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Old 11-15-2021, 08:25 AM   #1
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Angry New 2022 Jayco 166FBS: Solar will NOT charge

So I have a brand new Jayco 166FBS.

The solar ONLY charges when plugged into the Tow vehicle. Brought it in to the dealer and they said it is working fine...brought it home and the battery doesn't last more than 3 hours or so then dies and never recharges.

The unit has the 12v Fridge, Factory Solar w/190w panel and a dealer battery.

I understand that the 12v fridge could be draining all the power...but I am parked in FULL sun ALL DAY until night time....Shouldn't that be enough to keep the battery charged??

Again, dealer said it was working fine...but it feels wrong that it in full sun just drains and never charges back up.

Anyone have an answer? Dealer did not help. Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2021, 08:53 AM   #2
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If the fridge runs fully off the 12v this is quite likely correct. That’s not a lot of solar and won’t keep up with a fridge on battery. The batteries I got with my rig were two 100 amp AGM batteries. That’s still lead acid but the battery is enclosed. That gave me 100 amps to use as you can only pull lead down by half without hurting the batteries. That would last less than two days with a low draw. If you want to run a lot of stuff you’ll need lithium batteries and probably 600 watts of solar minimum. There are ways to calculate your usage online, based on what you plan to actually use. Worth doing some research.
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Old 11-15-2021, 08:55 AM   #3
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Check out this post by JayLo, not sure if this is totally your issue but might be similar with just loose connections etc. as it sounds like its kind of working but not fully, https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...god-90733.html

I would also get out the volt meter and check the cables, voltage etc. coming from the solar.

Our dealer only gave us a group 24 battery and it would do way better than 3hrs running lights, TV, furnace etc. (but we DO NOT have the 12v fridge). I have since replaced it with a cheap 100ah LiFePo4 off amazon and that last longer. Personally if I had the 12v fridge I would have two lithium batteries just because it has to be on all the time (while in use).
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Old 11-15-2021, 09:23 AM   #4
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Thank you for the info. Our usage really would be some lights in the evenings, a little tv in the evenings, and the fridge. Not heavy power users.
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Old 11-15-2021, 10:35 AM   #5
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I've learned recently, some dealers only match 12volt refrigerator models with a lithium battery. I suspect their reason is the voltage required exceeds the capacity of the standard flooded battery. You also don't want to go beyond 50% of your battery charge. Get a meter that shows how much power is in your battery (or batteries) and how much your camper is using so you can see how long you can go without hookups.

I use the Victron Smart Shunt. I only needed to attach it at the battery (inline on the negative side).

I got it at Amazon and here is what I shows on my phone:



Simply describe your battery, or batteries, and it will show... at your current rate, how many hours remain before you reach 50% ! (see 'Time remaining' in above image). Less than half hour to install alongside my battery. Now I can see the impact of running each appliance.
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Old 11-15-2021, 11:10 AM   #6
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doesn't seem right....

I'm new here too with a 171BH on order (if we didn't have grandkids, we would have probably selected the 166FBS, so excellent choice).

I don't know what 12v refrigerator is in the 166 (or 171 for that matter). I'm guessing a Furrion. The specs for that are 1.09KW per day energy consumption. If my math is correct and I understand, that's 45 watts an hour. At 12V that's 3.75 amp average over the 24 hours. The specs call for 11amps, but I think that's 11 amps when running and a refrigerator's compressor isn't running continuously 24 hours a day. The refrigerator 'turns on', cools, then turns off throughout the day.....

I find it hard to believe a 12V refrigerator kills a battery in 3 hours... Assuming 50Amp-hour (100AH flooded battery at 50% usage), that's still 13hours at 3.75 average amps per hour. If your dealer installed 2 - 100AH flooded batteries you'd have 200AH, where 100AH would be usable without damage to the batteries.

The 190watt solar panel is rated at 9.3amps. Given the controller is a PWM, that means it charges at battery voltage, so assume 13volts charge and that is 120watts in 'perfect' sun. I think that should be more than enough to power the refrigerator AND top off the battery(ies).

One of the other members here found a poorly connected solar kit so perhaps that's what you'll find. I would VERY hard for me to believe Jayco created an offroad/boondocking TT that would run for just 3 hrs off of shore power...
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Old 11-15-2021, 11:54 AM   #7
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The victron is an awesome unit and will answer most of your questions.

I donít see how 190w solar will keep up with the refer usage. The 9.3 amps is maximum which will only happen a few hours a day especially if the panels are mounted flat on the roof. My guess is your getting 6 amps average over 6 hours if your lucky. 6x6=36 and a dead battery needs 50. Thatís barely enough to keep the battery charged if you have other 12 items in use.

If a battery is not fully charged, it could easily go dead in 3 hours. You might think itís charged, but it takes many hours to get a full charge and it wonít tell you the true charge unless itís been resting without any charging for at least 30 minutes. The Victron will know the true condition and usage of your system.

I have 300 w solar and four 6v true deep cycle batteries. I think 400 watts of solar is a good number to keep my batteries full in perfect weather.
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Old 11-15-2021, 12:17 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone this is great info.

I took the unit into the dealer (RV one) and they said the Solar was good to go... I took it home and it was dead in 3 hours.

So Recomendations:

* Get Victron Smart Shunt


*Lithium batteries
-Should I get 2 6v Lithium?

* Another solar panel
-Would another 190w panel do?

Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2021, 01:50 PM   #9
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You can better decide what battery, or batteries, you need once you have the Victron Smart Shunt to better understand your consumption versus capacity.
There are historical charts in the Victron app so over time you can decide what changes are required.... either one or more flooded batteries ($120 ea.) or one or more lithium ($1000 ea.)
You should have room for more flooded batteries if that is your choice, just be sure to get exactly the same make/model. If that's your choice, you'll want to get some distilled water and check their volume monthly. Flooded batteries can be recharged many more times versus AGM so it's worth the trouble of keeping track of the water level. I also got one of these ($15 from Amazon) to make refilling really easy:

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Old 11-15-2021, 02:07 PM   #10
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Great info thank you
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Old 11-15-2021, 02:08 PM   #11
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Battery monitor I use.-
https://www.ebay.com/itm/18515592206...cAAOSwgmtaQ~wF
Wireless, sensor slips over battery cable. Costs less than the Victron. No case, poor instructions, not as easy to set up parameters, doesn't store data.

Extra panel would definitely help.
Check your solar controller to see how many watts / panels it can support.
Additional panel should have same specs.
Solar does not work too well in Michigan this time of year. Lots of clouds, low sun angle and shorter days mean much less power.

2x 12 100AH Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries would be great, but realize they cannot be charged below freezing.
https://rebelbatteries.com/
Smart LiFePO4 12V 100Ah 1280Wh Bluetooth Enabled Rechargeable Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Sale price$539.00
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Old 11-15-2021, 02:16 PM   #12
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Maybe different panel and MPPT controller...

There are folks here with WAY more experienced regarding solar... The Victron blue tooth shunt seems be an excellent way to monitor what's going on. I'm putting it on my 'to buy' list!

Based on what I've read you shouldn't mix panels (although some do) with one controller. The Go Power seems to be a good basic unit, but is PWM. You could get the Go Power extender kit that has a 190watt panel and connectors to pair up with what you have. However, based on what I've read/seen you can get another panel with a different controller, MPPT, which is supposed to be WAY more efficient and run that into your battery... The controller (again, based on what I've read) is supposed to have a temperature sensor as flooded lead acid batteries need different charge parameters based on temperature.
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Old 11-15-2021, 04:24 PM   #13
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X2 on avoiding AGM batteries, my son had a couple and pulled them and put back in true deep cycle lead acid batteries. If I remember right, they take longer to charge up.

Also, avoid RV/marine batteries, they may say deep cycle but they are not. Look for power descriptions on the batteries, CCA is not a deep cycle, itís a starting battery.
100amphour or 125amphour is another power description and is only used to describe deep cycle or lithium, thatís what you want.
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Old 11-15-2021, 10:12 PM   #14
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KAIWEETS Digital Clamp Meter... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z3988K3...p_mob_ap_share

When I dealt with this, I called Go Power and they were awesome. They will tell you how and what to measure with this meter. Here is the deal, just because your panel is “on”, that does not mean you are getting ALL of the power. If you panels are wired poorly it will stunt your system. If they are wired like mine were, they are useless. Dealers don’t know which way is up, “ there is a panel and a controller, so you are good!” Ha!

I ended up cutting the solar port off my roof and connecting the “Jayco wires” and the “go power wires” properly. It now works perfectly.
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Old 11-16-2021, 06:09 AM   #15
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I'm assuming the version of the KAIWEETS meter to get is the AC/DC version? So $47.99? Seems like a relatively inexpensive electrical tool to have. I've got an old Radio Shack multi meter but it's not idiot proof, which for me is a requirement!
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Old 11-16-2021, 06:57 AM   #16
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I will have to try this!!
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Old 11-16-2021, 11:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DK1 View Post
I'm assuming the version of the KAIWEETS meter to get is the AC/DC version? So $47.99? Seems like a relatively inexpensive electrical tool to have. I've got an old Radio Shack multi meter but it's not idiot proof, which for me is a requirement!
Right, but you will need those cords that come with the other one so you can poke at the terminals on the controller and the wires coming from solar panel. Go Power will walk you through it.

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Toll-free (US & Canada): 1.866.247.6527
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Old 11-16-2021, 02:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DK1 View Post
I'm assuming the version of the KAIWEETS meter to get is the AC/DC version? So $47.99? Seems like a relatively inexpensive electrical tool to have. I've got an old Radio Shack multi meter but it's not idiot proof, which for me is a requirement!

JayLo's suggestion is good, but even better is this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Klein-Tools-C...dp_ob_title_hi


You get AC, DC and the probes from a name brand. I have this meter and use it often for around the house items. The next step up would be a Fluke brand one, but most don't need that high end (cost). I am a EE and kinda picky about my electrical tools. Klein is a good middle ground.


To the OP, Before buying batteries, etc, I like the suggestions for a battery meter.


See if your battery is actually being charged by the solar. You might have to experiment with the 12V fridge and other high power items turned off.



I'm not sure what the GoPower charge controllers display (I don't have a trailer yet), but I'd expect it should show watts or amps being pushed to the battery. You should be able to determine if the charge controller is getting proper power from the panels (I.E on a summer November day in Florida, I'd expect mid-day you should be close to the full 190W). If not, check the connections that others have shown are poorly fastened from Jayco (See JayLo's post on the horrible roof mounted power cable connection from Jayco).


Once you determine that the solar is charging your battery as best as possible, then power up appliances and use the battery meter (Victron or whatever) and see what your power usage is.



FWIW, when I was looking at Wolf Pup trailers a year ago (yeah, I know...) with the 12V only fridge, my gross estimate was I would need 200 AH of LiFePo batteries with 400-600W of solar to boondock more of less indefinitely.


IIRC, the current GoPower controller is PWM and 30 Amps. So you 'might' be ok adding a second 190W panel with the same controller. I recall looking up the part number for the GoPower controller and it does support LiFePo. You would need to replace/modify the trailer's charger/converter if you go to LiFePo though.
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Old 11-17-2021, 07:26 AM   #19
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+ Klein

$80 buck for a Klein meter, super name brand so I just may have to spring for that. I had a Klein wire stripper/crimp tool and it was the BEST, lost now to my son in law in NC who has put it to good use. I have one of their battery powered 'is the circuit alive' tester and it's awesome.

I hope the OP finds out what's wrong. The only thing that makes sense to me is maybe a battery that was already DOA. If the 166 has a Furrion, the specs for the cubic foot refrig is just over 1KW a day. Even assuming a 50% depth of discharge on a 100AH flood/lead acid, it's hard to see how the refrig would kill a battery in 3 hours. I know from painful car experience if a battery is weak/dead even charging it to full charge, it'll discharge fast and just won't perform. OR maybe the refrigerator just doesn't cycle and basically the compressor is running all the time...
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:07 AM   #20
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My daughter got a battery with a dead cell in her new trailer straight from the dealer. They were having all kinds of electrical issues. It would go to the dealer for warranty repairs, they would plug it into shore power and then say everything works just fine and send it back to her. As soon as they get it home the fridge and electric Jack quit working, duhÖ

We donít use that dealer anymore.
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