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Old 05-19-2015, 02:18 PM   #1
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Question solar panel info

Is the stock 15 watt solar panel controlled with the master switch? I read a thread that says Hi Lo said to shut off the solar panel when plugged to the TV. But the manual didn't say where this mystery switch is. Don't see it on the control panel either. Think I found the yellow box in the refer area, but it goes nowhere. two wires come in, but nothing out (if that's the right box). How do I test solar output? And if it's putting out, how is it hooked to the battery? Directly? Who's the solar guy?
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:43 PM   #2
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If nothing else is plugged in charging the battery, then you should be able to check the battery with a volt meter and see if you are getting better than around 12.6 volts when the sun is out bright and shining( actually, you should be gettng 13 v or better for charging to take place). If you are -then the panel is sending current to your battery. If you are not..........could be a bunch of things. It is likely the panel is putting out current- but bad wiring and/or a bsad charge controller could be keeping that current from reaching your batteries. Whatever the situation, a 15 watt panel wont be giving you much more than a very minimal "trickle"charge.

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Old 05-19-2015, 05:56 PM   #3
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That's really all I'm looking for as we camp at full service CGs. So. unplug shore power, turn everything off (master switch down and refer off), and check cables at the Battery? sound about right. I was asked how I knew it was charging, couldn't answer. Researched and found the tidbit about turning it off while towing, didn't know how. Thanks
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:07 PM   #4
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Tree-

Mine did not come with a panel so I really haven't any idea how Hi-LO would have wired them. I have a 19 volt I carry for adding a few amps when I can---but I hook it up when I need to. Panels will have a "charge" controller that regulates how much is getting to the battery and those can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the charge. jack just installed a couple large panels this spring. Do a search to find his threads on it. All I was doing was suggesting a method to see if you were getting a charge to the battery. You should shut everything down for about 30 minutes, or so, to let any surface charge dissipate from the battery from what was charging it if you had a a 110 charger going into it(resting the batteries) and insuring nothing is going drawing current. Ideally you rest the batteries for 24 hours- but for this purpose you dont need to go that long. If the master switch controls the current from the panel- you should be able to check this by seeing what the voltage is with everything off then seing what happens when you switch it on.

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Old 05-19-2015, 06:08 PM   #5
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I wonder why you should turn it off while towing? As Rick said, the panel puts out a very minimal charge. I wonder if it's because there's no "reverse current" prevention in the panel's circuitry and that it could be damaged by the TV's alternator? That's really the only think I can think of.

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Old 05-19-2015, 07:47 PM   #6
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HUUUMMMMM!! I was hoping the master switch would shut if off while in travel position. I'll figure out the wire run, then see if I can incorporate into the three position switch. All this on paper first, make sense? Post it, and see if anyone can in our diverse community can find any faults.
Thanks for your input folks.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:44 PM   #7
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I am currently doing the sushidog fan mod and noticed in the lower outer fridge access sits the solar panel controller. It has an led to show when voltage is going to charge the battery. I expect if the led is on (when the charge switch is on inside the camper), the battery should be charging.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by specter1000 View Post
I am currently doing the sushidog fan mod and noticed in the lower outer fridge access sits the solar panel controller. It has an led to show when voltage is going to charge the battery. I expect if the led is on (when the charge switch is on inside the camper), the battery should be charging.
Just to muddy the water more, I have a factory installed panel on my 2705T and I removed the wire nuts from the splice in the bathroom. Using my multi-meter I did not get any type of a reading. Is the panel shot? I know they don't last forever.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:55 AM   #9
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Default instruction sheet

Here is a copy of the instructions that came with my HI-LO solar panels. If you save the image you can enlarge it for easier reading.
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File Type: jpg solar panel instructions.jpg (455.1 KB, 20 views)
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:07 AM   #10
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Thanks Charlie B, printed it out and will begin troubleshooting right away! I really hope this works.
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:14 AM   #11
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Charlie, those instructions are a good post! In your case, and I suspect anyone who has this panel, there is no danger of reverse current because it has a blocking diode, and, there is no need to disconnect it from the battery when the trailer is receiving power from some other source, such as a tow vehicle or shore power.

I'd question the advice from a "thread" that said to disconnect the panel when towing. It doesn't seem reasonable to me.

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Old 05-26-2015, 09:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
Here is a copy of the instructions that came with my HI-LO solar panels. If you save the image you can enlarge it for easier reading.
Charlie
Might want to post it in the reference library.
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:20 AM   #13
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It seems logical there would be a diode first out from the solar panel to prevent damage. I have a good stack of manuals that came with this HI-LO that I need to share, I have just not been full of ambition lately, that is one of the reasons I am not ready to camp this year. I could not find ther book on the solar controller, but I probably overlooked it. I will look again.
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