Help, please. Newbie travel trailer owner going boondocking. Need to replace battery and add solar.

Hi, and thanks in advance!

I just bought a used 19 foot travel trailer and am leaving within a week to join a group that boondocks more often than not, 4-5 days at a time.

The trailer's battery is dead.  Can I replace it with a 12V AGM battery and charge it with a solar charger?  I want to stay small on solar for now.  Will learn as I go, but can't find much info on AGM batteries and solar, or at least info that I can understand.  :-)

Here are a couple I THINK might work.  If you could let me know I'm on track - or NOT - I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks!
Kathy

https://www.amazon.com/SUNER-POWER-Battery-Charger-Maintainer/dp/B07DFFVR5M/ref=sr_1_69?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1533942477&sr=1-69&keywords=portable+rv+solar

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q86JJ8/ref=twister_B00UYBAP0K?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,790Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Why are you thinking of an expensive, short lived , AGM battery ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,662Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    You can, use an AGM battery, but they are more expensive and can have issues with over charging/heat mostly contained by a good charge controller.

    Most solar based system start by talking about loads. So what loads will you have? Do you have a propane refrigerator and need some minimal electric for it to run on gas? Lights, have you switched them out for LEDs, I'd guess you'll be running a fan, air conditioners don't really work of solar on campers. Phone charger, that's easy, stereo? TV?

    Even for very minimal things, the 2 linked solar panels wouldn't cut it, They are more maintainers when there is no load connected to the battery.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 5,084Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    We could also benefit from knowing the size of the cabinet that will house your battery/ies.

    Starter set batteries? We generally recommend golf cart batteries , 2- 6 Volt cells to give you 12 , ( or 4 to get 24\volts...) as they are sturdy and less costly to learn about solar power generation. Designed for heavy use (abuse?)... think about the people riding the cart...

     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 2,052Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    kathyk said:

    Hi, and thanks in advance!

    I just bought a used 19 foot travel trailer and am leaving within a week to join a group that boondocks more often than not, 4-5 days at a time.

    The trailer's battery is dead.  Can I replace it with a 12V AGM battery and charge it with a solar charger?  I want to stay small on solar for now.  Will learn as I go, but can't find much info on AGM batteries and solar, or at least info that I can understand.  :-)

    Here are a couple I THINK might work.  If you could let me know I'm on track - or NOT - I'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks!
    Kathy

    https://www.amazon.com/SUNER-POWER-Battery-Charger-Maintainer/dp/B07DFFVR5M/ref=sr_1_69?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1533942477&sr=1-69&keywords=portable+rv+solar

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q86JJ8/ref=twister_B00UYBAP0K?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
    You say the battery is dead, is this a factory installed battery, if so how is /was it charged ?  What loads are there? 
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • bill von novakbill von novak Posts: 743Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    kathyk said:
    Hi, and thanks in advance!

    I just bought a used 19 foot travel trailer and am leaving within a week to join a group that boondocks more often than not, 4-5 days at a time.

    The trailer's battery is dead.  Can I replace it with a 12V AGM battery and charge it with a solar charger?  I want to stay small on solar for now.  Will learn as I go, but can't find much info on AGM batteries and solar, or at least info that I can understand.  :-)

    Here are a couple I THINK might work.  If you could let me know I'm on track - or NOT - I'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks!
    Kathy

    https://www.amazon.com/SUNER-POWER-Battery-Charger-Maintainer/dp/B07DFFVR5M/ref=sr_1_69?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1533942477&sr=1-69&keywords=portable+rv+solar

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q86JJ8/ref=twister_B00UYBAP0K?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
    OK kathyk.  First off, you will need a solar panel - NOT a maintainer - if you want to get any significant energy.  Maintainers just keep a battery from going dead, they don't supply much energy.  In general in an RV/trailer size is going to determine what you can use; if you have a storage bay that will fit solar, that will determine the size of panel(s) you get..  If you want to mount them permanently you will have more freedom and will able to save more $$.

    Second you will likely be better off with a flooded battery.  They are cheaper, more robust and easier to "fix" if you abuse them.  Two Trojan T-105's are about as cheap as you can get (close to $100 ea at Costco) and will give you about a kilowatt-hour of storage. Again size matters here; if there's a space that fits only one size of battery then you might be stuck.  I find that two T105's usually just fit into the battery compartment of most RV's.

    Third you will need a charge controller.  These can be super cheap (PWM controllers) or better (MPPT controllers.)  The MPPT controllers will give you more power from a given set of panels.

    But before you do anything else do a rough plan of how much power/energy you are going to use.  That will be important as you size the system.  You may not know that yet if you haven't lived in the trailer`
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