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Old 08-04-2016, 08:41 AM   #1
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Solar battery charger questions

We keep our fiver at a storage facility when we aren't using it. We've read the manual, done research and tried virtually everything BUT the batteries never have enough charge left in them to raise the jacks when we hook up. This has been so frustrating.

At this point we are considering getting a solar powered battery charger to permanently mount since the facility has no power outlets available.

Has anyone else done this? Does this sound like a reasonable option?


2015 Cedar Creek 38CK
2015 Silverado 3500HD Diesel Dually
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:31 AM   #2
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The short answer is yes, and you won't need a very big system either just to keep batteries topped off. A question or 2: Are you using a battery disconnect switch to shut them off before you leave? If you camp for at least a few days a month and then shut off/disconnect the batteries before you go home- the converter should be more than adequate to put a good charge in them that should last 4 weeks or so- I know mine does. More than likely you have a parasitic drain on the batteries as it sits in storage. If this happens, even for a week or so, there's no way you'll use the jacks- they're a high load for weak batteries. You might test them as well unless you already know their condition.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:11 AM   #3
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Have you disconnected the negative battery cable while its in storage? That seems to work for me.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:59 PM   #4
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A solar battery trimmer should be good idea.
You do leave your harness plugged to your TV to lower, and attach to the harness prior to retracting the landing gear in any event, right?
Remember that after batteries have been fully discharged in the way you're describing numerous times, they are pretty much toast.
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwayRN View Post
We keep our fiver at a storage facility when we aren't using it. We've read the manual, done research and tried virtually everything BUT the batteries never have enough charge left in them to raise the jacks when we hook up. This has been so frustrating.

At this point we are considering getting a solar powered battery charger to permanently mount since the facility has no power outlets available.

Has anyone else done this? Does this sound like a reasonable option?


2015 Cedar Creek 38CK
2015 Silverado 3500HD Diesel Dually
Starting batteries don't like the discharge what happens during extended storage. I had the starting battery die at 1 1/2 old and luckily auto zone replaced it for free.
At the same time my battery disconnect failed and the house batteries became discharged. Oh my we're leaving tomorrow, panic

After that I always disconnect the negative cable from the house batteries. With 2 months of non use they loose almost nothing.

I bought a solar battery charger made by battery tender. It will automatically go into maintenance mode once a full charge is made. I then made a simple arm for it with 1/2" aluminum angle from home depot and some cable to secure under the hood. It hangs from the front grill when in storage. Simple to remove when going on trips.

https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...y+tender+solar
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:27 PM   #6
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We are in the same boat as you plus we have a residential fridge. Adding 2 6 volt true deep cycle batteries helped us a lot. They seemed to hold a better charge between trips PLUS offered a bit more power when needed.
We added an inverter to power the residential fridge we swapped out with the NOcold. As long as we didn't run the fridge longer than three hours (which was more than adequate to precool), we still had enough juice to run our jacks.
In January, we installed a 160 watt Go Power solar panel and controller to the existing batteries. WE LOVE IT! Never a worry now about the batteries at the storage lot or how long the fridge runs (in day light hours) off the inverter.
We also now have the freedom to go to the lot anytime and do whatever we to do like running the jacks, lights, water pump, fans, etc., without worry. The solar keeps the batteries topped off all the time.
Here in FL we have been having a very hot summer. I always leave the roof vents cracked and inch or 2 in storage. But now with the solar I leave one of the Fantastic Fans running 24/7 to help pull out the heat build-up in the rig. With the solar, there been no worry at all as far as battery drain is concerned.
If you get the right system, you will love it. Sounds like the one we have is more than adequate for your needs. It came as a package for shy of $600 and nothing else was needed to install it but Dicor for the roof.
Some may say you don't need 160 watts, but if you are going to get a system go ahead and get a decent size one. Good luck.
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