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Old 02-23-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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Solar Chargers & tenders

so what size tender do people use for recharging their batteries when in storage, or out dry camping, or wherever? i can't decide whether a 15a will be big enough or not...i mean, they're only $100 so i figured, why not? better than nothing, right? what do y'all recommend?
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #2
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For when in storage a 5amp should do well. I have used a 5 for dry camps too and been happy with the result. It is not a lot by any means and I have just gotten a 15 amp to use when dry camped. I haven't used it yet though. It depends a lot on how much you need to get you by. I store my trailer at home with a 30 amp hookup so it is not a concern for me although I did pull the 30 amp service to try out the solar and it worked well.

Like you I thought the price has dropped a lot so why not get a 15a and see how it works out for me. One of the considerations for me besides price was the size. I did not want any thing huge. The 5a was pretty small and the 15 is about three times the size. I don't think I want any thing bigger and I might not want the 15, but like I said I have not tried it out yet.

Just my opinion, I am sure there are a lot of others. Surprised they are not posted yet.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #3
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I think those are watts you are talking about?? Not amps.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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Don't need much for storage, can't get enough for dry camping. Big subject. Lots of opinions.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
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Right you are!

Sunforce 50033 15-Watt Solar Charging Kit
Kit includes: one 15 Watt amorphous solar panel, a 7 Amp solar charge controller.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurphyKyle View Post
so what size tender do people use for recharging their batteries when in storage, or out dry camping, or wherever? i can't decide whether a 15a will be big enough or not...i mean, they're only $100 so i figured, why not? better than nothing, right? what do y'all recommend?
I use a portable 40 Amp Automatic Battery Charger to quick charge, but if I were to leave it connected all the time in storage, then I would consider either a Battery Tender or a Battery Minder, which makes a number of charger/maintainer/desulfator units.

As for what size Minder, the multi-stage capabilities takes that mostly out of your hands. So, getting one with more amps than you need won't hurt the battery if its a good multi-stage charger. Battery Minder states that their 2,4, and 8amp charger should be at the 8 Amp rate for larger batteries.

Anyway, check out Battery Minder. They have a good website.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
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Sorry Murphykyle. I spaced out on the title to your thread and see you wanted SOLAR tenders. My bad so just ignore my post.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
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Sorry Murphykyle. I spaced out on the title to your thread and see you wanted SOLAR tenders. My bad so just ignore my post.
it's all good. information is information. it's all handy. sorry for the typo earlier, i typed too fast and hit the "a" for amps when i knew i meant "w" for watts. my bad.
but thank you for all of the replies. most helpful.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:10 AM   #9
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5 watts for storage with battery disconnected.

15 watts should be fine to keep a charged battery charged with parasitic drains. Really depends on your camper's location- sunny or shade- and the draw on the battery in storage. only you can determine that.

To those who can boondock and get away with a 15w panel to maintain their battery, you get two thumbs up!!! You must be extremely diligent and frugal with power. Again, two thumbs up!
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:49 PM   #10
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not sure how you'd use a battery tender out dry camping, unless you had a solar system.
we dry camp nearly all the time and simply use the Honda 2000 and the trailer's converter to recharge the batteries. no need for any separate charger or tender. just plug the shore cord into the Honda and let run a couple of hours.
with two deep cycle batteries, we only have to recharge every 3rd day.
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