Many manufacturers actually provide charging systems for the RVs that they produce. However, many have noted that the quality is not so great and using them will be risky for your battery.
With this kind of system, overcharging is commonplace. That’s why it is you have to be familiar with the various RV battery charger so that you can choose the best one for your battery.
In this article, we want to share with you the many kinds of chargers so that you know what your options are. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading the article, you will be more familiar with how you can charge your battery properly with these various chargers.
Let’s start with the list of chargers that we will be discussing below!
Types of RV Chargers
Here is a list of chargers for your RV battery that we are going to cover in this article.
● Multi-stage and single-stage chargers
● Solar powered chargers
● Wind-powered chargers
● Trickle chargers
● Echo chargers
We will give a brief but concise explanation of how these chargers work. Let’s begin with the first one!
The converter-charger is among the basic systems for your RV. It can convert 120v of shore power into DC power at 12v. Because of this, the RV battery that you have will be able to store energy while you are using it.
Apart from that, this charger can charge your batteries if it has the capacity for excess power. You can expect this charger to work smoothly. It is rated in amps.
You will be needing 55amps of DC to provide power for all of your lighting and appliances in your RV. The converter-charger interacts with the panel for the main power distribution.
It also offers a 12v function and 12v all in one unit. You can have it either as a single-stage or multi-stage charger.
With the inverter, the format is multi-stage. Having a class A motorhome, it is easy to guess that you have an inverter-charger. Basically, it is identical to the converter-charger, but this one is packed with a little extra.
It is its ability to produce 120v of AC from your battery and 12v when you are lacking shore power. Some of the popular brands of inverter-chargers are Xantrex and Magnum.
Single-stage chargers are typically found in old motorhomes. You may be wondering how this charger works. You have to know that batteries do not just absorb power and then expect that they can store them indefinitely.
It is important that you understand that your battery needs to get a higher voltage in relation to its capacity so that it will charge.
Imagine a flat tire, and you are trying to inflate it. To do so, you will be needing higher air pressure so that you can completely fill it up.
If the pressure is not strong enough, the tire will just push the air back out then deflate totally. It’s the same thing with recharging batteries.
When your battery begins to accumulate amp-hours, it pushes those amp-hours back as the battery approaches full capacity.
When fix voltage is being applied, it is called taper charge. What this means is that there’s a lot of flow of amps during the first hours.
However, as time goes on and the battery becomes fuller, the rate of charge begins to decrease.
This is for the single-stage chargers. It is usually used in low to middle-range trailers as well as smaller motorhomes.
For a more modern method of charging, we suggest you use a multi-stage charger. With this charger, the charging is being optimized based on 3 stages of the charging process.
The processes are Bulk, Absorption, and then Float. With Bulk, your battery will be charged up to around 80%. At this phase, the battery will be constantly charged at 25% amp capacity.
At a certain point, the battery will begin to push back so the charger will then increase the voltage, keeping a constant rate with the amps. It will then switch to the next phase which is the Absorption.
With Absorption, a constant voltage flow is maintained until such time that your battery reaches its maximum capacity. When this happens, the Float mode will be switched on.
This phase will keep your battery charged a hundred percent. It will also maintain a 13.6 voltage.
As you can see, the multi-stage charger is more convenient to use compared to a single-stage charger.
However, they both work just fine on your RV battery.
Solar Battery Charger
Many people nowadays are looking for more innovative chargers that can provide power to the appliances in their RVs for an indefinite period. With a solar battery charger, you can have that. Solar panels can maintain the power of your battery when it is not being used.
However, the panels need to be at fifteen to twenty watts. Larger solar panels can provide more energy that can last for a whole day.
Even if solar panels are a great choice, you have to be careful when it comes to planning and installation. You may need to ask an expert to have the panels installed properly.
Read all the materials that you can find about this kind of charger so that you will know and understand more how a solar battery charger works.
Here is where you can read our article on the best portable solar panels for RV if you woild like to check!
If you feel that solar battery chargers seem too complicated, you can try out wind chargers. It only needs a propeller that will drive the alternator, as well as a wind charger that will be providing a good amount of surplus energy.
However, you may not be able to get the power you require because a wind turbine is too small. But camping in mountain valleys or desserts where the wind is abundant can prove that this type of charger is indeed effective and useful.
Both the solar charger and this wind charger are great choices because they are very environmentally-friendly.
You will not be needing chargers if you have your own generator. You can purchase one at any store, and you can start producing sufficient energy to power all the electrical components of your RV.
Generators give power at 120v, and it also helps the inverter or converter charger for recharging your battery. There are many portable generators equipped with an output terminal for DC current. The DC current may be used in powering the battery.
However, this may not be enough to completely charge it. Another thing is that there is some risk in powering your battery from your generator.
Problems may arise if you accidentally overcharge your battery by not turning off the generator when charging is complete. So be careful when doing this.
Trickle chargers are used for RV batteries. They keep the batteries charged fully. This kind of charger is compact and is a single-stage charger. Trickle chargers feature a float charge phase. This charger can hold one 12v battery.
However, you may see other chargers of the same kind that have multiple outputs. With those units, they can handle two or more batteries at the same time and won’t have issues with it.
If you are thinking about getting trickle chargers, we suggest you check out the Battery Tender or the Battery Minder.
While echo chargers are not really chargers, they are like battery combiners that allow you to switch energy between two batteries. This is a good choice if you have two kinds of batteries in your RV.
The main charger is attached to the primary battery while this echo charger “echos” a part of the charging amps to the other battery. With this kind of charging, you will have your backup battery. Some of the great combiners we know are Xantrex and Magnum.
These are the different kinds of chargers that you can get for your RV battery. Some sound easy to use while some seem to be a bit more complicated. To be sure during installation, consult and ask the help of an expert.
You don’t have to do everything by yourself. If things are beyond your area of expertise, it is totally fine to ask for professional help.
What do you think about the different chargers? Have you had any experience using some of them? Do share them with us in the comments!
More information on charger then watch this video..
What to Do Next
If you are thinking about buying or upgrading your RV battery charger, then you must know the kind of charger that is most suitable for your RV. All of the different kinds of chargers have their own strengths.
However, we would recommend that you get a multi-stage charger because they are arguably the best. What do you think about the chargers we have listed here? Which one do you prefer most?
If you have any question about them or anything about RVs, shoot us an email and we’d be happy to share to you what we know about them.
For more battery tips information, Battery Man Guide is the right place to always come back!