It is important to charge your RV battery. This’s because there could be times with zero availability of shore power when trying to use your electrical devices. RV batteries tend to have more longevity and productivity when you charge them fully.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to charge RV battery with a generator. Also, you will know what size of generator you can use for such charging and the safety tips to bear in mind while going along with the processes.
- What Size Generator Do I Need To Charge My RV Batteries?
- How to Charge RV Battery with a Generator?
- What Are The Other Ways To Charge Your RV Battery?
- Safety Tips to Keep In Mind While Charging RV Batteries
- Final Thoughts
What Size Generator Do I Need To Charge My RV Batteries?
To charge your RV batteries, you can go for a generator for the enclosed trailer hassle-free. Alternatively, any brand of generator that has an eight amp power with a minimum of about 3,500 watts can charge RV. With these specifications, your RV batteries will be able to charge fast. However, it won’t be as fast and strong as a generator that is greater than 3,500 watts. However, the former is quite OK.
Many generators are not designed specifically to charge RV Batteries. For example, some only possess the leads, while others have the connections to do so. Also, a few generators possess a low conductor/amperage output that allows charging for a little period.
A 12-volt converter and a generator are commonly used to charge RV house batteries. There are several types of batteries and converters, each with its solution for charging RV batteries with a generator.
How to Charge RV Battery with a Generator?
Now that you understand the size of the generator to be used, the following steps will show you how to charge RV battery with a generator.
Step1: Turn on Your Generator
First and foremost, you need to check if your generator contains enough fuel and engine oil. Then, power on your generator. Different generators have various models. When dealing with a generator such as Honda to charge your RV battery, you need to switch off your eco throttle. Then, the fuel tap should be turned on. Also, shift the choke to a close position and direct the key towards the ‘ON’ position before kick-starting your generator.
Step2: Let It Get Warm
Your generator should be left to run for about a few minutes before connecting it to the shore power AC socket or any power cord appliance.
Step 3: Check the Battery
Make sure to check that the battery is not corrosive. Check for any colorful substance, say greenish, yellowish, or whitish fuzzy stuff on them. In case these are seen on the battery, you should clean them up with some amount of wet baking soda and an old toothbrush.
Step 4: Plug the RV Power Cord
Next, you can plug the RV power cord into the generator’s built-in amperage AC. There may be a need to replace your RV power cord if you notice that the one you have doesn’t fit into the generator’s amp. Next, ensure all appliances in the RV are unplugged and turned off. This will help your battery charge more quickly and efficiently.
Note: In a situation where your generator does not charge your RV battery, the following may be the reasons.
- Check if the circuit of the converter is turned on and its fuses are well placed.
- Make sure to inspect if the battery is disconnected or too cold. If it is disconnected, reconnect it.
- Examine the water level and the total state of the battery.
- Please do well to take your RV power cord to a professional if you feel uncomfortable about fixing it yourself.
What Are The Other Ways To Charge Your RV Battery?
The other ways to charge RV batteries are easy to carry out. Alternatively, you can charge your battery with solar panels, wind generators, battery chargers, or jumper cables.
- Charging RV with solar panels: This option is a brilliant one! It is best to charge your RV battery while you are in transit, most especially when you need to run your refrigerator on electricity while driving.
- Charging with Jumper cables: It is not advisable to charge your RV battery with jumper cables, as it can only be used when there is an emergency. It is more rampant with the rustic tent campers. This’s because they tend to use it if there is ongoing bush camping and have the need to charge RV batteries on their boats.
- Charging with a Wind generator: The difference between charging with a wind generator and charging with a solar panel is that the wind generator has a little turbine that always spins while generating a charge. It generates charge faster than a solar panel, but it is controlled by the speed of the wind. The more the wind blows fast, the more the turbine spins, and the more it charges fast. The wind generators are available in stores where hardware and auto parts are sold.
Safety Tips to Keep In Mind While Charging RV Batteries
Don’t spoil your battery or hurt yourself while trying to charge your RV batteries. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind.
- Become Familiar with The Terms: Converters can be used to charge the house batteries. They are electrical devices that transform 120-volt power into 12 volt DC power for use. Generators generate 120 or 240 volts of AC power. They are used in RVs to charge the house batteries. Generators operate on gasoline, diesel, or propane.
- Examine Your Battery Before Charging It: Disconnect your battery from any external power socket and also remove its red and black wires. Give your battery a thorough check before charging it. Check if the electrolytes are well placed.
- Clean up Dirt and Rust: The battery’s recharging capacity and lifespan are directly affected by how it’s cared for. While examining your battery, if you find dirty or rusty substances, clean it thoroughly with baking soda and allow it to dry up before reconnecting the wires. Additionally, you can rub a little glaze of Vaseline to prevent it from corrosion in the nearest future.
- Don’t Get Caught up Without Power: Your battery may suddenly discharge if it becomes cold. This could be possible if you are not using them.
- Do Not Get Electrocuted: Get rid of every metallic object like jewelry or iron. Also, avoid touching the battery while it is charging with the generator.
- Do Not Overcharge: Typically, you will have to charge your RV battery after about 20 hours of active use of the appliances that are powered by this battery. However, depending on your RV battery’s age and condition, you may need to charge it more or less than that. Understand that the RV batteries should not be overcharged or overheated when charging. This can result in permanent battery damage.
Using the steps above will take you through how to charge RV Battery with a generator. Besides using a generator, you can conveniently charge your RV battery with a solar panel, wind generator, or jumper cables.
Connecting to a portable generator that has a high amp is the best and easiest way to keep your RV batteries charged while on transit. At the same time, you should bear in mind that all generators weigh much and are also noisy. So, they can cause you irritations alongside being a burden on your shoulders.