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 > Looking for Solar Panel system to just MAINTAIN battery

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dpgllg

South West Pennsylvania

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Posted: 05/14/20 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have to store my 5th wheel at a storage yard. I am looking for a solar panel system that will maintain one 12v deep cycle battery. The battery will be charged prior to being hooked up to the solar system.

The 5th wheel has the Furrion charging port already installed and will support up to a 100 watt panel.

I have been trying to figure out what I need but man you can get really lost in the details.

This system would only be used during camping season as the battery comes home for the winter.

Like I said I want to maintain the battery. I do put the slides out on occasion and other 12V things while stored such as some lights etc. It would be ideal if the solar could replenish this minimal use.

The Furrion 50 watt panel advertised as a battery maintainer is $269 on the Furrion website.

Furrion 50 watt Panel

Is this enough for my needs? Is there a less expensive BUT just as good alternative?

Dave


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Mecca

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Posted: 05/14/20 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The math is the most definitive way to figure this.

Let's say you come home with a 50% depleted battery. I'll assume that means you need to replenish about 50ah. That panel will crank out, at most, about 3 amps for a few hours per day. So I'll be generous and say about 20 ah/day.

That means it will take the panel about 3 days to charge your battery with full sun every day.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 05/14/20 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Too much money for 50w for such limited use. Solar does not cost that much.

The scenario in the OP might work with a "power box" you can take with you and bring home when visiting the storage place. You could remove the wires off the 12v battery to ensure no draw at all on it while in storage, and get your 12v and some 120v too for running things while there from the power box, which can be recharged at home. The power box inverter would run your converter to make 12v if I understand that right.

The power box might come in handy at other times too.

The Furrion connection should not limit you to one of that brand's systems. Will it adapt to other ordinary wiring?


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fyrflie

Martinez, CA. USA

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Posted: 05/14/20 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is what I use and so far has never let me down.

https://www.batterytender.com/5-Watt-Solar-Tender-Charger-With-Built-in-Controller

My batteries have a disconnect switch so no parasitic loss when off.
And mine is a Class A so the panel only maintains the chassis battery and my longest storage time is about three months. Other than that, we use the MH at least once a month.

RJsfishin

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Posted: 05/14/20 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 100 watt complete w/ controller for $79 on ebay


Rich

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dpgllg

South West Pennsylvania

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Posted: 05/14/20 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP Here,

"You could remove the wires off the 12v battery to ensure no draw at all on it while in storage"

I have installed a battery Disconnect that shuts off all power from the battery. The disconnect that came from manufacture did not kill all power.

Dave

MEXICOWANDERER

las peƱas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 05/14/20 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Arrive after camping with a fully recharged battery?

Not likely

Heed the advice above or take the battery home.

Long term battery storage at underharged is a surefire battery killer.

CarnationSailor

Carnation,WA

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Posted: 05/14/20 10:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use a 30-watt panel aimed toward the southern sky. It keeps 2 12-volt batteries charged at 100% for the 6 months it is in storage. Panel and controller cost about $120 total. And we don't get a lot of winter sun here in the NW.

Also, I hook the charge controller directly to the batteries and leave the battery disconnect switch in the OFF position to eliminate any draws.


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 05/14/20 12:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

50 to 100 watts should work just fine with a controller maintaining two batteries.
$269 for 50 watts seems high.
I recommend a battery disconnect switch to remove any load.

Renogy 50w kit $120


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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 05/14/20 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While keeping the 5th wheel at a storage yard, and starting the storage time with a fully charged deep cycle battery, you really don't need much to keep the battery topped off. A 10 or 20 watt panel would be plenty. $35 or $40 plus the necessary connector should do it. And at that cost, if it sprouts legs and walks off you aren't out much. With my previous TT, which I parked in the back yard, I routinely left a 70W panel and Morningstar controller hooked to it, but that was overkill (I bought the panel to take boondocking, so I used what I had).

If you were only leaving it in storage for a month or so at a time in moderate temps, the disconnect switch (plus washing the top of the battery) might be enough to keep the battery from getting low enough to be damaged.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin
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