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Old 01-18-2018, 07:51 PM   #1
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Planning to Upgrade power for dry camping

Hello All:
I've spent a lot of time recently educating myself on the ins-n-outs of RV electrical systems. I've reached the point where I know enough to be dangerous . So I thought I'd check in with those of you whom have already been down this road, in the hopes you might point out any hazards I will likely encounter...

My current setup is a single 12v battery. All of our camping to date has been where shore power is available. I use a CPAP machine, and I have a generator that I used when we dry camped with our old PuP to recharge the batteries on it.

However, this July we are planning a 7 day trip where we will not have any shore power. So I need to get ready...

I also want to ad an inverter to run the interior outlets for the CPAP and the TV at a minimum, plus maybe cell phone/Ipad charging. Not intending to use the microwave or coffee pot, or any big wattage items.

I am considering doing the install myself to save a couple of bucks. I have the time and I think it would be fun to do the work myself if I can. Plus I like the idea of learning how to take care of my trailer.

So, my plan in a nutshell is as follows:

1) Get 2 6v deep cycle batteries (open to suggestion on brand) and connect them in series. I'm leaning to AGM over flooded cell but could possibly be convinced otherwise. Want to put them in a single box if possible.

2) Replace current battery disconnect with a new one

3) Looking at a pure sine wave inverter in the 1500W to 2000W range. Totally open to discussion on brand, but thinking it should be an inverter only, not an inverter/charger

I plan to put a (n.c.)relay near the existing converter and wire it so that whenever I turn the inverter on/off, the converter will automatically be turned off/on. This way I can mount the inverter closer to the battery bank, all with the appropriate gauge wiring, of course!

This brings me to a real concern: My trailer has a sealed underside, and I'm not sure how to route the wire from the inverter to the relay near the converter. How have you guys dealt with this?

I plan to use my generator (a Honda EU2000i) to charge the batteries as required, thru the existing converter in my trailer. However I've see some comments on other websites that claim the stock converters installed in most RV's might not be the best for properly charging the batteries. There is an entire, and very confusing, branch of science that deals with this issue...

So this is my second concern: What has been your experience with charging your batteries thru your converter? Should I be concerned? Do I need to invest in a separate charger to protect my investment in my batteries? Or am I worrying about nothing here?

I will also check my generator manual to see if it has the ability to charge the batteries directly.

I'd appreciate any feedback or "lessons learned" you would care to share!
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:55 AM   #2
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I've had only one experience with using my same model Honda at Grand Canyon North Rim NPS campground. We were only able to use generators from 8-10 AM and 6-8 PM at that time. I charged through the converter during those hours every day and that got me through a week's stay. Battery didn't ever run out. My Honda came with the attachments to connect directly to the battery, however I didn't use them. I believe it's supposed to charge quicker using the direct attachments. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:24 PM   #3
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Yea, I used it once before when I had the pop up trailer. I also charged thru the converter charger then, and it worked fine. My trailer looks like it has a 3 stage converter, so it should be safe for the batteries to charge it that way.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:08 PM   #4
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If you change batteries, be sure to change your charger parameters to match the batteries - i.e. if 120 amphr batteries it should be set to charge 60 amphrs ....
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnboytoo View Post
If you change batteries, be sure to change your charger parameters to match the batteries - i.e. if 120 amphr batteries it should be set to charge 60 amphrs ....
Ack!!!! typo

if 120 amphr batteries it should NOT be set to charge @ 60 amphrs !!!
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