6v vs Solar Charger - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-07-2016, 01:02 PM   #1
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6v vs Solar Charger

Along with all of my other problems I am fairly certain my battery is bad. My unit doesn't even last over night, and even with the battery shut off switch it still goes dead. I live on a military base and have to keep it in storage. The problem, of course, is that when I want to pick it up I have to jump the generator to get the legs up and get it home to shore power. If I leave it overnight stepped down to a 110 plug I get enough charge to run everything.

I am considering switching to the 6v in series (or two 12 v in parallel) and/or putting a small solar cell on the roof to keep the system charged enough to run the level up series or start the generator. Right now my inControl screen won't even power up. Thoughts from the group?

I see that many of you built your own 6v boxes. I thought that was just for fun but now that I am looking I am not seeing much out there for vented 6v boxes. Anyone have any leads?
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:27 PM   #2
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Bob,

Here is one link, if you do a search for vented battery boxes you'll find just about every possible. Can't find what your looking for here, Inside Vented Battery Box | MTS Products, try a search for "Vented 6V battery boxes.
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Old 05-07-2016, 03:11 PM   #3
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Hello Bob, I would certainly think that a 100 watt solar panel wired directly to the battery will keep you batteries topped off while in storage, I just picked mine up from storage and I had full batteries.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:07 AM   #4
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Hello Bob, I would certainly think that a 100 watt solar panel wired directly to the battery will keep you batteries topped off while in storage, I just picked mine up from storage and I had full batteries.
I don't recommend wiring direct as some panels actually are capable of outing out 24VDC. Run it thru a charge controller...
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Old 05-08-2016, 03:48 PM   #5
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I don't recommend wiring direct as some panels actually are capable of outing out 24VDC. Run it thru a charge controller...
You are correct . I forgot that important part -- controller wired directly to the battery -- thanks for catching that !!
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Old 05-08-2016, 03:54 PM   #6
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for the quick responses. My camper has a Furrion 10 amp inlet above the 50 Amp connection. I was planning to tap into that some how but I need to figure out how it is routed into the electrical system. It would be great if Dutchmen posted wiring diagrams somewhere, but then they would have to follow them. Then I have to figure out how to keep it dry in the winters around here.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for the quick responses. My camper has a Furrion 10 amp inlet above the 50 Amp connection. I was planning to tap into that some how but I need to figure out how it is routed into the electrical system. It would be great if Dutchmen posted wiring diagrams somewhere, but then they would have to follow them. Then I have to figure out how to keep it dry in the winters around here.
Bob,

I found the path of least resistance on my TT was to run the wires from the controller down into the belly then forward to the batteries. My in my case the distribution panel is under the TV cabinet and there is an opening in the floor about the size of the Grand Canyon.

I realize two totally different campers, but when I decided to go to rooftop solar, I wanted to make sure that I built in expandability. I'm glad I did because I've added another panel to the system. At first I was looking to tie into an existing wiring, the problem it wouldn't handle the expansion.

Then too, was Dutchmens top quality electrical work to take into account. I don't have much faith in their electrical connections. I could have fished the wire to the batteries, but I went the hard way and dropped the bellypan. While it was down I cleaned up the mess that Dutchmen made.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:16 PM   #9
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So I also have the pre wire 10 amp solar input, I decided it was not worth the time to investigate how it was tied into the 12V system, Instead I made my own run from the roof to the controller to the batteries, this was very simple, I went down the air vent for the grey water system pipe that feeds right into the basement where It came out and ran to the forward compartment then installed the controller then to the batteries. I also wanted expandability, I went with a 10ga Wire from the roof down, This process took approx 2 hrs for full install.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:20 PM   #10
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The vent was the way I went too. Perfect!

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Old 05-08-2016, 05:30 PM   #11
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So I also have the pre wire 10 amp solar input, I decided it was not worth the time to investigate how it was tied into the 12V system, Instead I made my own run from the roof to the controller to the batteries, this was very simple, I went down the air vent for the grey water system pipe that feeds right into the basement where It came out and ran to the forward compartment then installed the controller then to the batteries. I also wanted expandability, I went with a 10ga Wire from the roof down, This process took approx 2 hrs for full install.
That works and you know exactly what you have. If a problem develops you only have to trouble shoot the solar you installed and not worry about Dutchmens stuff.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:30 PM   #12
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Do you worry about cleaning the roof under them? I am not planning to stay in Washington long term but do worry about mold on the roof.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:06 PM   #13
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Do you worry about cleaning the roof under them? I am not planning to stay in Washington long term but do worry about mold on the roof.
The roof membrane won't support the growth of mold, but it will get slippery black if you are storing it near conifers and it's shaded. The roof should be washed and inspected 3-4 or times a year. If any of the self leveling caulk around the stacks, skylights, etc are showing cracks, just clean it up and add more.

If you stay ahead of the roof maintenance and control the humidity inside the camper, you should never have a mold problem.

The best thing we did was move away from the wet coast, the roof stays cleaner longer and is easier to maintain.
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