charging off a generator

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by ill.plainsman, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. ill.plainsman

    ill.plainsman happy, happy

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    if charging off a generator is it best to use the DC part of the generator or should I use a car charger or use the 130v electrical supply to the popup through the converter? I have a 2013 Flagstaff HW27 ks. I also have a 2013 Powerhouse 2000Wi generator and it has a 12v DC supply at 8.3amps. so I was wondering if it would be best and fastest to use just the charger on the generator. we were out last winter in the desert (Red Rock Mojave) and after 4 days with charging with the converter in the camper we almost lost all power. the electric lift almost didn't have enough power to take the top down. we charged every day with the campers 130v cable plugged into the gen.6 to 9 hours a day. it might just be that we didn't charge enough on the last day. thanks for your info in advance.
     
  2. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    You are probably better off charging from the RV's converter or a portable charger. What have you got? Brand and model number?

    The unregulated 8 amp output from the generator should really only be used in a pinch. Your converter probably has two or three times the output. Are you sure your converter is working? There are too many unknowns to really give a definite answer.

    We have dry camped for years and with several different RVs and different generators. We usually need two hours charge time per day.
     
  3. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    sounds like a bad battery. should take only about 2 hrs every day or two to recharge.
     
  4. ill.plainsman

    ill.plainsman happy, happy

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    I later used the camper for 3 more months plugged in most of, or all the time. but this winter I did quite a bit of work around the camper and I was not plugged in. no problem with all the lights and furnace running. I'm sure its not a battery problem. the man at the place where I bought the generator said it was best if I didn't use the DC side of it.
    A 2013 Powerhouse 2000 Wi generator is what I have. it worked while we were gone I know because the DW would watch some of her SHOWS while we were there. like I said we had the trailer plugged in on the generator. we used it (generator) every day from 10 to 6. to get the top on the camper down we plugged the camper into the truck and ran the truck for 30 or 40 minutes trying the switch till it was down all the way. that seamed to work. but took a long time and I don't want to do that again. bad on the battery to drain it that far. also I always bring the batteries in in the winter so they don't get abused by the cold around here. batteries were only 2 years old, today 3 years old. water levels are ok in both batteries.
     
  5. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    You didn't answer any of the questions I asked.
     
  6. pandpcamper

    pandpcamper Lifetime camper, newer to pup

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    Can we have a battery, converter, charger class- please? We get so confused with all of this info. I can never find the right post when DH asks me to search for info. He tried so hard to set up our electrical with battery, inverter, etc., to run his cpap machine when we dry camped. Didn't use the humidifier, know that there wouldn't be enough power for all night. Thus earplugs for me.
     
  7. ill.plainsman

    ill.plainsman happy, happy

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    sorry did you mean the converter in the camper. I specified the generator I used. the one that came with the Flagstaff. its been working since new. as far as I know. it keeps the batteries up..
     
  8. ill.plainsman

    ill.plainsman happy, happy

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    I will have to look up the paperwork to say what the converter is.
     
  9. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    I would use the shore line to the generator, and only run it when the battery needed charging. Those deep cells are designed that way. Also if it seems slack on power while raising, run the gen so you have power from 2 sources, some motor can get "cranky" if they don't have enough power.
     
  10. ill.plainsman

    ill.plainsman happy, happy

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    thanks Yetavon, I'm getting ready for early next spring and I wanted to be prepared this time. evidently last spring I was doing something wrong, not sure what? at least while boon docking. I was using the shore power connection to recharge each day off the generator but I must have pulled to many amps that last night (discharging) or I didn't have something right. if anyone else has any other ideas submit them please. this coming spring I thought I'd take the DW out boon docking again. [A] PS. I do have duel group 27 batteries that are new and put together with dielectric grease to keep down corrosion. [MOD] does anyone know how a meter would be put in line so I don't run down the battery as much.
     
  11. mcbrew

    mcbrew Member

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    You might want to check voltage at the batteries with the converter plugged in to see if it's supplying enough to charge.

    Also, with that much battery and possibly just a 12amp charger, you might consider a stand-alone charger or upgrading your converter to a 25 to 35 amp model.

    I don't do a lot of boondocking. Well, I have done zero boondocking. But it does seem like you are drawing down two group 27 batteries pretty quickly. Either that, or they aren't charging properly.

    By the way, a nicer (more expensive) converter will likely be better for your batteries. We upgraded the converter in our motor home because the old one would boil the batteries. It was actually just an upgraded control panel that had more logic in it. You programmed in what kind of batteries you had, and it would charge at the right rate, float charge when full, and even go through some sort of maintenance cycle every so often to keep the batteries in shape.
     
  12. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned three things, generator, converter, and portable charger. We know the generator has an unregulated output of 8 amp. In order to make a comparison we need to know the converter output and the output of the portable charger you own or are considering.

    The brand and model of trailer is irrelevant.
     
  13. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    How do you determine the condition of your batteries? Do you use a hydrometer, a voltage meter, or maybe something fancier?

    The simplest way is to use a voltmeter.

    Read and learn at least the first two pages of this;
    http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

    If you don't have one you can get a digital VOM for free or very cheap. Harbor Freight regularly gives them away with a coupon.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    The best thing you can do to understand your state of charge, available power, usage and battery condition is to install a real meter (not just a voltmeter) like the Trimetric TM-2030.
     

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