Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C

Dolly BeeDolly Bee Solar Expert Posts: 30
Hello

New Here - been reading and trying to learn first.

Several trips this summer, spring and fall will be with No shore power and unit in shade.

Have learned plan to take 1 140 Kyocera solar panel (can ship UPS) to charge controller (M word name) to 2 6v batteries on stand to small inverter to power a crock pot for cooking - won't work.

To just charge the house batteries (2) - solar panel to charge controller to heavy wire connected to house batteries.

Learned the hard way a few years ago shortly after we got the unit - generator can run, but no AC if shore power line is not plugged back into unit.

So - to charge house batteries & maybe watch TV. Solar panel to charge controller to batteries on stand to inverter to power panel box with RV plug so shore line can be plugged into it. Probably need 2 panels in that case.

I do not have a trimetric battery meter. Starting to use Kill-a-watt.
Can't work with MH right now as batteries are dead and I'll have to work on unit first.
The "Richard Cranium" who designed the battery box (under the steps) has the 2 cables battery top level high and directly over the batteries so there is NO way possible to get the batteries out, not enough room to move any way and still get battery out. grrrr
Catch a break in work and weather will move the unit so I can get underneath to try to see what wires I can get moved so I can make at least 1 new cable hole so the batteries can be removed and hopefully saved.
Hubby means well, but this is not one of his strong points.

Thanks for any and all help and advice.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C

    Welcome to the forum.

    Oh boy! Another RV project! That's like the worst in automotive wiring meets the worst in solar electric! :p

    Your 'house' batteries are (we hope) a couple of T105/GC2 types: 6 Volt @ 220 Amp hours wired in series. So you're right that one KD 140 isn't going to do a full charge on them. Three would, if in good sun. Something to consider that some RVers do: mobile panels that can be set in the sun and feed back through a long cable to the RV in the shade. Biggest problems are: long wire run results in high Voltage drop, panels are easily damaged/stolen because they're close to the 'action', problems with tripping over/disconnecting the cable.

    Another thing that's often done is ditching the "converter" in favour of a real off-grid inverter. Preferably one with a built-in transfer switch so that when the gen runs the switch-over is automatic. You'd still need a manual switch for gen/shore conversion and you need to pay attention to the tricky neutral-ground bonding situation that this all presents.

    I hope this isn't information overload in the first response. :D
  • Dolly BeeDolly Bee Solar Expert Posts: 30
    Re: Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C

    Thank You Cariboocoot.

    Yes, I can understand worse auto meets worst solar. I know a little - but not tons. I understand how to wire a house to the electric panel better.

    Sadly the original house batteries are called "Delka Marine Master" CCA @ o F 550 - 23 amps 140 min. (the little I'm learning that sounds small as I think I read on our GC that does have T105's was 220 ?? does that sound right without me going out in the cold wind to check.

    Just to charge the batteries when the unit is in the shade of the summer or shade of the carport in the winter - solar with a long cord to the batteries is something I need. Yes, line voltage drop is something I read about - so I do know enough that I'm going to need some heavy wire.
    Private property at the places I'll need the solar so that helps.

    Ok - so I was doing well until I get to the next paragraph. grin.

    The ditching the "converter" in favor of an off grid inverter with a built in transfer switch is something I have read and does sound like a good thing.
    Then the "how to" rears its' ugly head. ;-(

    PS Unrelated - reading somewhere on another post - oh, - "show me yours and I'll show you mine" someone had noticed a fly swatter between 2 big panel boxes. Your comment - "to help get the bugs out" Cracked me up. ha ha ha

    Thanks
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C

    Probably Deka Marine Master batteries. Notice the ratings given: CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) 550 and "140 min" reserve capacity rating. These are labels seen on automotive and Marine/RV batteries; not true deep cycles. Yes, they'll work. But it's not what would be picked for a full off-grid RE system because they don't last long used that way.

    Unfortunately working in RV's isn't easy; too often stuff gets crammed into tight spaces and you can't put things where convenient. Like the batteries you have jammed under the steps. Heaven only knows where/how the wires have been run. Mix up AC with DC and try to tie them together ... ugh. It's just hard to do this stuff when you haven't got lots of clear space to work in.

    We try to keep a sense of humour around here. Otherwise we might all go mad. Er.
  • Dolly BeeDolly Bee Solar Expert Posts: 30
    Re: Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C
    Probably Deka Marine Master batteries. Notice the ratings given: CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) 550 and "140 min" reserve capacity rating. These are labels seen on automotive and Marine/RV batteries; not true deep cycles. Yes, they'll work. But it's not what would be picked for a full off-grid RE system because they don't last long used that way.

    Unfortunately working in RV's isn't easy; too often stuff gets crammed into tight spaces and you can't put things where convenient. Like the batteries you have jammed under the steps. Heaven only knows where/how the wires have been run. Mix up AC with DC and try to tie them together ... ugh. It's just hard to do this stuff when you haven't got lots of clear space to work in.

    We try to keep a sense of humour around here. Otherwise we might all go mad. Er.


    Not sure what happened or how I ended up here - no need for quote IMHO - anyway

    Yes, RV Manufacturers - what do you expect except to put in a cheaper battery. As I figured. The trojan T105's in the GC are a better choice and I'm hoping that I can get them to fit in that space. (didn't measure that part yet - but think maybe deep enough)

    Oh, Yes - RV manufacturers build "PITAs".!!! AND - the smaller the unit the worse.!!! Have already had to work on finding some wiring. I'm not a big person - but a midget would have trouble. Cram it all in and then put things on top and say - hope they get a different unit before this one needs working on. ha ha To get to the water pump - put bedroom slide out - slide off mattress and lean against wall and hope it stays up there while you unscrew the plywood under the mattress to get to some wires and the water pump is there. One thing about not being close to the RV place and having a service man willing to work with me over the phone - learned a few things a few years ago. All the wires in the charger/converter 3 stage panel are under the bed. Changing that out will be a grin. NOT.
    Yes - who knows where all the wires are located. Lots of things (so technical) in compartment next to batteries where wires come an go.
    Yes extremely hard to work on without any space and not auto lift like at oil change places. Don't like working on my back so close underneath a unit. BUT - you do what you gotta do sometimes. Like your place - beautiful now - fixing those supports underneath. ugh.

    Yes, I do joke - but I'm serious. Keeps me from going mad. ha ha
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C

    Don't forget to get some 2x8's and make a ''drive-up-lift", just set back each layer 2 inches or so to simulate the ramp, have made them 5 layers high. ?Screw each layer to the previous layer, after first 2 layers, use 3" to go right through 2 layers to the 3 rd layer. They must be sunk below the surface. Use an Impact driver or pre drill the first layer. Work Safe!

    hth
     
    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,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Dolly BeeDolly Bee Solar Expert Posts: 30
    Re: Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C
    westbranch wrote: »
    Don't forget to get some 2x8's and make a ''drive-up-lift", just set back each layer 2 inches or so to simulate the ramp, have made them 5 layers high. ?Screw each layer to the previous layer, after first 2 layers, use 3" to go right through 2 layers to the 3 rd layer. They must be sunk below the surface. Use an Impact driver or pre drill the first layer. Work Safe!

    hth

    Great Tip - thanks.
  • westendwestend Solar Expert Posts: 46
    Re: Charge Batteries when RV in Shade Plan B & C

    Lots of good info at Jack Meyer's site:[URL="http://www.jackdanmayer.com/rv_electrical_and_solar.htm#The Golden Rules"]http://www.jackdanmayer.com/rv_electrical_and_solar.htm#The Golden Rules[/URL]
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