How To Charge an RV Battery With A Generator

An RV with a fully charged battery is capable of ensuring that the lightings stay on for more extended periods. It also makes it possible for other facilities onboard the RV to stay powered.

When the RV battery runs out, it may be frustrating to make use of those electrically powered facilities. There will, therefore, be a need to recharge your RV’s battery with the aid of a generator through the following step:

The first step is to charge your generator fully, or you may decide to plug into the outlet of an alternating current. Examine the battery to make sure it is in perfect shape. You may also decide to clean the battery with the aid of a wrench. The next step is to plug in the RV into the generator after examining the electrolyte level in the battery.

Remember, RVs run on heavy and expensive batteries to maintain all your comfort and necessities away from home. Also, for safety purposes, this helps take care of your battery and ensure you get the most out of your money.

The following sections are where we explore how you can out that generator to good use on your next move

Using a battery charger generator on your RV battery


The design behind a battery charger generator is not to charge RV Batteries for sure. But, the trick does work for particular models and levels of generators.

If you are lucky enough, you may own an RV with an already in-built generator, which makes it easier for charging your RV battery.

Yet, that does not mean you would stop reading this helpful guide halfway, so read on as we take it a step further. Most RVs still don’t have in-built battery charger generators, and getting to learn to use one for charging is a smart move. 

In particular, an 8 Amp power generator would be enough for starters looking to charge a 12 Volt battery. But you will have to confess that the process will be slow and takes different steps to ensure the connection works.

The leading cause is often the low ampere-hour capacity output present in most generators. 

Still, this should not let you off with trying out how to charge an RV battery with a generator. If you are looking to learn that, then here are the steps to do it correctly and safely. 

Step 1: Recharge the battery charger generator

The first item on the checklist is to ensure your battery charger generator gets a full charge. Try to determine and understand your generator plug type and power it with the right shore power AC outlet

Step 2: Properly clean the battery

Check your RV battery for any necessary clean up. That is cleaning off any build-up of residue on the spark plugs and connectors. Be sure to use gloves since you might be dealing with harmful battery acid.

Step 3: Make the battery ready for use

After cleaning out the grime, top up the battery’s fluid levels with distilled water. This helps build the cells’ lost electrolytes. In place of distilled water, an electrolyte conditioner might also come in handy. With these conditioners, you are sure to restore your electrolyte and increase the battery’s amp production. 

Step 4 : Unplug all devices

Before connecting the RV batteries to the generator, unplug all devices and appliances, this will protect you from losing amperage to the items rather than charging your battery.

Step 5: Connect the battery

Before connecting the battery, ensure the RV generator and generator plugs match for a connection. On average, the generator might charge up your batteries for up to four hours.

It will also depend on the air temperature of the surrounding area. Areas with an ambient temp of below 40 degrees, can hit the maximum charge limit of the battery. 

It would take approximately 1-2 hours with a good standalone charger. Once the batteries are charged, check on the adapter’s LED lights for confirmation.

If it signals the charging is complete, unplug all the charging cables and connectors. 

Trying out other charging options. 

Learning how to charge an RV battery with a generator is not the only solution. There are other conventional means available to charge your RV camper battery. 

Charging your RV battery with solar panel


Solar power is the right way for beginners looking for alternatives on how to charge an RV battery with a generator. For starters, solar panels are pretty cheap and available on many hardware stores.

Besides, solar panels are pretty handy since they are a one-off setup. You only have to set your panels towards the sun rays and let the photo-voltaic cells work the charge to your battery.

Considering solar energy installations have grown 35-folds since 2008, it makes them an excellent recommendation. But, keep in mind that solar energy output has pretty low wattage for the consumer-grade panels. 

Charging your RV battery with a wind generator


Just like a solar panel, wind generator seems to be picking up among RV campers. Among the reasons are the low cost and environmental friendliness of wind turbine generators.

It only takes upsetting a small turbine that you can buy at most auto parts or hardware stores.

Still, wind energy is far off a recommendation due to its drawbacks. The most common is the need for wind to charge up each time. This means you might get your turbines operating at 30 percent of their capacity.

The potential for damage is also likely when using wind turbines on top of your RV. Lightning storms can strike them, while the prolonged stress of driving can damage their condition. 

Charging your RV Battery using power cables

Charging RV Battery using power cables

There is the idea that you can improvise jump-starting your car to using it on your RV batteries. Straight off, this is something you would not want to make a recommendation if you are planning to camp in one place for a long time.

And it stems from the fact that charging an idle vehicle is not efficient and will be hard on the car alternator. In worse scenarios, the vehicle’s alternator may get damaged beyond repair.

The process is also slow, and you won’t be lucky enough to get away with it without issues. 

Can You Charge Your RV Battery From Shore power?

Yes, you can charge your RV battery using shore power. Shore power is the most reliable option to charge an RV battery, aside from learning how to charge an RV battery with a generator. There is a minimal drain on the battery, and it provides enough voltage.

You can charge your RV battery from a standard outlet if you’re using a 12 Volt charger.

However, shore power requires that your motorhome have a power inverter for a direct charge through the transfer switch. The standard shore power services include 20 amp, 30 amp, and 50 amp feed to your AC breaker panel.

Fortunately, you can buy these battery chargers from any auto shop in your locality. In fact, you can even get these chargers at discount stores.

Final Thought

Your RV battery is one of the essential parts of your motorhome. By learning how to charge an RV battery with a generator, you are sure to make it function conveniently.

Better yet, you get to maintain your RV comfort and the battery charger generator to serve you as long as possible.

Nevertheless, we hope that this guide will help you when next you set to charge your RV battery for your next move.

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