Ideal location for battery chargers
November 29, 2016 at 11:34 am #351EricParticipant
With all due resrespect and tremendous admiration for the hymnal’s author, I believe that mounting a battery charger on the false back of the galley unit as mentioned in the hymnal is a mistake and possible fire hazard. This is an unventilated small space too close to the battery; all good chargers have ventilation fans and ventilation requirements. They heat up as they do their job particularly in the bulk charge stage. I suggest the following: install the RV power recepticle in a top corner of the transom (as on the prototype) and install the charger immediately adjacent to it on the underside of of the galley flat in the same corner. You’ll never see it, it’ll have adaquit ventilation, and, if in the rear corner, your feet will never hit it.August 6, 2017 at 3:09 am #1144caveprodParticipant
I’ve been worrying about this too, well at least the battery, for that vague reason, also the weight of the 30KG battery, the fear of a malfunctioning battery in that position and maybe accessibility issues too.
I’m still considering, but thinking about mounting the lead crystal battery that I have to the frame under the camper floor. Its a little more obvious perhaps and maybe unprotected.
It gets the battery in the air anyway.August 6, 2017 at 11:16 am #1145
The battery charger manufacturer can tell you how hot it will get at maximum. Mine should only reach 130 deg F at bulk charge and I am not worried about that at all. As far as being close to the battery, mine is non-venting. If it was not sealed, I would have a concern with that location of the charger and the battery well.
August 6, 2017 at 8:58 pm #1147Bob D.Participant
- This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by rovineye.
They should be very near the battery. They compensate for temperature of the battery during charging so ideally will be within a few inches in the same compartment.August 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm #1149
That advice is not universally true. It depends on the battery type and charger brand. Battery Tender recommends mounting the charger as far away from the battery as the DC leads allow. I suspect this is to avoid corrosion from gassing, but that would not normally occur if using a sealed AGM battery for instance.
I am a few weeks away from mounting my charger and am 52% sure I will mount it in the location shown in the hymnal.August 7, 2017 at 1:57 pm #1150Bob D.Participant
Any half decent battery charger will monitor the temperature of the battery and compensate for that temperature during charging. You can do this by being in close proximity and assuming that the battery and charger are fairly close to being the same temperature, or with remote temperature sensors (RTS systems).
Lead acid batteries generate hydrogen while being charged. Some dump this hydrogen out to the surrounding environment more than others. I can understand why some manufacturers would recommend keeping their devices away, especially for batteries that are in confined spaces where the flammable gas could build up. It’s a liability issue.
I’m using a Genasun GV-10 solar charge controller for my system. It is in close contact with the battery itself, fused appropriately, using very short leads. There are no mechanical switches or relays to generate a spark that could ever possibly ignite built up hydrogen. For little systems like we’re doing in the camper, this is more than sufficient. For bigger systems, you monitor the heck out of the battery banks.August 7, 2017 at 3:07 pm #1151
I don’t need temperature compensation in this application. At the highest temperature I can imagine while charging, say 110 deg F, the compensation is somewhere between .3 and .4 volts typically. At the lower end where undercharging is possible, I just don’t care.
Maybe others have larger or more sensitive loads, or are planning on charging in a very hot environment. Anyway, not much of downside to having the compensation, but I don’t want my charger in my battery box so I can see the indicators.August 7, 2017 at 3:13 pm #1152
I stopped taking a charger on trips. My 50w solar keeps me charged and I find little opportunity to charge with 110v on the road.August 7, 2017 at 5:31 pm #1154faithie999Participant
Friz–are your panels on the camper, or do you set them up at your campground? If the former, could you pls post a picture? Thanks!August 8, 2017 at 11:49 am #1158
My battery is under the camper so I just attached my solar with the clips that came with the solar kit. It lives stowed in the tongue box when not in use. A wise person over at tnttt.com mentioned that you want your camper in the shade and your solar in the sun. It also allows for positioning the solar for optimal charging and the camper for optimal use. You do lose the “Look how green I am” cool factor when going down the road. Mounting your solar on your camper is somewhat counter productive. I have now added a pigtail with a plug at the rear of the camper to attach my trickle charger and my solar to make things easier. I will try to find some pictures.August 14, 2017 at 5:25 pm #1201
PicsAugust 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm #1206faithie999Participant
Friz–did you build or buy the diamond plate aluminum box?August 15, 2017 at 6:50 pm #1208
Northern Tool. Same as the trailer.September 17, 2017 at 1:05 am #1321EricParticipant
I am the one who started this thread then went ahead and installed the charger on the backside of the galley false front anyway (go figure); anyway I have had no problems though it does heat up a bit. I also have a Go Power 120 watt solar panel system which can be set up up to 30 feet from the trailer or clamped to the Thule roof racks when traveling. The problem in Smoky Mountains and Mammoth Caves is finding a campsite that isn’t totally in the shade, but boy does it charge that battery on the road, enough to more than run my Engels electric frig freezer in the tongue box.
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