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Old 06-07-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
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Does the battery charge on 110??

I did a quick search of the forum and it seems I possible have a model that does charge the battery when plugged into 110. I have an '05 25RKS with a single deep cycle on the tongue. I hooked it up to 110 a couple of days ago in order to make some repairs and today noticed a slight humming from the area of the fuse panel located in the rear of the trailer. It sounded like it might be a small fan.

Later, I turned off everything inside the trailer and stepped outside. It was then, while walking past the tongue that I heard a bubbling or foaming noise. I grabbed my flashlight and took the box cover off. The battery was hot and making the noise. There was also a small amount of condensation on the inside of the box lid near the vent. At this point, I pulled off the wire on one of the terminals. I checked the rear of the trailer and the humming had stopped, although I was still connected to 110.

My question is, if it is charging (I imagine it is at this point), am I doing the battery harm by leaving the trailer plugged into 110? Should I get a disconnect and use a quality charger to maintain the battery? And if I get a second battery, is the stock charger for the trailer adequate to charge both at once?
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:45 AM   #2
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I currently have this charger on my boat and had considered adding a second battery to the trailer and transfering this charger to the trailer to maintain both. Good idea? Advice?


http://www.amazon.com/Dual-Recreatio...attery+charger


Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:23 AM   #3
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My original converter/charger was a single mode unit and produced only 13/6VDC which was fed to the battery terminals when I was connected to shore power. Over time this 13.6VDC would start boiling out my battery fluids as well and this indeed did kill my battery. Apparently the 13.6VDC is right on the edge of doing this so one must start making scheduled maintenance and check the battery fluid levels at least once a week. Adding a second battery will do the same thing. As long as you keep a close eye on the fluids and re-fill to keep the fluids slightly above the cores all should be fine.

What I did was replace the single mode converter/charger to the smart mode charger unit. I would get one for future expansion of the batteries. I now have three 12VDC deep cycle batteries in my battery bank and the on-board smart mode converter takes good care of them for me automatically.

I would be hesitant of adding a charger like you showed and use the on-board smart mode charger system. My experience tells me each battery should have around 20AMPS of charge capacity when being charged if you want to complete the 0% state of charge in a three hour period. My PD9260C converter/charger made by Progressive Dynamics in addition providing the three major smart-mode charge features also performs a equalize mode of 14.4VDC every 21 hours for 15 minutes to prevent battery stratification.

I leave my trailer plugged into a 120VAC 20AMP outlet in the garage when parked at home 24/7. This allows the on-board converter/charger to keep the batteries charged and maintained properly. Out of habit I still check the battery caps on a regular basis ant they are always just fine.

I guess you are saying when you move the portable charger over to the trailer it will be permanently mounted in and parallel to the batteries. Would you leave this operational when you plug in the shore power cable. I'm not sure if that would be a good idea or not. I'm not saying your portable battery charger will not work for you as a portable trickle type charge its just why not let the on-board converter/charger unit do it. That is what it is for anyway. You really need to replace the single mode converter/charger also. I carry a B&D VEC1093DBD 40AMP smart-mode portable battery charged with me all the time just for a PLAN B thing. I hook it up when I need it... We enjoy our trailer at home and of course I am always doing something to the tallier project wise. It stays plugged in when at home...

My trailer is beefed up on the battery side where is has the proper sized smart-mode converter/charger, LED lights, bigger charger cables. more batteries, Inverter, and anything "going green" so that it can be used successfully camping off the power grid. I have it planned out to be able to run all of the 120VAC items we want to have from the Inverter and all the 12VDC items we want to have connected directly to the battery bank and be able to survive just one day/night camping run from the batteries.. Then when the batteries are down to around 12.0VDC the next morning I will connect the trailer 30A shore power cable directly to my 2KW Honda Generator using a RV30AMP-15AMP long adapter and run it for three hours each morning to bring my battery bank back up to 90% state of charge. This allows me to do all of this all over again for the next night. I can do around 10-12 of these charge cycles of 50% to 90% state of charge but will have to do a full 100% state if charge to keep the batteries from doing internal harm to them. I watch the DC Voltage from a home made Battery Monitor Panel using both Dc VOLTMETER and a DC Current meter. Been doing this method of camping off the power grid now for several years and very successful about it now.
[ATTACH][/ATTACH]

Didn't come over night but started planning for this from day one when I realized I would not be able to run my Generator when I wanted to at most camp sites here on the East side of the US. With the beefed up battery system we can do almost anything we do at an electric camp site with the exception of the air conditioner.

just my thoughts
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
...
My question is, if it is charging (I imagine it is at this point), am I doing the battery harm by leaving the trailer plugged into 110? Should I get a disconnect and use a quality charger to maintain the battery? And if I get a second battery, is the stock charger for the trailer adequate to charge both at once?
Under the conditions of boiling the battery that you describe you are doing harm to your battery. If you add another battery and it sees the same conditions then you will be ruining two batteries. Adding another battery will not likely change or slow down the charging process.

I've been meaning to check my 2001 charge rate so your post prompted me to do so. My trailer has been plugged into a 120 volt 20 amp GFI receptacle for about 2 weeks now. I have a group 24 battery with a 2011 sticker on it. I have yet to install the Group 27 battery I recently purchased because the battery steel needs modification.

My trailer has a 30 amp 12 volt DC supply/charger that plugs in using a standard power cord. It looks original. It is a PC30 Power Source. I can't see any manufacturer name as it is tucked in and my old eyes aren't what they were.

My battery reads 13.22 volts at the terminals. 55F ambient now and the battery doesn't feel warm. Those are good signs to me.

Your 2005 should have at least an equal OEM system for charger control to my 2001 model. Given your description it seems to me that your power/charger unit is not controlling correctly. Were I you I would have the system tested before replacing with or adding a new battery. Even though there are far better power supply/charger units on the market, the standard trailer OEM power supply is adequate for most casual trailer owners.

If your supply/charger is a cord plug in unit like mine you might consider just replacing the unit with a new one. Unless the battery is bad and beyond its useful life, the boiling battery is a sign that you have a charge rate control problem.

I say this with having never even seen your camper so FWIW. vic
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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This forum really needs a thank button at the bottom of each post. I appreciate the time and effort each of you made to give a detailed response to my question and hopefully, in a search, your responses will assist others.

It appears my charger is boiling out the battery. I am speculating this is due to a faulty charger as I understand that most chargers initiate a charge with higher amperage and then drop significantly near 80 or 90 percent to maintain a 'float' charge. If this were happening, I do not think my battery would boil.

I think I have a couple things I need to do to correct my problem and optimize my system. First, as seen in other posts, a voltmeter display would be an inexpensive addition to the trailer. Second, although the battery is only about two years old, I will have it checked. It may be a good idea to have a disconnect at the battery if my current charger is going to boil the battery. Last, maybe an inexpensive Harbor Freight float charger would be adequate for maintaining the battery during periods of non-use? As for adding a second battery, it is still a consideration. The set-up I have in my boat with the pictured charger works very well. I'm just not sure how to go about an installation considering the trailer is not as simple a system, being that it already has a charger, it has an inverter, and is also charged throuh the TV during travel. It's a little more complex than a pair of deep cycles that only operate a trolling motor.

So I will put off the idea for now until I can do some more research.

I just stepped out to my trailer to take a couple of pictures. It seems the noise I was hearing yesterday was in fact the battery charger. I wonder if there is a way to install a simple switch near the power center in the kitchen to just turn it off? Would it create any other problems?

Last, I discovered a small plug at the tongue of my trailer and I do not know what it is for. Can someone identify this for me?
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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First thing I suggest is determine what converter you have. From what I have gathered is 2005 is right on the edge of when Jayco starting using "smart charging" converters. Once you determine which converter your '05 25RKS has you should look up its specs. I don't recall brand and models off the top of my head, but Jayco used some converter that had ability to get a "smart charge" adapter that can be plugged directly into the existing convertor thus solving your problem.

Secondly, if you don't have a smart converter, or a unit that can accept the smart adapter, I strongly consider replacing your converter. I personally haven't done it, but there are several threads here where folks have done it DYI and it didn't seem that difficult. In fact Dougtoms01 just replaced one in the campground with the limited tools carried in a TT.

Lastly, when my TT is in storage for more than a few days I pull the batteries and place them on a Battery Tender in my garage. It cost less than $50, and goes a long way to keeping my batteries in prime condition.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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If it is a Progressive Dynamics converter, the additional plug is called a "Charge Wizard". If that is the make of yours, check out their website. They also have a program to swap yours for a reconditioned one that can save some $$$.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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This is not related to the 2005 problem in the original post. I had trouble finding information about my PC30 Power Source converter unit. Google took me many directions. I am including this info in case anyone searches and finds the PC30 reference I posted in this thread.

PC30 Todd Converter (Todd is out of business.)
Iota brand name is similar in design.

It apprears that the PC30 doesn't have a history of excessive charging. (Good news to me.) Apparently there is a high charge function which can be enabled by installing an aux switch.

More info is here.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...print/true.cfm

vic
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