Batteries & Chargers

I have a new Sunline trailer on order and expect delivery in the mid- June time. The dealer is going to install two batteries for me and after reading all the info on batteries it seems that the way to go is with two golf cart batteries. My question for all of you GURUs is do you need to get a special 6 volt 3 stage charger or can you use one of the 12 volt chargers ? I plan to do a fair amount of dry camping. Also would a 15W solar panel be any help in keeping the batteries charged when the trailer is not hooked to shore power or is it too small? I also plan to buy one of the Honda 2000 watt generators and have been told that the solar panel would be a waste of money.


Senior Member
Batteries & Chargers

Assuming the batteries will be hooked up (in series) to provide 12v to the trailer (which is a pretty good assumption :), you will want to charge them with a good 12v charger. A small solar panel can be of use to combat 'self-discharge' and 'phantom currents' (i.e. LP detector current) while the trailer is parked and not in use, but would be of little value while you are actually using the batteries. You should be able to charge the batteries some using the generator and the converter built into the trailer, but may find that you can't get them over 75% charged without excessive charge time. Some people report superior charging using an upgraded built in charger or an external charger plugged into the generator. Watch the current requirements of any external charger to ensure you don't overload the 2000.

Gary B

Senior Member
Batteries & Chargers

Hi Swede, all you really need is a 12 volt charger, if you want a bit more get a deep cycle charger, but you don't need a expensive 3 stage charger. I can tell that from real world experince from when I owned helicopters, they had $500.00 batteries and a plain charger worked on them. Enjoy your new rv and have a great time camping. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
Batteries & Chargers


Since the charger topic has been fairly well covered, I'd like to comment on solar panels.
Solar panels are really NOT a waste of time or money. They do require some planning for their proper use, but the proper panels can completely recharge a battery (or bank of batteries) within a day.
The key to recharging is matching the panels to your batteries and the usage you give them.

I use a 5 watt panel on my fishing boat. It keeps the trolling motor battery recharged without use of external charging. I also use 2 15 watt panels to maintain and recharge 2 80A/hr deep cycles that power my radio transmitting equipment for emergency communications and networking.

The 5 watt panel you mentioned would only just barely maintain your batteries against the drain from your LP leak detector and other minor electricity users. 2 15 watt panels, however, provide approx. 2 amps of charge current during full sun. This would bring your batteries back from a 1/2 charged state within a full summer day. If your battery usage is draining your batteries below 1/2 charge, or you have more than 2 batteries, a panel rated at 50 watts (or greater)would be recommended. Of course if you really want a speedy recharge, panels rated at 100 watts, and higher, would fit the bill but are rather pricey. Be sure to use a charge monitor with ANY solar panel. It keeps the solar charger from overcharging your batteries.

Personally, I would spend money on solar before spending it on a generator if your only need is to recharge your batteries. It's quieter, you don't have to carry extra fuel, and (the best part) they work even when you forget about them.

Batteries & Chargers

Thanks all - this is a great forum. I have another question - I spoke to my dealer about the golf cart batteries and the only reservation they had was in finding a cover for the higher batteries as they will located outside, mounted on the trailers "A" frame. Can anyone recommend a source?
Batteries & Chargers


Try for the box. They have boxes for side-to-side 2 golfcart batts, or end-to-end, which is the only way they would fit in my rig. Others have the side by side, but that was the only place I could find end-to-end.