Solar when trailer not in use - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-24-2014, 02:41 PM   #1
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Solar when trailer not in use

I'm new to having solar and was wondering how to leave the power systems when the trailer will be sitting for weeks unused. We seldom camp over the dead of summer so sitting for 4-6 weeks is not uncommon.

In my old trailer, without solar, I'd top off the water and charge the batteries fully when I got home via a standalone charger, then disconnect them via a disconnect switch. Sometimes I'd leave the house AC hooked up to it, sometimes not. Figured this way the batteries would not slowly deplete from the vampire loads.

Now with solar I'm at a bit of a loss as to what is best. Charge fully, check the water, and disconnect via the switch which also kills the solar charger. Hookup the house AC if needed.

Leave everything on, let the solar charger maintain the batteries and just check the water level. No need for House AC.

What do you do?
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:21 PM   #2
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I am sure you will get of host of opinions. Here is my take. If storing for less than three weeks, I would simply use the master switch to turn everything off. If storing over the winter I would periodically allow the solar to charge the battery for 24-48. Once or twice during the off season is adequate.

That said, if you store your trailer indoors, like I do, it doesn't matter. I cannot charge it. In my mind having it indoors far outweighs the need to charge the battery over the winter.

There are two key elements, only store with your batteries full and always turn off the master switch. With those two conditions met I believe you can store anytime.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:51 PM   #3
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I'm of the opinion that solar is easier on the batteries than your converter and you need to exercise your batteries every now and then. I'll unplug and just let solar do it's job for weeks on end, no problems.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:18 PM   #4
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On my 19' the ETI-installed master power switch does NOT affect the solar. I store the trailer with the master power switch off and the solar panels charging the batteries.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:20 PM   #5
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Correct, the master switch turns everything inside off from the battery, but the solar is wired direct to the battery and is not affected by the master switch.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
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Understood, you can't turn off the charging without pulling a cable or wire.

My post ETI solar has a cutoff between the controller and the batteries, as well as the load from the batteries.

I just called Interstate, after explaining my question the tech tells me I'm better off leaving the Solar Converter float charge going to the batteries. Something about leaving some battery activity occurring is preferable to none. This was in reference to the 6v'ers, didn't ask if there is a difference for the 12.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:34 PM   #7
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I only use the AC power to charge the batteries in the winter, when the sun doesn't peep over my garage enough to make solar effective. I check the batteries with a hydrometer periodically.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:58 PM   #8
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Due to our climate I take our batteries out for the winter, during the rest of the year I just leave everything on and let the solar keep it chargered , really the only time it's plugged in is if we are staying in a campground with electric hook ups , batteries are always nice and topped up and ready to go
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:07 AM   #9
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I looked through the converter and solar changer manuals. Ours is a 2011 Escape 19 with a 2014 solar installation.

Both the converter and solar use a multi-stage charging scheme. After the batteries are pretty much charged, over 95%?, both go to a very low maintenance change. I don't think leaving it plugged into shore power or letting the solar go 24/7 will harm the battery. Ours is stored indoors and I leave it connected to shore power when not in use.

I'm certifiably no expert. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:45 AM   #10
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I've left the solar system connected to the trailer all winter, and have not had a problem with the batteries. I do check them every couple of months (more while traveling) and have not needed to add water over the winter.
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