The Anderson Plug
Anderson plugs used to be way more expensive, that’s why they weren’t very common. But nowadays, they have become way more affordable and are quickly becoming a staple 12V system travel trailers. The question is, are these new stars in the camper trailer world sufficient for your energy needs? Why does everyone get so excited about having an Anderson plug and what makes them so different from all others? Where can you find everything you need to know about the Anderson plug? 😉
All you need to know about the Anderson Plug
If you don’t have time, here’s a quick answer to what you need to know about the Anderson Plug: these well-loved plugs will take a large amperage and can handle even currents drawn by 3 way fridges, and 12v-12v battery chargers. They are tough and very robust. There are even water-resistant covers available for them. Anderson Plugs are also hermaphrodites, and this makes them extremely versatile. Now for the longer version, read on.
Efficient charging essential
If you want efficient charging on your rig, getting an Anderson plug is essential. In RVs and travel trailers that operate on 12V, we don’t advise goin without this useful plug. Admittedly, some other 12-pin plugs can do the same but not as efficiently, with most taking only 6mm cable diameters, max.
Refrigerators and RV batteries are very voltage-dependent. But just a voltage drop of about 10% with a 240V will not affect them much. However, if your battery system is running on 12V, you’ll start having problems. Batteries won’t charge correctly, and fridges won’t cool properly. Battery charging voltage ought to be about 13.9 to 14.5V DC.
Simple and easy fit
There are multiple suggestions out there for connecting or charging an RV appliance, etc. There have been some creative solutions and some of them we’ve even tried. But here’s the problem. There are usually several issues with these DIY solutions, the biggest being safety issues and energy loss.
This is where the Anderson plug comes very handy and offers a magical solution. Instead of using an inverter that’s connected to a multistage charge, that’s also connected to your battery, you can use an Anderson plug instead! The Anderson plug connects directly to your vehicle’s battery, and it’s quite simple and easy to install.
Not only are Anderson plugs useful for creating a connection between your fourbies and travel trailer; it’s actually more versatile than that. And in all these, the Anderson plug, they are designed to reduce voltage drop and create a simple connection. You can use the plug to directly power up and connect a portable appliance inside your rig; or serve as a remote connection for mobile solar panels or fridge. You can also use the plug to connect other charging sources aside from your truck.
Handle with care
As with all your equipment, but with electronic devices, especially, handle this plug with care. Anderson plugs are tough; but you should still avoid dropping it from a height, or accidentally covering it in dust or mud. Regularly check the plug contact to create a reliable connection and don’t leave it where it can be stepped on or kicked away. If there are signs of mechanical damage, make sure to check for insulation breakage or any shorting before using it again.
In addition to these handling 101, we also took it further and included a few tips to make sure that your Anderson plug lasts and is working properly as it should.
Making your Anderson Plug last longer
As we’ve mentioned, we have seen a surge of people exploring and getting out there with their RVs and travel trailers nowadays. This new demand comes with it a call for better equipment and trailer facilities now more than ever. Bigger, more efficient kitchen appliances, more sophisticated lighting and power management; along with bigger capacity batteries for state-of-the-art cameras, phones, wifi connection, etc. All these create even greater load on your trailer’s electrical system.
Numerous new travel trailers have Anderson plug associations on the a-edge to assist with utilizing your 12V force framework; yet you need to consider a few things to make it work. In order to make your Anderson plug run efficiently and last for a longer time, here’s all you need to know about the Anderson Plug.
Know your cables
While Anderson plugs are extremely versatile because they don’t have male/female connections, they still require correctly sized cables. They come in different current ratings, namely, 50A, 120A, & 175A. To figure out cable size, one uses voltage drop, expected load current, and cable link. So it can be unique for each installation.
There’s also the argument of whether to solder or crimp the cable connections, or perhaps both. We do recommend the crimping technique in this instance. Which ensures a quality connection, as long as good cable lugs and crimping tools are utilized.
Know your batteries
Before Anderson fittings and wiring, we need to discuss battery stockpiling. There are various sorts of batteries appropriate for use in a travel trailer. One of the most well-known is the deep-cycle battery. These batteries, in contrast to your starter battery, are intended to release to around 80%, many occasions over. They are generally appraised in ampere hours (Ah) so you can usually approximate how much your discharge time is in accordance to the power your trailer is utilizing.
Numerous RVers think that it’s difficult to get by exclusively with their towing vehicle’s alternator to re-energize their travel trailer battery by means of the Anderson plug. But here’s a tip that isn’t that much of a secret, really: adding some good-quality solar panels to your set-up will do the trick. This way, you can happily replenish your batteries when you’re not on the move.
You can utilize the Anderson plug on your camper trailer’s a-edge to bring compact sun based boards into the force blend contingent upon your framework. However make certain to fit a controller between the battery bank and the boards to abstain from harming the battery through overcharges or overload.
There are a few distinct types of solar panels out there, depending on your environment. For the most part, you’ll want the highest quality solar panels you can afford. It’s safe to assume that you’ll be on the move quite frequently on your travel trailer; and as such, will encounter many types of environments. As for postability, there are the more mobile solar panels like fold-out panels or solar blankets. There are also fixed solar panels, which attach directly to your trailer.
With regards to 12V wiring for your vehicle and camper trailer needs, greater is better. A 50A Anderson plug handles a reasonable piece of force; yet on the off chance that your electrical wire is too meager, the voltage will drop too low. Too low to even consider charging the battery adequately. The wiring to the back of your vehicle should be at least 6mm and no longer than 5-6 meters, to limit this voltage drop.
Great quality Anderson plugs keep up with their associations over the most unpleasant territory. They’re not just valuable as a trailer-4WD association, all things considered. They’re likewise extraordinary substitutions to normal 12V cigarette lighter outlets that tend to ‘jump out’ over those rough tracks. Particularly for appliances like refrigerators, which is something that’s really difficult to do without when travelling or boondocking for any length of time.
In order to maximize a 12V electrical framework’s capabilities, you truly need to introduce a DC-DC charger between an Anderson plug and your travel trailer battery. This is the same for your towing vehicle, in case you have a second battery inside the truck. DC-DC chargers let you get to near 100% charging capacity to auxiliary batteries. Take note the closer it’s fitted to the battery, the better.
At best, the vehicle’s own alternator will just top-up the auxiliary batteries to around the 75 percent limit. This leaves you short on power considering the required 20% reserve for the maintenance of the battery bank.
Now that you have what you need to know about the Anderson Plug, what do you think? Is it as useful as what you’ve been hearing?
For more articles similar to these, browse our content at the Ecocampor blog.