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Old 01-17-2017, 11:35 AM   #1
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Trickle charger recommendations

I've got AGMs, starting and house. I need a SOLAR trickle charger (probably two, since I doubt one can do both starter and house.

Ideally it would be weatherproof (I was almost gonna buy one on Amazon and found to my astonishment that some aren't weatherproof...what, for inside use? ). And of course not drain the batteries at night (some didn't have that protection either, wha??).

And maybe hook right to cig lighter receptacles. I have a MFT controller with a plugable outside connection for the house batteries, so I guess I could attach a panel. But I'm not sure that it would pass on the power unless it gets up over 19v and maybe a certain amperage, and most of the small panels are below that. This is just trickle charging to offset the inevitable self discharge of otherwise pretty full batteries.

Practically speaking, I dunno how much of a smart charge you can get out of a 5 or 10W charger. Still, it seems many either claim to feature three stage charger or don't mention anything, and I'm hesitant to use something that just sends say 10W at the battery whenever it gets sun. Might work fine, but not optimal.

Also, some don't seem to have any way to secure them (this is for longish storage of the SMB), even just to the roof let alone with a lock. Again, what???

So any suggestions appreciated.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:52 PM   #2
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I bought a 2-4-8 amp battery Minder that has worked well for me. One of the things I don't like about it is if the plug is pulled or the power goes out. The charger has to be reset. Maybe a safety feature? I have wanted to try out NOCO.
https://www.batterystuff.com/battery.../genmini1.html
Looks nice as a maintenance charger for the price and if power is interrupted, it seems like it will resume charging
I also have a CTEK used for lithium batteries only. The funny thing I have read lately are California/Oregon compliant. OK.
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:25 PM   #3
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Oops...forgot to mention it needs to be solar in title.
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Old 01-19-2017, 03:56 PM   #4
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Oh, I missed that sorry. Yeah most of those cheapo plug in the lighter type are junk. Most of the fold out type panels are kind of expensive.
You don't have any solar at all on board?
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Old 01-19-2017, 04:26 PM   #5
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I had something like a 5W or 10W panel that I had secured to the top of the canopy I used to store my teardrop under. Did a fair job keeping the 100Ah battery charged, but just barely. Being such a low power panel, I did not use a solar charge controller.


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Old 01-19-2017, 11:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
I had something like a 5W or 10W panel that I had secured to the top of the canopy I used to store my teardrop under. Did a fair job keeping the 100Ah battery charged, but just barely. Being such a low power panel, I did not use a solar charge controller.


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You really need to spec out a maintenance solar charge to how many AH of battery you plan to supply. Too small and the batteries begin to lose reserves. Too overcast and the same thing happens. Even topped out, my 2-210AH batteries and my 2- AGM starting batteries will taper off to about 1-2 amps with no load being used. That's all 4 batteries tied together through the ACR. Each system will probably be different from build to build but I think you can also get good results just having a standard 100 watt solar system with a good programmable 3 stage controller. You should reach a full charge and keep it at a low amp float level. There is nothing wrong with a maintenance charge, just make sure it can keep up with the batteries internal resistance.
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Old 01-20-2017, 09:18 AM   #7
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I have a 100w panel, but can't use that in storage. It will walk away. And I don't need that much. To offset self discharge on my house or van battery I need perhaps 10-20W. I found a pretty inexpensive 20W I could use with my existing controller (I seem to recall when I last looked many of the smaller panels didn't get high enough voltage to use with a regualr controller; in any case, this does the same as its big bros).

Given the price, I'll probably just get another 20w or even 10w for the van battery.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:50 AM   #8
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I was a bit confused when you posted "I'm hesitant to use something that just sends say 10W at the battery whenever it gets sun. Might work fine, but not optimal". I figured you were after something that allowed 24/7 charging which means AC power. I agree you really don't need much and as long as the batteries don't cycle, so one of those put in the window units might work out for you. When people say they plan to put their vehicle in storage I always figure it's stored inside where solar won't work.

If the van sees some sun most of the time, go power makes a solar trickle charger but might be kind of expensive. As long as there are no parasitic draws, your AGM would probably only need to be hit with a charge every month or so.

Trickle Chargers | Go Power!
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