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Old 06-26-2012, 06:36 AM   #1
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house batteries

could someone give me the lowdown on when to use house batteries or generator?

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Old 06-26-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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If you have the typical setup...with two 6V deep cycle batteries wired in series for your house supply, after a day of driving so they're charged up, you should be able to boondock for 2-3 days. But not if they are old and weak, or haven't been serviced with distilled water in a while, or if you're not very conservative with power.

When I'm boondocking, I usually run my genset for an hour or two around dinnertime to top off the batteries before bedtime. Longer if I want to watch TV. And I turn off devices that aren't being used...like the water pump, house lights, patio lights, etc.

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Old 06-27-2012, 05:28 AM   #3
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Hi minercod,
Welcome to iRV2. The answer to your question is, it all depends. Some coaches charge the coach batteries when traveling and some do not. Some camping areas have limits on generator use and some do not. Generally speaking, if you need 120 VAC run the generator. To minimize generator run time, watch the coach battery monitor and when the monitor gets to 12.1 VDC or 1/2 full (depends on what the monitor displays) start the generator to charge the batteries. To maximize comfort, run the generator whenever you need 120 VAC. If your going to use the batteries at night, run the generator a dinner time. It will take several hours to charge the batteries.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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To do what? The generator powers the 120v (house-like) power outlets and appliances, while the battery powers the 12c stuff. Generally, you don't have to worry much about which one. If you need the house air conditioning, it only runs on 120v so you need shore power or generator. Ditto for the microwave & tvs..

However, if you have an inverter it is possible to make 120v from battery 12v. Not enough to run the a/c system, but enough to run most other things.

You didn't tell us what type and year/make model rig you have , so hard to be very specific.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:05 PM   #5
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When boondocking, during the day time we run the house batteries, unless we need the mircowave. In the evening we run the generator for 2-3 hours, 1-2 movies, to charge the house batteries for the night. Alot of the time the heater will be running during the night so we want the house batteries to be close to 'full' charge.
There is no 'set' rule for all to follow. It is just 'trial and error'.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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Every time you turn on a 12v appliance, light, water pump, refrig, etc, you ARE using the house batteries. If plugged into shore power, it will charge your batteries. Depending on how your coach is wired, when driving the engine will charge your batteries...that's how my system works. I only use the generator to run the A/C when on the road.

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