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Old 02-10-2019, 08:01 PM   #1
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amps, watts, and volts...oh my

So....we got this Honda EU2200i generator thinking that after a cold night of the furnace running off of our two 12-volt 81 Ah batteries we have, that we would want/need to charge the batteries the next day. I was thinking "Hey - we could just run the generator for 2-3 hours" plugged into the trailer using the regular 15 amp output plugs from the generator to the 30 amp connection on the trailer (using an adapter, just like it was plugged in at home). Our three-stage converter/charger in the trailer is a WFCO WF-9865, which has an output current of 65 amps (whatever that means).

The dealer told me this week I was on drugs and that my trailer's converter/charger only puts out about 1 or 2 amps and that it would take 3 to 6 days to fully charge my trailer using the generator plugged into the trailer. This sounds wrong, but that is what he said.

He then suggested two other alternatives: (1) Use the 12-volt DC output on the generator with the cable connected to one of the batteries, which apparently runs at 8 amps. At 8 amps to charge 162 amp-hours from 50%, that seems to be somewhere around 10 hours of charging???? Still seems long to me...

or (2) get a solar panel, he said. Probably just trying to make a sale again.

Well, I don't want a solar panel. Not just yet, at least. I thought that a generator could get my batteries topped off during the day. Yeah - I know they are gassy and loud, but it is what I have right now.

So...................how long might it take to charge back up depleted batteries using my generator? Should I use the shore power cord to the trailer, or use the 12-volt DC cable/output on the generator instead?

We were so excited to go boondocking this spring/summer when temps still dip down to 25 to 40 degrees at night. Will need heat.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:21 PM   #2
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I use the shore power plugged into my generator to recharge the battery. Couldn't tell you how long it takes as I have never timed it.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:36 PM   #3
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I use the shore power plugged into my generator to recharge the battery. Couldn't tell you how long it takes as I have never timed it.
Understood, but the dealer is telling me it will take 50 to over 100 hours of continuous generator running to recharge my batteries just once using such a method. Doesn’t seem right.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:45 PM   #4
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If you try to back feed thru the converter, yes it would take forever. If you plug your shore power cord into the generator plug (as you would your home), it'll charge with 120V and go much faster.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:51 PM   #5
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If you try to back feed thru the converter, yes it would take forever. If you plug your shore power cord into the generator plug (as you would your home), it'll charge with 120V and go much faster.
Thanks PamW. That is exactly what I plan to do...plug my shore power cord directly into the generator.

Which means, my 10-gage 30-amp female end to a 30-amp male end, to a dog bone 30-amp female to 15-amp male end into the regular plug in the generator.

Is that what you mean???

If so, that feed STILL goes through my trailer’s converter to charge the batteries. That is what the dealer is saying will take 100+ hours for ONE charge.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:44 PM   #6
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Battery charger run be generator

I have heard, if your batteries get run down. the best practice is to plug a portable battery charger into your generator and attach it directly to the batteries to charge them quickly. Then plug the TT into the generator to keep the batteries maintained.

No experience with this, just read in another forum.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:49 PM   #7
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We have stopped at Walmart and rest stops en-route to our destination in very cold weather. One night into low twenties. The heater ran all nite.


The next day while traveling the truck charging system got the battery charged enough to handle another night. I have never gone 3 nights without a full charge. So not sure if that would make it.



Check out this article.


https://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/ba...while-driving/


Good Luck
Bill
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Beachbourbon View Post
I have heard, if your batteries get run down. the best practice is to plug a portable battery charger into your generator and attach it directly to the batteries to charge them quickly. Then plug the TT into the generator to keep the batteries maintained.

No experience with this, just read in another forum.
Thanks. Yes - we have a 3.5 amp NOCO Genius battery charger we use to maintain our batteries during the winter or when the trailer is not being used.

I am more referring to how to best recharge depleted batteries during the day after a night of using power for furnace etc. when camping. My options so far are 1. Plug generator into trailer. 2. Connect batteries directly to generator using 12 V DC 8 amp cable, 3. Plug battery charger like my NOCO to generator and then hook that to batteries.

Just trying to figure out the fastest/best way.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ArmyVeteran View Post
We have stopped at Walmart and rest stops en-route to our destination in very cold weather. One night into low twenties. The heater ran all nite.


The next day while traveling the truck charging system got the battery charged enough to handle another night. I have never gone 3 nights without a full charge. So not sure if that would make it.



Check out this article.


https://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/ba...while-driving/


Good Luck
Bill
Thanks Bill! We don’t expect our trailer to run for multiple days without a charging source, but we don’t move/travel during camping trips and so hence the generator.

I didn’t know the connection to the truck would charge the batteries too, though! Cool.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hart_family View Post
Thanks PamW. That is exactly what I plan to do...plug my shore power cord directly into the generator.

Which means, my 10-gage 30-amp female end to a 30-amp male end, to a dog bone 30-amp female to 15-amp male end into the regular plug in the generator.

Is that what you mean???

If so, that feed STILL goes through my trailerís converter to charge the batteries. That is what the dealer is saying will take 100+ hours for ONE charge.
Yes, you'll need a 30A to 15A converter plug.

So does the dealer think that it would take days to recharge if plugged into a house recept? I don't understand what the difference would be? I'd have to look at wiring diagram to see what he's thinking.

And I'll echo above, the trailer battery will recharge while towing, as long as the plug is installed properly (which mine wasn't).

My trailer is parked at a storage unit. No plug, no battery maintainer. It charges on the way out to wherever I'm heading (generally an hour away), battery's charged by the time I get there. (Small trailer, one battery.)
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