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Old 03-01-2015, 04:14 PM   #1
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Charging 6 volt batteries

We are thinking about buying a Newmar 3424 Class A motorhome and do a lot of boondocking on a 4 month trip to Alaska. It will have 4-6 volt batteries and I would like to know if anyone has ever used a small generator (1000 or 2000 watt Honda) to power a commercial 6V battery charger and charged their house batteries this way? Seems like it would be way cheaper to run a small generator instead of the big one on the motorhome to charge the batteries while boondocking. Has anyone ever charged their batteries this way and what problems did you encounter?
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:08 PM   #2
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I would think the use of a 6 volt charger would be hard to use since the 6 volt batteries are wired in series to make 12 volts.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:10 PM   #3
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I use a 1000 Watt Kipor to watch TV and charge the Computer and House Batteries. But I use the inverter/charger in the MH. I adjust the input down to 15 amp input and it works fine.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:18 PM   #4
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Hi hstansel,
If you get a portable charger, get a typical 12 V charger. Learn where to put the connections so the charger will charge the coach batteries.

However, consider not doing this. The coach generator will take less than a gallon of fuel per hour. It all depends on the load. Without high draw appliances (like HVAC or water heater) the generator will, more likely take 1/2 to 2/3 of a gallon per hour. In addition, the coach batteries are charged as one travels down the road. The generator will also charge the chassis battery(s).

If it was me, I'd use the coach generator.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:25 PM   #5
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It would also be beneficial to your coach generator to exercise it.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:39 PM   #6
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It will take four times as long to charge the batteries one at a time. Just get a 12 volt battery charger and charge them all at one time.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:53 PM   #7
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Yes, its not uncommon to use a small portable generator rather than run the large onboard generator. You can either use a battery charger as you propose, albeit a 12v charger as others have pointed out. Or you can power the coach with the generator and have its battery charger do its thing as it normally does, along with powering the coach. You have to manage your power usage so as to not overload the smaller generator. A ~2000 watt generator is common, as it will power everything except air conditioning.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:12 PM   #8
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If you don't already have a small generator you could look at a solar panel and charge controller. You'll appreciate the quite. I want to add solar at some point.


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Old 03-02-2015, 06:25 AM   #9
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You have two 12 volt batteries in your RV, why would you want to use a six volt charger?

The 4 six volt are wired in pairs, in series, each pair = 1 12 volt battery (A 4D if you want to know what size) so what you have is a 12 volt system...

Depending on the converter installed a Honda EU-1000i may not do the job, an EU-2000i will.

My 80 amp converter sucks almost exactly 1000 watts when the batteries are low,,, and an EU-1000i can not deliver that much. (I forget the output limit but I think it is around 76% of the model number, might be higher).

The 1000 is ok or a 45 amp, forget if it can run a 60 but my 80 is too much for it.

Oh, by the way, the best way to re-charge 'em... Is to use the on-board converter.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:18 AM   #10
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Don't over think this. If you want to save gas the Honda's will run longer on less. But just connect the Gen to the coach power cable and have a bit of extra power for other uses in the coach ie; call phone charging or with 2000 watt unit micro or coffee pot. And do run the RV's Gen Inc a month. A lot of Rver's are doing just this.

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Old 03-02-2015, 11:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hstansel View Post
We are thinking about buying a Newmar 3424 Class A motorhome and do a lot of boondocking on a 4 month trip to Alaska. It will have 4-6 volt batteries and I would like to know if anyone has ever used a small generator (1000 or 2000 watt Honda) to power a commercial 6V battery charger and charged their house batteries this way? Seems like it would be way cheaper to run a small generator instead of the big one on the motorhome to charge the batteries while boondocking.
How many gallons of fuel do you need to save using the smaller generator in order to pay for the cost of the smaller generator?

If the smaller generator is already owned by you then it would likely be cheaper.

However, if you are going to use the RV installed generator for high draws like microwave oven, hair dryers, electric coffee pot etc, why bother with the weight, hookup, security risk, and maintenance of carrying the smaller generator?
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:08 PM   #12
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How many gallons... I have never owned a Honda 1000 or 2000 but I did have a Genrac 1000, Fuel consumption on this unit was about the same as the Honda EU-2000i (Noise level is about the same too)

It is a True 1,000 watt generator (Though it is also kind of rare, I'd love to get it back) and it has the power to run my 80 amp charger.

Charging the batteries from deader than I care to talk about to full would take less than one gallon of gas.

The ONAN burns that much every hour,, and it takes at least six hours to do a full charge.

Does this help... at 2.00/gallon I'd save at least 10 bucks (iikely more) every time I re-charged.. So two weeks woudl be 140 dollars,

At 3 dollars a gallon it's 210 dollars

And two two week boondocking sessions that is the cost of the Genrac 1000 with change back,, Approaches the cost of the Honda 2000i in fact.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:29 PM   #13
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I think a solar battery charger would be a better purchase. It will work anytime there is sunshine for free. There have been MANY threads here on IRV2 discussing solar systems. For the cost of the Honda generator ($1000) you could get a basic solar system installed.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:35 PM   #14
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Here is one example. With controller and wire and install, they might do this for less than $1000. If you can do the labor, you save yourself lots of $$$

AM solar is at the higher end of price, however they seem to do work that most people are happy with. There are others....a search here or on Google will turn up other solar installers that are competent.


http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/page...panel_kit.html
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