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Old 11-21-2017, 11:29 PM   #1
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I hate batteries...

I have had a pop up camper for years. love the simplicity but the dw and kids hate the work, so here I am with a TT that I LOVE...secretly, but it has a battery. ugh. I have to have it so I need to tend it. cant easily take it out, so I guess I buy a solar powered battery tender? (its at a storage place) not even sure I need it. what do you guys do? Im sure ill learn as I go, im a noob here, but Id love to hear what other people do. oh, and I guess I need to buy a giant cover for my TT. the popup? easy, but what do you guys like for TT covers??

thanks!!

dave
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:13 AM   #2
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When in storage, bring the battery home and hook it up to a battery tender.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:58 AM   #3
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If your going to charge it in place with solar, install a battery disconnect switch if not already equipped so there isn't a constant drain. But best bet is what 1bigmess said, take it home, get it out of the cold and put it on a trickle charge.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:04 AM   #4
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Good idea to listen to Dropthejacks and bigmess, you can pull the battery and bring it home and put a battery tender on it I buy mine from Harbor freight for about $10.00 or less, if the battery freezes you will buy a new one and NC does get some cold snaps. It is worth taking the extra time (and a lot cheaper) to bring the battery home so it does not freeze or run down (you still will have a small drain on the battery that will drain it down. as for the Cover I do not cover mine (for me it is more trouble than it is worth)
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:49 AM   #5
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Thanks. Yeah Due to unfortunate design, taking the battery out is a pretty big effort and requires moving several parts so I was hoping to go solar but I might just suck it up and spend the extra 10 minutes and disassemble it every time I can also save about 40 bucks on it a charger...
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:06 AM   #6
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I've never taken a battery out of an rv... if they are charged, they will not freeze...

With smoke, propane detectors, etc... on board there will be some parasitic draws, but a simple knife blade on your battery will isolate it and with no draw it should last a long while... but the solar battery tender is a good cheap solution...

good luck
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:16 AM   #7
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I would suggest you get a good AGM battery. It never needs water,
holds a charge for months with a very low self discharge rate. If
you have the battery turned off or disconnected you would be OK
for 6 months or more. And, it does not outgas corrosive fumes
in the compartment. Here is a link to all you will ever need to
know about them.
Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) Battery Information - Battery University
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:13 AM   #8
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I put a 30A solar panel on the roof with a regulated charger. Batteries stay charged. I check the water about once a month.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:20 AM   #9
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I installed s battery cutoff switch and last year left the battery in the TT. Just went over to storage once a month to check everything and while there charged the battery some by plugging into the truck while running. The previous 2 years I took it out and put a trickle charger on it. No cover do my TT either. Just check all the roof seals well before you put it away for the winter.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:28 AM   #10
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We installed a mechanical break switch because of parasitic drains.

On a simpler rig, you could just open the main breaker...should look something like:
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A charged battery can sit for months without discharge - if isolated.

You could also add a small solar charger if you store for more that a few months.

Best luck
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:29 AM   #11
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If you are not exposed to freezing temperatures...and use the TT once a month with power connected so the converter can charge the battery...simply putting a disconnect switch on it will suffice. The battery manufacturer may have information on the monthly expected loss. As long as the control board, monitor panel, LP gas alarm, and other residual drains are eliminated by a battery cutoff switch...you should be good. Check water levels and add distilled water each time you use it.

If you leave the residual drains powered...then a maintainer solar panel will work.

Since there are days of rain, differences in lattitude, length of daylight..lI would use 100w of solar per battery...and a simple PWM controller. My dad has two deep cycle batteries in his RV...I put two panels on the roof, a PWM controller, and shutoff/, breaker...to his batteries. Now, as long as he doesn't leave the lights and fans on..,his batteries will be maintained between uses. I didn't get a finished photo...but that is just missing the wires from the panels. I had to wait for a different mounting kit to arrive. Sorry..pic upside down. If going with more than two panels, heavier wire and more fuses are needed. But this is a basic system. It even has a USB port so you can charge your phone.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:18 PM   #12
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Freezing temps are not a problem for charged battys... only ones that are severely discharged.
Cold temp are actually much better than hot...cold slows the self discharge rate. Best to disconnect to ensure no parasitic draw
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrg2brn View Post
Thanks. Yeah Due to unfortunate design, taking the battery out is a pretty big effort and requires moving several parts so I was hoping to go solar but I might just suck it up and spend the extra 10 minutes and disassemble it every time I can also save about 40 bucks on it a charger...
TL;DR I think you should take the battery home because it's cheap and reliable.

Thing about solar is it's expensive to really do it right. If you don't get enough panel, and you park a discharged battery, you;ll come back to the same discharged battery. If you don't get a good charge controller, you eventually come back to a slowly ruined battery. If you don't do it right, you waste the money on solar because it either doesn't charge the battery full or it doesn't charge it properly, either way you've wasted your money.

I love solar. I really do. I don't know why more folks don't go with it. Every boondocker in an area that isn't shaded should have just a bit more solar than they really need on their rig. I think it's silly not to, and I'd have a solar farm worth of panels on my trailer if I could afford them and the batteries to store the energy.

I have Z-Amp solar panels. They're portable. I have a 100 watt panel that is used for light charging, and a 200 watt set used for my "heavy" use. The charge controllers put out the correct charging voltages for bulk, absorption, and maintenance phases. They weren't cheap, but they're great at what they do. If the sun shines, even behind clouds or a little shade, I get charging power. I love it. Total cost about a grand. You'd spend less for good charging for a parked and disconnected battery, but it still ain't cheap to do it right.

Even if it's a bit of a hassle, for one battery, if you aren't ready to spend the money for the right solar set up, take it home where you can check the water, and make sure it will be ready for your next camping trip every time.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigmess View Post
When in storage, bring the battery home and hook it up to a battery tender.
X2. Cover ours with ADCO Cover with Tyvek.
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