Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-21-2014, 07:53 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 34
Battery Tender Solar Question

I hooked up my battery tender solar today and want to make sure I did it right.

I've got a 2012 Flying Cloud 20' with 2 batteries. The batteries are still in the trailer, and the power setting is on "Store". I connected the positive end of the solar to the positive terminal of one battery and the negative end to the negative terminal of the other battery.

I closed the battery compartment as much as possible and propped up the solar panel on the ground (picture attached). This is in a covered shed so there is a chance for light water but that is ok right?

Just want to make sure I'm doing this right. I checked the voltage before hooking it up and it was 12.2 volts.

(photo is in next post)
__________________

__________________
mrpettit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 34
I forgot to attach the photo. Attached here.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20141221_145406696.jpg
Views:	108
Size:	208.5 KB
ID:	229034  
__________________

__________________
mrpettit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 08:17 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
At 12.2 volts, your batteries are mostly discharged to start off. Full charge is 12.6 to 12.8 volts.

There has to be some sunlight on your panel to have it do anything worthwhile to charge up those batteries now that they are pretty far down on their state of charge. It looks to be about a 15 watt panel, which is only going to put out about 1 amp in full sunlight.

So, although you are hooked up correctly, I don't think that panel is going to do much to restore the charge to the batteries.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 08:24 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
carl2591's Avatar
 
2005 31' Classic
Garner, , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 775
if you do not have some kind of solar charge controller that might cook the batteries over time..

but as someone stated the little panel may not be able to keep the batteries up at all so overcharging may not be an issue.

good luck.
__________________
Carl, Raleigh NC
2-24-16 got a 2005 Classic 31D
Timeshare owner/user since '99
TUG2.net check it out for good rental deals
2003 F-250 SD, CC, 7.3L PowerStroke
WBCCI#1691, Piedmont Unit #161, Region #3
carl2591 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
if you do not have some kind of solar charge controller that might cook the batteries over time..

but as someone stated the little panel may not be able to keep the batteries up at all so overcharging may not be an issue.

good luck.
The battery tender solar has its own controller so we'll see what happens.

I wonder if the batteries are already shot. The Airstream has only been sitting there less than a week. However, when I checked the voltage the last time I took it out it was 11.5.

So what does the 1 amp per hour mean in practical terms? I found this on Amazon, " 1.25 amps until 80% of float voltage which is 80% of 13.2 volts except the GEL that's a little higher and then it cuts the charge rate to .13 amps for about 8 minimum hours and won't stop until 72 hours have elapsed. "
__________________
mrpettit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 06:54 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
carl2591's Avatar
 
2005 31' Classic
Garner, , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpettit View Post
The battery tender solar has its own controller so we'll see what happens.

I wonder if the batteries are already shot. The Airstream has only been sitting there less than a week. However, when I checked the voltage the last time I took it out it was 11.5.

So what does the 1 amp per hour mean in practical terms? I found this on Amazon, " 1.25 amps until 80% of float voltage which is 80% of 13.2 volts except the GEL that's a little higher and then it cuts the charge rate to .13 amps for about 8 minimum hours and won't stop until 72 hours have elapsed. "
not sure what the "store" setting does to the unit.. does it turn off everything?? if not some kind of vampire load i would guess the batteries are toast. what manf are they. Interstate, or Trojan. ??
i would put money on a dead cell or two.

later
__________________
Carl, Raleigh NC
2-24-16 got a 2005 Classic 31D
Timeshare owner/user since '99
TUG2.net check it out for good rental deals
2003 F-250 SD, CC, 7.3L PowerStroke
WBCCI#1691, Piedmont Unit #161, Region #3
carl2591 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 09:07 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
The original batteries on the 20' FC you have were a pair of group 24's.

The capacity of each battery is about 75 amp hours, for a total of 150 amp hours.

An amp hour is what it sounds like, one amp used over one hour.

So, if the batteries are essentially dead (and it sounds to me like they are) it would take 150 + hours of full sunshine to recharge them using a panel with about a 1 amp capacity. Actually probably they never would come up to full charge.

When the Use/Store switch is in Store there still will be the load from the propane detector which is about 6 mA. Some say that there is a load from the sub woofer, but I have never measured any such on my 2014 FC 20'. In any event it should shut down with the switch in Store.

If your trailer has a factory inverter, it does not go through the Use/Store switch and you could accidentally leave it on. Since the standby load of that inverter is about 1.75 amps it alone would take more than your little panel can deliver, much more.

The tongue jack does not go through the switch either, so if the lights on it got turned on and left on, they would run the batteries down too.

And as another current thread has shown, if you accidentally pulled the break away switch lanyard, you would quickly run the batteries down, and they too do not go through the Use/Store switch.

For storage, this is what I recommend:

1. Fully charge the batteries using the built in converter/charger. That means running it on 120 volt power for 24 to 48 hours with the switch in USE position.
2. Clean the battery tops (dirt and grunk will conduct power over time)
3. Turn the Use/Store switch to Store.
3. Disconnect the negative lines from the battery(s)

As you have the small solar panel, then connect it to the battery bank.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 07:31 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
carl2591's Avatar
 
2005 31' Classic
Garner, , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The original batteries on the 20' FC you have were a pair of group 24's.

The capacity of each battery is about 75 amp hours, for a total of 150 amp hours.

An amp hour is what it sounds like, one amp used over one hour.

So, if the batteries are essentially dead (and it sounds to me like they are) it would take 150 + hours of full sunshine to recharge them using a panel with about a 1 amp capacity. Actually probably they never would come up to full charge.

When the Use/Store switch is in Store there still will be the load from the propane detector which is about 6 mA. Some say that there is a load from the sub woofer, but I have never measured any such on my 2014 FC 20'. In any event it should shut down with the switch in Store.

If your trailer has a factory inverter, it does not go through the Use/Store switch and you could accidentally leave it on. Since the standby load of that inverter is about 1.75 amps it alone would take more than your little panel can deliver, much more.

The tongue jack does not go through the switch either, so if the lights on it got turned on and left on, they would run the batteries down too.

And as another current thread has shown, if you accidentally pulled the break away switch lanyard, you would quickly run the batteries down, and they too do not go through the Use/Store switch.

For storage, this is what I recommend:

1. Fully charge the batteries using the built in converter/charger. That means running it on 120 volt power for 24 to 48 hours with the switch in USE position.
2. Clean the battery tops (dirt and grunk will conduct power over time)
3. Turn the Use/Store switch to Store.
3. Disconnect the negative lines from the battery(s)

As you have the small solar panel, then connect it to the battery bank.

I would assume you would turn off the LP tank valves as well as the batteries and the LP/gas sensor is not working. but then why would you need LP on during storage.?

What idropa told sounds like good advise.
__________________
Carl, Raleigh NC
2-24-16 got a 2005 Classic 31D
Timeshare owner/user since '99
TUG2.net check it out for good rental deals
2003 F-250 SD, CC, 7.3L PowerStroke
WBCCI#1691, Piedmont Unit #161, Region #3
carl2591 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 11:41 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post

If your trailer has a factory inverter, it does not go through the Use/Store switch and you could accidentally leave it on. Since the standby load of that inverter is about 1.75 amps it alone would take more than your little panel can deliver, much more.


And as another current thread has shown, if you accidentally pulled the break away switch lanyard, you would quickly run the batteries down, and they too do not go through the Use/Store switch.

3. Disconnect the negative lines from the battery(s)
Thanks for the tips. A few questions about the things above.

1) I have two batteries do I disconnect both negatives or on only one of them?

2) How do I know if I have a factory inverter and how do I turn it off?

3) How do I know if I pulled the break away switch lanyard?

Sorry if these are dumb questions but I'm new to this.
__________________
mrpettit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2014, 07:45 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
paiceman's Avatar

 
2017 30' Classic
Upper St Clair , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,434
Images: 1
Factory inverter has a wall switch, in ours its under the normal monitor and has an on off button.

I would disconnect both batteries and then hook up to charger. I used to use a trickle charger which uses the 110 from the house.

If break away is pulled the little plastic tab that goes into the breakaway small box on your trailer will be partially out or all the way out of the hole it goes into. If it's still in there tight it is hard to pull out by hand.

These are deep cycle batteries, so if they are not too old even with low voltage they can be brought back to usefulness.
__________________
SAFE TRAVELS
2017 30' Classic - F350 6.7 Diesel Crew
USAF - Military Training Instructor (TI) - 68-72
paiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2014, 08:27 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
gtc6452's Avatar
 
2015 27' Flying Cloud
2011 30' International
mooresburg , Tennessee
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 206
Images: 6
I have mine hooked to only one battery. I always keep the batteries up. Not sure if hooking the neg. to the other battery would help.
__________________
gtc6452 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
As was mentioned, if you have a factory inverter, there will be a switch for it on a panel inside the rig. Mine is in the kitchen between the stove and sink, but I am not sure where it may be on other models than my FC 20'. Mine has a green light on it showing when it is on.

Cables are connected differently on different models, and the batteries are in parallel, so to be sure, disconnect any cables that go to either of the negative (-) terminals on either battery. Since this is new to you, take a photo prior to disconnect so you can put them back the way they were when you get ready to use it again.

On the side or top of the frame rail, near the front coupler you will see a box about 1.5" wide and 3" long with wires coming out of one end. On the other end there will be a steel cable connected to a plastic pin which plugs into the box. That is the break away switch and lanyard. When the steel cable is pulled on smartly, it will pull the plastic pin out of the box. That turns the trailer brakes on in an emergency. You don't want that pin to be pulled out of the box at any other time (other than to test the switch) or the trailer brakes will be turned on taking a lot of power from the trailer battery.

You will learn, just keep asking questions so we all can help you.
__________________

__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery Tender Solar Ramble On Generators & Solar Power 3 04-28-2013 11:24 AM
Battery Tender and Univolt? AldeanFan Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 8 08-31-2011 12:16 PM
Battery Tender Hookup for two parallel batteries Tater Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 0 11-29-2010 05:28 PM
Deltran Battery Tender Jean Wisjink Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 0 10-13-2010 06:57 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.