Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Solar while the RV is in Storage
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 > Solar while the RV is in Storage

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dufferdj

Colorado/Arizona

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Posted: 12/20/19 05:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Need some guidance for how to use solar while in storage. My solar panels are suppling a daily charge, topping off both my house and chassis batteries. Each night my class A has the charge drawn down due to minor drains . That means that my battery charge will rise and fall daily, if only a small amount. If I shut off the battery disconnects that would prevent this fluctuation. Should I leave my batteries "live" so that they will charge during the day and slightly discharge each night or do I flip the disconnect switches to keep the batteries from either increasing or decreasing their charge. Which method should extend the life span of new batteries, or does it really matter? Thanks for sharing your knowledge and opinions.

DrewE

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Posted: 12/20/19 06:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lead acid batteries self-discharge even if completely unconnected; the rate of this self discharge is dependent on many factors, including the battery construction, its age, and (notably) the ambient temperature.

If you were storing outdoors in subfreezing temperatures, fully charging then disconnecting the batteries is fine. In a warm climate, that's not so good a plan. I'd leave them hooked up to the solar and the rest of the RV in your shoes, assuming that the storage location generally gets enough light to keep them up to snuff. It might also be possible to connect the solar charge connection on the other side of the disconnect switch without much effort so as to have them kept nicely charged without the parasitic loads in the RV discharging them.





Lwiddis

Morro Bay, CA

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Posted: 12/20/19 06:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I cover my TT when out of use and use a 30 watt solar panel mounted on the roof cover and $22 controller from WindyNation to keep the batteries charged. Works great.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


Ed_Gee

Central Oregon coast - Winter in AZ

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Posted: 12/20/19 07:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I believe most RV solar charging systems are wired directly to the battery bank, by-passing the disconnect switch.


Ed - on the Central Oregon coast
2018 Winnebago Fuse 23A
Scion xA toad

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 12/20/19 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is NO pat answer to your question. Likely your disconnect switches don't remove all drains. One approach is to completely disconnect the batteries (remove cables, full disconnect switch, etc), rewire the solar to the house bank and add a jumper to the chassis bank.

Because my AGMs have a low self discharge rate I choose for a variety of reasons to install FULL disconnect switches on the batteries and fully charge them once a month. Strange since I have solar??? - stored semi inside with minimum daily solar and other factors involving Monaco's marginal wiring setup - a long story...


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob


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Posted: 12/20/19 07:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For example you have a 1A drain or 24Ah in a day. Even 0.1A is 2.4Ah for a day. Plus battery self discharge. And 0.1A is 72Ah a month.

Maybe your best option is switches off and solar on. Good for a few AZ overcast days and CO winter not so much unless of course you are a snowbird.

time2roll

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Posted: 12/20/19 11:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds fine to me unless the voltage on the battery is dropping significantly. Depending on conditions you could be a week+ with minimal to no solar.... will that be a concern?


2001 F150 SuperCrew
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WAFlowers

Clearwater, FL

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Posted: 12/21/19 06:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My PV system is direct connected to the batteries and has its own shutoff. Of course, I designed and installed the system myself so YMMV.


Bill and Willemina Flowers
George, Sammy and Teddy (the dogpack)
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(Was in a 2000 Coachmen Catalina Sport 220RK)


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Posted: 12/21/19 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

Sounds fine to me unless the voltage on the battery is dropping significantly. Depending on conditions you could be a week+ with minimal to no solar.... will that be a concern?
Good suggestion, get a digital voltmeter that will read 2 digits and see what is going on. Like 12.68V.

Better get a AC/DC clamp on meter and check the battery drain. So much better than "minor" drain. Reasonable ones are about $80.

wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 12/21/19 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yup, for a more considered answer, you will need to tell us how low the voltage goes.

So, what is float voltage at the end of a sunny day? How low in the morning after a couple of cloudy days?

Also, what controller do you have? Quite a range of quality/capabilities.


Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38'FDDS
Ex: 1997 Safari 35'
Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240


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