With solar, can your battery overcharge? I have a battery disconnect. Should I use that rather than continuously charging when in storage in between trips? Thank you. —Thomas
Watch my reply to Thomas in the video below.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
Read more from Dave here.
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Can unregulated solar input overcharge a battery? Yes. That’s why a proper charge controller, configured correctly, is important. It’s really the heart of a solar charging system. We use solar panels to charge batteries at our backcountry vacation/hunting camp. The same panels and charge controller have been out there, keeping the batteries topped up, virtually maintenance free, for over 15 years. Sometimes the place sits vacant for a couple months at a time, particularly in winter, so I make sure to check the batteries when we get there, and top up with distilled water as needed, which isn’t very often. When we purchased solar for our travel trailer, I made sure the set up uses a highly rated charge controller. We’ve had no issues, and the freedom a properly operating solar charging system provides when boondocking is priceless.
Please, no video. Simple text is far more effective and efficient. (Imagine if the 10 Commandments were handed down as a streaming video; or if the passengers on the Titanic were ordered to view a lifejacket and lifeboat instructional video before being allowed to evacuate.)
Ahh! To the point of earlier in the newsletter about video articles. I normally read everything in Dave’s columns. When I found no written content I thot I would try looking at the video for his answer. I must have only been 30 to 45 seconds in and got out of it. I do not know the answer. I guess I just can’t be distracted for the 4 min video when I could read and comprehend in under 2 min. Videos are just distracting. Just an FYI to add to your earlier questions about newsletter content. Sorry, but that is just me, I guess.
Not a fan of video only answers. Some RVers may only have a flip phone, slow data or low amounts of data available.
Does your reply apply to all type of batteries?
Lithium batteries charge differently. They use higher voltage to charge but drop back to the voltage Dave mentions once charged.
Use a solar charge controller with a lithium setting and you will be fine.