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Old 11-08-2012, 12:40 AM   #1
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Anderson plug wiring (charging)

As I have only just joined, perhaps this subject has been covered. However I would like to know if it is possible to run wires from my anderson plug direct to the battery for charging.
Jayco Australia use ST20-11 and ST35-11 power supply systems, (Setec). This system converts 240 volt to 12 for the van systems. It also serves as a charger to the house battery but due to the limitations of this system the battery only reaches partial charge(and of course it only works if you are plugged in). Thats why I would like to boost it directly.
The standard jayco wiring is only 3mm to the vehicles trailer connection and goes through the setec power supply. Small cable,voltage drop etc through the Setec, is not a good all round recipe.
I am also fitting a 120 watt solar system direct to the battery. We camp for periods of a week or so in the bush so a fully charged battery would help us, as the sun doesn't always shine.
I am concerned using the larger cable directly to the battery may hurt the Setec power supply. I have heard of people discarding the Setec, and installing a smart charger instead but am not sure how involved this would be.
An alternative may be to install a DC-Dc charger. But again would this work side by side with the original system still in place.
Our van is a 18 foot sterling pop top 2006 model. Pretty basic power demands, and fitted with led lights all through.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Hi Phil welcome to the group...
Since you are on 240 power and over here we are on 120 I won't/can't make any recommendations to help you sorry..

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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Although I don't think this is what you are asking but I charge my trailer batteries all the time using an external portable battery charger when it is more convenient for me to do.. I sometimes use my 40AMP Smart-Mode portable charger running from my 2KW Honda Generator to charge my trailer batteries.

It probably doesn't really matter but I usually disconnect the trailer battery from its trailer converter/charger. My setup uses a battery disconnect switch so that makes it real easy to do first. In your case I probably would disconnect your trailer from the shore power cable connection when charging your battery from an external portable charger.

Where you might get into trouble by not disconnecting the battery is if you reverse your connections by mistake and draw some sparks. It may blow some REVERSE POLARITY or INLINE fuses on your trailer side.

I would definitely look at replacing your converter/charger unit for a multi-stage smart-mode charging converter/charger unit especially if you do alot of camping off the power grid where you need to re-charge your battery in a short 2-3 hours charge time using a generator as power source.

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Old 11-09-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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I emailed a mate of mine this thread and here is his response. He is an avionic tech and also a caravaner...

The 240v/120v aspect is irrelevant in this case.

I have a battery isolator switch between my battery and the power supply. He is right, the battery cannot fully charge because it is diode isolated and that drop of 0.7 v prevents a full charge. The Setec won't be needed as a charger when free camping. It is only used as a fuse box for power distribution.

My solar panel connects to the 7 pin Britex plug and charges the battery through the Aux power input. The isolating diode protects the Setec.

There are dual battery charging systems available from AWB that may also work in his case, to allow charging from the vehicles charging system while driving, or running the engine while recharging, however the 3mm wiring will limit his charge rate ( or overheat).

For serious battery charging he could run new 4ga wiring from the caravan battery, through to the vehicle battery and use the dual battery charger.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Just wanted to say it is great to see our down under friends posting as they are big Jayco folks as well! Hope to see more of you guys!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your help guys. This subject can be talked about indefinately, with so many different ideas. And this is where it is hard to pick out the best advice. Even auto electricians disagree, and to be honest some of the work I have seen done leaves a lot to be desired.
Heading into summer here at the moment, warm 25degree days. Just the time to think about wheeling the sterling out for another run. One of the things about a big country is the number of destinations available. We're always finding new spots.

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