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Bert2006
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Hi folks,

 

Just bought a used RV and will be doing a lot of dry camping. As a result I am relying on a generator to recharge the battery (deep cycle) on the RV but found that the converter on the RV only trickle charges. I want to plug a 10 to 20 amp battery charger directly to the generator and then to the battery, but do not want to disconnect the battery from the RV every time. Will it hurt anything if I power the RV with the generator at the same time as I have a charger hooked up to the battery. (knowing that the RV converter is also sending between .7 to 1.5 amps to the battery and the charger would be sending between 10 to 20 amps.)

 

Thanks :confused24:

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been camping for years.....if you use your "shore power cord" with the 110 adapter plug and plug it into your generator, you can use the generator to power the camper for everything except the air conditioner unless your generator is 3500 watts. It will also charge your battery/batteries. My camper is a 35 footer and when I bought it, it only came with one deep cycle battery, but I have enough room for 2, so I added another deep cycle and bridged them. Can go for 1 week without charging, but you cannot use the microwave, tv, or ac while on battery only. How big, type and year is your camper. I can give you tips and tricks. If you hook the gen up to the batteries via jumper cables from the charging posts on gen you are only going to trickle charge them anyway, unless you want to haul a battery charger around with you. The little charging posts that are on some gens are for hooking up a maintainer type clamp setup, not for full blown charging. Hope this helps.

 

Stat

Edited by Statussymbol
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How big is the Gen? From what I have seen the RV should be a 110 circuit and should run off the gen with out using the batt.

 

to use the A/C and microwave the gen has to be 3500watts/30 amps. Also use a 220 plug, Most gens 3000watts or more for RV use have a 220 plug on them but they are big, if you use a 110 adapter plug and use the A/C it will melt the adapter plug from the heat.

 

Stat

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to use the A/C and microwave the gen has to be 3500watts/30 amps. Also use a 220 plug, Most gens 3000watts or more for RV use have a 220 plug on them but they are big, if you use a 110 adapter plug and use the A/C it will melt the adapter plug from the heat.

 

Stat

 

The RV plug is different than anything in your house but it is not 220.

I have never seen an RV with 220 power, I am sure they are out there but it is not common, Shore power is typically a 30 A 110 plug. 220 may be more common on BIG RVs I have always been around smaller ones. I have run my RV using a 3500W 110V only gen for many years with the AC, fridge, coffee pot, and microwave all running at the same time thru an adapter (I now have installed an RV plug on my generator) and the adapter never even got warm, yes I do check. The reason many of them melt is because it is very common for the RVs contacts on the plug to be very dirty causing a high resistance.

 

As for your original question of having 2 chargers connected. It depends. In order to charge at a higher amp the charger puts out more volts. So if you have one charging at 13.2 V and the other charging at 14.0. the bigger charger can be overloading the smaller one and burn it out. It depends on the charger, some have built in protection for this and some do not. The one I had did not. The way I had my RV set up was that I only connected 110V power using the shore power cable. I permanently connected the real charger to the shore power and then to the battery with a relay so that when there was no shore power the charger would not discharge the battery, (My charger has a parasitic draw from the battery if it is not connected to 110 power, or if I were to connect my really big charger direct to the battery then the small charger would be isolated. I also went in and disabled the wimpy built in charger by putting it on a switch that the switch could select one or the other, so that my charger would not fry the little one. It is not hard to hook up, it is harder to explain.

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You may want to check with the MFG or at least the owner's manual or a RV dealer that handles that brand. Many of the RVs built in the last decade isolate the chassis or start battery from the house or coach battery automatically. Also the house battery may be wired to the generator already to charge in place. Some of the rigs now have three way switch which allows the house battery to connect to the chassis battery for starting only in case it is runs down.

 

RV electrics are a whole different animal . as mentioned above the 110 volt plugs are different when connecting to shore power (NEMA std i think) The house or coach 110 sockets should be already wired into the gen set, as is the A/C. Some of the onboard Generators have a panel on them or in the compartment where they live with clearly labeled 110 out and 12 volt out ports. very few have 220 out, even though the gen may have 220 windings for A/C. Most on board gen sets are 11kw or higher from the factory.

 

good luck

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The RV plug is different than anything in your house but it is not 220.

I have never seen an RV with 220 power, I am sure they are out there but it is not common, Shore power is typically a 30 A 110 plug. 220 may be more common on BIG RVs I have always been around smaller ones. I have run my RV using a 3500W 110V only gen for many years with the AC, fridge, coffee pot, and microwave all running at the same time thru an adapter (I now have installed an RV plug on my generator) and the adapter never even got warm, yes I do check. The reason many of them melt is because it is very common for the RVs contacts on the plug to be very dirty causing a high resistance.

 

As for your original question of having 2 chargers connected. It depends. In order to charge at a higher amp the charger puts out more volts. So if you have one charging at 13.2 V and the other charging at 14.0. the bigger charger can be overloading the smaller one and burn it out. It depends on the charger, some have built in protection for this and some do not. The one I had did not. The way I had my RV set up was that I only connected 110V power using the shore power cable. I permanently connected the real charger to the shore power and then to the battery with a relay so that when there was no shore power the charger would not discharge the battery, (My charger has a parasitic draw from the battery if it is not connected to 110 power, or if I were to connect my really big charger direct to the battery then the small charger would be isolated. I also went in and disabled the wimpy built in charger by putting it on a switch that the switch could select one or the other, so that my charger would not fry the little one. It is not hard to hook up, it is harder to explain.

 

You are right on the 220. I call it that due to the design. Don't ask me why. I know in the back of my mind its 110, but it looks like a 220. Smh

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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How big is the Gen? From what I have seen the RV should be a 110 circuit and should run off the gen with out using the batt.

 

The generator is a Champion 2000w Inverter. It has two 120-Volt 20 Amp household outlets. Here is a link to it: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Champion-Power-Equipment-1-700-2-000-Watt-Recoil-Start-Gasoline-Powered-Portable-Inverter-Generator-73536i/203791700

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been camping for years.....if you use your "shore power cord" with the 110 adapter plug and plug it into your generator, you can use the generator to power the camper for everything except the air conditioner unless your generator is 3500 watts. It will also charge your battery/batteries. My camper is a 35 footer and when I bought it, it only came with one deep cycle battery, but I have enough room for 2, so I added another deep cycle and bridged them. Can go for 1 week without charging, but you cannot use the microwave, tv, or ac while on battery only. How big, type and year is your camper. I can give you tips and tricks. If you hook the gen up to the batteries via jumper cables from the charging posts on gen you are only going to trickle charge them anyway, unless you want to haul a battery charger around with you. The little charging posts that are on some gens are for hooking up a maintainer type clamp setup, not for full blown charging. Hope this helps.

 

Stat

 

Its a 2003 Citation (31ft) . I have one deep cycle battery on board. I have been plugging the shore power cord to the generator for about 2 hours every day to top up the battery, but I am looking to shorten that time. That is why I am asking if I can also plug a separate charger to the generator have two sources charging the battery at the same time. (the on-board converter at approx. 1amp and the an additional charger at 12 to 20 amps). Wondering if doing so will break anything?

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to use the A/C and microwave the gen has to be 3500watts/30 amps. Also use a 220 plug, Most gens 3000watts or more for RV use have a 220 plug on them but they are big, if you use a 110 adapter plug and use the A/C it will melt the adapter plug from the heat.

 

Stat

 

Not intending to use the AC or the Microwave at all. Also do not want to run the generator all the time. Only to recharge the battery when needed. All other stuff can run off the battery.

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Ok, after reading all of your posts and thinking it through here is what I could do. Let me know if you spot something I am missing :confused07::shock3:

 

1. Will get a battery isolator switch so I can isolate it from the converter in the RV. When I connect the shore power to the generator this switch will be off and then result in the RV being powered solely by the Generator.

2. Will then connect the separate 10-20amp charger to the battery and generator. This way, the generator will power both the RV and the larger charger, while the charge from the converter will not get to the battery.

 

Does this sound right???:confused24:

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Its a 2003 Citation (31ft) . I have one deep cycle battery on board. I have been plugging the shore power cord to the generator for about 2 hours every day to top up the battery, but I am looking to shorten that time. That is why I am asking if I can also plug a separate charger to the generator have two sources charging the battery at the same time. (the on-board converter at approx. 1amp and the an additional charger at 12 to 20 amps). Wondering if doing so will break anything?

 

The only safe answer is going to come from manufacturer. I doubt even a dealer would know unless they service that particular unit. Reason is, rv charging systems are not necessarily following any logic. In my 30 years of rentals, I've seen just about everything. Add to that what the P.O. might have done, who knows what evil lurks behind the wall plates?

 

My safe answer is no. You stand a chance of burning out the internal charger/inverter. My suggestion is install a marine/rv style battery isolator switch. One side is as is. Other side isolates battery from coach and connectors it to the big gen circuit. Then once every few days, flip the switch and run the big gen for a few hrs. A competent rv electrical guy can advise best way to isolate coach charging from battery.

 

Interesting question.

 

Another alternative is to change out gen for larger unit and then you can install a larger converter/ charger. More moola for sure....

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The only safe answer is going to come from manufacturer. I doubt even a dealer would know unless they service that particular unit. Reason is, rv charging systems are not necessarily following any logic. In my 30 years of rentals, I've seen just about everything. Add to that what the P.O. might have done, who knows what evil lurks behind the wall plates?

 

My safe answer is no. You stand a chance of burning out the internal charger/inverter. My suggestion is install a marine/rv style battery isolator switch. One side is as is. Other side isolates battery from coach and connectors it to the big gen circuit. Then once every few days, flip the switch and run the big gen for a few hrs. A competent rv electrical guy can advise best way to isolate coach charging from battery.

 

Interesting question.

 

Another alternative is to change out gen for larger unit and then you can install a larger converter/ charger. More moola for sure....

 

Ok thanks, just talked to the dealer and he indicates that running both at the same time should not be a problem as the internal converter should kick out once it senses the battery being charged by the outside unit. I will get the marine/rv style battery isolator unit as you suggest ...just to make sure! I am also experimenting with solar panels as you had suggested in your previous post, but up here that gets very expensive very fast. I have one Coleman 40watt panel charging at 2amps max now, but it cannot keep up.

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"should" is the operative word!

 

Yes it should disconnect. That's what usually happens when you plug in shore power... The internal charger is isolated.

 

Another thought. Newer systems use one box to charge battery from motorhome engine, generator or shore power. They switch automatically. Check to see what yours does. I would think it would trickle from engine, but charge faster from generator and shore power. Don't know as they all have their own ideas.

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How long to you plan on camping at a time? Like I said in previous post, if you have room to add another deep cycle battery do it and bridge them, I have two on my 35fter and with 3 kids who like to leave the lights on all the time I get 5 days before batteries get to 1/4 or less charge. I then hook up our 4000watt gen run it for 3 hours or so hooked up to just the shore power and get a full charge. But that is running gen at full load/throttle hooked up to the RV receptacle plug on gen. this is mine https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sportsman-Gasoline-4000W-Portable-Generator/46542324?action=product_interest&action_type=title&beacon_version=1.0.2&bucket_id=irsbucketdefault&client_guid=29e5d89b-488b-4f67-8853-fb9274f75e38&config_id=106&customer_id_enc&findingMethod=p13n&guid=29e5d89b-488b-4f67-8853-fb9274f75e38&item_id=46542324&parent_anchor_item_id=22190118&parent_item_id=22190118&placement_id=irs-106-t1&reporter=recommendations&source=new_site&strategy=PWVUB&visitor_id=UhGiYwfNuSHtwMBJKpvCSk

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How long to you plan on camping at a time? Like I said in previous post, if you have room to add another deep cycle battery do it and bridge them, I have two on my 35fter and with 3 kids who like to leave the lights on all the time I get 5 days before batteries get to 1/4 or less charge. I then hook up our 4000watt gen run it for 3 hours or so hooked up to just the shore power and get a full charge. But that is running gen at full load/throttle hooked up to the RV receptacle plug on gen. this is mine https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sportsman-Gasoline-4000W-Portable-Generator/46542324?action=product_interest&action_type=title&beacon_version=1.0.2&bucket_id=irsbucketdefault&client_guid=29e5d89b-488b-4f67-8853-fb9274f75e38&config_id=106&customer_id_enc&findingMethod=p13n&guid=29e5d89b-488b-4f67-8853-fb9274f75e38&item_id=46542324&parent_anchor_item_id=22190118&parent_item_id=22190118&placement_id=irs-106-t1&reporter=recommendations&source=new_site&strategy=PWVUB&visitor_id=UhGiYwfNuSHtwMBJKpvCSk

 

Just spent 1 and 1/2 week in it and will be mainly weekends now. For this year I will stick with the one battery but plan to add another next year. Just using the rv converter to recharge is not practical as it is only .5 amps. Would need to run generator all the time to fully charge. That is why I am looking to set up an external charger in the 10 to 20 amp range. Based on our usage we seem to use a 1/4 per day. Switched out all the lights for LED's and we use them sparingly, but as fall approaches day's will be shorter and nights colder so we will need to use the furnace also which will increase draw.

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CONGRATULATIONS Bert, I wish you loads of good times in the RV. Will you be towing your bike on some adventures?

I can't give you any advice on your question, but we just bought an 03 MH as well two weeks ago. I just got it plated today so I may go to the WNY Rally.

 

Another good forum I found but for the RV is called, IRV2. You may get some more information thru that site that may help. Even without plates we did some Boondocking camping which was so good. Ours is only a 24 foot but there are two coach batteries inside. They do charge while driving, and while parked in our driveway and plugged in. We only used our generator for 15 minutes one evening to use the microwave, but after 3 days our batteries where still registering 3/4 full.

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CONGRATULATIONS Bert, I wish you loads of good times in the RV. Will you be towing your bike on some adventures?

I can't give you any advice on your question, but we just bought an 03 MH as well two weeks ago. I just got it plated today so I may go to the WNY Rally.

 

Another good forum I found but for the RV is called, IRV2. You may get some more information thru that site that may help. Even without plates we did some Boondocking camping which was so good. Ours is only a 24 foot but there are two coach batteries inside. They do charge while driving, and while parked in our driveway and plugged in. We only used our generator for 15 minutes one evening to use the microwave, but after 3 days our batteries where still registering 3/4 full.

 

Thanks Dogman, Will not be travelling with the RV, setting it up as a cottage on seaside property that we just bought in beautiful Bouctouche, NB. This will be our retirement home eventually, but until then it will be cottagy. :Laugh: Thanks for the lead on the forum and congrats :clap2: to you too for your RV. They have certainly improved a lot since I was last in one as a 10 year old kid. LOL. Enjoy!

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