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Old 10-12-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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recomendations for a solar battery maintainer?

I store my trailer off-site at a storage lot. I'd like to get a small solar panel and controller that I can hook up to keep the battery charged so that I don't have to pull the battery and bring it home to charge. Any recommendations?
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Old 10-13-2015, 02:39 PM   #2
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If you disconnect a fully charged battery from all power draws you could use a 2 watt "Solar Battery Maintainer". Just screw it down to the lid of your battery box and put the clips on the battery terminals.
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Old 10-13-2015, 02:53 PM   #3
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Why not just bring the battery home with you versus taking a chance on someone stealing both your battery and solar charger from the storage lot?
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:46 PM   #4
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For around $15, you can secure your battery and not go to all the trouble of removing it. About 2 1/2 feet of chain and a lock will work just fine.


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Old 10-15-2015, 05:15 AM   #5
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The Harbor Freight 45w system that is now on sale would be perfect and you can also use it while camping to charge cell phone, lap top, etc
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rbertalotto View Post
The Harbor Freight 45w system that is now on sale would be perfect and you can also use it while camping to charge cell phone, lap top, etc

Rbertalotto,

Do you have a link to the Harbor Freight unit you mentioned?

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Old 10-15-2015, 01:18 PM   #7
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Search results for: 'solar'

and you can find a 20% off coupon in just about any magazine having to do with man stuff.....or do a search for Harbor Freight Coupon.

This system goes on sale regularly. I believe it was just $149 a week or so ago.
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rbertalotto View Post
Search results for: 'solar'

and you can find a 20% off coupon in just about any magazine having to do with man stuff.....or do a search for Harbor Freight Coupon.

This system goes on sale regularly. I believe it was just $149 a week or so ago.
Thanks, I got it.

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Old 10-15-2015, 06:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbertalotto View Post
Search results for: 'solar'

and you can find a 20% off coupon in just about any magazine having to do with man stuff.....or do a search for Harbor Freight Coupon.

This system goes on sale regularly. I believe it was just $149 a week or so ago.
Go tiny for just a maintainer or get real solar. HF 45 watt solar is basically cheap junk. A complete 60 or 100 watt mount it on the roof. WindyNation.com. or for slightly more Renogy.com. same stuff, slightly more cost but I do like their roof mount brackets, although my WindyNation.com stuff sits up there just fine. 100 watt complete under $200 delivered ups when we got ours
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:51 PM   #10
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I just got an email from Harbor Freight that the 45 watt kit is on sale for $137

http://view.harborfreightemail.com/?...023_c4215b&r=0
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:59 PM   #11
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The HF 45W kit I've looked at is a big unit (3 panels), heavy and bulky for what you get. A better choice from HF is the 24V briefcase unit that's light weight and portable. The two panels are inside the case and are fully protected when the case is closed.

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Old 10-17-2015, 10:19 AM   #12
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Thanks for the comments. I already have the battery secured to the trailer with a chain and padlock. I actually got the idea of a maintainer from several seeing several panels on the ground elsewhere in the lot. I'm not too worried about security.

I'm currently taking the battery home for charging but, at my age, that's getting harder and harder. I also haven't found a good place to keep it home in range of a wall outlet.

I'm not looking for a large system like HF one. I just want to do a good job of maintaining. The other panels I see in the lot appear to be 5W because of their size. I don't know if either uses a regulator.
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:49 PM   #13
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Go tiny for just a maintainer or get real solar. HF 45 watt solar is basically cheap junk. A complete 60 or 100 watt mount it on the roof. WindyNation.com. or for slightly more Renogy.com. same stuff, slightly more cost but I do like their roof mount brackets, although my WindyNation.com stuff sits up there just fine. 100 watt complete under $200 delivered ups when we got ours
X2 The Renogy system is a good value, good customer service and YES, you do need a controller. Mount your panel on the roof and forget about the musical chairs with the battery. Once and done.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:14 PM   #14
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I got a flexible solar panel at West Marine 18 years ago, and it still works! I use it to maintain my RV battery and, when camping, my boat battery. I am told that for panels under 10W you don't need a controller. I found the same one on West Marine's website.
Boat Parts, Sailing, Kayaks, Paddleboards and Marine Electronics | West Marine
and search for
RDK PRODUCTS 3W Semi-Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel.
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Old 10-21-2015, 04:34 PM   #15
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I went ahead and ordered this from Amazon:
Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-1163 5W Solar Maintainer: Automotive

It's got a regulator whether I need it or not. So far it seems to working just fine.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:23 AM   #16
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You should be fine. I've used a 5 watt panel to maintain a dual purpose wet cell RV battery on my boat for 10 years. First battery lasted 8 years. Didn't have a regulator on mine, but also had no parasitic losses. I even measured it providing some charge with more than 3 inches of snow on it when it was new. That was hard to believe but measure with a meter.
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