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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done it, without burning out their stock alternator?
The wife likes to bring EVERYTHING on the three week roadies. Packs everything into the pop up trailer - cooler, heater, laptop.

If I use a proper Y switch (or dual bank switch), can my 1500 Alternator charge up my wing battery, and then upon being switched over to the trailer - charge back up the deep cycle (which is considerably larger?

Thanks,

K
:sadguy:
 

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Yes it can be done! I ride a trike, and a few guys riding them have installed a spare battery in the lower trunk of the trike. One had a simple throw switch to switch the mode, another had a device that used a relay. I'd look around at rv places and ask about the options available. Worst case scenario, you could get a Compufire, and 2 gell batteries, then use whatever switching device you decide on. The coolest one had a device that "senses" the low battery, and switches automatically. What about a small converter to charge your stuff, that changes 12vDC to 120VAC? Seems alot cheaper to me? jimsjinx:?
 

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A reasonable fix would be to alternate the loads, so you charge one at a time but the alternating part would be a rely, or electronic device to change from one battery to the other. With both being charged and in reasonable shape they can withstand the off period. A timer should be adjustable to change the cycles off off and on.

You may have notice hooking them up in parallel does not fully charge one, usually the deep cell, but it all depends on the type and quality of each battery.

The deep cell battery if it is a true deep cell should be current limited so as not to over heat. The automotive battery can take a high charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks ARKnapp, thanks jimsjinx!

To clarify jimsjinx - we power everything back in the camper trailer, with the power inverter which draws from the Marine Deep Cycle. But when moving on the next day down the highway, we find that the solar energy isnt quite charging the deep cycle up enough by the time we set up camp next. The attempt here would be to have the alternator charging the deep cycle at the back, while it also supplies the bike's radio, head light, etc. I agree the power inverter is the easiest way to go.

ARKnapp - I figure I'd use a Marine Heavy Duty Switch (1 batt, 2 batt, Both Batts and Off) and maybe throw a simple battery meter on the dash. 10 min after we take off, verify the the small Goldwing battery is topped up, and then switch the circuit over to the Trailer Deep Cycle battery.

My real concerns here gents, are two fold:
1 - both batteries are not the same size, so I guess its best not to charge at the same time, like you said ARKnapp
2 - the stock alternator and regulator are used to charge a tiny Goldwing battery. Will the much larger Deep Cycle battery back in the trailer, cause much early wear and tear on the Wing's alternator, do you think?

Thanks!
:?
 

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Charging mismatched batteries is only a problem if they're in series as in a 24V system.

My main concern would be wire size to the trailer battery, you'd fry #14 wire trying to charge a large depleted deep cycle battery.
 

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We ride' I would think that a small generator would do all that you are trying to run off of a inverter. And they are so small now that it would not take up any more space them a marine battery and inverter and should be less weight. As ken stated it going to take some heavy duty wire to the trailer to charge that battery. Also just my 2 cents but I would not like the idea of possibly damaging the alternator on a long trip. Like I said just my 2cents-----------------------Hal
 

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.

So, when I started working on the RR in the 60's they ran wheel generators on the reefers to power the cooling fans.

Why not do the same on the trailer. Run a alternator off the trailer wheel to charge the deep cycle battery for your inverter. Separate system, no problems.

You could install a very large alternator and have no problem bringing a deep cycle battery up to charge.

.
 

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Charging mismatched batteries is only a problem if they're in series as in a 24V system.

My main concern would be wire size to the trailer battery, you'd fry #14 wire trying to charge a large depleted deep cycle battery.
AND when you have both batteryes connected , and the motorcycle battery is low,(or empty), in power , AND you then try to start your bike , the starter will take its power from your trailer battery !
And the result is for sure burning wires or svitches , unless wires,(both positive and negative), are dimensioned for this .
You can buy special automatically relays to prevent this dissaster , the best way is to make sure that the power can only "flow" to your trailer when your alternator is actually charging (and not on ANY other circumstance ).
I fiend it easyest to use a VSR relay,(= volt sensitive relay) ,that connects the two batteryes at around 12,8 volt and disconnect at around 12,4 volt (as i remember !).
I have this system on my bike/trailer , and i am happy with it .
PS: you have to dimension the wires for the Amperes your alternator can "deliver" , the size off the battery dosnt matter.
 

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A VSR is the simplest and safest way to go. If you can't run decent size cabling I would suggest using an auto reset circuit breaker of the amperage that suits your cable size. If your auxiliary battery is really flat it will eventually trip out the breaker and then automatically reset. Eventually the battery will reach a charge state that will settle down and stop tripping the breaker. There are also some dc-dc battery chargers available that charge in multi stages looking after your auxiliary battery giving a fuller charge and longer life.
 

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K.I.S.S. method always works!

Here is what I do and it works well. I have an extra Gel GW battery that I carry in the saddle bag that is connected to the charge system via my tender port and Gater clips. It charges during the day rides and at night we use it in the trailer with a 400 W inverter to run stuff like, laptops, lights and what ever. I would think an RV Deep Cycle battery would be a bit overkill for what you are doing but thats just another mans opinion.
 

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MY main concern would be the beginning charge rate of either battery upon being switched, your OEM alternator is only 40 amps, and a low battery could very easily exceed that and cause damage to your regulator. I noticed on one of your post that you use a solar cell to help with the charging, that should help with the sudden surge in current upon switching to your alt battery.
 

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The Irish Crew
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So, when I started working on the RR in the 60's they ran wheel generators on the reefers to power the cooling fans.

Why not do the same on the trailer. Run a alternator off the trailer wheel to charge the deep cycle battery for your inverter. Separate system, no problems.

You could install a very large alternator and have no problem bringing a deep cycle battery up to charge.

.
That's a very common practice for farm trailers over here in Ireland. It should be very easy to do with a bike trailer, and used alternators can be picked up cheap in any car breakers yard.
 

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Using an inverter can add an unneeded inefficiency.
Most of the toys (phones, laptops, etc.) operate on a low voltage (less than 12) battery.

An inverter converts 12 Volts DC to 110 Volts AC.
Then the typical charger cube converts 110 Volts AC to the DC voltage of the toy's battery.

It would be more efficient to use 12 Volt cigarette lighter connectors to the toys.
A more universal approach would be to connect a USB adaptor to the 12 Volt battery. Then you are good to go for most of the toys.
Twelve Volt LED lights should be easy to find at an RV store or online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Teery, Heffo, George, Ken, Buddtwo, Hodgy, Smed's, Ansimp & Zappa. What a resource, guys.
Three ideas I hadn't thought of, thanks, but I'm a little confused on a couple of things...Our annual 'Canada to Texas, L.A. and back up the coast trip' is only two weeks away, so I really appreciate the help.

Terry: I do have a solar blanket of soft solar panels, that is fitted neatly in place, very nicely to the trailer's top. 60w folded out on a sunny day, but it only has about half of the panels showing. The alt and regulator after a night w/ her silly heater on would significantly drain down the battery for sure. Did you mean the voltage regulator on the solar panel is what would protect the alternator from a massive draw?

Ken: I was planning to use stock cabling already in place, for the bike's battery circuit and for the circuit to the trailer batt, 6 AWG. Would you still have a concern,
if they were two independant 12v systems, and never charging together.

Heffo: Thanks! As of right now, my only hesistation is trying to find how one installs their second alternator and where. Outside, inside, with belts running thru, or underneath the trailer?!?

Buddtwo: By small generator do you mean like one of the older 70/ 80's era dynamo's, similar to those on small bikes?

Hodgy: Would a small wheel generator burn out against the wheel at 70 MPh average speeds? I like the idea of two independant systems, hadn't thought of that. Have you seen this done? Where was it actually installed - outside or inside the trailer to weather proof it?

George: The inverter is out as of now, and I have two small adapters, thanks. Her silly heater is a small problem, however. We grabbed the LED lights from Walmart, actually.

Smeden: to stop this starter taking power from the trailer, the idea would be to have it switched and starting on the bike battery always and only after 30 minutes or so, switch over to the charging of the trailer circuit (6 AWG Red & Black w/ marine 4 AWG poll switch). Would I still cook the the original wiring? Does a VSR and a diode function the same way, in your experience? My focus is 100% protecting the alternator/ regulator.

Ansimp: Thank you. I'm heading out to All Battery to look at a couple to see if a small to large batt dcdc combo exists.

Zappa: Your system is simplest, and its exactly what I want to do, and last year I threw an extra (but same model and type of battery as the bike), as an extra power source occassionally for playing tunes and showing off down in L. Havasu. No problems. But, is your gel cel the same size as your bike battery and of course, her heater. Do you use a heater? Does your system have enough Ah's to operate a heater on a cold night? Thanks.

Thanks everyone - I'm down to three options now, and am just trying to see which option, gets her as close as she hopes for conveniences.

Next it'll be a bloody vanity mirror, with dressing room lights, if I'm not careful!

Kyle
 

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When we went to Alaska, Hanko had a trailer full of electronic stuff on charge plus an extra battery on charge. Lucky too, when my alternator went toes-up, Henry had me covered. Thanks Henry.
 

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I've got an 88 1500 with a trailer and connected a maintenance free battery for extra power. I used 6 gauge welding cable to link it to the connector between the bike and the battery. I had to do a lot of digging to find the kind of connector I wanted. Found this:

http://www.texasindustrialelectric.com/anderson_connectors.asp

I used 2 of their SB50R connectors. I've used it several times and have not had any problems at all. Charging rate is 14.0 volts/1.5 amps.
 

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Thanks Teery, Heffo, George, Ken, Buddtwo, Hodgy, Smed's, Ansimp & Zappa. What a resource, guys.
Three ideas I hadn't thought of, thanks, but I'm a little confused on a couple of things...Our annual 'Canada to Texas, L.A. and back up the coast trip' is only two weeks away, so I really appreciate the help.


Heffo: Thanks! As of right now, my only hesistation is trying to find how one installs their second alternator and where. Outside, inside, with belts running thru, or underneath the trailer?!?


Hodgy: Would a small wheel generator burn out against the wheel at 70 MPh average speeds? I like the idea of two independant systems, hadn't thought of that. Have you seen this done? Where was it actually installed - outside or inside the trailer to weather proof it?


Thanks everyone - I'm down to three options now, and am just trying to see which option, gets her as close as she hopes for conveniences.

Next it'll be a bloody vanity mirror, with dressing room lights, if I'm careful!

Kyle


I have not seen one mounted on a trailer, Heffo might have some good information.


If it was mine it would be inside someplace to weather proof it. Right off the top of my head it would consist of 2 pulleys, 1 V or multi groove belt, 1 shaft, two pillow-block bearings and a Lovejoy coupling to the alternator.

With that set-up you have control of the RPM's of the alternator at normal cruising speed.

.
 

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When we went to Alaska, Hanko had a trailer full of electronic stuff on charge plus an extra battery on charge. Lucky too, when my alternator went toes-up, Henry had me covered. Thanks Henry.
Your welcome Terry,

What I did was to use the old battery from my 1800 and mounted it in my trailer behind the light cover. I then wired the bike with a relay that is turned on using the AUX circuit to trigger the relay. The relay is attached to the battery with a 30A fuse inline at the battery and the output side is connected to my trailer wiring connector. I use a 7 wire connector that is wired up as if the trailer had trailer brakes. The ground wire and the +12V wire are 10 gauge to handle the charging current.

When starting the bike the relay is disabled by the AUX circuit shutting off and disconnects the trailer battery from the bike. So no problem there.

I also placed another relay, switch and 30 amp fuse with the trailer battery so I can turn power on and off to the outlets. I have wired in a 300W inverter that is also connected to the relay in the trailer. Turning off the switch disconnects the outlets and inverter but still allows the trailer battery to charge from the bike.

We ended up using the battery in Terry's bike when his alternator went bad about 400+ miles from home. Every couple of hours we'd change the battery out so he could continue and I could charge up the discharged one.

Henry
 

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Henry also had the kitchen sink.........in case we needed one.
 
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