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Old 09-03-2021, 12:52 PM   #1
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Factory solar - how to properly disconnect battery?

New to RVing, new to forum so apologies for any newb questions here. I have a new 2021 Jayco White Hawk 29BHOK with factory installed solar package (i.e. panel and charge controller). I seem to be chasing my tail a bit trying to figure out how to properly power down the rig while parked inside storage building. I've learned now that for some reason the fridge light (12V fridge) does not shut off with OEM battery disconnect after finding the battery run down. Dealer suggested I disconnect the battery, so I did that but now the charge controller for the solar is humming loudly because I assume it's looking for a battery to charge. The dealer explained to me that the whole solar option is new to them and honestly weren't quite sure how to handle. They eventually advised me to pull the charge controller off the wall and disconnect the wires there as well. Is this really the right procedure? Has anyone else encountered this? I'm sure folks with solar put their rigs in storage at some point and pull the battery. What are you supposed to do when you have solar??

Appreciate any help.

-Tim
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Old 09-03-2021, 12:55 PM   #2
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Pull the fuse for the fridge????
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:03 PM   #3
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First thing I tried. None of the fuses seemed to turn off the light. The dealer said the fridge is wired directly to battery??? I'm not sure I buy that but I can't quite figure out why pulling each fuse didn't work. And before anyone asks, no, TT was not plugged in. :-)
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:26 PM   #4
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I have a full battery disconnect at the battery. Search for a marine battery disconnect switch, a bunch of red ones come up on Amazon. That will shut everything off.

Make sure itís on when traveling, your emergency brakes on trailer are powered by the batteries. For the same reason, donít travel with dead batteries, make sure they are charged up.
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Old 09-03-2021, 07:52 PM   #5
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I had factory solar installed on our trailer. We installed a battery cut off switch right at the battery. No issues of drain now as it kills all power when switches off.
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:02 AM   #6
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dalfaro, does your charge controller make humming noise when you disconnect battery. If you have solar and you disconnect battery i believe your solar is still trying to send power to a battery that’s not connected.
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:22 PM   #7
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In case helpful to anyone else. From the Go Power resource center "winterizing your solar" info it seems the proper procedure is to disconnect the solar wires coming into the charger and cover the solar panel if disconnect the battery for storage. That's the way I'm understanding it so don't take my word for it.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:12 PM   #8
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If your storing it inside I would think that would negate covering anything. And the need to disconnect anything as it is not producing power.......
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tbarkermn View Post
New to RVing, new to forum so apologies for any newb questions here. I have a new 2021 Jayco White Hawk 29BHOK with factory installed solar package (i.e. panel and charge controller). I seem to be chasing my tail a bit trying to figure out how to properly power down the rig while parked inside storage building. I've learned now that for some reason the fridge light (12V fridge) does not shut off with OEM battery disconnect after finding the battery run down. Dealer suggested I disconnect the battery, so I did that but now the charge controller for the solar is humming loudly because I assume it's looking for a battery to charge. The dealer explained to me that the whole solar option is new to them and honestly weren't quite sure how to handle. They eventually advised me to pull the charge controller off the wall and disconnect the wires there as well. Is this really the right procedure? Has anyone else encountered this? I'm sure folks with solar put their rigs in storage at some point and pull the battery. What are you supposed to do when you have solar??

Appreciate any help.

-Tim
Most solar charge controllers should not be connected to the solar panels without battery connection. In fact, it can destroy the charge controller. If there is no switch to disconnect the solar panels from the controller, I would install one. It is not hard. Once you have that switch installed, disconnect the solar panels first, before you disconnect the battery.
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:26 AM   #10
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Sorry I just saw your question. So I requested a wiring diagram from jayco for our 2021 trailer. So what I did was change how they had the solar wired in at the junction box on the tounge of the trailer. So now my solar goes from panel to controller then from controller to 30amp fuse then fuse to battery. How they had it was after the controller it went to the junction block on the tounge. Vs going straight to the battery like it should be. So now when I turn off my battery disconnect it kills all drain on my batteries. But the solar is still fully hooked up since it has its own wire now to the battery. So now I get no beeping of any kind from my controller. Also I store my trailer under a cover.
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:55 PM   #11
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If your storing it inside I would think that would negate covering anything. And the need to disconnect anything as it is not producing power.......
My pole shed has a clear ridge vent for letting some light in. It seems the panel is picking up some of that light during the day.....
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:58 AM   #12
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When ever things like this come up for me I find its time to RFTM, with our trailers the OEM controller is a GoPower. Have you tried going to their site and looking at the manual for the controller you have?

Here is the link for the one in my trailer, https://gpelectric.com/products/gp-pwm-30-sq/

I would also suggest reaching out to GoPower directly they are awesome to work with and respond to emails quickly and will answer any question you have. The buzzing seems odd but might do that for a time before it errors out, again they should know the answer to this. I know when we bought our trailer there was no battery hooked up and the solar was uncovered and it had the no battery error on the controller screen, it also didn't buzz...

The other thing I will say is that for the dealer to say that solar is new to them that is just CRAZY!! While these are becoming more the norm they have been around for some years now and are not new to the industry. Maybe call another dealer that is close to ask questions? But GoPower would be my first recomendation.
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Old 01-19-2022, 11:14 AM   #13
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When ever things like this come up for me I find its time to RFTM, with our trailers the OEM controller is a GoPower. Have you tried going to their site and looking at the manual for the controller you have?

Here is the link for the one in my trailer, https://gpelectric.com/products/gp-pwm-30-sq/

I would also suggest reaching out to GoPower directly they are awesome to work with and respond to emails quickly and will answer any question you have. The buzzing seems odd but might do that for a time before it errors out, again they should know the answer to this. I know when we bought our trailer there was no battery hooked up and the solar was uncovered and it had the no battery error on the controller screen, it also didn't buzz...

The other thing I will say is that for the dealer to say that solar is new to them that is just CRAZY!! While these are becoming more the norm they have been around for some years now and are not new to the industry. Maybe call another dealer that is close to ask questions? But GoPower would be my first recomendation.
Thanks for reply TomC. I didn't contact GoPower directly but that's a good suggestion. I did locate the manual for the charge controller online and is what I used to inform the dealer that solar wasn't connected properly when I picked it up. I had to explain to them how to read the error code on the charge controller. Ugh. I also found some info on what GoPower recommends for "winterizing" solar which I shared in an earlier post. Short of is they recommended covering panel and disconnecting from charge controller - which would be easy if there was a disconnect switch.

I've been having a bit of back and forth, cordial, emails with Jayco rep. Seems a proper solar install should include a disconnect switch between the panel and the charge controller, which I don't believe is typically included with the overland kit.

My rig is stored in pole barn few hours from my house but I plan to dig into this in the spring when I hook the battery up.
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Old 01-19-2022, 11:20 AM   #14
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Agree, in all of the trailers I have looked at, all of which have solar, none of them had a solar specific disconnect. Should it be there yes, are there ways around it yes but are a pain i.e. cover the panel etc.. which depending on location and weather may not be safe or easily done.

If you install a switch for the solar it would be the same that is used for the battery so nothing special.

As for the light on the fridge, it is just a LED light right? The fridge is not actually running while this light is on and there are no other switches inside or just above any of the doors etc? (we dont have a 12v fridge but are discussing getting one)
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Old 01-19-2022, 11:26 AM   #15
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Agree, in all of the trailers I have looked at, all of which have solar, none of them had a solar specific disconnect. Should it be there yes, are there ways around it yes but are a pain i.e. cover the panel etc.. which depending on location and weather may not be safe or easily done.

If you install a switch for the solar it would be the same that is used for the battery so nothing special.

As for the light on the fridge, it is just a LED light right? The fridge is not actually running while this light is on and there are no other switches inside or just above any of the doors etc? (we dont have a 12v fridge but are discussing getting one)
RE: Fridge light - yes, it's just the LED light. The fridge is turned off and not running. But having that light on for days or weeks kills the battery and seems factory disconnect doesn't shut it off. Easiest solution I guess is to just keep the fridge door closed when not in use but then it can get pretty gross is not aired out properly after use. Some people have suggested just putting tape on the door switch when propped open so light turns off. That's an easy solution but I don't want tape residue and the gunk that will stick to it. Just seems there should be better way. I tried pulling each fuse one by one before storing it and it wouldn't go off. So I disconnected the battery.....
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Old 01-19-2022, 11:48 AM   #16
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Oh sorry didn't realize you were talking about the LED inside the fridge. I usually let ours dry out and then just close it, it stays "fresh" as long as it is dry, which here in AZ only takes a few days. Cant you just remove the LED or disconnect it?
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Old 03-01-2022, 05:33 PM   #17
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I just saw this post. I was grabbing something from my TT and noticed the charge controller was humming also. No power, disconnected battery, TT's solar panels are under a cover and also covered with snow. So strange that it is humming. Did you end up pulling the controller from the wall and disconnecting wires? I wouldn't even know which wires to disconnect (but I haven't looked yet lol). How did you resolve?
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Old 03-01-2022, 05:44 PM   #18
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I just saw this post. I was grabbing something from my TT and noticed the charge controller was humming also. No power, disconnected battery, TT's solar panels are under a cover and also covered with snow. So strange that it is humming. Did you end up pulling the controller from the wall and disconnecting wires? I wouldn't even know which wires to disconnect (but I haven't looked yet lol). How did you resolve?
I haven't resolved yet. I live in MN and it's been in pole shed since late fall. The humming eventually stopped a few days after disconnecting the battery and covering the solar panel while in storage. I'm hoping the charge controller didn't fry and that's why it stopped working. Punchline, I still need to figure out better long term solution. I'm thinking of adding a shutoff between the solar panel and charge controller in the spring, which should be around June here in MN, ha!. Something that should have been there in the first place in my humble opinion.
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Old 03-01-2022, 05:46 PM   #19
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I'll have to check mine soon and see if it is still humming. I guess we'll see when we uncover, reconnect the batteries and driveway camp to trouble shoot lol.
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Old 03-01-2022, 07:29 PM   #20
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You should be able to just cover the panel with something, cardboard or a blanket etc for a few min and it should then notice that there is no battery connected any longer and go into error mode. At that point it should stop humming, it also should not go back into normal mode until after a battery is reconnected.
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