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Old 06-30-2016, 05:18 AM   #15
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I tried putting on a 260 watt solar system to keep the batteries charged up and supply some power while dry camping. That charges the batteries just fine if everything is off. Just leaving one of the inverters on seems to use more charge than that can supply.
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:44 AM   #16
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I tried putting on a 260 watt solar system to keep the batteries charged up and supply some power while dry camping. That charges the batteries just fine if everything is off. Just leaving one of the inverters on seems to use more charge than that can supply.
Bob, I've looked at a 120 watt portable solar system just to keep the batteries maintained while the coach is stored. I would have the inverter shut off and start with fully charged batteries. Will 120 watts keep them maintained? I have six 6V GC224 AGM's for the house with a Trike-L-Charge attaching the house batteries to the chassis batteries.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:08 AM   #17
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Unfortunately, your AGM's are toast. Those type of batteries need TLC or they can be rendered useless very easily. Deeply discharging any type of chassis type battery and leaving it that way will destroy it quickly.

I won't let anyone work on my coach unless it is plugged into 120 VAC to keep the batteries and fridge powered up.

If they do not comply I go elsewhere or I will have the generator on auto-start which when shops here that they usually cringe thinking about the diesel fumes from the generator exhaust inside the shop.

If there are no other possibilities then I personally will disconnect the negative terminal on all batteries and remove the stuff from the fridge. I also have them sign an agreement that if they tamper with the batteries they are fully responsible for any damage to the batteries that occurs while the coach is at their shop.

If they don't like the terms then they don't get my money for working on my coach, someone else will that agrees to those terms.

So far I have never had any disagreements from anyone.

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Old 06-30-2016, 06:49 AM   #18
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Richard, for sure I've learned some lessons. We don't use the coach full time so leaving it at the shop worked in terms of not needing the coach. We've not had the coach in any shop for an extended period of time with the exception of a two month period last year. That particular shop works on a lot of motorhomes and followed my instructions about keeping the battery disconnects off when they were not working on the rig. The batteries survived that visit just fine.

This particular shop is a smaller shop who does more towable RV's than motorhomes. He has a relatively small lot with a lot of competition for the few electrical outlets on his building. Also, I had the option of getting the coach and bringing it home while he waited for the new carpet to arrive. My bad that I did not do that. I had expected them to keep the battery disconnects off but I guess that got missed at some point.

My chassis batteries are toast (they were Interstate wet cells) but I am hoping at this point my Full River AGM GC224 house batteries will survive. We will see.

Like I said, lesson learned. In the future I will have a more serious discussion with any shop about this issue.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:43 AM   #19
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If only 2 years old and of good quality they may still have decent warranty left.

Many chassis or starting batteries now have as many as 8 year warranty with direct exchange for 2 years then prorated after that.

VRLA /AGM batteries are usually a 10 year design life so they should also have decent value against replacement.

Read warranty carefully to insure you do not volunteer not required information that may void any warranty.

Purchase date and lack of performance is usually all that is needed to start.

Wait until all work is finished then if things do not seem correct contact manufacturer for authorized service center that you could drive to and have them check and replace under warranty...You will have a Co - pay for any pro - rating for time used but still better than just replacing.
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:24 AM   #20
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smlranger - 120 watts in the summer when the sun is high is likely fine. Winter, maybe not. With 260 watts in winter if we use our coach say at Quartsite and return home with them down it can take quite a while to charge them up. Maybe 10 days.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:11 AM   #21
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smlranger - 120 watts in the summer when the sun is high is likely fine. Winter, maybe not. With 260 watts in winter if we use our coach say at Quartsite and return home with them down it can take quite a while to charge them up. Maybe 10 days.
10 days with the solar panels only? Would not the drive home (with them being charged by the coach alternator) charge them up? Do you have shore power at home or do you rely solely on the solar system for battery charging?

My intent would be to park the coach at the storage facility with fully charged batteries and use the 120 watts of solar only to keep them charged.

It is still an option at this point since the storage facility will only be 7 miles from my home. I plan to visit often and take the coach for a periodic drive when we are not traveling. If I leave both battery switches off, I am thinking it can sit for a couple of weeks with no charging source. It is certainly going to be an adjustment from my current storage location where I have 50 amp service to which I keep the coach connected.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:41 AM   #22
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I put a 100w solar panel on my rig last summer.

The purpose was so I could leave the house battery switch on and have the entry steps reach out to greet me when I open the door at the storage lot.

This quest failed during the winter months in Sacramento, because the panel was hidden by tree cover until about noon each day. The available solar could not overcome the propane monitor battery drain.

In the summer months, both the house and engine batteries remain at 12.6 dcv in storage, with the house battery switch on, due to the installed Trik-L-Start and solar panel.

I have 4 cheap Costco GC2 house batteries in my rig.

This year I might install the $100 100w solar panel from Home Depot a bit further forward on the roof and see if the two solar panels will allow the steps to move out for me in the winter.

My 4 batteries cost about $360 to replace, and the solar will have cost about $280 to diy install. Seems like a good balance of costs if I extend the life of the batteries in the interim.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:48 AM   #23
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I put a 100w solar panel on my rig last summer.

The purpose was so I could leave the house battery switch on and have the entry steps reach out to greet me when I open the door at the storage lot.

This quest failed during the winter months in Sacramento, because the panel was hidden by tree cover until about noon each day. The available solar could not overcome the propane monitor battery drain.

In the summer months, both the house and engine batteries remain at 12.6 dcv in storage with the house battery switch on due to the installed Trik-L-Start and solar panel.

I have 4 cheap Costco GC2 house batteries in my rig.

This year I might install the $100 100w solar panel from Home Depot a bit further forward on the roof and see if the two solar panels will allow the steps to move out for me in the winter.

My 4 batteries cost about $360 to replace, and the solar will have cost about $280 to diy install. Seems like a good balance of costs if I extend the life of the batteries in the interim.
I have six GC224 AGM's for the house and two 950CCA flooded cell for the chassis. I also have the Trik L Start. In my new storage location, I can have the solar panels facing south and there are no trees to block the sun. The RV port is 41' long so my nearly 43' coach is going to hang out of one end and I plan to hang the panels on the rear ladder facing south.
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