How To Charge RV Batteries With Generator [Guides]

It’s not very unlikely to see your RV battery run out of power in a place where there’s no electrical outlet available closely. Going into the distance every single time a power outage happens isn’t always practical, and in times like these, an RV generator is the last resort. In this case, a majority of people worried about how to charge rv batteries with generator.

how to charge rv batteries with generator

Even if you make sure to charge your RV battery completely before a trip, it can still get empty in the middle of a trip. A generator can work as a good alternative power source for the battery in a case like this.

Generators aren’t the best option for charging an RV charger. They take too much time and waste a lot of energy. But when there’s no good option available, having the worst can be a lifesaver.

In this guide, we’ll talk about some steps you can follow to properly charge your RV battery. We’ll also discuss some alternative ideas on charging an RV battery with a generator that isn’t as dull as using a regular battery charger.

How to Charge RV Batteries With Generator?

Generators don’t necessarily have the minimum amp output required for a 12 volt RV battery to charge quickly, but they can get the job done if given enough time. Let’s see the steps serially to do that:

Charging Generator

It’s important to give the generator a complete charge or connect it to a power connection if it isn’t fully charged already. A half-complete generator will have a much harder time charging the battery up than a fully charged generator.

Check Battery

A half-empty battery will never be able to charge itself completely. Open the battery case to check the fluid level as well as the level of electrolyte. If electrolytes level seems to be fine, then you’re good to go. In case some water has dried up, fill the battery tank with some clean water and fill it up to the mark.

Close the battery lid and clean it with a dry cloth. A Wet battery might get electrocuted on the outside.

Charging Battery

You can now connect the battery with the generator. But before you do so, turn off the lights and other electrical connections inside the RV. It’s just to make sure that the flow going into the battery from the generator is uninterrupted and nothing is using up the generator’s power other than the battery at the same time.

Try not to charge it in places too cold. Cold temperature freezes the water, and chilled water will have a hard time taking up enough electrical power inside.

charging battery with smart charger

Some Careful Considerations to Keep in Mind while Charging up Your Battery with RV Generator

Let’s talk about some stuff you should keep a careful look at and some good generator charging options:

Check for Leaks

A leak or misaligned battery connection can be fatal. You should always check the wires and the battery connection points for possible leaks or corrosions. If the points are dirty, clean them up with a clean, dry cloth. It’s important to make sure the connections are dry, otherwise, there are always chances of electric short circuits.

Using Smart Charger

A good smart charger is like a generator with some good features. Unlike regular generators and battery chargers, a smart charger has sensors that keep a continuous check on the battery level and adjusts the volt up and down to provide the best possible charging.

smart charger

Sensors will check the power levels on the batter and increase or decrease the amp output based on that. A battery that’s empty can take in a huge amount of charging in a short period. But if the same amount is pushed in an almost completely charged battery, it might not be able to handle the input level and reduce its lifespan.

There are multiple charging modes in smart charges. Thus, the name – smart. You can customize the charging style and set a timer. For example, you can set an initial boost charge mode and afterward turn it into a slow charge mode when the charge levels reach a certain percentage. By doing so, you can enhance the battery.

Using Shore Power

It’s a good idea to power your RV through shore power while the battery is charging. Why? Because in this way, your RV battery gets to rest and takes in the whole charge inside without spending it anywhere else.

When the battery has to power RV appliances while getting charged, it has to work more than it was initially intended to. The increased pressure on the battery reduces its life and causes permanent damage to the electrolyte capacity levels. As a result, it won’t be able to hold on to the same power levels in the long run.

You can use roadside electrical connections or use a connection from motor homes or shore boat connections. But since shore connections don’t have high amp output, the battery will take quite a long time to charge. It’s not the best idea, but it’s better than using the charging battery connection to power your RV.

Working with Jumper Panel

If all else fails and you’re left with only this option, then go for it. It pushes down on battery health and kills battery life quickly. Follow the wire colors while connecting and only charge the battery as minimum as possible. This should only be an option while there’s no viable option available in your hand.

solar or wind generator

Working with Solar or Wind Generator

Some people like to use renewable energy while camping. It’s not a bad idea to have a solar or wind power generator available in your RV. The power output from them won’t be as enough as a 100-watt electrical connection, but it’s a good way to use clean, natural energy.

Final Words

Most fire hazards and battery blasts happen from a wet or rusty battery connection. Always check the connection cable to ensure they’re clean and dry. If there’s rust, clean it up too. Properly maintained wires could provide you with a proper connection for years. Also, check battery fluids regularly and fill them up when dried.

Hopefully, you will enjoy the blog about how to charge RV batteries with the generator. The article likes the guidance of charging RV batteries with the generator.

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