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 > Solar battery maintainer

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ginagary

New York

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Posted: 05/31/12 03:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 2007 Winnebago Journey with 3 house batteries and 2 chassis batteries and are considering using solar to maintain them. Has anyone done this and what input can you share? We are considering Sunforce 1.8w solar battery maintainer and hooking one up to each individual battery. The other option is to use a Deltrain 4 output battery tender.

RCtime

So. Calif.

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Posted: 05/31/12 07:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TrikLStartThe solar you are considering will be mostly useless.
You most likly allready have a built in 10W solar that feeds your house batteries. Not sure as you have a much newer journey than mine, but thats what i have.
You may also have or have not a TrikLStart. If you dont buy one and install it.
That device will send some of the charge that goes to your house batteries via solar to your chassis batteries, keeping them both charged.
A nice addition to the built in 10W solar you may have is the Battery Tender 15W/10W solar with built in controller. You can flop on the roof and hook to your house batteries for additional solar in between uses.
Of course an array of big bucks solar is nice but thats not what your asking for right now I think.
This is in the absence of 110 elect. If you have that then there are plug in chargers, but the TrikL
Start is the Key to having both battery banks charge There is much info here on TrikLstart and its hook up, an easy 45 min. or less job.

* This post was edited 05/31/12 07:27pm by RCtime *


Ron
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smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 05/31/12 07:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1.8 watt... don't bother.

140w 12v panel $160 shipped

Morningstar Sunsaver-10 controller $45

So maybe $300 all in self install and you are set forever.

But then Deltran 4 bank is only $200, I would get the solar.

Otherwise why not just leave the RV plugged in?


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675 watts solar
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bluwtr49

Green Valley, AZ

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Posted: 06/01/12 08:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't bother.

If you're going to go solar why not put something on that will actaully charge the batteries.....like 100W?


Dick

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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 05/31/12 07:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anything less than 15 watts per battery is useless.

wa_desert_rat

Central Washington State

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Posted: 06/01/12 10:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That Sunforce 1.8 watt unit is far too small to keep your 800 amp-hour battery bank charged. Plus it's for "indoor"use. The panel itself is not waterproof. How you can use a solar panel only indoors is a mystery to me.

SMKettner's advice about the $330 solution sounds much more effective to me. If you have a secure spot you don't even have to install it but if you do install it on the roof you will need mounts, high-adhesion tape (don't drill holes in your roof!), wire with appropriate connectors, and then route the wire down the refrigerator vent to the controller next to the batteries.

Craig

Chuck&Gail

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Posted: 06/01/12 02:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have used the littloe 1.8 watt or so battery maintainers for over 20 years with great success. Don't think they were that model, but about $20 each. They work great to MAINTAIN a battery, assuming there are no parasitic drains. If there are parasitics you need to disconnect them with a switch, taking out the right fuse, or by removing the battery cable.

In fact the one on my tractor is vertical and faces due east. That is still enough sun to keep it ready to go, and I use it seldom to move rocks or snow (not as young as I was once, LOL, poor thing likely feels neglected).

Had some behind windshield on dash, which also worked great.

Yes bigger systems are nice, as they will charge some also, but I have four solar maintainers working today. $330 each or so is a bit more than I want to spend on that.


Chuck
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smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 06/01/12 03:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had 15w on four batteries. Never did work very well. Better than just sitting but still.

bluwtr49

Green Valley, AZ

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Posted: 06/01/12 03:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chuck&Gail wrote:

I have used the littloe 1.8 watt or so battery maintainers for over 20 years with great success. Don't think they were that model, but about $20 each. They work great to MAINTAIN a battery, assuming there are no parasitic drains. If there are parasitics you need to disconnect them with a switch, taking out the right fuse, or by removing the battery cable.

In fact the one on my tractor is vertical and faces due east. That is still enough sun to keep it ready to go, and I use it seldom to move rocks or snow (not as young as I was once, LOL, poor thing likely feels neglected).

Had some behind windshield on dash, which also worked great.

Yes bigger systems are nice, as they will charge some also, but I have four solar maintainers working today. $330 each or so is a bit more than I want to spend on that.


Won't work in this case.....not for 5 batteries. Sure, might slow down the discharge but that's about all. Figure 1.8W panel gives what, maybe 0.18A in full sun and more like 0.10 typical. On five batteries with at least 600 to 700 AH capacity??? Not a chance.

mena661

Southern California

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Posted: 06/01/12 03:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bluwtr49 wrote:


Won't work in this case.....not for 5 batteries. Sure, might slow down the discharge but that's about all. Figure 1.8W panel gives what, maybe 0.18A in full sun and more like 0.10 typical. On five batteries with at least 600 to 700 AH capacity??? Not a chance.
Yep, larger battery bank needs more solar to maintain battery capacity.


2009 Newmar Canyon Star 3205, Ford F53 V10
Trojan L16 6V's 740 Amp-hours


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