Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-10-2019, 07:52 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Yucaipa, CA
Posts: 88
Solar Panels and Battery

On our Forest River Forester we have solar panels which work great. Just wanting to know if they will continue working, charging the battery, if the main electrical switch to the RV is turned off?
__________________

__________________
rhamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 08:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
Posts: 4,167
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhamilton View Post
On our Forest River Forester we have solar panels which work great. Just wanting to know if they will continue working, charging the battery, if the main electrical switch to the RV is turned off?
All RVs are wired differently. Turn off your switch and see if the battery voltage changes while it's charging with solar. I have mine so that it charges with the battery disconnect off. I also don't want the solar supplying power to the RV if the battery disconnect is off.
__________________

__________________
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 08:55 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Yucaipa, CA
Posts: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by babock View Post
All RVs are wired differently. Turn off your switch and see if the battery voltage changes while it's charging with solar. I have mine so that it charges with the battery disconnect off. I also don't want the solar supplying power to the RV if the battery disconnect is off.

Thanks,


I will check that out, since my RV is parked at home. Switch is on now, and I'll turn it off after checking the batter voltage, and then re-check the voltage after a week or so. Thanks Again!!!
__________________
rhamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 09:40 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
Posts: 4,167
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhamilton View Post
Thanks,


I will check that out, since my RV is parked at home. Switch is on now, and I'll turn it off after checking the batter voltage, and then re-check the voltage after a week or so. Thanks Again!!!
Wait until full sun and check with and without the switch on. Can figure it out immediately.
__________________
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 12:38 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 9
It is my belief, based on what Iíve read (and two personal cases of damaging a controller) that one should always disconnect the panels prior to disconnecting the battery that is being charged.
In my case now the controller is hooked up to charge the house batteries directly with no real need to disconnect.
I have damaged two controllers by blindly disconnecting the batteries for whatever reason. This is solved by disconnecting the panels first.
Maybe by now there is circuitry built into the controllers that will prevent damage when batteries are disconnected first or connected last. Itís an easy thing to forget.

Craig
trumpetmood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 01:26 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 13
Forester solar

My solar panel on my Forester 2017 3011DS charges the battery with the battery switch turned off. Iím using a 45 watt Zampsolar panel and it keeps the battery at 100%
Gideon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 02:57 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 1,021
Depends on how you're hooked up.

Integrated solar is likely to be on the "wrong" side of the disconnect switch. This would be ZAMP an the equivalent. Your situation may vary depending on the whims of the RV manufacturer, but if the wires disappear into the body of the RV and connect to a portable panel/charge controller, it's likely that they will tie in on the wrong side of the disconnect.

Better: aftermarket installations should and typically do connect directly to the battery. Solar runs in parallel to the RV's connection to the battery. No muss, no fuss. No switches, no transfer switches needed. The coach disconnect is on the right side of the solar connection to enable you to charge the battery while the coach is disconnected.

Furthermore, there's no conflict with the solar panel pushing power at the converter/charger system while the battery is disconnected. The battery serves as a "load" and buffer on the solar output, and without it, your solar is feeding its output, say 7 amps or so, straight at the "wrong" end of the converter.

If you need to remove the battery, all cables are disconnected from the battery simultaneously. All you need to do is ensure that the solar charge controller output isn't still unintentionally connected to the coach feed cables so that solar is not pushing power to the coach's converter/charger. This is a natural condition of removing several separate wires from a battery, and you'd have to work at it to make a circuit between the solar and the coach circuit. Use a clothes pin to secure the solar panel cables to the side of the battery box an let the rest hang free.

Connecting solar straight to the battery is the best way to ensure your solar is always charging and conditioning the battery. It's also usually the shortest path with the least loss.

If you like your factory solar connection (ZAMP or other), bear in mind that it has no charge controller. Find the wiring and reroute it straight to the battery. Safely terminate the ends of the wire that disappear into the walls on the way to the converter and forget about them. While you're at it, you can add a first class charge controller in your baggage bay near the ZAMP connector. That'll set you back less than $50. This creates a "set it and forget it" system that won't give you any headaches and no worries about trashing your converter if you forget to disconnect solar when you disconnect the battery from the coach. If your suitcase panel has a built-in charge controller you can opt to use it (and not install a new one in the coach) or bypass it and rely on a good one that can handle several panels if you upgrade in the future.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 03:43 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: SO-CAL
Posts: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhamilton View Post
On our Forest River Forester we have solar panels which work great. Just wanting to know if they will continue working, charging the battery, if the main electrical switch to the RV is turned off?
What system do you have ? I have a 200 watt system waiting to be put on. On our old RV I had the output of the solar controller right to the batteries. No problems.
__________________
RETIRED U.S. NAVY
2017 FORESTER 3051S
IN SO-CAL
Philkaty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 05:01 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
Posts: 4,167
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpetmood View Post
It is my belief, based on what Iíve read (and two personal cases of damaging a controller) that one should always disconnect the panels prior to disconnecting the battery that is being charged.
In my case now the controller is hooked up to charge the house batteries directly with no real need to disconnect.
I have damaged two controllers by blindly disconnecting the batteries for whatever reason. This is solved by disconnecting the panels first.
Maybe by now there is circuitry built into the controllers that will prevent damage when batteries are disconnected first or connected last. Itís an easy thing to forget.

Craig
That is correct for many controllers. According to Victron, as long as you force the voltage to either 12 or 24 v you are ok with theirs but others have other requirements.
__________________

__________________
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, solar, solar panel

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:49 PM.