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Old 05-05-2015, 07:58 AM   #1
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Battery Storage

We have a 2015 Pinnacle 36FBTS and we had the 12V battery switched to four 6 Volt batteries, along with a 200 watt solar panel. The solar powers the batteries. This way we can use the refer when dry camping.
My question is, when we place the trailer in storage and turn off the refer, should we leave the power "on" to the trailer and allow the sun to trickle charge the batteries, or would it be better to turn the power off and just plug it in prior to using it again? I want to make sure we preserve the batteries as much as possible. We live in Southern California and sun is never a problem.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:31 AM   #2
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I'm surprised that the Solar Charger is on the other side of the house power switch.
Based on where the cables from the controller connect onto the DC power bus, I would move the point of connection directly to the batteries.
You can separate the Solar connections to their own switch if you want to be able to turn them off, but if you do that, switch the solar panel input to the controller vs. the output power form the controller to the batteries.

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Old 05-05-2015, 08:41 AM   #3
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I am still confused. I have very little knowledge about electricity and power. I will need a more remedial answer. I have no idea how the solar was connected. All I know is that the installer said that the solar powers the batteries. I do know what runs off the batteries.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:56 AM   #4
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This is one of those questions that has supporters on both sides of the fence. Some pull the fuse that supplies battery power back to the TT and leave the SOLAR running to keep the batteries topped off. Some disconnect everything, depending on how long between use, and some leave everything connected as I do.
- If you pull the 30 amp fuse between the batters and the TT, you will have no loads on the battery, your electronics will not be connected and without any charging the batteries will discharge very slowly. But... you will not have a FULL charge the next time you head out camping.
- If you pull the 30 amp fuse between the batters and the TT, you will have no loads on the battery and leave the SOLAR connected you will have a FULLY charged system the next time you head out. All you have to do is replace the 30 amp TT fuse and you are back in business. Some feel better by not having the TT's electronics connected while it is not in use
- Leave everything connected.. your system is FULLY charged and everything is ready to go when you get there. My TT has been on SOLAR for the last 2 years. I leave everything connected. No problems...

Like I mentioned.... more of a personal preference

Just my thoughts,

Don
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1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethcb View Post
I am still confused. I have very little knowledge about electricity and power. I will need a more remedial answer. I have no idea how the solar was connected. All I know is that the installer said that the solar powers the batteries. I do know what runs off the batteries.
There are two ways of approaching this...

- You can have the person/company that wired in the solar to give you a wiring diagram of how he did it. That is if you trust them to give you an actual drawing.
- You or a person that is knowledgeable in DC electronics can draw you a diagram by tracing out the wires.

Either way you need to get this information on paper, for future troubleshooting.

In the JAYCO Forum "RVing with SOLAR" (click "View Pictures to see all) social group there are diagrams to look at or my SOLAR link below.

A QUICK TEST for you is put your TT's interior lights on and unhook from shore power. The lights should still be on... now pull the 30 amp main fuse located by your batteries that lead to the TT, mine was on a green lead with a little inline plastic fuse holder, the TT's interior lights should go out if wired properly. If not, you need to have someone trace out the wiring.

You still need that wiring diagram like Jim's or mine. It will help you understand the electronics better. We can walk you though your set much easier.

What system did you get? Any paper work on it. Parts used (panel mfr, controller mfr, your battery mfr/Ah rating) PICTURES would be GREAT to help us out.

Just my thoughts,
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 https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:31 AM   #6
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I guess the point that I was trying to make is that turning off the house power should not interrupt the solar systems ability to charge the batteries.

From your statement, I assumed that you know for sure that was actually happening and was providing a recommendation that you change that.

If you are not handy in such a way as to determine whats actually happening then I would follow Dons suggestion and go back to the dealer / technician for information or chnage
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:36 AM   #7
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The amount of amperage draw from the Radio and CO2 detector is very small compared to the charging ability of the 200w solar array. (200 watts is probably in the range of 14 amps per hour)

What we don't know is if the Solar Controller is a smart device and actually changes its output when the batteries are fully charged. If it is, then leaving it on is not a problem. If it is not a smart device, then leaving the Solar Array on, unsupervised, could create an overcharge to the batteries.
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmooney View Post
What we don't know is if the Solar Controller is a smart device and actually changes its output when the batteries are fully charged. If it is, then leaving it on is not a problem. If it is not a smart device, then leaving the Solar Array on, unsupervised, could create an overcharge to the batteries.
2X
Don

If you could post the SOLAR equipment would be a big help (should be listed on the bill of sale)
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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 https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:33 AM   #9
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So I looked up what we have. Its a Go Power! Solar Flex GP-FLEX-200. 30 AMP PWM Digital Solar Controller. Looks like it is a "smart" controller, and from what I am now reading in the manual, I think we can just leave it all "on" when in storage. The batteries should not be overcharging. The trailer was prewired for solar.
On the digital readout in the trailer, there is an "A" and "B" button, but this is not described at all in the owners manual.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:08 AM   #10
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here is the link to the instructions for the GP-PWM-30 Controller.


The A and B buttons are used to select the battery type and charge method - you should read this and select appropriately.




http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr...-PWM-30_vD.pdf
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