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Old 01-13-2016, 09:44 PM   #31
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I looked at the panel today, the RV charger says 55 amps output so I assume most of that would go to charging the batteries if no other major draw from other stuff.
Yep..sorta mostly...the limiting factor is the wire gauge/length used to send the charge to the batts which is typically undersized...but I think you'll be just fine.
The battery monitor will let you know how many amp hours you use daily so you can figure out how long each day you need to crank the genny....you can also do other stuff while charging since 55amps at 12V is 600 watts or so ...so you can watch TV & do your 120V charging chores for cell phones etc. at the same time.
Since it takes so much time to get the last 20% of charge into the batteries...I prefer to deplete the battery to 50% before charging. If you don't use that many amp hours in a day...you can delay the genny running till you really need it and then be more efficient in how you charge.
Good luck with it all.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:45 PM   #32
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Too Tall: Charging flooded cell lead-acid batteries is a multi-faceted challenge. There is not a good single answer. The 12V Converter on your camper is not a particularly good battery charger and it will take days or weeks to fully charge your two batteries. If you are determined to charge you batteries with a genset, then you should by a quality 3-stage battery charger to go along with it. The absolute best dissertation on RV battery charging can be viewed at this website. https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

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When charging the batteries via an external charger, should I disconnect the battery cable from the RV to prevent any kind of back feed to the charger in the RV?
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:11 PM   #33
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When charging the batteries via an external charger, should I disconnect the battery cable from the RV to prevent any kind of back feed to the charger in the RV?
If you have a 55 amp converter/"RV charger" in your trailer (as you say) then there is no need to use an external charger. Your converter will work just fine to charge your batterys and it will not take weeks as mentioned earlier.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:13 PM   #34
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If you have a 55 amp converter/"RV charger" in your trailer (as you say) then there is no need to use an external charger. Your converter will work just fine to charge your batterys and it will not take weeks as mentioned earlier.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:26 PM   #35
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Too Tall: Charging flooded cell lead-acid batteries is a multi-faceted challenge. There is not a good single answer. The 12V Converter on your camper is not a particularly good battery charger and it will take days or weeks to fully charge your two batteries. If you are determined to charge you batteries with a genset, then you should by a quality 3-stage battery charger to go along with it. The absolute best dissertation on RV battery charging can be viewed at this website. https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

Happy Camping,
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Lots of good info there but he is dead wrong on acheiving 100% charge. While the mfr. recommendation of 14.8 or 14.7 bulk may be ideal under controlled circumstances...it is beyond ridiculous to suggest that a 100% charge will never be acheived with less. The Progressive line supplies 14.4V bulk and 13.6V finish and 13.2V float. Iota provides...14.8/14.2 and 13.2 respectively. Both of these will fully charge a bank of batteries of up to around 220amp hours as quickly as possible... and fully charge banks of about twice that size if time is not of a concern. (i.e plugged in at the park or house.). Those of us who occasionally check SOC with a hydrometer have seen this time and time again.
The advice to keep 12V wire from chargers short and thick is excellent ...however you don't want the charger in the same compartment as the batts due to off gassing and spark danger in a sealed space...if yours is not enclosed then no problem.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:40 PM   #36
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When charging the batteries via an external charger, should I disconnect the battery cable from the RV to prevent any kind of back feed to the charger in the RV?
Ditto on NO need for an external charger if you have the internal one.

BUT...if you do for some reason want to use an external charger...yes...remove the leads from the other charger.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:59 PM   #37
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Ditto on NO need for an external charger if you have the internal one.

BUT...if you do for some reason want to use an external charger...yes...remove the leads from the other charger.
Thanks, I'd prefer to just plug the genset into the power cable and fiddle around for a few hours during the day while around the campsite then secure the genset for the night. I assume once voltage reaches 12.7 (off the charger) that's a full charge?
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:03 AM   #38
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I assume once voltage reaches 12.7 (off the charger) that's a full charge?
Absolutely NOT... 12.7V is NOT full if the batteries are connected to the coach and less than 24 hours has passed since you last charged or used them. THIS assumption is what kills batteries. This is why you need a true battery monitor.
12.7 could quitel literally mean a battery half full if because the surface charge (not real) put on the battery by charging takes 24 hours at rest to dissapate. Rather inconvenient if you boondock. LOL
Absent a real battery monitor the ONLY way to know when you are 100% when you stop charging is using a hydrometer and testing at least a few cells in each battery.... pain in the ass but accurate. Read the link to avoid the pitfalls in mesurement that are possible & simple to avoid.
Using the Battery Hydrometer

You will definitely be surprised and how many HOURS it will be before you get a full charge. But if you are short term boondocking ( less than a week) you don't necessarily have to get all the way to 100% as long as you don't fall below 50% and can cycle between 50 and 80-90% until you can get home and plug in for an overnight charge to 100%. (This is only for wet cells....agms' are much more sensitive about needing a full charge.)
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:23 AM   #39
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Thanks for all the info. I'm going to do a little of both recommendations, I think, Increase my battery bank to 3 or possibly 4 batteries. Purchase a 2K generator for coffee, microwave and charging.
You're welcome !
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:40 AM   #40
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Many of the larger TVs have high current alternator systems, the problem is the length of the wiring from the alternator, through the TV and the TT will cause enough voltage drop that you will have limited charging capability. Also even large alternator equipped TVs have limited charging capacity at idle.
You can correct me if I'm wrong, Makes no difference in the size of the TV alternator. It is the size of the wire that matters that runs to the plug. At best a TV will only put out the a trickle charge even if it's a 200 amp alternator. They just are not designed to charge TT batteries, at best just to keep them charged while driving. If you the OP is planning on alot of boondocking then invest in a good honda that do your loads. If you are just doing it to try it out you would be off renting one, then figure out what you really want to do. Just my 2 cents....Main thing JUST HAVE FUN....
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