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Old 10-18-2018, 10:25 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.4
State: Iowa
Posts: 490
Solar Trickle Charger

I would like some advice as to using a solar trickle charger for my motorhome. I have 4 - 6 volt batteries.

1 - particular brands and/or size of charger
2 - how to connect to the batteries connected in series/parallel
3 - would it be better to simple put the charger on the engine battery instead

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:31 PM   #2
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Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: North Carolina
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are you concerned about your HOUSE batteries, or your CHASSIS batteries?

I suppose you are talking about 'while in storage'?

a simple 100w solar panel, wired to a solar controller, and wired directly to your NEG and POS terminals of your HOUSE battery bank might suffice if the panel is in the direct sun most of the day, and you don't have anything of size turned on in the coach

a charger for your Chassis batteries is probably unwarranted

A solar panel does not require any 'charger' since it is providing the charge itself, thru it's 'controller' which simply manages the incoming power, and the outgoing amps to the batteries
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. Yes, I am interested for winter storage. I have seen simple solar battery minders for under 30 bucks. Just wondered if they are any good...would they be enough for my coach batteries or jus a waste of 30 bucks.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:48 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: North Carolina
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for a large RV with 4 6v house batteries at 12v output, I would consider any 'trickle charger' to be something to avoid - more for a single battery car, maybe...it's unlikely it would give you the outcome you are looking for, at least for that size battery bank.

with such a small panel, it's likely you would be relying on something that will severely disappoint you, especially the first time you find dead batteries. The thing with solar is that it itself it severely limited by the amount of 'sun hours' during the day, ESPECIALLY during winter, the shortest days of the year.

Your best bet is to try to COMPLETELY disconnect all draws on the batteries....and not just the 'salesmans' switch near the door, but a true disconnect of the battery main wires themselves, either thru an installed disconnect 'switch' near the batteries, or removing the POS and NEG leads themselves, which is probably just as easy.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:01 AM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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State: Iowa
Posts: 490
Thanks. That is what I was thinking as well. I've always used the use/store switch and start the generator monthly. I run it for about an house under load created by 2 space heaters. I've never had a problem with the batteries by doing this so I guess I'll continue with this practice. Again, thanks for your input.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:21 AM   #6
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State: Indiana
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What about a small panel sitting on the dash with west view, parked outside, cold weather climate on chassis battery. Would that help keep a charge on chassis battery?
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