Discos going Solar.

TexasTJ

Climbing Nerd
Well it’s getting a solar panel any way. I plan to wire it up On the front of the roof rack on a Hinge So I can prop it up at a 45 or leave it flat. This 100watt panel will be perfect to keep the battery charged up and the fridge running when I leave the truck at the airport or the trail head.C3F11B26-D80F-437E-9779-6BAA9A11DD85.jpeg
 
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TexasTJ

Climbing Nerd
I'm looking through the instruction and it notes that I should use a Deep cycle battery. I have just been planning to use this to top off my start battery witch also runs my ARB Fridge. If I tie this into a non Deep Cycle battery will it hurt the battery or be dangerous? Their are not a lot of Deep Cycle options for a Land Rover LR3 and I have not wanted to run a duel battery set up.
 

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Red90

Adventurer
If you cycle a normal battery by using a fridge while camping, it will not last very long. If you have a fridge, you really want a second battery. You leave yourself open to not having enough battery to start the engine in the morning.
 

TexasTJ

Climbing Nerd
I had a Nation Luna Duel battery kit on the truck when I bought it. but it did not work right so I pulled it off. Also the LR3 will only fit a Lawn mower battery in the second tray. I have run my fridge for upwards of two days and the truck has started fine. but if I leave the truck at a trail head for a week I need to empty and turn off the fridge. the solar would be just to top of the battery load everyday while the truck is idle.
 

krick3tt

Adventurer
I have a second battery in the LR3 that runs all aux systems: fridge, HAM, inside rear ceiling lights, etc. I would not run things off the starting battery even with a solar panel to keep things charged. Use Nat Luna splitter/charger to keep things separate and a solar panel controller (Sun Saver 20L) to monitor the panel and battery charging. Been working well for 4 years. I do not keep the controller under the bonnet as it might be compromised by water intrusion, only hook it in the system when parked while camping. The panel is a foldable model with a longer cord to allow it to be placed in the sun while the LR is in the shade if any is available.
There is plenty of room in the aux battery box for a full size battery.
 

TexasTJ

Climbing Nerd
the National system Was always showing low charge on both battery's even when both were brand new. It never seamed to work right so I pulled it off an tossed it. everything has worked fine since then. I may look into getting a painless system down the road but this should work for my needs now.
 

Shigeta

Member
I have an Optima Yellow Top (Group 34 size, IIRC) in my 2nd battery compartment that fit with no modifications using the Traxide kit. Keeping a fridge running full time off the starting battery is a bit too risky for my taste.
 

TexasTJ

Climbing Nerd
I will probably add a painless duel battery kit down the road, but I have been running the fridge full time on the start battery for a year. The fridge always cuts off long before the battery is flat.
 

2.ooohhh

Member
If you cycle a normal battery by using a fridge while camping, it will not last very long. If you have a fridge, you really want a second battery. You leave yourself open to not having enough battery to start the engine in the morning.
I bought a second battery, tray, and associated wiring for my previous FJ. Started watching the data from my VictronConnect 75/10 and found I just didn’t need it with the size of my solar array, the sun I get nearly daily in my part of the world, and the efficiency of my ARB fridge at the temperature I like to keep it. Sold the dual battery setup before I ever got around to installing it. My starting battery was more healthy than it had ever been due to the hours of painless float charging daily. On top of that the solar controller was managing to make enough amps to run the fridge on top of charging my battery.

There are a half dozen variables so YMMV but I’ll likely never install a fridge with solar power before considering a second battery after looking hard at the numbers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

gatorgrizz27

Active member
If you’re running the solar panel just for the fridge, then just KISS and add a completely separate battery.

Solar panel > charge controller > small deep cycle battery like a group 24 > fridge plug. Do not tie into the primary battery or vehicle wiring at all. Should last fine for a weekend in decent weather. Add a battery tender plug to top it off after trips if you park in the garage.
 

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2.ooohhh

Member
The second battery adds weight, management complexity, and frequent maintenance if you need to "top it up". A properly designed and installed solar setup should power the fridge and top up the battery WITHOUT NEEDING TO PLUG IN. My setup is designed to help me stay AWAY from needing electricity from the grid regardless of how long the fridge is installed or how long I'm out for.
 
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