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Old 08-24-2015, 10:25 PM   #1
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Solar battery charger question

Does anyone use a solar charger to keep their battery charged in storage? We just purchased a 2008 jayco jayfeather 197 and had to replace the battery because it had been in storage. I was thinking of using this charger from harbor freight but wanted to see what others thought. This is the charger,
http://http://www.harborfreight.com/...ger-68692.html
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:30 PM   #2
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My thoughts,... (but didn't check link)
If your Trailer has the stock batteries and all you are needing is something to keep the batteries charged between uses then a small solar battery maintainer is sufficient. If you looking for something to charge the batteries during the day while camping that is something else, especially if you have an expanded battery bank.
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:06 PM   #3
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Yes - this year I bought a Coleman solar panel and controller from Canadian Tire:

Coleman 40W Folding Solar Panel | Canadian Tire

It was on sale, and works great. I just put the panel on the roof of the trailer when I store it and the battery is always at 100%

Before it would die in a couple of weeks.

Well worth it and would be useful for dry camping too.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
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Don't waste your money on a 1.5 watt solar charger. If you store the TT in a cold winter area, 1.5 watts will not be enough as the sun is not out for that long each day, cloudy days...... Understand that this can only be used on a FULLY charged battery.

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Old 08-25-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
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This year we installed a Renogy 100 watt solar system - it was the particular model offered as an RV charger.

I must say it was one of the best investments I ever made. We boondock 100% and had to run the generator ~4 hours each day. This year the genny has not been run once, not even on cold days when the furnace ran all night.

The battery is fully charged by about 10 AM. On cloudy days with no sun at all, it takes till about noon.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:23 PM   #6
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We purchased an inexpensive solar system from Harbor Freight and it works great, The 45watt kit runs about $150.00.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:46 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the advice. I do live in a cold climate but the cost for the charger is minimal so I think I will try it. I will be using it to maintain a fully charged battery. I will post how it turns out.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:17 PM   #8
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I did the same thing, I think mine is 15 watts, works great, I mounted it on top of my propane hard cover, wired directly to the batteries, keeps it at 100% always while in storage, but one thing I do each time I take it back to the storage is I remove the fuse from the batteries leading to the trailer, that way I'm not fighting the parasitic battery drain, really simple and costs absolutely nothing
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtoocheap View Post
Thanks for all of the advice. I do live in a cold climate but the cost for the charger is minimal so I think I will try it. I will be using it to maintain a fully charged battery. I will post how it turns out.
Don't forget, this qualifies for a solar energy tax credit. Thus, you can get a much better unit for the same price as a cheap one.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:30 PM   #10
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Wow. Did not know that. Thanks.
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