RV batteries are known for being long-lasting and for being able to hold a charge for a long period of time. That said, sometimes those batteries may run dry.
Maybe you haven’t charged them in a while, or maybe you used the appliances too much and accidentally drained your battery. Therefore, today we want to talk about the fastest way to charge RV batteries.
There are a number of ways to charge RV batteries including with a generator, converter, by driving, using DC power, solar power, and wind power. We’re also going to examine how long it should take for an RV battery to fully charge.
7 Fastest Ways To Charge RV Batteries (In Order)
Let’s take a look at each of the 7 ways you can charge your RV battery, starting with the best option;
1. Using A Generator
The fastest and easiest way to charge the batteries in your RV is to use a generator. Yes, here we are talking about a gasoline powered generator. Using a generator to charge your RV batteries is extremely fast and effective, as well as free of risk.
Unlike some other charging methods, using a generator does not pose any risks to the battery of your RV. That said, do keep in mind that RV batteries are high capacity then you will also need a high capacity generator for this to work effectively and quickly.
To perform this task, you will just have to connect the battery to the generator using the positive and negative cables, and the corresponding terminals.
You’re then just going to turn the generator on, and let it do its work. To make the batteries in your RV charge faster, turning off all electrical components will help. Once the battery is charged, simply disconnect the generator.
2. Using A Converter
The next best way is to use a converter. First of all, you can connect that converter to either a 30 or 50 amp outlet at the campground. You can also hook up to the power grid app in your home using either a 15 or 20 amp power outlet.
Simply put, one of the quickest ways to charge your RV battery is by plugging it into an actual AC power source. Keep in mind that all are these come complete with either 50 amp or 30 amp hookups.
You can plug these into the shore power in an RV campground, or in your home. As soon as you connect to shore power, the batteries will start to charge. If we are talking about 20 amp or 15 amp outlets, a normal home extension cord will do just fine.
3. Using A Battery Charger
If your RV battery is at 12 Volt battery, and you also have a 12 Volt battery charger at home, then this is the next best option.
Simply put, you’re just going to connect the 12 Volt RV battery to your 12 Volt battery charger and let it do its work.
Of course, you are going to need AC power to connect the battery charger. Yes, the battery charger has to have power in order for it to charge an RV battery.
4. Charging The Battery By Driving
The next most effective method to charge an RV battery is going to be by driving the RV. Of course, if your RV batteries (the engine batteries) are totally dead, then you won’t be able to turn the RV on in the first place. However, if the battery is not totally dead, or you can get a jumpstart, then this is a fantastic option to consider.
Keep in mind that RV’s have two sets of batteries, one to power the engine, and one for the electrical appliances. Therefore, in other words, you are going to use the main battery that you use to turn on the motor to charge the house batteries.
Therefore, you need to use those red and black cables to connect the house batteries with the RV’s main battery. You’re just going to connect the positive and the negative terminals.
On a side note, if you don’t have much experience with electrical things, you might want to avoid this method, as it can be a bit dangerous.
However, once both are connected, you can then just turn your RV on and start driving. This should charge the battery in a decent amount of time.
5. Using A DC Power Source
Something else you can do to charge an RV battery is to use a DC power source. Using a DC power source to charge your RV battery will allow you to avoid having to use a converter. That said, this process is not going to be very quick.
On that note, you definitely want to turn off the appliances in your RV before you attempt to do this. If you have appliances in the RV running, then this charging method is going to be extremely slow.
6. Using Solar Power
A very green and eco-friendly way is by using solar power. Here, you are going to need to get some solar panels, some fairly large and highly rated ones. Do keep in mind that solar charging can take a long time, and RV batteries are fairly large.
This means that you do need a whole lot of solar power to charge that battery. Also keep in mind that you are going to need an amp controller, otherwise known as a charge controller, as this will prevent your RV battery from overcharging.
This amp controller also needs to have more amps than both the battery and the solar panel combined. To make sure that you get the right charge controller, divide the watts provided by the solar panel by the number of bolts in the battery.
This is an effective way to charge an RV battery, although a fairly slow way. It can also be fairly impractical because you are of course relying on some lights to get the job done. If there’s no sunlight, you’re going to have some problems.
7. Using Wind Power
The seventh and final way to charge your RV batteries is by using wind power. Yes, this means that you will need to have a miniature wind turbine.
Of course, these are fairly rare, and costly too. However, if you are interested in living off-grid and supplying yourself with your own green and eco-friendly power, it is a good investment to make.
Just like with solar panels, you will need an amp controller. You will also need to follow the same principles as discussed above in terms of the amp controller having more amps than both the battery and the wind turbine combined.
Now, this method does of course rely on wind. Therefore, if you are somewhere where it is not windy, this is not going to work. Even if there is plenty of wind, this method can be somewhat slow. That said, slow is better than not charging at all.
How Long Does It Take To Charge RV Batteries?
How long it is going to take to charge RV batteries completely depends on how large those batteries are, what their capacity is like, and what kind of charger you are using.
If you are using a big generator, it might only take 7 to 10 hours to charge those batteries. However, if you are just using your converter, it might take all day to charge that RV battery.
If you are using wind or solar power, it may also take all day. with any of these slower methods, such as using a converter, wind power, or solar power, it could take up to 40 hours, or even more to reach a 100% charge. Yes, worst case scenario, you could spend two days charging your RV battery.
Conclusion: What Is The Best Way To Charge RV Batteries?
If you have one on hand, hands down, the best and fastest way to charge an RV battery is by using a generator. However, if you are in a pinch, and you don’t have a generator, then any of the other methods will work as well. No, they might not be as quick, but slow charging is better than no charging at all.