How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

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Kkat_86
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How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Kkat_86 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:05 pm

Hello Beautiful Burners!

I bought a homemade electric trike for the burn this year that I am super excited about. The motor runs off two 12v deep cycle batteries in parallel and will probably last 6-8 hours depending on how much we use the throttle. Now I need to figure out how to charge them once we are out there. We have a generator and I'm coming down in an RV. I'm very new to electronics so my knowledge is very basic. HELP. :shock:

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby BBadger » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:32 am

Buy a battery charger, read the manual, and recharge your batteries.

You could also google it. Or Youtube it. Not-so-radical self-reliance and all that.
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby AntiM » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:49 am

Yep, you will need to buy a battery charger. Charging straight off the generator is not really feasible. It also depends on the type of generator, the usual ones which come with an RV are not beefy enough.
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Admiral Fukkit
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:26 am

RV generators are always 2500 - 3000 watts at the very least, usually more.
Thats more than plenty to run several battery chargers at once.

This is beyond simple. Buy a battery charger and use it. The only further advice is buy a bigger, more powerful charger, not the smallest cheapest one and you'll spend more time riding when you want, instead of waiting for a tiny weak charger to do the equivalent of filling a swimming pool with sand using a teaspoon.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:21 pm

Buy 2 deep cycle batteries for each day you will be at Burning Man so you wont need to worry about charging them. They will stay charged longer if you wrap them in aluminum foil & keep them in your trunk.

Oh wait, if you asked such a basic question then you may actually do that.......NEVERMIND!

(edit: The above replies were not snarky enough considering the question. What's wrong with you people? Am I still on ePlaya?)
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Kkat_86 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:24 am

Ya I feel kinda bullied. Thanks. Kinda wished I never asked.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Kkat_86 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:25 am

BBadger wrote:Buy a battery charger, read the manual, and recharge your batteries.

You could also google it. Or Youtube it. Not-so-radical self-reliance and all that.



:( you're mean

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Token » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:16 am

Kkat_86 wrote:Ya I feel kinda bullied. Thanks. Kinda wished I never asked.


It is actually real good you asked and some fine folks gave you good answers.

Get a good quality, large size automotive battery charger, and read the instructions.

The rest of the "noise", it happens pretty much everywhere. Just ignore the goofs, they are just misguided misfits.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:01 pm

The others were actually somewhat helpful. Use a battery charger. What else could you do?

Actually I'm the only one that was giving you much of a hard time because you asked such a basic question and didn't appear to do any (ANY) research. Remember one of the 10 Principals is Radical Self-Reliance NOT Radically ask everyone to help you with extremely basic questions.

Seriously, how would you charge the batteries at home in your garage? Do the same thing only use a generator in the desert. It's not that hard. The drawback to this is you will be running a generator for a long time & possibly annoying your neighbors. Your options are limited since you only have a generator.

I highly recommend you do a dry run at home & see how long it takes to charge them & if it works. Don't just show up to the Playa with an untested set-up. Good luck I hope it all works out for you.

The search feature here kinda sucks but you can ask your favorite search engine "ePlaya battery charging" and will probably get all your answers.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:04 pm

Kkat_86 wrote:
BBadger wrote:Buy a battery charger, read the manual, and recharge your batteries.

You could also google it. Or Youtube it. Not-so-radical self-reliance and all that.



:( you're mean


Jesus H., you asked a pretty no-brainer question, and you're calling the guy who took the time to answer it "mean"?

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Joeln » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:55 pm

Ya just roll with it and they'll love you.
Make a point of showing up at the meet n greet - turns out they're pretty nice folks.

Token wrote:
Kkat_86 wrote:Ya I feel kinda bullied. Thanks. Kinda wished I never asked.


It is actually real good you asked and some fine folks gave you good answers.

Get a good quality, large size automotive battery charger, and read the instructions.

The rest of the "noise", it happens pretty much everywhere. Just ignore the goofs, they are just misguided misfits.
Collapse first and avoid the rush

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby badscr » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:22 pm

question: What type of charger to use and what specs does it need tobe?

for such an "easy question" , some sore have a hard time to answer it then??
it not that easy of a question. if you home with 24/7 utility power yah, any charger and done.
But, we are talking about a remote extreme environment, with limited fuel, strong-willed dust, And NO Default world Utilitys.

I do not have a good answer as ive not researched that part of it. Best not to use generator to charge battery over 85% its a wast of fuel.

maybe have some good info here:
Battery charging via generator
Tech Tips: Charging Batteries with Generators
xantrex AC to DC battery bank charger Videos

Making off grid RV electrical systems work (idk its long & im not reading that now)

im googleing generator rv battery bank charger
RVs, boondocking, off-grid solar, generator battery bank charging,
Last edited by badscr on Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Sham » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:37 pm

The second set of batteries is a great idea. Then you could charge them only when you have the generator running for other things, instead of just to charge the batteries. At the end of the day, put the fully charged ones in, and set the worn down set for recharge when the generator runs next time.
You might also pick up a power inverter at one of those surplus freight places. We had our generator crap out on us last year, and this dinky inverter ran all the LED lighting in the camp, a small refrigerator/freezer and the lights in my trailer. I ran the car for an hour or so to recharge the car battery. Radical self reliance baby!

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby GreyCoyote » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:06 pm

Ok. I'll bite, but its all been beat to death pretty well in many other threads over the years.

Find a charger that will produce the C/10 charge rate. To find this, divide the total amp-hour rating by 10. Get a charger of that amperage output. This is a bit "hot" for long-term reuse, but its perfect for the playa. If you are using a standard Costco/Sams/Sears deep cycle (Group 24, 27 etc) then skip the math and get a 10 amp charger. Got two batts in parallel? 20 amps. Done. Cant find an exact match? If you are within 20%, you are fine. Got hotter (higher amps) if you have a choice. Again, NOT ideal if you plan on charging the batteries every day for 5 years, but very good for playa use.

Schumacher makes a good multi-rate computerized unit. I have three and love them. Walmart has them for about $89. YMMV

Charge the batts until the charger exits the bulk-charge stage. Not sure how to tell? RTFM. Cant read? Charge until the charger says the battery is done.

If you have a solar panel w/charge controller, connect it whenever the battery has finished the bulk charge phase and you'll save a couple of hours of generator noise while still getting a full charge. Solar is great for that last 20%.

Read-up on wet lead-acid batteries. Its interesting stuff and the info will serve you well some day. Spend 8 bucks for a cheap volt-ohm meter and learn to use it. It'll save your ass someday.

Final comment: smart chargers are great, but they HATE playa dust. Find a way to keep the air flowing but the dust out. Important!
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby BBadger » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:20 pm

badscr wrote:question: What type of charger to use and what specs does it need to be?

for such an "easy question" , some sore have a hard time to answer it then?


That was not the question asked. The question was some general "how do I charge batteries?" If the specific question you posted above were asked maybe there would be more specific answers. It would imply that the OP had done some sort of legwork to figure this out without asking some general question.

General question = general response.

it not that easy of a question. if you home with 24/7 utility power yah, any charger and done.
But, we are talking about a remote extreme environment, with limited fuel, strong-willed dust, And NO Default world Utilitys.


Stop moving the goal posts. All your "differences" relate not to how to charge a battery, but to generator operation. They're two separate things, and questions about the latter were not even implied by the OP.

For the charger, there is no meaningful difference. The OP has a generator. It has 120V AC plugs. It's like plugging into an outlet at home.

You buy a charger, read the instructions, and they will inevitably tell you to:

  1. Attach the charger to the battery
  2. Plug the charger into the electrical outlet
  3. (Switch to the deep cycle battery mode, which is usually the default -- go read the instructions! )
  4. Wait until the battery is charged

Or what, the the difference is:

  1. Turn on the generator

Hand-holding someone through the entire process is just hurting them in the long run.
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Admiral Fukkit
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:32 pm

My big burning question is, how are you charging them now, at home? Can't you just do the same when you are on the playa?

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby GreyCoyote » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:51 pm

Admiral Fukkit wrote:My big burning question is, how are you charging them now, at home? Can't you just do the same when you are on the playa?


Oh yeah. There ya go again, Capt! Making sense without a proper artistic license... :mrgreen:
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Zubeneschamali » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:13 am

Non-bullying recommendation: Buy the chargers (yes 1 for each battery) and field test at home this week using the same system you'll use on the playa. This will give you an overall idea of what it will take to maintain it during the week. This and a little research in regards to the changes in environment between Black Rock and your local area will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Kkat_86 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:22 pm

Thanks everyone for a lot of great advice. I didn't write my original post with enough detail of my common knowledge that I already have. Guess the obvious was not so obvious. Of course I know to get a battery charger and read the instructions. I'm not stupid. Most of these posts definitely wanted to make me feel that way. I was just wondering if anyone had some good tips on how to charge them more efficiently. I have a solar panel. Generator. And going to charge my batteries in parallel. Using both.

Any way feelings hurt aside, thanks to all those that posted some really great advice! I hope to see you on the Playa!

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby BBadger » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:27 pm

Kkat_86 wrote:Thanks everyone for a lot of great advice. I didn't write my original post with enough detail of my common knowledge that I already have. Guess the obvious was not so obvious. Of course I know to get a battery charger and read the instructions. I'm not stupid. Most of these posts definitely wanted to make me feel that way. I was just wondering if anyone had some good tips on how to charge them more efficiently. I have a solar panel. Generator. And going to charge my batteries in parallel. Using both.

Any way feelings hurt aside, thanks to all those that posted some really great advice! I hope to see you on the Playa!


Kudos to you for sticking through the thread despite the snark and terse responses.

For efficiency, do only bulk charging with the generator. In other words, stop at about 80-90% charge (usually the last light on your charger's charger indicator). The remaining charge cycles will top off the battery, but take a lot longer time and wastes fuel. Instead, you can use solar to top off the batteries if you have a separate charge controller for those, or just don't bother since that 20% may not be worth it. Set an alarm on your watch or whatever you use to take time to check the charger to see when they're done with bulk charging.

Don't discharge below 50% if you can help it, or it damages the battery. I think that corresponds to 12.2V on a 12V battery. Yes, that means, you have only 50% of your total capacity to actually use. You can push it if you want; it just reduces the lifespan of the battery.
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby cactussam85 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:55 pm

My $0.02...

1) Buy two spare deep cycle batteries to make it easy to swap them out when your others go dead.
2) Get a solar charging panel and charge controller for EACH battery (should come out to around $100-$150 total)
3) Leave your solar chargers out with good solar gain all day to recharge the battery
4) Swap out batteries when needed.


Notes: as mentioned, make sure you get a panel that will produce enough current (amps) to give you enough of a charge on the batteries after 10-ish hours of sunlight

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby legionvr6 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:53 pm

How handy are you? How much space do you have for transport? You could buy a large solar panel, build a frame onto the bike, mount the panel above the bike as a sun blocker roof and use it to charge the batteries. No clue on power consumption but if you want a last minute project that might be a fun one if you have the room and handyman skills.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby tivockler » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:10 pm

legionvr6 wrote:How handy are you? How much space do you have for transport? You could buy a large solar panel, build a frame onto the bike, mount the panel above the bike as a sun blocker roof and use it to charge the batteries.


This is actually a pretty cool idea!

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby EGAZ » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:33 pm

Using-your-solar-head.jpg
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:41 am

tivockler wrote:
legionvr6 wrote:How handy are you? How much space do you have for transport? You could buy a large solar panel, build a frame onto the bike, mount the panel above the bike as a sun blocker roof and use it to charge the batteries.


This is actually a pretty cool idea!


Unless you understood how large the panel would need to be to make enough power!
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Traveller in Time » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:30 am

That is what they do on the Solar powered cars race.

The required surface seems to be not that big and as you are limited to walking speeds this should not be a big problem :D
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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:43 am

Now, if you really got creative and built it with enough articulation so that when the wind blew, instead of fighting it you could use your panel as a sail, you'd have something!

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby rmc50 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:25 pm

Kkat_86 wrote:Hello Beautiful Burners!
The motor runs off two 12v deep cycle batteries in parallel



Are you sure they are in parallel?

Most of the electric assist systems I have seen are 24, 36 or even 48 volts. Using two batteries in parallel would be unusual.

If the batteries are in parallel then you can charge them as a bank, leaving them connected. This would certainly be easier as you could leave them connected and not have to disable the bike to charge. Simply hook the charger up and let it go. Alternatively you could run on just one battery, leaving the second one at camp (where it might get charged) and then swap batteries as needed.

If the batteries are in series then you would either need to charge them with a 24 volt charger or charge each battery separately.

If you are buying a standard 12v "automotive" style charging then I have one recommendation for you: Get a charger that turns on and charges without requiring any button pushes.

Many of the chargers have multiple settings, and you need to select the type of battery and/or the desired charge rate before they will do anything. While this usually isn't a problem when you are at home, it is a real PITA when you are camping and running off a generator. Ideally you would want to leave the charger hooked up whenever the bike was in camp, and then have it charge every time you start the generator. But if you have to run outside and poke the charger it can really cut down on the effective use of the generator.


R. Mc.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:37 pm

Because why would you want a good charger that lets you select the right mode, when pushing a button is SO hard.

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Re: How does one charge 2 deep cycle 12v batteries?

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:21 pm

Yeah, why buy a one-trick pony for something you'll be charging once per day? Many chargers will default to 12V regular lead acid batteries anyway.

If there are any questions about how to use any of your equipment, write instructions on a piece of paper and tape it to the back of the equipment.
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