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Old 02-27-2010, 06:39 AM   #1
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Boondock Battery top-off w/Generator

-I have an older Honda EX1000 generator that I'd like to use a few hours a day while boondocking to top-off my battery....plan is to leave home fully charged and keep amp-hours usage in the 20-30 range per day, max..

- specs on the Honda:

AC output
rated amperage: 7.5 A
rated output: 900 VA (what does "VA" refer to? watts?)

DC output
max charging output: 8.3 A


-should I use the dc batt charging terminals on the Honda direct-to-battery or would there be any advantage to plugging the shore power line into the Honda and running the 110 ac output through the Intellipower 30? My hunch is direct dc-to-batt is the proper hookup but I'd like that verified by experienced voices... as always: thanks!
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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VA = Volts x Amps = Watts
120 Volts x 7.5 Amps = 900 VA (Watts)

I top my battery with a Honda EU1000 and plug it into the AC line going into my trailer. My Intellipower regulates the charge to the battery with that setup. If the battery is low it starts in boost mode and charges at a faster rate. The charge rate will drop to normal when the battery has reached 90% of it's capacity.

I'm not sure about the EX 1000, but on my generator the 12 volts is not regulated and it only works with the eco throttle turned off so the engine is running at top speed.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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I recently asked this same question. We have a new Honda 3000i. It was suggested to me to charge through the AS' system rather than directly to the batteries. Unless you constantly monitor the batteries, the risk is overcharging which would be bad news. Downside is that it will take a lot longer to fully charge through the system.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:37 AM   #4
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The most effective use of the genset is at the beginning of the charge, the bulk stage. A good 3 stage battery charger is needed and not the 12v output of the genset. The reason is one of time.

Battery charging starts out rather fast and getting to the 80% level of charge can be done in just a few hours. After that, the charge the battery will accept slows down and the remaining 20% or so of charge can take much longer.

That is why many boondockers with solar will run the genset for morning coffee and a base charge on the battery and then depend upon the limited solar power to top off the charge during the day.

Richard's IP/CW converter makes for a good 3 stage battery charger (and maintainer). Many of the standard RV converters don't do very well at either proper charging or maintenance. The genset 'charging' line only provides a slightly above float voltage that will only charge a battery over time.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:42 AM   #5
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You say you plan to keep usage to 20-30 amp-hours per day. You don't say what the capacity of your battery bank is, nor what converter you have.

If you have a three stage converter, you need to understand its behavior, does it always startup in 'bulk' mode or does it read the state of charge of your battery bank to determine which mode it should start in?

Do you have instrumentation to allow you to see your charge rate?
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:23 AM   #6
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-sorry, battery is a 115 amp/hour Die Hard Marine

- converter is Intellipower 30amp w/Charge Wizard, which would allow me to (manually) start charging in 'Boost' (I have the monitor button installed in a closet) then let the converter taper itself, assuming the Honda output enabled that...

- I do have a VoltMinder installed with the low-end alarm set at 12.1 volts....I don't think it has a high-voltage alarm though, but the Intellipower should figure that out on its own, correct?

- I was just wondering if the straight DC output from the Honda would be pushing more of a charge into the battery in the initial boost phase than the AC-thru-converter current..

- but if the Honda's 120 VAC current is 1) maximum push into battery via Intellipower, and 2) easier to hookup (no batt posts to deal with), and 3) safer to the battery (via converter) then I would prefer to plug the trailer shore power into the Honda...
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
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...
- but if the Honda's 120 VAC current is 1) maximum push into battery via Intellipower, and 2) easier to hookup (no batt posts to deal with), and 3) safer to the battery (via converter) then I would prefer to plug the trailer shore power into the Honda...

Agreed, this seems like the best choice.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:36 AM   #8
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Exclamation An off topic comment

Rick, one thing you might think about is adding a second battery. This is usually fairly easy to do and will give you a lot more depth in the 12 V department. We now return to our normal programing.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:55 AM   #9
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man, how I would love to have a couple of 6v's in a vented enclosure that were easy to reach and service, with a nice shiny new fuse panel (incl. batt switch & circuit breakers)....my '69 seems to have placed the battery in the most difficult spot..well, the best spot, actually, if you were running a fulcrum experiment attempting to make the rear end droop...
no time to do it at this juncture...

but if I were considering it, where would be the best place to put two batteries? there's just not enough real estate in my rear compartment...
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
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but if I were considering it, where would be the best place to put two batteries? there's just not enough real estate in my rear compartment...
I have two in the 68 in the rear. I agree that the rear is not the ideal location for them. If I were to move them, I think I would look at the area above the axles.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #11
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I too would use the Inteli-power for charging over the generator's charger.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:53 PM   #12
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Now that the question has been asked and answered, I thought I'd add a slightly different scenario. If one did not have a high end converter-charger, like the Inteli-power, but had a stock unit, plus a portable BatteryMinder, would the recommendation be to use the BatteryMinder plugged into the Honda over the integral Honda unit and/or the stock converter-charger?
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:15 PM   #13
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man, how I would love to have a couple of 6v's in a vented enclosure that were easy to reach and service, with a nice shiny new fuse panel (incl. batt switch & circuit breakers)....my '69 seems to have placed the battery in the most difficult spot..well, the best spot, actually, if you were running a fulcrum experiment attempting to make the rear end droop...
no time to do it at this juncture...

but if I were considering it, where would be the best place to put two batteries? there's just not enough real estate in my rear compartment...
The ideal location would be to mount them on the A-frame. Either there or inside as close to the axles as possible. Have you seen my setup? A PO installed a battery compartment at the bottom of the streetside closet. I'm using that arrangement for now, though I'll eventually switch them to the other side to even out the weight. I'll be using AGM batteries when I do this.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:01 PM   #14
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Honda 1000 only has a 12V - 8A DC output so your charger is the best bet.

When we were boondocking using battery we would start charging mid afternoon, when it finished max charging it was time to use Microwave for dinner, after a while it was easy to shut down for a quiet dinner. Hoping to not bother anybody elses quiet time.
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