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Hi all, it seems I am looking for a product that may not exist the way I'll describe it. I have a gooseneck horse trailer with a small sleeping section. I've installed 4x 100w solar panels, and a 400AH 12v battery bank with a 1500w inverter inside for some QoL stuff. Charging laptops, running fans, powering a 4g antenna, etc.. All low(ish) draw appliances. I also have a 12v fridge/freezer that draws 5-7 amps when in use, but is pretty efficient and does not run often to hold temp.

So, what I am looking for is something to recharge these batteries when I'm camping off grid. Ideally a (very) small, quiet generator that can charge the bank at around 30A when I've had bad weather for a few days. It seems like overkill to buy a Honda eu2200 and plug in a Stanley 30A 12v charger to recharge my battery bank, but I can't seem to find something quieter and more efficient. Really, a 500w propane generator would be great for this purpose. Or, a generator that could charge 12v at 30+ amps regardless of if it had an AC outlet or inverter or not.

I am not opposed to spending a good amount for this miracle tool, but I do need to be mindful of space and noise. Ideally I want to keep at under 55db @ quarter load @ 20ft, and I do not want something large that will take up too much space like the Honda eu3000.

Any idea folks? Thanks in advance.
 

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yup the eu2200i would be my choice.
they run at a lower rpm for lower noise.
and or use a virt wind turbine as an alt?
those might be a challenge to travel. unless you stay put for extended stay.
but in some areas and times of the year it can produce power at night or in low to no light.

fuel storage is a thing.
and horses.
lp would be my choice for fuel.

they do have an onboard 7 amp at 12 volt that you could add to a battery array's charge regulator.
go the good solar charge regulator style with aux input.

so are you staying at the same places??
like summer place and winter place??
if so a system that you could plug in to at each owned location might work.
most rv folks like a storage shed for longer term stay.
they use them like a summer kitchen.
laundry room, shower, kitchen, mud room etc.
 

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Off the wall, but run a cord to the tow vehicle and let it idle to replenish batteries. You mention "When I've had bad weather for a few days..." What I suggest may not be the most efficient, but compare to cost of Honda, etc. for occasional use, also storing, setting up, fuel storage and hauling around.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yup the eu2200i would be my choice.
they run at a lower rpm for lower noise.
and or use a virt wind turbine as an alt?
those might be a challenge to travel. unless you stay put for extended stay.
but in some areas and times of the year it can produce power at night or in low to no light.

fuel storage is a thing.
and horses.
lp would be my choice for fuel.

they do have an onboard 7 amp at 12 volt that you could add to a battery array's charge regulator.
go the good solar charge regulator style with aux input.

so are you staying at the same places??
like summer place and winter place??
if so a system that you could plug in to at each owned location might work.
most rv folks like a storage shed for longer term stay.
they use them like a summer kitchen.
laundry room, shower, kitchen, mud room etc.
We often travel around to different places. Rarely the same place twice, and rarely the same place for more than 3-4 days. We are trying to hit county/state/national parks that are open in 2020. I like the idea of a wind turbine and I've considered it before. I just couldn't quite come up with a good pole mount system with Anderson connectors or something so that I could take it down / put it up quickly. Good call on the LP too. I have a skinny 100lb tank that fits perfectly in the corner of the horse trailer and takes up very little space. I will consider the eu2200 with the LP connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Off the wall, but run a cord to the tow vehicle and let it idle to replenish batteries. You mention "When I've had bad weather for a few days..." What I suggest may not be the most efficient, but compare to cost of Honda, etc. for occasional use, also storing, setting up, fuel storage and hauling around.
This is a great idea actually. Like you said, not the most efficient, but I could probably get 20-30A out of the alternator with 6 or 8awg cables run right to the battery bank. It seems like my 2013 Ram 1500 would put off 28-29A at idle. If I could get most of this functionally without a huge loss in the 30ft I'd need to run, this could be perfect. Any idea how much gas a V8 Ram 1500 with no lights or AC on consumes at idle?
 

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hummm that is an idea!
large battery bank built in to the bed of the truck.
then charge off a second alt on the truck.
look in to the ambulance package alts mounts for the ram.
most of the v8 engines have them available.
use a charge controller.
then the inverter could be located at the truck.

they make "towers" a basic push up pole with guy wires that would work with the virt turbine.
some of those virt blade setups operate at ground level like in the desert areas.

are battery's getting any cheaper for the hi-bred cars yet?
I hear in the next 10 years they are getting better again.
 

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Idling Consumes a lot of fuel. From a fuel economy standpoint an EU22200 is much more efficient. But considering spending the $1000 price tag, you can do a lot of idling before you hit a $1000 bucks lol.

That being said, idling is not great for engines, especially hemi‘s with their history of cam and lifter failures. I’d buy an eu2200 and call it a day.
 

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Agree with drmerdp, my off the wall suggestion was based on occasional use when boondocking during periods of no sun which I believe was the original scenario. Having purchased and then hauled around things based on "what if" situations, in hindsight I wouldn't have done it. However, if you buy the Honda, and have additional power, maybe a small AC, etc. will be in your future.
 

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We often travel around to different places. Rarely the same place twice, and rarely the same place for more than 3-4 days. We are trying to hit county/state/national parks that are open in 2020. I like the idea of a wind turbine and I've considered it before. I just couldn't quite come up with a good pole mount system with Anderson connectors or something so that I could take it down / put it up quickly. Good call on the LP too. I have a skinny 100lb tank that fits perfectly in the corner of the horse trailer and takes up very little space. I will consider the eu2200 with the LP connection.
In the conversion van world, people routinely pull some power from the alternator while driving to help charge auxiliary batteries.

In the old days, you could just tap into this 12 volt system and life was good. Now in order to really work it is best to use a battery to battery charger. This helps to deal with the wire losses and different charging requirements of for instance AGM vs flooded vs LiFe, as well as temperature differences.

Adding a second alternator can also be helpful.

Another method that is actually somewhat safer is to put a small (1 kW) inverter in the truck and power it from the alternator while driving - and feeding this 120 vac back to the trailer for battery charging.

It might seem counter intuitive, but 120 vac is actually safer and easier to manage than DC for this type of setup where you are moving power between vehicles.

Your goal should be to use the generator or battery to battery charging method to do the "bulk charging" aspect, and let the solar do the finishing charging steps on days like you are describing. Even with relatively little sunshine, it is probably enough to do these slow charge steps. It can take 4+ hrs to do this so running the generator that long can be annoying.

People use these approaches all of the time - including at my van electrical shop. You already have most of this in place, so adding the other parts should be relatively easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In the conversion van world, people routinely pull some power from the alternator while driving to help charge auxiliary batteries.

In the old days, you could just tap into this 12 volt system and life was good. Now in order to really work it is best to use a battery to battery charger. This helps to deal with the wire losses and different charging requirements of for instance AGM vs flooded vs LiFe, as well as temperature differences.

Adding a second alternator can also be helpful.

Another method that is actually somewhat safer is to put a small (1 kW) inverter in the truck and power it from the alternator while driving - and feeding this 120 vac back to the trailer for battery charging.

It might seem counter intuitive, but 120 vac is actually safer and easier to manage than DC for this type of setup where you are moving power between vehicles.

Your goal should be to use the generator or battery to battery charging method to do the "bulk charging" aspect, and let the solar do the finishing charging steps on days like you are describing. Even with relatively little sunshine, it is probably enough to do these slow charge steps. It can take 4+ hrs to do this so running the generator that long can be annoying.

People use these approaches all of the time - including at my van electrical shop. You already have most of this in place, so adding the other parts should be relatively easy.
Thank you for the advice. This is certainly the most well thought out response and I do think it will work perfectly for my instances.
 
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