Adding Solar to Travel Trailer - Controller questions/issues

Mustang65Mustang65 Solar Expert Posts: 42 ✭✭
Need a little assistance.
I am adding Solar to my New Travel Trailer (TT). The Solar Panel is a 250Watt, 30Volt and the Charge Controller is a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 Charge Controller. Not a big project, but I would like to get your thoughts and suggestions. The TT came with a PD4000 charge controller.

I currently travel with the Inverter on and supplying 120VAC to the TT for the fridge and the WI-FI (rear view camera). I have the TT wired so that I just plug the Shore Power cord into a 30Amp outlet, that is wired to the inverter. This way I never have to worry about accidently plugging into shore power while the inverter is running. While traveling I currently turn off the PD4000 and let the truck charge the batteries.

Here is my Question:
Is there a problem if I accidently leave the PD4000 on and connected to the batteries while the TS-MPPT-60 Charge Controller is also connected and charging the batteries? I plan on turning off the PD4000 while the using the Solar power. I will automate this process in the future. Not sure as to what will happen if I forget. I don’t want to toast either of the units. Initially, I will use the PD4000 to charge the batteries while connected to shore power, and of course the solar panels while boon-docking.

Current Setup (Travel Trailer)
2 - Interstate Marine Deep Cycle Batteries – 280 Minutes @ 25Amps)
1 - PD4000 Series Power Control Center (I wired it to its own AC Breaker so when I am running the inverter off of the batteries only, I can turn off the PD4000.
1 – Ramsond - SunRay 1500 Inverter

2 – Trojan J250P (6 Volt Deep Cycle Batteries – 540 Minutes @ 25Amps)
1 – 250Watt Solar Panel, 30.7Volt (Will be adding another panel in the near future)
1 –Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 Charge Controller

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions,


PD4000 Series Power Control Center - INFORMATION
The PD4000 series incorporates a microprocessor to provide a three-stage charge profile to ensure rapid, yet safe recharging of 12 volt batteries. These three separate stages BOOST, NORMAL, and STORAGE modes ensure that the battery is automatically recharged and maintained with minimum maintenance (i.e. reduced need to add water).
BOOST MODE: If the converter senses that the battery voltage has dropped below a preset level the output voltage is increased to approximately 14.4 volts DC to rapidly recharge the battery.
NORMAL MODE: Output voltage set at approximately 13.6 volts DC.
STORAGE MODE: When the converter senses that there has been no significant battery usage for 30 hours the output voltage is reduced to 13.2 volts DC for minimal water usage. When in storage mode the microprocessor automatically increases the output voltage to 14.4 volts DC for 15 minutes every 21 hours to help reduce sulfation of the battery plates.


  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Adding Solar to Travel Trailer - Controller questions/issues

    Welcome to the forum.

    There is no problem with the battery receiving charging from multiple sources at the same time. They each look at Voltage levels and adjust their output accordingly.

    Your MS 60 Amp controller is a bit of overkill, even after you put the second panel on. From 500 Watts on an MPPT controller you'll probably see about 32 Amps peak.

    What's nice is that the batteries you quite are 250 Amp hours (the rating method we use for solar) and only need about 25 Amps peak current. Two panels will be more than adequate for that.

    Unfortunately there aren't any good 30 Amp MPPT controllers available just now. Rogue has a May release date on its newest model, and MidNite is rumoured to have one in the offing. These would be a better fit for your system, but it isn't critical. If you haven't already bought the Tristar 60 you might want to wait a bit, or perhaps go for the 45 instead (about $100 less).
  • ShadowcatcherShadowcatcher Solar Expert Posts: 228 ✭✭✭
    Re: Adding Solar to Travel Trailer - Controller questions/issues

    I can say from first hand experience that there is no conflict between a Morningstar controller and a Progressive Dynamics converter. We have a large teardrop trailer with a 185 W high voltage panel tied into a Morning star MPPT. I also have a 145W Unisolar flexible panel putting out 33V that can unrolled in the sun and is hooked into a Steca 30A PMW which will btw handle up to 37V.
    One need not addressed is the inclusion of a battery monitor and while I used a Victron many chose a Trimetric.
  • Mustang65Mustang65 Solar Expert Posts: 42 ✭✭
    Re: Adding Solar to Travel Trailer - Controller questions/issues

    Thanks for the info...
    I know that the TS-MPPT-60 is over kill, but I liked the data that can be retrieved via the internet (PC/Tablet) from anywhere and as mentioned not much of a selection for smaller systems. I just wired in the Charge Controller today and the panel goes on the roof tomorrow. I know the Amp HR rating is used for solar, but it is easier (in my head) just to look at the minutes @ 25Amps for my purpose. Just have to wait a month or 2 before ordering 250Watt panel number 2... Already prewired for it
  • Joselito888Joselito888 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Something os wrong from few days ago. My sunray controller is showing this red light on the Issue indicator and everything looks fine. I check the in from the panels and it is very strong, and the battery has water enough. I don't understand what's happening.
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,377 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2018 #6
    Better to start your own thread than pull up a 5 year old one. 
    Can't diagnose your problem from the limited info and photo but it looks like your battery is over discharged. What the 0.3v and 103 represent it's hard to tell.
    Do you have the manual. Your issues are probably explained in there.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,020 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The information that would be helpful would be, array size and configuration, the panel specs from the label on the back, battery nominal voltage, battery capacity, loads, inverter (if used) including low battery cut out voltage, actual voltage readings with a meter taken at the input, output and battery. As much information as can be provided and yes a new thread will focus on your particular problem, click on New Discussion to create a thread.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
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