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Old 03-07-2014, 07:05 PM   #15
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How long to run generator to recharge battery when boondocking?
Depends on your converter. I'll bet you have a WFCO, can you tell us?

If it is call Randy at Best Converter and get ready to be impressed. He will probably recommend the Boondocker replacement or the PD9200 series replacement. Now you can properly charge your batteries in 2.5 to 4 hours.

Jeff
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:24 PM   #16
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When I got my new "old" TT I put in 2 6 volt Costco specials and I put in (as was mentioned) an IOTA 45 amp smart charger. That was the best decision I ever made. I can run my gen for 2 to 3 hrs and bring my batteries back up and even when I use the heater all night in cold weather!. When I park the TT for the winter I take out the batteries and put them in my garage so they don't freeze. I charge them once a month with a small 6 amp car charger to keep them topped off.

If you try to use the tow vehicle to charge your trailer batteries you have 2 problems to over come. The 12 volt wire from the trailer hitch to the trailer that is powered when ever you are driving down the road is not big enough to carry the amps needed to efficiently charge your batteries in a short time. Secondly if you try to charge your TT by using jumper cables from the truck battery you will need to remove the ground lead from the truck battery so the alternator only sees the voltage of the TT batteries. The alternator judges its output by the voltage it sees and if it sees the truck battery voltage and the TT battery voltage it will lower its output because it thinks the batteries a re charged already. It "tapers off" its output according to the voltage it sees. Thus, you will never get your TT batteries charged this way unless you disconnect the ground lead from your truck battery.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:43 PM   #17
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I have heard the generator will not charge the battery if run down but only maintain charge. Is this true?

What are some ideas to keep battery charge while camping without shore power?
Technically the hear say is true. Many RVs, specially older models, only use single stage chargers. Single only pushes 13.2 or 13.6 volts. Very slow charging and constant. You need to find out what you have in your coach. Perhaps you have a 3 or 4 stage charger. If you have a 3 or 4 stage charger, your generator will be able to charge up your system. A good 4 stage system charges like the following:
BOOST Mode 14.4 Volts - Rapidly brings the RV battery up to 90% of full charge.
NORMAL Mode 13.6 Volts - Safely completes the charge.
STORAGE Mode 13.2 Volts - Maintains charge with minimal gassing or water loss.
EQUALIZATION Mode 14.4 Volts - Every 21 hours for a period of 15 minutes prevents battery stratification & sulfation - the leading cause of battery failure.

Intelli-power has some great systems that may fit in your rig depending on what is in there now. You should first find out what you have. Some RV service and parts centres will know what you can add or fit into your rig, to get the 4 stage charging you are looking for. If you do boondock a lot, you should take some time to learn about batteries and the converter/inverter/charger systems. Adding a good volt metre to your system is important to really know how much you are taking out and putting back into your battery bank. Never discharge a deep cycle battery lower that 40%, which is 11.9 volts, and it will last you a long time. Take it down to 20% or less often and plan to buy new batteries every year.

Some others and myself had a long discussion on this topic here, starting here;
OUTLAW Mods and Easy Fixes

I used to be a bigger fan of AGM batteries, but now have gone back to flooded type batteries as they seem to last longer with the heavy use I put them through. I have a lot of experience with solar as I have owned homes in Central America which I used renewable energy a lot. I also built a lot of my rigs with renewable systems, but lately I don't bother with the solar in my haulers because I only stay in one spot for about 3 days, then I am driving again or at home so everything charges up. I have a large battery bank so I only need to run the geni every once in a while if I eat up my storage.

Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:46 PM   #18
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Depends on your converter. I'll bet you have a WFCO, can you tell us?

If it is call Randy at Best Converter and get ready to be impressed. He will probably recommend the Boondocker replacement or the PD9200 series replacement. Now you can properly charge your batteries in 2.5 to 4 hours.

Jeff
Just spent sometime on this site. This looks to be a very good referral and Jeff is correct about the PD9200 or Boondocker. If you end up with the PD9200, be sure it has the charge wizard built in, if not get it. I have used the PD9280 in a few rigs. The PD9280 has the wizard built in for sure, just not sure if all the PD9200s do.
Take Care,
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:36 AM   #19
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According to the brochure for all of the Aspect models they have a 45 amp converter/charger. This means any power not going to lights or other 12 volt items is sent to the batteries for charging. So take a simple possibility of having 35 amps available to charge your batteries.

If you run them low over night by running a heater a lot or televisions etc you should be able to easily refill them with a couple of hours in the am and maybe one in the evening. You should not have any major issues keeping up.

Adding solar is not cheap and not always practical when parking in shade or in overcast weather. I have had solar on my last four RV's. It is excellent for keeping batteries up between trips.

If I made any changes it would be to buy a better converter/charger. The brochure did not indicate the model number of your current one. If you can get that number then folks will be much better prepared to offer specific replacements.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:31 PM   #20
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According to the brochure for all of the Aspect models they have a 45 amp converter/charger. This means any power not going to lights or other 12 volt items is sent to the batteries for charging. So take a simple possibility of having 35 amps available to charge your batteries.

If you run them low over night by running a heater a lot or televisions etc you should be able to easily refill them with a couple of hours in the am and maybe one in the evening. You should not have any major issues keeping up.

Adding solar is not cheap and not always practical when parking in shade or in overcast weather. I have had solar on my last four RV's. It is excellent for keeping batteries up between trips.

If I made any changes it would be to buy a better converter/charger. The brochure did not indicate the model number of your current one. If you can get that number then folks will be much better prepared to offer specific replacements.
The problem is that amps have nothing to do with charging a 12volt battery bank. Regarding the question the poster had, the amps will not come into play very much here. The converter/charger if it is one unit does, but it really matters how many volts go into the batteries for how long it will take to charge. A 3 or 4 stage charger is what will tell you how long it will take along with the size of the battery bank. The amps you pull on the battery bank will tell you roughly how long it will take to deplete the battery bank (amp hours)
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:41 PM   #21
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The problem is that amps have nothing to do with charging a 12volt battery bank. Regarding the question the poster had, the amps will not come into play very much here. The converter/charger if it is one unit does, but it really matters how many volts go into the batteries for how long it will take to charge. A 3 or 4 stage charger is what will tell you how long it will take along with the size of the battery bank. The amps you pull on the battery bank will tell you roughly how long it will take to deplete the battery bank (amp hours)
Precisley.

The Battery Recharge Curves chart (below) shows the amount of time it took a PD9155 (55-amp) converter set to three different output voltages to recharge a 125 AH (Amp Hour) battery after it was fully discharged to 10.5-volts.



  • 14.4-VOLTS (Boost Mode) Returned the battery to 90% of full charge in approximately 3-hours. The battery reached full charge in approximately 11 hours.
  • 13.6-VOLTS (Normal Mode) Required 40-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 78-hours to reach full charge.
  • 13.2-VOLTS (Storage Mode) Required 60-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 100-hours to reach full charge.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:33 AM   #22
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Unyalli
The charts you submitted are true, but only part of the story. To the uninitiated it might encourage charging at the higher voltage for full charge, which might be ok IF THE STATE OF CHARGE WERE [U]CONTINUOUSLY [U] MONITORED. The higher voltage means sooner to full charge, but it also means sooner to dangerous "boiling" the battery and damaging it irreversibly. A single stage charger should never be used at greater than the storage voltage-which is slow charging. In the case of a standard liquid lead-acid 12 volt battery that is 13.2 volts. The three stage chargers automatically select boost-normal-storage depending upon the state of charge. The four stage chargers do the same with an added equalization schedule.

And a caveat. If you're going to use a multistage charger be sure to get a good one. On my water-oriented-recreational vehicle (sailboat) I had a particular brand solar charge controller for a couple years, a Xantrex, that chose the time that I was away from the boat for over a week to fail. When it failed it didn't just stop charging the batteries. No, it just chose to not regulate the charging voltage. When I got back to the boat the two 225 amp hour Trojan golf cart batteries were completely dry! $350+/- of batteries wrecked because I saved about $50 on a Xantrex. I now have a TriStar by Morningstar. About twice what the "nominal" "discounted" price that Xantrex offered - without replacing the batteries.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:17 AM   #23
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Unyalli
The charts you submitted are true, but only part of the story. To the uninitiated it might encourage charging at the higher voltage for full charge, which might be ok IF THE STATE OF CHARGE WERE [U]CONTINUOUSLY [U] MONITORED. The higher voltage means sooner to full charge, but it also means sooner to dangerous "boiling" the battery and damaging it irreversibly. A single stage charger should never be used at greater than the storage voltage-which is slow charging. In the case of a standard liquid lead-acid 12 volt battery that is 13.2 volts. The three stage chargers automatically select boost-normal-storage depending upon the state of charge. The four stage chargers do the same with an added equalization schedule.

And a caveat. If you're going to use a multistage charger be sure to get a good one. On my water-oriented-recreational vehicle (sailboat) I had a particular brand solar charge controller for a couple years, a Xantrex, that chose the time that I was away from the boat for over a week to fail. When it failed it didn't just stop charging the batteries. No, it just chose to not regulate the charging voltage. When I got back to the boat the two 225 amp hour Trojan golf cart batteries were completely dry! $350+/- of batteries wrecked because I saved about $50 on a Xantrex. I now have a TriStar by Morningstar. About twice what the "nominal" "discounted" price that Xantrex offered - without replacing the batteries.
The PD9155 (55 is the service side, so in this case 55amp) is a four stage charger and does monitor the batteries. I think thread went over those details earlier.

Interesting about the Xantrex, I thought they bought out Heart? Heart was a awesome product. Lucky you didn't lose your boat in that incident. I have used tons of Heart products in my houses and older haulers, and a few Inteli-power products such as the PD9100, and they all have been solid. I have heard the Boondock products are really good as well. The thing for this thread is, if there is a need to replace the converter/charger, the Inteli-power has models that fit right into many of RV panels.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:59 AM   #24
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As a certified ET Electronic Tech, with 40+ years working in the 12 volt world of vehicle electrical systems I try to keep my explanations on a level the OP will understand. Most people are not interested in voltage curves, battery temps, or specific gravity for example.

So with that said. It is a simple matter of marbles in a bucket. You take some out and then have to put some back in again.

With a device capable of supplying 45 amps then 30-35 amps is a good number to use for the math.

Owning 6 RV's over the years also gives me plenty of hands on experience.

So to answer the OP's question simply. An hour or two in the AM and an Hour or two in the evening should be sufficient if the batteries are in good shape.

Solar output is often much lower than any converter so it can take all day to come close to filling up the bucket.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:18 PM   #25
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As a certified ET Electronic Tech, with 40+ years working in the 12 volt world of vehicle electrical systems I try to keep my explanations on a level the OP will understand. Most people are not interested in voltage curves, battery temps, or specific gravity for example.

So with that said. It is a simple matter of marbles in a bucket. You take some out and then have to put some back in again.

With a device capable of supplying 45 amps then 30-35 amps is a good number to use for the math.

Owning 6 RV's over the years also gives me plenty of hands on experience.

So to answer the OP's question simply. An hour or two in the AM and an Hour or two in the evening should be sufficient if the batteries are in good shape.

Solar output is often much lower than any converter so it can take all day to come close to filling up the bucket.
Sure, but where are you getting the numbers when the poster has not given any info? Are you assuming he has those charging capabilities? With my 9 rigs and four houses on solar gear, I am using that experience to know that what will work best if he has the standard charger most older rigs have, is the Inteli-power products as he will most likely be able to install it right into the panel where it be a 45amp or 55amp. I must have missed something in the post. The chart that one poster posted, was actually from their site I believe. At any rate, who can answer a question with out the details of what the original poster's gear in the rig? I think this post can't really go forward much more without that info. If the original poster could provide that info, you could get a very good answer based on the replies. We are just spinning wheels now.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:50 AM   #26
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Sure, but where are you getting the numbers when the poster has not given any info? Are you assuming he has those charging capabilities? With my 9 rigs and four houses on solar gear, I am using that experience to know that what will work best if he has the standard charger most older rigs have, is the Inteli-power products as he will most likely be able to install it right into the panel where it be a 45amp or 55amp. I must have missed something in the post. The chart that one poster posted, was actually from their site I believe. At any rate, who can answer a question with out the details of what the original poster's gear in the rig? I think this post can't really go forward much more without that info. If the original poster could provide that info, you could get a very good answer based on the replies. We are just spinning wheels now.
First I went to his profile and he also eventually posted his model and year.

Then I went to the Winnebago site and found the brochure on his unit and it stated it has a 45 amp converter. I tried to find the exact model of converter but it was not listed on the brochure. At that stage it was not worth the extra effort to look at the schematics to see if it was listed.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:15 AM   #27
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:34 AM   #28
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This was an attempt by sizzler and my self to get across with out proper voltage supplying the current the amount of current is a moot point. This was an attempt to help the OP understand some basics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unyalli View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sizzler View Post
The problem is that amps have nothing to do with charging a 12volt battery bank.
Precisley.

The Battery Recharge Curves chart (below) shows the amount of time it took a PD9155 (55-amp) converter set to three different output voltages to recharge a 125 AH (Amp Hour) battery after it was fully discharged to 10.5-volts.

14.4-VOLTS (Boost Mode)
– Required 3-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 11-hours to reach full charge.

13.6-VOLTS (Normal Mode)
– Required 40-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 78-hours to reach full charge.

13.2-VOLTS (Storage Mode)
– Required 60-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 100-hours to reach full charge.
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