Recreational Vehicle owners know that the battery of their RVs is a very important component of their mobile home’s electrical system. The battery is responsible in providing the power for the RV’’s lights, the control boards in the appliances on board and many more. It generally provides the juice their mobile home needs.
However, campers and RV owners give little attention to it especially when it is plugged to a shore power. But when it is unhooked from shore utilities and you are heading for a dry camping or boondocking, you will soon realize if your RVs battery is at its optimum condition.
RV owners with alternative power source i.e. solar and wind power still need batteries to boost their power system, especially when the mobile home uses more power from these renewable sources more than what it can actually replenish. For campers without wind or solar power source, and have been away from the utility grid, charging your battery from a generator is your last recourse.
Charging the battery of your RV using a generator is quite easy but it requires adequate knowledge of the type and size of the battery you are going to charge. Ideally, charging your RV batteries before heading to your camp site is the best time to plug them to a full 100%.
How do you charge your RV Battery using a generator?
Before you hook your battery to a generator make sure that all appliances are turned off. Unplug anything that can drain the power of your battery. As much as possible, limit the number of your 12-volts lights throughout the charging cycle to lessen power distribution and consumption.
Remember to always engage your RV’s emergency brake to prevent any untoward accidents. Then check the battery for any corrosion, cracks and bulges, Make sure the battery’s terminal are free from dirt or residues. Inspect the electrical system for any damages. These safety procedures will ensure that you will not be harmed or your vehicles damaged when charging your battery.
Then, using a wrench, slowly remove the cables. The black cable (negative) should be the first to be removed followed by the red cable or the positive. Brush the terminals thoroughly using a toothbrush, water and if available, baking soda. When your terminals are corroded or shows deposits, use a wire brush to remove them. After cleaning your terminals from all the grimes, wipe it dry using a clean rag. Do not put back the cables when your terminals are still wet.
Check the fluids of your battery. If the levels of electrolyte are low, pour distilled water until it reaches the maximum point. Do not pour more than what is allowable. It may spill out and cause more harm than good. Connect the cable to the battery by attaching the red cable first followed by the black cable. Fasten it securely using your wrench. Move it sideways to ensure that you have fastened it correctly and tightly.
Plug your generator to an AC outlet. The whole charging process will generally depend on the type of generator that you are using. If you are using a portable generator, it may take time since it only generates a 12-volt output. Bigger generator models with better outputs can charge your battery quicker. Also, when using generator when free camping, make sure to have a quite camping models. Consider your surroundings and fellow campers when charging your battery. Then charge your battery for around 90%. Charging your battery to the maximum may take considerably longer. It is best to charge your battery at 100% when you have access to a power grid.
Clear the area from anything that may cause short circuits or accidents. Check the surroundings for anything that may cause any untoward incidents.
Once you have ensure that everything is ready, plug your mobile home’s plug to the generator and then wait. Usually, the whole charging process takes about a couple of hours. However, when your battery is completely depleted, charging it may take a bit longer. Please avoid depleting the power of your battery completely. It is imperative that the battery should at least have more than 20 percent power in order to extend its battery life.
After your battery has been completely charged to a full 100 percent, remove the plug from the generator and then unplug your generator from the AC outlet.
To make sure that your battery lasts longer, make it a point to use it wisely. Manage the use of your RV’s onboard facilities and appliances until such time you have reach your destination. Plug your generator as soon as possible as your might need them during your trip.
Important things you should always remember when charging your RV’s battery with a generator
Always take good care of your battery. The lifespan and recharging capacity of your battery will depend on how you take good care of it. Always make it a habit to monitor its electrolyte level and replenish it with distilled water right away. As much as possible avoid deep charging. Charge your battery when it reaches twenty percent.
The power you need for charging your RV battery with a generator is dependent on the following factors; the size of your battery, the number of appliances operating when recharging, the amps which your generator needs, converter output rating and how depleted your battery is.
Usually RV owners have at least two batteries on hand. This allows them to enjoy their trip more and have a worry-free camping. However, regardless how many batteries you have, it is always best to take good care of them. Make sure all of your batteries are well-maintained and properly charged at all times. Make it a habit to charge your batteries once a week especially if you are always on the go. It is also ideal to invest in alternative power source, like solar and wind power, this will give your battery some time to rest.
Another thing, always remember to follow the safety procedures when trying to charge your RV battery with generator. This will allay any accidents and damages both to you and your mobile home.