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Old 01-22-2015, 09:39 AM   #1
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Battery maintenance - solar tenders

Not sure if this should be here or in solar, but here goes:

Has anyone used a solar powered battery tender to keep their batteries topped up? I am seriously considering this to keep the batterie topped off:

Amazon.com: Battery Tender 021-1164 10W Solar Charger: Automotive

at the moment I am leaving my AS connected to shore power when at home...

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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I do this on several vehicles,

There's a solar maintainer in my Airstream and Tundra, I've managed to keep the truck's factory 2005 battery alive - 10 years and counting. I use the 12v lighter adapter in the trailer and truck (make sure your lighter outlet has power when key off) and we're always charged up and ready to go. Just leave the solar panel in the window.

I mounted a solar charger on the roof of my enclosed car trailer with an outlet inside to connect to the battery of any car I have parked in the trailer for the winter.

I use plug in battery tenders on my collector cars in the garage since they're in the dark but the solar charger works great for anything outside since I don't have to run power outside and it's free to operate!
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:41 AM   #3
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I use one for my truck in the driveway since I only drive it every few weeks. I also used to use one on a boat for the outboard starting battery. Worked like a charm.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:46 PM   #4
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Question Does Oregon.....

......have more Sun in Winter than Buffalo?

I had 30w of portable solar, was fairly dependable in Summer, not so much in Winter. 10w would be very marginal in cloudy conditions.




FWIW... I would not leave on shore power 24/7, you risk overcharging.
Couple hours when batt's are at 12.5v.....or use a Battery Tender....or upgrade to a 3 or 4 stage converter and leave plugged in.

Bob
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:39 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the feedback. I understand the risks of being on shore power all the time, hence I am looking at changing through other means.

How are people connecting the tenders to their batteries? Are you direct connecting to the battery, through the a 12v automotive outlet that is connected to the converter or is there another input on the converter that can be used?
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:53 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Our TV doesn't get used a lot over the Winter, to overcome the parasitic drain...I plug the BT into a 12v power port, maintains @ 13.0v.
If your power port is live it should charge fine.

Bob
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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Thanks Bob!
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:50 PM   #8
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I use this kit from Renolgy on my Flying Cloud while its in storage; I purchased some extra solar cable so I can put the panel at the end of our storage space on a home-made PVC rack. I has worked well and Renolgy support replaced the controller at no charge when it failed. I created a permanent pig tail to connect the solar to the battery bank and mounted the controller under the propane tanks with velcro to keep it out of the weather (the controller is not water-proof).

50W Mono Bundle | Renogy Store
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:56 PM   #9
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Bird_dg

That is EXACTLY what I am looking for! The installation is also what I was thinking of! Thank you!

I am going to order that up without even discussing with the wife!
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:10 PM   #10
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If she asks, just tell her that the cost of the solar panel is cheaper than replacing both the batteries; that worked for me!
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:29 PM   #11
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Taking into account cloud cover, night, and parasitic drains with master switch off, 15 watts works for me.....10 wouldn't.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:22 PM   #12
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Bird_dg do you have any pics of your install? I would really appreciate it if you could share
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:20 PM   #13
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Ended up getting a Renogy 100W mono panel with their MPPT charger.. a bit more then I planned to pay but hopefully this will be a more capable system we can use all year round...
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:48 PM   #14
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I use a portable 10w solar charger to keep several batteries charged over the winter. The batteries from my two Airstreams, my golf cart, and my mower are kept in a room in my house with a southern window. The charger is placed in the window, and I keep each battery connected to the charger approximately one week per month. Has worked well for me.
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