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Old 11-23-2020, 12:10 PM   #1
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some town , PA
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Pull Batteries w/Solar?

My previous Airstream did not have any solar installed so I would pull the batteries as part of my winterization process. This past summer, we bought a new 2020 Airstream with factory 180w solar and AGM batteries.

Do I need to pull these batteries or would the solar keep them topped off protected from winter damage? The Airstream will be stored a few hours from my house so it's possible snow could cover the solar for a few days before I was able to go clear the Airstream after a big storm.

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:06 PM   #2
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Trent Woods , North Carolina
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No one has responded so I will. Solar will keep you topped off just fine. A few days should not be a problem, if snow covered. Probably your only parasitic drain is the propane detector and you should be OK. You could consider putting a switch in the power feed to the propane detector.

Larry
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:05 PM   #3
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I’m with Larry on this; leave them in and let the solar top them off.

You can periodically check the battery voltage on the panel in the trailer or use an external VOM. This summer I installed a Victron battery monitor and plan to monitor the batteries via the Bluetooth app.

Last year I pulled them, put ‘em on the workbench and connected to my PulseTech maintenance charger to de-sulfate the batteries. I figured out how to connect the charger while leaving them in the battery box if they need a boost.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:59 PM   #4
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That is different if the AS is in Alaska. snow will always cover solar... in PA? Not always in PA, right?
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:28 PM   #5
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To add to Larry's sound advice, If you put the trailer in "Store" mode and the Solar controller is connected to the battery bus as it should be, you'll have about 0.1 amps parasitic draw if you don't have any shorts and no dirty connection causing cross draws. You can get rid of 0.03 of that by removing the inverter fuse. Okay so let's assume it has been overcast a few days and the batteries are also a bit sufacated so they are down to 75%. Let's say draw is twice expected. It snows and you can't get out there for 5 days. Even then you have 40 amp hours of good capacity and that will get you 200 hours or 8 1/3 day.

So, I'd say Larry is spot on.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:52 PM   #6
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some town , PA
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Thanks for the replies everyone! As I'm sitting here in Boyd's Key West campground I really don't want to think about winterizing upon our return to PA next week but I know it's got to be done. I really appreciate the help!
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philly_air View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone! As I'm sitting here in Boyd's Key West campground I really don't want to think about winterizing upon our return to PA next week but I know it's got to be done. I really appreciate the help!
Please note that at least on the 2020 Bambi when you turn off the battery connect switch the propane detector no longer runs because AS are no longer wiring the propane detector straight to the battery, but rather via the battery connect switch. I went through all this couple months back with Atwood and AS. At first the AS CS said it was still connected with battery switch turned off but when I pressed them and said that Atwood said if the green light is not working then it is not connected. My green light goes off when I turn the battery connect switch to off. Then AS CS guy went to their engineers and the engineer confirmed that they no longer wire directly to battery. And the CS guy then conceded he was not up to date.
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:10 PM   #8
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I'd pull them out of there and take them home, put them in the garage, check them occasionally and charge when needed.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:32 PM   #9
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I recently sold my 2015 Sport 22 with 150 of solar and two Interstate lead acid batteries. The trailer was stored in Evergreen, Colorado, so plenty of snow. I left the batteries in the trailer, and the solar kept them in good shape with no problems.
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