Originally Posted by Eric27
Iím looking for some advice for a portable solar charger to maintain the chassis battery over the winter.
I have a 100 watt suitcase portable solar panel which I used all this winter to keep my batteries charged. However, I did not trust the cheapie solar controller that came with the panels to be smart enough to not damage the batteries while connected for weeks and months. I feared that all the cheapie would do is pump amps and mess up the batteries.
So I installed a ďrealĒ charger. I put in a Bogart SC-2030, chosen because I already had a Trimetric battery monitor that integrates with the SC-2030. The SC-2030/Trimetric combination allows me to monitor a lot of battery and solar data.
The batteries survived the winter with absolutely no problems (a pair of Interstate 6 volt deep cycle batteries). I checked the water level about once a month and only had to top them off once - even then it was a minimal amount of water.
I completed my permanent install of 200 watts of roof mounted panels this week, so the portable is now relegated to supplementary duty if needed while we are boondocking. I connected the new panels to the SC-2030 and kept my pig tail for the portable so all I have to do is plug it in when I needed (SAE plug connectors on the portable wiring.)