45w charging a camper battery

Ok guys bear with me. I haven't been here in a long time and since I forgot my previous password/username I generated a new account. Niel may remember me as I was the one who sent him some CFLs awhile back.;)

Anywho I recently purchased a fifth wheel rv and would like to use some relatively small solar panels I have to keep the rv's deep cycle marine battery charged up to tip top shape. I have (3) 15w panels and a small Morning Star sun guard controller keeping a small battery bank charged. It was an experiment and I loved it. Now I want to use the panels and controller I have to keep the rv's battery in top shape, especially during winter storage. I haven't broken into the battery compartment yet to see the amp hour rating of the battery but assume 45w of panels should do the trick. I'm not looking to charge the battery from direct use of the rv mind you, simply as a trickle charger while NOT in use. I figure while I have the panels why not use them?

My ? goes out to those who have done the same thing and have any suggestions. I know the panels will be mounted permanently on the roof and I will silicon every roof penetration. Is it as simple as it sounds? Simply mount the panels and run the wires to the controller then to the battery? Are there any precautions I should be aware of? When I park my rv and plug into a power source do I have nothing to worry about? I'm guessing no but I don't like guessing anymore lol. I apologize if this has been a topic before. I scrolled a few pages back through the archives and didn't see anything.

P.S. Niel, my CFLs are still burning strong.8)


  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 45w charging a camper battery

    i think those 15w pvs will maintain and even top the battery off if it charges most of the way from another means. as i wrote to you before the one did burn out on me, but the other one is doing fine for now. btw, you went by your full name, but i no longer see it listed so keep the one you have chosen and check in occasionally. adding here that i don't have and never did have an rv, but there are many threads on it and many here that do have rvs so get to reading shawn.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,500 admin
    Re: 45w charging a camper battery

    Just fusing the battery lead to charge controller (protect against shorts) and watching your water levels.

    If you had an adjustable/temperature compensated charge controller---you could set the voltage to the recommended "float" voltage for your battery bank. With the standard inexpensive/small charge controller--it will probably overcharge your batteries a bit and you will need to add more water because of it.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset