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Old 01-16-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
KRS's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hereford, AZ
Posts: 59
Battery charging for TT, use inverter charger or disconnect batts?

Good evening all.

I'm wondering how everyone charges their batts.

TT has two deep cycle batteries.

I think that plugging the TT into the generator's power output would:

1) power the trailer while the generator is on
2) charge the batts

However, I was camping with another person who disconnects their batts and uses battery chargers. When questioned, they said that the onboard inverter/charger charges at 2 amps (or some such thing) and would take hours and hours to recharge a low battery.

Thoughts, ideas, experiences?

2004 Forest River Wildcat 29BHS
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
My battery was completely dead when I went out to check on it about 2 weeks ago. I plugged in the TT to the garage and an hour later I went back to check on it and it wasn't even registering yet. So I unplugged it, left the batteries connected to the TT cables and put the actual charger on it for a 2 amp charge. Another hour later, I checked on it and it was at 27% and climbing, so it might depend on how low they are before the inverter will actually keep them charged. Several hours later (sometime during the sleeping hours), it was 100% charged and ready to roll. We usually don't keep the TT plugged in over the winter.

Many suggest that a battery buddy should be installed to charge when needed during months when it's in storage. I'm searching for one as we speak.
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2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:11 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 26,441
sounds like your friend has an old converter.

the newer 3-stage converters work as well as a stand-alone battery charger.

i have an '07 Roo and two batteries. i just hook up my shore cord to my Honda 2000 and run it for a few hours.

i don't the use of a separate charger that takes up space, unless you have an older RV or cheap converter.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:12 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 9,912
My on board charger takes too long to charge my batteries.
It's fine if I'm home or on shore power but when we're dry camping
and I need to boost my batteries I use a stand alone charger.

I don't disconnect the batteries.
I just clip on a 25 amp smart charger and plug it into my little
Honda genny. If I'm in a real hurry, I plug in the trailer at the
same time.
Both chargers working at once will charge my two 12v batteries
pretty well in a couple hours.

Side note-- if you plug your trailer into your genny you need to
check that your hot water heater is not on electric mode as
well as your refrigerator. If your refer is on "auto" mode it will
switch from gas to electric when it sees the generator power
and unless you have a really big generator you might not want
it to do that.
I switch my refer to "gas only" when charging with my honda.

This works for me.
Dan & Rita D
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: La Crescenta, CA
Posts: 237
For $83.33 you can purchase a 2 pack 5W solar trickle charger from Amazon. It keeps the batteries fully charged in storage. It will not do much to charge quickly when dry camping. But, keep in mind fast charging is hard on batteries and batteries are expenseive. Make sure you get the 5 W system as the bigger ones require controllers, which takes the price up without much benefit as you can wire the 2 pack in parallel and get twice the amperage.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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Location: Carmel, Indiana
Posts: 309
It all depends upon what type of of charger you converter has. Some, like mine, are just a trickle charger. Others have a 3 stage charger in them. To properly re-charge your batteries you need the 3 stage. I bought a Schumaker at Walmart for around $40 that does the 3 stage charging that has worked well. If you don't do the 3 stage charging the battery life is less than it would be.

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southeast NY
Posts: 76
Purchased two of these. One for the lawn mower battery and one for the RV. Both for winter storage

BatteryMINDer Charger/Maintainer/Desulphator — 1.3 Amp, 12 Volt, Model# 12117 | Battery Maintainers | Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:57 PM   #8
Albuquerque, NM
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 100
For winter storage I use a BatteryMinder also, which can be used to keep my two batteries charged & healthy. Yes, I ensure they are hooked up pos to pos and neg to neg as per directions! Don't have to have a separate charger for each battery. While camping, I've never had a problem with charging from shore power. Don't have a generator. I did once run out of juice dry camping on one battery close to a week, so now I have two! More for fun than practicality I keep a 40W solar panel connected when dry camping. (When I ran out it was over a cloudy & cold week!). Found out that it took a while to charge up my battery from my truck's electrical.

Charlie & Kathi
Albuquerque, New Mexico
2011 Rockwood 2304
2013 Dodge Ram Laramie 4x4
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