Trilogy 38RE Battery charging question
My apologies if this has been covered before, I've searched and can't find the answer that I need. I need to know how I should be charging my batteries.
2013 Trilogy 38RE
1)My unit is inside a pole barn, no electricity available. I'm in Nebraska, temps have routinely gotten to zero and will again more than likely.
2)Even though I turn the master battery switch to OFF, there are still phantom loads that drain my 2 deep cycle batteries to the point that even the door keypad won't operate.
3)I've been taking my Honda 2000i out to the storage shed, hooking it up to the shore power line, and letting the generator run until the gas runs out. I turned the battery cutoff ON. Unfortunately, I just checked on the unit a week later, and discovered that I left a light on inside, so even if the generator fully charged the batteries, that light drained them over the past week.
4)I filled the generator back up, turned off the lights (idiot!), kept the battery disconnect ON, and left it running through another tank of gas. Approximately 8-9 hours of runtime I believe.
Here are my questions:
A)Am I doing this the right way? If so, will the onboard battery charger still charge the batteries if the disconnect switch is turned to OFF?
B)Would I be better off taking my 200amp rolling battery charger out there, and connecting the generator to the battery charger at 20amps, and the charger to the batteries? If so, I assume that I'd connect the positive to one battery, and the negative to another? I assume that if I connect the charger directly to the batteries, I can keep the master cutoff switch to OFF.
C)Can I save myself the hassle of dragging out my rolling charger, and just use the battery charging cables that came with the Honda generator? Since there are no charging settings to set, I'm afraid that the quality of charge directly from the generator is poor.
Last winter I removed the batteries and just topped them off individually in my garage. Since I'll be taking it out for a trip in a month, I didn't want to have to reinstall them in the dead of winter this year, so I kept them in place. I'd prefer to avoid doing that now, but it might save me time over driving 20 minutes each way just to add fuel to the generator at this point.
One last question. Since the batteries have already been run fully dead more than once, should I just forget about it right now, and deal with it when I bring it home in 1 month to prep for my trip? It'll be in my driveway, hooked up to shore power for a week before I leave, so I'll have time to either realize that the batteries are totally shot and replace them, or fully charge them. I'll only need to go 10 or 12 hours between being hooked up to either my generator or shore power while on my trip...
Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post....