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Old 02-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Solar Battery Charger

OK so I searched all over cant really find directly related to my question.

I have an XT-245 & I am wondering if anyone out there has a good Battery Charger setup using Solar power. Basically something to maintain the Batteries while camper is unused or stored in the yard. I dont want it to be wimpy because When I dry camp Imight want to hook it up to maintain the batteries for me during the week or 2 we are dry camping. I have a generator just looking for something to use solar not real big & bulky I have no ideas about Watts & I think I need a controller so to keep my battery from over chanrging or uncharging while no sun is up. But again I am new to this whole Solar idea but think I want to start someplace so I figured camper would be a good start.

Thoughts ideas or links would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any information
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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You are really looking at 2 different applications. You don't much to maintain the battery while the trailer is not use. I have a small solar panel that attaches to the battery with alligator clips that is about the size of an I-pad. It will maintain a battery that is already charged while the battery is sitting. But this will never be sufficient to recharge the battery from use from dry-camping.

Other than what I have read, I don't have any personal experience with solar panel systems that have the capability to do what you're looking for. Here's a link to site that can give you some background info on the type of system you're looking for. It is a site that sells systems so it's full of ads for their product, but has some good info.

http://www.solar-power-4u.com/category/rv-solar-2
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link LJAZ. I certainly check it out
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:21 PM   #4
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I asked this same question last summer. I went to Harbor Freight and bought a 140 watt kit. The week that I tried to use it dry camping it rained everyday and i lost the charge on my battery.I have a post from someone that has already researched the details. I am not sure how to link you to it.d. If anyone can tell me how to get a message that is in my in box copied to someone else I will get it for you. Or search for post from SHADOW that is who sent them to me.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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As has already been mentioned, there is huge difference in the ability to trickle charge (maintain) a battery and the ability to recharge a battery or batteries via solar.

Trickle charging is relatively easy and cheap; many companies make maintainers with solar as a power source and they are compact and portable.

Recharging via solar is a major undertaking; much larger panels needed (read $$$), controllers to manage the much larger amperage required and the cost of all of the above is a big expense and takes a lot more fore thought than just "gee, I'll get a solar recharging system". That's why a lot of people buy generators for recharging while boondocking; much more reliable (doesn't require sun and works in the dark, too) and is easier to manage since you plug your shore cable into the generator and your convertor manages the charge rate and distribution. Cost, ease of use and ease of maintenance lead most folks to generators as opposed to solar. Solar is a great idea, but, just like solar electrical power for the home, needs some more "science" to make it viable when compared to other forms of electrical supply.

It is available though, and with the proper planning can be done if you've got the time, energy and money to invest in that type of system., but, you won't find a "solar recharger" that is economical and capable of recharging while boondocking.



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Old 02-16-2013, 07:21 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. Maybe I'll take baby steps first.


Mykidsrv. Not sure how you can repost for me. Can you forward it to an email?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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I'll second what some others have said. It is very different to have a solar/photovoltaic (PV) system to charge the single RV lead acid battery that powers the DC lights/slide/pump etc.
I have installed 4-68 watt flexible PV panels on my 210UDS roof. The panels are connected to a solar charger that charges my RV batteries. I bought 3 additional batteries (total now 4) that are in a larger battery box behind the propane tank on the trailer.
In turn - the batteries are connected to a power inverter that takes the batteries' DC power and converts to AC. This allows me to run my AC outlets, my AC for a very short time. But with the solar charger my batteries charge daily when I'm dry camping. Not the cheapest modification, but lets me stay in some campsites that don't provide power.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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I have a 214WSD and installing this system,
http://gpelectric.com/products/solar...harging-system




along with 2x 6 Volt LifeLine Batteries at 300 Amp Hours, Plus we are going
to add the 12V battery that come with the trailer on a Battery switch as a
back up source
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #9
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Default What a great system, Marlando!

That is going to be a terrific addition to your trailer -- that whole collection of hardware had to be over a thousand dollars, right?

Let us know how the installation goes -- are you putting the panels on the roof? Will you be able to tilt them to match the sun angle?
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: What a great system, Marlando!

Quote:
Originally Posted by profdant139
That is going to be a terrific addition to your trailer -- that whole collection of hardware had to be over a thousand dollars, right?

Let us know how the installation goes -- are you putting the panels on the roof? Will you be able to tilt them to match the sun angle?
The panels will go on the roof, I might just get the kit to angle them, but dont know yet, as I dont have a latter to get up to roof when needed.

$3000 just all equipment, plus install.

Should be great for dry camping, might add 2 more 6 volt batteries, we will see
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
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Here are the batteries i'm going to use

http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/rvflyer.php?id=15

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:22 PM   #12
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Default solar charging

Here is a useful link
http://www.solar-electric.com/rvandsmbasoc.html
I installed a system in my trailer for about 500 and switched to 6v batteries as they have more amp ours and wired in series for 12v operation.
that was another 200. install time was about 3-4 hours. system is wired to the batteries via charge controller, again very simple. hardest part was hiding the wires from the roof, ended up routing down awning frame on side of trailer. also converted all lights to LED that really cut down power use a lot.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:09 PM   #13
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Thanks Shadow for the link
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:49 PM   #14
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I got one of these to maintain the battery in the pickup and the camper with the camper connected/wired to the pickup and the switch pulled out.

Works great IMHO to "maintain a charged battery when in storage" without overcharging.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...FSdgMgod11wAmQ
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:46 AM   #15
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Just bought a solar panel system that I want to mount to the top of my Fun Finder FX. Contacted Fun Finder to ask for a diagram, showing the wires located just under the roof, but what they sent was not usable (showed everything in the trailer, overlaid). Numerous requests for more specific data has been pretty much ignored.

Does anyone have a diagram or some advice?
Ours is the small one, 18 foot.

dellandlarry@verizon.net

THANKS
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #16
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if you know where the wires are in the interior of the trailer, energize them with 12v and use a higher end stud/wire finder to find them on the roof, much of the time they will run them up inside the vent for your fridge, pop the top off and take a look or look behind the fridge. ac/box is also done but not as common
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:25 PM   #17
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We only do dry camping and have not plugged into mains power for 14 months now.
We have 400 watts in solar panels on the roof.
200 AH AGM batteries under the seats over the axles in the travel trailer plus
200 AH AGM batteries in the Jeep in addition to the starter battery.
Totalling 12 v 400AH house batteries.
The Jeep can charge all these via the Alternator or / and the Solar.
30 amp Solar Controller.
Fridge / Freezer/ cooking / hot water all run on propane a bottle lasts us about 8 days.
All LED lighting

We plan on buying a 2.5KVA $500.00 generator if we hit a long period when the sun don't shine.
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