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Old 03-12-2015, 04:47 PM   #1
okieinalaska's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Tulsa
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Confused! Want to solar charge 2 6v Batteries in Series

I have two 6 volt batteries in series (I think) on my new camper.
I want to be able to keep them trickled charged while it's sitting waiting for the next camping trip and also to charge if we are out boondocking for the weekend.

What do I need?
A controller with a float charge function?
What wattage panel?
What's a good brand? I am thinking something portable would be best a I don't want to drill holes into anything.

Two 6 volts in series means I need a 12 volt charger right?
I am so confused!

Thank you!

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Old 03-12-2015, 05:02 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Read this article. It will give you all the info you will ever need about solar, 12 volt systems. Good read...

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Old 03-12-2015, 05:48 PM   #3
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Location: Clearwater, FL area
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First things first... you need to identify your batteries. If they came from a dealer, I really doubt that you have (2) 6 volt batteries. Count the caps on the batteries (6 volt batteries have 3 caps, 12Volt batteries have 6 caps). Then you need to figure out your batteries Amp hour rating. If you look up your battery (make and model) it will tell you that information. IE.. I have 2 Trojan T145 (6 VDC/260Ah rating) batteries. From there you can determine if what you have is enough for what you want to accomplish. TRUE deep cycle, and not marine/RV type, which has CCA rating are the best for dry camping. Marine/RV types are good for general camping with shore power or a 1 night dry camping outing. I would not look at any SOLAR system with less than 200-250 watts if you are looking at any dry-camping.

You also mentioned that you want the SOLAR to trickle charge your batteries while the TT is not in use, but you also mention you want to keep the panels portable. You are not going to be able to leave your panels unattended next to your TT to keep your batteries trickle charged, they will have to be mounted, or someone else will be enjoying your toys.

If you ask 20 people about what you need for solar, you will get a minimum of 20 different answers.

Panel wise there are different voltages: Low, Medium, High
Which is better? Depends on who you ask! My preference is High voltage (about 31VDC) Go to HomeDepot and look up Grape Solar 250/260 Watt panel (31VDC). I get 19.5 Amps through most of the day. My batteries are charged by 2-3PM each day.

As for SOLAR charge controllers you have 2 choices PWM or MPPT. PWM is used for lower voltage and is not as efficient as an MPPT controller. An MPPT Solar charge controller pretty much extracts all the power from the panel and through electronics transfers it to the batteries. If you are looking to eventually enhance your system with more panels, MPPT is the way to go (IE.. Morningstar MPPT 60 amp solar charge controller). Design your system to meet your current needs with room for expansion. I planned mine for a max of 60Amps. It is expensive to keep buying replacement parts because you did not plan on enhancing your system.

Low wattage panels are good for battery trickle charging (maintaining 13.2 VDC), but not for to much more.

You will also need a battery monitoring tool. A basic digital VOLTAGE display panel will get you through, with a lot of monitoring. My Moriningstar MPPT 60 came with a remote panel that gives me everything I need to know about the solar/battery status. There are other monitoring systems, but that decision would be up to you. I like the unit I have as I can see my systems live status/history on my Smart phone/Tablet/Laptop.

Done correctly, holes in the roof are not an issue. See my other post regarding installing SOLAR on my TT roof. Step by step instructions.

I am sure others will post more good SOLAR information for you to look over.

So now that I have really confused you.... GOOD LUCK

You can click on my SOLAR album below to see more of my system

Any questions just yell...

Just my thoughts,

Sorry for the length of this post....
2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
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Our Solar Album http://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:31 PM   #4
okieinalaska's Avatar
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Location: Tulsa
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Mustang, I requested and paid for specifically two 6 volt batteries. So they better be two 6 v batteries.

I want them trickle charged while parked at my parents home where the camper is stored. There is always someone home and they are in the country. Not saying it couldn't happen but I am not worried about it walking off.

I will figure out exactly what amp hour rating thank you.
2015 Jayco Octane 222 toy hauler
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:13 PM   #5
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I have multiple 12 v batteries, but in the end, weather you are charging 2 six volt in series, or 12 v batteries in parrelle , it's still charging batteries.

If your looking for a decent, but cost effective solar system that will keep your batteries charged while parked in the storage lot and while out camping, check out Renogy. They sell panel and controller sets that can be expanded if you like. That's what I'm using and I'm very happy with them

Some photos of mine in my profile
Jim & Kim from Colorado

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Old 03-13-2015, 06:04 AM   #6
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Location: King George
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Just consider the two 6VDC batteries in series as one larger 12VDC battery.

The batteries are not normally provided by the manufacture but installed by the dealership.

I would check the wiring of the two 6VDC batteries as these are sometimes easily installed in reverse order.

This is the correct way to install the two 6VDC batteries in series...

Roy Ken
Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA

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Old 03-13-2015, 08:20 AM   #7
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Location: Saskatoon Sask Canada
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Okie since you are only interested in a battery maintainer for while in storage I would think something like this would do nicely for you
1.5 Watt Solar Battery Charger

2-6's in series is 12 V so don't worry about that part.. you are charging them as a bank just attach the cables to the pos out on one battery and the neg out on the other ... DO NOT use the posts where the 2 batteries are joined together.
2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
140 days boondocking in 2016
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:21 PM   #8
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Thank you all! Roy, If they were reversed how would that look? Not sure what you mean by that, sorry.

2015 Jayco Octane 222 toy hauler
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