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Old 04-21-2016, 01:47 PM   #43
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... I'm at 12.7 volts. I think that's about 75%, so I used about 50 or 60 amps.
Correction: 12.5 volts
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:52 PM   #44
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I know when my batteries are run down that low, my PD4655 on shore power stays at 13.7-13.8v for a long time before switching to float at 13.2V. I don't think you can fully recharge batteries with a generator unless its run for a long time. The last 20% charge of a battery takes the longest time of the charge cycle.

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Old 04-21-2016, 11:24 PM   #45
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Honda 1000i or 2000i?

You converter is a 65 amp at 12 volt unit. That is the max output. 780 watts. Figure it to be about 85% efficient.
The 1000 watt or any generator are not designed to run at full load continuously. They are rated somewhere around 800 watts continuous for the 1000 watt unit.
If you require 780 watts of power to recharge the batteries the 1000 watt generator will not do the trick at least on paper. The converter will require around 950 watts of power at full capacity when you figure in the losses.
I doubt you will ever require the full 780 watts of power to charge the batteries. But the additional power required for items like the water pump, general lighting, furnace etc. could tax the ability of the generator.
With careful power management during the charging period the 1000 watt unit may work.
If you want to just start the generator and not be concerned about the load then go with the 2000 watt unit.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:03 AM   #46
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The 1000 watt model puts out half the power of the 2000 watt model. It took our 2000 watt Honda over three hours to recharge the OEM lead acid batteries in our 2013 25FB International Serenity after the furnace ran intermittently all night. The batteries were down to about 50% despite the low power draw LED lights.

The factory single rate converter can cook the battery fluid after many hours of high rate charge, so checking the electrolyte level in the afternoon would be wise.

The dealer installed 155 watt solar panel on our unit was a sad joke. But that is another story.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:01 AM   #47
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Doubling the size of the generator does not mean the battery(s) will charge in half the time. It's a matter of chemistry and physics.
One should note when you connect a battery to a portable charger the current (amps) is relatively high when first connected. As the battery charges the amount of current decreases due to the internal resistance of the battery changing as it charges.
This is not a process you can rush. You can however damage a battery by overcharging it with a single stage charger or converter.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:34 AM   #48
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Thanks for the insights everybody.

I thought it was a fairly straightforward calculation - e.g. My 25 gallon fresh water tank would take 25 minutes to fill at a rate of one gallon per minute.

If a 1000 watt generator can't recharge my batteries, why would 100 watts of solar be a good idea?
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:32 AM   #49
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Thanks for the insights everybody.

I thought it was a fairly straightforward calculation - e.g. My 25 gallon fresh water tank would take 25 minutes to fill at a rate of one gallon per minute.

If a 1000 watt generator can't recharge my batteries, why would 100 watts of solar be a good idea?
100 watts of solar is not a good idea, imo. A solar system should be sized to replace all the energy you use on a daily basis with some margin added for cloudy days. In my case that worked out to around 300 watts.

But you can't just go by watts or amps, you have to factor in the time. 300 watts of solar for 6 hours is 1800 watt hours which is roughly equivalent to the Honda 2000 run for an hour. To some extent the solar system is actually supplying the power you use during the day, and at the same time recharging the batteries for what you used at night.

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Old 04-22-2016, 09:50 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I know when my batteries are run down that low, my PD4655 on shore power stays at 13.7-13.8v for a long time before switching to float at 13.2V. I don't think you can fully recharge batteries with a generator unless its run for a long time. The last 20% charge of a battery takes the longest time of the charge cycle.

Kelvin
The Progressive Dynamics converters run at 13.7 VDC after a power cycle based on time, not battery charge level. In fact, I suspect that ell of the transitions between output level states are time based.

I wouldn't assume it takes that long to charge your battery just because the converter doesn't ramp down to float.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:26 PM   #51
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No wonder I'm confused. This all is beginning to sound like a black art.

Let's say I've been drawing 8 amps for four hours. I'm now down 32 amps from a full charge. If the generator/solar panels/rat on a wheel feeds 8 amps into the system it will take <Your Answer Here> hours to charge, no?
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:24 PM   #52
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Honda 1000i or 2000i?

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No wonder I'm confused... If the generator/solar panels/rat on a wheel feeds 8 amps into the system...

There is the error, the battery typically won't "take" a consistent charge, it drops off as it gets closer to full. My 40A charger slacks off to under 5 amps pretty quick, then takes hours to reach 100%. The rat gets tired and slows down the closer he gets to the finish line.

My generator will take 3 hours to recharge batteries that have seen a 1 amp pull, all day, from various phantom loads including the fridge. A small solar panel that feeds a few amps all day will offset that load and keep me from 3 hours of Hondahumm.

Just last week I dry camped 6 days, ran loads at night and awoke to 88-90% batteries in the morning (20AH used). With 200W of solar it would seem I could recharge in a couple hours of sun. Because the system couldn't accept all 200W, it was 5-6 hours before I was at 100%

But it was a quiet 5-6 hours...

Back to the OP's question...my camp neighbor had a1000W Honda and due to some goofy wiring in his trailer, we had to unplug his fridge to keep it off of AC but allow the charger to work. He ran it ALL NIGHT ( thus my all night use of a 12volt fan)
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:29 AM   #53
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The other truth is that the advertised wattage for a solar panel is derived in a laboratory under non-existent real world conditions. Thus the real output is about 75% of the rating. I have eight 100 watt solar panels on the roof of the Classic now (plan on one more and if space is available two more 100 watt panels) and on a bright day see 575 watts. We are charging a 600 amp-hour lithium battery.

A top quality 100 watt panel may put out about 5.5 amps of power. So over four hours of sunshine, there would be a total of 22 amps provided per 100 watt panel. Two panels could generate 44 amps in the same time period. If 60 amps were used over night by the furnace and other equipment, the same panels could provide 66 amps with six hour of bright sunshine, but because the charge rate tapers off for non-lithium batteries, so they might not become fully charged is six hours. Also, the usual 12Vdc power will continue to be drawn so not all power is going into the battery charge process with examples being the control circuitry for the water heater and refrigerator along with the ever present propane leak detector.

We have five 100 watt panels on the roof of our 2015 23D (no space left for another panel) and they are charging a 300 amp-hour lithium battery.

The advantages for a lithium battery is the ability to safely provide 85 to 90% of the power rating and charge at the full capacity of the power source. Our 300 amp-hour battery is about 14" x 16" and weighs 84 pounds, which is less weight then the two stock Interstate battles we removed. While the 600 amp-hour battery weighs 168 pounds, it replaced four Lifeline model 6ct (6Vdc @ 300 amp-hours) batteries that weighed 92 pounds each plus a the weight of a custom stainless steel enclosure on the tongue of the Classic. The four Lifelines could safely provide only 300 amp hours (i.e. 50%) out of the 12Vdc and 600 amp-hour wiring configuration.

So one must do some serious research on the power requirements to properly size the battery capacity and then the solar and generator power to recharge the battery system in daylight hours since most RV parks want no noise after dinner and before breakfast. In the middle of nowhere, the noise could be all night if there is adequate fuel for the generators.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:25 AM   #54
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This is great info!

Let me ask another: for non-lithiums the conventional wisdom is to keep the batteries above 50% charge. Is there any harm in only charging up to the point where they are taking the full (relatively rapid) charge? If that's 90%, then operate the batteries in the 90% down to 50% range?

Or is it necessary for battery health to always bring them back to 100%?

(Switz, it sounds like you have enough power to run a tanning salon. )
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:26 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by NWGetaways View Post
This is great info!

Let me ask another: for non-lithiums the conventional wisdom is to keep the batteries above 50% charge. Is there any harm in only charging up to the point where they are taking the full (relatively rapid) charge? If that's 90%, then operate the batteries in the 90% down to 50% range?

Or is it necessary for battery health to always bring them back to 100%?

(Switz, it sounds like you have enough power to run a tanning salon. )
Non-lithiums need a full recharge. Otherwise the cells inside the sealed battery get out of sync (SOC changes). This happens naturally over time, which is one of the reasons we equalize a battery once a month too with better battery charging systems.

Otherwise, you are going to significantly shorten the life span of the battery.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:06 AM   #56
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Thanks to the OP for starting the thread. Great info.

My wife and I were discussing the whole 'buy a gennie or go solar' issue this week when we suddenly found ourselves boondocking in an RV park that lost power.

We have a '16 27' FC with two Interstate wet cell batteries. Sorry if I missed the answers to these questions:

Is there a good link somewhere to the charging specifics (current required over time to go from 50% to 100%) to get the batteries charged?

Secondly, where might I find a good reference for power consumption of common appliances (furnace, lights) etc.?

Lastly, just to make sure, can I convert Watts to Amps based on W = I * V i.e. a 1,200 W hair dryer in a 120V outlet will consume 10A of current?

Thanks!

Rich
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