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Old 01-20-2023, 06:59 PM   #1
steamboatscott
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Generator owners

To those running your generator all day to “recharge the batteries,” do you ever wonder why other nearby RVs don’t need to do this?

Pro tip: if you don’t dip your deep cycle batteries below 50%, they will last a lot longer and not require that daily gas-powered boost.

Sincerely,

Someone who doesn’t understand how anyone can enjoy sitting around the campfire huffing gasoline fumes while listening to some cheap *** Walmart engine roar less than 20 feet away.
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Old 01-20-2023, 07:26 PM   #2
fjr vfr
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Yeah...generators can be very annoying! Usually it's the weekend warriors. Most of the experienced RV people either have full hook ups or off grid solar.
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Old 01-21-2023, 06:03 AM   #3
NH_Bulldog
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Most people that use a generator to charge their batteries mid-stay also don’t realize that they could do it quicker by directly connecting a stand-alone charger to the batteries instead of running it through the converter if all they really want to accomplish is to top of the battery.

I have a quiet inverter generator, but have rarely had to use it mid-stay when boondocking. We can safely operate for 3-4 days off battery power (no solar) before reaching a point where the batteries need a boost.
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Old 01-21-2023, 08:09 AM   #4
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There is however the fact of no shore power and the need to run the A/C. Don't need A/C, ya, don't really see the need for generator to be running.
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Old 01-21-2023, 03:32 PM   #5
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Wishing we didn't even have one. Rarely boondock at our age and needed to run for an hour a month just becomes a pita. Having it and gas tank at opposite ends of 39 footer would be a pita for removal or at this point I would consider it.
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Old 01-22-2023, 12:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH_Bulldog View Post
Most people that use a generator to charge their batteries mid-stay also don’t realize that they could do it quicker by directly connecting a stand-alone charger to the batteries instead of running it through the converter if all they really want to accomplish is to top of the battery.

I have a quiet inverter generator, but have rarely had to use it mid-stay when boondocking. We can safely operate for 3-4 days off battery power (no solar) before reaching a point where the batteries need a boost.
That would depend on the size of the stand alone charger. Many of these RVs have 35 up to 55 amp converter/chargers, and unless you are using a lot of the amperage that the converter/charger is putting out, for other 12V stuff, the converter/charger will probably do it quicker. On the other hand, if you have a giant stand alone charger that puts out 50...60...100 amps, you might have a valid point. I wouldn't even consider hauling that around though or having to run a heavier 120V circuit to feed it.
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Old 01-22-2023, 12:44 PM   #7
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A typical 125-AH RV or Marine battery will take approximately 80 hours to recharge at 13.6 volts off the built-in converter. Add more time to that if you have 2 batteries. Simply stated; even a small plug-in charger the size of a loaf of bread will charge your battery (or batteries) quicker than a converter alone will.
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH_Bulldog View Post
A typical 125-AH RV or Marine battery will take approximately 80 hours to recharge at 13.6 volts off the built-in converter. Add more time to that if you have 2 batteries. Simply stated; even a small plug-in charger the size of a loaf of bread will charge your battery (or batteries) quicker than a converter alone will.
I'm not really understanding your logic here.
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:32 AM   #9
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Simply, the primary purpose of a battery charger is to charge a battery. The primary purpose of a converter is to convert 120v AC power to 12v DC to operate the 12v DC needs of the coach, while secondarily providing a slow charge to maintain the coach battery or batteries.

In the context of the original post, using a generator to produce shore power to your converter to then in turn provide power to slowly charge your battery or batteries is far less efficient (and more annoying to your neighbors due to the required long running time of the generator) than simply running a generator to power a battery charger which can charge your battery or batteries quicker and more efficiently.

Think of it like comparing a hatchet and a chainsaw. They will both cut a tree down, but one does it quicker and more efficiently than the other.
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Old 01-23-2023, 09:01 AM   #10
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But when a converter is ONLY charging the battery and not powering other things such as fridge, lights, etc. does it not then provide full amperage to the battery?
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Old 01-23-2023, 09:19 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, unless you pull all the 12v fuses you can’t “force” the converter to channel all it’s energy to battery charging. Even when running on gas, there is still 12v draw on the system.

Most factory supplier converters are limited in function. They bulk charge up to a certain point (usually 70-80% of battery capacity), then they move to a slower (float) charge rate for the remaining 20-30%. If you are drawing from the batteries during this float, the charge rate tends to be VERY slow, and in some cases the float mode can’t keep up with the demand so the converter kicks back into bulk charge mode. This is why it can take up to 80 hours to fully charge your batteries from the converter.

The power center labels on most units read “POWER CONVERTER with battery charger” not the other way around. Meaning the primary purpose is to be a converter with the secondary purpose being a charger.

Anyway, back to my original point; if you are boondocking and absolutely need to run a generator to recharge your batteries, consider using a battery charger because it will charge your batteries quicker and you have to run your generator less which means your forrest neighbors will appreciate you
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:15 PM   #12
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The only difference I see in your logic would be if the external battery charger provided more amps. Otherwise it's 6 of one and 1/2 dozen of the other.
The battery charger located in the converter feeds directly to the battery and then the 12v fuses connect to the battery. That's the same circuit either way.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:23 PM   #13
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My trailer has 1000 watts of solar on the roof which feeds 2 charge controllers, which are connected to a lithium battery bank.
I completely disconnected the battery charger inside of my converter, so I know it was connected directly to the batteries. The same wire also connected to the 12v fuses.
My 120v system is completely separate from the 12v panel.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:25 PM   #14
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IIRC my last converter was rated at 55 amps whereas the external battery charger I carry has 3 settings; 5 amp, 10 amp & 50 amp so I'm guessing the converter would charge faster.
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