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Old 06-21-2018, 09:00 PM   #1
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3 battery storage, Fantastic fan fuse, Air Cond. '02 Minnie Winnie WF 322E

I have a 2002 Minnie Winnie WF 322E with the back kitchen. I love all 22.5 feet of her. I have had Btty for 4 years and put 36,000 km on her, she is currently at 81,000 km. The engine is the Chev Express Vortex 8100 V8.

Until this spring I had a Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E from 2006 in her.
The solar panel is a rigid one-New Value Frontier KC130TM at 130 Watts.
The solar mechanic said the boost could not be repaired and suggested either a Blue Sky 30001 $261US or a Victron MPPT 100/15 $138US. He also suggested replacing the original converter with a digital one(PD 4635.V) because he said they are easier on the batteries. I have since found a couple posts here suggesting a combination converter/charger.

I decided not to replace the solar immediately as the alternator charges the house batteries when moving and I use little electrical power in the evenings when dry camping. the only time I ran out of power was during 3 days of rain in Quartsite Arizona when the RV did not move(and I have not replaced the lights with LED ones)

My concern is how to maintain the 2 house batteries and the chassis battery as effectively as possible while RV is in storage for up to 6 months in a field with no power. Last year I replaced the chassis battery, and the mechanic suggested getting a smart charger to either keep on the battery or charge the battery 24 hours once a month. Last year I removed the chassis battery and placed it in my garage on the charger during storage. Is is very difficult for me to remove the battery myself. I believe the solar kept the house batteries topped up.

I have a Honda EU2000i generator, it was suggested that I could plug the generator into the RV monthly to charge the house batteries and use the generators other cord to plug the smart charger in to attach it to the chassis battery. This would charge all 3 batteries at once and it was estimated the operation would take an hour.

OR ANOTHER OPTION: buy a small portable solar panel to keep in the window and plug it into the auxiliary plug on the dash to keep the chassis battery charged. Then use the generator to charge up the deep cell batteries. I usually remember to turn off the total power switch when in storage so would the deep cell batteries lose that much energy?/charger be what I need?

There is no monotor panel for the batteries to know if the alternator is charging but I have not had a problem with then as long as RV has been driven.

Would the invertor/charger be what I need?

I have about 1" above the 2 house batteries and they have to be tilted sidewise to get them out of the retro fit compartment they were placed in(they are in the one under the couch that was originally intended for a generator) They are in the compartment with a wire grid flooring and maybe someone could set up some kind of elevator system?? I cannot get the batteries out to test them. Would golf cart batteries be a good replacement, are they smaller and maintenance free perhaps? There seems to be a lot of discussion about AGM batteries as well. I am hoping not to need to replace the house batteries for 3-4 years as I bought them last summer.

I have a Fantastic fan in the washroom, but the fuse is dead and no-one seems to carry replacements. Any suggestions?

In regard to air conditioning, someone on a post here suggested a "soft start" could allow the generator to start the air when it needs more power initially and then ongoing running would not be an issue. What is a "soft start"?

Thank-you, Barb
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:03 PM   #2
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Welcome, Barb! I’m a solar fan so I’d keep the starter battery charged in that manner. That’s how I keep my RV batteries charged during storage with the 300 watt system in use when camping.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:08 PM   #3
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Barb, your house batteries are AGMs? If they are wet cells nothing electronic should be stored in their compartment. The battery “gas” will corrode them
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:14 AM   #4
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Welcome, Barb! Im a solar fan so Id keep the starter battery charged in that manner. Thats how I keep my RV batteries charged during storage with the 300 watt system in use when camping.
Thanks for the welcome and responses Larry.
The starter battery is the chassis battery correct? Your preference is getting the small portable to plug into auxiliary socket? Isn't 300 watt a big system for entire RV, the old system that died had a solar panel only 130 watts or was that amps. I find solar confusing. I am hoping the rigid solar panel is okay only the boost is broken. With it being an old system I understand the panel may not be as effective as it originally was but it is all I seemed to need. The solar wasn't keeping up both sets of batteries in storage only the house deep cells correct.? I once had a dead engine battery using truck radio a maximum 30 minutes each morning while I was parked on shore power for a few months. I tried the emergency button that connects the house and engine battery so the house batteries could boost the engine one but it didn't work unless I didn't use it right. I used a separate portable battery charger I bring along. When the button isn't pushed my belief is the two types of batteries are not connected so big solar on roof could not keep house and engine batteries charged. Your suggestion is to replace the boost so I would have solar during camping and to keep up deep cell house batteries during storage and get portable for engine battery. Would you also suggest replacing the old inverter with a digital one that is also a charger or wait until it dies? Sorry for long reply.
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:01 AM   #5
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Barb, your house batteries are AGMs? If they are wet cells nothing electronic should be stored in their compartment. The battery gas will corrode them
The batteries are wet cell for house that need maintenance. I get a mechanic to check them as I cannot remove myself because I would need to squat and tilt them and also too heavy. I actually didn't know I needed to check water regularly as I thought they were like new sealed car batteries. If I had known about different types of deep cell last year I would likely have replaced with no maintenance or AGM but I replaced with same type.

The onIy things i store in the open metal caged compartment with the batteries are the sewer hoses. I am wondering now if the wire basket and metal that makes the compartment will corrode?? I did notice that the original much smaller compartment for the batteries(maybe room only for 1 or maybe 2 stacked) is made with plastic. I don't know why former owners stored in generator compartment, maybe because they needed the space for the two batteries.

Don't know if I need two batteries. I usually boondock 1 or 2 nights at one location and often drive RV during day and that charges batteries..My consumption is low, 1 light at a time maybe 3 hours, fridge starter, furnace fan if needed, water pump power ,don't use water heater (if it needs any power other than propane), inverter power, I charge camera, cell and computer with converter plugged into auxilary when moving.

Thank you again Larry...as you might have noted I still have a lot to learn. The learning curve was really steep when I started RVING and I was fortunate that some issues did not come up immediately. I read a lot but likely forgot lots too as some wasn't relive nt at the time.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:15 AM   #6
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Barb, solar panel watts is determined by the house battery amp hours. 200 AH batteries should usually have 200 solar watts. I'm 240 AHs and 300 solar watts. I'd charge the engine battery separately. And how many house amp hours do you need? Do an energy survey and multiply that total by 1.5. But remember the goal solar should be full recharging of house batteries every day.
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