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Old 07-13-2014, 04:29 AM   #1
clewis
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Charging battery with tow vehicle

Can anyone point me in the right direction about charging a battery while driving. I read some articles a couple months back but can't find them now. I thought my truck is doing the charge while connected to the truck but I would like to confirm as I am dry camping next weekend.

I have a 2014 hideout and a 2013 f150 with factory tow package. I recall reading some dealerships don't install something. Any related info would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:49 AM   #2
SGardiner
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Your F-150 should have come with a relay and fuse to power the connection, which charges your battery while the trailer is connected and the engine is on. I found them in a small bag in the glove box. My dealer installed no charge during regular service. However, I am sure it is not difficult and you could perform the task yourself if you have the parts.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:56 AM   #3
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Battery

I have a Keystone Fuzion Toy Hauler FZ260 and does charge the battery when hooked to my Ford F150. It will also charge once connected to a shore power supply.

If not you might want to check for a blown fuse.

Good luck ...

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Old 07-13-2014, 06:05 AM   #4
camper 2010
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My Chevy 2500 came with the tow package but would not charge my TT. The truck did not come with a fuse in the slot for power to the TT. How much would a fuse cost General Motors? Much less than my headache hunting down the problem.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:28 AM   #5
clewis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGardiner View Post
Your F-150 should have come with a relay and fuse to power the connection, which charges your battery while the trailer is connected and the engine is on. I found them in a small bag in the glove box. My dealer installed no charge during regular service. However, I am sure it is not difficult and you could perform the task yourself if you have the parts.
I think there is a bag with a fuse in my glove box, must be what I need to install.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by camper 2010 View Post
My Chevy 2500 came with the tow package but would not charge my TT. The truck did not come with a fuse in the slot for power to the TT. How much would a fuse cost General Motors? Much less than my headache hunting down the problem.
And some years the charge line isn't connected either.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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Just reporting back, there were a relay and fuse in the glove box, all set to go.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:51 AM   #8
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:26 PM   #9
clewis
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Just to clarify I was hoping to be able to get a charge out of my tow vehicle if my battery were to need a charge while I was camping (like if my awning or slide were still out). I was not thinking I could just leave it connected to my truck while camping and have a fully charged battery forever. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clewis View Post
Just to clarify I was hoping to be able to get a charge out of my tow vehicle if my battery were to need a charge while I was camping (like if my awning or slide were still out). I was not thinking I could just leave it connected to my truck while camping and have a fully charged battery forever. Sorry for the confusion.
The battery will charge off of the alternator thru the plug from the TV, however it is more of a trickle charge than anything. The only way to get a quicker charge is to transfer the battery to the TV in place of the regular battery. Even then it would take an hour or more of driving at normal speed to reach a full charge.

From the trailer plug expect it to take a couple of hours at high idle (1000 rpm) before you see a difference.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:01 PM   #11
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clewis, Howdy;

Quote:
Originally Posted by clewis View Post
Just to clarify I was hoping to be able to get a charge out of my tow vehicle if my battery were to need a charge while I was camping (like if my awning or slide were still out). I was not thinking I could just leave it connected to my truck while camping and have a fully charged battery forever. Sorry for the confusion.
In the instance that you describe you would be better off using you jumper
cables (with engine running), which will effectively be your TV battery (full,
unless you've been using it for your tunes), to run those items if your trailer's
battery was low on charge when you need them to come in.

hankaye
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:35 AM   #12
clewis
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Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
clewis, Howdy;



In the instance that you describe you would be better off using you jumper
cables (with engine running), which will effectively be your TV battery (full,
unless you've been using it for your tunes), to run those items if your trailer's
battery was low on charge when you need them to come in.

hankaye
good point, could always go with the booster cables in a pinch.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #13
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If your TV supplies power to your trailer with the key off and you leave them connected overnight you may have two dead batteries and NO way to charge them in the morning. Only leave them connected while TV is running. JM2˘, Hank
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by clewis View Post
good point, could always go with the booster cables in a pinch.
As a matter of fact, this last week I did just that. We visited 2 campgrounds dw picked out in New York. 1 of which was supposed to have electric hookup. Well neither did. We made it 6 days with minimal use of the pump, refrigerator was on all the time(gotta keep the beer cold). We hooked up jumper cables from the tv to pull the slide in. I rolled the awning in the day before the battery went dead. I thought I would manually retract the slide the day we left but it's a bit more involved than what the dealer said.The electric jack seemed to pick up enough charge from the jump for the slide out to hook up to the tv. I expected the truck to charge the battery a little but when I got home after6 hours, no charge. Guess what? No fuse! Thanks to this forum it's in. It was our first long trip, the 4th this summer and it's our first year with our tt.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:50 PM   #15
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I know i'm a little late to the party, and glad you got the relay and fuse in so you can charge while in tow. But if doing a dry camp why not look at getting an inexpensive solar panel?

A 45w panel will produce a few A/h during the day light.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:02 PM   #16
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A generator might be in order here.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:26 AM   #17
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I have a spot for a 2nd battery in my truck.....I put an RV battery in there running through a isolating solenoid, so it charges while the engine is running. If I need a battery for the trailer in a pinch, its there, just have to swap them. I can also boost myself if something happens to the truck battery
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clewis View Post
I think there is a bag with a fuse in my glove box, must be what I need to install.
I just bought an F-150 this year and had no idea these weren't installed until I saw a post on another forum. Just open the fuse box and install the fuse and relay.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:25 PM   #19
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This is the reason I now keep jumper cables in the trailer.
Last fall my FIL (who works his vehicles HARD with minimal maintenance) couldn't get his slide in, even with his truck hooked up.
Being all ready to leave, we both had to unhook and I used our truck to power his trailer to get the slide in. What a headache.
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