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Old 08-27-2017, 03:07 PM   #1
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5 watt solar trickle charger

Someone gave me a 5 watt solar panel trickle charger. it has a red and a black gator clip and a cigarette lighter style cord. i have two, new 12 volt deep cycle batteries on my 2017 27 foot International Serenity. Would it damage anything to attach the solar panel? where would I attach the clips?

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Old 08-27-2017, 03:28 PM   #2
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It will be fine.
5 watts is not going the charge much but could help maintain batteries while in storage

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Old 08-27-2017, 03:29 PM   #3
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This may get you started.

Just to be sure they followed normal protocol I would test the red wire for positive before hooking to the battery. Once hooked up, and if correctly, you should see a slight rise in battery voltage within a few hours
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:31 PM   #4
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I just put same n m batteries in our storage lot that doesn't have shore power
Simple- just use the alligator clips to connect red to positive post and black to negative
I still don't know yet if this will only maintain or if over several weeks my hope is it brings both batteries up to full charge
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:07 PM   #5
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The charger will supply a fraction of an amp at best. The typical "always on" loads on a trailer pull more than that charger will supply. You still will need some sort of proper trickle charge setup for storage. So no, it will not hurt anything. It will help, but not by much.

Some math based on numbers reported in various threads (your numbers could be higher or lower):

Unavoidable loads are in the vicinity of 0.5 and go on 24 hours a day.
That gets you 12AH of discharge per day
80% of a panel's energy goes to charging so 5W becomes 4W
4W at 13.5V is about 300 ma
A normal "solar day" is 8 hours, it may be much less in some cases.
The charger at best will give you 2.4 AH per day
You are 20% better off than you were without the gizmo.
This ignores the self discharge of the batteries which should be modest compared to the unavoidable loads.

Put another way - you would do better to wire in a full battery disconnect switch as far as keeping the batteries happy. That would shut down the propane detector which is something you may not want to do.

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