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  #1  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:44 PM
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Default Battery Charger

I realize that the camper converter has a slow trickle charger for the battery. My question is: I have a generator and when the battery runs low can I start the generator and use a battery charger at the same time the camper is charging the battery? Thanks for any help Jim
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2011, 07:33 PM
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Good question. I am looking forward to a knowledgeable person's answer.

All I can say is that when I used an external direct battery charger I would not plug in my trailer. So, I did not have the on board converter charging while using the direct external charger. I was always concerned it would harm my converter charger.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2011, 08:21 PM
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you want 2 chargers charging the battery at the same time?
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2011, 08:43 PM
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Yes both chargers, would this be quicker to charge the battery? I guess I could unhook the camper from the generator while doing the charge.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:04 PM
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i would think 2 chargers would heat up the battery to much. maybe some one else can give more info.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2011, 09:21 PM
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If you run you main battery low you may not have enough power to start it. In my case having a coach I can start it by pushing switch on dash which will allow me to start it off coach battery. After you start genny you can hook up a good size charger or a couple of smaller one. Hopefully this is what you are asking?
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2011, 11:33 PM
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It is not a good idea to use two chargers at the same time. If you need more charging, then get a better charger. Two chargers in parallel can damage each other and the batteries and this is dangerous.

Here are several ways to charge batteries - note, pick only one method to be used at a time:

A: Connect the trailer to shore power, then the converter that is powered by the shore connection will trickle charge the battery. The biggest precaution is the charging system provided by the converter. You need to check if the converter has a conditioning and monitoring function as well so the battery is not overcharged causing boil over and damage to the battery. You'll need to make sure the converter has what's called a smart charger module.

B: With the shore power connection if you do not have a smart charger in the converter, buy a good Battery Minder monitor/charger/conditioner and plug this into an outlet in the trailer. Then disconnect the batter(ies) from your trailer so they are isolated. Then connect the Battery Minder device connectors to the battery and this is how the batter(ies) are recharged and conditioned. Note that you must disconnect the batteries so the converter is not connected, too.

C. Solar panels: you'll need two or more depending on the battery requirements to trickle charge the batter(ies). In this case a transfer switch is recommended to automatically switch over to charging or online depending on what you need. I don't have any more details for this method and recommend you do an internet search. This is one of the best methods for recharging but there can be a substantial investment up front.

D. Use a generator as your shore power. But you'll need to know how powerful of a generator to use. 1500 watts is minimal (1000w is not enough). This generator then works like a shore power connection so you can do just like option A or B.

E. Direct generator. Some generators (like Honda EUxxx) provide an optional connector and wires to connect directly to the isolated batteries to charge them.

In all cases, you should research how much charge time and discharge time is allowed with your batteries. There are also 12v and dual 6v deep cycle battery solutions. 6v batteries discharge slower and charge quicker in general and other than the higher initial investment is a very good alternative to 12v battery system. Charging these batteries is the same principals other than first you connect two 6 v batteries in series, then if you want more capability you can connect another two 6v batteries in parallel to the other two to turn these into 12v systems. Internet searches should help you with this.

Whatever you decide to do, if you do not use maintenance free batteries you need to monitor the water (electrolyte) levels of the battery's cells. Only refill the cells with distilled water up to the bottom part of the cell body and do NOT overfill them. I would recommend you turn off the charging system first to prevent splatter. Battery acid is very caustic.

You may have to be concerned with venting if the battery boxes are enclosed.

So much more I can add, but I'll wait until you ask.



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Last edited by artmart; 10-04-2011 at 11:35 PM..
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2011, 12:02 AM
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This depends on if he has 2 independent systems I myself have two on my coach I run 2 battery tenders my battery life about 10 years I can't be doing much wrong with that life span others I know lucky to get 5 years.
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