Which Battery Starts The RV Generator?

 Generator’s can be very helpful for any RV owner, whether you run the generator for a small amount of time, or all night long! Many people have asked this question, as it can be confusing on whether your generator will start on house battery or chassis. Well the answer is simple, you can attach your generator to either, BUT chassis is the best option.

It can be dangerous to attach your generator to your battery, because you may run out of battery power. This is an unfortunate event, as you can’t typically charge your battery on the road or if you are boondocking. Thankfully, in desperate situations, your generator can help charge both house and chassis battery power.

Keep in mind that your chassis power can eventually get drained as well, but usually it will last longer and it is easier for your generator to charge your chassis than your house battery.

Chassis often the better power source if you can choose between the two, but some only work off one. You can test this by locating your manual on/off switches on your generator. There should be two switches, one for chassis and one for battery.

Turn the mechanical switch off, make sure the engine isn’t running, then attempt to start the generator. If your generator were to start, this would mean that your generator runs off of house batteries. If it doesn’t run, this means it is hooked to chassis batteries. Make sure to turn your switch back on.

This will be different depending on your RV. Some RV’s will have your generator connect directly to house power, other’s will attach your generator to chassis power.

Continue reading to find out what to do if your RV’s house battery is dead:

How Can I Charge My RV House Battery?

If your RV house battery has died, there is actually a few ways you can try and charge it. Check out these few ideas from RV owners:

  • Plug your generator into shore power. This is a simple idea that will usually work. This way your converter will do the charging for you. Typically, an on board converter charges quicker than a stand alone charger or plug on your generator.

  • Get a battery charger. If your generator runs off of your house battery, be sure to bring along a good battery charger that you can use. If you get a good, heavy duty charger, you can quickly and efficiently charge your house power.

  • Jump start the house battery. You can sometimes do this with your chassis power or generator itself. Keep in mind your chassis needs to be pretty welled charged itself, but this may work in a desperate situation. You can also use jumper cords, or a jump pack.

  • Emergency start. This may not be on all RV’s, but some have a button called the “emergency start. This will merge all the battery power left in the RV to start your generator until the last of the battery power in gone. This could give you some time while you work on charging your house battery. Keep in mind that over time, your engine alternator will eventually charge your battery.

Keep reading to find some useful products for your RV generator:

20 FT Jumper Booster Cables

These jumper cables are good to have around the RV for many different reasons. But you can use these to jump start your house battery power. Make sure you have some of these lying around in case of emergencies. Check out these great 20 ft booster cables.

NOCO Jump Starter Pack

This pack can be a great help for anyone needing to jump start their house battery power. You can also use this to jump start your car, or other things. Be should to have an awesome and reliable jump start battery pack.

NOCO 12V Battery Charger

This battery charger is another great way to take care of your house battery power. You can quickly charge your battery with this 12 V charger, so make sure you have one with you on your next trip. Check out this awesome NOCO 12 V battery charger.

Ironclad Utility & Electrical Work Gloves

These gloves are a must have for anyone working with electrical. If you are working on your RV’s battery or generator, be sure to where these gloves for extra protection. These gloves are layered for durability and safety, and has rubber tips for grip.

We hope this article helped you determine which battery starts your RV generator. Sharing problems and solutions can make RV living so much easier. So if we didn’t include something that you have experienced, please leave a comment below to share with others. Until then, enjoy, be safe and have fun RVing!