Over the long COVID break the Adventra hasn’t seen any mud or much awaited wet camping and off roading adventure, the same can be said about our camper trailer.
Like car batteries camper trailer AGM batteries need to be kept within full voltage to keep them healthy, after all have so far lost almost 1 year off the batteries life span and worse if you haven’t had a maintenance charger on them it could very well be low by now.
I checked around July and already it had dropped to around 12.5v which was low given that by now (September) it probably would of been close to 12.2v if left uncharged.
I pulled out our 250w Solar Panel plugged it in and placed it on the side (undercover) but I had hoped that at least 1hr of the day sun would come in and charge the batteries keeping them topped off.
By late September I went out and checked and bingo, batteries reading at 13.2v even a cloudy wet day still trickle charging something into the batteries.
I had a look then at the last 3 days and you can see between 2pm and 4pm there would be a decent amount of voltage increase meaning sun must have been directly hitting the panels giving it enough charge every day.
Incase you’re wondering this solar panel goes into our PROJECTA controller which keeps the batteries self maintained, this controller also accepts voltage from our Adventra’s alternator when running to also charge while hooked up and moving – great for when your fridge is connected all up and running during your trip out.
I also use a battery guard device that controls load to our inverter in the camper and other things like USB chargers and other electrical items in the camper so they can never run (or provide phantom power) if the batteries go lower than a safe voltage I set protecting the batteries.
Overall I’m fairly happy with how the 250W panel just sitting on the side getting 2hrs of sunlight per day keeping the batteries topped of on its own, otherwise I’d have probably had to manually charge the camper once a month to keep it topped off.
So if you have a camper (or a boat?) with batteries, consider a maintenance solar panel or if you don’t have one just setup one of your normal portable panels you use just to keep it topped off while its not in use!
Even a 80W panel will be good enough for maintenance if its positioned well, for us since we only have sun on the panels 2hrs a day larger panel is collecting more power for the shorter duration.