turkeybirdie
Got the solar system up and running with a new 100W panel, charge controller and reverse polarity SAE connector. When there is no power input (solar or Tow vehicle) there remains a drain on the battery.  Only visible usage is DVD/CD clock.  What else could be sucking juice from the battery?  I think I'm going to install a disconnect on the positive side of the battery.  Any thoughts?
BTW I couldn't figure out how to rotate the photo I posted.  It was correct on my computer and kept coming out sideways when I posted it, so I left it that way for the time being.
Quote 0
2ty
There are several continuous drains on your battery, they are all fairly small but add up to about 3/4 of an ampere.  The frig, water heater, radio, smoke detector, and propane detector all draw a tiny current but their combination will flatten your battery in just a few days!  Once I realized that, I installed a cutoff switch near the battery.  Even with the switch, the battery (unless it is Lithium) will self discharge in a few months so it's a good idea to put a trickle charger on it.  If a lead acid battery is left partially discharged too long, sulfation will occur and that will lower the capacity of the battery.
Quote 0
mikes
How much current? On my 177SE, it's only the LP/CO detector and the USB charging outlet (no radio, smoke detector has its own battery). <100 mA. Oh, and the solar controller itself (<40 mA). Fridge and hot water draw nothing if turned off.

There's a light under the bed, reachable through the rear hatch - make sure that's not accidentally turned on.
Mike
Quote 0
turkeybirdie
Now that I know the drain is not a figment of my imagination or something I'm not doing right, I'll just keep the solar panel hoooked up and figure out what to do in the winter.  Probably disconnect the battery if that won't adversely affect the overall health of the trailer.  Thanks
Quote 0
sunvalleyjoe
We leave our Retro hooked up on shore power for the winter. I know Mendo doesn't get as cold as Reno but it works. I have 2 interstate deep cycle hooked up in Parallel and they are over 4 years old still working good. Have family in Laytonville  nice area. GBA!!SVJ
Quote 0
mkevenson
I keep mine on AC during winter, bu disconect every other week or so to prevent overcharging . Not sure if fhe Retro has stage charging.
Mark
Please buy Made in USA
Quote 0
turkeybirdie
How can we find that out?  Is there anyone home at Riverside RV?
Quote 0
2ty
I've not seen them respond via this forum, but that doesn't mean they don't read it from time to time.  I believe the OEM power converter is multi-stage, but I'm not sure that it works all that well.
Quote 0
mikes
Every Retro I've seen uses a WFCO 8955 power converter. Riverside isn't responsible for answering questions about them. 

They're 3 stage chargers, but of low quality. If you search around, there are lots of complaints. Most center around them not going into bulk charge mode, and so taking a long time to fully charge batteries. For people who always use campsites with utilities and might only use the battery when staying at a Cracker Barrel while on the road, they work fine. 

Fortunately, "normal" mode is 13.6 V for 44 hours, and float is 13.2 V, both reasonable levels for long term storage of the commonly used "marine" batteries. Make sure to top up the water before storing.
Mike
Quote 0
2ty
Those voltages are perfect for floating a Lithium Iron battery!  I replaced my Lead Acid battery with Lithium last year, installed a Meanwell HLG series PS near the water pump to charge it. I left the WFCO as my float supply and added a switch on the 120v side to choose which supply is active. When in storage, the battery disconnect switch is turned off and the WFCO powers the trailer when needed.  I found that the WFCO can charge the Lithium battery but slowly and not all the way, the Meanwell supply is set for 14.4 volts and does a great job.
Quote 0