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Old 02-15-2005, 07:51 PM   #1
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#2 attempt--any recommendations for a solar charger?

I would like to find/buy solar chargers that have alligator clips and can be attached to the "forehead" of the trailer.

Do any of you have recommendations as to brand, etc.?
Kistler & Brenda

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Old 02-15-2005, 08:01 PM   #2
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I suspect lack of responses due to wide range of options... First question is size and wattage, and intended purpose, as some little solar panels from auto parts stores might provide trickle battery maintainer charge through cigarette lighter plug from inside, or you could swap plug for alligator clips with parts and splice connectors from Radio Shack. They would protect battery from drain when parked and stored, but not much more...

If you want enough watts to replenish battery drain daily from lights, water pump, fans, etc while dry camped, that's a large panel like a Siemens, with potential permanent mount, and suggestion would be to just run through charging regulator and mount permanently... THere are some threads you can search here using search box (upper right) on "solar" and see what others have done, or find names to consider private messages to..

John McG

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Old 02-15-2005, 08:04 PM   #3
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Maybe here?

Have you tried calling these people?
NORM #3305

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Old 02-15-2005, 09:04 PM   #4
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Thanks you guys! "#2 attempt" is/was referring to the fact I have trouble posting a new topic on this forum I'm technically challenged!

I just want a trickle charger for maintenance!

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Old 02-15-2005, 09:07 PM   #5
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Images: 23 has a great small catalog which explains some of their systems available. Of course, their website gives you much info also. You can order just about any size panel from them.

If I remember correctly (or do a search on unisolar) has flat panel systems as well as flexible panels. With a flexible you could stick suction cups on one end, let the flexible panel curve over the side of the trailer and stick 2 more suction cups on the lower end. This might take advantage of different angles of the sun but I couldn't say for certain. Off the top of my head I think they go up to 30 or 34 watt flexible panels and higher on the flat panels.

Check for Solargizer solar chargers which I have had some great luck with. I think they still have 5 and 10 watt panels with multi-stage charging. has flat panel solar BatteryMINDer systems in 5 or 15 watts. They also offer 5, 10 and 20 watt flexible systems. I really like the batteryMINDer systems enough to recommend them to a friend who recently bought the 15 watt solid panel charger.

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Old 02-15-2005, 09:37 PM   #6
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I just saw one with that exact description on sale at either or in one of their sales flyers.

Found it... item 41144
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kistler
I just want a trickle charger for maintenance!
Are you going to disconnect the LP detector, which isn't disconnected when you shut the master battery switch off? Or do you need to power it 24 X 7 also? If so, you need to multiply its current draw by 24 hours to get daily amp-hour usage you'll have to replace.

Do you have AGMs (self-discharge 2-3% per month) or flooded cells (2-3% per week)? How many total amp-hours do those percentages apply to? For example, at 3% for 200 amp-hours, that's 6 amp-hours per week for flooded cells and the same per month for AGMs.

Solar cells laid flat provide about 25% of their wattage in amp-hours on a good day in the summer, about 17% in spring and fall, and as low as 5% in winter. This is reduced more by cloudy or rainy days, so allow for the appropriate number of days per week of that for your area.

Also keep in mind that charging efficiency is less than 100%. You'll need to supply about 110% of what's used.
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