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Old 01-24-2016, 10:14 PM   #121
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Edit to answer about trees: you will get very little charge under trees. A shadow falling on a panel can shut if off, entirely. So, no shadows. The difference in leaving the panel flat rather than tilted at 30 degrees (for instance), will cut output by a third.

If we don't all have one, I suggest a Bogart TM 2030 and find out what we actually use.

Then, get off the grid and see what you use in a typical day. Then you can tell what it takes to replenish what was used... until then it is anybody's guess.

Also, the voltage setting at bulk is dependent on the battery and you should follow what the maker states. That is once you have a charger that can do the work.

When charging the last 20% takes lots of time, that way solar is the way to go... rather than run a genset with very little load.

Also (my favorite word, it seems) this last 2 amps or so to fill the battery to capacity while using the standard converter / charger could take days rather than hours.

We all need these systems to work for us, not the other way around. Once properly installed and set up, there should be little to do. I would use a hydrometer about every two or three months, or while setting up a system.

All batteries need to be equalized about once every month and a half to three months. Another reason why we need a good charger.
WW
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:23 PM   #122
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All batteries need to be equalized about once every month and a half to three months. Another reason why we need a good charger.
WW
I learn a lot on this thread and this is something I didn't know previously. I have a battery that has sulfate that I've been trying to recover with no luck. Another reason I'd like to have a charger that will do bulk mode.
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:33 AM   #123
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X2 on the Bogart. I used to wonder how long to charge, how low things were...everything. With the 2030 I know how much I have used and run the genny to replenish it...and forget it.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:13 AM   #124
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Solar isn't for everyone, everywhere and for many a genset is the way to go. Lets say you do most of your boondocking under a canopy of trees. And rarely boondock. To me that is when a genset is the way to go. If you do much of your boondocking in the open, solar is better.... certainly less expensive in the long run and quiet.

If you can go with an inverter that would be nice, as is a set of good 6 volt batteries... start with two and see how it works, and definitely get a TM2030 to know rather than guess about your 12volt needs. A good inverter, like the Magnum has a good built in charger, but the minimum you would need is one like the IOTA (with the IQ4 as was pointed out) that actually charges the batteries... at least a 50amp. I'm a fan of having more genset for times when you are doing more than just charging. And beware of the advice you get on forums LOL!
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:58 AM   #125
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I eventually want to put in panels on camper but I have two Honda's and I plan on using them. I have a electric refrigerator and the dealer installed 4 cheap 6 volt batteries, 105amp and a 1,000 watt inverter. I want to put in another bank of batteries for now and a 3,000 watt inverter just for that bank of batteries, along with a 40amp battery charger. That way later on all I'll have to do is install the panels. Money is a little tight, the inverter and battery charger I already have plus the battery cables to hook everything up


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Old 01-25-2016, 10:57 AM   #126
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I'm more of a some time boondocker so I'd be charger with a generator for now. My goal is to figure out how i can get the best quickest charge in the least amount of run time on the genie. For now. Who knows, solar could be in my future but for now it's a gennie. I would like to have a portable solar setup.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:36 AM   #127
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I have solar but don't rely on it to charge my batteries since our favorite spots are under trees in the shade.

Our solar provides enough juice to partially charge our batteries, cover normal idle loads such as fridge control, CO detector, etc.., and minimize generator charge time.

I could gain more efficiency in my system by using portable panels that are put on the ground but that would be more crap to setup/dismantle on a trip.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:16 AM   #128
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That's my plan. My thoughts is to run gennie the minimum time so I want max output from whatever charger I use while the gennie running. I don't want a smart charger that will tapper the current as voltage increases. Am I screwed up?
Get a Pro Logic Charger at Napa auto parts. It will keep your charge up to bulk mode at 14.6 until they are charged and then auto shut off at full charge. They make a 10 amp and 15 amp, get the 15 amp...... You can choose your battery type and voltage that you want such as 2 amp 6 amp 10 amp or 15 amp if that is what you want. I use 10 amp, but should have bought the larger 15 amp in hind site. It will also charge by selection any type of battery. such as wet cell or gel or anything in between.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:18 AM   #129
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Sounds good, but......please don't camp anywhere near me. I spent the money to get the quietest geny I could get, so wouldn't bother you.


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Old 01-26-2016, 07:40 AM   #130
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And I will do the same but unfortunately everyone doesn't feel that way and we usually can't pick and choose your neighbor. What generator do you have?
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