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Knowledge Base : Frequently Asked Questions : Large/RV/Marine Batteries FAQ : Can I Use a Solar Battery Charger to Keep My RV Battery Charged?

Can I Use a Solar Battery Charger to Keep My RV Battery Charged?

Solar Panel

Yes! You first must calculate how much power you used, so you know how much you need to replace. Your heater will be rated in watts or amps. Multiply that number by the estimated number of hours the heater ran, and you will have your baseline number. Once you have that you can calculate what size panel you need. You can use our solar calculator once you have that info.

Before you do, keep in mind that solar only charges when the sun is shining on the panel, which is roughly 6-7 hours per day average. To charge a discharged RV sized battery with a solar panel in 6 hours would take a couple 100 watt+ panels


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  • Hi there.I have just bought a 4.5w solar panel to trickle charge my engine battery 12volt.I put the solar panel connected to a volt meter and it read 21.7 volts .If I connect the solar panel to my battery will this do any damage to the battery.Kind regards Mike waiting for your urgent reply

    Mike
    May 7, 2016 a 1:49 am
    • While it is always recommend that you use a solar charge controller when using a solar panel there are times when you can get by without one. If this is a 12 volt panel, and it is going on a 12 volt automotive battery then you should be fine without a solar charge controller. A 4.5 watt panel is only going to put out about 300 mA an hour max, so not enough to hurt a larger battery in most cases.

      BatteryStuff Tech
      May 9, 2016 a 10:24 am
    • Can I use a 1 amp 15 watt solar panel to act as a continuous trickle charger for the deep cycle batteries on my motor home while it stored over the winter ? In Calgary we would only get 5 or 6 hour of direct sunlight during the winter months. Thanks, Lorne

      Lorne Evans
      November 23, 2014 a 4:04 pm
      • If you’re in a zero draw situation when they are in storage and you are overcoming there natural discharge rate then you could get away with it. General discharge rate of an AGM sealed battery is about 3% a month. It is exponential so you definitely want to be sure they are fully charged from the start, or it might not work.

        BatteryStuff Tech
        December 29, 2014 a 12:25 pm
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