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Old 01-17-2017, 02:32 PM   #1
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Connecting solar AUX charger to van batteries

When I put my solar in, I never hooked up the trickle charger feature to the van batteries on my 6.0.

I'm trying to figure out where to connect the trickle charger wires from the solar controller to the batteries.

Do I need to connect directly to the posts on the batteries, or can I connect to the + and - connections on the frame rail? You know, where the jump start lug is, with the - connection on the frame right above the + lug. That would be a lot easier than dropping the batteries.

Also, the controller instructions say to use 14 gauge wire. Would there be any advantage to upgrading to 12 gauge wire? The wire run would be about 10 feet in length.
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
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Mine goes to the house battery side of the separator.
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:44 PM   #3
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The house side? I don't understand...wouldn't that trickle charge the house batteries?
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:17 PM   #4
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Well I don't know what kind of solar controller you have. My controller only has a single regulated output.
It really doesn't matter which side you choose. As soon as the separator sees a charge voltage, the separator will close and you'll be charging both systems. Solar in general should be connected to the house side as a priority because the evening draw opens the separator and most of your loads are powered by the house. You want to charge the house system first when out camping.

If you manually open the separator and it's wired to the starting side, then you can keep the charging to the starting side only if that is your goal. Is there a reason why you don't want to maintain both systems?
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:25 PM   #5
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I have a Blue Sky 3000i controller, and a Sure Power 1315-200 separator. The solar takes care of the house batteries just fine. I have the 1315-200 ground wire disconnected (via a manual switch) to prevent the house batteries from taking a hit when the engine starts.

I didn't hook up the trickle charge wires from the Blue Sky because it wasn't needed at the time since I drove the van regularly. Now that the van is sitting more, I want to hook up the trickle charge function to the van batteries.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:27 PM   #6
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So switch the ground so the Surepower it is connected when parked and you will charge and maintain both batteries. You do enable the switch after you start the engine? correct?

On the otherside your controller does have a 2 amp aux battery charge output, I would probably hook it to starter side of the surepower, if you insist on using it.

-greg
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb View Post

It really doesn't matter which side you choose. As soon as the separator sees a charge voltage, the separator will close and you'll be charging both systems.
...if the separator is bi-directional (which the OP's 1315-200 is...)
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:08 PM   #8
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So switch the ground so the Surepower it is connected when parked and you will charge and maintain both batteries. You do enable the switch after you start the engine? correct?

On the otherside your controller does have a 2 amp aux battery charge output, I would probably hook it to starter side of the surepower, if you insist on using it.

-greg
Correct, I can throw the switch and reconnect the ground so the solar will charge both house and van batteries. Since I'm a forgetful simpleton, the problem is that I won't remember to switch it off when I need to drive the van every time. That's the part I want to fix by hooking the trickle charger to the van batteries.

And no, I do not reconnect the ground after the van is running. The alternator is charging the van batteries at that point, while the solar takes care of the house batteries.

So I gather from your second statement that I can just run the + connection for the trickle charger to the van terminal on the 1315, and not have to run wire all the way to the van batteries? But where do I run the - connection? Can I just hook it a solid ground to the body or frame? The wiring diagram in the Blue Sky manual indicates that the wires are directly connected to the battery posts.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:57 AM   #9
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When do you use the SUrepower 1315?

I expect that your controller already has a connection from ground to your house bat (that should be connected to Van frame ground also, as should your starting battery. So I would think the ground wire is already done.

-greg
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:01 AM   #10
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Thanks, Scalf, that helps a lot!
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