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Old 05-03-2010, 08:24 AM   #1
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Advice on 15 Watt solar battery charger

We have a new 15 watt portable battery charger. How reliable are battery chargers ...are there better, more efficient ways short of using a generator to recharge batteries if boondocking? We have two 12V batteries on our International.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:32 AM   #2
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We have a new 15 watt portable battery charger. How reliable are battery chargers ...are there better, more efficient ways short of using a generator to recharge batteries if boondocking? We have two 12V batteries on our International.
A 15 watt solar panel, at best, will keep the batteries "topped off".

The 2 batteries have a total available amps of about 200.

Your charger, at full sun, will charge at the rate of 1.25 amps, per hour.

Even at that, the charging rate is dictated by the position of the sun on the solar charger.

When the sun is at an angle to the charger, the charging rate decreases.

I would not depend on that charger to do anything more than keeping the batteries topped off, and then only when you are drawing "zero" current.

Andy
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rywnc View Post
We have a new 15 watt portable battery charger. How reliable are battery chargers ...are there better, more efficient ways short of using a generator to recharge batteries if boondocking? We have two 12V batteries on our International.
In my opinion, a solar panel is the best choice if boondocking.
However, I think you need way more than 15 watts,( I just took delivery of a 135 watt panel).
I also think that for max. convenience, the panel(s) should be mounted on the roof. That way, you don't have to handle them every time you want to move your Airstream.

With solar, you have zero ongoing expense, zero noise, zero pollution.
The down side is rainy/cloudy days and that fact that it will not run your microwave.
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