I keep a trickle charger plugged into ours in our trailer shed. I don't see why a solar one wouldn't work. Those little batteries have drastically shortened lives if you don't keep a charge going into them.
Thanks Tom. Unfortunately, I don't have access to an electrical outlet where I keep my trailer, hence the desire for solar. I had already hit the batterymart site
I think the trick is going to be figuring out where to hook up the solar panel. I have a small battery in a box, there aren't any regular battery posts to clamp onto. I'm thinking I can rig up something to plug into the regular electric plug that will charge that puppy up.
the solar charger Tom linked to is a 5 watt... a 12Volt 5 watt panel should produce in bright sunlight just about 330 milliamps (mA) of charge at 17.5VDC....the trailer's breakaway backup battery is only 4.5 amps (4500 milliamps)
The battery's discharge voltage should at a little over 12VDC, full charge is 12.5 to 12.6VDC
A 5 watt solar panel should recharge a discharged serviceable battery is a few hours at the most
The system must have a regulator that works other wise the panel will overcharge the battery shorting it out. The regulator requires a system ground to dump the excess charge rate of the solar panel..
The system ground is going to be the hard thing to locate as the trailer itself is insulated from an earth ground by the rubber tires
The Battery Tender brand "trickle chargers" have a chip that doesn't allow an overcharge. It would be nice if they made a smaller solar one.
We've had good luck with Battery Tenders on everything with these small batteries, like trailers, lawnmowers, and jetskiis, allowing these batteries to last for 4 to 5 years, or maybe more-haven't really kept up with them. I do know that without the Tenders, we were lucky to get 2 years out of them.
Thanks for the responses, the problem of how to connect the darn thing remains since the battery terminals are not easily accessible. I'm aware of the need for a regulator, and they are pretty easy to find.
I remain hopeful of being able to wire the darn thing to a plug. I think I can rig up a ground easily enough since the battery is on the tongue and I can either use a metal stake or the jack stand.
Thanks. my challenge is that the battery is contained in a box (that is zip-tied closed) and is hardwired to the electrical harness that we plug into the truck. This appears to be the standard protocol as all other trailers I've looked at are the same. When I sit down and think about it, I'm confident I can put something together that will allow me to plug the solar panel into the standard plug on the trailer.
Got a nice solar panel from Camping World. Wired it onto a vehicle end 7 way plug which had blades way too big for my trailer plug (who knew). Rewired it onto a simple little plug that was spliced on to the battery wires. Found out that a truly dead battery will show as "charged" on a battery charger as they measure the current coming out of the battery which is absolutely nothing both when the battery is charged and when it will not take a charge. Found out my circuit board that monitors the battery charge works exactly fine and thinks the dead battery is charged. Read my owners manual and will forever more faithfully check and charge the darn battery if needed every 3 months.
In short, I think I'm set once I get a new battery.