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Thread: Gas powered 12Volt charger

  1. #1

    Default Gas powered 12Volt charger

    You would think there would be a ton of these things, a simple gas powered 12volt charger. What is easy to find is the 120AC/12V generators like the Honda e1000. The e1000 puts out less than 10amps on the 12V DC line. A car's alternator can put out from 50amps to 100+amps. The examples below put out 50 or 55amps, but there are versions that go beyond 100amps charging.

    What I am thinking is getting is getting a 12V gas powered charger for my camper. My camper already has a 2000 watt A/C inverter that runs from 4 6V batteries. For extended dry camping, it would be nice to recharge the batteries in a few hours. Using solar is mixed, especially in highly wooded areas. Charging the batteries with my truck would take about 40hours (10amp/hrs for 40 hours for 400amp/hr battery pack).

    So, after a search, I found serveral gas powered 12V chargers. The best one that I like seems to be only in Australia. No idea of the cost.

    http://www.christieengineering.com.au/2.5hp.htm

    The next one is a chinese knock off that I can get for about $300, but I think available in the US. It has lower noise output than the one above.

    http://www.christieengineering.com.au/YK50A.htm

    There are plans to make your own with a simple lawnmower engine and an alternator.

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    pskhaat's Avatar
    pskhaat is offline Expedition Portal Moderator 2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbellve
    There are plans to make your own with a simple lawnmower engine and an alternator.
    Cool product! I was going to say that I've seen a few DIY kits to attach a single-wire alternator to a small Briggs&Stratton. It'd be interesting to use a redundant matching alternator from the vehcile that could be poached if need be.
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    Edit: Pskhaat types faster than I do...

    Just thought I'd include a link to a site with info on homebuilt DC generators:

    http://theepicenter.com/tow02077.html

    They sell parts.

    Also, another option I am planning on investigating would be to get a mil surplus 28V DC generator and regulate it to 12V.

    But I think a home-made one could be smaller than the mil surplus units, and easier to maintain from a parts availability standpoint. Another advantatge to the home-built is that you could use the same model of alternator on both the genset and on your vehicle, so if your vehicle alternator goes out you swap out with the genset.

  5. #5
    US seller of the chinese knockoff:
    http://www.batteriesareus.com/index....oducts_id=6730

    Here is a version made in the USA, but expensive:
    http://www.epowerchargerboosters.com/page2.html

  6. #6
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    I am wondering about the purpose of having a gas powered 12V charger?

    Surely not to bring on an expedition? I have dual batteries in my rig and I can force the second battery on if I had to give myself a jump start.

    Bringing along a AC generator and a (AC-powered) good battery charger might give you more use out of the generator than a 12 volt specific unit where you had to run an inefficient DC to AC inverter.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by teotwaki
    I am wondering about the purpose of having a gas powered 12V charger?

    Surely not to bring on an expedition? I have dual batteries in my rig and I can force the second battery on if I had to give myself a jump start.

    Bringing along a AC generator and a (AC-powered) good battery charger might give you more use out of the generator than a 12 volt specific unit where you had to run an inefficient DC to AC inverter.
    It depends on how long you plan on staying in one place, what your individual AC / DC requirements are, whether you want to run your vehicle engine just to charge batteries, etc.

    Running an AC generator and battery charger may be more inefficient, if your primary needs are DC.
    Last edited by Lynn; 07-18-2007 at 05:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by teotwaki
    I am wondering about the purpose of having a gas powered 12V charger?

    Surely not to bring on an expedition? I have dual batteries in my rig and I can force the second battery on if I had to give myself a jump start.

    Bringing along a AC generator and a (AC-powered) good battery charger might give you more use out of the generator than a 12 volt specific unit where you had to run an inefficient DC to AC inverter.
    I beg to disagree. Check the pages for the outback generator. Guess where they go? The Outback in Australia!!

    I think it is more efficient to go gas->12 Volt->Batteries->inverter to 110V AC. More of my appliances need 12V than I need 110 A/C. My 12V appliances include my water pump, furnace, hot water heater, refrigerator, and lights. My 110V AC appliances is my microwave, and TV/Satellite dish. So, it makes more sense to produce 12V power than to produce A/C power only to be converted to 12V power later.

    Pros:
    1) It puts out 5x as much amps at 12V compared to a A/C generator.
    2) Easily charge your batteries faster using less gas.
    3) Why pay for inverter technology in an A/C generator when you already have an inverter?

    An AC generator would take forever to charge your 12V batteries. As I said, the EU1000 charges less than 10amps with the DC output. The UE3000 puts out 12amps at 12V. If you go A/C to a battery charger, you would get even less. My 110V AC charger does about 6amps at the 10amp setting. With my 2000watt (3000max) inverter connected to a 30AMP 120Volt AC source charges my batteries at 30amps max.

    My truck will charge the batteries via the trailer connection at about 10-15amps at 12V.

    If you goal is to recharge your batteries, than you can't beat a 12V gas powered charger. I believe it is more efficient, and cheaper, assuming you already have an inverter.

    I could fully recharge my camper's battery once/week while dry camping. With an A/C generator, I would have to run it nearly once a day.

    For an A/C generator, at 10amps/hrs, it would take 40hours to recharge my batteries versus 8 hours for a 12V charger.


    Oh, cons?
    1) Doesn't include a inverter.

  9. #9
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    Why would I not want to use my trucks alternator to recharge my auxilary battery? I could also upgrade my trucks alternator for less than $300 to 130 amps.
    Am I missing something here?
    BX

  10. #10
    I don't think this is useful for a truck with a dual battery system, unless you kill both batteries and need a way to charge them perhaps.

    Let me just add..this is for large battery systems for things like trailers and campers designed for extended dry camping.
    Last edited by kbellve; 07-18-2007 at 07:05 PM.

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