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Old 10-19-2018, 03:20 PM   #1
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Battery Charging

Is it ok if not better to use an external battery charger to top off the battery charge before traveling? The 175RD seems its draining or not fully charging when plugged in. It does not have a quick battery disconnect for storage, any layman's fix? Thanks!!!
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:43 PM   #2
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It is best to start with a fully charged battery. The 12v connection from your tow vehicle will not charge it even if driving for hours.

Note that there are draws on the trailer battery even with everything shut off. You will need to disconnect the battery or have some way to plug your trailer into shore power or a solar charger to keep the battery charged. Not keeping the battery charged will shorten its life.

If you remove the battery and take it home, a 'trickle charger' will keep the battery ready for your next trip.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, put a tag on the battery cables if you remove the battery. The colors used for polarity are NOT the same as automotive.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:20 PM   #3
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There could be a few problems here
1) battery could be bad (from age or too many deep discharges)
2) Discharging during storage - need to disconnect fully when not using the trailer.
3) Converter not charging battery properly when hooked to shore power - What voltage do you see at the battery when connected to shore power? If it's not at least 13V, your converter isn't doing anything.

oldmanAZ is right, you need to start your trips will a full charged battery. Don't rely on your tow vehicle to fully charge your batteries while driving. You can charge with the converter (assuming it works) or a separate battery charger. Most people only use the separate charger when the battery is taken out for winter storage.

Do you have a voltmeter? Go measure the voltage before and after plugging the trailer into shore power and that will tell you quite a bit.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:52 AM   #4
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I use a 1.5amp smart charger when my TT is on the pad at the house. I just have to move the extension cord when I mow the grass and hook it back up when done mowing.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:47 AM   #5
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Thank you folks. Guess the answer is "yes" top off the battery with an external charger before leaving. And, disconnect the battery after the trip is complete until the next trip. Solar trickle charge seems to be the longterm answer, guess that's my next move.
Thanks again,
me.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:17 AM   #6
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Using an external charger isn't necessarily the answer.

As others have pointed out, it's imperative that you disconnect the battery immediately after every time you're done using the trailer. The manufacturer and the dealers tend to ignore this very important point. Every trailer should have a battery disconnect switch, but they don't.

Batteries that have been completely discharged and left that way for a period of time, possibly multiple times, need to be replaced.

The charger in your trailer is perfectly capable of charging your batteries, assuming it's working correctly. If it's not, replace it.

If your charger is working (you can check it's voltage output as it's charging a discharged battery), then there's no reason to use an external charger unless your batteries aren't in the trailer.

If you disconnect your batteries (with a full charge) immediately after use, they can sit for a few months without use or charge.

Trickle charging is optional if you don't exceed a few months of inactivity. For longer periods, a dedicated trickle charger is needed. I would prefer a dedicated trickle charger (one that ONLY trickle charges) over a smart charger with a trickle mode, so I don't risk sending too much voltage to the batteries and boiling off the water.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:04 PM   #7
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What I do is charge the battery with the converter by plugging it in to house power. Then I use a quick disconnect at the negetive side of the battery. Also I unplug from house current. I know that batteries can discharge slowly even when the negetive terminal is disconnected with the quick disconnect, so once a week I repeat the process.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:17 PM   #8
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Just curious...why does everyone always recommend disconnecting the negative rather than the positive? What's the difference?
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaacs View Post
Just curious...why does everyone always recommend disconnecting the negative rather than the positive? What's the difference?
Well, to disconnect the batteries, you can disconnect from eitehr postive, negative, or ive you have a 2x6v system, you could even put the switch on the wires between the battery.

HOWEVER, there is one reason I always put my disconnect on the positive side of the battery, and that is this: Because the trailer grounds to the frame, if you leave the positive side of the battery connected to the rest of the trailer, any accidental grounding elsewhere in the system could create a momentary current flow. Or at least that's my thinking.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:28 PM   #10
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IMO, it's a safety thing. That's why I do it.

If you use a wrench or pliers and it is on the positive terminal and contacts anything (the frame, metal brackets, etc.) secured to the frame,there is likely to be a spark (not good near wet cell batteries) and maybe a large current flow. And if you wear a ring and that ring is between the wrench and the frame....!

Hopefully they will be able to save both the ring and your finger.
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