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 > Best way to charge a battery in a stationary TT (edited)

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NetComrade

Leesburg, Virginia

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Posted: 07/24/12 10:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Topic initially was "Fastest way to charge a battery in a stationary TT"

The TT is 2010 Jayco Jayflight 24RBS

The trailer purchase was recent, and the trailer was barely used.
I forgot to check the manufacturer of battery, but it I'll make an educated guess that's it's a decent barely used deep cycle battery.

The trailer is going to be stationary. There is currently no electric. Initially the battery seemed to hold up well.

Stupid me thought I could plugin the generator, run it for an hour, and the battery would charge. After a search on the internet, it turned out that is not the most efficient way to charge the battery. There was a mention of a three stage charger in the same article that talked about TT 110v-12v converter being a poor charger.

My question is the following.. How can I minimize the use of generator to charge the battery? My options seem to be the following
a) use the built in converter.. which may mean having to run the generator for over 10 hours to charge the battery.. waste of fuel
b) use some three stage converter, which still means I'll be using 110V off the generator, and it may still take an hour or two
c) using 12V directly off the generator just for the battery charge?
d) using solar to charge the battery while I am away

Also, it does not appeal to me tinkering the cables in order to charge the battery, unless I can make them easily accessible..

Frankly, the solar option appeals to me the most, as long as the panel is small enough to not attract thieves. I don't even need to screw it on the trailer, just leave it on the roof, given it's stationary. I'd only need the generator when the heat is unbearable to turn on the AC. What sort of panel would someone recommend? If I drain the battery, even if using a panel, what's my best way to quickly charge the battery with a Yamaha 2400W generator?

I've also seen a recommendation to disconnect the battery, in one of my earlier posts.

Only thing working when I am away is an LCD on the radio. Is it worth the effort?

Lastly, is there a good battery meter I should invest in? Is 20%+ battery charge really recommended to be maintained all the time?

Panels I've looked at on Amazon are manufactured by HQRP, but it sounds I may need something self-contained with a charge controller, so I wouldn't need to install additional parts. Panels in 20-50W range can be had for 75-150$.

* This post was last edited 08/06/12 02:08pm by NetComrade *   View edit history


2010 Jayco 24fbs, GMC Sierra 2500HD

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/24/12 10:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

If you are away lots, then 60 watts of solar panels per 100 amp-hours of storage will take care of the charging nicely. If there is lots of use bump that up to 150 watts per 100 amp-hours of storage.

A three stage charger will not "fill" a battery in 2 or 3 hours. It will get it to 90% state of charge. Getting to 100% may take 3 to 4 more hours.

Using the 12 volt output from a generator may be the worst possible way to charge a "house" battery.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 2500 MSW watt inverter.

Earl E

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Posted: 07/24/12 10:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

double post


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Earl E

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Posted: 07/24/12 10:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree with Don. I found out, too, that it took forever to run the generator to charge the battery. Three stage will help but it will still take hours. Just not enough oomph. Solar would be your best bet--but will still only work if you are away long enough to let it do it's job. A small solar system won't keep up with daily use.

smkettner

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Posted: 07/24/12 11:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Something like this should do you nicely:

2 x 145w panels $240

Morningstar 20 amp controller $76

That is about $1 per watt controller included. Maybe another $100 for the all in self install.

I would still mount them on the roof so they do not blow away unattended.

Three stage converter is still a good investment for about $200 when you get to it.


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skipnchar

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Posted: 07/25/12 07:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The CAN be a very efficient way to charge the battery. How well it works depends on how good the converter's charger is. For what it's worth, deep cycle batteries really don't LIKE to be charged at too high a rate. Recommended no more than 25% of the total amp hours for Trojans. To maximize your batteries life and satisfaction with use, I'd concentrate on a slower rate on a multi-stage charger.


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NetComrade

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Posted: 07/25/12 07:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

85W Kit for $250 on amazon


would also need cables in order to work.

Looks like can add another Panel later on with a 10A Controller, although don't think I'll need it, unless I start converting 12V to 110V, currently using only lights and pump and radio. No TV, no other appliances.

pianotuna

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Posted: 07/25/12 07:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Netcomrade,

That's nearly $3.00 per watt--not a bargain.

NetComrade

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Posted: 07/25/12 07:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

right..
or could go for the 2pack recommended above, and purchase HQRP 10A controller with LCD for under $40 on amazon . Would still need cables.

DryCamper11

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Posted: 07/25/12 07:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Earl E wrote:

I found out, too, that it took forever to run the generator to charge the battery. Three stage will help but it will still take hours. Just not enough oomph.


Generators - different generators work differently with different chargers. The inverter generators and older Onans seem to work best with modern switching 3 stage chargers.

Chargers - Get a 3 stage - Progressive Dynamics 9200 Series or Iota if you want a converter. The Black and Decker Vectra is good for a stand alone. You can combine chargers to speed up charging and increase the amp output, but the battery bank capacity limits that somewhat.

Batteries - they fill faster when they are not completely full. They slow down as they charge. If you add another battery to increase your battery bank capacity - while camping, you can run them from 50% to 85% full and the fill time will be much faster than trying to fill a smaller battery bank to 100%. It's also less hard on the batteries to fill a large bank rapidly than a smaller bank. When you get home, you can bring the battery up to 100%.

I just added more battery capacity to speed up the time it takes to replace the amp hours I used with my gen. I also have the option to use multiple chargers for a faster fill rate.


In the Boonies!

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