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EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:40 AM   #17
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I'm not sure my RAM is as smart as that Ford BuddyRay is talking about.

I'm still thinking perhaps the best and simplest solution I have is to run a charge wire directly from the front engine bay to the rear. If I went directly off one of the alternators, I wouldn't have to worry about discharging the current battery right? It would only work if the truck was running? I guess I still have a lot of research to do here ...

I've been toying with the idea of making a plug to terminate at the rear like Preacher87 mentions. This would allow me to use whatever I want back there. I could plug in a winch, I could charge my battery, I could plug in an inverter (we have a water pump that we use at the ranch this would work perfectly for); the possibilities are nearly limitless.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:05 AM   #18
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(snip)

I've been toying with the idea of making a plug to terminate at the rear like Preacher87 mentions. This would allow me to use whatever I want back there. I could plug in a winch, I could charge my battery, I could plug in an inverter (we have a water pump that we use at the ranch this would work perfectly for); the possibilities are nearly limitless.
*cough cough* Jumper cables *cough*
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:09 AM   #19
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*cough cough* Jumper cables *cough*
LOL!! Funny you should say that. My brother recently did exactly that!! I think I'll hit him up for ideas.

His was so that he could run a winch on a trailer. He likes to resurrect "dead" cars, so he often has to pull them up onto his flatbed trailer. So he "fashioned" a set of jumper cables to run his trailer-mounted winch to make that process easier.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:32 AM   #20
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Plus today's vehicles are not like when I first started driving when alternators were in the 40-63 amp range. Today 150 amps or more are the norm and don't some diesel rigs come with 2 alternators? I have never showed up anywhere without a full charge in my TT with my 145 amp alternator in my TV.
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