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Old 05-09-2014, 10:06 PM   #1
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Battery keeps going dead

Had battery on solar maintainer panel and still discharged to where nothing works. Disconnect ed negative lead and hope that stops discharge for now. How big should solar charger be to maintain. How many amps should it put out. Thanks for help

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Old 05-09-2014, 10:31 PM   #2
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Had battery on solar maintainer panel and still discharged to where nothing works. Disconnect ed negative lead and hope that stops discharge for now. How big should solar charger be to maintain. How many amps should it put out. Thanks for help

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There is always some drain on the battery. The propane sensor for example. The maintainer will just maintain, that's it. If there is any drain it will not keep up. I put a disconnect switch on my battery and my maintainer keeps up. They do make solar cell large enough to charge the battery. I choose the small / cheaper maintainer because of space and price.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraymankb View Post
Had battery on solar maintainer panel and still discharged to where nothing works. Disconnect ed negative lead and hope that stops discharge for now. How big should solar charger be to maintain. How many amps should it put out. Thanks for help

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You don't mention how old is the battery? I've had them die in 3-5 years with harsh weather (hot and cold) and inconsistent charging. Could be its just worn out.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:39 AM   #4
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New camper only month old today

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Old 05-10-2014, 06:54 AM   #5
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Your (Gray Wolf) has (Lots of parasitic drains),Tv,radio,propane detector,refer,ect. Unless you disconnect your (Batt) the solar charger (unless its a Large size) will Not keep up! Youroo!!
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:29 AM   #6
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the problem with the small cheap solar chargers is that they don't put a blocking diode in them. this prevents the solar charger from draining power when it is dark out. everyone is right that trailers have some draw all the time. make sure you antenna booster is off. the solar charger will only put a small charge in each day and will draw more out every night than it can put in during the day. best bet is a disconnect if you are storing it someplace with out power.
make sure holding tank heaters are off as well if you have them.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:58 AM   #7
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You need a battery disconnect switch fer sure.
They make them that go on the battery post and others can be added
inside near the fuse box/battery charger.
There has been much discussion about this subject here over the years.

IF you have a good volt/ohm/amp meter that has an amps scale of 1 or 2
amps you can do some snooping to see what is going on.
Also- some trailers have the LP gas detector hard wired into the battery
circuit ahead of the fuse box so you need to check if you disconnect the
battery at the fuse box you are also killing the LP detector.
You can pull each fuse one at a time and place the meter leads (set on
DC amps) across the missing fuse holder. The meter will show the parasitic
drain thru that circuit. Check all fuses one at a time and take notes.
Even the on-board battery charger itself will have some drain when the
trailer is not plugged into shore power.

When new- my trailer would drain the single 12v battery in 2 weeks just
sitting in the driveway with supposedly nothing on..... I installed a disconnect
switch and solved that problem right away!

Good Luck and Happy Camping!
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
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You didn't mention if this is in storage or while boondocking (dry camping). There's a big difference in needs between the two. If this is just storage then the best thing you can do is disconnect the battery.

If you're boondocking, then there's lots of things you can do to reduce your drain. Most of them will be spread throughout the various threads about solar, but two of the biggest are:

1) change all your lights to LEDs.
2) if you have a dometic fridge, read the sticky at the top of the electrical forum about "batteries gone in 36h". Some of the fridges contain a heater strip that sucks back 2-3 amps of parasitic drain and that thread has information on how to disable it.

Lastly, as KyDan mentioned you'll need to figure out how much amperage you do draw. Once you have that, there's other threads on here that cover how to calculate the size of panel compared to your draw. It has several varying factors but as a general rule of thumb I found it worked out to needing a 40w panel per 1A of draw for a flat mounted panel in my area.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:24 PM   #9
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Trailer is at storage on father in laws property. I am going to bring battery home and charge and then next weekend off, install battery disconnect, and see what is drawing power and go from there
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