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RE: Generator at High Altitude

Take a look at this: http://help.championpowerequipment.com/article/9v2ag4ofvm-altitude-jet-installation-for-3-k-w-dual-fuel-inverters
CJM1973 03/01/20 11:40pm Tech Issues
RE: Securing Generator To A Cargo Carrier On A Receiver Hitch

2) I would get nervous with a 100lb generator plus another 100lb of gas...that's a lot of weight and the back of a trailer can move around quite a bit on rough roads. ------------------------------------------ The gen weighs 80 pounds and the gas can 40, so 120 pounds not 200. And what are those carriers designed to carry, feather pillows? I usually see big ice chests full of water and cans. OP said 95lb generator and a couple cans of gas...that can get up pretty close to 200lb. I see people doing scary stuff too...doesn't mean I would recommend it. If things shift on the rack, that's a lot of torsion on the 2" receiver and some have a pretty sloppy fit in the receiver, so I've seen them flopping around. A bad weld or using the paper thin rear bumper for support and after a few thousand miles on rough roads (OP is heading to alaska), and a failure is a real possibility if not a solid design. The trailers receiver hitch is not oem. It was fabricated by a metal shop that specilizes in hitches. It was secured and reinforced to the frame rails by a professional fabricator/welder. It looks better than any class three hitch I've seen on most motor vehicles. I've seen some sketchy bumper mounted receiver hitches that are about as polar opposite as my frame mounted trailer hitch. So, quality is a mute point. It's a 95 lb generator and two 2.5 gallon cans of fuel (30 lbs). The cargo carrier is approx 55 lbs. Would be well under 200 lbs.
CJM1973 03/01/20 11:05pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Securing Generator To A Cargo Carrier On A Receiver Hitch

Thanks for sharing. I do have the option of installing a receiver hitch on the front of my tow vehicle, a 1 ton GMC Savana 3500 extended passenger van. But, I'm not keen on keeping a covered generator and gas can on the cargo carrier in plane view. I would like to see how you fabricated the mounts to your cargo carrier. Do you have a pic of it? Just looking for ideas. I thought about fabricating some metal strapping up and over the top of the generator and bolting the ends to the cargo carrier's frame. That would take care of both the mounting issue and security issue. I could then apply a metal cage over top and cover with an oversized cover.
CJM1973 03/01/20 08:16am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Securing Generator To A Cargo Carrier On A Receiver Hitch

The 3500/4000 inverter champion is also very quiet so I would run yours on the cargo rack before building anything just to see how it goes. Goes inside and sit down for a few minutes to see if it is tolerable. I had my 2800/3100 inverter generator on the front of my trailer for deer camp and it worked out great. The Westinghouse is the same and truly is an Inverter generator. Can't use the front this time as the space is all taken by my tongue box and battery bank. So, I'm looking for security solutions on the rear with a cargo carrier. BTW, I was unaware that Champion manufactured an insulated inverter generator in a 3500/4000 series. The only one that I found was a 64 dBA construction frame genny (compared to 52 dBA on the Westinghouse). But I digress.
CJM1973 02/29/20 12:33pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Securing Generator To A Cargo Carrier On A Receiver Hitch

If you run the gen on the carrier the noise and vibration inside will not be very tolerable. I did it once for 5 minutes or so. This is a very quiet Westinghouse inverter generator. It's not an open frame generator. Similar to a Champion 3100/2800 Inverter generator. Noise is comparable to a Honda.
CJM1973 02/29/20 11:40am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Securing Generator To A Cargo Carrier On A Receiver Hitch

Looking for ideas on the best way to secure a 3700 watt inverter generator to a rear cargo carrier attached to a trailer's frame mounted reciever hitch. Genny weighs about 95 lbs. I've seen a couple of products online, one being a locking tray that attaches to a reciever hitch: Generator tray for receiver hitch As I would like to use my larger 60x24" cargo carrier (to carry additional fuel), what have RV owners done to fabricate something like this with an existing carrier? Pics would be helpful. I thought about constructing a 5-sided expanded metal box to slip over the generator, bolting it down to the carrier and punching out 2 windows for front panel and fill cap access. I could then slip over a waterproof cover and it would be hidden from view. The plan is to make power accessibility extremely easy for an up coming 2 month alaskan adventure. As we'll be moving pretty frequently, it would be nice to be able to remove the cover, connect the 30 amp trailer plug, and use the wireless remote to start/stop the genny without ever having to move it. Again, any pics on how to best secure a generator tona cargo carrier are appreciated.
CJM1973 02/29/20 10:00am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Fifth Wheel to TT?

A Hensley Arrow or Propride 3P will solve all sway issues any pull behind trailer may have. Generally speaking, there is a significant cost savings in buying a travel trailer over a similar-floorplan 5ver. These savings can more than pay for one of these premium hitches. The lower profile TT is also at much less risk of a roof strike in low tree-canopy subdivisions. This is my reality.
CJM1973 02/29/20 09:20am Travel Trailers
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

BTW...These photos do not show a quick disconnect on the 12v+ lead that is feeding the on/off switch. In this configuration, no wire is needed from the licence plate wire. Thanks for posting the pics. Very helpful. What is the LC terminal for? So you wired in a fused switch between the (+) input and control terminal?
CJM1973 02/26/20 08:34am Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I have two tow vehicles, RAM 2500 with 220a alternator and Toyota Venza with 150a alternator. I use a Renogy 40a DC to DC charger in both for charging batteries in a small off-road tent camper or a large toy hauler. Both vehicles have 2g wire from front battery to charger in rear. The Renogy works way above my expectations. Amazing product. I've been experimenting using my vehicle to idle and charge the battery. After 20 minutes charging I'm seeing very little heat rise on either alternator.using laser thermometer. And with a AGM group 31, 100ah, 60% battery, I'm back up to 90% after 20 minutes. I no longer carry a bulky generator to off grid charge batteries when the sun isn't hitting my solar panels. Do a Search on YouTube for Will Prowse. He is amazing and has done a great test on this Renogy unit. Thanks for the late input. Good to hear that it's been working great for you. I have yet to install the Renogy DC to DC charger in my tow vehicle as we are still in the middle of winter in Michigan. How did you wire the control terminal on the unit? Did you use your tow vehicle's ignition circuit? I have 4G wire (both pos & neg) to run from the TV's battery to the input on the Renogy unit. I'm wondering if I can just tap into the trailer's tail lights or do I need to run a dedicated 16-18G wire from the vehicle's ignition wire. House Batteries and Renogy are installed in a tongue box on the travel trailer. I would prefer only to have one 2-pin connector from TV to trailer. Just curious to how yours is wired.
CJM1973 02/26/20 07:29am Tech Issues
RE: MIA - Mexico

He PM'd me about 6 days ago regarding some advice on DC to DC 12 volt charging via an alternator.
CJM1973 11/15/19 05:04pm General RVing Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

One last question regarding my new AGM battery bank. What are the ideal charging parameters to set my AC to DC converter at? Bulk, absorption, and float. I think temperature has a play in the equation. Considering the money spent on these AGM batteries, I would like to have them around for awhile and avoid any overcharging scenario. We usually camp in fair weather temps (60-80*F). From my understanding, our trip to Alaska will have such a broad range of temps. I'm coming out of flooded GC2 batteries.
CJM1973 11/11/19 05:40am Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

Well...Learn something new every day.....Looking at Renogy Install Manual "When selecting a location for the DCDC, make sure that the unit is as close as possible to the battery you will be charging (auxiliary battery). " I had read on a few other sites to put it close to the main battery.....Don't trust everything you read on the internet.. :-) Yeah, I learned early on that there are a bunch of liars on it...except for maybe RV .net. ;) I bought a water proof tongue box that I will install it in along with my 3 AGM 100 AH batteries. Between the new battery bank and this new DCDC charger, I our Alaska trip will be less reliant on firing up the old inverter generator. I'm bringing one just to be safe.
CJM1973 11/10/19 08:13pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

Looks like there is loads of miss information on this thread....About hooking a DC to DC directly to the Alternator....NO About mounting the DC to DC at the trailer... I don't think so Check out this excellent video of realtime testing of Renogy DC to DC https://youtu.be/EcVjPap9dkY https://youtu.be/EcVjPap9dkY Thanks. Seen the video. Everywhere I've read says to mount the dcdc charger closest to the house batteries. Haven't read otherwise.
CJM1973 11/10/19 07:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

Sorry - late to the party.... Personally, I prefer external regulation/control on non ecu controlled vehicles. Check the link for info...this is one source. https://alternatorparts.com/quicktifier-external-bridge-rectifier.html details of how this works has been detailed by Mexicowanderer here many times. Interesting. I will investigate.
CJM1973 11/07/19 03:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I'm going to purchase and install the 40 amp DC to DC charger. Couple questions though. A signal control (ignition line) is required to activate this device. Considering the application is a tow behind trailer, can I use the 7 pin trailer harness to tap into for a 12 volt source instead of running a separate line all the way back to the TV's ignition circuit? It would either be the #4 pin (aux) or #3 pin (tail/running lights). I think the tail lights would be a better option as I could control the unit's power via the headlight switch. Thoughts? Most newer trucks switch off power to the plug with key off. With that said you would need to disconnect or install a diode to keep the trailer from back feeding and causing the charger to stay on. Any 12 volt circuit that would turn off when you want it to will work. Also, the Renogy wiring diagram shows both positive and negative lines running from the starter battery to the DCDC charger. Is it possible to just wire in a negative line to the chassis of the TV (near the hitch) and run that along side the positive line from the starter battery? I would use a dual pole plug & socket like the Tectran recommended earlier in the thread. I would not have an issue with using the frame as a ground.(just make sure battery to frame cable is adequate.) Also, I would wire in a fuse or breaker on the positive feed near the starter battery. Is a 60 amp ok for 6 AWG wire? What is preferred, breaker or fuse? If you used a breaker, you would not need to carry a spare. Either will work. Finally, there are dip switches on the charger that customize the charging profile of the battery bank. Considering I'm using flooded GC2 6 volt batteries, what is the recommended absorption and float "end-of-charge" voltages for my configuration? If it were me 14.7 and 13.2(you could bump up to 13.5 or 13.8 if you are using a lot of power. Thanks a bunch. AWG cable, breaker, plug ends, and DCDC charger are on their way. Hopefully, the weather holds out so I can get this project behind me before thanksgiving.
CJM1973 11/07/19 01:38pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I have the Renolgy 40 amp DC to DC charger. It has 3 stage charging and is adjustable. The truck input was 50 amps and the output as advertised. That was at 14.0 volts truck and 14.7 volts output. The charger has a trigger that you hook to the ignition switch. Hook to the battery. Do not use any less then 6awg wire (I used 4awg at 20 feet) I had a solar controller issue. Idled the truck for 1 TO 1 1/2 hr, and was able to run anything I wanted,including a 12 cup drip coffee maker. But to be fair, I had installed a 2P4S Lifep04 battery on this trip.(I wish that I had not waited so long to go LFP) What a difference! Good luck with your adventure! I'm going to purchase and install the 40 amp DC to DC charger. Couple questions though. A signal control (ignition line) is required to activate this device. Considering the application is a tow behind trailer, can I use the 7 pin trailer harness to tap into for a 12 volt source instead of running a separate line all the way back to the TV's ignition circuit? It would either be the #4 pin (aux) or #3 pin (tail/running lights). I think the tail lights would be a better option as I could control the unit's power via the headlight switch. Thoughts? Also, the Renogy wiring diagram shows both positive and negative lines running from the starter battery to the DCDC charger. Is it possible to just wire in a negative line to the chassis of the TV (near the hitch) and run that along side the positive line from the starter battery? I would use a dual pole plug & socket like the Tectran recommended earlier in the thread. Also, I would wire in a fuse or breaker on the positive feed near the starter battery. Is a 60 amp ok for 6 AWG wire? What is preferred, breaker or fuse? Finally, there are dip switches on the charger that customize the charging profile of the battery bank. Considering I'm using flooded GC2 6 volt batteries, what is the recommended absorption and float "end-of-charge" voltages for my configuration? From Renogy's instruction manual: https://i.imgur.com/GipRZ7Nl.jpg
CJM1973 11/07/19 01:22am Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

CJM, Without knowing the specifics of the TV and TT, I fear you are headed for a disappointment. Even if the the TT house bank is on the tongue, we are talking a long run of cable. Remember, to make this work right, you will not be able to count on the frame of anything as a conductor. With the entire life of a Lead/Acid battery between 12.0 and 12.6, and peak charging limited to 14.4 (or .6), there is no room for voltage drop. So a huge alternator will be a lost cause even if you run welding cable from the alternator to the house bank. A Renogy charger will be a big help, but you are still stuck with the recharge time being limited by the battery chemistry. Even AGMs, though will charge faster, still have limits. They just get to 90% a lot faster if you can feed them juice. You do not say what the installed converter is in the TT, but if it is not a modern 3 or 4 stage unit like Progressive Dynamics or Iota (there are others now) that does a boost, bulk and float, I suggest you replace it first. Then, go an buy an inexpensive little genset. Try not to buy a "Contractor" unit because they are designed to cover up the noise of hammers and Skilsaws. There are more than a few on the market. Then, you will also have the portable for other uses. (You will find some.) I know of a guy that boondocks with a long cab TV and a TT that ties his generator down in the bed and runs it when underway. He just runs the shore power cable to it. (With some duck tape for control.) This will all be more simple and reliable than the alternatives, you will just have to put up with some noise some times. Thanks for all the insight first. Details I hadn't mentioned: 1. I replaced the OEM WFCO converter last year after I installed both GC2 batteries. It's now a 55amp Powermax 3 stage converter. Seems to be better at keeping the bank topped off when on shore power. 2. I'm preparing for an Alaska trip with the family next summer and am looking for a viable (and practical) solution to keep the batteries near 80-90% SOC when we arrive at each destination. The plan is to boon dock at least 3 out of 4 days during the 8 week trip. 3. I have a budget of around $2,000 for 'power' upgrades (per the wife). I would love to have a couple of LiFEP04 but pricing is just a bit out of touch for a non-fulltime expedition. 4. The trailer is a 35ft ultra lightweight model with a non-walkable roof. I'm leaning against a solar array as it would a daunting task to mount and maintain them on the 1/4" thick roof decking. I would consider a portable unit but how influential will it be under the northern Canadian and Alaskan skies? What's the cost benefit? 5. We will be bringing an inverter generator (Westinghouse 4500w/3800w) with us. I don't know how "generator friendly" the Alcan hwy is (or the waterfront campgrounds throughout Alaska). I would rather use it as seldom as possible. 6. I did install a pure sine power inverter (1500/3000 watt) in the passthrough storage bay. Don't know if it's just the brand, but it fails to run the 900 watt microwave. A new inverter may be required as the wife is insistent on that appliance for light meals for the kids. I've been reading that 6 volt golf cart batteries in series don't perform nice with large amp draws verses a similar amp hour 12 volt deep cycle bank wired in parallel. I'm also under the impression that flooded lead acid batteries have different discharging characteristics than AGM batteries. I'm considering an AGM upgrade even though my wet cell GC2s are only a year old. I'm trying to determine what electrical upgrades are most beneficial without breaking the bank. The DC to DC power charger is top on my list. I'm questioning the long run of cable from the front of the TV to the trailer's passthrough storage. Based on what I'm hearing, I'm going to hold off on the alternator upgrade. The TV's little 600 CCA battery could be changed out for a higher capacity battery. An AGM upgrade to the GC2s is a possibility too. Don't know how I can increase amp hours unless I move to Lithium. The task of defining which components to upgrade (or add) is becoming a challenge. Even though winter will keep the coach idle, June is approaching fast and I'll need solutions before the weather breaks.
CJM1973 11/05/19 11:04pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I forgot to ask; if I do proceed with the DC to DC charger, do I wire it directly to the + battery terminal or + alternator lead? The renogy diagram shows multiple methods. Also, what type of connector is preferred from TV to trailer? Wire will be 4 or 6 awg.
CJM1973 11/04/19 11:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I'd run dedicated wiring so at least your trailer battery gets nearly the same voltage as the engine battery. The voltage your engine battery gets is decided by the vehicle's voltage regulator, and none of these are programmed intending to quickly and fully recharge depleted batteries. Mostly they are designed to never overcharge, and as such, will drop to mid to high 13's relatively quickly, but all vehicles will vary in the max voltage and for how long it is held. Only if your alternator was incapable of meeting all the loads applied to it would increasing its rating prove beneficial, and likely only at higher rpm, not idling. Likewise a larger better starting battery is not going to assist trailer battery charging. I'd get the following 6awg harness or similar, and run it to alternator + and a - mounting bolt. Disconnect the connector manually when parked for any length of time so trailer cannot discharge engine starter battery. Thanks for the response. 2 follow up questions. If my DC to DC charger is rated at 40 amps (Renogy has one), would it be a bit taxing on the 150 amp OEM alternator? Any benefit to upgrading to a 220 amp alternator in this case? Secondly, do these dc to DC chargers act just like a conventional onboard RV multiphase converter? Bulk to absorption to float? From my understanding, with this setup, I would rarely get above 80% stage of charge after a 3 hour drive, right?
CJM1973 11/04/19 10:05pm Tech Issues
Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

My trucks alternator is rated at 150 amps. Its starting battery is your typical 600 CCA AC Delco variety. My goal is to increase charging capability through the 7 pin pigtail connector near the hitch. Is this possible via a larger TV battery or alternator? I recently upgraded from 1 group 24 battery in the TT to 2 GC2 6 volts in series. Current setup doesn't provide much charging when underway, even after 5-6 hours of driving. I know I can install a DC to DC charger in the trailer. I'd have to run a dedicated line from under the hood to the front passthrough storage compartment of the trailer. Just wondering if there was an easier route. Don't want to invest in solar as I wont utilize it much. An 8 week to Alaska next summer is really what I'm planning for. Otherwise, we rarely boondock. It would be nice to drive for 4-5 hours and have a "topped-off" battery bank for each leg of the trip. Any suggestions?
CJM1973 11/04/19 09:17pm Tech Issues
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