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Old 07-27-2015, 10:35 PM   #1
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Charging batteries with generator

I will be taking my 2012 forest river 122 a-frame off the grid for more than 3 days the first time this week. Will be out for 8 days. I will be purchasing a small generator tomorrow for the trip (probable a Honda 1000 or 2000 watt unit) and would appreciate any suggestions from forum members regarding the best way to charge the batteries. I already installed a second battery just like the stock battery, so I have more capacity than a stock setup, but it will not last for 8 days.

I can see 3 ways to do this.

1. I can plug my regular shore power cable, using a 120 volt adapter, into the generator. I assume this would charge the batteries, but the charger built into the unit might be a slow trickle charger.

2. I can take a battery charger along and plugs that into the 110 outlet on the generator. Would that charge faster if it is a multi-speed charger with an automatic tapering function?

3. The Honda generators have a DC plug in spot for battery charger cables that clamp onto the battery posts. My understanding is that these have a fixed output of 8 amps.
I do not have any kind of gauge that shows charge levels on the battery, so this option could risk overcharging the batteries.

Thanks for your help.


Tony W
Colorado and Montana
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:37 PM   #2
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The post was cut off. I have a 122 a frame with two batteries and am headed off grid for 8 days. I will be buying a small Honda generator.


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Colorado and Montana
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:51 PM   #3
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Use a Honda 2000 and plug in your power cord,no need to take extra charger! Youroo!!
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:52 PM   #4
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Look and see what the output of your onboard converter is. You should then be able to figure out whether to use just gen direct to RV or a separate charger plugged into the gen. My guess, not knowing your unit, is that the onboard converter would do a good job AND you won't have to go to all the trouble with the extra charger.
You can use the gen plugged in AND a separate charger plugged into the gen at the same time if your gen is powerful enough without hurting anything. I've done it myself years ago.
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:08 PM   #5
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Use a Honda 2000 and plug in your power cord,no need to take extra charger! Youroo!!
^^^^ THIS!
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:53 PM   #6
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^^^its what we do. And if you want even more of a quick charge- plug in the 7-pin to tow vehicle and let idle for a bit. It will output 15 amps and can run while genny is running.
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:45 AM   #7
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It depends on how far your batteries have drained and how long you wish to run the genny. My stand alone battery charger can put out 20 or more amps and is a multistage "smart charger"...my A128S built in converter does not put out as much amperage, has only 3 charge modes - so would need to run for a longer period of time to achieve the same charge, and is not as "smart".
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:33 PM   #8
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We did not want a generator in our fifth. The 2000 watt inverter was the better idea but we did attend a bondocking event so I bought the Honda 1000 I generator.


because of out surge protector it shut off the Honda because of not enough power.


Back to the Honda store and borrowed a 2000 Honda. Same deal so the next idea was this. I bought a 15amp manual battery charger. Removed the clips and wired in the plug like the truck has for towing. Then the 1000 ran the battery charger going though the front truck plug. 4 batteries takes some time so no worry having the manual for us. this has worked perfect for us 3 times we used it. Inverter runs all but the AC. Later I made a setup to get back to the clips so it could charge a car or truck. Now it works for 2 applications. One time on a trip to the East the inverter stopped charging I was able to connect the charger to the front using the electricity at the rc park and set the charger to 2 amps and ran it all night long.


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Old 07-28-2015, 12:43 PM   #9
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Use a Honda 2000 and plug in your power cord,no need to take extra charger! Youroo!!
X2. For peace of mind, record, then look up what your converter spec are. That will educate you on what, and how, your on board equipment functions.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:47 PM   #10
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X2. For peace of mind, record, then look up what your converter spec are. That will educate you on what, and how, your on board equipment functions.
If you are responding to me that did not work. the 2000 shut down from an overload condition. If not you are correct and what I wanted to do .

fact is carrying a good battery charger is a great idea.

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