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New member
Jul 20, 2005
Lewisville, NC
We bought a used 5th wheel last year and still have much to learn. Where we plan to camp for several weeks later this year, there are no hookups and generators are not allowed. However, while camping we travel about (sight seeing, etc.) much of the day in our tow vehicle. I hope to be able to put the batteries in a secured box in the bed of the truck, connect them to the trailer plug, and charge them from the truck while driving around. I haven't found the definitive answer as to whether or not this will work. One of my main concerns is that I don't run down the truck batteries. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
No reason why it won't work, but I would want the engine running before I switched the batteries into the truck system. Otherwise those badly discharged trailer batteries are going to such power from the truck battery before you get it started.  However, an isolator could be added to avoid this and might be a good idea anyway, since you might run the engine for only a few minutes before your first stop of the day and you would not want the trailer batteries charging from the truck battery then either.

You might also check your truck's alternator size, since you will now be asking it to supply power to multiple batteries. Changing to a larger alternator might be helpful.  Also be sure to provide large gauge wiring to the trailer batteries, since they will be at least several feet from the alternator.  During the early stage of charging, those batteries will try to suck a lot of amps, maybe 30+ amps per battery.

Is solar power an option where you camp?  With enough sunlight and a solar panel or two, you can provide quite a bit of charging each day and maybe avoid lugging batteries to the truck quite as often. Solar is not likely to provide for all your needs (depends on your rate of consumption), but it can help a lot.

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