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Old 03-05-2015, 03:11 PM   #1
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Solar trickle charger

We have one 12volt deep cycle house battery on our Jayco GreyHawk C. I took the battery home and charged to 13+ volts. Put it back in the MH, installed a battery disconnect switch and disconnected the negative terminal. Then attached a 7 watt solar panel and a few weeks later, connected the negative terminal, checked the monitor in the MH and the battery only registered 1/3 power. Is that panel enough to maintain the battery?
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Old 03-05-2015, 03:53 PM   #2
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7 watts not much, even for a maintenance charge. Suggest 50-100 watts minimum.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:12 PM   #3
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Don't go by watts, go by amps. You need a 2 to 5 amp solar charger.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:12 PM   #4
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I am surprised you only have one 12 volt as a house bat. first i would go to sams and replace it with 2 good 6 volt for 100 each. Will last 5 times longer. Don't forget when you hook it up to a charge even at 2 amps you are putting a lot of juice into that bat. That 7 watt system wouldn't even tickle you
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:02 PM   #5
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Hi larrydp,
The solar 7 WATTS is a maintainer, not a charger. Depending on the parasite draw on the battery, it may or may not maintain the battery. Newmar has had a 5 WATT solar panel on the chassis battery(s) for decades. For the chassis battery(s) it works quite well.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:10 PM   #6
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My Greyhawk 29MV has a slide out tray for the house battery and is only large enough for 1 battery. In order to replace it with 2 6vdc ones would require major modifications
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:59 PM   #7
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unfamiliar with your unit but if the tray is too small could you stack them?
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:45 AM   #8
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Nope-stacking won't work either. Jayco put the house battery in its own compartment with its own external door. Of course it is only large enough to get the one battery and its associated cables out.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:49 AM   #9
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Why should I be getting any parasitic draw if I use the battery shut off switch at the negative post on the battery?
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:52 AM   #10
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It sounds like a weak battery - Get it load tested or I'd consider replacing it if the battery is over 4 or 5 years or if it was left to totally discharge.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:53 AM   #11
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If the solar panel is listed at 7 watts, how can I tell how many amps there are?
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:48 AM   #12
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Charging voltage for a battery is in the range of 13-14 volts, so a 7 watt charger produces about 0.5 amps. Since it's a solar charger, it does that only in full sun, so the average amp rate is probably less than half that in daylight and zero at night.

Note: watts = volts x amps
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Put it back in the MH, installed a battery disconnect switch and disconnected the negative terminal.
Does the solar charger have a direct connection to the battery negative terminal? If not, then disconnecting the battery ground also prevents charging.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:25 AM   #14
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7 watts is an adequate maintainer. I use a 10 watt on my chassis battery without a disconnect switch. Unless there is a panel placement issue or lack of sunlight, I would agree with tomwalt, it sounds like a weak battery.
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