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Old 10-12-2012, 03:32 PM   #1
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2000 National RV Solar Charger question

Hello.

I have a 2000 National Tradewinds. I disconnected the chassis and house batteries for the winter so as to prevent the solar panel charger from cooking the batteries - as it did last winter. Problem is I can hear a relay "clicking" at the main distribution panel. I am wondering if this is caused by the solar chargers energizing something. Is there a fuse for the solar charger I should remove?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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How about covering the solar panels with something that blocks all light? (1/4" plywood or the like)
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slates View Post
Hello.

I have a 2000 National Tradewinds. I disconnected the chassis and house batteries for the winter so as to prevent the solar panel charger from cooking the batteries - as it did last winter. Problem is I can hear a relay "clicking" at the main distribution panel. I am wondering if this is caused by the solar chargers energizing something. Is there a fuse for the solar charger I should remove?

Thanks in advance for your help.
If it's the same little panel mounted on top of the front AC, that I have, that little thing aint gona cook any battery !
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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Seems like the panels are very small and can't do much damage, but here is what you want from the documentation I got with my 1999 Tradewinds.

Hope it helps.

Dick
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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Thanks Dick. That diagram was just what I needed. Actually, I have 2 large solar panels on the roof, and they cooked almost all of the water out of my house batteries.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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Thanks Dick. That diagram was just what I needed. Actually, I have 2 large solar panels on the roof, and they cooked almost all of the water out of my house batteries.
I have two as well on top of the AC Units. As far as I know they both are connected to that Diode and go through the same fuse with no charging controller.

Dick
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:57 AM   #7
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solar battery charger

I have the same set up, one panel on each A/C. They will "cook" your batteries, boil the water right out of them. I have to add water once in a while. Better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:38 AM   #8
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I have the same set up, one panel on each A/C. They will "cook" your batteries, boil the water right out of them. I have to add water once in a while. Better to be safe than sorry.
Sounds like you and slates have no charge controller on your solar setup. Generally, any solar setup should have a charge controller if the panel(s) are over 30 watts. If this is a stock setup, I'm really surprised NRV didn't include one to prevent the problem you have.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:47 AM   #9
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I will have to do some digging. Any idea where the charge controller would be located?

As for the solar chargers, there are two flat panels, each the size of the A/C units mounted on the roof. I actually like the setup, but if I leave the batteries connected this winter, there will be no water left in them.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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I will have to do some digging. Any idea where the charge controller would be located?

As for the solar chargers, there are two flat panels, each the size of the A/C units mounted on the roof. I actually like the setup, but if I leave the batteries connected this winter, there will be no water left in them.
I'll assume for now these panels are factory. If so, and are anything like the ONE that came on my Dolphin, the wires go through the roof right where they are. Mine made it's way to the front AC, then joined a bundle of wires that went to the curbside wall and down into the BCC. Of course your TW is going to be different, but the solar wires will end up at the BCC. If these are factory and that powerful, I would think National had a charge controller and it has failed in a way that allowed all the current to make it through. I'm just guessing though.

Also my guess is if there is a charge controller it would be either somewhere near the BCC, or possibly where the two panel wires came together (Front or Rear AC, depending on location of your BCC.) IF the wires run along the roof and down the fridge vent, then it could be located in the outside fridge compartment or between there and the BCC.

Hopefully someone will be along with a TW that knows all this. Keep us posted.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:44 AM   #11
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The factory installed solar panels were only 18 watts each, all the National rv motorhomes I have seen do not have charge controlers. I had a 50 watt solar panel on a motorhome many years ago with no controler and it never was a problem. Anything greater than 50 watts should have a controler installed. 50 watt and larger panels also require larger wire than what National ran.
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