Easy way to charge a 3rd battery? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 09-25-2018, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Easy way to charge a 3rd battery?

I'm trying to find a way to charge up a deep cycle battery while it's sitting in my truck bed and I'm driving down the road without having to figure out a way to connect and route a bunch of 2/0 copper cable under my truck. Any suggestions?

The battery will be used to run a 12K winch that's mounted on my trailer. The winch will either be operating a loading arch, or dragging logs directly onto the trailer. I'd like to chare/recharge the battery while I'm driving too and from the woods. I'd even be willing to leave the truck running (2000 F350 Diesel) while I'm working so that the battery is continually being charged. I'm just not sure of a good way to connect the deep cycle battery to my electrical system in such a way that I could go driving down the road without removing it. I'm able to buy some 25' 2 gauge jumper cables off ebay for under $30. That would make it easy to hook things up while the truck is stationary and the hood is up, but not so much while I'm pulling the trailer down the highway. Any suggestions? Also, does anyone know if there are any precautions I should take to protect the trucks electrical system when doing this? I wouldn't think this would be hard on my alternator, but I've had worse surprises over the years....

Thanks in advance for any advise/suggestions
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-25-2018, 08:19 AM
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Run a battery tender to it. Connect a min of 300 watt inverter from the lighter socket and plug in a battery tender to the inverter.
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-25-2018, 08:42 AM
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that seems to be inefficient? converting low volt to high volt and back to low volts ?

ford has a battery charge lead on the 7 pin that disconnects when the truck is off

or since you ok with running a cable i might just go with a one way or even bi-directional ACR ( auto charge relay) bi-directional would let you hook a charger up to any battery and after it sees a minimum charge voltage it would connect to the downline batteries

i run 4 batteries using the bi-directional sure power acr

i would look at the high idle options for your truck also

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post #4 of 35 Old 09-25-2018, 09:07 AM
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post #5 of 35 Old 09-25-2018, 09:36 AM
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How about one of those little solar battery chargers? It could stay in the bed with your battery.
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post #6 of 35 Old 09-25-2018, 09:42 AM
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OK, thanks for the info. To show my ignorance, what is the problem with 3 nipples...
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post #7 of 35 Old 09-25-2018, 09:48 AM
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If the battery for the trailer will "last" for the duration of the work it needs to do without additional power from the truck, then the 7-pin charging lead should work for you. As ZMANN mentioned.

If you need to augment the trailer battery from the truck while using the trailer equipment, the 7-pin circuit can't supply much current. You will need a dedicated circuit of larger cable.
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post #8 of 35 Old 09-26-2018, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Wood's Powerstroke View Post
How about one of those little solar battery chargers? It could stay in the bed with your battery.
I wouldn't recommend using solar for his application (depending on his use and abuse of the battery) but if solar is a viable answer, consider something similar to this for your situation:

https://www.powerstroke.org/forum/po...our-truck.html
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post #9 of 35 Old 09-26-2018, 11:09 AM
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In a 7-pin RV connector: Looking into the truck-side receptacle the top-right is B+ trailer-charge. Only hot when key is in RUN. Protected by a 30 amp maxi fuse in the underhood center.
The bottom-left is Ground. Use your meter and check that you have battery voltage (in the correct polarity) between these two terminals when the key is ON, but zero volts when the key is OFF.
Purchase a 7-pin trailer plug at pep boys, about $10, and obtain some 10-gauge wire of adequate length to reach the battery when it's in its "road position". Wire up just the two terminals in the plug to the battery. And try it out. If you can leave the battery in the bed during routine usage of the truck (not just trips to the woods), it will remain charged and ready for when you need it for the trailer.

I have one of these 7-pin battery charge cables in my stash. I don't use it a lot, but it is an easy, effective way to bring an extra battery up to charge. I've used it a few times for the boat when I've known the boat battery was low, so I put it in the bed pn the 7-pin charge, and its back up by the time I get to the river. It works. I think it would be enough for your needs. And only cost a few bucks to try.
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post #10 of 35 Old 10-01-2018, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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My plan is to charge the battery on a trickle charger in the garage before and after use. I have no idea how long it will last when fully charged. Pretty confident that I will be able to fully load the trailer one time, but not sure about doing it twice. I can haul 2 cords on the trailer. If I can get 2 trips in a day, that would cover most of my firewood needs for an average year.

I have considered the 7 pin plug, but I wasn't sure if it was going to make much of a difference. It's about an hour drive from the woods to the house, so 2 hrs round trip plus unload time.

I do need to take a look at my high idle. Worked fine 2 years ago when I bought the truck, but I haven't noticed the engine kicking into high idle for quite a while now. My guess is that having the the truck charge the battery with some heavy 2 AWG cables while I'm using it will be my best bet for getting as much done in a day as I can.
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