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Old 12-11-2017, 11:11 AM   #1
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solar battery tender

I have a 2018 ventana LE and I want to find out which solar trickle charger is the best for my 6volt deep cycle batteries (6 batteries bank). I parked my rig for a week and the house batteries went low and I had to charge them with a generator. What is the lowest voltage my house batteries can go before they can get damaged? I am looking for a portable solar battery tender, just don't know how many watts or voltage solar charger i will need?
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:28 AM   #2
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First, find your battery disconnect switch for the chassis and house batteries. Turn the switch(s) off when you store and then see if your batteries loose a charge. If you want to go solar, you need to put more amps in to your batteries than your MH uses in storage. Rule of thumb is 100w solar per battery. A 100w panel will produce about 5 amps and you get about 5 hours/ day of usable sunlight. (Not good to store your MH in the sun, BTW). So if you are parked all day in full sun, you can get about 25 amps per day into your batteries from 1x100w solar panel. If partial shade, cut those numbers in half. Cloudy, winter sun angle all cut solar output.
A 100w solar panel can be a 5amp trickle charger, but it only works when the sun shines. Best-park in the shade and plug in to shore power to store. I park under an awning at a storage yard, but no shore power, so I go out 2x/month and run my gen to keep batts charged. I store with batt disconnect switches off or open.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:39 AM   #3
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Another rule of thumb, don't discharge your batteries below 50%, or 12.2v. To do so will shorten the expected life of the battery.
Any solar charger is better than none, but just don't have unrealistic expectations.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:23 PM   #4
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Your house batteries should not run down after sitting idle for a week unless there was some sort of load on them. Inverter left on powering refrigerator, lights fans, etc. Disconnecting the batteries will prevent this. I have a 20w panel to maintain my 2 chassis batteries that works only by disconnecting the batteries as there are electronic gizmos that will otherwise drain the batteries in a few weeks time.

A larger array would be required to maintain the larger house bank, but really shouldn't be necessary for a week or two of storage. My 6x6 house bank has sat for a month or longer with no noticeable loss of voltage while stored without power.

A portable set up would be a good way to go as it would eliminate the need to mount panels on the coach and allow for positioning the panels in the sun I'd the coach is parked in shade or even in a building.

Another option is to run the generator for an hour or two every month.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:43 PM   #5
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i called noco and they recommended the BLSOLAR5 battery trickle charger. it is only a 5w portable solar panel. I explained to them i have 6 deep cycle batteries which are 6 volts each. They said to put the alligator clamp on front battery then the other clamp on the rear battery. Now I am confused! i use the 5 watt solar charger for my boat and jet ski but those batteries are small and those units do not have a battery bank..can such a small panel really trickle charge six 6 volt batteries?
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:54 PM   #6
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Short answer, no. Portable panels are prone to walking away when left unattended, and have to be moved throughout the day to stay aligned with the sun. If you are parked in the sun, go with a rooftop solar array, or use the gen.

I had a 30' 5ver for years. Came with an ineffective 10w solar panel mounted on the A/C cover. I pulled the non-working 10w panel off and replaced with 2x20w solar panels and a Battery Tender solar controller. Worked OK with my 2x GC2 batteries. But I parked close enough to the house to be able to plug into shore power when needed. No generator at the time.

To this day, maintaining battery charge is a constant worry as the MH is stored without shore power. You do what you can with what you have, I had to replace all 4 house batteries this last spring.
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