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Old 12-04-2015, 01:35 PM   #1
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Generator Question from a Newbie

HI, I知 new to the forum.

Bought a 5th wheel last June and have been out in it around 6 or 7 times and since I live in Ohio I知 now storing it for the winter.

We really enjoyed boondocking and we could last the weekend with the one house battery. Beginning next spring I would like to do more without being afraid of the battery not lasting.

I知 thinking of putting in 4 6 volt Trojan deep cycle batteries and a power inverter so we can use the TV, computer and maybe a couple other things. My first year of camping I plan on hitting a lot of state parks and national forests in the north-east part of the country so right now I知 not interested in solar. (Too many trees)

Thinking about getting a Honda generator to keep the batteries charged and using it for the air conditioner if it gets too hot and humid.
If I buy a Honda Eu3000is (I see they're on sale until the end of the year) how long would I need to run it if I just wanted to charge the batteries after I致e drained them to around 50%?

Or does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thanks, Dave
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:51 PM   #2
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Four Trogan 105's here. When using genny we usually run it for a couple three hours in the morning when preparing breakfast, watching morning news, etc. This restores what was used during the late evening and night (especially I'd furnace was used). Then in the early evening run the genny again for a couple three hours while preparing dinner and early evening TV. These two genny sessions keep the batteries well charged. If you are using air conditioning, the genny will need to be running. Too much power draw for inverter and batteries.

When using solar we seldom have a need to run the genny at all. We gave 600 watts on the roof plus another 200 watts portable when needed.

Lots of generator threads here in discussion of brands. Honda is almost always at the top of the choices, albeit not inexpensive. We have Onan onboard genny as well as a Champion 3100 portable. The Chamption will run one AC unit.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:47 PM   #3
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4, 6 volt batteries is aprox. 440 Amp Hours.
If you run them down to 50% you need to put back 220 AHs.

A 50 amp charger running 1 hour will do aprox 50 AH, so 4 hours 15 minutes running, will give you the 220 AH you used.

Thats in a perfect world. Battery charging doesn't live there.

As a Battery charges, it slows down it acceptance of amps. At about 80% charge, they get downright stubborn, taking a longer time to reach 100%

Some say add 30% to the time you charge for the stubbornness.

You may have higher or lower output charger and that changes the times.

I use and recommend a battery monitor because I spend months living on battery and want the batteries to last many years.

Today is cloudy so I ran my 75 amp chargers on my Honda 2000. I started at 63% of my 800 AH bank and got to 79% in 2 1/4 hours.

I put in about 128 AH, if my math is right. I stop around 80% since it slows down so much anyway.

We also charge with 675 watts of solar and don't run the generator unless it's raining for 2 days or more in a row.

This is on a trawler so shade isn't an issue.
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55wed55 View Post
HI, I知 new to the forum.

Bought a 5th wheel last June and have been out in it around 6 or 7 times and since I live in Ohio I知 now storing it for the winter.

We really enjoyed boondocking and we could last the weekend with the one house battery. Beginning next spring I would like to do more without being afraid of the battery not lasting.

I知 thinking of putting in 4 6 volt Trojan deep cycle batteries and a power inverter so we can use the TV, computer and maybe a couple other things. My first year of camping I plan on hitting a lot of state parks and national forests in the north-east part of the country so right now I知 not interested in solar. (Too many trees)

Thinking about getting a Honda generator to keep the batteries charged and using it for the air conditioner if it gets too hot and humid.
If I buy a Honda Eu3000is (I see they're on sale until the end of the year) how long would I need to run it if I just wanted to charge the batteries after I致e drained them to around 50%?

Or does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thanks, Dave
55wed55
I believe that the length of time it takes to recharge 4 6 volt deep cycle batteries from 50% to 100% will depend on the battery charger you use, (not on the generator you buy).
Mel
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:41 PM   #5
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To FULLY charge batteries which have been discharged to 50% soc, with a converter that is matched to the battery size (Output = 30" of C/20 amp hour rating) is a six hour job.. About 3 hours gets you to 90%.

C/20.. The Defacto "Standard" for rating batteries is teh 20 hour capacity. How many amps can it put out for 20 hours. times 20.. Some stores use different systems for rating so as to make their batteries look "Bigger" than they are (Wal*mart)

So for your Trojan's 4 of them at 220 amp hours per pair. = 440 amp hours per pair times 30% (0.3) 131 amps.. You won't find a converter that big though an inverter/charger may hit 100. And the math has enough wiggle room in it

A full charge is going to be around six hours But you hit 90% much faster, the last 10% takes longest.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:11 AM   #6
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55wed55
I believe that the length of time it takes to recharge 4 6 volt deep cycle batteries from 50% to 100% will depend on the battery charger you use, (not on the generator you buy).
Mel
'96 Safari
Looking at the literature that came with my 5th wheel it looks like I have a WFCO Ultra III 65 amp converter, WF-9800 series.

When I'm camping do I just use the same power cord that I use to hook up to shore power and plug it into the generator? Would a smaller generator like a 2000w Honda be enough to charge the 4 batteries?

Dave
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:17 AM   #7
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I use and recommend a battery monitor because I spend months living on battery and want the batteries to last many years.
Any suggestions on a good battery monitor for the 4 Trojans?

Dave
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:12 AM   #8
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I have a Tri Metric monitor. It requires a shunt in the negative cables and a 4, light gauge wire run to the monitor.

I have read some reports on a new one that does not require a shunt and hear good reports on its accuracy.

It is a Balmar Smartguage. It only requires 2, 14 gauge wires to the battery. One positive and one negetive. A much simpler install.

I may buy one for my boat and move the TriMetric to the RV.

Find a review at, http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/smart_gauge
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55wed55 View Post
Looking at the literature that came with my 5th wheel it looks like I have a WFCO Ultra III 65 amp converter, WF-9800 series.

When I'm camping do I just use the same power cord that I use to hook up to shore power and plug it into the generator? Would a smaller generator like a 2000w Honda be enough to charge the 4 batteries?

Dave
55wed55
Is the WFCO Ultra III 65 amp converter, WF-9800 series, a combination converter/battery charger?
If so the Honda 2000w is more than enough generator to charge your batteries if/when you plug the RV shore power cord into it and run it.
Mel
'96 Safari
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mel s View Post
55wed55
Is the WFCO Ultra III 65 amp converter, WF-9800 series, a combination converter/battery charger?
If so the Honda 2000w is more than enough generator to charge your batteries if/when you plug the RV shore power cord into it and run it.
Mel
'96 Safari

I think it is. Here are the specs.

Model 9865 65 amps DC output
Input: 105-130 VAC/60 Hz/12.0 AMP (1260 W)
Output: Nominal 13.6 VDC (includes charging and load)
Boost 14.4 VDC; Sleep 13.2 VDC
Dimensions: 7 W, 4 H, 12.16 D
Shipping Weight: 8 lbs.

So to just charge the 4 batteries the 2000w generator will do it as fast as the 3000w?
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:42 PM   #11
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In the Dutch Star we had 4 U-2200's Interstate batteries. I always ran the gen for two hours in the morning and two more as late in the evening as I could. We didn't skimp on electrical usage either.
Not sure about the present rig as it's a real power hog and we have 4 - 8D house batteries, 400 watts of solar and a 12.5 KW gen.
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55wed55 View Post
I think it is. Here are the specs.
Model 9865 65 amps DC output
Input: 105-130 VAC/60 Hz/12.0 AMP (1260 W)

Output: Nominal 13.6 VDC (includes charging and load)
Boost 14.4 VDC; Sleep 13.2 VDC
Dimensions: 7 W, 4 H, 12.16 D
Shipping Weight: 8 lbs.
So to just charge the 4 batteries the 2000w generator will do it as fast as the 3000w?

55wed55
Yes.
Any 120V generator that puts out 1260 watts or more will.
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