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Old 02-13-2014, 07:27 PM   #1
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Battery Charging

Just a question for information. Do any of you use a battery charger running off the gen to charge up batteries when boon docking?
I know we have a converter on board but I've been told by some that it provides only a small amount of charging to the house batteries.
Can I do this?
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:32 PM   #2
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Usually the converter will provide a goodly charge, in the 40 to 60 amp range or more is common. What converter do you have?
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
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I'll have to get that info tomorrow.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:56 PM   #4
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Generally speaking, the converter should charge and maintain the coach (house) batteries. The chassis batteries may or may not receive a charge, depending on the unit. If you have parasitic draws such as radios, amplifiers, etc on the chassis batteries, a charger might be a good idea.

Edit - I'm speaking of a class A. I have no clue on a towable.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:34 PM   #5
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Sorry, it's a 37ft Adventurer.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piledrive View Post
Just a question for information. Do any of you use a battery charger running off the gen to charge up batteries when boon docking?
I know we have a converter on board but I've been told by some that it provides only a small amount of charging to the house batteries.
Can I do this?
Go with a multi stage charger every time if you want your batteries to last. Have that online regardless of your 120Vac source.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
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There are converters and there are converters.. In the old days many RV's came with a Magnetek 6300 Converter and power distribution center. This provided only a trickle charge and never stopped so it was well known battery killer.

Modern RV's come with 3-stage converters that can take you from half full to full in 4-6 hours unless you have expanded your battery bank, and in that case you may need to add an hour or two.

So what model converter do you have?

ANother thing.. You do not want to recharge TOO FAST as that causes damage.. unless you have LIFELINE AGM (Specificaly LIFELINE, other brands not included) you want to limit to 30 percent of your battery's 20 hour capacity rating (C/20)

Example. a pair of GC-2 Golf car batteries in series, 230 amp-hours at the C/20 rate. 69 (round it to 70) amps peak charge current.

NOTE Trojan recommends an even slower charge (10% C/20) but when boondockign that is going to take way too long.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:53 AM   #8
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Install one of these Trimetric TM-2025-RV.

Replace what ever converter you have with a Progressive Dynamics unit with Charge Wizard and remote pendant. Use only an inverter type generator to ensure good clean power to the converter. ProgressiveDyn states on their web site you will not achieve full output if the input is dirty.


If your going to run off batteries and run a generator minimally you need something you can force into a bulk mode charge. With two GC2's and a PD9245C I could charge up my batteries from 50% SOC in less than 4 hours with that generator on a half a gallon of fuel. In battery boondocking mode I ran with all my A/C breakers off. I would connect the generator to shore power with a proper adapter and start it with econ off. After a minute or so of warm up throw the main breaker then the converter breaker. The 45 amp charger will tug on that generator slightly but not over load it. Check the pendant, is the light on solid? No? Press and hold the button till it is and the generator may grunt again as bulk mode kicks in. By now the generator should be warmed up and you can switch it to econ mode. As the batteries charge the current will drop off and the generator will throttle down. This is your queue to go check the Trimeteric and see where your at.

Jeff

P. S. If your converter is a WFCO it will never go into bulk mode and never properly charge your batteries.
.
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