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Thread: how to properly hook up power in pop-up camper battery

  1. #1
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    Default how to properly hook up power in pop-up camper battery

    Hello, we bought a new 2011 Dodge 2500 mega cab and am fitting it to my slide in pop up. What is the best way to properly hook up the power leads to my camper battery, so as to charge while traveling and not drain truck batteries while parked/camping? Should it run through a solenioid? Where to source power reliably?

  2. #2
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    I think this is the same charge controller I have. Just run a wire from the vehicle battery positive to the charge controller (with a fuse inbetween) and then to your camper battery.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Explorer View Post
    I think this is the same charge controller I have. Just run a wire from the vehicle battery positive to the charge controller (with a fuse inbetween) and then to your camper battery.
    FYI: You should have two fuses in the wire, one at each end as close to each battery as practical.

    That separator will work, a regular solenoid, marine voltage sensing relays, etc. lots of ways to do it. Just run a healthy gauge wire to minimize voltage drops so you actually get good charging of your aux. battery.
    GONE[2003 Dodge 1500 quad cab 4x4 5.7L Hemi auto w/ ride rite air springs and 1999(2000?) Hawk]

    2007 Dodge 2500 quad cab 4x4 5.7L Hemi auto soon to have: SLOWLY progressing Home built foam core fiberglass skin pop-up camper


    I've got extra 14ga red and black SXL wire, $18 for 100' coil shipped if interested PM me.

  4. #4
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    It's all explained here:

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...-setup-for-50?

    (Note: You will need beer.)
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    Current: 76 E-250, bubble-top, self-contained|couple of old Yamaha enduros
    Previous wheelers: 41 Willys|78 FJ40|78 Bronco|84 Bronco|74 Ramcharger|78 Ramcharger|79 D150 PowerWagon|77 D100|79 D400 dually, converted to 4WD, utility bed, 10' Lance|75 Westy|69 Scout, RHD|bunch of others|bunch of bikes|couple of boats|couple of motorhomes|blah blah|so what|not my idea|just doin' what I'm told|wank wank|this space for rent|candy is dandy|but liquor is quicker

  5. #5
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    The battery in our camper charges via the easy route... use the trailer plug in the rear if it has the tow package. That plug already has leads for charging a battery and is cut off when the vehicle is off. If we ever need to pull a trailer at the same time and still use the plug to charge the camper battery (right now I just let the solar charge the battery if we're towing), then I'll fashion up a Y-splitter to plug them both in. I've never seen a Y-splitter for sale, but it wouldn't be hard to make one with the plug parts and some wire.
    My feet are my search engine, helping me to explore the real world.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pest View Post
    The battery in our camper charges via the easy route... use the trailer plug in the rear if it has the tow package. That plug already has leads for charging a battery and is cut off when the vehicle is off. If we ever need to pull a trailer at the same time and still use the plug to charge the camper battery (right now I just let the solar charge the battery if we're towing), then I'll fashion up a Y-splitter to plug them both in. I've never seen a Y-splitter for sale, but it wouldn't be hard to make one with the plug parts and some wire.
    Wire gauge isn't that large usually which will limit how well you can charge due to voltage drop. It can work okay but there are better ways (ie a dedicated larger gauge wire).
    GONE[2003 Dodge 1500 quad cab 4x4 5.7L Hemi auto w/ ride rite air springs and 1999(2000?) Hawk]

    2007 Dodge 2500 quad cab 4x4 5.7L Hemi auto soon to have: SLOWLY progressing Home built foam core fiberglass skin pop-up camper


    I've got extra 14ga red and black SXL wire, $18 for 100' coil shipped if interested PM me.

  7. #7
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    ok.thanks, just needed the diagram.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pods8 View Post
    Wire gauge isn't that large usually which will limit how well you can charge due to voltage drop. It can work okay but there are better ways (ie a dedicated larger gauge wire).
    True, but like I said, it's the easy route, and with the solar we have in addition, no problems.
    My feet are my search engine, helping me to explore the real world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pods8 View Post
    which will limit how well you can charge due to voltage drop
    Not necessarily. The amount of voltage drop depends on the amount of load.
    As the battery fills up, the resistance rises, and the amp flow goes down.
    As the amp flow (the load) becomes less, so does the voltage drop.

    So voltage drop isn't that critical when charging a battery that is drawn down a good ways, and it becomes less critical as the voltage of the battery rises, and the amp flow and voltage drop become less.

    As long as the wire size is sufficient to eliminate the voltage drop near the top of the battery's charging cycle - say if the wire is big enough that there is no voltage drop with a voltage above 14v and amperage under 3a - then the battery will get to its full charge voltage anyway.
    Last edited by dwh; 05-15-2012 at 07:16 PM. Reason: bloody errant apostrophe
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    Current: 76 E-250, bubble-top, self-contained|couple of old Yamaha enduros
    Previous wheelers: 41 Willys|78 FJ40|78 Bronco|84 Bronco|74 Ramcharger|78 Ramcharger|79 D150 PowerWagon|77 D100|79 D400 dually, converted to 4WD, utility bed, 10' Lance|75 Westy|69 Scout, RHD|bunch of others|bunch of bikes|couple of boats|couple of motorhomes|blah blah|so what|not my idea|just doin' what I'm told|wank wank|this space for rent|candy is dandy|but liquor is quicker

  10. #10
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    So what's a good size gauge to run from the truck to camper? I'm about to wire my FWC up to the truck and have 8-2 shielded wire sitting in the garage. FWC used 10-2 from factory. I'll also be using a Blue Sea ACR. Should I go thicker or will the 8ga suffice?

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