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Old 06-27-2020, 02:36 PM   #1
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Generator battery charging

Hello, newbie here and first post. We are out this week for our first trip in our 2020 FC. We have no hookups and are in a no generator part of the campground because our reservation for an electric site was cancelled due to the pandemic. We were told because of this we could use a generator provided it is quiet. All the sites are quite shaded so solar is not enough to maintain the batteries. I have a new generator (a 2000 watt Yamaha knockoff) that is very quiet on eco mode but with all the breakers in the trailer off other than the converter it will not stay at the low output and revs up to a much louder level. It would seem that the converter would not pull that much current. Am I missing something or should I be looking for a different generator? Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:42 PM   #2
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We have an older trailer with a relatively modern multi-stage charger. I've never used a generator but we have used an amp meter (ammeter) in the 30A line and noticed the current goes quite high (10 A perhaps) for some period of time when the batteries are initially recharging. I know that response is pretty vague but maybe it gives you some insight. Of course, your situation may be different.
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:46 PM   #3
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It's louder...but is it charging the batt's?
Is the converter/charger working?
You don't want to shut it's breaker off.

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Old 06-27-2020, 02:51 PM   #4
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Yes, it is charging but was hoping it would be able to charge on eco. Someone in the campground complained it was too loud and the noise drops considerably on eco mode.
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:51 PM   #5
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Yes, the converter can pull a fair amount of power. I would go with what you have and let it run. Maybe any inverter generator is quiet enough for them. Try to pick a time when few people are sitting out around their campsite. One thing you might try is after the generator switches from eco mode is to let it run for 5 min or so and then switch the generator back to eco mode. Our converter has a hugh power surge when it is first powered up. A transformer and charging a capacitor, I think. That could be what is kicking your generator out of eco mode and the steady run draw maybe be low enough for it to stay in eco mode once everything gets stable. If 5 min does not do it try again on eco mode after an hour or so. Go enjoy the trip. Everybody is making allowances for the Covid problem. Generator tolerance might have to be one of them. You will need to run it about 3 hours a day to really keep up. But a lot of it will likely be in eco mode.
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Old 06-27-2020, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlyphisher View Post
Yes, it is charging but was hoping it would be able to charge on eco. Someone in the campground complained it was too loud and the noise drops considerably on eco mode.
1st problem. It sounds like your batteries have been depleted enough to need a good charge. The converter is drawing more amps to charge the batteries. That could be why the Generator is running on high not eco mode yet. So even in eco mode the gen will run high if the load is there. The good thing is it should only take a few hours to charge things up enough to cycle the gen back to eco, idle.

2nd problem. Sounds like you have a neighbor that will not be happy with any generator noise. They (and you) are in a no generator section.

You might try negotiating with the camp host, perhaps a time frame to run the gen a few hours to recharge the batts. Say noon to 4-5 pm? Or perhaps a different camp site??

Best of luck,
-Dennis
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Old 06-27-2020, 04:42 PM   #7
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Your generator is capable of 16 amps full load. Not sure where it kicks out of eco mode.
A 45 amp converter will draw nearly 6 amps at 120 volts when at full output.
That is almost half of what the generator is rated for in a continuos load.
I would bet your coach has a much higher rated converter.
With batteries being depleted I doubt you will be able to stay in eco mode.
There are other parasitic loads as well. CO and propane detectors etc.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:05 PM   #8
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Maybe a regular battery charger plugged into the generator and connected directly to the coach batteries (1 at a time if necessary) would enable you to at least keep the batteries charged somewhat on eco. Better than nothing. Lots of generators have a 12 volt output as well, you might use that option to charge the batteries.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:15 PM   #9
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I thought about the battery charger and that will probably be the route I go when I need to keep it quiet. Thanks everyone for the information on the converter. Based on that I think everything is operating normally and that was what I was questioning.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:26 PM   #10
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Use some noise shields around your generator

A couple of pieces of waferboard or plywood properly situated will deflect the noise away from other campers nearby.
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