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Old 04-18-2014, 06:36 AM   #41
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KO777 - Not to put a wet blanket on things, but I think you are going to have trouble with your cut out switch. It does not look like a waterproof switch from the photo. Corrosion could (most likely will) ruin it and cause charging/failure to connect issues in a few months. Same with your car accessory socket expander.

As to your wiring getting "split"; it is.

The battery "red" wire goes through an auto-reset fuse to the pancake box that contains your towing pigtail and another in the wire to the Converter in the camper. These devices protect your battery and camper from a direct short if your tow wire is ever severed. There are fuses for each wire in the tow vehicle socket in the truck's main fuse block to protect the truck.

At 40 Watts your solar panel needs a charge controller to prevent over charging your battery in full sun. Amazon.com: Schumacher SPC-7A 12 Volt Solar Charge Controller: Automotive is cheap insurance.

Cheaper smaller panels (less than 15 Watts) don't need them because the charge current is so low even in bright sun they won't produce enough charge to damage your battery.

As to your battery disconnect and breakaway switch; NEVER tow with the disconnect "disconnected" (ground or positive - does not matter at all) as your breakaway switch will only receive power from the battery if both terminals are connected to the frame and trailer wiring, respectively.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:09 AM   #42
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Battery cut off switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
KO777 - Not to put a wet blanket on things, but I think you are going to have trouble with your cut out switch. It does not look like a waterproof switch from the photo. Corrosion could (most likely will) ruin it and cause charging/failure to connect issues in a few months. Same with your car accessory socket expander.
Thanks for the warning and info. I'll keep an eye on the switch and put in place a quick disconnect cable for the socket expander:
(see pic on next post)
The socket expander was mainly use for charging my USB devices and solar panel, with this cable I could now plug the solar panel directly
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Can I plug another solar panel in parallel to charge the battery using this adapter?
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:11 AM   #43
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:21 AM   #44
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KO....just a quickie...MOST 40 watt panels will have a nominal output maximum in full sunlight of somewhere north of 17Volts...at roughly 3 amps.
Yours MAY be part of a kit that has a built in controller to limit this...but if not, then I agree with Herk that you can do damage to your batts without one over time.
Do you have the make/model number of the panel so you can check?
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:41 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by ko777 View Post
Can I plug another solar panel in parallel to charge the battery using this adapter?
Short answer is "yes." That is what that pigtail is made to do. Just watch your polarity. Make sure the "single tail" has the correct polarity as the input ones.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:24 AM   #46
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Battery cut off switch

Yes it is a kit and has the over charge protection controller
http://www.greentopia.com.au/40-Watt...it/SC51840.htm
I got this on sale for $99 in our local Canadian Tire store
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:43 AM   #47
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Wow...great price. It is not a smart controller...but at 14.2 V max output and about 2.5 amps at that voltage I don't think you have anything to worry about... but I'd check your water often until you know the effect since 13.4 volts is the proper maintenance (full battery) voltage at no more than 2% of rated battery bank amp hours. (i.e. 2amps max on a 100 amp hour battery bank. 1% would be even better.)
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:57 AM   #48
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I beg to differ. From my sailboat days and electrical work:

Operating a 2 battery setup:

Because batteries are never perfectly matched, there will always be some parasitic flow between them when paralleled. When under charge, this is usually acceptable.

Dry camping - use one battery until it reaches about 70% (for long life). Use the second thereafter. When charge is available, the decision to charge in parallel or singly is really going to depend on the relative charge states. If one battery is at 90% or better, and the other is less than 90%, the more discharged should be recharged singly until reaching 90%. Then recharge in parallel if desired.

Today's vehicles use processor-controlled alternators, just like the advanced converters in our campers. Paralleling 2 Size 29 deep cycle (the configuration I originally wanted) that are both down to 60% with the car battery will cause the electronics to put the alternator at max (could potentially cause a smaller vehicle alternator to overheat) and over-charging the vehicle battery. More importantly, the A122 wiring to the batteries and vehicle connection (and probably within the vehicle, too) is too light to carry even 25 amps of charge current for more than a few minutes. The voltage drops in the standard wiring from heavy currents will cause the charge voltages to be less than they should be, and a less than optimum charge rate.

Using one battery on the camper at a time avoids these issues, and keeps the second battery as a ready reserve. You are correct, the 1st battery should not be discharged to 50% (70% is about right unless dealing with true deep cycles) before switching to the 2nd.

I'm more paranoid than most because in my sailing days, having a battery in reserve meant you had a way to start the engine and/or get off radio calls. I had the 2nd battery installed on the camper so we would not have to cut a trip short due to insufficient battery to run the heater. Having the 2nd battery in reserve means that when I switch batteries, I am knowingly eating into my reserve.

In the camper scenario, something goes wrong (like forgetting to turn the fridge off DC - been there, seen that and the ruined battery at the start of a trip) and the battery is discharged prematurely. If the batteries are in parallel, I have no reserve to bail me out.

Fred W

Cmon, you lose valuable capacity and service life if you keep them separated. and if you buy them and use them together, they will equalize capacity very quickly. ALL of the good reference books recommend a single large house battery bank. I have had sailboats for 40 years in all kinds of situations, and been crew on long time full timers and none of them every kept separate banks, except for having a starting battery dedicated to starting the engine. If you want an emergency spare get a small separate 12 volt and keep it unconnected from anything unless you need it.

While you can do what you want, you can't repeal the laws of physics and I'm sure your approach works for you, but it NOT based on battery science.

IMO, of course.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:28 AM   #49
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Battery cut off switch

Because of my TV tongue weight 350# limit, I may have to store a spare battery at the rear storage. Just connect it temporary when needed. The extra weight will help decrease my TW which I need badly. I currently have over 50# of TW limit when I travel.

What happens if you connect the spare to the weak battery in parallel, will it charge the weak one?

What setup could you recommend for temporary connection of the spare battery to the TT? I assume a cut off switch is necessary for this set up.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:36 AM   #50
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Observation: Solar panel

Yesterday it was raining and no Sun, the TT battery was draining naturally...

Today the Sun is bright and the Solar Panel is pumping out 14.2V charging power but the TT battery is reading 12.2V.

I'll check tonight if the battery gets fully charged by the Sun.
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