Setting Up Race Car Trailer With Batteries and Inverter

StreetDrivenBuilds

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Hey guys, how's it going. I am new to the forum. I just picked up a 2020 Jeep Gladiator with the max tow package a few months ago and I love this truck. This truck does everything and I am at the point in which I need to make some modifications to either the truck or my trailer to make it easier to use at the track. Its a Premier 18 ft dual axle trailer with a soft dovetail in the back which works perfectly as it is easier to load than any other trailer I have used in the past with cars that don't have a lot of ground clearance. My current setup has two 12 volt AGM deep cycle batteries connected in parallel with Harbor Freight 5000 LB winch. This is a basic setup that works perfectly well. I have a battery meter connected to it to monitor the charge and voltage as well. The batteries go weeks without getting charged and I usually charge when they get to 50 percent but usually before that. I have attached a picture of my current setup. My issue is that I want to get more out of my trailer at the track. I would love to have an inverter to be able to charge camera equipment, tools, and have access to the convenience of having electricity readily available at the track. I would also like to run additional led lighting for the trailer that can be used while at the track. I have a power drive 1500 watt inverter already laying around in the shop that I can use. I haven't wired an inverter before so I wanted to see what everyone thought of the idea and what they could pitch in as far as what they think is possible for this setup and what their ideal way to do this setup would be if they were in my shoes. I am currently running two batteries in the trailer right now and they are each 12v 75ah each. I do have two more identical batteries that I could add to the setup to make it 4 batteries. I have a few concerns with the setup and the first one is in regards to wiring 4 of these batteries together. I don't know if it's too many batteries and I should instead try to get a single larger battery or 2 larger batteries instead of going to the four UB12750 batteries ran in parallel. My second concern is in regards to the connections of the batteries themselves. Is the setup that I'm doing ok to continue to add 2 more batteries to or should I change the connection style and the terminals to a different setup. My third concern is in regards to power consumption. Will my possible 2 or 4 battery setup be able to keep up with the amount of power this inverter will draw. My truck has a 240 amp alternator from the factory so I could use the truck as a charger but would I get away with running a generic solar charging unit on top of the trailer as I want to add tool storage and a tire rack on the trailer and I could easily fit a decent solar panel on top of the boxes and it would be a lot more convenient for the trailer to be functional without having to connect the truck and run it to charge the battery. Let me know what you guys think and how you would run this setup, in my place.
 

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HRTKD

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The best location for solar panels would be above the tire rack. Be sure to get solar charge controller that works with your battery chemistry.

The batteries you have are a bit on the small side, but four of them in parallel will give you 300 Ah (150 usable Ah). That's not too bad. I ran my RV trailer off of 225 Ah for a few years. I just had to be careful with consumption.

That inverter should work. It's likely a MSW (Modified Sine Wave) inverter, not a Pure Sine Wave inverter. Pure is better, but not necessary for all loads. Some devices will not work on MSW.

I would let the truck charge the trailer batteries.

I would worry about how much weight you have on the tongue. Your cargo capacity is 1700 lbs at most. Subtract off passengers and their gear and you could be well under 1,000 lbs left over for the trailer tongue weight.
 

Supervstech

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How long have you used the HF 5000# winch? I couldn’t get over 10 or so loads with mine. I switched to the 12000 and never looked back. Worth the $50 over he 5K
 

12VoltInstalls

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I’d ditch that inverter ASAP and get a pure sine wave inverter for starters. Charging cameras and such? Give ‘em good power.
It took me a couple times burning things but I learned my lesson on cheaper msw inverters- they’re not cheaper that way.

I agree: You need more battery. I see no reason to go lfp at this point with your setup. Just add a couple of the same or go buy four Everstart Maxx ground 27s for $67 each

The WindyNation 200W solar kit on amazon is what I started with. (Add two more panels and a mini-fridge if you want lol)
That 200W can do over 10A for half or more of a day so like 60-90+ Ah potentially. GFCI it, safety ground the trailer, you’re stylin’
 

StreetDrivenBuilds

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I’d ditch that inverter ASAP and get a pure sine wave inverter for starters. Charging cameras and such? Give ‘em good power.
It took me a couple times burning things but I learned my lesson on cheaper msw inverters- they’re not cheaper that way.

I agree: You need more battery. I see no reason to go lfp at this point with your setup. Just add a couple of the same or go buy four Everstart Maxx ground 27s for $67 each

The WindyNation 200W solar kit on amazon is what I started with. (Add two more panels and a mini-fridge if you want lol)
That 200W can do over 10A for half or more of a day so like 60-90+ Ah potentially. GFCI it, safety ground the trailer, you’re stylin’
Thanks for the advice, I looked into it and I figured its best to go with a pure sine wave inverter as you stated as most of my use will be with expensive batteries and electronics which cost more to replace than to originally get a good inverter. I am just indecisive if I should get a 1500 or 1000. I think I will go with 1500 as I don't see myself needing that much power but just in case I do need it I will have it. I have also gone away from the idea of using a solar kit to charge the batteries because I only have room for one small panel which would not do me any good.
 

StreetDrivenBuilds

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How long have you used the HF 5000# winch? I couldn’t get over 10 or so loads with mine. I switched to the 12000 and never looked back. Worth the $50 over he 5K
Overall I would say I am happy with this setup. I have had this setup for 6 months now and have pulled up all sorts of cars. Everything from a 2002 M5 to a 1961 Ford Fairlane which is very heavy. It's held up very well. I even found myself on the side of the road with a 2011 corvette that had lost control and broken the front wheels and from the direction it was facing, it couldn't be winched out as it had to be straightened first and the winch managed to rotate the corvette 90 degrees and pull it out. My only shortcoming with this winch is that it has a 50 ft rope and the trailer is 18 feet long and I have issues with the trailer rope winding in one spot and putting stress on the winch as it can't evenly spread when pulling in a car when most tow hooks are on one side of a vehicle. I will probably either find someone to shorten the cable or get a short synthetic winch rope which should solve the issue.
 

StreetDrivenBuilds

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The best location for solar panels would be above the tire rack. Be sure to get solar charge controller that works with your battery chemistry.

The batteries you have are a bit on the small side, but four of them in parallel will give you 300 Ah (150 usable Ah). That's not too bad. I ran my RV trailer off of 225 Ah for a few years. I just had to be careful with consumption.

That inverter should work. It's likely a MSW (Modified Sine Wave) inverter, not a Pure Sine Wave inverter. Pure is better, but not necessary for all loads. Some devices will not work on MSW.

I would let the truck charge the trailer batteries.

I would worry about how much weight you have on the tongue. Your cargo capacity is 1700 lbs at most. Subtract off passengers and their gear and you could be well under 1,000 lbs left over for the trailer tongue weight.
Thank you for the information. I looked into it and yes you are definitely right about the inverter. Most of what I will charge is expensive tool batteries and camera equipment which most of the time on its own makes up the price of a good inverter from a bad one if one goes out so I would rather do it right the first time around. I did want to ask about the difference between 300 ah and 150 ah usable. I am not that knowledgeable about battery usage. Are you referring to having 150 ah usable out of 300 because you don't want the batteries to go under 50 percent charge so they don't get damaged and was your rv running off 225 total ah or 225 usable?
 

StreetDrivenBuilds

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I did a little research and made a rough diagram of how I want to put my system together. I attached my diagram please look at it and let me know what you guys think. Should I ground the negative bus bar to the trailer frame itself as well? Does it matter where I place the positive and negative bus bar as long as they are both fairly equal in total cable length and will only be at most a few inches apart? I am referring to overall cable length as the distance between all the connections on all 4 batteries all the way to the bus bars. I have also listed the parts that I have bought as well below for reference. The way I have the battery cables routed in the picture is the way I want to do it in my actual setup. After doing a lot of searching around, I found this to be the best way to create even draw and even charge. Do you guys agree or disagree with this? I see a lot of people running straight lines across the positive and negative and just running them in the opposite direction but I found that it causes unequal charging of the batteries which will shorten their life. I chose this specific inverter because I found generally good reviews on almost all the websites that sold it and I like that it has good battery information on the inverter itself and has a remote LCD display to show most of the same info. This is convenient as I plan to have everything wired into one box that I could turn on and off without having to open it all the time. I will mount the battery cutoffs outside so they could easily be used and run the switch box that is connected to the fuse box to the same location outside somewhere it is easily reachable. I plan to have outdoor outlets run as an extension to the inverter that has a built-in breaker as well. Which are the best terminals to use? As you can see I am using automotive terminals but is there another way to do it that is better as these are square terminals? Should I run the wires to copper lugs and just nut and bolt them instead of these automotive terminals? What would be the easiest way to run a system to charge these from my car.

1500 watt pure sine inverter

8-way fuse box with control box

Blue Sea 300 Amp Battery switches

Positive bus bar

Negative bus bar

10 feet of 1/0 gauge wire

Fastronix 250 Amp MEGA/AMG Fuse Holder Kit
 

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Supervstech

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Overall I would say I am happy with this setup. I have had this setup for 6 months now and have pulled up all sorts of cars. Everything from a 2002 M5 to a 1961 Ford Fairlane which is very heavy. It's held up very well. I even found myself on the side of the road with a 2011 corvette that had lost control and broken the front wheels and from the direction it was facing, it couldn't be winched out as it had to be straightened first and the winch managed to rotate the corvette 90 degrees and pull it out. My only shortcoming with this winch is that it has a 50 ft rope and the trailer is 18 feet long and I have issues with the trailer rope winding in one spot and putting stress on the winch as it can't evenly spread when pulling in a car when most tow hooks are on one side of a vehicle. I will probably either find someone to shorten the cable or get a short synthetic winch rope which should solve the issue.
Yeah, the cable binding up on one side is CRITICAL to keep up with, as the cable will bind against the bar mounts between sides and crack the case… that is really what killed my 5K one. The 12K has a spring loaded cable guide that does a fair job of keeping the cable neat.
 

12VoltInstalls

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How do you only have room for a 50W panel? Did I read that right?

You should have plenty of room for four 100W or maybe better a couple ~250W panels. A 200W kit will surprise you how well it will keep the batteries up for ‘so little power.’ I’m totally surprised every day that I’ve been running on 400W all summer with an electric fridge.
 

HRTKD

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I did want to ask about the difference between 300 ah and 150 ah usable. I am not that knowledgeable about battery usage. Are you referring to having 150 ah usable out of 300 because you don't want the batteries to go under 50 percent charge so they don't get damaged and was your rv running off 225 total ah or 225 usable?

Correct. Most lead acid batteries under 50% are dead, dead, dead. I was running on 225 total Ah.
 

12VoltInstalls

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Mostyou don't want the batteries to go under 50 percent charge so they don't get damaged
12.8-13.2 is ‘full’ for a lead acid deep cycle 12v battery. 12.04/12.06V is 100% useable power fully discharged. Trolling for walleye, however, the electric motor would get ‘slow’ by 11.6 or so, and I’d beat the batteries up down to 10.xV not often but not rarely. They’d wind up being 2 hour trolling batteries instead of 6-hour in usually the third sometimes the fourth year for the ones I abused.

The last ones got treated nicer and went like 8+ years and then they powered my 200W solar camper system for a year before they suddenly stopped being enough to make coffee. I’m not complaining.
 
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