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Old 06-26-2017, 01:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Alamo, California
Trailer: 2016 19' Escape
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Cover and Solar Panel

We are in the process of purchasing a cover for our 19'. When the solar panel is covered what do we need to do with the dual batteries? In our old Casita we removed the battery and put on a trickle charger to keep it charged. Can you put a trickle charge on the batteries while they are in place on the trailer? We really don't want to remove them if possible.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:57 PM   #2
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If you get them fully charged you can disconnect them and leave them where they are.

You can leave the trailer plugged in and the converter/charger will do the job.

Or you can do what you did in the past.

I do either of the top 2.

On edit: Yes, you can trickle charge them in place, I'd pull one or both of the battery cables.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen and Leon View Post
When the solar panel is covered what do we need to do with the dual batteries?
...
Can you put a trickle charge on the batteries while they are in place on the trailer?
Yes... and the Escape's stock converter/charger will provide this maintenance charge if you have the trailer plugged in, the converter powered on, and the storage switch in the normal use position.

One caution if you use a separate charger: a traditional "trickle" charger does not have the control of a proper modern maintenance charger or "battery maintainer".
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:27 PM   #4
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The solar controllers all have a warning against disconnecting the battery while the solar panels are hooked up and exposed to any radiation. That may have contributed to the failure of our original Samlex controller. Our current Blue Sky controller has the same warning.
Depending on your cover, this may be something to consider.
We have a Calmark cover, that is made with Sunbrella fabric, which is breatheable, and also allows a small amount of light through.
I just now (noon, blue sky/no clouds, 80°) checked and we're getting 0.4 Amps, 12.7 V. , so 5 Watts. We've found over the last year and a half that it is enough to maintain our battery charge, so we don't even turn off the master switch.
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:53 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2016 19' Escape
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Thanks for your reply. We need to take the batteries out because just discovered some corrosion and want to clean them up. Should we put a blanket on the panel to keep light from coming in?or is there a switch or something?
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:25 PM   #6
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In reality you can just cover a corner of the panel, if one cell is blocked it shuts down the whole panel. On the flip side if any light is hitting all the cells you will get some output, as in Don's reply.

I cover the whole thing with a sheet of cardboard or plywood, I'd want it to be completely opaque.
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