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Old 10-31-2018, 10:55 AM   #1
Cadent59
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Another solar panel question....

Hello all.

We have a 2018 3120rl. We ordered it with the Onan 5500 LP generator, and it work well. We've only used it a few times, as we mostly camp with hookups, however we have found a dry camping spot we really like and want to visit it more often The generator is great, quiet, efficient, and handles everything we throw at it. Our issue when we dry camp is the battery power during quiet times. We're not looking to run the a/c, or anything big, (the tv and satellite receiver would be nice), but the single battery our unit came with is dead in the morning, just running a couple of lights. We did not even attempt to use the heater, as it was not needed. With the porch and front cap light, and the fan blowing in the refrigerator on LP mode, the battery was so dead I had to hook it up to the truck just to start te generator.

I am planning to replace the battery with at least 2 Trojan T105's, and maybe even 4 T105's. Since we store it in a facility without power, I was thinking to get at least one solar panel to keep the batteries charged...... I did read in another post that someone suggested changing the internal charger / power supply to a smart charger is a must, and if recommended I intend to make that change too.

Therefore, my question is; is one 100 watt panel enough to charge / trickle charge my new batteries...?

Thanks
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
Lenny K
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A 100 watt panel will keep your batteries charged in storage but I would install a battery cut off switch close to the batteries to prevent any draw from your trailer.
During normal day use the 100 watt panel will tickle your batteries a little but won't keep up to your usage.
If you have a Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power converter you do have a smart charger.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:37 AM   #3
AZ Traveler
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Welcome to the forum!

What Lenny said plus you might also want to add an inverter to run your TV and some small a/c powered things without starting the genny. I would start with the battery bank and inverter and then add solar.

Adding 4 batteries might be tight as your genny takes up a lot of room in your front compartment but 4 are better than 2 if you add an inverter.

We have 4 deep cycle golf cart batteries, a 3000 watt inverter and 530 watts of solar. With good sun we don't run the genny much but a night of running the furnace, a few hours of TV, a few minutes of microwave and running the coffee maker in the morning will have our battery bank down around 60% by the time the sun starts shinning. The furnace blower can be a power hog (and a propane hog) if you keep the temp high.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:27 PM   #4
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I also have a built in generator so I had to go with the AGM batteries in the basement.
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:42 PM   #5
PNW Fireguy
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Cadent59,
We found ourselves in a similar position. When I initially installed our generator we intended to use it primarily for boondocking. I quickly found out that first the generator uses a significant amount of propane. Thereby limiting just how long we want to run it. Secondly to run a generator for any significant amount of time in a pristine location kind of defeated the purpose of us boondocking. If you only have a single 12v battery like others have said you should at a minimum add another in parallel, or install four 6v batteries in series parallel to give yourself even more usable amp hours. We went overboard and are installing LiFePO4. For us it just made sense. Didn't have to pay someone else to install it (cha ching) and far more usable amp hour capacity. Plus we will drop some weight and we are pin heavy. Now coupled with solar our generator will be relegated to charging the batteries when solar is not available and for cooling the rig down in transit so when we pull into a location the rig won't be 100F.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:24 PM   #6
Cadent59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny K View Post
A 100 watt panel will keep your batteries charged in storage but I would install a battery cut off switch close to the batteries to prevent any draw from your trailer.
During normal day use the 100 watt panel will tickle your batteries a little but won't keep up to your usage.
If you have a Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power converter you do have a smart charger.
I have a factory battery cutoff switch; will that work? If the switch is off does it still charge....?
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadent59 View Post
I have a factory battery cutoff switch; will that work? If the switch is off does it still charge....?
The battery switch in the convenience center does not totally isolate the battery bank. This will cause the batteries to run down in storage unless you are hooked to power or you have solar and it has access to sun.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:24 AM   #8
Lenny K
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As AZ Traveler said the factory installed cutoff does not shut everything off.
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:25 PM   #9
Mel B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
The battery switch in the convenience center does not totally isolate the battery bank. This will cause the batteries to run down in storage unless you are hooked to power or you have solar and it has access to sun.
My battery disconnect switch, it's the red & white Perko switch on the wall
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:34 PM   #10
Cadent59
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Thank you all. This information is very helpful!
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:34 PM   #11
browens62
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battery information

i ran across this info

no wonder i screwed everytime i use the batteries

dealer installed 2 group 24


SOME COMMON BATTERY SIZE CODES USED ARE: (RATINGS ARE APPROXIMATE)

U1 34 to 40 Amp hours 12 volts
Group 24 70-85 Amp hours 12 volts
Group 27 85-105 Amp hours 12 volts
Group 31 95-125 Amp hours 12 volts
4-D 180-215 Amp hours 12 volts
8-D 225-255 Amp hours 12 volts
Golf Cart & T-105 180 to 225 Amp hours 6 volts
L-16, L16HC etc. 340 to 415 Amp hours 6 volts
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