Deep Cycle Battery Charging

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:33
ThreadID: 56231 Views:5135 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Hi, can anyone please help. I have just purchased a second hand Jayco camper which included a 100amp/hr deep cycle battery (near new) and a 13 watt portable solar penal charger (believe from Kmart). I already have a 850w generator (from Aldi) which has a build in 8amp 12v battery charger. So the question is if I use 20amp of power from the battery each night and I connect the solar penal each day getting around 5amp of charge, how long should I need to run the generator for to top up the battery. Should I run the genny first thing for a hour or so then correct the solar panel?
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Reply By: Redback - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:50

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:50
Depends on what your running off the battery.

Also no way you'll get 5amps of charge from a 13watt solar panel, 0.8amp would be the max i reckon.

(I have a 20watt panel)

If your only running lights and the water pump in the camper, then, the solar panel should keep the battery topped up, ours does.

I'm assuming the Jayco has a 3 way in it, so no 12v fridge too run.

We have a 3 way in the camper and a 12v in the car.

AnswerID: 296350

Follow Up By: CAS471 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 12:00

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 12:00
Thanks Baz,

I'm new to this deep cycle battery thing (or any type). In general I only plan on running a 1 x 13w fluorescent and the 10w light in the camper x 2 hours nightly and a radio for the same time. I have a 60w TV I plan taking on long trips say 2 hr per night. The fridge is 3 way run on LPG. I would like to know how to work out the salor panel power supply if possible.

FollowupID: 562398

Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 12:51

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 12:51
Hi Caz

You should not charge from the generators 12v output except if really desperate because the rough nature of the output will cause harm to your battery over the long term unless carefully monitored.

If you wish to charge from Gennie then get a 240v charger and plug it into gennie.
The size of your battery would mean you should get one with an output of from 5 to 15amp (money limited) to properly top
up your battery in an hour or two.

Its better though to have a simple charge setup from the car battery, many supply these.

40w solar panels are probably the minimum you should have.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 296361

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 14:13

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 14:13
I'm currently in the same boat - if my batteries get low in the bush I run the gennie and team it's 240V output with a 3 stage smart charger - safe and efficient as a method (though noisy in some circumstances). Solar is a good alternative but 13W nominal is not going to be much practical use.
AnswerID: 296382

Follow Up By: CAS471 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 15:29

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 15:29
Think it’s time to look into a larger solar panel, I would be interested in knowing the brand and model of charger you have
FollowupID: 562431

Reply By: Member - Mottleman (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 16:30

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 16:30
I use a 30amp charger with the 240v side of the gennie for my DC 120a/h battery.
Works well. Got it from ABR, look at their website if interested.

AnswerID: 296402

Reply By: Rod - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 18:09

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 18:09
Check you Aldi generator's 12V output before you rely on it. It is an unregulated supply. My brother in law bought one to use at Easter and it would not put out more than 10.5 volts. The flip side is that they can also put out 18-19Volts.

240V circuit with a battery charger is safer than 12V circuit.
AnswerID: 296427

Follow Up By: CAS471 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 20:42

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 20:42
Thanks everyone,

Depending which way I go, looks like I need a good charger to do deep cycle (around the $120 mark) running off the 240 side of the genny or if I go solar anywhere between 20-80 watt ($260-$700). Good learning tool. I throught the 12volt charger on the genny and the 13 watt solar penal would fix everything.
FollowupID: 562524

Reply By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Friday, Apr 04, 2008 at 01:49

Friday, Apr 04, 2008 at 01:49
#13 watt portable solar penal charger#

Thats gotta be bad for the Prostrate !
AnswerID: 296539

Reply By: Redback - Friday, Apr 04, 2008 at 08:50

Friday, Apr 04, 2008 at 08:50
Cas, this is my setup, it's simple, easy to use and setup and i don't have or need a generator.

I have a 75AH deepcycle battery in the camper, that is charged via the car when moving, through an Anderson plug that runs an Arrid smart charger connected to the battery.

I use my 20 watt panel during the day when camped to top up the camper battery, i have 3 lights in the camper and the water pump and a 3 way running on gas when camped, so not alot of power used, the lights only use 1AH max.

If it's overcast, i top up the camper battery using an inverter to run a 240 volt battery charger and run it overnight off the second battery in the car, (YOU MUST HAVE A DUAL BATTERY SYSTEM FOR THIS)this isn't the most efficant way to do it but it works and i go for a short drive in the morning to re-charge my second battery.

My system;
1 20Watt solar panel
1 300watt inverter
1 Arlec 8 amp 240 watt charger
SC40 Traxide Tronics dual battery controller & Fullriver 60AH deepcycle batt (in the car)

This works for us and has done for 4 years now, 2 years in our current vehicle, we can camp in the one place for 9 days (longest we have camped at one place) so we could probably go for longer.

If like other you are running a 12v fridge in the camper then you will need a better system and probably the gennie would need to be there as a backup, the TV maybe the thing that uses the most power, but as we don't have one i can't tell you how much.

Hope this helps, try to keep it simple and you'll have no problems.


1 Arrid Smart charger & 75AH deepcycle battery (in the camper)

AnswerID: 296567

Follow Up By: CAS471 - Friday, Apr 04, 2008 at 09:06

Friday, Apr 04, 2008 at 09:06
Thanks Baz,

I'll sit down over the weekend and do some sums and ringing around.

FollowupID: 562629

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