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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Solar and Charger into one?

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time2roll

Southern California

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Joined: 03/21/2005

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Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 01/26/20 05:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That 1972 converter is a door stop. Do yourself and your battery a favor and get a modern multistage converter. Although skip on the WFCO brand.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675w Solar pictures back up

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Joined: 02/15/2006

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Posted: 01/26/20 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have had no luck finding the manual for that. This guy has some info on the wires in his question, which might help.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449/con........ut-converter-in-60-overlander-58613.html


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
See Profile for House electronics set-up.
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas

ajriding

st clair

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Joined: 12/28/2004

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Posted: 01/26/20 07:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, but that was just for fun. I owned this in my first motorhome and used it onboard that for 15 years. no complaints.
I have a very expensive camper in the drive, so this cargo trailer project is not going to be the end-all of technology. I want it to work well.

Back then, about 2001, I had a 12x14 solar panel that was only 5 watts. I wired it straight into the battery, all 18 volts, and it did a great job keeping the battery alive while in storage. I never had to charge it. Today I have a 12x14 inch 20 watt solar panel to keep my cargo trailer brake battery alive but have graduated to an MPPT controller. It also powers a few LED lights and the exhaust fan. It being the battery. I think I will leave that solar/battery system in place just for the brake battery and introduce the RV batteries for everything else. That makes no sense to not use the camper batteries, but I have no other use for a small solar panel and exit battery.

Did you know that in most states you need to carry either flares or reflective triangles when towing a trailer? I have the triangles, and they take up space.

markchengr

Seattle

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Joined: 01/05/2009

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Posted: 01/27/20 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never go on the road without triangles AND flares and I don't even tow. Have used them a few times for other folks in trouble. -Mark.

Dtank

USA

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Joined: 12/13/2005

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Posted: 02/01/20 09:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

I am modifying my cargo trailer to be more like a camper, and dug up some old stuff for it.

The solar I know how to set up no problem, no questions.
The power source no problems either.



Problems....[emoticon]

There are campgrounds that will *not* accept your cargo trailer home-made RV (no matter how nice it looks). It's a liability issue.

My BIL ran into that with his race car trailer (kinda like a home-built toy hauler). Race tracks = OK. Campgrounds on the way to distant events = maybe yes, maybe no.

Maybe westernparkowner (hope I got his ID correct) will chime in.

Of course, if you're boondocking - no problema!

.

ajriding

st clair

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Joined: 12/28/2004

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Posted: 02/10/20 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tested the DC power source. It puts out just over 13.8 volts on "converter", none when switched to "battery".
So, all this time I thought it was a charger…
I think I will need to wire it to put charge into battery.

It has two 12+ outs and one ground.
One 12+ goes to "lights"
The other 12+ goes to (really comes from) "battery" +.

When switched to converter the lights wire has power, but none on battery. When switch to battery the lights goes dead and if I had a battery there would be battery voltage from the battery wire and on the lights wire from the battery presumably.

When I switch to "battery" the "lights" and "battery" 12+ wire get connected, when I switch to "converter" there is no connection between batt and converter wires.
So, both the battery and the converter feed into the "lights" output to power the camper, and there is a select switch to choose which one, but I can't tell that any power goes back to the battery.
So< i should be able to add a switch to run power to the battery from the "lights" output 12+ wire and give battery 13.8v charge.

So, anyway, I think 13.8 is good charge voltage given the solar is the primary power source, so I will keep this power source.

And, likely I had a birdsnest of wiring and the "lights" got connected in the nest to a 12+ from the battery which would have fed back into the battery to do some charging, so I guess it did work. This is off my first camper, and I have refined my skills quite a bit since then.

Also, In 20 years I have stayed at one campground and that was because we were at a specific event and was the only place to park, and it was literally 19 yrs ago. I'm sure not eyeing those restrictive retirement campgrounds, but thanks for heads up…

I always have triangles, never used them, but have changed flats a few times on the interstate. Don't park on the left to change a left tire, park on the right with your rear end out in traffic so you get hit, at least cops won't give you a ticket for having a flat.

btw, this is something everyone needs to know about:
Wago connector
[image]
ebay has 60 for $13

* This post was edited 02/11/20 09:05am by ajriding *

ajriding

st clair

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Joined: 12/28/2004

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Posted: 02/13/20 08:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hard to believe how long it took to build the electrical system.
[image]

The batteries are two 6-golf in a box. The box is self contained and vented, varnished and will be painted one day.
I used two bolts to get the power through the box.
[image]

The metal bracket that is almost painted yellow spanning the styrofoam is the spare tire bracket for the outside (no structure on the nose so made this)
[image]

I turned box around to show how the vent works, but this

[image]
is the vent system, is a sink drain piece with a lip and a radiator hose section that fits perfectly over. The thin stained piece of wood has a hole cut in it the exact diameter as the black pipe. I used 4 screws and held it to the box (mount not pictured)

Still need to add water pump and plumbing, but most electrical is done.
I am waiting for parts to put the 100w panels on the roof, so still have to run solar wire to a controller to the batteries.

I have a 20w panel to a controller to that small exit sign battery just for the brakes (it was there before the conversion, so I decided good to keep it in case I remove camper batteries for some reason).

Breaker box has Gen/City power select and breakers for Air Con, outlets, converter and spare.
Fused DC block.

Alternator goes through a DC breaker (100 amps) so I can choose to turn it off on a sunny day. I will add another breaker between battery and converter soon.

I think, since the converter does not send power to the battery, that I can just use a fused circuit and send power to battery if I want to charge it that way. I do not think this would cause any issues. This will connect the converter power to the battery, as is the converter only powers the camper as mentioned above post.
That's no biggie, but when I switch back to battery there will be power going to the converter switch (switched to BATT) and power going out to fuse block which would be connected to the battery, or the battery connected to it sending power to the switch too. I think, electrically, either is the same - just power going from batt to the switch… Or am I missing something critical?

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