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Old 05-15-2018, 12:04 PM   #1
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Hey Guys,

I plan to do a lot of traveling and dry camping this summer in my 2704T.

Two things....my Dodge Ram has a 14ga. wire to the 7 plug that is hot all the time......

( ask me how I know ) for charging the RV batteries. I plan to add a relay controlled by acc. and run a fused 10ga. through the contact to run my fridge while on the road.

Also I'm thinking of using one of those little $100.00, 2 cycle, 700 watt generators to power the converter to recharge the batteries while camped.

What do you think? Would the AC be too dirty and harm the converter?
I know it might be loud but I would only use it in the middle of the day.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:14 PM   #2
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If it's a 2T please use high quality oil. Not all is consumed during combustion and the residuals will be around for some time. Enjoy!
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:31 PM   #3
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Air Cond needs the 120volt power, or large gen.
The small gen will work on the batteries. I use my Battery Tender to charge while camping on 120v.
I use a 1KWatt gen and still takes 1-3 hours for charge on low batteries. I use a home batt charger with generator.
The power from the converter will charge your batteries while on generator, without external charger, BUT VERY SLOWLY.
Good call on the larger wire for fridge/ fused!
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:12 AM   #4
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O.K. so I will be using my battery charger to recharge the batteries and not relying on the converter....thanks!....that is the kind of info I was looking for!

I will be up in the northern part of the country and Canada so hopefully it will be cool enough at night to not need A/C, if not, I guess I'll just have to pick up and move to somewhere with hook-ups.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:07 PM   #5
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I would look into solar for keeping batteries charged. Evrn in Canada u have rmough sun. 200 watt panels. 2 100 watt. Will do plenty. Mine are charged by 10am.
Relay on truck is good. Use a switch hooked to ignition which could be grom radio fuse. I pulled 12 volts from starter motor. This is closest 12v to the rear for heavy wires. Use heavy wire on truck and Trailer.
By AC you mean alternating current?
The converter will clean it up. Lol.
But if using generator then get powerful battery charger.
Solar is the best hands down.
About $300 for panels then $50 for controller and little more for wires and terminals and you're done. Last years n years. .
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for your reply marininn,

Solar would be nice....where do you carry your two 100 watt panels ? Do you have them mounted to the roof ? And when you say use heavy wire on the truck and trailer what gauge are you talking about ?
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:22 AM   #7
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I don't know how many of you use the 2 stroke generators......however, there will always be some residual oil. And maybe this has already been discussed somewhere. if I may offer a suggestion.....Blue Max is capable of mixing 100:1. There is not much residual compared to the normal 50:1 ratio. I have used it in experimental aircraft engines and have had no problems. This is a mineral based oil, not synthetic. I am not selling anything, so do your own research on the internet. If mentioning a brand name is a no-no, my apologies.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U4ick View Post
Thanks for your reply marininn,

Solar would be nice....where do you carry your two 100 watt panels ? Do you have them mounted to the roof ? And when you say use heavy wire on the truck and trailer what gauge are you talking about ?
I bought some on amazon. Mine are the flexible ones, no frame, no glass, so the panel is just very thin, maybe thickness of two DVDs or less.
I used the tape to secure them on the roof. Just in front of the rear roof vent and behind the AC. They go from one side to the other, this way I was able to avoid the roof seams. I think they cost about $160 each.

I used extension cord. One for each panel and wired them together at the controller. The cord was a 3-wire, so saving the extra wires for a 3rd panel in the future to tend the lift pump battery (I have separate batteries for the camper and the lift). I think it was 14 gauge, but just because the 12 g was so expensive… BUT for the truck and trailer I have wire that the copper is about the size of a ball point pen or bigger. the body of the pen, not the point, lol.
the longer the distance the fatter the wire needs to be. Don't leave a choke point, keep the wire fat the entire way from the alternator to the camper battery. I used a separate plug for the camper charging. It is a 2-pole plug, not unlike the style of the 7-pin you have now. I also grounded the plug on truck and camper side so I dont rely on the ball and hitch for ground, just to keep it clean.
I kept the charging through the 7-pin for the lift pump battery.
However, the 200 watts keep the camper batteries charged, so I rarely ever use the truck to charge them. Only if lots of rain/ no sun situations.

I have a box with 6 switches in it on the truck floor next to gear shifter.
#1 switch is the master to power the solenoid for #2, 4 and 5, its power comes from the fuse box that is powered from the ignition (key off means switch off). It also powers up the running lights on trailer which is actually switched by the truck's lights.
#2 switch powers the 7-pin 12v+
#3 switch powers the camper batteries through a second dedicated solenoid.
#4 switch powers the trailer reverse lights
#5 switch powers the truck reverse lights (because hard to see at night when trucks reverse lights are reflecting off a white camper)
#6 is for DRL (is not powered by #1), (unrelated to the camper).

4 of these switches control 4 relays (running lights, 2 reverse lights and 7-pin charge) which get power from the solenoid connected to #1.
All the 12 volt power for the two solenoids is pulled off the 12 volt positive from the starter motor.

Sounds complicated; seems simple now that I have done it.
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Old 05-26-2018, 07:22 AM   #9
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Somebody on the F-250 forum that I follow had a similar idea! He states,


"Semi-rigid solar panels 50w. Poor truck gets parked more (on the street kinda far from house) lately and battery was dimming. So I got a pair of 50w panels. They should keep me topped off! This also marks the first step on this trucks camper conversion! I’m stoked!"
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:54 AM   #10
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Pet Peeve:
Spend $20K on a camper and then drag along a $200 cheap, loud, obnoxious construction generator.
Ryobi makes one for $400-500 that will run an AC and it is quite and peaceful.

Ive seen people run these loud generators all night just for one light bulb, or all night just in case they need to flush. Get a proper battery bank with solar - you will only need generator for Air Cond in this case.
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