Tuesday, December 6, 2022


Can you plug a friend’s RV into yours to charge his batteries?

By Chris Dougherty
Certified RV technician

Dear Chris,
I am a new RVer and have a new Class C motorhome which we purchased this spring. I have a friend that my wife and I boondock with and as fall comes on, his ability to recharge his fifth wheel batteries by solar panel becomes troublesome due to cloudiness or just plain ol’ reduction in daylight hours. My coach has a 5000-watt generator. Which begs the question: Is it possible for me to run my generator and charge his batteries using heavy-gauge extension cords, just as if he were plugged in at home? If so, would I charge from an outside outlet on the exterior of my coach or from the main source plug (not sure what the official name is, but the one that I would use to plug into shore power with)? —Larry and Becky

Dear Larry and Becky,
When you’re running your generator your shore power cord is disconnected through the transfer switch and will do nothing (provided you have a transfer switch…some coaches don’t.). Plugging him into the exterior outlet on your coach is just fine, as long as he realizes he can’t run much on it. If all you’re doing is giving him enough power to operate the converter/charger then that’s fine. The extension cord you use should be rated heavy enough to handle 15 or 20 amps for the distance you’re going. As long as the cord is adequate, the worst thing that can happen from a load standpoint is you’ll blow the breaker if he draws too much.

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