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Old 10-06-2008, 08:45 PM   #1
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Right now the folks over at sellout.woot.com have one of these chargers for $15. I was thinking of hooking something like that up to my batteries while in storage and putting the panel inside the window which will get sun.

Waste of time and money?
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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Right now the folks over at sellout.woot.com have one of these chargers for $15. I was thinking of hooking something like that up to my batteries while in storage and putting the panel inside the window which will get sun.

Waste of time and money?
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:48 AM   #3
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Probably not a waste of money or time, but if your batteries are hooked up to your motorhome while using this panel, the 5w output will not keep up with the parasitic loading on your batteries.

Even if they are disconnected via switch, there is still some parasitic load. A 5w panel would be somewhat effective if the batteries were totally disconnected. However that's not normally a realistic condition.

Perhaps a bigger panel is on sale somewhere else? 25-40 watts would probably be sufficient for maintaining a charge.
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:59 AM   #4
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Wow - five watts isn't much current - about 0.4 amp and I suspect the 5 watt rating is only under ideal lab conditions. I don't think this panel would make any noticeable difference in your batteries.

We have a five watt panel to charge our driveway gate opener batteries and it does a good job with those, but they are small batteries.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:23 AM   #5
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Me thinks a larger one is in order.
Here is my experience with my factory standard 10 W solar, charging to my house batteries.
This is in sunny Ca. On two completly charged 6V deep cycle . It maintained them just fine. To my surprise it also maintained just barely my c hassis batteries when I installed a trik L start.
With the shorter sunlite days approaching I see a definite need for some more solar.
I have an additional 9W solar to attatch to the house batteries now for a total of 19W .
When trying it out this summer it did a fine job along witzh the trik L Start.
So as others suggested, get a larger one.
Remember it will not charge a depleted battery. You have to start with fully charged batteries and have your disconnect on to eliminate parasitic loads.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:26 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback, I sort of figured it was to small but the price was right.

Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:59 AM   #7
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It would be good for your Chassis battery, as you chassis battery isn't charged by your converter like your house batteries are.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:43 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FrontRangeRVer:
It would be good for your Chassis battery, as you chassis battery isn't charged by your converter like your house batteries are. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>He might have the factory installed Trik-L-Start in which case the chassis batteries are being charged - I don't know how far down the model chain they went.

In any case, a 5 watt panel isn't good for much except for one of those small sealed burglar alarm batteries or a gate opener battery. In addition, his intention was to place it inside the coach window which further reduces the output.

I think he'd be better off spending the 15$ on a good lunch
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:08 PM   #9
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I passed on the deal.

The Sightseer didn't come with a Trik-L-Start and since we store it about 1/2 mile from our house it wouldn't help me.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:22 AM   #10
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Obviously you do not have access to elect. when in storage, I dont either, keeping your batteries up is a must.
Here is what will work for you.
Install a trik L Start direct to your battery isolator solonoid. One wire to chassis side and one wire to House side and one wire to ground.
This will allow you to turn your house battery disconnect switch off and eliminate the parasitic loads of the smoke detecter etc.
Get a suitable solar charger 20 W +-, put it on the roof, tilted toward the sun and hook it to your house batteries.
Winnebago has wired their factory installed trik L Start with the house battery wire to the house battery disconnect solonoid,which means it will only charge when it is turned on and all the parasitic loads going also.
OK when you have elect. but bad when you do not.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:44 AM   #11
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[quote]It would be good for your Chassis battery, as you chassis battery isn't charged by your converter like your house batteries are.

Front Ranger are you sure about this statement? I thought the same until someone suggested I call the manufacturer and ask. The answer was that both coach and chassis batteries are charged by the converter. Perhaps some do and some dont depending on the manufacturer or perhaps depending on the year.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:21 AM   #12
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I installed a 50 watt panel over a non-functional 7 watt one, and added a charge controller in-line. The batteries stay charged now! I had a 5-watt portable panel for a previous RV, but it was a bother to set up. It did seem to keep the batteries charged, but would not recover much discharge.
I notice now that the voltage reading is identical for the motorhome's house and chassis batteries when I check on the service panel meter. Either the meter is hooked up wrong, or both battery systems are getting charged up. This is using the OEM solar wiring circuit.
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