How to Charge RV Batteries With Generator?

How to Charge RV Batteries With Generator

Do you want to enjoy living in your RV without having to worry about power supply? As an RV owner, I am aware of the different challenges that anyone can encounter during a trip. One common problem is running out of power supply. However, when you have the best RV generator – whether portable or one already installed in your RV – you can still fully charge your RV battery with ease. RV batteries that are properly charged will have a long and more productive life. In this article, we will look at some steps on how to charge RV batteries with generator.

What You Will Need


  • Portable generator
  • Distilled water
  • Wrench
  • Baking soda
  • Clean rag and toothbrush
  • Battery rust protector or petroleum jelly

Step 1: Plug in the Generator

You first need to ensure that your generator is fully charged. Alternatively, you can plug it directly into an AC outlet. You should also turn off the RV and engage the emergency brakes in order to prevent accidents.

Step 2: Inspect the Battery

An inspection of your battery is very important so as to check for any signs of corrosion, cracks, and bulging. You need to clean the batteries if they have any fuzzy white, green, or yellow stains on them. If the battery and terminals are dirty, proceed to the next step. If not, proceed to step 6.

Step 3: Cleaning the Battery

Before you clean the battery, use a wrench to remove the cables. Start with the black or negative cable then the red or positive cable. After that, create a paste of baking soda and water then apply it to the battery terminals using a toothbrush. A wire brush will also help eliminate corrosion.

Once you have removed the grime, use a clean rag to wipe off the terminals until they are completely dry. Then, apply a battery rust protector or petroleum jelly to offer protection to the terminals against future corrosion.

Step 4: Check Electrolyte Levels


If your RV battery is not factory sealed, do check the electrolyte levels. If the fluids levels are low, slowly pour distilled water up to the fill point.

Step 5: Reconnect RV Battery

Reconnect the battery component, this time starting with the red (positive) cable followed by the black (negative) cable. Use a wrench to ensure that the cables are well fastened.

Step 6: Turn Off the Lights and Unplug Electrical Appliances

It is advisable to unplug all electrical appliances in order to maximize the charging of your RV battery. This is especially important if the generator is wired directly to the electrical system of your RV. It also helps to turn off the lights.

If possible, make sure that your generator is plugged into a 120V AC outlet. You can also use a portable generator with 12V C output; however, charging will be slow and the battery may not be charged to full capacity.

It is also paramount to know that the charging time can be affected by temperature. For instance, charging your RV battery at a temperature below 40 degrees may limit the charge capacity. For this reason, it is a good idea to park your RV or place the battery and generator where the ambient air temperature is above 40 degrees.

Step 7: Plug RV Plug into Generator

Once you have plugged in the generator to an AC outlet, connect it to the battery. If the conditions are ideal, charging may take around 2 to 4 hours. If the RV battery is depleted, it will take a longer time for it to get fully charged. Hence, I recommend not letting your RV battery to go below 20% as this can also lower its lifespan. Plug the generator into an outlet so you can use it later on.

Pro Tips

  • Before you purchase your generator, see to it that you know the specifications of your battery. This is an important consideration because the power requirements of RV batteries may differ with amps, size, battery discharge level, and converter output level.
  • Limit the use of electrical appliances if possible so as to save on power.
  • Replace the RV batteries before they reach the expiration date.
  • Clean your RV battery regularly.
  • Don’t let your RV battery run down to less than 20%. Instead, ensure that it is charged at all times to prolong its longevity.
  • Make sure you have a backup power source to help in times of emergencies, like when the generator runs down on energy.


Maintaining your RV batteries and charging them as often as possible will ensure that you have an effortless RV living. This is because the right RV generator will boost batteries which contributes a lot to your RV electrical system. Did you enjoy the steps? Well, we hope that these steps come in handy in helping you charge the batteries of your recreational vehicle.

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