Do you want to know how to charge RV battery from vehicle? One of the most frustrating events to happen while traveling is not having enough battery power. While solar energy is an option for you, the sun might not always be up, especially in the cloudy weather. Don’t worry, as in this article we’re going to show you how to charge it even without a generator but using a DC charger and your car’s alternator.
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How to charge RV battery from vehicle?
- Get your DC to DC charger ready
This can be available in different amps, such as 20 or 50. Using it, you can turn your truck or vehicle as a generator. For this tutorial, we’re using a 50-amp charger that will limit the charging only up to 50 amps to prevent overworking your truck alternator and cooking itself. It will also let you charge your battery off grid. It is best to have one of these chargers, which can give you more options in charging your RV battery.
- Get the connection ready
It should run from your camper to your truck/vehicle. You can use an Anderson style plug and cable with a watertight style connector. You will use this to charge your battery from your vehicle.
[Anderson plugs are available in different sizes and colors. Typically, the 50-amp ones like the grey and red are used. They can also be available up to 350 amps. The bigger the Anderson plug means the bigger the current. However, remember that a red plug will only fit a red plug.]
- Proceed to the vehicle
Back in your vehicle, get your Anderson connector, which can be sitting inside the bumper at the back. However, the cable or wire should be long enough to reach your camper or mobile home. For added protection, make sure to wrap the cable with a rubber hose for insulation and protection from scratching different surfaces.
- In the engine bay of the vehicle, run the negative wire to the negative of the battery, while the positive to the positive.
Remove the caps to the battery and of the RV battery. Connect the red clamps to the positive post for the battery of the RV, and then the black to the car’s battery. The cable will be connected to the RV battery’s negative pole.
Until the battery is charged, let the car engine running. Remove the black clamp from the RV’s battery and also from the car’s battery. Disconnect the red clamp from your mobile home battery and your car battery. Replace the battery caps.
For added protection, you should have a fuse installed on the battery to prevent any damage to anything in case something went wrong.
That’s it! It is one of the best ways to charge an RV battery. You might want this method if you love traveling to remote areas where there is no shore power. It is also ideal for you if you don’t like the heavy and noisy generators. Turning your truck or vehicle into a generator is easy using these steps.
Charging the battery from a vehicle
For a review, run the wiring form the battery of your vehicle to the camper using an isolator that will connect the RV to the truck when the alternator is charging.
What are the issues? You might not be able to control the flow of power. It might be dangerous because the battery can overheat the alternator.
However, you don’t need to worry because you can use a DC to DC charger. Don’t skip the part of installing a fuse on the battery, though, for added safety. Then, you can run the wiring to your mobile home’s DC charger, and then connect the charger to the camper batteries.
When the alternator is running, the DC charger will turn on. This device can limit the current flow, while also charging the battery properly. Remember to check and adjust the settings to adjust to your battery type.
This is the best way to charge your battery while driving! This time around, you don’t need to use a generator or rely on the sun to charge your RV battery. It is a simple yet effective setup that can ensure your battery won’t die but will keep on powering your appliances while you’re on the go.
Important things you need for this method
- DC charger with MPPT solar controller
- 1 AWG wiring
- Fuse block terminal
- Battery terminal fuse 100 amperes
- Anderson connectors
- Circuit breaker 80 amperes
- Cable shielding
- Tie wraps
- Heat shrink
- Cable lugs
- And miscellaneous parts
Tips for charging an RV battery from a vehicle
Park your car near the battery of the camper. Turn off all the accessories in the RV because they will drain the battery fast. They will also slow down charging. However, it might be too big a task for an alternator to charge your battery from flat even if it can do it. It will significantly increase the alternator’s workload if you’d charge a flat battery with it.
Conserving your battery’s life
Minimize the engine-off power consumption. When the engine isn’t running, the battery can be the source of power. So, charging the phone while the engine is off can mean that you’re draining the battery power because its power is not replenished by the alternator. Doing this so more often will wear your battery down over time.
If possible, you must avoid too many short trips because the alternator will need enough time to charge the battery fully. However, it can be hard to achieve if you’re not driving long distances. The voltage of the battery will also progressively decrease if you only take short trips.
To regain the full charge of the battery, it might help if you would drive for at least 20 minutes a day.
There you have what to know about charging your RV battery from your truck or vehicle. Follow these tips and learn how to charge RV battery from vehicle today!