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Old 12-22-2012, 09:21 PM   #1
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solar panel controllers in storage

We have solar panels which we leave on when the coach is in storage. Are they draining our batteries? The batteries stay at under 12.0 necessitating running the engine and/or generator to charge the batteries almost daily in inclement weather. We are not able to be hooked up to electricity in storage. Also wondering if we should turn off the chasis batteries in the battery compartment and the house batteries at the console in the coach. We have a 2005 Magna with a Cat 385 engine. We have been told that we should not turn off the chassis batteries as all of the electronics would have to be reset.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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At only 12.0 volts, those batteries are at 50% discharged. The coach batteries I assume are deep cycle which can handle being discharged to that state, as long as they aren't left like that very long. The chassis batteries will not take very many discharges like that before they fail.

Your solar panels are either not working or doing the proper job. Panels should be equipped with a diode which prevent power to back feed to the panels.

How many watts are your panels? What part of the country is the coach in?

If you are in the north with many cloudy days and/or they get covered with snow, the solar during storage may not be an option, unless you add more panels to quickly charge on sunny days. It just depends.

You should definitley have everything shut off in the coach during storage. Most battery diconnects do not shut off the propane and co2 detectors, which will drain the coach batteries if not kept on some sort of charger.

Never owned a DP, so don't know how much hassle it is to 'reset electronics', I can tell you if the chassis batteries are not disconnected, they will shortly go dead without a supplemental charge.

Depending on all the afformentioned, you might be better off to remove the batteries and keep them on a trickle charger at home.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:36 AM   #3
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I have a 2002 coach with on solar panel. When I had it in storage I shut off all the batteries and everything stayed up. I'd have to reset the gas detector but that was it. I don't know how the newer coaches are set up. Good luck
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:19 AM   #4
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i have solar panels and i only turned inverter off. both house and chassis batteries have been charged and retained at 12.3-12.45 range in winter time. I am in south no snow, not sure if our cases are the same though.
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