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 > AGM batteries & solar battery tender

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garmp

St Louis, MO

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Posted: 09/11/22 10:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thinking about switching over to AGM batteries & know nothing about what I should know & do. I tried to do online research but have a hard time distinguishing between a sales pitch & an honest review/opinion as I know nothing about the subject.
I did find that one important point is to keep the batteries charged while in storage. As I generally put it in storage from Nov to April. Cannot keep on our property due to our beloved HOA, so it is offsite with no electric available. Which brings me to a solar battery tender. These are effective??? Spending this kind of money on batteries, don't want them going south the first year. Since our coach is offsite can I use a solar tender discretely with no holes drilled, etc. I'd like to place the solar panel in the cab windshield & run the cables to the batteries. Does this even sound feasible?
And I guess solar battery tenders, like the batteries themselves, vary in price from one end of the spectrum to the other. And the higher the price isn't always the better.
Oh, where to start? Then there is always the consideration of total cost and what I can afford. But naturally I want the best for the least cost.
Any thoughts?


Our 2351D Phoenix Cruiser, Jack, has turned us from campers into RVers and loving it!


bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 09/11/22 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have one AGM battery being maintained by a Coleman 6 watt battery maintainer. You didn't state how many batteries you will be maintaining but Coleman also makes a 10 watt maintainer for $50. Most maintainers have a diode to keep the reverse flow of power during periods of darkness. If you totally disconnect your batteries the 10 watt may carry two. We bought ours at tractor supply. Notice a charger and maintainer are two different animals.

Lwiddis

Southern California :(

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Posted: 09/11/22 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I had wet batteries I used a 30 watt solar panel and a weather resistant controller from WindyNation to maintain my batteries when not camping since my TT is covered. Worked very well. Are you considering Lithium batteries? If there is no draw their charge will last months. In fact many advise storing at less than full charge. The “buzz” is Lithium and not many are writing anything about other battery types.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


2oldman

NM

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Posted: 09/11/22 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could charge them up and disconnect and they'd be fine. AGMs hold a charge a long time. And by disconnect I mean pulling a cable.

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 09/11/22 01:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Charge them up and unhook them. They'll be fine.
If you really want a maintainer that will work to but you will still need to unhook them or the LP detector, stereo, etc. Will still drain the battery with a litle panel. You could put in a real solar panel and have use of it for camping.

bobndot

USA

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Posted: 09/11/22 01:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As said disconnect them once fully charged. But stored for that long in colder temps, my AGM's always dropped down in voltage to the point of not cranking over. I would add a solar charger.

I use solar Battery Tenders on my stored snowmobiles off-grid as well as my elec start Generator. Works perfectly, all AGM batteries. It will keep two grp 27's topped off if fully charged from the start.

garmp

St Louis, MO

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Posted: 09/11/22 02:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My coach has a switch to disconnect the coach battery. Would that be sufficient enough rather than manually unbolting the batteries?

SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

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Posted: 09/11/22 02:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

garmp wrote:

My coach has a switch to disconnect the coach battery. Would that be sufficient enough rather than manually unbolting the batteries?


Maybe, maybe not. To be 100% sure you can disconnect the battery terminal wire at the battery.

I suggest, if possible, you should visit your RV at least once per month while in storage to check on it. You can bring a volt meter and check the battery voltage to make sure they are holding a charge and not being drained. It is also recommended to run the generator once a month for 30 minutes to an hour under some load to keep it happy.

Personally, I hate dead batteries so much I added solar to each of my RVs (which makes boondocking a breeze also). If you are a DIYer it is not terribly hard and doesn't cost too much. Message me if you'd like details on an inexpensive solar install.

Good luck!
Chris


San Jose, CA
Own two 2015 Thor Majestic 28a Class C RVs

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 09/11/22 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Solar panels behind glass, especially if it is tinted, put out much less power.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/11/22 03:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

garmp wrote:

My coach has a switch to disconnect the coach battery. Would that be sufficient enough rather than manually unbolting the batteries?


If you never cold weather camp, then LiFePo4 are a similar price to AGM. They can be stored for a long time with no charging--and in fact it is best to store them at 50% state of charge.

The other solution is a small solar charging system.

The disconnect switch may not eliminate all parasitic loads. Best to disconnect the negative post.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

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