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Old 11-17-2018, 01:20 AM   #1
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Charge batteries with a generator

Hi everyone,
I'm interested in learning how to charge some batteries with a generator to be able to run 2 small fridges and freezers when generator is not running.

I apologize as this is not a true RV related question. I'm trying to figure out how to keep fridge and freezer in my coffee bus running when i don't have the generator running. We will eventually be converting to solar but for the time being i'd like to figure it out with a generator as we already have a Honda 2000 available.

The coffee bus came with an Iota DLS-30/IQ4
The freezer uses 218 Kwhz per year (115V)
I will be running two of these
The fridge uses 250 Kwhz per year (115V)
I will be running two of these as well.
Like i said we have a Honda 2000 generator
No batteries yet

Generator will run for at least six hours every day. During that time i would like for it to charge the batteries AND run the fridges and freezers. After we close i would like to be able to run the fridge and freezers off the batteries, so i assume some kind of switch would be needed. My knowledge on this topic is extremely minimal, but my husband is pretty handy as long as we have direction! No idea to where to begin, i figured the RV community would have the most knowledge on this topic!!! Please let me know if you need any other info! Mahalo, i appreciate you!
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:05 AM   #2
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xantrex.com has all the information you need, this is a bit complicated so you should educate yourself on inverters and batteries, you are going to need a 3000 watt or so inverter/charger and more batteries. How many is something you will need to figure out for your application.
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Old 11-17-2018, 06:08 AM   #3
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Buy a " Kill A Watt " meter and plug it into your 4 refrigeration devices. All at once if you can.

With its data, you will know how many watts your inverter will need to produce. If its around 1000 watts, double the inverter watts.

Your 4 fridges are pretty effecent units. Divide the yearly KWH by 365 days for your 24 hour use.

Probably need a 2000 watt pure sine wave model. Xantrex ProWatt PS2000 is a good one.
Wire that to 4, GC2 batteries in series parallel with 2/0 gauge cables. Get your 6 volt batteries from Sams Club.

Get another DLS-30/IQ4 or replace the one you have with a 55 amp model. Much more then that will overwork the Honda. That should give you enough charging power.

You can leave the fridges running on inverter power while charging the batteries. As long as your putting amps in they will charge. Then you don't need any switchs to swap the power back and forth. It also cushions the surge to the Honda, when the units start up.

That's the low budget setup, and somewhat similar to what I used for 10 years, although not with 4 fridges.

You could go with a more expensive inverter/charger combo unit. They charge the batteries when power is coming in and make power when its not. They switch automaticly.
Keep in mind that the Honda eu2000 will only give you 13.6 amps of power. Big chargers will shut it down.

You still need at least 400 AH of battery ( 4, 6 volt or 4,12 volt ) and you can spend a ton of money on fancy ones.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:06 AM   #4
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Thank you so much for your input! I just bought a kill-a-watt today, and will be looking into everything! i'll let you know how we go!!!
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:12 PM   #5
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I can't add to what others have suggested but noticed that you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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