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Old 11-20-2023, 03:48 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect for dummies... ? Questions.

I found the switch in the passenger side front bench. Not sure how it works! I guess the small end points to on? So I turn it to 12 and 6 o'clock to turn off? (I haven't touched it so I'm assuming it is in the on position.)

When it is off, will that make the wires that go to the batteries no longer live? (They are currently disconnected and the trailer is without any electricity but I want to plug it in and don't want live wires hanging in the battery box.) I can't connect the batteries until the connector for the left one is replaced (and may be replacing the batteries.

But I just now read that I shouldn't let the solar panel be uncovered if the battery is not connected. I can put the trailer in the garage until the battery connector is repaired. How long would it have to be charging for it to be a problem? (It's already been at least 10 days and likely to be another week. It gets a little light there but not much.
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Old 11-20-2023, 04:29 PM   #2
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I found the switch in the passenger side front bench. Not sure how it works! I guess the small end points to on? So I turn it to 12 and 6 o'clock to turn off? (I haven't touched it so I'm assuming it is in the on position.)

When it is off, will that make the wires that go to the batteries no longer live? (They are currently disconnected and the trailer is without any electricity but I want to plug it in and don't want live wires hanging in the battery box.) I can't connect the batteries until the connector for the left one is replaced (and may be replacing the batteries.
If you turn the switch key switch 90 degrees counterclockwise to OFF you will have stopped the ability of the onboard WFCO converter/charger or tow vehicle from charging the battery. Solar is typically wired on the battery side of the isolation switch so it will need to be isolated separately. You can just cover the solar panel to protect your solar controller from damage which can happen if solar panels are producing voltage with no battery connected.
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Old 11-20-2023, 04:34 PM   #3
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If you turn the switch key switch 90 degrees counterclockwise to OFF you will have stopped the ability of the onboard WFCO converter/charger or tow vehicle from charging the battery. Solar is typically wired on the battery side of the isolation switch so it will need to be isolated separately. You can just cover the solar panel to protect your solar controller from damage which can happen if solar panels are producing amps with no battery connected.
I can't just simply cover it (it gets too windy) so I guess that means put it in the garage. From what I've read it is the heat that causes problems? (Light goes to heat energy if it has nowhere else to go.) Is that a problem when it isn't warm? How long does it take for damage to occur? (I don't know when the battery stopped charging but it could have been a couple of weeks ago.)
It will get a little light in the garage but this time of year very little.
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Old 11-20-2023, 06:11 PM   #4
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I can't just simply cover it (it gets too windy) so I guess that means put it in the garage. From what I've read it is the heat that causes problems? (Light goes to heat energy if it has nowhere else to go.) Is that a problem when it isn't warm? How long does it take for damage to occur? (I don't know when the battery stopped charging but it could have been a couple of weeks ago.)
It will get a little light in the garage but this time of year very little.
A piece of plywood and a rock would work nicely. It is not necessary to cover every square inch as the shaded cells will block most power from leaving the solar panel.


But just to clear up some confusion. A solar panel is not going to be injured by leaving it in sunlight while disconnected. It won't get any warmer than normal and by definition it does not produce "power" while disconnected. (It does produce Voltage but zero Amps.)


But what might be damaged by not being hooked to batteries is the solar controller. The internet consensus seems to be that the solar input should be removed from the controller when there is no battery hooked up. Perhaps true? I left mine connected to solar but disconnected from batteries last winter with no ill effects. Yes, eventually I will put a switch on the solar side. It doesn't have to be terribly big since we are talking about perhaps 10 Amps at 20 Volts maximum. Auto-parts quality would work (but lots of nicer brand name switches that look good are out there.) Regardless, the plywood-rock cover will work just as well. And as you noted, your batteries became unintentionally disconnected perhaps a few weeks ago.
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Old 11-20-2023, 06:20 PM   #5
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Plywood and rocks could do a lot of damage blowing off the trailer. I put it in the garage. ON the first try, which is a first, I think! They don't get enough light in there to charge the battery so it should be okay.
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Old 11-21-2023, 08:22 AM   #6
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Plywood and rocks could do a lot of damage blowing off the trailer. I put it in the garage. ON the first try, which is a first, I think! They don't get enough light in there to charge the battery so it should be okay.
Cardboard and some clamps could also work. Anything that works for you to block the light. If you think it needs it, some taped-on brown paper while in the garage.
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Old 11-21-2023, 02:51 PM   #7
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Plywood and rocks could do a lot of damage blowing off the trailer.
...
You must get more wind than I imagined. Personally, I would get out of town if that much wind blew thru.
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Old 11-21-2023, 03:10 PM   #8
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This was my 15A. It started out straight before the wind hit. (After that I blocked it better!)

After that I borrowed a friend's carport for the winter months until I got my garage door raised so it would fit inside.
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