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Old 03-01-2021, 09:04 PM   #1
tkkmcjo
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Question Regarding Solar and Battery Cut Off Switch

Rig is a 2020 294RL. Just had a Zamp 170w solar panel and a 30amp charge controller (with a remote panel in the coach). It was installed using the existing pre-wiring that is included in most Keystone "Solar Ready" 5th wheels. Although I will grow the system over time to include additional panels and an inverter, it's purpose right now is to keep the batteries up and ready while the rig is in storage.

My question is... does the solar wiring bypass the battery cutoff switch (in the wet bay) and charge the batteries, even with the batteries shut off to the rest of the rig? Or to put it another way, am I supposed to leave the battery switch on while the rig is in storage so the solar system will charge the batteries? No one at the Dealer, including the installer seemed to be sure.

Logic tells me that the way the pre-wiring is set up, the panel will collect energy, run it through the controller/charger, and on to the batteries, independent of whether the batteries are supplying power to the rest of the coach. But I can't seem to find anyone who can verify this.

Anybody out there in the Forum have a similar set up who can tell me if the battery cutoff switch needs to be 'on' while the solar system is charging the batteries?

Thank for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Tom and Kathleen Jones
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:59 AM   #2
Daryles
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Yes the solar is wired directly to the battery through the bottom red inline 30A fuse.
The top red fuse runs your level up control panel and tank heaters ( ask me how I know )
I'm not sure what the black inline fuse goes to. I'll have to work on that.
Here are a couple of videos
Jaboni/Montana solar prep
https://youtu.be/mhE9pSum_nA

Jaboni/Montana solar install
https://youtu.be/gn3BIWaSb4c

Pull the covers off the inline fuses and make sure they are pushed down in there all the way. They tend to creep out.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:31 AM   #3
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The black inline fuse is protecting your hydraulic motor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryles View Post
Yes the solar is wired directly to the battery through the bottom red inline 30A fuse.
The top red fuse runs your level up control panel and tank heaters ( ask me how I know )
I'm not sure what the black inline fuse goes to. I'll have to work on that.
Here are a couple of videos
Jaboni/Montana solar prep
https://youtu.be/mhE9pSum_nA

Jaboni/Montana solar install
https://youtu.be/gn3BIWaSb4c

Pull the covers off the inline fuses and make sure they are pushed down in there all the way. They tend to creep out.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:34 AM   #4
tkkmcjo
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Thanks for the info! The videos confirms that the solar wiring is panel to battery, charge controller to remote panel. Shouldn't matter if battery cutoff switch is on or off... the batteries will get charged!
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:40 PM   #5
hemiallen
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I assume, Tom, you are running lead-acid or AGM? If Li my understanding is when storing the rig you disconnect the batter(ies) from any charging to reduce cycles AND Li stay charged fully for several months, unlike AGM or Lead Acid which need to be kept fully charged as much as possible with the smart chargers we have currently.

I grew up in Livermore, left in 1974, then worked there until 2014!

Long live Livermorons, lol
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:27 AM   #6
tkkmcjo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemiallen View Post
I assume, Tom, you are running lead-acid or AGM? If Li my understanding is when storing the rig you disconnect the batter(ies) from any charging to reduce cycles AND Li stay charged fully for several months, unlike AGM or Lead Acid which need to be kept fully charged as much as possible with the smart chargers we have currently.

I grew up in Livermore, left in 1974, then worked there until 2014!

Long live Livermorons, lol

Proud to be a Livermoron! We love this little place we call home! Been here since 1986...

Thanks for the info! Just had the system installed and am still using the existing lead-acid batteries. Hope to purchase LiFePO4 by summer. Charge controller is currently set to "Wet" for flooded lead acid batteries. But does it matter if the Battery Cut-Off switch is on or off for the system to charge?
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:57 AM   #7
Carl n Susan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkkmcjo View Post
... does it matter if the Battery Cut-Off switch is on or off for the system to charge?....
Yes indeedee it matters. The disconnect switch must be in the position where the 12V is allowed to pass through (Red key can *NOT* be removed) for the batteries to charge.
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Old 03-07-2021, 03:38 PM   #8
Billtam2
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I have a 2019 3221 with the Jabroni solar system installed and when I put it in storage I have both the battery cutoff (red dial) and key cutoff in the basement storage turned off and my panel still charges the battery. Every couple months I go to make sure the batteries have water and that is all I have been doing the last 2 winters and everything has been fine.
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