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Old 09-02-2016, 01:19 PM   #1
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Battery need to be on USE to have solar charge them?

I know this may be a wiring issue, but is it typical to have to leave batteries on USE in order for the Solar to charge?

If I STORE, no charge.

Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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No, not usual.

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Old 09-02-2016, 01:35 PM   #3
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Normally a solar charging system is wired directly to the batteries bypassing the Use/Store switch and all the other internal electrical systems of the trailer.
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Old 09-02-2016, 01:42 PM   #4
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Mine charges in store position. There is a monitoring panel above the stove so wiring does come into the AS from the panel. Mine was factory installed.
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Old 09-02-2016, 01:47 PM   #5
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Mine charges in store position. There is a monitoring panel above the stove so wiring does come into the AS from the panel. Mine was factory installed.
I don't think even the factory installed solar goes through that switch. I'd have to look at the wiring schematic.
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:55 AM   #6
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Thanks all. Strange wiring dealer did then.

Came back to storage after a week to find batteries 36% charged when switched to Store...and that's when I noticed the solar controller lcd is off when in STORE.
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:04 AM   #7
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I don't think even the factory installed solar goes through that switch. I'd have to look at the wiring schematic.
No, I don't think anything from the solar panel goes through the Use/Store switch. I think the monitor wiring goes directly to the panel on the wall. I don't have the AS with me but I was thinking there is a separate set of battery lugs for the panel, not sure. I know the monitoring panel and the solar both work when in Store position. Keeps my batteries nicely topped off when I'm not using them.
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:02 PM   #8
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We have factory-installed solar and were told by dealer (Colonial Airstream, Lakewood, NJ) to leave the switch on the "USE" setting. Also told to leave the trailer outside so the batteries can slowly/constantly trickle charge. Always have had 100% power when taking trailer out of storage location.
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:42 PM   #9
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Our dealer-installed Zamp solar system (30 amps, one 150 watt panel), like others, works with that switch in the "STORE" position. For our trailer, there is a second set of wires that go directly to the battery terminals. I assume those connect to the solar panel & controller. Pretty sure we're depending on the factory-installed pre-wire for solar.

Of course, your dealer may have done it differently, or maybe Airstream changed things. Our unit is a 2014 model year.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:36 AM   #10
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Was worried about leaving in USE, but batteries stay charged and any minimal power usage by a few things do not offset the charge rate.

Thanks all for the replies; it definitely seems it would be best to go straight to the batteries, but interesting Colonial AS wired to USE (they seem like a top notch dealer).
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:53 AM   #11
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Are you sure Colonial did that? This is the first example I have heard of a dealer wiring solar through the USE switch and I just cannot believe that Colonial would do that.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:10 AM   #12
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I'm with Larry, there would be no advantage to wiring the solar through that switch.
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:20 PM   #13
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It's easy to tell if you have the monitor. Whether or not mine is in Use or Store, the readings on the monitor are the same. Whenever I go to check on the trailer the available battery shows 95-100%, depending on the sun.

Put the switch in Store and watch the monitor. See any difference in the readings?
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:50 AM   #14
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Don't think Colonial Airstream did any rewiring of the factory-installed solar (don't want to mislead). Actually not sure it makes any difference whether the setting is "USE" or "STORE" with the factory solar option, especially if the trailer is outside and exposed to the sun. The batteries we have require no maintenance and apparently do better with constant "trickle-charging".
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