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Old 03-24-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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newbie battery charge question

getting ready for first trip, battery level reads 1/3. 20 miles to our destination. will battery charge on the trip or can i charge it with trickle charger before we leave? sorry for what is probably a basic question but we are newbies.thanks for your help
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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If you're boondocking, I would certainly want to charge the battery before you leave. If you're going to a campground where you will be plugged in, it really doesn't matter since you'll be charging your battery while plugged in.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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Newbie here as well..

I'm pretty sure it will charge while plugged into your tow vehicle. Not sure how long it takes so you might want to consider home charging if planing on boon docking.

This is my plan with out new TT at this time till I get used to how long it takes the on-board charger to top it up once plugged in at a CC or if relying on the TV to charge.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:27 AM   #4
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Yes, the battery will charge while connected to your tow vehicle BUT keep in mind a couple things when doing that. First, the battery is used for the emergency trailer brake disconnect. If your vehicle becomes disconnected the battery on the camper will power the brakes on the trailer. Next, most critical items on the trailer are run by 12V. If your battery is not charged, and you are connected to your tow vehicle, it is possible that the load through the charge line will blow the fuse in the tow vehicle (done that). And finally, most electrical items do not like to operate on low power conditions. Operating motors, electronics etc on low power can cause damage to the devices.

Plug the camper in and charge the battery(s) or remove the battery and put it on a charger and you'll be better off in the end.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:14 AM   #5
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Some trucks do and some dont... My 2010 F150 didnt charge the trailer battery so i got to looking into it. I found an open fuse slot that was labeled Trailer Tow or something like that. So kept digging around in the manual and finally read to look in glove box and you will find a relay and a fuse. Sure enough I had an unmarked brown envelope in the glove box witha fuse and relay in it. I installed those two items where the manual said to do so and now J have trailer battery charge from my truck. It is however only on when I have the truck key on...

Sure would be nice if the dealer guys wouild have said something about that haha...

This is a trickle charge thing as the charging wire is pretty small but it will definately help going down the road to keep the trailer battery topped off. i have no idea how the other truck folks do it... 2009 and UP newer style F150 Ford you have to install a fuse and relay...

Unless you have smart-mode charging capability it will take several hours to charge your battery. Note what Progressive Dynamics says about this...

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."

It didnt say how long a 12.6 - VOLTS take to charge a battery up. It will be a LONG TIME.

I would imagine your truck alternator will normally be putting out 13.2VDC-13.6 VDC going down the road. According to the above test that would take at best 40 hours to return the battery to 90% charge state starting at 0% charge state (10.5VDC).

The trick is to hit the batteries with 14.4VDC at 30AMPS or so to get a quick 2-3 hour 90% charge state going.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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Great explanation and info. Roy. Does anyone know if the fuse and relay come installed on a 2011 F350? I have just been assuming that my batteries were recharging on the road.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Hmmmm - Don't know if the F350 is the same basic layout as the F150 fuse panel wise...

Both the RELAY and the FUSE went into the FUSE PANEL above the radiator.

Pull out your owners manual and find the pictorial for the fuse panels in the index. What you are looking for is a FUSE and REALY that has something to do with "TRAILER TOW" or something like that. I'd have to go dig up my owners manual to get the exact locations of the fuse and relay.

Did you look in the glove box haha... Mine had a small brown envelope with these two items in it. No infomation at for what they were for but all the info about it is in the owners manaul.

If you dont have your owners manual i will go out to the truck and get the outside fuse panel location for the fuse and realy...
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
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Go here and download your owner's manual for the 2011 Ford F350.

http://owner.ford.com/servlet/Conten...rd&model=F-350
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:39 AM   #9
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Same here on my 2011 F150. Was wondering why the heck the lights, other than markers and turn, didn't come on. Called my dealer and they told me to look in the glove box and there it was. I asked him why the Ford dealer didn't tell me about this and he made a good point. "They sell trucks not Jaycos". Well he was right. Worked perfect from that point forward.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:08 AM   #10
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The post that mentioned what the Ford dealer said was right on. They don't sell Jaycos. That is exactly why I never take the salesman's advise on a tow vehicle when I am in the market for a new tow vehicle. They don't have a clue.

A quick way to check the charging on your TT battery is check the voltage of the TT battery at the battery terminals before you plug into the tow vehicle. Then plug it in with the TV motor running, the voltage should increase. If not check the fuse.

If you don't have a digital volt ohm meter, buy one at Walmart for $13 that works great. If you can afford a TT you can certainly afford a volt ohm meter and it will help solve a lot of problems quickly.
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