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Old 01-16-2019, 07:10 PM   #1
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Solar system not keeping batteries charged

Just purchased a new 2019 International Serenity with factory solar system! The camper is sitting out but not in direct sun! The batteries are not being maintained even though we are not using the camper! Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:30 PM   #2
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I would check everything your owners manual has to say about your solar system. I am sure it is fused. Have you taken a volt/ohm meter and checked if you are getting any volts from the panels?
What is the current status of the batteries. Again use a volt meter.

This is just a place to start. Check all connections. Good Luck. Dave
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:39 PM   #3
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In addition to what NoResults said, consider: solar panels need direct sunlight to work well. Yes, you can get a trickle of power in the shade, but probably not enough to do your batteries much good. Solar = sun. Give your panels sunshine, and they'll do their job.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:33 AM   #4
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Welcome Aboard!! 🥂👍

The first thing to do is plug in and completely charge them.👍
Now, go basic...clean the panels, remembering it's Winter and the factory solar leaves a lot on the table.

A more reliable routine is checking the system once a week during Winter storage and do what the results indicate.🤓

Bob
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:31 AM   #5
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We have a 2018 Classic with factory solar. The OEM solar controller had to be replaced twice (once at our dealer and once at JC) before the system worked reliably.

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Old 01-17-2019, 10:15 AM   #6
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All these suggestions are good ones. But at the risk of beating a dead horse, the original poster said "The camper is sitting out but not in direct sun!" It doesn't matter how clean the panels are, or whether the controller is working perfectly--no sun means little or no power. That issue has to be dealt with first.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Paprika View Post
All these suggestions are good ones. But at the risk of beating a dead horse, the original poster said "The camper is sitting out but not in direct sun!" It doesn't matter how clean the panels are, or whether the controller is working perfectly--no sun means little or no power. That issue has to be dealt with first.
Thats why you plug it in😏...done & dealt.🤓

Bob
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:36 PM   #8
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The problem with factory mounted panels is that most people want to park in the shade when it is warm, and thus the panels will not be able to function at full capacity. The solution is an additional panel with a long heavy duty copper cable to minimize the loss of power due to the cable length and a little effort to continually adjust the panel so it does receive maximum sun, yes it should have it's own transformer too. Works for us - we often come back to the trailer in the evening to see that some kind neighbour has adjusted the panel while we were away to halp catch more sun! Campers are nice folk.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:51 PM   #9
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Something that hasn't been mentioned, might be a good idea to get the batteries tested.

I know the OP has a 2019, but if he bought it off the lot the dealer could have killed the batteries before he bought the trailer.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:56 PM   #10
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Solar system not keeping batteries charged

Three options:

1. Move your trailer to a parking spot without cover and with direct sunlight

2. Buy a new portable panel, put that portable in the sun on the ground, and connect to your zamp connector at the battery box.

3. Fully disconnect the batteries when in storage (fully charged of course)

Those are your options.

Like you I park under cover. Despite having 800w of solar I choose option #3. $50 bucks and done using a switch in the battery box. Here is a picture.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
Something that hasn't been mentioned, might be a good idea to get the batteries tested.

I know the OP has a 2019, but if he bought it off the lot the dealer could have killed the batteries before he bought the trailer.
Exactly. Disconnect your batteries and give them a full 2 day charge. Reconnect and insure your solar panels and controller are showing a full battery charge of 13.6 to 13.8 after hookup. Make sure your solar panels are in direct sun. If having difficulty, use a Zamp portable panel with extension to reach the full sun. If all fails, then fully disconnect batteries for winter storage.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:48 PM   #12
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Warranty claim
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:59 AM   #13
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Hi Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Thats why you plug it in😏...done & dealt.🤓

Bob
🇺🇸
Hi Bob! We just purchased the camper and I wanted to try out the factory system! It has been a rainy/cloudy winter in S Louisiana but I thought it should be able to keep up since we were not using the camper! It was charging .4 amps/hr but the battery draw must be more!
Thanks
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGB54 View Post
Hi Bob! We just purchased the camper and I wanted to try out the factory system! It has been a rainy/cloudy winter in S Louisiana but I thought it should be able to keep up since we were not using the camper! It was charging .4 amps/hr but the battery draw must be more!
Thanks
.4...you nailed it. If you isolate the batteries from the trailer parasitic drain, .4 would be all you need. The other option I used was 'plug&check'.
I upgraded to a lithium system this past year and so far it has been a charge, check and let it be system.
Two and a half months into the storage season, and all is good.
The batteries are in the AS and isolated with a disconnect switch.
POI it's 18* now with a blizzard expected. 🥵

Bob
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