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Old 05-29-2017, 08:18 PM   #1
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Charging two 6 volt batteries

I've installed two 6 volt batteries on my 2014 Kodiak 291 RESL. If I wanted to hook up a solar panel to charge the batteries, how many watts should the solar charger be?
I've seen the 100 watt system by Coleman at Costco, wondering if that would be suitable.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:26 PM   #2
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Depends on how much power you plan to pull from the batteries. Think of the batteries as a bank account and the solar system as your deposits, and your usage as withdrawals. You have to have the deposits equal or exceed the withdrawals.

My rule of thumb for solar is a minimum of 80 watts per battery, 100 watts is better. In more extreme cases 120-140 watt per battery to keep up with the loads may be necessary. I use a portable 100 watt system, it will keep up with my light use, primarily some LED lights and vent fans. If we have to run the furnace much at night I usually have to start the generator to get the batteries topped back up. I can usually get away with 3-4 nights in a row before I have to use the generator to supplement my 100 watts of panels. My 100 watt panels only put out around 6.5 amps max in full sunlight. If you are using 30-50 amp hours of battery capacity a night (I have used close to 100 ah on a very cold night) you won't get enough amps to recover during the day.

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Old 05-30-2017, 12:30 PM   #3
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When I'm charging the batteries do I charge both batteries together or one battery at a time?
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adair1965 View Post
When I'm charging the batteries do I charge both batteries together or one battery at a time?
For general charging you can leave them hooked up in series for charging. The only time I separate mine for charging is if I think I have an issue with one and I am trying to isolate it.

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Old 05-30-2017, 02:57 PM   #5
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There seems to be lots of formulas and calculations that go into figuring out a solar setup that is needed. From what I've found out. Average requirements for solar on an RV is somewhere between 200 and 300 Watts. So if you wanted to buy 2 or 3 - 100 Watt panels from Costco and wire them together in series.....
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:03 PM   #6
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Totally generic but enough to work with is 1 watt of solar per 1 amp hour of battery capacity. So for 2x6V in series, 200+ watts of solar would be the minimum. The smaller the system, more wattage per Ah is prudent since you have a smaller battery capacity to get you through poor solar harvest conditions.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent.boyd View Post
There seems to be lots of formulas and calculations that go into figuring out a solar setup that is needed. From what I've found out. Average requirements for solar on an RV is somewhere between 200 and 300 Watts. So if you wanted to buy 2 or 3 - 100 Watt panels from Costco and wire them together in series.....
If you do, you will need a controller. Really need a controller on anything but the lowest amp panels.
Also need to pay attention to the length and size of your wiring runs.

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Old 05-30-2017, 05:35 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the information everyone. This really helps and I'm glad this forum is around to assist everyone.
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