Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-16-2011, 10:35 PM   #1
KRS's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hereford, AZ
Posts: 59
Battery charging for TT, use inverter charger or disconnect batts?

Good evening all.

I'm wondering how everyone charges their batts.

TT has two deep cycle batteries.

I think that plugging the TT into the generator's power output would:

1) power the trailer while the generator is on
2) charge the batts

However, I was camping with another person who disconnects their batts and uses battery chargers. When questioned, they said that the onboard inverter/charger charges at 2 amps (or some such thing) and would take hours and hours to recharge a low battery.

Thoughts, ideas, experiences?


2004 Forest River Wildcat 29BHS
15.0 BTU ducted roof air
Tow vehicle: 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins turbo auto
Cummins exhaust brake
Air bags
KRS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
rthrbelsewhere's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
My battery was completely dead when I went out to check on it about 2 weeks ago. I plugged in the TT to the garage and an hour later I went back to check on it and it wasn't even registering yet. So I unplugged it, left the batteries connected to the TT cables and put the actual charger on it for a 2 amp charge. Another hour later, I checked on it and it was at 27% and climbing, so it might depend on how low they are before the inverter will actually keep them charged. Several hours later (sometime during the sleeping hours), it was 100% charged and ready to roll. We usually don't keep the TT plugged in over the winter.

Many suggest that a battery buddy should be installed to charge when needed during months when it's in storage. I'm searching for one as we speak.

Where we've been:

2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Auto 5.9 Diesel
Gone but not forgotten -1986 Rockwood 1003 PUP
rthrbelsewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 11:11 PM   #3
Moderators' Assistant
bikendan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 10,155
sounds like your friend has an old converter.

the newer 3-stage converters work as well as a stand-alone battery charger.

i have an '07 Roo and two batteries. i just hook up my shore cord to my Honda 2000 and run it for a few hours.

i don't the use of a separate charger that takes up space, unless you have an older RV or cheap converter.
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 07:12 AM   #4
Site Team
KyDan's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,648
My on board charger takes too long to charge my batteries.
It's fine if I'm home or on shore power but when we're dry camping
and I need to boost my batteries I use a stand alone charger.

I don't disconnect the batteries.
I just clip on a 25 amp smart charger and plug it into my little
Honda genny. If I'm in a real hurry, I plug in the trailer at the
same time.
Both chargers working at once will charge my two 12v batteries
pretty well in a couple hours.

Side note-- if you plug your trailer into your genny you need to
check that your hot water heater is not on electric mode as
well as your refrigerator. If your refer is on "auto" mode it will
switch from gas to electric when it sees the generator power
and unless you have a really big generator you might not want
it to do that.
I switch my refer to "gas only" when charging with my honda.

This works for me.
Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-38
KyDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 11:35 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: La Crescenta, CA
Posts: 174
For $83.33 you can purchase a 2 pack 5W solar trickle charger from Amazon. It keeps the batteries fully charged in storage. It will not do much to charge quickly when dry camping. But, keep in mind fast charging is hard on batteries and batteries are expenseive. Make sure you get the 5 W system as the bigger ones require controllers, which takes the price up without much benefit as you can wire the 2 pack in parallel and get twice the amperage.
Big bird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
Senior Member
kz08h5's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Carmel, Indiana
Posts: 308
It all depends upon what type of of charger you converter has. Some, like mine, are just a trickle charger. Others have a 3 stage charger in them. To properly re-charge your batteries you need the 3 stage. I bought a Schumaker at Walmart for around $40 that does the 3 stage charging that has worked well. If you don't do the 3 stage charging the battery life is less than it would be.

2008 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax Crewcab
Jeep Commander - sold
Flagstaff V-Lite WRB26
kz08h5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 02:24 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southeast NY
Posts: 76
Purchased two of these. One for the lawn mower battery and one for the RV. Both for winter storage

BatteryMINDer Charger/Maintainer/Desulphator — 1.3 Amp, 12 Volt, Model# 12117 | Battery Maintainers | Northern Tool + Equipment
wayne1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 08:57 PM   #8
Albuquerque, NM
Char_n_Kath's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 100
For winter storage I use a BatteryMinder also, which can be used to keep my two batteries charged & healthy. Yes, I ensure they are hooked up pos to pos and neg to neg as per directions! Don't have to have a separate charger for each battery. While camping, I've never had a problem with charging from shore power. Don't have a generator. I did once run out of juice dry camping on one battery close to a week, so now I have two! More for fun than practicality I keep a 40W solar panel connected when dry camping. (When I ran out it was over a cloudy & cold week!). Found out that it took a while to charge up my battery from my truck's electrical.


Charlie & Kathi
Albuquerque, New Mexico
2011 Rockwood 2304
2013 Dodge Ram Laramie 4x4
Char_n_Kath is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:18 AM.