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Old 02-23-2016, 09:37 PM   #21
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This is what I use. DC clip on amp meter. Poor boy method but it's all I need. It's on sale, I paid full price for mine. Clip this on to your battery lead. If your charger has a bulk mode which I pretty sure it does if it loaded the genset like you said, you'll see the amps drop to under 1 amp which is probably 80% or better.

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Old 02-24-2016, 11:51 AM   #22
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 925
Originally Posted by jlindo View Post
My father-in-law and I went dry-camping this past week in separate trailers, his an '09 Flagstaff 5er and mine a '16 Flagstaff TT. He has a Honda eu2000 generator. I found need to recharge after 2-3 days when my batteries were almost completely down. Some questions/concerns came up as a result of our experiences charging both rigs:

1. Why would my TT put such a heavy load on the generator when first plugged in? My fridge was on propane only (I made this change away from letting it pick automatically), and maybe only 1 LED light was on and 2 devices were charging. Heater was off. For about 20-30 minutes (maybe longer?), the generator was kicked up as if under heavy load and then it would finally kick back down to lower RPM. But even after 2-3 hours on the generator I barely got back to halfway charged. Was it just not enough time on the generator for a full charge? Would a bigger generator give me faster re-charge times?

2. My father-in-law plugged into his trailer and it kicked up RPM's for maybe 5-10 minutes and then it would kick back down to the lower RPM range for the rest of his charge. He also noted that a longer time on the generator didn't give him full charge.

3. With almost completely dead batteries on the way home and plugged into the truck I only got about 3/4 charged on the ~ 2.5 hour trip home. Is this just not enough time to fully charge given the time and vehicle (2015 F-150 EcoBoost)?

Hopefully this is enough info to get some ideas here. My father-in-law believes that the initial draw issues may be in some part due to either a short somewhere or maybe something wrong in the charging system itself (rectifier?).
First, as has already been mentioned, never let your batteries go below 50% charge. If you do you will damage the batteries.

I wired in permanently a digital VOM to the battery wires in my switch box. I did this for convenience, so I can check my batteries any time I want from inside. Just turn it on when I want then shut it off. Really only need it when boondocking. I keep the list below so I know what is happening.

12.75 100%
12.62 90%
12.50 80%
12.37 70%
12.24 60%
12.10 50%
11.96 40%

Now to your questions.

The reason the generator ran as hard as it did was because of the condition of your batteries. My guess is it is time for new batteries. It sounds like they are not holding a full charge.

When charging from your TV you may not get a full charge. Again, part of this is because of the condition of your batteries.

Your converter is designed to keep your batteries up when on shore power. It is not really a good battery charger per say. When boondocking and I need to charge my batteries I use the charger below. Doesn't take long using it.

10/2/50 Amp 12V Manual Charger With Engine Start

If I don't have a generator handy I use the cheap inverter off of my truck battery to run the charger.

12V Power Inverter - 1500 Watts Max

Hope this helps.


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charging, generator

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