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Old 03-07-2014, 06:35 AM   #1
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Generator time

We have finally made the plunge and ordered our flying cloud 25 through Colonial Airstream in New Jersey. We are anxious to pick it up and get Camping!

I'm curious about how long it takes for the generator to recharge the batteries. i plan to use the house portable for now which is a Generac GP6500. In the future, I hope to get the small Honda 2000i.

I'm really concerned about maintaining the batteries correctly.

thanks all and this is terrific source of info that really gave us the confidence to take this step

Gary
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by rooksg View Post
We have finally made the plunge and ordered our flying cloud 25 through Colonial Airstream in New Jersey. We are anxious to pick it up and get Camping!

I'm curious about how long it takes for the generator to recharge the batteries. i plan to use the house portable for now which is a Generac GP6500. In the future, I hope to get the small Honda 2000i.

I'm really concerned about maintaining the batteries correctly.

thanks all and this is terrific source of info that really gave us the confidence to take this step

Gary
The answer will vary, depending on how many amp-hours you have to restore to the batteries at any given time. You should not drain your batteries below 50%, but you get the longest battery life if you charge more often, and don't let the batteries drop below 75% charge.

However, one tidbit of information that should help you is: Most generators are most efficient when operating between 50% and 75% of the rated load. That gets you the most charging per tank of fuel. So, the best time to charge your batteries is when you're using an energy-hungry appliance as well, so the generator can run the appliance as well as charging the batteries and there is a higher load on the generator. The batteries might take a few minutes longer to charge that way, but you'll drain the batteries less than if you use that same energy-hungry appliance on battery power and THEN recharge afterwards.

The worst thing you can do to your generator is let it chug along just barely above idle with no load on it other than the battery charger.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:35 AM   #3
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By any chance did you get solar option? If you did just leave it on and the batteries will stay charged even when not in use. We have had ours for 2 1/2 years always have left the solar power on and it has kept the batteries charged. I also have two hondas that also help when camping
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:49 AM   #4
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The very best thing you can do to maintain your batteries, and maximize the charge you put in them from the generator, is to change the Paralax converter/charger in your brand new trailer (I know, I know) to a superior 3 stage one, such as a Progressive Dynamics (or other brand of 3 stage converter/charger). The three stage converter/charger will not only charge the batteries faster but do it right, and be more gentle on them all at the same time. The cost for the new unit is around $200. It was one of the first things I changed in my new FC 20, right after I got it last June.

Then, as has been suggested above, consider a solar system to keep things up as much as possible if you are boondocking or storing your trailer when no hookups are available.

If you are not boondocking much just the new converter/charger will be your best bet.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #5
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The very best thing you can do to maintain your batteries, and maximize the charge you put in them from the generator, is to change the Paralax converter/charger in your brand new trailer (I know, I know) to a superior 3 stage one, such as a Progressive Dynamics (or other brand of 3 stage converter/charger). The three stage converter/charger will not only charge the batteries faster but do it right, and be more gentle on them all at the same time. The cost for the new unit is around $200. It was one of the first things I changed in my new FC 20, right after I got it last June.

Then, as has been suggested above, consider a solar system to keep things up as much as possible if you are boondocking or storing your trailer when no hookups are available.

If you are not boondocking much just the new converter/charger will be your best bet.
Thats an interesting idea! What model of Progressive Dynamics did you use? Did you do the install yourself? Do you change the transfer switch to a Progressive Dynamics switch too at the same time?

Thanks!!
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
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Thats an interesting idea! What model of Progressive Dynamics did you use? Did you do the install yourself? Do you change the transfer switch to a Progressive Dynamics switch too at the same time?

Thanks!!
The Progressive Dynamics 46xx series will fit right into the original Paralax location, and also comes with a new fuse block which has LED lights showing the location of any blown fuse.

The most common one to use is a PD 4655 (55 amps). I purchased a PD 4645 (45 amps) as it will work on my Honda 1000 watt generator, while the 55 amp one overloads the littlest Honda. 45 amps is plenty for the trailer use, and charging in my rig. Yes, I installed it myself. The instructions are fairly good. In my case not using a 55 amp model I had to do a bit of adjusting of how the install went vs the instructions, but nothing serious.

I have no transfer switch in my FC 20. I would see no reason to change a transfer switch if you have one in your larger rig. That is on the 120 volt side of the electrical system and does not affect the battery charging at all.
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