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Old 08-28-2015, 01:19 PM   #15
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Parker, to answer you question according to Handy bob;

TOWING; or connecting a trailer to the tow vehicle and idling the engine is very inefficient because the wires used are too small and too long. The voltage drop is excessive and you are lucky to get more than a few amps, once the tow vehicle’s battery is full and the voltage regulator tapers the charge rate to the vehicle’s battery. Turning the tow vehicle around and using big jumper cables connected directly from its battery to the trailer’s battery will give you much more power. That will get you maybe 10 amps (more if you have a big alternator) and up to 14.4 volts, which would take nine or ten hours to charge up that single battery. It will work, but it still takes a long time.


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Old 08-29-2015, 02:27 PM   #16
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That makes perfect sense. Thank you.

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Old 08-29-2015, 05:52 PM   #17
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Agree with 1bigmess concerning gennies.

"...Just a little friendly reminder about gennie noise. It doesn't have to drive your neighbors crazy if it drives you crazy first..."

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Old 08-29-2015, 07:02 PM   #18
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You will not be a happy camper trying to do what you suggest. A small quite generator and a small 4 stage battery tender will work out a lot better for you. You could make it work without the tender by just hooking up to the generator but you will need to run it longer. Don't know if you have LED lights but adding a couple that you use the most will really help you save some battery power. Good luck!

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Old 08-29-2015, 07:46 PM   #19
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Thank you and yes, I have already replaced all the interior incandescent bulbs with LEDs.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:02 PM   #20
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A Honda 600 watt gen is almost silent and no smell of stowed inside. TT. You can spend 150$ and get a size 31,115 ahr battery. That's like 33% more capacity. If you plan to drive many hours each day that will sure help.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:20 PM   #21
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I'm a big solar fan, but as others are saying for you a small quiet Honda is probably best together with another battery and a 12 Volt charger - much more efficient than using the built in converter/charger in the trailer.
2018 Ram 5500 with B&W Companion, 2017 Riverstone Legacy 38RE, 960 Watt Solar
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:23 PM   #22
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For 20 years I tried to charge batteries with TV, booster cables and generator and still had dead batteries during my stay. Even while traveling on the road for hours everyday.
Installed 200 watts of solar and one additional battery and after 3 years I never saw my batteries below 12 volts.
The solar pay back is in the life of my batteries that needed replacement every 2 years Max. Plus after 3 years my batteries never needed additional water. A first for me in 23 years.
I added the 3rd battery when the solar had the batteries charged by 11am.
I am sold on solar and for me the only way that works.

Just returned from a 1 week boondocking trip and the power was a none event. After a cloudy day I saw my battries charging at 14 amp rate for a few hrs. 200 watts works well for us with 3 batteries.

Also I never needed my powerplant since solar. Proper engineered solar should now be a standard option on RVs. They are so simple and easy to maintain. They occupy no space and weight very little. Plus on the road they save fuel as the TV alternator does not load up.
Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:57 PM   #23
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Yamaha generators are superior to the Honda and engineered to last longer. You can get a 1000 watt Yamaha generator that is very quite and light, only 27 pounds. for about $850. Problem solved, charge your completely dead battery with the built in charger in about 1.5 hours.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:34 PM   #24
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1.5 hours for a dead battery ? How many amps is it charging at ?
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:37 PM   #25
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No kidding. Might have meant 1.5 days. As for claims of superiority, all that matters is that the owner is happy.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:53 PM   #26
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Let's say its a 200 AH battery at 50% state of charge.

So now you need 100 amps replaced. To do that in 1.5 hours takes about 100 amps of charger for at least the first hour. The last 20% of charging, at a lower rate, though still to high, takes up the other 1/2 hour.

3 problems:

1- A 100 amp charger will probably, not run on a 1000 watt generator.

2- Most onboard chargers are 30 to 40 amps.

3- A 200 AH battery will not accept 100 amps, without overheating it.

A completely dead battery will be a lot tougher.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:56 PM   #27
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Hey all,We had 4-6 volts and a 80 watt solar panel. It would keep all battery's up great! We purchased a portable unit in Quartzite this year for our DP and it works good. Just hook to Battery's via alligator clips and aim towards the sun!
Scott & Dawn 2007 National Tropical T330
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:13 PM   #28
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The alt in any vehicle wasn't set up to continually charge. Very expensive to replace. Honda or Yamaha for plenty of power and friendly neighbors.
Have a great trip!

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