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Old 12-02-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default Charging Batteries with Generator

I am shopping generators but only intend on using it to recharge the batteries. Does a 2000 watt unit charge faster then a 1000 watt unit?
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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Default Generator and charging batteries.

The assumption here is that you are starting the generator, plugging in the power cord from your trailer to the gen and then allowing the converter in the trailer to charge the batteries.

If this is the case then the converter will not know the difference between either gen that you choose. The gen supplies 120V A/C power supply to the converter and the converter will convert that 120V supply to 12V DC and send that power to charge the battery.

If all you want to do is charge the battery why not hook up the seven way plug from the trailer into the seven way receptacle on your tow vehicle and start and run your tow vehicle? If you are looking for a fast charge this is the way to do it and you wont need the gen.

Now if you were to want to run the A/C or the Microwave then you would need the gen. A 2k would get you by but a 3k would be better.

Dave
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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One think I have learned about this topic...assuming learned the correct thing...

I have a Colman 1850. I plug the trailer cord into the generator as describe above. All I am looking for is to charge the battery, but after the batter does it bulk charge, there is very little drain on the generator so it runs pretty rough. I would say a smaller generator would run better and more efficient.

I know for myself, I am looking for something that is around 900w to 1000w...

The reality of running your vehicle to charge the battery does not work very well if you are only idling. At least for me, my vehicle alternator puts out much more current when I am drive at 2K rpms....I idle at 700rpms of which is about 10% of the current that is produced at 2Krpms...
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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I also think a generator is only needed to run A/C or microwave at least 2600W to 3000W.
Its a waste just to charge.
I find pluging in to tow vehicle charges in 15 minutes a dead battery maybe a bit longer.
My truck has a 100 amp alternator,upgrading alternator to 100 amp would be about the same $$$ as buying a small generator.
A second battery if you camp without electric alot is a option.
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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Default Charging Batteries with Generator

I assume you can charge a battery directly from the DC outlets on a generator so equiped. Is that more efficent (faster) then running through the converter?

The reason I'm asking these questions is that although the Honda and Yamaha generators or typically the top of the line there are several considerably cheaper generators out there that may work for an entry level unit but are not as quiet so if just used for charging I would like the run time to be minimal as possible.

A second battery may be a good alternative as I will rarely primitive camp for more then 3 days.

Thanks for all the good imput.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:00 AM   #6
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If I understand correctly, yes you can use the DC output from the generator to charge the battery, and it will produce more current to the battery. BUT you lose the protection of the trailer converter and can over charge the battery and damage it. Doing this for 1hr might not harm it in anyway, but repeatedly doing this could harm the battery.

I am not sure what your camping style is, but I purchased the top rated Trojan 12v battery, of which cost about $175 (the Trojan battery web page has much good information about batteries)... I also replaced all my light bulbs to LED's bulbs. I have the X-139 trailer, so yes, very small. I tested my current draw from the battery with all the lights on before I replaced the bulbs, I was about 5amps. After I was about 0.75amps, so the LED bulbs are very worth their wild. Cost me about $100 to replace all the bulbs.

I spend most of my camping without power, as we stay in National Park campgrounds or in the National Forest Camp grounds...the longest being 10days with no power. Driving to a different place after about 5 days and to be honest we didn't even need to run the generator at all. It is only my wife and I, and we took a shower every other day. It was in the summer so we didn't use the heater either. Basically only the lights and water pump.

If you are conserve your electric you can make a top rated battery last for 3 days easily, most likely longer.

With all that said, i would still carry my generator if I am planning on camping without power for more then 3days, and I just use to generator to charge the battery.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:44 AM   #7
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Hi folks,

We have 2007 189 FD, a great little rig. We charge with a 55W solar panel on a 30' cord to allow moving around the campsite. When needed we have a Powerhouse 1000W inverter/gen which is very lightweight, reasonably quiet. and a lot cheaper than a Honda.

Good luck, TF
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