How do you charge a teardrop battery?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you charge a teardrop battery? We will explain how a teardrop trailer battery works, how to properly recharge and maintain it. 

How do you charge a teardrop battery?

The most simple way to charge a teardrop trailer battery is to plug it into a 110 volts charger either at your house or at a campsite. Other common ways to charge a teardrop trailer are:

  • Using a generator;
  • Off your towing vehicle;
  • Using solar panels;
  • Using a battery charger. 

A deep cycle battery trailer — which is also called a DC battery — powers your teardrop trailer when it is not connected to outside electricity from sources. Due to the high power demands of the trailer of devices, these batteries run out quickly. 

Many teardrop trailers have battery power meters indicating low or no power when the batteries need to be recharged. Use vehicle towing or external charging devices to recharge your teardrop trailer batteries. Below, we explain exactly how you can do that. 

How to charge a teardrop trailer battery step-by-step

Things you will need to charge a teardrop trailer battery:

  • DC battery charger
  • An electric connection
  • Jumper cables
  • Solar battery charger (optional)

Charge a teardrop battery off your towing vehicle:

  1. Park the teardrop trailer and disconnect the electrical connections. Flip the main power circuit to ‘Off’.
  1. Open the trailer’s battery housing panel if it is located on the outside of the derrick. If the battery is lodged inside the trailer, disconnect the battery cables from the battery and remove the battery. Assemble the battery next to the hood of the towing vehicle and open the hood of the towing vehicle.
  1. Connect the black jumper wire to the vehicle’s black trailer battery terminal. Connect the black wire first & – acts as the ground wire for the battery connection. Connect the red lead to the DC battery, and then to the vehicle’s red trailer battery terminal. Turn the tow vehicle around and let it run for at least an hour while the battery charges.
  1. Turn off the vehicle and disconnect the red cable from the battery and the vehicle, and then disconnect the black cable from the battery and the vehicle.
  1. Put the battery cd back into the battery housing and reconnect the trailer to the battery cables. Turn on the main circuit and re-read the battery charge meter on the teardrop trailer to check the volume of the charge.

Charge a teardrop battery from external chargers:

  1. Disconnect the DC trailer from the battery and remove it from the housing. Set together with the battery charger. If using a solar-powered charger, unroll the solar panel and place it in direct sun. If using an electric charger, plug the charger, but check that the power switch is set to ‘Off.’
  1. Connect the charger cables to the DC battery. Connect the black wire to the DC battery of the black terminal and the red wire to the DC of the battery of the red terminal.
  1. Turn the charger on to the 12V trailer configuration setting for DC batteries which are normally 12V. Checking the battery for voltage to make sure the charger is set to the correct voltage.
  1. Monitor the charger as the battery charge is displayed. When the meter reads fully charged, turn the charger over and disconnect the cables. Place the DC battery teardrop trailer back on the cover and connect the cables as they were before. Turn the main circuit on again and test the connection and battery charge.

Teardrop trailers battery power and autonomy

The more powerful the battery of your teardrop trailer, the more autonomous it will be. But then what battery power for trailers? Once you have established your daily power consumption, you will know more precisely what battery power to choose. Battery power is expressed in Amps per hour (Ah).

The power of the batteries for trailers vary between 40 Ah and 430 Ah.

To calculate your daily electricity needs, take the consumption of your electrical devices (lights, phone charger, computer, television, kettle, etc.) and multiply it by the number of hours you will use them during the day. Do this calculation for each device. Add the results obtained and you will obtain your daily electricity needs.

Always take a battery with much more power than you really need because batteries never really deliver 100% of the energy they advertise.

This data will of course depend on how you use and care for your battery. If you follow the conditions of use, avoid full discharges and adhere to recommended discharge rates, your battery will live longer.

What type of battery does a teardrop trailer have?

To know which type of battery your teardrop trailer has or how to choose the better one, you must first know how to navigate the recreational vehicle battery market. You should know that there are several types of battery, all of which have very specific characteristics and which adapt to different uses.

The engine battery and the auxiliary battery of a teardrop trailer

The engine battery supports the engine functions of the vehicle. It is located in the engine under the hood of the vehicle. It works like a car battery. It is used to start the engine and the starter. The engine battery recharges itself while driving via the alternator. The engine battery is generally a lead battery.

The auxiliary battery, or living area battery, is the battery that supplies the cell of the trailer. It supplies the interior of the vehicle with electricity, namely household appliances, lights, the refrigerator and the water pump. It is a slow discharge battery. The living area battery allows you to live in your leisure vehicle when you are in the wilderness without access to a 220V outlet, such as on a campsite for example.

Types of batteries for teardrop trailers

There are several types of trailer batteries. Each battery has its own characteristics and is suitable for different uses.

  • The lead battery: the lead battery is the most common battery on the market. It is used to power the engines but also the cells. It is a very reliable and easy to maintain battery technology that withstands high temperatures well. It provides a large amount of energy but cannot withstand deep discharges. 

Care should be taken to ensure that it is always charged and not to drop below 50% charge rate. The open liquid battery can withstand between 500 and 1,200 charges and discharges, which is quite low compared to other batteries. It has a lifespan of about 5 years (this number will vary depending on how you use it of course). The lead battery is the cheapest on the market.

  • The AGM battery: The AGM battery works with gel electrolytes. It is a very durable and compact battery. It supports temperature variations well, which makes it ideal for winter / summer use. 

The AGM battery can be installed in an enclosed space because it does not emit any gas and it withstands heat well. It does not support full discharges and its lifespan will depend on discharge rates in use. It will be necessary to try to have a charge rate always above 70%.

  • The Gel battery: The gel battery is a mid-range battery that offers good performance for a fair but high price. They withstand occasional deep discharges and have a long lifespan. This battery recharges slowly and requires a suitable charger or charge regulator. In return, it has great autonomy and a long lifespan.
  • The Lithium battery: the lithium trailer battery is a high-end battery that offers good performance at all levels. It recharges quickly, withstands deep discharges and has a lifespan of approximately 5,000 cycles, or approximately 20 years. This battery is smaller and lighter than other living area batteries. It also costs much more, counting at least 2,500 $ for a quality model.

The bottom line

Remember that a trailer battery is “slow discharge”. You, therefore, have a certain autonomy, the duration of which is relatively long but not infinite! This is why it needs to be recharged regularly.

If you have any questions, comments or tips on how to prolong the life of a caravan battery, please let us know!

FAQ on How do you charge a teardrop battery?

How long does it take to recharge a battery?

Recharging a battery to its full capacity can take up to 40 hours. Of course, this cooldown assumes it’s completely empty. It will also vary depending on its capacity and use. The best way to recharge the battery is via AC power.

What is a smart battery charger?

Smart battery chargers are based on the latest developments in technology and aim to simplify the task of users. Also, this type of charger analyzes the type of battery and its condition throughout the charging process.

What is a booster to charge batteries?

A Booster auxiliary battery charger is electronic equipment capable of taking the charging intensity of the vehicle’s alternator and generating a great load intensity towards the auxiliary battery, the most efficient chargers produce between 25 and 40 Amps PER HOUR direct to the auxiliary battery.

How do you recharge a trailer battery? 

The batteries are recharged automatically thanks to the energy generated by the motor. First, the main battery is charged and when it is fully charged, it sends current to the auxiliary battery.

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