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davidz71 07-02-2002 11:14 AM

Jace suggested the small solar panel and that is just what I did. I purchased a Solargizer 5 watt solar charger/maintainer that charges, desulfates and maintains the battery system. They offer a 10 watt unit also and have units that allow you to charge 2 seperate batteries. My unit has kept my two Delco Voyager batteries fully charged for a year now. I'm pretty conservative with my lights during the hunting season since I do not have access to 110 volts. The 5 watt unit is hooked straight to one of the batteries but charges both. The panel is placed on top of my 40 lb. tanks but has a cord long enough to run from my front battery box to the front vent on top of the trailer. I do not have a battery disconnect unless I pull my fuses. The trailer will sit from mid Sept. until late Nov. with use almost every weekend. I am also there an additional Thur., Fri. and Mon. at least 3 times during this period. No problem with the batteries. Do a search and check out Solargizer's web site.

When I bring my trailer back from a weekend where it has seen heavy 12 volt use, like this past weekend, I will hook up a BatteryMinder from It charges, desulfates and maintaines the batteries. It takes 3 days to complete the process but I know that the batteries are in top shape. I then disconnect the charger/maintainer and let the solar keep it up.

jcanavera 08-12-2002 09:50 PM

Re: Power Draw

Originally posted by Pahaska
A lot of folks don't realize that the propane detector pulls a steady draw in the order of milliamps. It's enough to completely drain a battery in a few weeks
After many weeks since I started this thread I have finally borrowed a meter to see what's going on. With the master disconnect switch set to off (no voltage to 12 volt fuse panel) I found that the draw from the battery (propane detector bypasses this switch) was .09 of an amp. With the disconnect switch set to on with no appliances operating the draw was .10 of an amp.


74Argosy24MH 08-13-2002 07:51 AM

Batterys self discharge. I doubt if there was no draw if it would have enough power to raise the trailer after 312 days. Depending on the battery age, condition, temperature, etc. 4-6 weeks might be all you are going to get and still be able to use the jack.


davidz71 08-13-2002 08:56 AM

Bill Darden's site at addresses the deep cycle discharge rate. He says, "Deep cycle batteries discharge at a rate of 1% - 15% per month. Lead sulfation starts occurring when the state of charge drops below 80%". This causes additional problems and is what kills a battery. If your discharge rate is more than 50% of your battery rating, you are not helping your battery. Each time the discharge drops extremely low, it takes a little out of your battery. Based on this plus your parasitic charge of .09, your battery is a gonner well before the 312th day. If your vehicle sits outside and is not used much, I advise a 5 watt solar panel to keep the charge at 100% or at least a battery maintainer such as the BatteryMinder hooked up the entire time. It will not boil out your battery fluid.

As an interesting side story, I am an electronic restraint device instructor. The batteries used in some of the first handheld electronic stun guns were 9 v. nickle cadmium rechargeable. These batteries lose 2% of their power per day if they are left on the shelf or in the stun gun. You must not let the charge go below the top 25% or it might not function the entire unit. Each second of use loses 1% of its power. Newer devices use lithium batteries which have a 5 yr. shelf life and have 1800 seconds of power i.e. 30 min of continuous power. They are not rechargeable.

I found early in my hunting escapades that Ni Cad batteries did not last long in aluminum flashlights and when they went, they went. I use nothing but good alkaline batteries now.

jcanavera 08-13-2002 09:13 AM

It looks like from their web page that the battery is rated 105 amp hours at a 5 amp draw. So the draw with the master switch on of .1 amp translates into 2.4 amp hours draw per day. This will kill the battery somewhere in the area of 45 days or so. This pretty well falls in line with my experience that the trailer sat in the storage lot for 60 days unused. No wonder the hitch jack didn't work.

So the math works out. Now the issue is to add a solar panel or disconnect the battery when I know I won't be using the trailer for an extended period.


davidz71 08-13-2002 09:24 AM

I know the feeling. I had a rough night last night. My 17 yr. old and I both have a stomach or intestinal virus that has been running around and we have not been sleeping well the last several nights. Something told me that the figures were high but I didn't have the energy or focus to do the math. I was thinking 105 amp hr and working off that. Since I have made previous posts on this subject, I am still pleased with my combination of Delco Voyager sealed deep cycle batteries, BatteryMinder charger and Solargizer Solar battery charger/maintainer.

davidz71 08-13-2002 09:46 AM

I wanted to add that disconnecting the negative cable or just pulling the battery(s) out may slow the discharge rate down. Some individuals take the batteries out of their trailer and place them in the garage with a maintainence charger attached. Why go to the trouble. I would investigate some of the solar chargers as I have done and you don't have to worry about hooking up a 110 v. cord for the charger. Do an engine search for Solargizer or Unisolar or look in Camping World for their solar chargers. Make sure you get one that has the blocking diode to prevent discharge at night. I place my Solargizer on top of my propane tanks when at the house and on top of my trailer when at the hunting site. When on the road, I just place the panel in the bed of my truck so that I do not have to disconnect the ring terminals from the battery it is connected to. I guess I could mount it permanently to the top of the trailer but chose to leave it mobile to take advantage of where the sun is shining. The panel charges both of my batteries at the same time.

jcanavera 08-13-2002 09:55 AM

I like the idea of a portable set up David. Unfortunately my A/S sits in a public RV/boat storage lot, so I wouldn't be surprised that it might walk away. If I do anything in this vein, it probably will have to be rooftop mounted. I might also find some type of knife switch that I can place on the positive battery post.


Action 08-13-2002 10:25 AM

Knife Switch

Put it on the negative side vs the positive side. Less arching.


davidz71 08-13-2002 10:39 AM

Where is your battery compartment? How far away is your frig vent opening? You might even mount the panel with double sided sticky tape on top of your AC shroud or fabricate a metal mount and run the cable down through the frig vent. I doubt that anyone would climb on top of the trailer to remove your panel because they would not see it.

jcanavera 08-13-2002 10:49 AM

According to my owners guide, my Safari is prewired for solar power. My battery is in a battery box outside the trailer behind the gas bottles. I'll have to ask my dealer what and where the prewire is since I can't fathom the wiring schematics.


davidz71 08-13-2002 11:42 AM

I have visited the site so often and have received their catalog. At some point in time I plan on buying an'82 Excella II 25' model and outfitting it with a 120 watt solar panel package. Until then, I will enjoy my current model and keep the batteries up with the 5 watt model.

I'm not sure where the connections are on your prewired for solar setup. Some have posted that they are hard to get to so they run the wires down the fridge vent and hook up at the junction block there.

Pahaska 08-13-2002 01:56 PM

Battery disconnect
Action''s advice to put the disconnect in the negative (ground) lead of the battery is good, but the arcing is going to be the same with it on either lead.

The real reason for this is safety. You should always hook up the positive lead of a battery first and disconnect it last. That way, if you accidentally short to ground in hooking up or in unhooking, there is no arc because there is no circuit.

That was first taught me by an aircraft mechanic (A&E) too many years ago to count.

Action 08-13-2002 02:22 PM


I know that the trailer is grounded to the tow vehicle via the hitch and the ground wire in the wiring harness that comes from the tow vehicle.

Is the trailer grounded to the negative side of the trailer battery too? If so I do not know where the ground wire (of the trailer battery) attaches to the trailer. Not that I have looked very hard, however it would be nice to know the location.


davidz71 08-16-2002 02:51 PM

Solar panel maintainer
1 Attachment(s)
This is my 5 watt Solargizer solar chanrger/maintainer. I tilted it down to give you a better view but it usually rests on top of one of my propane tanks.

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