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Old 01-22-2008, 06:29 PM   #1
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Solar battery charger

Does anyone use a solar charger for the van (not house) battery? Our Sportsmobile can set for a month or more and sometimes the battery is dead when we want to go. I understand that it is better to keep the battery charged. Any recommendations on this would be appreciated.

Dave
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:29 PM   #2
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We use the solar charger for the house batteries, and when they are charged to ~13.2V, the battery isolator connects to the starting batteries and charges them also.

Mike
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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I use small trickle charger...

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=44768
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
We use the solar charger for the house batteries, and when they are charged to ~13.2V, the battery isolator connects to the starting batteries and charges them also.

Mike
Is that a function of the isolator or the blue sky panel? When plugged into shore power I get 0 charge on my starter batteries and SMB Texas said that's normal for an isolator.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:57 AM   #5
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Maybe Texas is using a different isolator now. Maybe all SMB factories use a different isolator now.

My van was built in Indiana in 2004 and has a SurePower isolator.

http://www.surepower.com/separator.html

If you open the printable brochure, you will see this product will charge the starting batteries from the solar (or shore) power after the house batteries are charged to 13.2V. Obviously, it charges the house batteries from the van electrical system, but only after the starting batteries are charged up to 13.2V.

And mine works exactly that way.

Mike
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:53 AM   #6
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Thread Jack!

So I have an '05 Diesel built in Fresno and both starter batteries are under the side door. Where would my isolator be?
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:24 AM   #7
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Mines under one of our dinette seats, the same place the charger and a power/fuse block are.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:40 AM   #8
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Thanks.... lots of good information here.

Dave
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:49 PM   #9
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My isolator is under the hood, behind the air cleaner.

You might have to ask SMB where they located yours.

Mike
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:51 AM   #10
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I bought a small 5 watt panel from Pep Boys for about $60 that keeps the battery on my Rover from dying. Comes with clips for the battery and has reverse protection diode so it won't work in reverse when there is no sun.

Most any decent auto parts store should have something similar.

VW has been shippng their cars (at least the new Bug thing) with small solar panels to keep the batteries from dying while sitting at the dock. My friends Bug came with it. People have been selling them on E-Bay for pretty cheap ~$20 I heard. She had it hooked up to her Toyota 4X4 that wasn't being used much and had no problem starting it whenever she wanted to take it out.


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