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Solar Bateries and RV converters

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  • Solar Bateries and RV converters

    What are your thoughts of using the RV converter to charge the solar batteries?

    I see once my system is built, still staying hooked with the 50 amp plug to the RV more than boondocking off the grid. I'm seeing that depending on the size of the solar battery I go with will determine the type of charger I would use if I ever plugged this into a house outlet. I'm reading that an incorrect charger could make battery life a lot shorter, well, now I'm thinking my RV converter is probably not smart enough to tell the difference between the RV Lead Acid battery that came with the RV and the Deep Cycle solar battery I tend to replace this with.

  • #2
    Originally posted by chrisski View Post
    What are your thoughts of using the RV converter to charge the solar batteries?

    I see once my system is built, still staying hooked with the 50 amp plug to the RV more than boondocking off the grid. I'm seeing that depending on the size of the solar battery I go with will determine the type of charger I would use if I ever plugged this into a house outlet. I'm reading that an incorrect charger could make battery life a lot shorter, well, now I'm thinking my RV converter is probably not smart enough to tell the difference between the RV Lead Acid battery that came with the RV and the Deep Cycle solar battery I tend to replace this with.
    The key is the voltage settings and that they are correct for the type of battery you are using. I use Lithiums which many will say are fussier about voltage. i only use chargers or inverter/charge conrollers that I can set the voltage.
    9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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    • #3
      Pretty Sure there's no settings on my converter. If there is, I need to take screws to a panel and remove them to set them. I also don't know how to check if an RV converter is rated to charge 350 - 440 AH of batteries.

      I think its going to come down to me removing my panel and finding the exact model # and manufacturer for my converter, and then looking up specs for this, if it is even published somewhere.

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      • #4
        If it is a factory converter, it is probably a WFCO 55 amp model. These are ubiquitous in the RV world as the stock converter. It is a claimed smart charger that is supposed to climb to 14.4V in bulk charge and hold it there for absorption stage, then drop to 13.6V float level when batteries are full. However, they are notorious for never actually achieving 14.4V and only ever operating at float voltage of 13.6v. That's how mine behaves. bestconverter.com has a lot of direct drop in replacement converters that are of supposedly better quality (I have never replaced my WFCO converter so I can't confirm). But I still think the standard baked in bulk charge setpoint is 14.4V across most models, I'm not sure there are any programmable ones that would get you to the 14.8V or whatever you are aiming for with the deep cycle batteries.

        EDIT: I see on the website that the Boondocker models have a 14.7V boost mode.
        I'm an RV camper, mine has 280 watts of solar

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        • #5
          You should be using deep cycle batteries in your RV as well. A deep cycle battery is a lead acid battery. No need for separate batteries for your solar charging system, wire it to charge your RV deep cycle batteries.

          EDIT: you may be referring to a motorhome which has an engine starting battery and seperate house batteries that are hopefully deep cycle. I don't have a motorhome or have experience with them.
          I'm an RV camper, mine has 280 watts of solar

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