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Old 08-22-2019, 10:27 PM   #1
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2019 Interstate - solar charger

Have a 2019 Interstate with 4 house batteries. It will be in covered storage with no shore power. I use a solar charger to keep the batteries charged. I hook it up directly to the batteries (negative of one battery/positive on another battery since they are all connected together). I know the main power needs to be on to use shore power for charging, but do I need the main power switch on if trickle charging directly to the batteries? Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:57 AM   #2
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Can you explain how you are solar charging in covered storage? You must be using an external solar system. If you connect directly to batteries then main power switch does it effect the solar charging. But you might want to keep main power switch OFF to limit load while trickle charging. How many watts is the solar charger?
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikemdd View Post
I know the main power needs to be on to use shore power for charging, but do I need the main power switch on if trickle charging directly to the batteries? Thanks!
MIKEMDD - I have same comments & questions that MIKE asked above.

Also, regarding "use shore power for charging" - On 2018's there is an ACE line (AC ENABLE) and diode that keeps the Magnum inverter connected to batts. in the presence of shore power. The ACE and diode was non-existent prior to 2018. ACE & diode essentially renders the Battery Disconnect a non-factor in charging operation, regardless of Battery Disconnect switch position. The only thing Battery Disconnect does is disconnect it from the DC Distribution Panel. I can confirm this by behaviour of charging activity even whilest Battery Disconnect is set to OFF.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Can you explain how you are solar charging in covered storage? You must be using an external solar system. If you connect directly to batteries then main power switch does it effect the solar charging. But you might want to keep main power switch OFF to limit load while trickle charging. How many watts is the solar charger?
Storage is outside, but under a cover....not enclosed. I use a 100 watt solar suitcase in front of the storage spot in the sun and run cables to the batteries.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
MIKEMDD - I have same comments & questions that MIKE asked above.

Also, regarding "use shore power for charging" - On 2018's there is an ACE line (AC ENABLE) and diode that keeps the Magnum inverter connected to batts. in the presence of shore power. The ACE and diode was non-existent prior to 2018. ACE & diode essentially renders the Battery Disconnect a non-factor in charging operation, regardless of Battery Disconnect switch position. The only thing Battery Disconnect does is disconnect it from the DC Distribution Panel. I can confirm this by behaviour of charging activity even whilest Battery Disconnect is set to OFF.
Thanks! I think you answered my question. I went back and dug through the 2019 owners manual and it confirms exactly what you said. In fact it says that charging is not impacted with the switch off for shore, generator or solar charging. I was referencing things I read pre-2018. I think I'm good to go with my setup and the main switch off.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:11 PM   #6
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Storage is outside, but under a cover....not enclosed. I use a 100 watt solar suitcase in front of the storage spot in the sun and run cables to the batteries.

Just want to confirm that you have a charge controller between the solar panels (suitcase) and batteries. You can't just connect the panels to the batteries (well, you can, but the results will not be to your liking).....
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:48 PM   #7
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On my 2013 the solar positive output wire of the controller goes 'backwards' through a thermal breaker to a buss bar that the + cable from the chassis battery is connected to. I say 'backwards' because the other thermal breakers feed power from the coach batteries to the lounge seat, tank heater pads, and radio WITHOUT going through the battery cutoff. So you get solar charging without the main power being on. In keeping with AI tradition, each model year, and half-year, must differ.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:59 PM   #8
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On my 2013 the solar positive output wire of the controller goes 'backwards' through a thermal breaker to a buss bar that the + cable from the chassis battery is connected to.
TITUS - I almost missed this, then had to do double take - just want to make sure I understand how yours is setup -> PV controller output goes to the + buss bar of CHASSIS batt? NOT the HOUSE batt? (which is how mine is set up).
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:29 PM   #9
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My mistake. Coach batteries. All listed items are from the coach battery. Sorry for the mistake.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:46 PM   #10
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My mistake. Coach batteries. All listed items are from the coach battery. Sorry for the mistake.
TITUS - glad it just typo and not reality
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:19 PM   #11
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Just want to confirm that you have a charge controller between the solar panels (suitcase) and batteries. You can't just connect the panels to the batteries (well, you can, but the results will not be to your liking).....
My solar panel came with a PWM controller and I swapped it out for an MPPT controller. Kind of overkill for a 100 watt system, but every ray of sunlight I can get is good.
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