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Old 01-05-2019, 03:21 PM   #1
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Charging with solar

If I am charging with a portable solar panel do I need to have the battery disconnect on or off. I had it off and came back in two weeks and both batteries were dead. We have a 2018 forester mh I used the solar connect on the outside and perhaps that is the problem. Iím going to also try putting the solar panel in the back window and run the connector directly to the battery. Anyone had any luck with a Battery Tender keeping your batteries charged?
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherol View Post
If I am charging with a portable solar panel do I need to have the battery disconnect on or off. I had it off and came back in two weeks and both batteries were dead. We have a 2018 forester mh I used the solar connect on the outside and perhaps that is the problem. Iím going to also try putting the solar panel in the back window and run the connector directly to the battery. Anyone had any luck with a Battery Tender keeping your batteries charged?
Our 2017 Forester has a Zamp solar receptacle on the passenger side that is wired for Zamp solar products only. Is that what you have?

I haven't used it but would think the battery switch would need to in the on (connected) position. Unplugging from the solar receptacle and checking it for 12 volts DC with the switch off and then on should tell you what you need to know. If you get power at the plug no matter which position the switch is in then switch position doesn't matter.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:43 PM   #3
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Unless the solar controller output is connected directly to the batteries bypassing the disconnect switch, the disconnect switch must be ON. Some items ie CO/Propane detector are usually not disconnected by the switch. A reasonable solar set up should cover the parasitic draw and provide charging/ upkeep power to the battery so need to disconnect if solar active.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:44 PM   #4
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I would think it would not matter if the DC cutoff switch was on or off as it's only purpose is too cut off DC loads on the inside of the coach. A while back I found this thread about the ZAMP solar port when I was researching what type of solar to use. In the end, I installed permanent panels on the roof but may still use the ZAMP port someday to add solar capacity if we ever start boondocking.

ZAMP solar power plug
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:32 AM   #5
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I used the solar connect on the outside

Did you check the polarity of your solar panel vs the zamp connector on the outside of the coach ?

I know on most panels you have to rewire or use an adapter to switch polarity...
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:52 AM   #6
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I would doubt that any solar, whether thru a 'plug' on your RV, or directly wired to the batteries, would have anything to do with your 12v disconnect switch, since it's purpose is to cut OFF power TO the 12v Fuse panel, which would have nothing to do with incoming Solar amps from it's Charge Controller, which is wired directly to your battery bank.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:26 PM   #7
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Hi,

I concede your rig could be wired otherwise. But in a typical solar installation, the charge controller is wired direct to the battery -- perhaps with a shunt in the circuit.

I know my panels keep the batteries pumped up very nicely in storage with the master power switch off.

FWIW.

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Old 01-12-2019, 04:32 PM   #8
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mine too, whether the switch is on or off matters not - as it is a connection to the fuse panel, not anything directly wired to the battery bank.
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