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Old 10-20-2015, 04:57 PM   #1
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Solar Battery Tender - Maintainer

I am looking to buy a solar battery maintainer for my trailer while it is storage. I currently have two 6v GC batteries in series. I think Battery Tender has a good reputation so I found the following. I will need to have this mounted outside, and I am not ready to mount anything permanent. That will be a project for after my warranty is up and I figure out if I really need it. Generally I am looking for something cheap to maintain my batteries over the winter. Thanks for any help.
http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...battery+tender
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0067EZYJU/...=I432874XYHM9Z
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:50 PM   #2
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I think you need more power than the two examples you posted. The sun is much weaker in winter, and less hours of daylight too...so a much more powerful panel will be able to produce some useable current under those adverse conditions.

I haven't tried this brand, but it seems good by the description.

ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts 40 Watts Polycrystalline Portable Folding Solar Panel Module with 3 Amp Charge Controller for RV Boat

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U8KY6FM..._zrSjwbG3ZJP6B

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Old 10-20-2015, 06:06 PM   #3
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A year ago I installed something very similar to this: Amazon.com : Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit : Patio, Lawn & Garden

It has had no trouble maintaining our 12V house battery and (via a Trik-L-Start) our 12V chassis battery. So far, so good!
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:11 AM   #4
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I've been using eco-worthy for a while now and was very happy initially. Hosever they only have a 1 year warranty and I had 4 panels out of 6 fail recently....

Might sant to consider some other vendors...

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Old 10-21-2015, 11:16 AM   #5
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I would suggest to use at least 100w of solar.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:38 AM   #6
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Hi,

All batteries have a chemical reaction that is discharging your battery 24 hours per day, even if you are not using the battery. This is called Self Discharge (SD). If your battery is in good health and fully charged, SD is about 5 Wh per day @ 77F (based on 5% SD). This is provided that there are no loads on the battery (disconnected). If loads are connected, you need to measure the current draw and calculate from there. As a battery ages, the SD will increase and more power will bear needed to overcome the loss.

To offset the self discharge rate (based on 220AH @ 12.7V), about 5 Watts of PV solar in full sun will easily keep the battery full. If your winter temperatures are very cold, it takes even less power as the SD rate slows down the colder the battery gets. At about -40F, the reaction stops. Storing a lead acid battery in the freezer is a good idea!

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Old 10-24-2015, 12:20 PM   #7
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I have a 120 watt portable solar panel hooked up to my house batteries for the winter.

It seemed to be working well when I set it up. My question; can a hook booster cables between the House batteries and the 2 chassis batteries to they get charged at the same time, or should I alternate connecting between the 2 sets through the winter?

My motorhome is an hour and a half away.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wydeglyde View Post
I have a 120 watt portable solar panel hooked up to my house batteries for the winter.

It seemed to be working well when I set it up. My question; can a hook booster cables between the House batteries and the 2 chassis batteries to they get charged at the same time, or should I alternate connecting between the 2 sets through the winter?

My motorhome is an hour and a half away.

Best to use a box like the trik-l-start to charge chassis batteries from the house batteries/solar.

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Old 10-24-2015, 05:21 PM   #9
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+1 to pasdad1. I've been pleased with our Trik-L-Start. Everything stays charged.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tip. I will try to find one
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunyadamn View Post
I am looking to buy a solar battery maintainer for my trailer while it is storage. I currently have two 6v GC batteries in series. I think Battery Tender has a good reputation so I found the following. I will need to have this mounted outside, and I am not ready to mount anything permanent. That will be a project for after my warranty is up and I figure out if I really need it. Generally I am looking for something cheap to maintain my batteries over the winter. Thanks for any help.
Amazon.com: Battery Tender 10 Watt Solar Charger - 10 Watt /--: Automotive
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0067EZYJU/...=I432874XYHM9Z
I would definitely go with the 15w unit and make a PVC pipe stand for the panel so you can face it south and at an appropriate angle for winter sun. You may want to engage your battery disconnect as well.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:11 AM   #12
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I did something similar. When I installed solar on my MH I took the 20 Watt panel that came on top of the AC unit off as it really wasn't adding much on top of the 320 Watts installed. I bought the Battery Tender controller and use the combo as a portable maintainer. Puts out about 1 amp on a decent day.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:40 AM   #13
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You can minimize the drain while in storage by pulling the fuse that powers your propane detector, it typically draws over 1 amp and it alone will run down your coach batteries during storage. Other thing that draws power is the refrigerator control board, but only 0.1 to 0.2 amp. You can pull the fridge fuse too. But put a big note somewhere so you don't forget to replace the fuses when you take out of storage. :-)

If you want to keep everything powered over winter here is an idea:
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50022...5%3A2470955011
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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I don't have experience with any of the linked chargers, but I can tell you that I tried this one and it was not nearly enough.

I ended up just taking the battery home with me and leaving it on an electric battery charger like this one, and it was been trouble free.
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