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Old 05-05-2016, 03:20 PM   #1
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Small Generator, will this charge my batteries?

We will be camping in Yellow Stone this summer for a week in a campground with no hook ups. I'm looking at a small Storm Cat generator at Harbor Freight that has a 800 watt out put. Can anyone tell me if this will charge my two size 24 batteries. I don't need it to do anything else. I like the size of it and the weight. Thanks in advance for any input you may have.
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:27 PM   #2
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do you know the size of your converter/charger?
800 watts may be OK. My guess is it will take hours to charge your battery's from say 60% to 90%
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:41 PM   #3
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I'm not sure of the converter, charger size. I was just going to plug the trailer into the generator. My trailer is a 2109S Rookwood
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:49 PM   #4
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Small Generator, will this charge my batteries?

That's only 6 amps
It would take forever to charge to group 24's if they were depleted.

A 55 amp converter will draw that with just lights on.

I 55 amp converter draws between 1-8 amp depending on load.

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Old 05-05-2016, 03:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomgky View Post
We will be camping in Yellow Stone this summer for a week in a campground with no hook ups. I'm looking at a small Storm Cat generator at Harbor Freight that has a 800 watt out put. Can anyone tell me if this will charge my two size 24 batteries. I don't need it to do anything else. I like the size of it and the weight. Thanks in advance for any input you may have.
It might, depending on your converter. If it is 45 amps or less, it will do the trick but remember it will take a few hours if your batteries aren't totally depleted. 800 watts is about 55 amps at 14.5 volts, which is the boost voltage of a converter. I suspect it will be close to adequate. Hopefully you have a 50 amp converter or less, since there is some loss when converting to 12 volts or so.

If you run it every day for a couple of hours are are careful with your batteries I think you might make it.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:04 PM   #6
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regardless of wattage, this generator is rated at 91 dbs. This will quickly get shut down by the Park Rangers if rest of the campground doesn't lynch and feed you to the bears first
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:13 PM   #7
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Depends on your draw, and the wattage at which your camper's converter can recharge the battery. I don't know enough about the converters to know how quickly they are capable of charging. Let's say your converter can charge the battery at 30 amps. 5A * 12V = 360W. This means that tiny guy will do just fine, for the most part.

But let's go beyond that. You have lights in your trailer, and heater. I know the heater in my trailer uses about 100W while running. Incandescent lights will use at least 10 times as much power as LED, so there's a lot to calculate here. The standard bulbs in my trailer used 25W before I swapped them to 1.5W LEDs. More than 16 times as much energy. I'll just go with the 25W value for simplicity.

-Assume you use 4 hours of heater @100W. That's 400Wh.
-Assume you'll use 4 lights for 3 hours. That's 100W * 3H = 300Wh.
===TOTAL: 700 Watt hours

If your converter charges at 360W (30A @ 12V), this means that you'll need 1.95 hour (2 hours) to charge the battery based on what you used (700 / 360=1.944). IMO, you'll be fine.

HOWEVER, when I was at Yellowstone, doing what you were doing, I wasn't at the campground during generator hours (8am-8pm) long enough to charge back what we used. 2 hours is a lot of time to sit there and wait for your battery to charge. This is why I went with a portable 100W solar panel, and swapped for LED lights. It would take 7 hours to recharge your battery with full output from a 100W solar panel. Grant Campground in Yellowstone was well-treed, so not sure how effective solar would be there.

And whatever you do, don't buy solar panels at HF. They are WAY overpriced. It's like $200 for a 45W panel, which is a massive ripoff. I bought my 100W panel for less than $200 on ebay. It is always enough to charge our battery throughout the day, as long as we have a good amount of sun. We also occasionally run the battery.

You might also be better off with a generator that has the ability to charge a battery, rather than running through your trailer's converter.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:18 PM   #8
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As mentioned above, you will probably be asked to shut it off or leave due to the noise level.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:26 PM   #9
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Cabela's has the Champion 2000i for under 500 right now.

We will be using one of these ourselves while camped at Yellowstone this summer.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:47 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for all the info. I never thought about the noise level. I may look into the Champion 2000i


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