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Old 02-22-2009, 03:25 AM   #1
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I think I asked this before, but then I was told the 5 watt panel was good enough.

My charging light was on, bright and strong yesterday when I visited my Ventana at the storage lot.

I also had 2 dead engine batteries and 4 dead coach batteries.

I had it set for storage and the LP and CO detectors were off.

It took the battery from my trailer (12v auto battery) and a jump pack just to get the generator started.

Would it be worth it to upgrade to something like 15 watts? Would that require a controller or upgraded wiring?

I'm not looking for boondocking power, just to keep the batteries alive in the winter.
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:05 AM   #2
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Check these people out. They will answer all your questions and are great to work with.

http://www.amsolar.com/
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:40 AM   #3
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69RoadRunner, How long had your coach been sitting?

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Old 02-22-2009, 05:58 AM   #4
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SOLAR INFO
Here is some good info from one of our own.
The 5watt panel is only good for your paracite loads off your coach batteries and it has no charge for house batteries. With your two chassis batteries it will not help in long shut down.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:49 AM   #5
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That's a total drag. I hope your batteries are still usable after charging.

As far as the size required, it will depend on where you store it, how much shade you'll get (this is especially important to consider if you are farther north since the sun is much lower on the horizon (our backyard gets lots of direct sun in the summer but much of it is in the shade from the house all winter)) and your charging requirements. We've been fine for the past 2 winters with 5W but we store our RV in Florida (which obviously still gets lots of sun even in the winter), there's no shade on the panel ever and we only have 2 coach and 1 chassis batteries (could be that with 4+2, our batteries wouldn't be sufficiently charged either).

If you are further North, you could also look to see if it's possible to angle you panel (We live in Canada and where we are, during the winter, the optimal angle is at about a 60degree inclination (during the summer, optimal angle is about 30 degrees))
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #6
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I'm at the MH right now replying with my phone.

It's been 2 months since I'd been here and ran the generator.

Is once a month often enough?

I have 3 places that show voltage. With the genny on, the Magnum Energy inverter display shows 13.7v (just switched to float charging after bulk then absorbtion).

The Intellitec Battery Disconnect shows 13.6v.

The 'Newmar' display for reading tank levels, LP and voltage shows 13.7v.

Which is the chassis batteries and which is the house batteries?

Two hours of charging last night and 5 so far today.

Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:18 AM   #7
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I'm not sure on this so I will let some one correct me but when you went and put the batteries in store mode you disconnect the coach batteries from the electrical system so I do not think the panel would charge them..not sure why the chassis batteries did not stay up..
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harm:
Check these people out. They will answer all your questions and are great to work with.

http://www.amsolar.com/
If I remember correctly, Greg Holder (the owner of AM Solar) told me that he some arrangements, with a few RV manufacturers, whereby he would send them his system and they would install it at the factory. Obviously it's too late in this case, but this might be a very good thing for Newmar to offer in the future. He's got multiple sized systems, but even the smallest system would easily have taken care of your problem.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link to AM Solar. Too bad they're about as far from me as you can be in the lower 48. I'm not confident enough to install something myself, and I'm not sure who I would trust to do it around here (Northern VA).

It sounds like they suggest a 100 watt system with a controller for basic maintenance.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by 69RoadRunner:
Thanks for the link to AM Solar. Too bad they're about as far from me as you can be in the lower 48. I'm not confident enough to install something myself, and I'm not sure who I would trust to do it around here (Northern VA).

It sounds like they suggest a 100 watt system with a controller for basic maintenance.
My original system (I've since upgraded) was from AM Solar. I told them where I was going to be -- at the time, I was heading to the slabs. They were comfortable with Solar Mike, at the slabs, and put me in contact with him. They then shipped everything to Mike, and he did the installation. You might just contact them and ask if they knew of somebody good in Northern Virginny -- you might be pleasantly surprised. Or if you're planning on being somewhere else in the summer, that location might work well also.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
I have 3 places that show voltage. With the genny on, the Magnum Energy inverter display shows 13.7v (just switched to float charging after bulk then absorbtion).

The Intellitec Battery Disconnect shows 13.6v.

The 'Newmar' display for reading tank levels, LP and voltage shows 13.7v.

Which is the chassis batteries and which is the house batteries?
69RoadRunner, all three of the above locations are reading for your house batteries. The only place that I know of that you can read your chassis battery voltage is the analog meter on your dash, or your LCD readout on your dash.

What I would be concerned with is why all your batteries were dead, especially with the Intellic relay off and your gas detectors off. Parasitic loads will drain a battery over time, but the parasitic loads on your house batteries (4-6Vers) should not cause them to drain dead in 2 months.

Did you put your magnum remote in the Inverter OFF mode. Your inverter, if left on, will draw about 1 amp, if I remember the manual correctly, just sitting there doing nothing, could be the source of power that is causing your house batteries to discharge.

I would also check your house batteries to see if you do not have a bad cell, that will cause your batteries to self discharge overtime.

Spike
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:13 PM   #12
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The inverter was off, but the display stays on showing voltage.

I'm concerned about the parasitic loss, too. These types of electrical problems are the biggest pain to find.

One more reason to buy that house in Clifton/Fairfax Station with 5 acres so I can store the motorhome at home and plug it in.
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