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Old 05-23-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
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Using a charger on batteries when generator is on

Hey gang..
I have a dilemma..when i have my generator running it is charging my batteries up albeit probably at a 2amp charge.
Would I be able to plug in a battery charger to the outside plugin and have it hooked up to the batteries so that it can charge at a 6a or whatever it is to give it a better charge for the couple hours the generator is running. Also would it hurt the batteries or anything else on the trailer considering the batteries would be recieving two charges...
did i confuse anyone lmao....
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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I may be confused about how you are charging your battery using the generator. If you are just using the little connector on the generatr that says BAT CHARGE then that is one big problem right off the bat. I have no idea what this BAT CHARGE connector is for on my 2KW Honda EU20001 Generator.

The only good way to use the geneator to charge your battery is to first install a smart-mode 45-amp or bigger Converter/Charger in your RV 30AMP trailer. Then the idea is to use the generator to power up your whole trailer and allow the on-board Copnverter/Charger unit to charge your batteries just like it does when you connected to shore power.

If you have the smart-mode converter/charger this method will re-charge your battery to 90% charge state is a short 2-3 hour generator run time period.

If you dont have a smart-mode converter/charger on-board your RV triler it will take too long to re-charge your battery. Consider this statement from Progressive Dynamics...

Progressive Dynamics ran this test on the amount of time it took a PD9155 (55-amp) converter/charger set to three different output voltages to recharge a 125 AH (Amp Hour) battery after it was fully discharged to 10.5-volts.

14.4-VOLTS (Boost Mode) – Returned the battery to 90% of full charge in approximately 3-hours. The battery reached full charge in approximately 11 hours.

13.6-VOLTS (Normal Mode) – Required 40-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 78-hours to reach full charge.

13.2-VOLTS (Storage Mode) – Required 60-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 100-hours to reach full charge."

Another solution would be to re-charge your bettery using a 120VAC Black and Decker Smart-Mode 40AMP battery Charger Model VEC1093DBD. To use this you would fire up your 2KW Honda Generator and plug this portable battery charger into the generator 120VAC outlet and connect the portable battery charger directly to your battery terminal. This will re-charge your battery to its 90% charage state in the 2-3 hour generator run time.

The trick to re-charge a battery to its 90% charge state is to hit the battery with 14.4VDC at 40AMPS at least. This will immediatley start drawing around 40AMPS charge and start dropping down within a few minutes. My converter/charger will stay at this mode for about two hours, then it will drop back to 13.6VDC for another hour. This will re-charge my battery back up to its 90% charge state.

If you are going to connect your shore power cable to the 120VAC Receptacle on the 2KW generator you will need a RV30A-15A adapter. i use the Honda DUAL Adapter (Amazon.com) but the 18-inch long adapater from Walmart works just fine. I cannot use the small round black adapters you find as they always start getting hot on me.


This is how I charge my batteries from my 2KW generator...
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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Hey Roy...I bought this trailer with a 4000watt gensat propane generator that when its on charges the batteries..the unit is built into the trailer....i have no idea what the rate of charge is...but it does charge the batteries when it is running..when the previous owner installed this generator he didnt put an on-board Copnverter/Charger unit in it....i have a 120v charger at home that i used to charge these batteries at either 12v/6a or 12v/2a...pending on time frame i need those batteries...my buddy, he suggested taking that 120v home charger, plugging it into the outside plug in and then hooking it up to the batteries so that when the generator starts the home charger will charge these batteries more so better than what the generator would charge for that short time frame....my concern doing that is it might blow something up....my buddy says he has been doing this for years but not sure if he is damaging something by doing that...i realize that when charging batteries there is a certain time frame needed to fully charge them....
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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If you plug in a portable 120V battery charger plus have your converter going it's possible that something could be affected in a long term. If you simply flip the breaker on the converter and use that battery charger alone then yes you can do that. Keep in mind that you will loose the 12V conversion that the converter supplies to all the 12V applications running competing with the charger applying to the batteries.
Depending on the model of conveter/charger you have there will be little up side to doing this. Running the genny a little longer with your converter going should get you where you need to be to survive daily with lights, fridge and other draws. 4-5 hrs a day for a 12V hybrid deep cycle in good condition would be about right.

Adding battery capacity is going to help this of course and if considering being off the grid for exptended stays would be a requirement. Those orginal equipment batteries do not like deep drops in voltage over many cycles. I run 2 6V 120's and my 3 stage get's me up to 90% within an hour on most days running lights, inverter, fridge and other items. I run for about 2.5 hrs daily avg. over a morning run and eve with no issues over week long stays off grid.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
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There is no way to switch the generator so it will stop charging the batteries...so they would be getting a charge from the battery charger and the generator...I think i may just go to 2-6v batteries..i did find when using the gen for cpl hours did get batteries up but i guess i am expecting too much for what i am hoping for...i dont think the way i want to do it will benefit me anymore than when i just use the gen for cpl hours in morning and night...
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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MULLIN - The idea is to use the Generator to power up your trailer. Then the ON-BOARD Converter/CHarger then will charge your battery. If it has a 45 amp charging system then that is what it will charge your battery at. The purpose of the generator is to only power up the RV trailer. Once powered up then the CONVERTER/CHARGER will charge the battery.

Of course if you dont have the more modern smart-mode charger installed in your RV trailer then it will take many hours to charge your battery. The non-smart mode converter/charger only puts out 13.6VDC. (go by the comments I included on how long those different charging voltages will take to charge up a battery.)

Hope this helps.... kinda in the dark here on what you have so I may be out in left field hehe...

I'll get out the way and let the exports have at it...
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Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA
RETIRED DOD DOAF DON CONTRACTOR Electronics Tech 42YRS

"We're burning daylight" - John Wayne
2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
K9PHT (since 1957) 146.52Mhz
"We always have a PLAN B"
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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Mullin - Your idea of running the generator to power up your RV Trailer for a couple of hours in the morning and another couple to three hours in the early evening will charge up your battery just fine ONLY IF it is a smart-mode converter/charger. Give us the model number number of the converter/charger and we can tell you what you have. This is good thing to be a smart-mode converter/charger and the replacement is usually a rempve-and-replace opertaion with just a few wires to install.

If you already have a smart mode Black and Decker VEC1093DBD 40AMP smart-mode portable battery charger you go that route. Just run the generator as you planned and let the B&D 40AMP smart mode charger re-charge your battery in the 2-3 hour generator run time....

Either replace the on-board converter/charger to a smart mode converter/charger chassis or get a smart mode 40AMP battery charger... Cost is about the same. If it were me I would get both haha...
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Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA
RETIRED DOD DOAF DON CONTRACTOR Electronics Tech 42YRS

"We're burning daylight" - John Wayne
2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
K9PHT (since 1957) 146.52Mhz
"We always have a PLAN B"
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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I dont think I have this on-board Copnverter/Charger unit...If i do i have no idea where it is...this is the stats on my Onan gen...
60 hertz
3600 watts
33.3/30.0 amps
The 120v battery charger i have is just a general type plug into the wall battery charger...Century 12/2a 12/6a 6/6a charger....
I do know for a fact the generator does charge the batteries so would that mean i have this unit you mention installed somewhere..if so i havent seen anything other than the generator in the unit...
Am I to assume that if i have this on-board Copnverter/Charger unit it will charge better than how its is charging now...this is all new to me so sorry
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:40 PM   #9
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finally got it figure out...i need this unit which i have someone intown that installs these things to maximize my charging of the batteries when the generator is running...cheaper than buying two 6v batteries so that will be the route i will go..eventually...thanks for the info and education...much appreciated...happy camping...
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