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Old 08-31-2016, 03:44 PM   #11
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These responses are very helpful. How long would it take a generator to charge the battery? Or would you just plug your trailer into the battery when using high amperage things like the slide out and using the furnace.

Can you recommend a small and quiet generator for the purpose of recharging the battery? I don't need it to run the A/C just need to make sure I can charge the battery if needed. And I am assuming I would plug the trailer into the generator to charge the battery?

thanks!
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:16 PM   #12
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My trailer has 2 - 6v golf cart batteries and all my lighting is LED. Also my slides operate flawlessly with these batteries. I also have a very small quiet Powerhouse 500 Inverter generator which I use with a charger to charge the batteries if and when needed. It does the job and don't have to run my main genny.
My main generator is a EU7000is Honda Inverter which I only use when it's hot to run AC or need to use microwave, toaster, etc. separately or all appliances at the same time. Boondocking is great when you are prepared for it!
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:27 PM   #13
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My trailer has 2 - 6v golf cart batteries and all my lighting is LED. Also my slides operate flawlessly with these batteries. I also have a very small quiet Powerhouse 500 Inverter generator which I use with a charger to charge the batteries if and when needed. It does the job and don't have to run my main genny.
My main generator is a EU7000is Honda Inverter which I only use when it's hot to run AC or need to use microwave, toaster, etc. separately or all appliances at the same time. Boondocking is great when you are prepared for it!
So instead of using a portable generator that you plug your trailer into, you have a tiny generator that you hook up directly to your battery to charge it. Did I get that right?
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:13 AM   #14
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So instead of using a portable generator that you plug your trailer into, you have a tiny generator that you hook up directly to your battery to charge it. Did I get that right?
I think what he's saying is that he plugs a battery charger into the generator, then connects the battery charger to the trailer's battery to charge it. This is certainly not wrong if the purpose is solely to charge the battery.

What I have done with my generator is plug the trailer directly into it. This allows the onboard converter/charger to charge the battery. The added benefit to this method is that you have AC power for the time the generator is running. Depending on the size of the generator, this can provide enough power to run a coffee maker, microwave, phone chargers, etc., while still charging the battery.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:27 AM   #15
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I think what he's saying is that he plugs a battery charger into the generator, then connects the battery charger to the trailer's battery to charge it. This is certainly not wrong if the purpose is solely to charge the battery.

What I have done with my generator is plug the trailer directly into it. This allows the onboard converter/charger to charge the battery. The added benefit to this method is that you have AC power for the time the generator is running. Depending on the size of the generator, this can provide enough power to run a coffee maker, microwave, phone chargers, etc., while still charging the battery.
Great! Thanks! If I don't want to run AC how do I tell what size generator I need? And if this is too frustrating to answer I can start digging through old threads as I know this has been discussed before.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:09 AM   #16
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Great! Thanks! If I don't want to run AC how do I tell what size generator I need? And if this is too frustrating to answer I can start digging through old threads as I know this has been discussed before.
A typical choice would be something in the 2000W range. Inexpensive, quiet, capable of running most things on the RV, still light enough to lug around without much difficulty. If you need more, get a second one and pair them together -- getting a 3500W would also run everything, including the A/C, but as a single unit it's awfully heavy.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:00 PM   #17
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To just charge the battery using either the on board converter or a separate battery charger you would only need 500 watts or so. If you want to run other things at the same time you will need more watts. How many depends on what else you want to run.


There are also some generators that only put out battery charge voltage and do not put out household 120 VAC. Most of the ones I've seen have been home built. Solar is probably something you need to look at for frequent dry camping.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:09 PM   #18
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In case you're relying on this thread to guide you in purchasing a generator, I'll mention that there are significant advantages to inverter generators over open-frame/construction grade generators. I'll leave you to research from there.

As for wattage, I would agree with Rootus that a 2000w inverter generator is generally a good choice. However, as Hohenwald48 mentioned, you can go smaller if you don't need much power beyond charging. Keep in mind constant/running watts versus starting/peak watts. If you plan to run a continuous 2000w draw on a 2000w generator, you're in for some disappointment.
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:24 PM   #19
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Ok this is great! One more question. If I do get a generator and plug in my trailer, then when I pull in the slide it will draw the power from the AC and not from the battery, correct?
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:50 PM   #20
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The slide will always run from battery power but with a generator connected and the converter running the slides will not run down the battery.
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