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Old 02-08-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
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Curious about battery charging / chargers

For dry camping I will be charging a single Group 24 flooded battery. I plan to use the charging circuit built into the 35 amp power converter, and I was wondering if most of you do that.

I have considered getting a dedicated charger, but want to avoid the expense. On the other hand, I don't want to spend all day charging a battery.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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I always use a high amp smart charger to minimize genny run time/fuel (unless running A/C).., and I don't have to hang around the campsite.

I use one of these:



Bob
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:34 PM   #3
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Thanks, Bob. That's my goal - to not have to hang around the site.

I think the model you have pictured is the VEC1093DBD. Do you know about how long it would take to fully recharge a 100 Ah battery starting at 50% DOD using your charger.

I took my battery down to 11.9 this morning. I plugged in and started charging at 8:30 am. It's now 2:30 and it's still taking 8 amps. I need to do better. It's not that cold either, been mid 30's most of the day.

Edit: Scratch that. I just went out and checked again. It was still on 8 amps, so I gave that cheap ($20) ammeter a couple of taps and it fell to 2 amps. Much better, but I don't know how long it was stuck on 8.

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Dale,

RE-Charging batteries is not all that hard to do if you have the right equipment... I think I've read you have the 20111 17Z which probably should have the smart-mode technology converter/charger. If so the only way to re-charge your single battery in a short three time period when camping off the power grid is to connect the trailer 30A shore power cable directly to a 2KW Honda type Generator 120VAC receptacle using a RV30A-15A "DOGBONE TYPE" 18-inch long adapter (WALMART). Fire up the generator and you will be able to re-charge your battery in a short 3-hour generator run time period using the trailer onboard smart-mode Converter/Charger. You cannot use the BATTERY CHARGE plug on some of the generators directly to your battery terminals that is rated at 6-8AMPS. These plugs only produce 12.0VDC.

Here is a list of hours that is required to re-charge a deep-cycle battery as stated by Progressive Dynamics in one of their brochure white papers-
"Progressive Dynamics ran this test on the amount of time it took a PD9155 (55-amp) converter/charger set to three different output voltages to recharge a 125 AH (Amp Hour) battery after it was fully discharged to 10.5-volts.

14.4-VOLTS (Boost Mode) – Returned the battery to 90% of full charge in approximately 3-hours. The battery reached full charge in approximately 11 hours.

13.6-VOLTS (Normal Mode) – Required 40-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 78-hours to reach full charge.

13.2-VOLTS (Storage Mode) – Required 60-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 100-hours to reach full charge."

This is the ONLY way I know of to re-charge a deep cycle battery if you want to do it in a short three hour time period. On my PD9260C converter/charger it will start out with 14.4VDC boost charge voltage. It will run at this level for two hours and then switch down to 13.6VDC where it will run for another hour at that level. At the end of this three hour time period my battery will be at 90% charge state.

If you DO NOT HAVE a installed trailer SMART MODE CONVERTER/CHARGER on board the trailer then it will take a good 40 hours to get your battery to a 90% charge state using 13.6VDC.

You can use the Black and Decker VEC1093DBD shown above to run directly from your 2KW Generator connected directly to your battery terminals and it will perform the same events listed above. It will re-charge your single battery to its 90% charge state in a short three hour time period. Your generator has to be rated enough to be able to run the portable battery charger. My setup requires a 2KW Honda type generator to run my on-board PD9260C 60AMP converter/charger so I don't know how many AMPS a B&D VEC portable 40AMP charger pulls to charge a single battery. Never measured it. It works fine on my 2KW Honda generator.

Camping off the power grid with just one battery is flirting with disaster haha... Most folks like to have at least two good charged batteries. My battery bank is rated at 255AHs and i just barely make it through one day/night battery run running all the 120VAC items we want to run from an 600WATT PSW Inverter and 12VDC items directly run from the battery bank. My batteries get down to around 12.0VDC by 8AM the next morning when I am allowed to run my generator because of most camp grounds having generator restriction run times. I will run my generator usually five hours during the daytime from 8AM-10Am in the morning and then again from 4:30PM-7:30PM during the early evening which is usually the only time the camp grounds we go to allow you to run your generator here on the East side of the US.

When camping off the power grid we can do this cycle for about ten days of just re-charging back to 90% charge state and then we need to re-charge to a full 100% charge state otherwise we will start doing damage to our battery battery bank. This of course takes around 12 hours of generator run time which is NOT allowed at any of the camp grounds we have gone to here on the east side of the US. Maybe at a NASCAR place.. Even most of our Natl Forest places have the same generator restriction in place but some have a 8AM to 8PM to run your generator.

Works out good for us keeping our three 85AH batteries charged up to 90% charge state each day....

good luck
Roy Ken
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:41 PM   #5
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Dale,

I can't comment on your particular 100 Ah battery because I have (2) Interstate 6V GC2-XHD-UTL Deep Cycle batteries @ 232 AHs that I have yet to drop below 70% DoD. Plus the battery size, age, and condition can also effect ones charge times.

I'm rather conservative with my energy usage so I can easily go a couple of days averaging a 80% DoD when camping solo..., so I routinely fire up the genny (Yamaha EF2400iSHC) every other day using the Black & Decker charger. Normally within a 2 1/2 to 3 hour run-time window the Black & Decker will say "FULL" charge, and my TriMetric battery monitor confirms 100%.

I'm not versed on the electrical side of the conversation, but I can see where a TT's smart mode converter/charger and the B&D Smart Charger may have similar charging voltages, but I wonder if the B&D Smart Charger has an enhanced and more efficient means of adjusting the actual charging currents to the battery bank (???).



Bob
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Thank you RoyBraddy and Rustic Eagle for the good information about setting up and maintaining a 12V supply for dry camping. I used it to come up with a plan that will work for us.

We wanted a small TT, and we really like our 17Z - but it has its limitations. The 2011 17Z has a 415 pound hitch weight leaving the factory. After adding a 50 pound battery immediately behind the jack, the hitch weight is 13% when you tow it home from the dealer. Most of the storage space is in front of the axle, so after loading your gear there’s not a lot of weight tolerance near the hitch. And after I added a 2nd propane tank, there’s not a lot of room either.

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Partly because of the weight issue, two separate batteries will work better for us. We don’t need the amp hours from paralleling (although it would be nice). A bigger factor is, we won’t use the 2nd battery often enough to maintain both the same. I’ll probably go with a sealed type for the spare so I can haul it in the bed of the truck. I’ll keep it charged and change it out if needed. It’s probably more than most people would want to deal with, but I don’t mind doing things like that. Also, I’m aware that in real-life situations the first one will usually shoot craps somewhere between 3 and 4 am.

I did a test in the driveway with the temperature in the low 30's using the 2 year old battery that's in there now, an Interstate SRM24 (about 80 Ah). I kept the temperature inside at 60 degrees for nine hours and the battery was at 12.3 at the end. There was no other DC draw during the nine hours.

Since the last post on this thread I got a good deal on a NOCO G26000 battery charger. It has more features than I went looking for, but it should be able to handle any battery problem I have. Next purchase: portable generator.

Right now, that’s Plan A. There is a Plan B - if we like dry camping. With some minor tray modifications, I could carry a 2nd battery and parallel them. To adjust for the weight I would haul the spare tire in the truck.

Thanks again.

Bottom line: I think most of us would like to have Seann 45’s 12V capabilities, but it ain’t gonna happen on a 17Z.
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