Ensure you arrive at your destination with a cold caravan fridge (ie. perfectly chilled drinks and food) and a fully charged caravan battery with the right tow vehicle wiring. The best way to keep your caravan fridge cold while travelling is with an auxiliary line directly wired from your vehicle battery to your caravan fridge via an anderson plug. That same anderson plug, or a 2nd separate one, can deliver a charge from your vehicle battery to your caravan battery ensuring that it is fully charged from your vehicle while you are driving. Here we answer a few common questions about tow vehicle wiring –
Q: Why can’t I charge my battery fully and run my caravan fridge through my existing 7 or 12 pin trailer plug?
A: Wiring cable sizes matter. The 4mm automotive wire that is used in a trailer plug will not deliver the required voltage to fully charge the caravan battery from the vehicle or enough voltage to run the caravan fridge efficiently. The result is an undercharged caravan battery and a caravan fridge that will be warm after a few hours of travelling in a warm climate. An Anderson plug allows for a larger wire and can deliver the required voltage in a direct line.
Q: Can’t I just run my three way caravan fridge off the gas while travelling?
A: Travelling with the gas turned on is a big no-no. All caravan and gas appliance manufacturers advise you to turn the gas off while travelling for safety. This is more due to having a naked flame running on your van, and associated dangers with entering a service station, than any issues with the fridge itself.
Q: I have an Engel or Waeco fridge in my vehicle with a dual battery set up. Can I run an additional charge line from my second fridge battery directly to the caravan battery / fridge?
A: No because… “Daisy-chaining” from your vehicle dual battery system will result in all auxiliary batteries being undercharged. A direct charge line from the vehicle battery is the way to achieve the necessary voltage to the caravan battery and fridge.
Q: When would you consider adding an anderson plug with auxiliary charge lines from the vehicle battery to the caravan?
A: 1) Where the current tow vehicle wiring is inadequate or needs upgrading to charge the caravan battery and keep the caravan fridge cold.
2) Wiring up a new tow vehicle
Q: I was thinking about upgrading from a 7 pin trailer plug to a 12 pin trailer plug. Is this recommended / necessary?
A: Upgrading from a 7 pin trailer plug to a 12 pin plug may be worthwhile for your tow vehicle set up. Some fridges require an additional wire called a D-Plus or an ignition sense wire which is not accommodated with only a 7 pin plug. It’s worth noting that a 7 pin trailer plug can fit into a 12 pin socket on the vehicle. Our team can advise you whether upgrading the trailer plug is worthwhile for your set-up.
At the RV Service Centre we can ensure that the tow vehicle wiring is correctly sized and delivering the necessary voltage to your caravan for a cold fridge and fully charged caravan battery. For more information on wiring and anderson plugs or if you would like us to take at a look at your current wiring set-up give us a call or drop in to our showroom.