Battery charging with generator - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2021, 08:18 AM   #1
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Battery charging with generator

Good morning fiberglass fans,
When we use a generator with our Escape is it more efficient to just plug the trailer into the generator or plug a "Smart" charger into the generator and then connect to the batteries directly?
If the latter do I disconnect the batteries and shut down the frig for charging and take the EMS and convertor out of the equation? Also, what rate (2,6, or 10 amps should the charger be set at?
Thanks for thoughts about this, Tony
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:45 AM   #2
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Battery charging with generator questions for follow up

What charger and capacity is built into the Escape? I would expect it to be more than 10 amps.

What size battery/ies does your trailer have? If more than one or a a single large one, 10 amps is not a large charge source.

I would expect the built in charger to be as or more effective than the stand alone 10 amp charger. Knowing what is already in the trailer will help clarify the answer given.
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:02 AM   #3
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Worth noting that deep cycle batteries tend to take a charge slowly, just as they are designed to discharge less rapidly than a starter battery they take a charge less rapidly. More amps doesn't decrease charging time by as much as one would think.

If for example it takes 6 hours to get a full charge at 10 amps don't expect 20 amp charge rate to yield 3 hour charge time. Made a charger with small gas engine and large truck alternator found it was much better to use small drive pulley for lower speed, greater torque so engine could run at close to idle. Less noise, fuel lasted longer and the longer slower charge was more effective than putting out the alternators full power (150 amp as I recall) with larger drive pulley and higher engine rpm's
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:45 AM   #4
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Be sure your CO detector is on when using a generator. Yes, CO can leak in your camper from the exhaust of the generator.
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:56 AM   #5
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I just plug my Escape 17Bin to my Honda EU1000i and leave it run for a couple hours ( whatever it takes and whatever is allowed at the campground ). Trailer will charge the battery. I have an AC/Propane fridge that doesn't use any battery power. If you have a three-way fridge, I'd make sure it is on propane ( which is what I would do any time shore power isn't available.
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:53 AM   #6
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Battery charging with generator follow up battery charging rate

General recommendation is charging current should be 10% of the Ah rating of the battery.

Not knowing the specific battery on the Trailer in question, I would expect it to be in the 90 to 120 amp hour range. So, a minimum of a 10-amp charger would be needed and that could take up to 14 hours due to charging inefficiencies for a 100% Full Charge. That is why I prefer solar with none of the generator noise.

Best plan would be to consult the battery maker's Data Sheet for the specific battery you are using to see what the max allowed charge rate is...


RodgerDat
Car/Truck starting batteries tend to have a higher charge acceptance rate. Using a 150-amp rate of charge would not be a good plan, so it is a good thing you throttled back that contraption.
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:12 PM   #7
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The Escape has the twin 6 volt batteries, ~ 220 Amp Hours. The converter is a WFCO, WF-8955PEC model. Sounds like Glenn has a similar set up. I thought the frig would not run without battery for the electronics. Think I'll just plug into the Honda, as Glenn does.
Thanks all who responded
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:51 PM   #8
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When I can, I use two 40-watt solar panels ( Coleman ), direct to my single 12V battery, with alligator clips.
On genset, plugging the trailer in direct is most efficient.
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Solar Honda.jpg  
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Old 08-04-2021, 01:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
When I can, I use two 40-watt solar panels ( Coleman ), direct to my single 12V battery
No solar controller?
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Old 08-04-2021, 02:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
No solar controller?
There is. Panels connect to a hub which connects to a 7 watt controller and it connects with alligator clips to battery terminals.
Photo shows the accessories that come with each panel, so I have spares. Hub is no shown. Purchased separately.
If you blow up the picture, you can see the hub and the controller laying on the gravel, sorta under the panels.
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Old 08-04-2021, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve.L View Post
General recommendation is charging current should be 10% of the Ah rating of the battery.....
....
RodgerDat
Car/Truck starting batteries tend to have a higher charge acceptance rate. Using a 150-amp rate of charge would not be a good plan, so it is a good thing you throttled back that contraption.
When I first built the contraption the school bus camper I had used a 12 volt compressor fridge. So I would charge batteries (had 3) and run the fridge to freeze blue ice packs in freezer and get contents good and cold off the alternator. Then turn off fridge during hot part of the day and run off battery in the cool of the evening.

As a bonus I could give myself a jump if I found myself with a dead starting battery in the middle of the national forest. Not that the kids ever switched on the running lights and left them on all day or anything.

Man the hassle we went through back when solar was too expensive to contemplate.
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Old 08-11-2021, 02:50 PM   #12
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Plug your camper into your generator.
Yes, it is better to slow charge any battery, but that trickle benefit is not worth the fuel and wear on your generator.
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