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Thread: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

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    Junior Member MGILLIA's Avatar
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    Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    We recently bought a 2017 Big Country 3965DSS. It's our first 5th Wheel but our 4th camper. The rig is prewired for a solar panel. Would like to know best solar panel to buy/install to keep the batteries charged when parked in storage. Dixie RV said to make sure not to go over 10 amps. Any help will be much appreciated. My wife and I are new to this forum. This is our first posting.


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    Senior Member Oregon_Camper's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    Love solar....we have around $7500+ invested in our setup, but we use this for weeks and weeks of dry camping with no hookups!

    I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your dealer. While 10 amps will do the job, if you're going to spend time/money to install solar, I think you need to have at least 30 amps and a controller that can do multi-stage charging. Meaning the controller KNOWS what level your battery is and will adjust to keep it a peak charge. Most of the time in storage it will drop to a "trickle charge" and keep your battery maintained properly.

    For your needs, I would recommend the Go Power solution below. Having your RV pre-wired for solar is HUGE!! That will save you sooooo much time/effort. Using this kit will also allow you to simply add additional panels for more power, if you ever decide you want to dry camp and have the sun provide all your power.

    Link to Go Power Solar on Amazon


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    Senior Member CoveredWagon's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    Quote Originally Posted by MGILLIA View Post
    We recently bought a 2017 Big Country 3965DSS. It's our first 5th Wheel but our 4th camper. The rig is prewired for a solar panel. Would like to know best solar panel to buy/install to keep the batteries charged when parked in storage. Dixie RV said to make sure not to go over 10 amps. Any help will be much appreciated. My wife and I are new to this forum. This is our first posting.
    A solar technician recommended to me,a Deltran 5 to 45 watt 12 volt controller and a Newpowar 45 watt 12 volt solar panel. $22 for the controller and $85 for the panel on Amazon. This will charge the batteries at just under 3 amps which is great for long term continuous use. This setup is only for keeping batteries charged. Deltran makes excellent chargers and controllers I personally have several of them, just not on the Rv, just yet
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    Senior Member Aandaar's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    Hello
    If by pre-wired you are referring to the small port near near/above your front generator compartment door. That is not what Oregon-Camper is talking about above.

    The kit above is the basic beginnings for roof top solar and requires a lot of wire running from the roof to the generator bay.

    If you are only looking to use that port Harbor Freight sell a small kit that is on sale for about $150.

    https://m.harborfreight.com/100-Watt...not%20provided



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    Junior Member MGILLIA's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    Appreciate the quick responses. The solar panel pre-wiring is located where the batteries are housed.

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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    We ordered this one from Amazon by Battery Tender. Mount it on roof and when in storage just run the wire down the side of camper and plug It in.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    But, I find that with the cut off switches off, the batteries last quite a while without charging.


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    Senior Member LBR's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    Quote Originally Posted by Aandaar View Post
    Hello
    If by pre-wired you are referring to the small port near near/above your front generator compartment door. That is not what Oregon-Camper is talking about above.

    The kit above is the basic beginnings for roof top solar and requires a lot of wire running from the roof to the generator bay.

    If you are only looking to use that port Harbor Freight sell a small kit that is on sale for about $150.

    https://m.harborfreight.com/100-Watt...not%20provided



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    We just bought 2 of these $150 Harbor Freight kits to carry us for the next 20+ months until I put on permanent solar/inverter/battery bank. I've checked each set of panel to verify they work...all seems OK, but we yet to set camp with the entire array.

    We have the resi frig which is the main reason for the kits and temporary battery bank, as we boondock alot also.

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    Senior Member Oregon_Camper's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    Quote Originally Posted by Aandaar View Post
    Hello
    If by pre-wired you are referring to the small port near near/above your front generator compartment door. That is not what Oregon-Camper is talking about above.
    Good point. I was thinking he has this connection on the roof of his RV when he said he was "pre-wired".

    cable-entry-plate.jpg




    If he only has this connection, then using a portable solution would be better. If you click on my blog link (in signature below), you can see the review and YouTube video I did for a Go Power portable solution.

    zamp-solar-ready-side-wall-port.jpg

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    Pennsylvania Chapter Leaders-retired travelin2's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    http://www.offthegridrvs.com/portables-s/104.htm


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    Iowa Chapter Leaders Silverado23's Avatar
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    Re: Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country

    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon_Camper View Post
    Good point. I was thinking he has this connection on the roof of his RV when he said he was "pre-wired".

    cable-entry-plate.jpg
    I sort of wish I would have found that cable entry plate before I covered my roof in solar panels.
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