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Grassy

Solar charger for battery ?

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Apparently, I don't drive my truck enough and my Ultra shift gets cranky when the battery isn't running at spec.  I do unhook it when I store the unlt.

I am looking for some sort of solar changer that I can hook it up to when the wheels are not rolling and it is sitting..

My concern is that it has to be able to deal with the 2 batteries or will one of those little units work just as well ?

Thanks

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Define "Little Units". We run either 2 75w panels, or 1 130w unit, depending on what I feel like setting up that day. A small charge controller keeps 4 batteries, wired parallel, happy. The panel size has also allowed us to run the inverter 24/7 in the sleeper, powering the small fridge in the sleeper. Depending on your extra loads, the smallest I'd recommend for vehicle maint, ois around 30w. For the price of a panel this size, you moight as well step up to a real panel, with a charge controller.

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If there is something that I have never been able to drum into my thick skull is electricity... I understand the concepts ..in general form and I have wired an older MOPAR ( and have kept several British cars ion the road)  but the process for me is incredible painful...

I think I have a 400 watt on top of my 5th but since we have stopped boondocking I tend to ignore it until we put the rig away... then I make sure it isn't trying to charge nothing..

I was think 5W like this ..

https://www.amazon.ca/Go-Power-GP-SF-5-SUNfilm-Solar/dp/B006Q7C7L6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498062055&sr=8-1&keywords=solar+charging+panel+for+car+batteries

Ok..min 30 w... I would want to keep it mobile so I can set up and take down at will.

Thanks...time to go on the hunt.

 

 

 

 

 

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I was think 5W like this ..  

In my opinion that 5W is a waste of $ for what you are trying to do.  Step up a bunch.  

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Another off the wall question.

I have a large solar panel on top of my RV. I usually park my TV in front of my RV.

Can I extend the solar panel cables that connect to my rv batteries to my batteries in my my truck ?  Or just parallel the two sets of batteries ? 

Thanks

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Only if you're willing to accept the consequences. During occupancy, you may pull the whole battery bank down enough to be unable to start the truck. That's why motorhomes use a BIRD relay, or something similar. If you're talking just storage, the usual caveats apply. Size the panel big enough to cover the load, with a cushion to cover cloudy days.

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Darryl,

No, not during occupancy.  We really don't use our set up that much. My truck and trailer just sit in my driveway.

Apparently, there is enough draw within my truck to run the battery down below optimal levels which buggers up my ultrashift.

My trailer is always plugged in while at home because we leave our fridge on. There is zero draw from the trailer's solar panel. I think it is 400 watt ish.. 

You allude to the usual caveats..  would you mind listing them out..

I was thinking just to tap into the 2 wires that run to the trailer batteries..  maybe with a fuse and allagator clip to attach to my truck's batteries..  this would save me multi hundreds of dollars for a portable set up.  During winter storage, the batteries are disconnected.

Once we start hitting the road, i don't think this will be a problem.

Thanks.

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The caveats I referred to were to size the array to be bigger than the expected load, under the worst possible conditions. Too often, people expect sunshine magic, and act disappointed when the sun goes down, with the battery bank still hungry. 

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I appreciate  the heads up. I had never heard of the battery minder.

I had thought about using a std battery charger since I have the power available but was uncomfortable with this possible solution.   This is better.

 

Thanks

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6 minutes ago, Grassy said:

I had thought about using a std battery charger since I have the power available but was uncomfortable with this possible solution.   This is better.

The advantage of the battery minder is it will analyze the state of the battery/charge.  So it will not overcharge or boil your batteries.  A typical battery charger will just keep charging.  If the battery charger is capable of sensing a full charge and shutting down, typically they will not restart automatically like a battery minder will.

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