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Have 160W Solar- Think I need More

solar zamp fwc hawk batteries

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#11 craig333


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Posted 25 October 2019 - 12:00 AM

160 should do pretty well keeping your batteries charged. It gets down to 10.8 but does it get up to 14.2 (or close) when there is no load? I kind of suspect the charger or the wiring.

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Craig K6JGV_________________________ 2004 2500 CTD 4X4 FWC HAWK 1960 CJ5

#12 cloudzrest



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Posted 25 October 2019 - 09:47 PM

thank you everyone for the info! 


I'm going to start with easy stuff first and then i'll work my way to more expensive / in-depth solutions. 


I ordered a Renogy 100W portable panel to plug into the camper to supplement the rooftop solar, then I'll see how this affects the system.  I wouldn't be surprised if the batteries are also toasted because of repeated low voltage levels.   I'm not sure how the original owner treated the batteries, but given that it's almost a brand new camper I would be surprised if there are faults in the OEM wiring or controller or panels.  :huh:


The camper is almost always in direct sunlight when camping.  But its been hot where I've been camping, 90f+ during the day, I think the combination of high-draw refrigerator in a hot environment, and possibly damaged batteries, along with water pump, USB charging, and some inverter usage, has been enough strain on the system to not keep that batteries at 100%.  


I'll let you know all know what happens when I test out this Renogy Panel.  Thank you all again  B)

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#13 craig333


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Posted 25 October 2019 - 09:51 PM

Don't assume too much. Wiring is not FWC's strong suit.

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Craig K6JGV_________________________ 2004 2500 CTD 4X4 FWC HAWK 1960 CJ5

#14 smlobx


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Posted 23 November 2019 - 11:26 AM

I will second What Craig just said and include other manufacturers in the statement as well.

I think that given the OP’s statement that he has drained his batteries down to 10.8 volts on more than one occasion that his batteries are probably shot...might be time for an upgrade.


Good luck and welcome to WTW!

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Travel light. Travel far. Travel safe.

#15 Advmoto18


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Posted 23 November 2019 - 12:28 PM

Going back to my boat rigging days, installing 24V and 36V trollers.


If you have more than 1 battery in the camper, be sure to wire up the batteries in the most efficient parallel manner for both charging and discharging.  The "less efficient" way illustrated below significantly reduces the life span of the battery 2 due to undercharging and generally lower discharge state when compared to battery 1.





Edited by Advmoto18, 23 November 2019 - 12:30 PM.

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South Carolina Low Country.  

#16 JimBow


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Posted 05 December 2019 - 02:13 AM

I have a 2017 Fleet with the same battery and solar set up as you it sounds like. I also have the the 2 way Isotherm fridge (smallest size). I find that the fridge really drains the batteries at night. The compressor will keep running even on a cold night with the temp setting on one. Could be a bad thermostat? I’ve been shutting the fridge off at night, so I can run the furnace at night without running the batteries down. I’ve been camping out in temps down to zero at night though. I need one of those battery monitors.
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