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100 Watt Solar Install, Dual Batteries (One in a Trailer)

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We have been living in a 12 foot long Camp Inn teardrop trailer (towed by our 2015 TC) for the past two years.  We had sought a way to mount a solar panel on our van to recharge an AGM battery in our camper, and had a very difficult time finding anything close to decent advice on how to do so.  So I asked the Camp Inn factory for help.  They advised me on how to tie the solar panel into the charge line that goes from the alternator to the van's 7 pin connector.  It was necessary to add a relay switch near the van battery, which allows the solar charge to go into the charge line when the ignition is off, and the alternator charge to go into the line when the ignition is on.  .

The camper has a built in trickle charger that can recharge the battery when connected to shore power.  But the big power draw is a Dometic CF35 compressor cooler, and its power needs interferes with the trickle charger's ability to fully recharge the AGM battery.  To avoid this problem, we keep the Dometic in the van during the day, which assures that the camper battery is fully charged at night when we move it to the camper (this is also great when we do grocery shopping, as we can store perishable food right away - it also gives us access to our food when we are away from our campground).  The solar panel assures that the van battery is getting recharged when the ignition is turned off, thus keeping the Dometic from drawing it down too far.

The details of this installation are found in this post on the Unofficial Camp Inn Forum:


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Nice Post

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Thanks for this post!  It gives me hope to do what I want.  The TC Titanium has a lot of dash board real estate on it.  I'd like to try and use some of that for a solar device that would seamlessly keep my battery topped off.  I'd like to, for instance, be able to run a couple of 12v fans in the vehicle on battery/solar power when the vehicle is off.

It would be great if for instance while I'm in at work, the fans could run and the battery would hold it's charge.  There are times I might have the car parked in sun for 6-8 hrs with it off and I want the fans to running.



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