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HOW TO: Redarc DC to DC 11 Amp Output Trailer Charger Installation


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FYI, related thread and discussion: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/4759-redarc-trailer-charger-mounted-inside-the-ollie-for-100-lithium-charge/?tab=comments#comment-49376

https://www.etrailer.com/Battery-Charger/Redarc/RED96FR.html

I won't add much commentary, it is pretty self explanatory. The instructions allow you to mount in any position, I chose horizontally with 1" cooling holes and a 1/2" gap between its housing and the mounting plate for cross flow of air. Note that there is a ton of extra space, I plan to add a small Victron MPPT Solar charge controller for my portable panel, it will go just to the rear of the Redarc, and there is room for another circuit breaker too.

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More....

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Posted (edited)

My Land Cruiser 200 charging voltage is 13.6 volts with the trailer hooked up (using a digital OBD2 Scan Gauge).It never gets above 14 volts, regardless.

Here is the history using my VictronConnect app, showing the initial parasitic load (propane detector and stereo mostly) of about minus 0.3 amps, then the engine starts and the trailer battery voltage and current shoot up nicely, to just under 11 amps. It maintains that charge rate right up until the batteries are close to full.

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The only fly in the ointment is that the wiring needs to be 12AWG or larger, all the way from tongue to charger. My Hull # 218 had a splice from 12 AWG down to 14 AWG, so I had to rewire the entire 7 wire harness, essentially. That is another thread. ... https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/5271-how-to-junction-box-for-the-7-wire-trailer-harness-under-the-front-dinette-seat/?tab=comments#comment-54709

I went on a 90 minute, 40 mile test drive yesterday, it worked flawlessly, I can monitor the Victron app inside the truck, the sky was hazy high clouds, not ideal solar conditions, but the total charge current kept around 16 amps, going up to 22 when the sun broke through a little. 

Total cost was about $312, not including all my labor! Questions are welcome.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Thanks JD, eager to hear the long term evaluation.

RB

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
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  • 6 months later...

Owners; 

Note that JD's 12-12 charger has an output of 11 amps. 

Those going to Lithium may want significantly more power.  It appears that many of our owners are using or are looking at the Victron Orion 12-12 30 amp charger.  Depending on your vehicle and Oliver cable run length, you likely will be looking at 6 AWG or even 4 AWG wires from battery to battery (estimated cable length is upwards of 45 for my F-150 SuperCrew). 

Also, if using 4 AWG, you would need the Anderson 120 amp or 175 amp connector to handle the cable size.    

I found Mike at BatteriesUSA to be exceptionally helpful.  If you know your cable line measurement, Mike can give you the voltage drop for the various types of copper stranded cable.  Specifically you can buy 4 awg welding cables or 4 awg power cables.  Both are the same AWG.  BUT they are not the same strand count.  This can certainly impact which lugs you buy for the same 4 awg size.  

Finally, for DC circuits you can go well above the normal 3% voltage loss.  So if you are new to large DC cabling, measure twice and consider giving him a call at BatteriesUSA.  

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GJ, great comments The beauty of the Redarc is that it doesn’t require disturbing the wiring in the TV. An exception is if you have a “smart” alternator, then you have to run a small voltage sense wire up to the TV battery positive, and also one inside the Ollie.

I once wired a TV and a Nash travel trailer as you describe, I used OO welding cable. This was about 1988, there was no such thing as lithium batteries. It worked quite well, but it is NOT a mod to be taken lightly with today’s sophisticated computer controlled electrical systems.

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John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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John: Very correct. 

The intent in my post above was directed only towards charging wire size between TV and Oliver.  You bring up other equally important concepts that those wanting to use a newer TV's with smart Alternator to charge up their trailer batteries.  

Direct connecting TV to Trailer where you have L.A. to L.A. or AGM to AGM can be done as Raspy posted a couple of years ago (Battery to circuit breaker to Anderson Connection to Trailer batteries).  The reason is that the two systems operate at the same voltage and have the same charge profiles.  The voltage drop (I.E. a measure of cable resistance over its length) from the front battery to the back batteries will to some degree self limit the amount of power that could flow.  This in turn provides a good measure of protection to the TV electrical systems.

However mix a L.A./AGM TV to a Lithium Trailer batteries using direct connecting will really cause grief for several reasons:

  • The internal resistance of the Lithium's is insignificant to that of the AGM or L.A. batteries.  This would allow HUGH currents to flow from the TV to Ollie.  If properly fused at both the TV battery terminals you would just be inconvenienced a lot.  However, you are still at risk of damaging the TV charging/battery.
  • Lithium batteries generally require a three program charge process that a direct connect does not provide.  
  • A smart TV alternator varies the output voltage to match the need.  As a result, it will tend not to provide high enough voltage much of the time that the Lithium's need to get charged up.  

So to use your TV smart alternator to charge your lithium's, you need a current limiting device, that also acts as a "Buck Boost" transformer, and provides the computer smarts to provide the lithium's their three phase charge program.  The unit you suggest appears to do all these tasks at 11 amps.  A larger unit is the Victron Orion 12 -12  30.  The "12 - 12  30" translates as:  A 12+/- volt input providing a 12 to 14+ volt charge voltage to the lithiums, with up to 30 amps continuous (if needed), with current limiting and smart charging profiles.

If you have a smaller battery bank, and drive many hours a day, a 11 amp charge system would work great and save you $$$.  But we are now seeing Lithium battery banks commonly in the 200 to 300 Ah range.  And some up to 630 Ah (such as Galway Gal's and the Oliver OEM Pro set up).  For those, you likely would want the larger Victron Orion 12 - 12 30 charging system.  

Just a reminder these auto smart transformers are not 100% efficient.  In the case of the Orion, it can continuously produce 30 amps at the correct voltages as needed, and is listed at 87% efficient.  So that would mean your TV alternator/batteries could see up to a continuous 34.5 amp current draw.  This means that there will be about 57 watts of power lost to the heat sink.  So be careful where you locate this unit, and provide cooling holes/vertical space for the heat to dissipate (See JD's Posting On This Topic). 

 

Edited by Geronimo John
relooked with fresh eyes and made it an easier read. No significant changes.
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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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