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Old 02-10-2015, 02:08 PM   #1
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Solar battery trickle charger

Hello. I'm a newbie. I have a solar trickle charger hooked up to my start up battery. Should I disconnect it before cranking over the engine? Thanks

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Old 02-10-2015, 10:52 PM   #2
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I don't think any harm will come to your solar cell by leaving it connected to the battery when starting. What were you afraid of?


Bob & Donna
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:15 AM   #3
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I assume this is a plug into cig lighter portable type solar charger/maintainer? It can stay connected. However once started you do not need it, as the alternator takes care of charging. So it is a disconnect before or disconnect after, either way you are disconnecting it.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:17 PM   #4
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Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. The solar panel is actually integrated into the roof with cables that wrap around two cleats while the vehicle is underway. The cables can be dropped down into the engine/battery compartment and clamped onto the posts. I suppose the safest procedure would be to disconnect them before starting the engine
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:29 PM   #5
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First off, Welcome to the forum!!!

I am not sure that I fully understand your setup, but I will try to provide some guidance for your question. Having a solar panel connected to your starting batteries is nothing unusual. Many have them hard-wired - they are designed not to routinely be disconnected.

I am assuming by "...solar trickle charger..." that you mean it is one of the smaller 10watt solar panels. If not, a little bit more info might help us to better understand your question.

Ken, Deb, & Gadget (WIT Club, FMCA, SKP, and grateful volunteers with SOWERs)
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:10 PM   #6
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I also have a couple solar trickle chargers hooked up to our rig for the winter storage. We keep one on the house battery and one on the engine battery and both seem to be holding up well in this brutal winter we have been having in Massachusetts.

I would recommend just to be on the cautious side to remove the charger before starting the vehicle or the generator if you have one on the house battery. It may not affect anything but you never know and I read in my solar charger instructions to disconnect it first for possible damage.

On the plus side the ones that I have are only about $20 from Harbor freight so if I forget to disconnect and it does break I am not out that much $$.

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Old 02-25-2015, 01:42 PM   #7
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Probably does not matter, but seems easy enough to disconnect before starting - just to be safe
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:34 PM   #8
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In your case, I would disconnect them, before starting up.
You don`t need any sparks near the batteries, after start up, while the alternator is working hard, putting back the amps used to start you engine.

If they were hard wired in, you could leave them.

Be safe
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:01 PM   #9
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Perhaps in the cheap solar chargers they might not have a big enough diode to prevent alternator current back feeding to the cells themselves. If they suggest unplugging, better do it.


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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battery, solar

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