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Old 07-24-2016, 06:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Littleton
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Solar Battery Maintainer

First question here but I have been getting a lot of help from the past posts. I finally moved out of the tent this year by getting my first trailer, a 2016 32BHDS. I have a few trips now under my belt and have a few issues to work out. One of them is that every time I pick up the trailer from storage the battery is dead so I wanted to look at a fixed solar maintainer for it. I was looking at some of the "solar ready" port posts and found that most are using this with portable panels, so not sure I want to even use the built in ports or not? I was looking at the Zamp KICKER line and think that is a good option, but was looking to see what you all think of them, as well as other possible options.
thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:38 PM   #2
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Location: Clearwater, FL area
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CONGRATULATIONS on the JAYCO!!!

...and WELCOME TO JOF!!! The members here are GREAT!!! There is a lot of GREAT information to be found here. I am sure that you will have information and pictures to share with us... so please do!!

What a step up from a tent... wow.

The first thing you want to do when you drop your TT off for storage, is to remove the 30 amp main fuse by the batteries. The reason your battery(s) are going dead is because of the internal electronics that keep draining your battery while not being used (Radio electronics, fridge electronics, CO alarm....)

If you pull that fuse, your battery will last for months.

Those 10 watt and 20 watt battery tenders are really not much good. One was a 10 watt model and that is less than 1 amp, and that is only if there is FULL sun. Invest your money in a battery disconnect switch.

If your battery has already been killed 2x, there may be irreversible damage done to it. Make sure you check the water level every time you use the TT. Any time you drop the battery voltage below 12.0 VDC you are shortening its useful life.

Don
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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
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album http://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:56 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply. there is a lot that I am learning with this nice step up for sure!

I found a few posts on here that had the battery cutoff, looks like Blue Sea is the switch of choice. I figured that the damage was done, so I was planning to fix the issue first and then replace the single stock battery with a 6V setup (again, form the posts on here it sounds like that is a better long term setup).
that would give me a starting point if I want to move up to some real solar panels down the road.

I will pull up some of those past posts as a reference and add that to the ever growing list of planned mods
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:45 AM   #4
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Are you planning a lot of dry camping? 99% of the time hooked to shore-power when camping? Residential fridge in the TT?

If you are going to be hooked up to shore power at the CG's there is no reason for going with expensive deep cycle batteries. Unless, you have a residential fridge then you will need a couple batteries.

Personally, if your current battery is still holding a charge, I would stick with it for a few more outings. It is a LOT cheaper to practice on an inexpensive battery than KILL expensive deep cycle batteries. For extending your awnings, slides, levelers (if you have), leave the TT connected to the TV while you care for them... your battery will love you.

Go with the battery disconnect switch first. Below are a few wiring tips, a Digital Voltage meter to monitor your battery (should not go below 12.0 VDC), and where to put your disconnect switch. Oh, keep a digital volt/ohm meter in the TT, you will need it at some point.

There is some battery information on our RVing with SOLAR Social Group

Good Luck

Don
Attached Thumbnails
BATTERY - 2 6v batteries in series.jpg   ELECTRICAL - 12Volt Batteries Parallel.jpg   ELECTRONICS - 12VDC Voltage Display.jpg  
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__________________
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
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album http://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:02 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Littleton
Posts: 5
For the rest of this year, most of the camping will be on shore power, so I am not to worried about the battery. As I get more failure and setup in the new digs I will be doing a lot of dry camping, like 75% dry/25% shore. I do a lot of trips out with my telescopes to dark locations, most of the time i just look at the dark sky maps and go find a place to hid out in. I am 50/50 on going solar vs generator so I am working on my pros/cons list and plan to do all of this for next season. That gives me some good time to read up on it and figure what direction I want to go.

I still have some bugs to work out on the TT that will keep me busy for this season. I finally got the floor vents to work with the heater, can you believe they never cut the hole in the floor under the furnace

next on the list is why the black tank flush is just flushing water under the furnace and not the tank. I am sure it is a loose connection somewhere, but taking it in for service is a pain so I am going to try to figure that one out this coming weekend.
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