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Golf Cart Batteries, charge in storage or disconnect?


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Hi all, I have two Interstate 6V batteries wired in series in my rig. I'm only using my rig once a month right now. There is a solar panel and controller installed from the factory. I have been disconnecting all power (including the solar charging lead) while I let the unit sit in storage. Would it be better to keep the solar charging circuit connected and monitor the water levels in the batteries, or is disconnecting the safer way?

 

Also, what I've noticed is that the solar charging circuit is not tied into the rig's power directly, but rather is directly connected to the battery. Is this normal? Due to this, switching off the power cutoff switch in the RV doesn't cut power from the solar charging circuit, just 12V power into the rig.

 

Thanks!

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To me it depends on 2 questions:

1) is your battery charger a smart charger, ie: does it automatically shift into "Float" mode, so as not to overcharge or overheat the batteries.

2) are the batteries involved wet type, requiring regular water level checks; will you be around to check the levels at least monthly.

 

either method can work for you, depending on those conditions. when I was still working and my MH was stored down the block, it was plugged in 24/7/365 for 3 yrs of part time use.

 

(I can't answer your solar question)

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Good evening Dartmouth, good questions, you ask:

 

"Would it be better to keep the solar charging circuit connected and monitor the water levels in the batteries, or is disconnecting the safer way?"

 

a) If its a quality 3 Stage "Smart" Solar Charge Controller and indeed backs off to 13.2 volts float voltage when it should, I wouldn't be afraid to leave it on for

reasonable time extended periods. If its a cheap or inferior quality (call it dumb if you like lol) Solar Charge Controller that does NOT regulate charging

voltages and might possibly overcharge the batteries NOOOOOOOOOOOOO Id be reluctant to leave it on extended periods without monitoring battery levels.

B) YES its good to monitor battery electrolyte levels just in case regardless what quality charger is attached.

c) YES OF COURSE ITS "SAFER" if you completely disconnected. However if the batteries are allowed to sit in a discharged state for extended time periods that's

hard on them and can reduce their longevity.

 

 

"Also, what I've noticed is that the solar charging circuit is not tied into the rig's power directly, but rather is directly connected to the battery. Is this normal? Due to this, switching off the power cutoff switch in the RV doesn't cut power from the solar charging circuit, just 12V power into the rig."

 

I cant guarantee or stand behind how the factory wired your rig BUT THATS HOW MINE IS WIRED such that cutting the master DC Power Switch does NOT disconnect the solar from charging my batteries (just cuts off all DC loads). HOWEVER I installed a Solar Cut Off Switch so I could do that myself. That's not difficult or expensive to do you know.

 

SUMMARY the answer depends on the quality and type and how your solar controller functions and none of us can tell that over the net. If its good quality 3 stage

Smart Controler and works as it should and floats and doesn't overcharge, Id leave it on and monitor battery electrolyte levels...........SURE total disconnection would be "Safer"..................If the solar is good you cant get by fine without any solar disconnect, but if you sleep better install one (wont be charging then of course)

 

That's just one mans opinion, others may have different opinions of course. Your rig, your risks, your choice NOT any of ours

 

John T

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If you are not sure about the answers to the questions asked, just lift the negative battery cable from the post and you can be sure that you are safe. Nothing said in any of the replies that I'd disagree with, but if in doubt, go with the sure way.

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