Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-16-2017, 02:23 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2009 16' DWR
Concord , California
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 10
Solar isn't charging

Hello, all. A newbie here.

I have a 2009 16' Bambi DWR I just bought and for some reason the solar isn't working correctly. It was working a few days ago. I thought maybe the voltage of the battery had to be below 11.7 volts so I ran the lights until voltage was down, but the solar still isn't charging. Any ideas?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.
Funster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2017, 02:44 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Mattirs's Avatar

 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Fairfield , California
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 903
It hasn't been very sunny the last couple of days. Did you try over the weekend? There was enough sun then.

I use a self concocted system that hooks directly to the batteries, so if there is a factory switch that needs to be thrown I am not of much help.

Only thing I can think of is the battery switch needs to be in use position?

Matti
Mattirs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2017, 03:53 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
2009 16' DWR
Concord , California
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattirs View Post
It hasn't been very sunny the last couple of days. Did you try over the weekend? There was enough sun then.

I use a self concocted system that hooks directly to the batteries, so if there is a factory switch that needs to be thrown I am not of much help.

Only thing I can think of is the battery switch needs to be in use position?

Matti
Hmmmm. I tried in both the "Use" position and "Store" position without success the day before yesterday when it was sunny. I think on a cloudy day I should at least get a .2 or .3 amp charge - but I'll try again when the sun comes out. Thanks, Matti.
Funster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2017, 04:10 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
gator.bigfoot's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
KW , Ontario
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 687
What is the voltage into the charger? Can you remove the output wire of the charger and measure it? What is its voltage?
gator.bigfoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 11:43 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Mattirs's Avatar

 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Fairfield , California
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 903
.2 or .3 amps is not going to charge your batteries. You can read 13.?? volts in low light but the amps need to be in the 5 or more range to be really charging the batteries.
Today should be a wonderful day, in full sunlight with the panels facing the sun and not flat there should be dome good amps going in.
Forgot to ask how many watts total are your panels?
Mattirs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 12:14 PM   #6
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,898
Hi

Ok, basic troubleshooting:

1) Grab your multimeter and when the sun is out, check the voltage coming off the panels / going into the charger. It should be fairly high ( > 15V). If it's not, start looking for wiring issues going to the panels. Consider that both the hot and ground wires matter. A loose ground can be the problem.

2) If there is voltage into the charger, then put the multimeter on the output of the charger. Is it up above 13V at least part of the time? If it's below 13V is it putting out current?

a) Is it below 13V and no current? If so is it above 12.6V? Most chargers will cut out when the battery is "charged" and not try to constant charge them.

b) Is it below 13V and you have a few amps of current? This is normal.

c) Is it up around 13.7V and you have no current? This also is normal.

3) When the charger cuts in (goes above 13V) does the battery voltage follow the charger? If not, look into wiring issues between the charger and the battery.

4) Does the charge current on the (I assume stock) indicator panel agree with a multimeter / amp meter? If not, the panel may be defective.

Yes, that's a lot of twists and turns. It assumes you have a multimeter. If not, head over to Home Depot of Lowes and get one. If you want a really good one, get a Fluke from someplace like Amazon. It also assumes you have a clamp amp meter that will read DC current. There are some nice meters that will do this all in one unit (along with the multimeter stuff). If you go shopping make sure the clamp meter has a low enough scale to be useful. 40A is useful in this case, 400A ... not so much.

Any time you are looking for wiring issues, that includes blown inline fuses. It also includes the usual loose wire nuts or bum connectors.

Lots of fun !!!

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 12:23 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
2009 16' DWR
Concord , California
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 10
Well folks, it looks like I have some homework here. Thanks Gator, Matti, and Uncle Bob.

Uncle Bob - funny you mentioned getting a multimeter with a 40 amp range, I did get one with a 400 amp range. I'll be taking it back. Thanks.
Funster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 12:58 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
WayneG's Avatar
 
1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,082
Not sure what brand of panels you have but I had 2 of 4 brand new 100W Renogy panels that worked out of the box but dropped to 1/2 output after a week.
Turns out both had bad solder joints in the diode box on the back of the panels.
It was a easy fix, but bad QC from Renogy.
WayneG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2017, 08:05 AM   #9
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funster View Post

Uncle Bob - funny you mentioned getting a multimeter with a 40 amp range, I did get one with a 400 amp range. I'll be taking it back. Thanks.
Hi

If you want to go a bit crazy, the Fluke 325 (on Amazon and other places) is a pretty nice all in one / do everything you need meter. I make no claim that you will fix problems quicker with it than with a cheap knock off ....

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2017, 05:41 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
gator.bigfoot's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
KW , Ontario
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 687
Nothing really beats the Fluke. Mine is over 30 years old and still works great. But for the trailer I just bought a cheap one. It stays in the trailer. I have another cheaper one in my suitcase so I don't get caught on the road without one. But for work they all need to be at least cat 3 rated and calibrated every year. So I just use the company's one.
The DC ammeter is the most expensive portion, it is a worthwhile addition to do any troubleshooting. If you can borrow one then you can get away with a much cheaper option. If you can get get your hands on the Fluke 801-110 do so. That is hands down the best probe for getting into tight places.
gator.bigfoot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2017, 07:58 AM   #11
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,898
Hi

If I pulled the gear from the bench in the basement ...it would not all fit in the 30' AS. Don't get me started on the "what would be better" part of this

I have no problem at all with buying something cheap to dedicate to the trailer. The point is that you need it to be there all the time. There's no way to know when a problem will hit you. The "I borrow my neighbor's Fluke because it's best" approach isn't a good answer if it means you don't have a meter of your own.

I often point to the Lowes and Home Depot cheapie meters as an alternative. There are a *lot* of meters out there. Many are not Fluke, but are much better than the <$20 big box store variety. Figuring out what's what (and what is a fake) is far from easy. When I needed something to dedicate to the trailer I just got a Fluke and moved on ....

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
USB Charging Ports not charging WkendWarrior Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 29 09-08-2018 08:12 PM
Trouble shooting why 12 V battery isn't charging. PatandLane Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 6 03-27-2016 06:28 AM
It isn't really pink... kayelm Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 2 12-07-2004 09:06 PM
New trailer isn't level, L-R concerned about my axles Dave Jenkins Axles 17 08-24-2004 02:38 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.