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How to Charge an RV Battery With a Generator – [Easy Steps]

Imagine your RV batteries are out of charge during the traveling and you don’t have access to the shore power, frustrating isn’t it?

Don’t worry!

You still have a hope to recharge your batteries with your portable RV generator, yes it is completely safe to recharge your batteries with a generator and you just need to follow a few simple steps to get your work done.

Below are the things you have to start the process.

Things you should have before starting the charging process:

  • An RV generator
  • Acid/Distilled water
  • Some tools
  • Baking soda
  • Sandpaper/toothbrush/other cleaning tools for terminals.
  • A pair of gloves

How to Charge an RV Battery with a Generator

How to Charge an RV Battery With a Generator

STEP 1: Check Out the Fuel Levels and Filter of Your Generator:

Before starting the generator you have to figure out whether your generator is ready to provide that much power for a longer time or not, I usually check the engine oil, gasoline, and filter of my RV generator.

STEP 2: Check Out the Terminals and Electrolyte Level of Your RV Batteries:

Inspection of batteries is equally important as the generator, Start from the terminal if you found any rust, ashey deposit, etc. remove it with sandpaper then checkout the electrolyte levels, if it is not sufficient pour some acid water if you have a flooded battery, however, the gel battery doesn’t need it.

STEP 3: Start Your Generator:

Start your RV generator; make sure that it is placed close to the RV so that you can connect the RV cord to the generator easily.

STEP 4: Allow It for Warming Up:

Keep it “ON” for a few minutes until the RPM becomes steady, unsteady voltages may damage anything from the RV.

STEP 5: Switch off All Things of RV:

Though the generator will do the charging of your batteries and also operate the essentials simultaneously, still we recommend shutoff all things so that all power will flow to the batteries. Typically it takes 4 – 8 hours for a full charge depending on the current charging status and the ambient temperature. In real winter you may get slightly less charging efficiency.

STEP 6: Plug the RV Cord:

Plug the RV cord into the 30amp/120v AC outlet; if the RV plug doesn’t fit the generator plug, you have to purchase a twisted lock extension.

STEP 7: Remove Plug of the RV Cord:

Plug out the RV cord once your batteries are fully charged and turn off the generator. Never turn – off the generator first.

PRO TIP: A Smart Multi-Stage Battery Charger could be a great investment to fasten your charging process. I am using Renogy 12V 50A DC On-Board Input MPPT Charger

What Safety Precautions Should Be Taken

  • Inspect the Cords you are using to connect the RV and Generator.
  • Make sure to wear a pair of gloves and other protective gear if you are cleaning the terminals of the battery.
  • Place the generator at least 5ft away from the windows of our RV.
  • Make sure to make connections of batteries properly, keep attention to the black and red cables.
  • Avoid charging your batteries in enclosed spaces, As per the research of CCOHS (Canadian center for occupational health safety) batteries release a huge amount of Hydrogen gas that can be hazardous if it stays for a long time in a closed space. I usually open some windows during the charging.
  • Disconnect your batteries immediately once they are charged.
  • Never charge your RV batteries with Two Sources.
  • Keep away the flammable things from the batteries.

Why Won’t My Generator Charge My RV Battery?

There could be the following reasons your RV battery is not charging with the generator.

  • Make sure to check out the charger if it is Faulty, replace it.
  • Check out the terminals of your batteries if they are rusted the batteries will not get the charges properly.
  • Inspect the breaker of the generator if it is tripped, reset it.
  • Check out the connections of the battery if you found any disconnection fix it.
  • Test the battery with a multimeter maybe it loosed the ability to hold charges.
  • Check out the cord of Your RV which you have plugged in the generator’s outlet, if you found any damage make sure to replace or fix it.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to charge batteries with a generator?

Well, it depends, if you have consumed the whole charge of your battery and your batteries have about 20% to 30% of charge it may take 6 – 8 hours, however, if your batteries shave 50 – 60% charge it takes 3 – 4 hours.

Also if you are traveling in real winter, the battery may take longer than normal conditions.

Does a generator charge a camper battery?

Yes, a generator can perfectly charge the batteries of your camper; you just need to follow the steps we have listed above.

What size generator do I need to charge an RV battery?

A 1000 watt generator could be powerful enough to charge your Recreational vehicle’s batteries, still, 2000 watts or 3000 watts generator would be a better choice.

Can You Charge a Deep Cycle Battery With a Generator?

Yes, you can safely charge a deep cycle battery with a generator; even most of the RV owners including me use 12 – volts Deep cycle batteries due to the budget and lasting.

As an Energy and environmental engineer, I worked in eco bottle manufacturing for the last three years. Currently, he is the leading engineer in a Lithium Iron phosphate battery manufacturing company.

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