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Old 12-22-2021, 03:58 AM   #1
Kramocker
 
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Best solar solution to charge two house batteries

Hello Road Warriors!
Any possibility that you that are more experienced than I, have suggestions for a solar battery charger that will keep my two 12V “house batteries” topped off”, when not in use. Preferably one that I can clip on to the batteries under the stairs and remove when we hit the road (as compared to one that is permanently installed).

Thank in advance!
Happy Holidays!

Steve
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Old 12-22-2021, 08:03 AM   #2
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GoPower has a 30A PWM solar charge controller that will handle two banks.
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Old 12-22-2021, 10:25 AM   #3
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Is might be an option for you if I read your post correctly


https://www.crutchfield.com/S-1lwawy...89273032646e11
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Old 12-22-2021, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderMore View Post
GoPower has a 30A PWM solar charge controller that will handle two banks.
Thanks for this! Unless I’m mistaken, this appears to only be a controller. I was hoping for a “all in one” system. One that has a solar panel large enough to handle two 12V batteries, that can sit in a window or in the dash. Does this make sense?

Thank you!

Steve
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Old 12-22-2021, 07:00 PM   #5
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The type used on to maintain battery powered electric gates might work. Tractor Supply and other such outlets should carry them.
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Old 12-22-2021, 07:54 PM   #6
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does your RV have a battery switch? if yes, 30W might be enough to maintain the 2 batteries when the power switch is turned off.
plenty on amazon
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Old 12-22-2021, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramocker View Post
Thanks for this! Unless I’m mistaken, this appears to only be a controller. I was hoping for a “all in one” system. One that has a solar panel large enough to handle two 12V batteries, that can sit in a window or in the dash. Does this make sense?

Thank you!

Steve
Something like like these.
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Old 12-23-2021, 08:11 AM   #8
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This is an excellent option, but you also have to consider that this may require an extension to the original cable since the included one is only 39" long. There are similar options that attach to a fifth wheel with magnets, but they also need longer cables. Being that it's only 5W making up one from raw materials should be simple enough to reach most any length to reach the batteries.
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Old 12-23-2021, 09:10 AM   #9
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Solar charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramocker View Post
Hello Road Warriors!
Any possibility that you that are more experienced than I, have suggestions for a solar battery charger that will keep my two 12V “house batteries” topped off”, when not in use. Preferably one that I can clip on to the batteries under the stairs and remove when we hit the road (as compared to one that is permanently installed).

Thank in advance!
Happy Holidays!

Steve
I have a 17 watt panel with a 10 amp controller that I hook up when not
using my TT. The controller has alligator clips to attach to the batteries.
Keeps them fully charged
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Old 12-23-2021, 01:13 PM   #10
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If you turn off the battery switch, this should do the job:

https://www.harborfreight.com/15-wat...ger-62449.html

I use a similar panel and keeps two AGMs topped off.
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Old 12-23-2021, 02:18 PM   #11
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Not trying to be argumentative, but in most cases these small 5-15W so called automobile solar battery maintainers are insufficient to do what they are advertised to do. If you do the math a 1.5W panel in full sun will provide about 100mA which is no sufficient. If you plan to use solar, I would recommend a min of 50W panel and a good controller.
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Old 12-27-2021, 12:30 PM   #12
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Try renogy.com
I am using their stuff and have been very happy with it.
I am using (2) 100 watt panels and controller to keep up (4) 6v batteries in my 5th wheel.
Never had any issues in about two years>
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Old 12-28-2021, 02:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramocker View Post
Thanks for this! Unless I’m mistaken, this appears to only be a controller. I was hoping for a “all in one” system. One that has a solar panel large enough to handle two 12V batteries, that can sit in a window or in the dash. Does this make sense?

Thank you!

Steve
I concur on his suggestion of a controller. It's more than you need to just keep your batteries up in storage but it's got the best features of any moderately priced controller I've seen. It can recognize two different types of batteries between the house batteries in the engine battery and that's always a plus..

As far as a panel goes any control motor in a 100 watt panel if you've got a way to secure the 100 watt panel so it won't be stolen or blow away while you are parked. Depending on where you're located if you're anywhere near Ventura California I recommend it go to Wendy nation and by the panel or go online to windynation.com. I've installed his gear on two of my past rigs and a Dozen trailers and motorhomes belong to friends. He ships ups at no cost. Is panels are assembled in Canada, controllers obviously are from Asia but he has a wide selection from a small 10 watt controller suitable for one panel to a pretty adequate mppt controller to support a medium sized array.

But as controllers alone go I haven't seen any as versatile as that go power 30 amp pwm controller
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Old 12-28-2021, 02:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramocker View Post
Thanks for this! Unless I’m mistaken, this appears to only be a controller. I was hoping for a “all in one” system. One that has a solar panel large enough to handle two 12V batteries, that can sit in a window or in the dash. Does this make sense?

Thank you!

Steve
Practically every auto parts store sells a tiny little charger that's intended to lay in the windshield of your truck when it's parked but I've installed solar on three different RVs of my own and a dozen for others. If I drive home with my battery is really low I want enough solar to have them dropped off the next time I go to use them.

That 30 amp pwm go power is the most versatile modest priced charger I've seen and used. And it will recognize not only two separate battery Banks but they can be of different types battery .For panels I would just go to windynation.com. order 100 watt panel and if you want to start cheap he has a 10 amp pulse wave modulated controller that you can use to build a nice little charging kit. When you're ready to go big or mounted on the roof if you started with the 30 amp go power you'll have all the charger you need up to 400 or 500 watts.
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Old 12-30-2021, 07:31 PM   #15
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I have an extra 230w 24v panel that I mounted on a stand to charge my, boat, camper, neighbors car, etc. It wouldn't be cost effective to use an mppt controller, so I use a simple pwm and run it at 14v. I hook it to the battery first then plug in the panel using anderson power plugs. For best output I angle the panel at 38 degrees and swing 3 times, east south west.
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:05 PM   #16
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I have a 23W with controller and clips that I just clip on under stair batteries and set the unit in a south facing window and it keeps both batteries above 75% all winter. The key is shutting the RV electric off and putting a disconnect on your batteries. I think I bought it at Lowes or Menards. Works great
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Old 01-31-2022, 12:39 PM   #17
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Forget any thoughts of solar charging if all you want to do is keep your batteries topped off while parked in the driveway. Instead, but a battery tender ($45 bucks at any auto place). I live in Alaska and store my motorhome in the drive in the winter months (October thru May). I hook up a battery tender to the engine battery and the house batteries. They maintain their charge all winter. Its cheap and effective.

Ed.
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Old 01-31-2022, 12:46 PM   #18
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Forget any thoughts of solar charging if all you want to do is keep your batteries topped off while parked in the driveway. Instead, but a battery tender ($45 bucks at any auto place). I live in Alaska and store my motorhome in the drive in the winter months (October thru May). I hook up a battery tender to the engine battery and the house batteries. They maintain their charge all winter. Its cheap and effective.

Ed.
FYI: Be aware most battery tenders and float chargers are too low amperage to keep a battery charged if the battery is not isolated from the parasitic draw of the camper.
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:29 PM   #19
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bbells, excellent point and thanx for mentioning this; I had inadvertently not mentioned that I turn the house power off to the motorhome - the switch between converter and the batteries.

Ed.
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