Jayco RV Owners Forum

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-20-2015, 11:05 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Great Falls
Posts: 519
Solar battery tender

I have recently moved to San Antonio and now have to store my trailer, previously in Idaho I was able to keep my trailer at home.

I hate the fact that the batteries are not being charged like they used to be, so today I bought this solar panel from Northern Tool.

It is only rated at 7 watts, but sitting in full sun for most the day should keep it topped off. With the solar panel connected to the batteries, I was immediately getting a full charge indicator on the basic panel indicators (batt, grey, black, fresh).

It was pretty simple to hook up, it comes with a cigarette plug and alligator clips, I cut the wires off the plug and connected them directly to the battery, I mounted the solar panel onto a piece of plywood, painted it and attached it to the top of the propane tank cover. It will be secure for travel and will remain in place all the time, providing a passive battery tender. While in storage the trailer is disconnected from the batteries so there will not be any parasitic drainage from on-board equipment.

It is not intended to provide power while camping, even though I will keep it attached at all times. I will continue to use either hookups, or my generator to maintain battery charging while camping.

I will follow up when I get a chance to see how it is working while in storage.
Attached Thumbnails
solar (1).jpg   solar (2).jpg   solar (3).jpg  


2011 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins
2012 Starcraft Autumn Ridge 297 BHS
Flyrotor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 07:39 AM   #2
Senior Member
RoyBraddy's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: King George
Posts: 2,397
Both my OFF ROAD TRUCK and JEEP Wrangler back in the day always had one sitting on the dash for keeping the start battery topped off... These were neat back then as they just plugged into the 12V lighter socket. Today it is very hard to find a 12VDC lighter socket that stays 'ON' after the ignition key is turned off.

I really should get back to this keeping my Truck start batteries and trailer batteries topped off...

Just keep in mind this only really works to top off your battery that is already charged up...

If your battery has been drained to 50% or lower than battery science tells you if you want to get it recharged in a quick three hour time frame than you need to charge it with 14.4VDC with a current capacity of at least 17A to 20A per battery in your bank.

Obviously the 7-10WATT small solar panels is NOT going to provide any of this...


One thing you should watch for is to make sure the SOLAR PANEL has the BLOCKING DIODE installed to prevent any loading to your batteries when the SUN is not out. This will prevent the SOLAR panel from discharging your battery.

You can easily use velcro to hold these panels in place on your truck dash.

Roy Ken

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

"We're burning daylight" - John Wayne
2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
K9PHT (since 1957) 146.52Mhz
"We always have a PLAN B"
RoyBraddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 07:52 AM   #3
Senior Member
Seann45's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Saskatoon Sask Canada
Posts: 9,701
I would put it inside a South facing window of the RV and plug it into a power point access otherwise it WILL disappear on you..
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.
175 days boondocking in 2017
215/2016, 211/2015, 196/14, 247/13, 193/12

Seann45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 10:24 AM   #4
Senior Member
Mustang65's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL area
Posts: 3,671
i checked the online user manual and the unit has a blocking diode.
From user manual:

This solar panel has a built in blocking diode to prevent reverse discharge.

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 https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
Mustang65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Great Falls
Posts: 519
Roy, I installed it with only intentions of a battery tender.

Sean, I keep the trailer in an RV storage yard, all my windows are tinted, and the trailers are parked too close to be efficient via the windows. Yeah, there is a chance it can get stolen, but so can my batteries and propane tanks, just a chance I have to take, or remove all when in storage.

And yes, it has a blocking diode, I checked that feature before I bought it.

2011 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins
2012 Starcraft Autumn Ridge 297 BHS
Flyrotor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 03:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
NC Roamer's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Fuquay-Varina
Posts: 711
I use one of these to keep a charge on the starting battery on my 8KW generator at the house. It works very well.

2014 Greyhawk 31FK
2007 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100cc
NC Roamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 03:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central California
Posts: 2,243
We used one on our sailboat for years to keep the AGMs topped off. It was perfect since our slip didn't have shore power, and running the motor just for the alternator to charge batteries was very undesirable on a sailboat.

2007 Chevy Duramax LMM/Allison
2012 Jay Flight 29QBH
2012 Jay Flight 26BH (Sold)
clubhouse is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia State Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.