Are you looking for ways to charge an RV battery using a generator? Stuck and confused about where to begin? Well, this article has got you covered as we will be discussing all the know-hows of charging RV batteries with a generator in three simple steps.
RV batteries come in different types, depending upon the material used and their built-in capacity. The most common ones found today are lead-acid and lithium batteries. The time they last usually depends upon the capacity of the battery that you are using. Before jumping to the steps directly, it is a good practice to keep in mind a few important factors like “when” is the best time to charge an RV battery and “how much” time should it be charged?
If you do not have any experience regarding charging an RV battery, it is suggested to consult the user manual beforehand. Do not skip any of the below-mentioned steps, as it will require a lot of time and effort to start over again.
Step 1 – Preparing and Cleaning the Battery
Firstly, we will prepare our battery to check if it is in the right condition. As many times, a battery is dried up or corroded. This stops it from charging, and it can even lead to explosions. Hence, it is useful to clean before attempting to charge an RV battery. To do this, we first inspect it closely and look for signs of any damage or corrosion. This is the most crucial step and needs great care. If the battery seems defected or damaged, it is better to replace it before going any further.
Before we attach the battery to charge, we need to clean it thoroughly to avoid later inconvenience. Detach the battery, remove the plugs, and use a small brush soaked in a dilute mixture of baking soda and distilled water to remove the dirt particles. Finally, dry it completely using a cotton bud and make sure it is ready to use.
Then, take a close look at the electrolyte level. This liquid level is supposed to be ‘full’. If this is not the case, use distilled water to fill it up to the mark.
Next, we need to attach the right switches to plug them into the generator. Attach both the ends of the clips with the right plugs. Make sure the red ones are attached to the red plugs, while the black ones will always go with the black plugs. This will help us get both the positive and the negative ends.
Step 2 – Unplugging All the Other Devices
The next step is to unplug all the devices that are being charged to give full access to the generator. The charging could take longer if the temperature outside is below 30 degrees centigrade. Apart from that, the weather conditions might affect the charging time too. Also, make sure your generator is at least 120-volts as it could affect your battery life and the charging time.
For best results, make sure all the electrical equipment is unplugged and, if possible, turn off all the lights. This will help transfer the complete AC supply to the generator without any kind of interruption. But be cautious and try not to overcharge it.
Once the charging completes, gently remove the plugs, and test the generator for about 4-5 minutes before attaching it to the RV battery. Moreover, if it is heated up, let it cool to avoid any damage.
Step 3 – Plugging in and Charging the Battery
Now that we are done with the cleaning process. The battery is ready, and the generator has been fully charged. All left now is to plug the RV battery with the generator and leave it to charge. Make sure to keep all the inflammable devices or equipment away.
For better results, switch off both the battery as well as the generator. Next, let the generator run for a few minutes and then attach the battery. If your battery’s charging was fully drained, then it might take several minutes to bring it back to the normal charging level. But once you attach it to the charge, do not unplug in between as this could affect the voltage. Keep a check on the charging and wait for the battery to be fully charged before disconnecting.
A useful tip is to plug the battery before its power is fully drained as it consumes less voltage this way and takes less time when charging. Also, charging it for multiple short intervals is recommended for better performance and helps maintain a good lifespan.
RV batteries require proper care for good maintenance. Therefore, it is important to keep a few suggestions in mind before dealing with RV batteries, like checking their capacity and the build material. It is useful to choose the right generator to provide enough power supply to the RV battery. Along with that, we always make sure that the battery is cleaned thoroughly and ready to be plugged into the terminals. When inspecting, if there are visible signs of damage or defects, discard the battery immediately. Always be careful when locating the wires and dislocating the equipment.
After getting the plugs ready, we charge the generator fully and test it once to save time in the future. Next, we unplug all the previously attached devices and let the generator run for a few minutes before plugging in the RV battery. The charging time usually varies depending upon the weather conditions outside.
Dealing with lead-acid RV batteries could prove quite challenging if not taken proper care of. Hence, this article aimed to provide all the important steps to walk you through efficiently with charging the RV batteries. From maintenance and proper care to effective charging, we have discussed all the necessary steps you need to follow. Remember to refer to the user manual if you are stuck somewhere or not sure what to do.