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Old 10-31-2022, 05:59 AM   #1
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Solar panel to keep battery charged

So I just put our Jayco in storage for a couple of months. During that time I'll be going there doing some mods I've been wanting to do which means moving the slides in and out. There's no power at the storage. Anyone recommend a solar charger that can add a little juice to the battery on days when I'm not there? I'm looking for one that has a charger and a maintainer so I don't kill the battery. I'm sure I'll have to bring the battery home and charge it just want to minimize that as much as possible.
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Old 10-31-2022, 06:41 AM   #2
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My thoughts FWIW-

Is your storage area secure? A solar panel unattached laying around may be a target for thieves. Lots of wind?

Is snow a possibility? Just a bit of snow and a panel is not going to produce.
Winter with low sun angles, possibly more cloudy days, and shorter daylight hours means less power.

When shopping for panels be aware that a lot of the off brand are overrated as far as power produced. Flexible panels tend to have a shorter lifespan. Read reviews on Amazon.

Personally I'd go with at least a 40 watt panel. Any charge controller would likely be fine as they shouldn't overcharge a battery. PWM controllers are around 25% less efficient as MPPT ones but are cheaper.

Likely someone will post what has worked well for them as I can't give a specific recommendation.
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Old 10-31-2022, 07:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARoamer View Post
My thoughts FWIW-

Is your storage area secure? A solar panel unattached laying around may be a target for thieves. Lots of wind?

Is snow a possibility? Just a bit of snow and a panel is not going to produce.
Winter with low sun angles, possibly more cloudy days, and shorter daylight hours means less power.

When shopping for panels be aware that a lot of the off brand are overrated as far as power produced. Flexible panels tend to have a shorter lifespan. Read reviews on Amazon.

Personally I'd go with at least a 40 watt panel. Any charge controller would likely be fine as they shouldn't overcharge a battery. PWM controllers are around 25% less efficient as MPPT ones but are cheaper.

Likely someone will post what has worked well for them as I can't give a specific recommendation.
The storage is pretty secure (high security fence, gate and video monitored constantly by owners). I will fasten whatever I get down to avoid getting tossed in any wind. Snow not a factor.

Thanks for the info. I realize we are heading into the time of year where there are a lot more cloudy days. But here in central Texas we still have plenty of sunny days regardless of the season.

I read Amazon reviews with a grain of salt. In the past year I've gotten 2 different letters in the mail from companies that sold me the products through Amazon offering me a $25 gift card to Amazon in exchange for a 5 star review on their product. This is bribery. Amazon if fully aware too. I tried to post a review on the last product I bought where the company sent me a bribe offer and included a copy of the letter for proof. Amazon rejected the review. I tried 3 different times rewording the review each time but still including the letter and Amazon repeatedly rejects the review with no explanation and refuses to answer my questions about it. Yep Amazon is shady too!
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Old 10-31-2022, 12:05 PM   #4
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I wholeheartedly agree that Amazon reviews aren't 100% legitimate. I always look at the bad reviews closely first, to me they hold more weight in my shopping decisions.
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Old 10-31-2022, 01:03 PM   #5
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During the summer I keep a small 7.5 watt solar charger attached to my battery. I wired a battery disconnect at the battery and the little unit keeps the battery fully charged without a charge controller. In the winter the battery goes home with me. Mind you, it's the original battery that came with my 2012 Eagle so it's going into it's 11th season next year. Excide is the brand.
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Old 11-01-2022, 03:00 PM   #6
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There are a lot of variables in what you are asking but if you also want something that you can take with while camping later and have some good regen maybe something like this.
https://www.amazon.com/RICH-SOLAR-Mo...st_sto_dp&th=1

Another option might also be some of the newer hard panels that Harbor Freight, https://www.harborfreight.com/100-wa...ase-57991.html but need to add a charge controller to it, https://www.harborfreight.com/7-amp-...tor-96728.html

I would stay away from flexible type panels.
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Old 11-01-2022, 03:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TomC_AZ View Post
There are a lot of variables in what you are asking but if you also want something that you can take with while camping later and have some good regen maybe something like this.
https://www.amazon.com/RICH-SOLAR-Mo...st_sto_dp&th=1

Another option might also be some of the newer hard panels that Harbor Freight, https://www.harborfreight.com/100-wa...ase-57991.html but need to add a charge controller to it, https://www.harborfreight.com/7-amp-...tor-96728.html

I would stay away from flexible type panels.
Thank you! This solar panel will only be used while itís in storage. We donít dry camp and keep the rig at an RV park for extended periods so no need for the solar panel outside of storage.

Iíve seen those panels at Harbor Freight. Iím going to look hard at one tomorrow.
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Old 11-01-2022, 03:41 PM   #8
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On the Amazon thing, was Amazon the shipper (called FBA) or was the seller the shipper (called FBM)? If FBA, reviews of the seller will generally be instantly rejected by the Amazon BOT, because they were Amazon shipped and the BOT doesn't recognize anything about bribery letters. If it was FBM, it has to be something like "Product not as described." "Seller sent wrong product" or similar.

There is likely an Amazon address to send violations of their TOS, but I don't know what it is - never had occasion to look for it. Note: I am a longtime Amazon Vendor, FBA seller, and FBM seller, so lots of experience with feedback but not with bribery.
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Old 11-01-2022, 04:17 PM   #9
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On the Amazon thing, was Amazon the shipper (called FBA) or was the seller the shipper (called FBM)? If FBA, reviews of the seller will generally be instantly rejected by the Amazon BOT, because they were Amazon shipped and the BOT doesn't recognize anything about bribery letters. If it was FBM, it has to be something like "Product not as described." "Seller sent wrong product" or similar.

There is likely an Amazon address to send violations of their TOS, but I don't know what it is - never had occasion to look for it. Note: I am a longtime Amazon Vendor, FBA seller, and FBM seller, so lots of experience with feedback but not with bribery.
Thanks for the info!

Iím 99% sure it was delivered by Amazon. Iíve tried two different times calling Amazon and trying to get an explanation on why my review isnít live but canít talk to the department that reviews. I did get an email from an individual after submitting my initial review. The email said my content was about shipping and that didnít qualify when I never mentioned anything about shipping whatsoever. Each time I completely revised and reworded the review. The constant was attaching the letter. I would think Amazon would want to do what they could to stop this before it gets out of hand. A news outlet would love to post a story about Amazon reviews not being accurate.

I wouldnít be so taken back by it if it was the first time this happened. I buy a lot of stuff there and rely on those reviews. Or I used to.
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Old 11-01-2022, 04:38 PM   #10
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Unfortunately you can't see what I see, which is the Amazon seller forum. Hundreds, if not thousands, of threads complaining about review accuracy, in both directions, with no resolution.
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Old 11-01-2022, 06:54 PM   #11
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If all you want to do is maintain a single 12V battery while in storage, and you have eliminated all parasitic draw, you don't need anywhere close to 100 watts of charging. All you need is something like this. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Renogy-13-1...850e28c3e586d3
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Old 11-02-2022, 06:43 AM   #12
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If all you want to do is maintain a single 12V battery while in storage, and you have eliminated all parasitic draw, you don't need anywhere close to 100 watts of charging. All you need is something like this. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Renogy-13-1...850e28c3e586d3
Yeah I wouldn't get one that big Harbor Freight has them all the way down to 1.5 amps. I think 10-20 amps would be plenty.
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Old 11-02-2022, 08:16 AM   #13
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If all you want to do is maintain a single 12V battery while in storage, and you have eliminated all parasitic draw, you don't need anywhere close to 100 watts of charging. All you need is something like this.
I agree. Ten amps will surely keep a disconnected single battery up to par.
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Old 11-05-2022, 05:38 PM   #14
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solar battery charger

If your only intent is to maintain a battery while in storage. I have an older battery tender that is solar that I have glued magnets to and leave on my 5th wheel pin. I have 3 batteries that it will maintain. I work my slides every couple of weeks.
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Old 03-21-2023, 09:40 AM   #15
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Did you come up with a solution or make a purchase. I just purchased a 321RSTS. It has two batteries. Wondering if solar trickle charging is an option. Thanks
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Old 03-21-2023, 09:46 AM   #16
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Did you come up with a solution or make a purchase. I just purchased a 321RSTS. It has two batteries. Wondering if solar trickle charging is an option. Thanks
Congrats on your Jayco! I went with the solar panel below and it does fine for my one battery. Donít know if it would work for 2 batteries.

ECO-WORTHY 10W 12V Off Grid Small... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RZRY4QB?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
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