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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 09:10 Thread Starter
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Battery discharge

What do you all do about battery discharge? I'm toying with disconnecting it but I don't know if the vehicle has an alarm and also the implications of radio and other electronics. If you use solar is it through the car lighter or how do you connect?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 09:21
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Our solar is connected direct to the batteries via a solar controller, the two batteries are also linked by a BatteryMaster so that the VB is kept topped up as are the LB's. We chose that route as we found that without the vehicle battery was flat within 3 weeks due to things like the alarm, the clock and other items running 24/7 which cannot be isolated.

If you remove the VB then the alarm is switched off as no power, that can cause problems as you may have to do am alarm reset when you replace it, of course it also means that your vehicle no longer has an alarm which might upset your insurance company if they find out.... I do not think (but do not KNOW) if the central locking function releases the door locks whe the battery is disconnected.....

You also must ensure that you have any codes for e.g. the radio since they also are likely to need to be reset.

IMO having a permanent solar panel is the best option (roof mounted), we used to use a 7w folding "briefcase" style solar panel placed in the windscreen facing South BEFORE I fitted roof mounted panels. That was just about sufficient to keep the VB topped up (connected via crocodile clips) but only if the alarm was switched off....... see earlier comment about doing that.....

If you can connect to EHU, switching it on every week for 24 hours should ensure the batteries stay charged, if not, then look seriously at having solar panels fitted, or fit them yourself - they are not difficult to do.

I hope that gives you an answer, perhaps not as clear cut as you would wish, but it is a balancing act and I would be wary of removing the VB, leaving the vehicle without the alarm.......


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 09:24
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If you disconnect the battery you MAY have a problem with your insurer IF the vehicle gets stolen, but it's difficult to see how they could differentiate between a disconnected or fully discharged battery.

Car lighter sockets are almost always wired through the ignition so once the ignition is switched off then any current from a solar panel will go nowhere.

You have basically three options
1. Leave it connected to mains power or remove the battery and charge it every so often
2. Disconnect the battery with the possible issues surrounding insurance or radio losing its stations (it's easy enough to find them again)
3. Fit a solar panel which, providing its gets some daylight (sunshine is better) will provide enough power to keep your battery topped up, but it will need to be a decent size, thing 80 watts as the absolute minimum. The small dash top ones you see will not provide enough power so don't even think about one of them.

Your money, your decision.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 21:08 Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave, I thought the battery might discharge pretty quickly, but disconnecting the battery does not seem the way to go. In the short term it looks to me like a might want a folding one, so bigger than 7w to cater for the alarm. How did you route the croc leads from the cab to the battery?

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 21:13 Thread Starter
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I've just seen your reply Andy, hmm, I don't know if the dealer would be able to fit a solar panel before we pick up next Friday. How does the cable get routed from the roof?

I don't think it's going to be an option to have mains power while in storage. It's proving hard enough just to find suitable storage never mind either power!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 06:10
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Daves response is your best option, the solar cable comes in through the roof via a water proof entry point, this is a permanent fixture, and also requires a controller, DIY cost is about £180 - 220, the dash type are of little use unless they see the sun all day so van needs to be facing south, but I'd not bother.
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