How To Charge RV Batteries With Generator – Expert Tips And Safety Techniques

how to charge rv batteries with generator

Confused about the right way on how to charge RV batteries with generator?

Many campers typically rely on a 12-volt system to power their electrical appliances. In some cases, there are those that use onboard inverters in their RV. What this does is to convert 12 volts into 110, which you can use to keep your lights, fridge, and other appliances running.

But the question is, could it be possible to actually use a generator to charge your RV battery?

If you have never done this before, yet you are looking to try it out, then you’re at the right place. We’ll discuss just how it is done and what safety measures you need to know. Let’s get started!

How To Charge RV Batteries With Generator

charge rv batteries with generator

First of all, if you’re looking to find out how to charge RV batteries with generator, it’s important to know that there are many ways to do it.

Moreover, these techniques largely depend on how big or small the generator is, the battery situation, and how you are actually using your generator in your RV.

But for now, we will discuss how you can charge your 12-volt RV battery with a generator. There are 5 easy but crucial steps you need to take.

1. Charge Your Generator

Determine the condition of your generator. Before you can start charging your RV batteries, the generator must have a full charge.

In case it is not fully charged, you can simply plug the unit straight into your shore power Alternating Current (AC) outlet.

2. Inspect All Connections

Before you connect your battery, be sure to check the connections. There should not be any corrosion present such as some white fuzzy stuff on the surface.

If you notice such discoloration and fuzzy material on the connection, you will have to clean it off first. Scrub it with an old toothbrush and wet baking soda to get rid of the corrosive element.

3. Check The Electrolyte Levels

In case you are looking to charge an RV battery that is not factory-sealed, then you must determine the electrolyte levels before you begin charging it.

Are the fluids low? If so, then you should pour some distilled water until the desired level has been reached. When you have finished doing so, you can reconnect all the components of your battery and keep the lid securely shut.

4. Turn All Electrical Appliances Off

This step applies only if your electrical system in the RV is hooked up directly to your generator.

Make sure that you turn all your electrical units off – your lights, fridge, and AC, to name a few. By doing so, you can ensure that your battery is receiving all the charge once you connect it to the generator.

Another thing to keep in mind is the ambient temperature. If the air temps are low, somewhere under 40 degrees, then this will not work. Your battery will only get a minimal amount of charge this way.

Thus, you will need to park your vehicle in an area that gets more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit in ambient temperature.

5. Plug And Wait

Now that you have checked all the connections, achieved the optimal ambient temperature, and the electrolyte levels of your battery, you are now ready to start charging.

Plug the generator and hook it up to your battery. It should be ready to go and fully charged between 2 up to 4 hours, depending on the battery’s current state. The more drained it is, the longer the charging time.

Read More: How Much Wind Can An Rv Awning Withstand? Important Things You Need To Know

Final Thoughts on Charging RV Batteries With Generator

For the most part, your generator is not designed for charging your 12 volt batteries. This is why many RV owners have a smart charger. Then, they plug it into a shore power outlet at an RV park or into their home’s main electrical outlet.

Moreover, your generator only produces up to 8 amps of power. Although it can charge your 12-volt RV battery, it will be a slow process. It can even be taxing to the generator when it is providing power to your other appliances.

This is why you want to turn all electrical units off before you begin charging your battery. By doing so, it will not impact the load on the generator.

Overall, the generator has all the connections and leads for charging a 12-volt battery. It is just a slow process because of the low amp output but still completely doable.

Just make it a point to apply safety precautions before you begin charging. Clean off any corrosion and follow the connections correctly.

The last thing you want to do is to hook things up the wrong way, which can lead to disastrous results. So, do it right, stay safe, and you can get your RV battery charged using your generator.

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