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Old 03-17-2011, 07:52 AM   #1
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Charging battery with Honda Generator

Edit to add I found that the specs on the honda say it's 8 amps for the 12v output which would not be enough to give a good boost to the batteries quickly.
So NVM lol I will probably be better off running the onboard MH charger and power that with the honda ac outlet.

or buying a seperate charger that pushes out more amps.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:33 AM   #2
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Edit to add I found that the specs on the honda say it's 8 amps for the 12v output which would not be enough to give a good boost to the batteries quickly.
So NVM lol I will probably be better off running the onboard MH charger and power that with the honda ac outlet.

or buying a seperate charger that pushes out more amps.
That's what I'd do.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #3
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The 12v output on gensets is best seen as just a trickle charger. They don't run a high enough voltage to push much current into a battery.

A typical independent battery charger can work, especially if you want to push a lot of charge in a short time, but that is not always the best thing for the appliances and gadgets in your RV.

A good RV converter that has an intelligent 3 stage charger plus a storage maintenance mode will usually do just about as well as the battery charger, be much easier to use, and provide better power conditioning for the stuff in you RV.

Note also that a battery needs 8 to 12 hours to complete a charge. With a genset, most folks only run it for 3 or 4 hours at a time at most. That means that you need a charger with some smarts in order to get most of the bulk charge in during that time. That will generally get the battery back up to 80% to 90% of a full charge.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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ctcamper I turn off all electrics in the camper and use adapters to my honda gen with the power cord and let my 3 stage charger do what it can in the alloted time ( most campgrounds limit the amount of time to run gens ). Even with the quiet honda campers in a tent next door will not like it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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I would not use the 12 volt output on any portable generator save perhaps in either as an additional source in a jump start situtation or to run a 12 volt drop light.

Use the 120 volt out and the RV's converter, at the worst it is faster, and at the best, it's much much better.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:19 AM   #6
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Edit to add I found that the specs on the honda say it's 8 amps for the 12v output which would not be enough to give a good boost to the batteries quickly.
The truth is that in order to charge batteries, you need volts. The Honda will work because it will actually get up to 14.8V, but slowly because it only puts out 8 amps. Most built in chargers don't work to actually put a full charge into batteries when powered by generators because they don't supply the volts needed for long enough to actually work. Inverter chargers do work, but need to be run for hours to really work. Read my RV Battery Charging Puzzle if you want some education on battery systems.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:50 PM   #7
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The DC output on a genset will rarely get above a high float voltage, especially with any current draw. They are not intended to charge batteries but rather to supply minor DC loads.

Volts are indeed needed to push current but it is current that does the charging. Most modern battery chargers will use current to assess battery stage and then apply the voltage needed for the proper charging current at that state.

Inverters that have chargers usually have very good chargers that do battery state sensing and provide multiple stage charging.

The usual OEM converter in many RV's does little more than the genset 12v DC output does. That is one reason why an upgrade is often one of the best things you can do for your batteries. A good converter, such as the WFCO or PD will provide staged charging plus a good storage maintenance mode to keep a full charge and inhibit sulfation.

You also generally don't want to use a high current automotive charger because they often go to rather high voltages to get a lot of charging current. A good RV converter will take the voltage up sufficient for a good bulk charge but not so high as to risk damaging your RV appliances or other devices that may be connected to the DC power.

It always takes hours to fully charge a battery. Plan on 8 to 12 hours to fully and completely charge a battery. The time is needed to get the chemistry settled.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:45 PM   #8
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Thank you all,

I am familiar enough with charging batteries I was just not sure what the honda actually did. Reading the specs it is lacking. I still wonder why they have a charging cord with the 12 v outlet and it's not really up to speed on charging. You would think they would have a better charging circuit in it if they offered a charge cord accessory.
I boondock alot and I need somthing quiet to bring me up to charge. Running the genset on the old coach for just a couple of hours was not enough to bring my golf cart batteries up enough and the reason I could never run it enough was I didn't feel right disturbing the peace for that long. I hope, that the honda will be much better for this. There is usually a few hundred feet worth of trees inbetween the campsites so the honda should ( cross fingers) not even be noticeable.
I am not sure what the new rv will have for a converter/charger in it and I may have to swap it out. Tiffin doesn't give much information about what systems are used and since I am switching brands from Winnebago to Tiffin I am in the dark, at least until I get the coach. It won't be ready for a couple more months. The last coach had a step charger in it so it did very well and I monitor the batteries with my trimetric so I know where the are for charge at all times. Batteries are important in the woods
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:29 AM   #9
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I would not use the 12 volt output on any portable generator save perhaps in either as an additional source in a jump start situtation or to run a 12 volt drop light.

Use the 120 volt out and the RV's converter, at the worst it is faster, and at the best, it's much much better.

x1...
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:17 AM   #10
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using a Honda generator for RV charging

I would not use the 12 volt output on any portable generator save perhaps in either as an additional source in a jump start situtation or to run a 12 volt drop light.

Use the 120 volt out and the RV's converter, at the worst it is faster, and at the best, it's much much better....quote from prior post

what do you mean...use 120volt out and the RV's convertor...what is the way to connect this way...do you plug in the RV to the generator 120v. out socket or what...?

would a 12 amp charger with multi stage be ample to charge the two 6volt batteries in a decent amount of time...
I plan on buying a Honda EU 2000i generator to run at my grandaughters horse event at a week long County Fair...staying in our 93 Southwind RV

thanks for your help....
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:28 PM   #11
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I am building a gas powered battery charger from a Honda (pressure washer) horizontal shaft engine and a GM 10DN alternator. I control the field voltage with a 50 ohm / 50 watt rheostat so I can output whatever amps I want and have the voltage limited to 14.2 volts by a solid state voltage control in the external relay.
So far I removed the engine governor so I can idle it way down for minimum noise and about 1500 rpm. Have the pulley ratio of .8 so the alternator will charge at a min of 7 - 10 amps (1200 alternator rpm) or as high as I want to go (don't want to warp the battery plates).

Very quiet, very very little gas used.

Not quite done yet but will keep you informed as I get toward the end of the project.

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Old 09-03-2014, 07:28 AM   #12
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I am building a gas powered battery charger from a Honda (pressure washer) horizontal shaft engine and a GM 10DN alternator. I control the field voltage with a 50 ohm / 50 watt rheostat so I can output whatever amps I want and have the voltage limited to 14.2 volts by a solid state voltage control in the external relay.

So far I removed the engine governor so I can idle it way down for minimum noise and about 1500 rpm. Have the pulley ratio of .8 so the alternator will charge at a min of 7 - 10 amps (1200 alternator rpm) or as high as I want to go (don't want to warp the battery plates).



Very quiet, very very little gas used.



Not quite done yet but will keep you informed as I get toward the end of the project.



Bob Weis



A friend with a trucking co. has had a similar rig for years for warming up batteries on trucks in the yard, it works very well.

Modern electronics and alternators really don't like recharging batteries that have been run way down starting a frozen engine.
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:06 PM   #13
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Heck, you could get 8amps of charging with a 150W solar panel. Maybe look at a portable one (if you camp in the shade of trees) and use that instead. No fuel needed and quiet.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #14
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The circuit I am using I can dial in any charge rate I want up to the limit (amp / volt & heat) of the alternator.

I am pretty sure I can run all the DC of the rig and maintain full charge on the rig battery. I doubt that the rig takes 60 amps of 12 volt.

Might just make a great boon dock power rig.

I have collected all the parts (switch, rheostat, fuse, meters, wire, battery cable, lugs, alternator external voltage regulator (set to 14.2 volts)), engine de-governor and throttle is finished, rebuilding the alternator now.

We'll see,

Bob Weis
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