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Battery charger for truck


GlennWest

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I have a 300.00 dollar smart charger ( about 25.00 bucks US) LOL..that I have used on my truck for some time. I burned it out and had it replaced, luckly under warranty. I do not leave it on continually any more. 2 or 3 days twice month now. 300.00 bucks is a lot to just blow up again. 4 batteries may be to much for any non commercial charger to keep up with continued electrical draws from our trucks electronics.

I added a Battery power supply cut off so I do not drain the batteries when it is sitting waiting to go camping. I hope this helps.

On a side note, I did have one bad battery and that may have caused the charger to go boom.

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What about solar?? 20W panel with its own charge controller is pretty reasonably priced. I use one for my construction equipment that have batteries, just move it piece by piece and as they discharge when not used, its free, safe and dont need to think much about it.

I am thinking about adding one to my MDT. Its on the list, just havent gotten down to it yet.

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I have 2 semi trucks, the 5r, and several farm machines that I have simple 1.5A Schumacher chargers on. As long as there is not a big "draw" in the truck/etc, they work just fine for keeping 4-6 batteries charged. I disconnect the battery cables from the trucks.

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I use a solar set up -coleman 20w- I suspect the charge controller is not the best .

The first year I used it ,plugged it in and left it alone all winter .

Late in the season I found the battery tops wet,possible overcharge?

Now I keep a closer eye on them and only charge them a odd weekend or so.

Panel is inside the windshield and the batteries are disconnected.

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We started with a cheap controller for the solar and found it boiling the batteries as it kept the batteries at 14.2v whenever the sun was shining. We now have a little better controller that we set to float at 13v. The 33 watt panel typically reaches float early, before noon when it is sunny. The one problem I had with solar is it will hide weak batteries. The truck was starting fine until it was parked in the shade for a few days.

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Actually there are "new parks" opening. Basically fields with rv hook ups. They will be open. Too much money to loose. Spent a winter in a remote area of Kentucky. The KOA normally closed in winter. Stayed open with a full park due to construction workers. They love us until spring and then we are treated like the plague. lol

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I know solar will be best bet since you may patk remote but if power avail I like the Battery Minder

 

It does a great job and never has overcharged. Never need water and it's plugged in 24/7 when not driving.

 

I used to use a Battery Tender and it didn't hold up. Failed on me one winter and I lost two batts.

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I know solar will be best bet since you may patk remote but if power avail I like the Battery Minder

 

It does a great job and never has overcharged. Never need water and it's plugged in 24/7 when not driving.

 

I used to use a Battery Tender and it didn't hold up. Failed on me one winter and I lost two batts.

Battery Minder has a solar charger that works very well. I use a cheap solar setup from Harbor Freight with the Battery Minder and it works good.
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The Renogy panel/controller packages are pretty nice. The ViewStar controllers allow customization of the charge parameters and use of a voltage sense wire. This allows for maximum charge efficiency. They also have an equalization mode, which I recommend using. It won't be as effective as a larger charger but it will help some.

 

You can find these packages pretty cheap on Amazon and Ebay. You really don't need much more than 100 watts of solar. The key is the form-factor of the panel. You want to look at the dimensions and make sure you can mount it efficiently. Permanently tilted to the rear on a drom is one way to mount a larger dimension panel. Or a smaller one flat on the drom.

 

Here is an EXAMPLE, but they come in all kinds of combinations. You will have to extend the panel lines. Mount the controller in the drivers storage box. Use pretty good size cable to the battery. I'd probably just use #6 although that is overkill. You are trying to eliminate excess voltage drop between the controller and the battery bank. But with #6 you could add another panel later, if desired.

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