Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Looking for Solar Panel system to just MAINTAIN battery
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 > Looking for Solar Panel system to just MAINTAIN battery

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Lwiddis

Owens River Road, California

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Posted: 05/14/20 02:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Make up your mind! Maintain or replenish? Instead of limiting your solar recharging (how small can I go? How little can I spend?) just do it properly. Solar isn’t a toy.


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wopachop

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Posted: 05/14/20 03:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dpgllg wrote:

This system would only be used during camping season as the battery comes home for the winter.
Do you have an onboard generator? Its recommended to start them once a month. During the camping season i would guess you would never leave the battery alone for more than a 2-3 months? Wouldnt even need a maintainer if you disconnect. Anytime you visit the trailer in storage just start the genny because its probably been over a month since it was started?

I know it doesnt answer your question. I would go with a cheap little portable solar maintainer if you really want one. Could bring it home during the winter and maintain other vehicles that might sit for months at a time.

Then in the future if you want solar invest in a decent package. I dont have a clue what your furion setup is but 100w is low.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 05/14/20 04:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To maintain one battery you need about 5 watts and no controller is necessary.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 05/14/20 06:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

Too much money for 50w for such limited use. Solar does not cost that much.

The scenario in the OP might work with a "power box" you can take with you and bring home when visiting the storage place. You could remove the wires off the 12v battery to ensure no draw at all on it while in storage, and get your 12v and some 120v too for running things while there from the power box, which can be recharged at home. The power box inverter would run your converter to make 12v if I understand that right.

The power box might come in handy at other times too.

The Furrion connection should not limit you to one of that brand's systems. Will it adapt to other ordinary wiring?


Gotta pull the power box idea. Reviews are terrible on more than one brand, even taking into account that owners may not have kept them properly charged up.

Seems too likely you get out there and it doesn't get it all done before it dies for whatever reason.

So that leaves the OP with a cheaper but better solar set, or take his portable gen instead (assuming the 5er has no built-in)


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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 05/14/20 07:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

$269 for a 50 watt panel??! That's over $5 per watt. You can buy large solar panels for less than $1 a watt. If your already rigged with a charge controller for a 100 watt panel then get a 100 watt panel. It shouldn't cost more than $120, maybe even less. It will maintain your battery if it gets enough sun.

austinjenna

Columbus, Ohio

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Posted: 05/15/20 06:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You sound just like me. Mine is also in a storage yard and I bring the battery back home after the season and hook it up to a maintainer, otherwise its in the trailer for the summer. I have a 100w panel and a morningstar 30 amp controller and also a battery disconnect switch. It has performed flawlessly in the many years I have had this setup.

The battery is always on float charge when I check it and like you I do go to the trailer and have to open a slide or use lights.

I think I bought the panel from Solarblvd - which might be out of business but I saw some 100w panels at home depot from Grape solar that were cheap. 100W might be a little overkill for just keeping the batteries charged but they had a sale or something when I bought it and it wasnt much more than a smaller wattage panel.



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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 05/15/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can't adapt the Furrion connection so you can use another brand's wiring, there is still the adapter you can make or buy that connects the controller output wires to the trailer's 7-pin

mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 05/15/20 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Literally anything will work.
I maintained two big marine batteries 20 yrs ago with one 10 watt panel. It was wired straight into the battery giving the full 18volts. The batteries lived a long long life.

Better to have a charge controller.

Small panels work, but for a few extra bucks as long as you are doing all this install work anyway it makes much more sense to get a bigger panel.

My strong suggestion is to get an ebay 100 watt mono crystaline glass panel that ship for about $80. Get a cheap MPPT controller that is about 20 amps for around $50 (not the $19 one), and wire it with 12 or 14 gauge wire at least.

This will both charge, maintain your battery and also give you extra DC power when camping.

If you do any off-grid or boondocking camping, then get at least 200 watts of solar and a 2nd battery. You will be glad you did. Though it is bad to pair a new battery with an old battery if you run them parallel. Serious boondockers get two 6-volt batts and run in series.

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