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Old 09-12-2014, 11:07 PM   #21
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That should work just fine. But as has been the topic several times, not all cigarette lighter sockets are exactly the same fit. Some are a struggle to push in etc. Hopefully yours are compatible.

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Old 09-12-2014, 11:50 PM   #22
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Also, "lighter" sockets make poor contact. It's only a few amps, but I would avoid putting that bad a connector in the circuit.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:45 AM   #23
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Also, "lighter" sockets make poor contact. It's only a few amps, but I would avoid putting that bad a connector in the circuit.
Well, that issue is moot. They didn't include that accessory with my new panel, nor did they include the bare wire connector.
I've got both panels connected to their own controller and to the battery with alligator clips. Nothing but blue sky here.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:41 PM   #24
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Voltmeter was reading 12.30 this morning after using the furnace all evening and night. At 1:30pm with two panels in full sun, voltmeter is reading 13.46.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:28 PM   #25
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Glenn, I think that those controllers that come with the Coleman might be simple on/off units - they look like they are maybe the same as this one except with a Coleman label: Sunforce 7 amp controller

If that is the case then, as far as I can tell, there should be no problem with each panels on separate controllers. Those controllers will just shut off the current flow to the battery when voltage reads 14.2 volts on the battery side to prevent overcharging.

In the future, if you find you use the solar a lot and want something to charge and maintain the battery more like the built in system in the trailer (with the 3 charging cycles), there are lots of them to choose from for not a lot of cash (or lots of cash if you want the really sophisticated ones.)
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:37 PM   #26
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If that is the case then, as far as I can tell, there should be no problem with each panels on separate controllers. Those controllers will just shut off the current flow to the battery when voltage reads 14.2 volts on the battery side to prevent overcharging.
Paralleling the chargers with multiple panels is what Coleman recommends with these units.
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:17 PM   #27
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Yesterday after the sun went down, I was getting 12.64. In the morning I had 12.27. Furnace did run from 7pm to 9am.
Obviously, I wouldn't be able to do more than one day without charging this battery. Perhaps this 3 year old battery is toast?
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:05 PM   #28
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Well I wouldn't give up on it just yet. Those numbers aren't a total disaster.

One thing you might want to look at to tweak the results is orientation of the panels to the sun. Don't know if you've just been leaving them in one place or shifting them a couple of times of day to maximize the output.

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Old 09-14-2014, 06:38 PM   #29
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Befrore you replace the battery have it fully charged and tested by a business that specializes in batteries, ideally where you bought it. With a known good battery you can establish a base line for testing other charging and discharging components.
Diagnosis begins with a fully charged good battery. Other strategies are guessing. Weiji board diagnostics !
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:46 PM   #30
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This is not fun.
After being on solar panels all day with good sun exposure, I unplugged the panels and volt meter read 12.34. It's 8:45pm now and I've turned off the furnace which ran occasionally in the past hour. I'm down to 12.02.
Tomorrow I'll fire up the genset. Meantime, furnace is off and have one LED light running.
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