Does the solar keep charging the battery when the battery is disconnected?

I got confused because the tech walkthrough guy said alway disconnect when driving but the salesman/former tech said the opposite.
2022 [email protected] 320 S Boondock  "UGA", Jeep Gladiator Overland
North Georgia

Comments

  • qhumberdqhumberd Member Posts: 282
    In my 2019 the Zamp style charging port on my driver side wall is connected directly to the battery, before the battery cutoff switch, which is what I presume is what you mean by disconnected. My understanding is that the built in solar is wired thru a solar controller to the battery in the same way. So if your battery cutoff switch is OFF to the trailer, the solar is still connected via the charge controller to the panels. This acts like a trickle charger if the battery is full and charges the battery to the proper voltage if it is partially discharged, depending on the solar input of course. In mine our portable panels charge my battery if the battery is connected to the trailer or not.

    2019  [email protected] Boondock Lite "Todd"

    2016 Toyota Tundra 5.7 Crew Cab
  • scott14scott14 Member Posts: 64
    If I understand you correctly,  you were instructed to turn off the battery disconnect when traveling?  I would not advise that.  The emergency brakes on your trailer require battery power to activate should the trailer become separated from the tow vehicle.
    2022 [email protected] 320S
    Illinois
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 8,418
    @CCC - as Scott14 indicated, you must leave the battery switch turned on while towing.  Not only does this send a charge to the TAB battery, but, in the event of a total disconnect of the TaB from the TV, your TaB break-away brakes will be able to engage to quickly stop the TaB.  

    Turn off the battery switch to isolate the TaB battery from any parasitic drains during short or long term storage due to the CO/LPG monitor, AV equipment, USB ports, etc.  

    Your factory installed solar is connected directly to the battery and avoids the battery switch, so it is always charging with adequate sunlight.


    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 42
    Thanks. The tech guy who did the walkthrough misinformed me of several things. Would have been better off not having a walkthrough.
    2022 [email protected] 320 S Boondock  "UGA", Jeep Gladiator Overland
    North Georgia
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 2,573
    Item number eleventy billion in the strange things car dealers and trailer dealers say about RV's.
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • TabneroTabnero Member Posts: 203
    the factory solar charges no matter which position the battery manual cut off is in
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 4,276
    edited May 1
    CCC said:
    Thanks. The tech guy who did the walkthrough misinformed me of several things. Would have been better off not having a walkthrough.
    I would contact that dealer and let the manager know what the tech person is giving out, is misleading information, that is dangerous.  Always, Always tow with the battery switch turned On.
     Cheers 
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • MarcelineMarceline Member Posts: 1,225
    edited April 30
    CCC said:
    Thanks. The tech guy who did the walkthrough misinformed me of several things. Would have been better off not having a walkthrough.
    My impression is that NuCamp is very responsive to feedback about dealers, so if you have the time you might reach out to them. Telling people to turn off the battery switch while driving is dangerous.


    CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
    330-852-4811 ext 834
    San Francisco Bay Area
    2013 CS-S [email protected]
    Battered but trusty 3.5l V6 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • RogerCRogerC Member Posts: 15
    @CCC - as Scott14 indicated, you must leave the battery switch turned on while towing.  Not only does this send a charge to the TAB battery, but, in the event of a total disconnect of the TaB from the TV, your TaB break-away brakes will be able to engage to quickly stop the TaB.  

    So, is this sending a charge to the battery from the solar panel or from my truck battery through the 7-pin connector?   

    Our TAB 320 is totally new to us, will be taking our first trip soon, so also wondering if we'll need an extra battery.   Do most folks add a second battery to their set-up?      
    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock / 2022 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Sport / Idyllwild CA
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 2,573
    What you need to know to compare:  how big is your battery in the trailer now?  In amp hours?  In some of the newer trailers that did not come with a fridge that can run on propane, the "stock" 80 amp hour battery might struggle to keep up with the draw of the 12V fridge.  So, open up that battery box, and take a good look at your battery.  And: what fridge do you have? 

    The "switch on while towing" issue is important because of the "break away emergency brake."  When you connect the trailer to the tow vehicle with the heavy chains, there is also a small wire that attaches to the tow vehicle.  That wire terminates at a small box on the passenger side of the tongue. That box is the emergency brake mechanism.   The wire is connected to a plastic "plunger".  If...the trailer becomes completely detached from the tow vehicle (a catastrophic event, of course) the small wire will yank that plunger out of that box, and the trailer will stop when the emergency brake takes hold.  (Trailers without this type of brake are just "free to fly").
    That emergency brake is connected to the trailer battery.  If the battery switch is of...the emergency brake will not work.  So......battery disconnect on while towing.
    One thread of many on this subject.

    Not all tow vehicles charge the trailer battery while driving.  There are many reasons for this. 

    The solar setup in the trailer is connected directly to the battery.  The position of the battery disconnect has no bearing on solar charging.  If the panels are getting an appropriate amount of sun,  battery charging will be provided as needed.

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 8,418
    The tow vehicle charges the battery via the 7 pin.  Installed solar charges the battery regardless of the battery switch position.  Panels are connected to a charge controller under the driver side bench which then connects directly to the battery.

    Changing your battery set up really depends on how you camp.  If you are always on shorepower, a limited AHr lead acid battery will work fine.  If you plan to do more than a couple of days dry camping, you will likely need more AHr.  

    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • RogerCRogerC Member Posts: 15
    edited May 12
    Thanks @pthomas745.  Really appreciate all that info.    

    My battery is a Centennial DC24 rated as 75 Amp Hour @ 20HR Rate. 

    I've got the Isotherm 84 Watt, 12/24 Volt refrigerator.  I don't see anything on the label about propane, so I assume it won't run off propane. 


    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock / 2022 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Sport / Idyllwild CA
  • RogerCRogerC Member Posts: 15
    Thanks @Sharon_is_SAM

    I'm guessing I'll be on shorepower 50%, off grid 50%.   On work days, I'll be using a laptop maybe 4 hours a day with a cell phone alongside for Internet.  And the Alde for managing temperature.   

    So... would you suggest adding a battery?
    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock / 2022 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Sport / Idyllwild CA
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 8,418
    edited May 13
    @RogerC - it sounds like you are occupying the trailer for work purposes.  In that case, to be on the safe side, you need to have more available AHrs in case you run into inclimate weather.  Really you should figure out what your daily Ahr draw actually is and then figure out what you need.  The frig is AC/DC and after reaching steady state draws about 24 AHrs/day.  Lights, fan, water pump, recharging laptop, etc adds up.  You should only use half the AHrs of a lead acid battery, so your current battery will only let you Boondock for a about day without recharging.  I would look into getting a 100 Ahr lithium battery to start.  You can draw down lithium completely without damaging the battery.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 2,573
    The Isotherm fridges all seem to use "on average" between 24-30 amps per 24 hours.  Your battery, for maximum battery life, should not be "discharged" below 50 percent of the available charge...so 12.1 volts or so, or approximately 40 amp hours. The solar, if you are in decent sun, and you manage your battery carefully (as in turning it off at night, keep it closed as much as possible, both ways to save some amps) should/might replace those amp hour during the day.  Lots of owners do this successfully.    Remember, the trailer also has its own "drains" that will take up 4 to 6 amps per day.  
    More battery capacity in this situation is always a good option.  I carried around an extra battery (just a plain old 30 amp hour battery in a battery box with a small inverter) that I used for extra power, saving all the trailer's battery for "trailer stuff".  There are lots of small inexpensive batteries that are easy to manage and charge with portable solar that will recharge your laptop several times between having to charge it.
    And: a multimeter is your friend.  
    Lots of different options: https://tab-rv.vanillacommunity.com/discussion/7008/anyone-carry-a-spare-battery/p1

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 342
    The Isotherm fridges all seem to use "on average" between 24-30 amps hours per 24 hours.  

    Sorry.  I can't help it.  Amps is an energy rate.  Amp hours is an energy quantity.  A frig that has an average consumption rate of 1 amp will use 24 amp hours per day. ;)
    Rich
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander
    Bellingham WA
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 8,418
    Thanks @Horigan.  I think I finally grasped that concept.  Old dogs can learn new tricks!
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 2,573
    Dang!  Some day, Mr H, I will get that sentence correct.  It is the English major in me. 
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 342
     :) 
    Rich
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander
    Bellingham WA
  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 342
    edited May 13
    The confusion is understandable.  Amp is an unusual unit in that it is a rate unit.  Most units are a quantity and rates are given in unit per given time, like gallons per hour (gph).  Amp has the rate built in, so saying amp per hour or amp/day doesn't make sense.
    Rich
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander
    Bellingham WA
  • qhumberdqhumberd Member Posts: 282
    After all this electrical talk I decide to check out an online electronics course and I am beginning to understand some of the lingo @Horigan. An Ampere is defined as 1 coulomb of charge passing a given point in a conductor each second. And then here comes Faraday and I am lost again. 

    2019  [email protected] Boondock Lite "Todd"

    2016 Toyota Tundra 5.7 Crew Cab
  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 342
    Excellent!  My Faraday days are decades behind me.  Luckily, you don't need to know Faraday concepts to work on our [email protected]  :smile:
    Rich
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander
    Bellingham WA
  • Da_BirdsDa_Birds Member Posts: 113
    I did not realize the factory solar still charges even if you have the battery cut off. Good to know!
    2021 [email protected] 320CSS Boondock - "Chirping Bird"
    2018 Chevy Colorado - "Dad's Truck"
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 4,276
    Yes, the solar controller is directly connected to the battery, and the rest of the TaBs 12VDC load connection is on the cutoff switch load side.
     Cheers 

    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
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