Solar battery charger

Discussion in 'Motorhome Accessories' started by Mikeco, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    I intend to leave my Volvo XC90 parked up at home for 4 months in winter while I'm in Spain. I'm not sure whether the battery will hold it's charge or not so has anyone used the low powered solar panels that you can leave on the dashboard or in my case in the back somewhere which is where the battery is.
    Any other alternative advice would be welcome.


    Mike
     
  2. LARRY99

    LARRY99 Funster Life Member

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    You could use the aldi battery charger ( on sale tomorrow,about £13 ) I think this one can be left connected to your battery with no damage to the cells, :thumb:
     
  3. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    I left my van connected to a solar panel in my windscreen thinking I would be alright but my battery still went dead with only the alarm on, so be carefull.
     
  4. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    I would prefer not to have it connected to a mains supply as it will be parked outside.
    Does anyone know the consequences of removing the battery, I could then ask my neighbour to keep it on charge in his garage.

    Mike
     
  5. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    The tiny solar panels are pretty useless, 1.5A I think they are. Maybe keep a Smart Car battery juiced up, but really not much of a trickle charge especially in lower light /not much sun. There are small suitcase panels which are 4A and which do the job at a slow trickle and work through glass, but make sure your cig lighter plug is permanently wired on when ignition is off or it won't work!

    There is an ebay seller who does 10A small panels which are even better for trickle charging, they cost around £18.

    The 4A should trickle charge a car battery which is in good condition when parked up if there is reasonable light /sun.

    The CTEK chargers or Aldi lookalikes are excellent for keeping the battery charged even when on the car, but you either need to have the car in a garage near a plugpoint or run some sort of secured 240v power source to the car on your drive to plug the charger into.

    Edit: just seen its parked outside, so charger no good.

    Not sure about the Volvo, but with most cars disconnecting the battery usually means losing radio codes, resetting clocks etc.

    There are very new, modern cars that lose engine codes when disconnected and need the battery coded to the car by maindealer, just make sure you don't have one of those! I think some new BMWs are like that and a few others!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  6. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    Thanks for the advice, the car is a 56 plate so it may not be a problem with regards to engine code but I will speak to a Volvo dealer and see what they say about taking out the battery. I will also look at 4amp solar panels

    Mike
     
  7. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    You will probably be fine with a 56 plate, but check anyway. If its just the radio / clocks its a bind but not a big deal.

    The 4A panels are readily available on ebay, cost under a tenner when I bought them, may be a bit more now, but they do the job if your car battery is fully charged to start. I have two for our cars and a 10A one for the MH until I can get a 100A panel installed on the roof with its panel etc!
     
  8. chopper602

    chopper602 Funster

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    What about just locking the car with the key, without turning the alarm on. Battery shouldn't run down then . . .
     
  9. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    I've got a now not needed Maplins 12amp suitcase solar panel and controller for sale - £20 + p&p

    PM me
     
  10. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Most immobilisers arm automatically, even if the alarm is off, so will still drain the battery over the 4 months I would think.......
     
  11. Bellini

    Bellini Funster

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    In theory, the battery SHOULDN'T run down, but Sod's Law says it will when you don't do something about it.

    I have a solar charger for, amongst other things, connecting into the permanent live accessory socket in the boot of my Range Rover when that's left for more than a few days. It's probably not needed, but it's easy to do and it's there 'just in case'.

    The problem with many modern cars (my RR being a case in point) is that EVERYTHING needs electricity to work. The glovebox on mine wouldn't even open when I accidentally flattened the battery recently as that uses small electric motors. I don't have a key hole either. So unlocking it requires someone intelligent (i.e. not me) with a box of tricks crawling underneath to find a socket to connect to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  12. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Had same problem with our '56 plate Volvo S60-tried the cheap solar panels with no success,tried using a Halfords Power Pack intended for 2ltr car,again no joy.Local grage had a power pack that started it,but he said they cost around £500.
    He did suggest removing battery,but pointed out that things would have to be re-set when battery was replaced.
    Our solution,finally,was a Ctek charger running off the EHU point we have on outside wall,but,we are fortunate in that we have a large off road hardstanding.
    Could you use jump-leads from MH when you get home ? I know it's a hassle.

    Mike.
     
  13. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    Thanks for all the replies, I will have a think about it later, busy pulling up weeds at the moment.

    Mike
     
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