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 > How to charge a battery

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swimmer_spe

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 06/26/21 05:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I will have access to a 1000w generator while I am camping fora few days. Would just plugging in my trailer to it be good enough to charge the battery for a few hours, or should I put a charger directly to the generator and battery to charge it? I have a 6a/4a/2a

2oldman

NM

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Posted: 06/26/21 05:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trailer.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 06/26/21 05:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends on the converter size in amps and how low the batteries are. A 1000w gen can only run maybe a 45 amp converter, and that is with no other 120v appliance in the trailer on. So put the WH and fridge to propane and no hair dryers.

If you have a bigger amp converter you can reduce its draw on the gen by charging when the batts are not so low and they accept fewer amps. If your converter has a Charge Wizard, you can set it to 13.6 at first until the batts are up some and then switch to 14.4 once the gen can take it.

The 6a charger is a waste of good gen gas.


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 06/26/21 05:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Plugging into the genset using an adapter is the easiest. How fast charge would be determined by what converter you have. Some converters charger at a much higher rate then your portable one.
Make and model of your converter?


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swimmer_spe

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 06/26/21 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

Depends on the converter size in amps and how low the batteries are. A 1000w gen can only run maybe a 45 amp converter, and that is with no other 120v appliance in the trailer on. So put the WH and fridge to propane and no hair dryers.

If you have a bigger amp converter you can reduce its draw on the gen by charging when the batts are not so low and they accept fewer amps. If your converter has a Charge Wizard, you can set it to 13.6 at first until the batts are up some and then switch to 14.4 once the gen can take it.

The 6a charger is a waste of good gen gas.


What is a WH?

The only other things would be lights.

swimmer_spe

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Posted: 06/26/21 06:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enblethen wrote:

Plugging into the genset using an adapter is the easiest. How fast charge would be determined by what converter you have. Some converters charger at a much higher rate then your portable one.
Make and model of your converter?


How would I find out what my converter can do?

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 06/26/21 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WH is short for water heater. Some rigs have an electric element.
Make and model of converter can be looked up to determine charge capacity.

wopachop

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Posted: 06/26/21 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

swimmer_spe wrote:

How would I find out what my converter can do?
You look at the model number and search its specs.

If you dont know where your converter is located, i promise its well worth putting on some old clothes and go lay under your trailer. Look around and wiggle stuff. See any signs of plumbing leaking? Any signs of rodents?

Find your converter and tighten the main lugs. Would bet a million bucks you could add 1/4 turn on them if they havnt been touched in years. Cut power to the entire trailer and tighten every screw on the electrical service. I had a bunch of loose terminals on a 2013 trailer i bought in 2018.

RoyF

Fayetteville Arkansas

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Posted: 06/26/21 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To compare converter versus generator versus charger, you could measure the voltage across your battery terminals while charging with each and see which one produces the highest voltage.

Sagebrush

Jacksonville AL

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Posted: 06/26/21 10:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 1,000 watt generator is really around 800 watts usually. I doubt it would handle a 45 amp charger.You need at least a 2,000 watt unit to run a 45 amp I would think. You could just pick up a 15 to 25 amp smart charger and connect it manually. I've used my 15 Amp Stanley charger with a small generator.


Open the door to your "breaker panel" or power center. Inside will be a label with the brand and model. Most RV's I've owned had the converter in the bottom of the power center box. I had one big 5th wheel with a separate converter wired to the power center, not sure why. The converter was mounted right behind the power center, I would expect to find it next to the batteries. But instead it was below the bathroom sink cabinet.

When your batteries are down to 12.40 volts, how fast do they charge? Whats the charging voltage? The WFCO converters I've had did okay plugged in for days at a time, but on generator power I never saw any of mine hit the 14.4 volt mode. On generator you want the "boost mode" for faster charging.

I prefer something like this in my rigs: https://www.bestconverter.com/PD4655MBA-........lax-7155-Includes-4600-Remote_p_616.html

You want the charge wizard pendent so you can manually control the boost mode. At least I do. The Boondocker version doesn't come with the pendant last I checked. I like the four stage wildkat or the name brand progressive dynamics converters with manual control pendant.

The last one I installed replaced a 8955 that charged at 13.23 volts, my WildKat converter starts out at 14.33 at the battery terminals. Then it drops down to the mid 13.50 range in auto mode. It does a good job, batteries get fully charged much quicker now. Healthy and fairly new batteries should rest at 12.70 or more when fully charged.

You can use a basic digital voltage meter at the converter and at the batteries to see how much drop there is in the cables. When testing the health of the converter, take your voltage reading at the converter's DC terminals.

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