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Old 11-18-2014, 02:52 PM   #61
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Name: Jon
Trailer: Escape 21C
New York
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I suspect that the design of the controller determines whether it can be used at the same time as another charging source. My GoPower controller is permanently connected to the battery & has survived paralleled with both the converter & the tow vehicle charging at the same time.

If a solar controller cannot deal with multiple battery charging sources, I'd look for a different brand.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:23 PM   #62
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Trailer: Winnebago
Posts: 214
Handyman Bob knows solar. I read all of his blogs and designed a system that works. Perhaps I over engineered the system but I wanted to be able to go off the grid for extended periods of time. I also can't say enough for the products that Bogart Engineering make. They make the Trimetric battery monitor and they now make a charge controller that works with their monitor. It is programmable but I am using one of the canned programs and it works great charging my 2 - Trojan T-105s. It also has a temperature sensor that even compensates for temperature change. Nothing fancy but I have found them to work superbly. One thing I have learned that has helped me and that is if you want to learn about solar and batteries listen to the people that are living off the grid. Their systems work - they have to.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:45 PM   #63
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 312
While at the RV store yesterday, I checked the box of a GoPower controller. It said that it is "Reverse Charge Protected".

That is perhaps the type of language or something similiar, in the specs that should be checked to avoid a controller that can be damaged by a generator or other secondary charging source.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:04 PM   #64
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Name: Brian
Trailer: 2015 Scamp 13 Front Washroom, Van Camper
New Brunswick
Posts: 372
We live off grid full time except when out with one of our trailers. I couldn't be bothered to put together a good system. We use a 100 Watt folding suitcase type with sketchy pwm controller and it works just fine for our needs and I suspect would for most people with only single group 24 or 27 batteries. The best route to go is conservation and have an idea of what power you are using.
Now what wouldn't I do
1. Replace the nice mc4 connectors that come pre-wired with the system and replace with regular wire. Ideally you should be using stranded copper wire not solid copper..
2. Mount the controller near the battery but not over it it's lithium ion or possibly agm but definitely not flooded lead acid - you take a chance of corroding the charge controller with the gasses.

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