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Old 10-02-2018, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Does Hi-Lo Electric Cord Charge 12V Batteries?

We own a 2007 Towlite 1907T that has 2 deep cycle Interstate 12V batteries. When we store the unit in our garage for months at a time, we want our batteries properly stored too. Unfortunately, our original Hi-Lo manual does not address this question, other than to state that batteries should be disconnected for storage. REALLY?

We were imagining that battery charging might be maintained by simply connecting the Hi-Lo electrical cord/plug to our garage outlet. But, some owners on this forum write about using trickle chargers.

Can we just plug into the garage outlet, or do we have to disconnect batteries and trickle charge?
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:12 PM   #2
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My converter does not charge the 12v battery. I suppose like so many things RV related, that feature increases the cost of production for the RV manufacturer, and they leave it off. On a previous RV, I added a Progressive Dynamics Charge Wizard that provided this function and would keep the on-board 12v battery charged when plugged into shore power, using what is known as "smart charger" capability that prevents sulfation of the battery. That converter had a built-in connector for the Charge Wizard and was easy to access. I use a trickle charger now and connect it to the RV battery every time I am at a camp site (we don't boondock) and keep it plugged in when at home.

Here's some info from RV Supplies, RV Accessories, RV Parts, Camper Parts, 5th Wheel Hitch

"Some models of RV converters are installed with a battery charging circuit which enables the 12 volt house batteries to be charged while the RV is plugged into shore power. Even though your convertor may be equipped with a battery charger it will not bring a completely dead battery back to life. RV converters do provide a charge to your RV house batteries, but only a small portion of the converters amperage rating is used for this. Normally 3 to 5 amps, which are not nearly enough to charge batteries that are discharged."
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:53 PM   #3
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Pipierjim:

Thanks much for the rapid reply and good info. I guess we'll just disconnect and trickle charge when in storage.

But, I have a related question also not addressed in my manual re the "Master Switch" that is a black-colored 3 position toggle with the following positions: "TOP ON," "MIDDLE OFF" and "LOWER ON." When towing, will the trailer batteries be charged by my truck's alternator when the 3-way switch is any of those 3 positions? Or, must this toggle be in a particular position for alternator charging to occur?
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:06 PM   #4
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I may be wrong, but I don't believe the position of the 3-way switch affects the RV battery charging from the alternator. Your problem isn't the switch, but the tow vehicle alternator and wiring. First, the alternator may not have the excess capacity, and second, the wiring on the vehicle may not be capable of carrying the amps needed to charge the battery.

The search function is your friend, although it's not the most user-friendly function on this forum.

Here's a thread to start you off:

Trailer battery not charging while traveling.

Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2018, 01:33 PM   #5
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Yo Piperjim:

It looks like you were correctly reading my mind, as I have had trouble with drawn down trailer batteries (brand new, R24 in parallel) after towing with the refrigerator on DC. Your referral to the previous thread is a helpful start, so I'll get back to you when I know more. Off to the mines...

Thanks again.

Lou M
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:26 PM   #6
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Lou:

I've had that sinking feeling of arriving at a campground only to find the battery is stone dead, and then I having to manually pump the top of the RV into the up position. No fun!! So, I bought a pair of 12" or 18" lawnmower battery cables, and hooked them to the RV battery and ran the other ends outside of the battery compartment so I can clip on a set of jumper cables and use the tow vehicle battery to raise the top.....if necessary. The "hot" cable off the RV battery is wrapped in a piece of a swimming pool "noodle" so as to avoid it shorting out on the frame. That cable and pool noodle is secured with 2-3 zip ties. Once set up at the campground, I connect my trickle charger to those cables, which charges the RV battery. I also carry one of those nifty lithium battery packs, just in case. You can't have too much power!!!
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:20 PM   #7
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My converter DOES charge the batteries ( or, rather, there is a charger built into it), and I would think most hi-los from the eighties -on do. That said, I agree it doesn't do it well. I, Too, use a "smart charger" for the winter, and it gets cold up here in Wisconsin. I used to pull the batteries and stick them in the basement with the charger on but I now have storage with access to an outlet and go that route.

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Old 10-10-2018, 08:33 AM   #8
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You model has the converter/charger built in. It is probably an Elixor 35 amp model. It should get you charged up and maintain the charge. If it doesn't charge the batteries there could be a problem. Either the battery is shot or there is a problem with the converter like a blown fuse from being connected to the battery reverse polarity. A trickle charger is good for maintaining your charged batteries.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:09 AM   #9
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Lou, the last couple replies here are correct. Yours has the charger built in the converter so plugging it in will charge your batteries. I have a 2407T so we should have the same setup. Also, there is no charging position with the power switch in any position while in tow. It's not set up that way. Only way to charge while in tow would be of the solar type.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amountaincreeker View Post
Lou, the last couple replies here are correct. Yours has the charger built in the converter so plugging it in will charge your batteries. I have a 2407T so we should have the same setup. Also, there is no charging position with the power switch in any position while in tow. It's not set up that way. Only way to charge while in tow would be of the solar type.
I'm going to disagree with you regarding battery charging while in tow. If your tow vehicle is supplying power through the +12V line of a 7-pin plug, the trailer is receiving power from the tow vehicle's alternator, which is supposed to help keep the trailer battery charged. But, as has been stated many times in this forum, the wiring in the tow vehicle may be too small to carry the current needed, especially if you are running the trailer's refrigerator on DC while the trailer is under tow.

But, regarding the converter charging the battery when plugged into shore power, it should do it (or it's not a "converter"). If the converter is not producing DC power, its internal fuses are likely blown. See my recent thread on locating these "hidden" fuses and replacing them. Here's the link: Converter Troubleshooting and Repair

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