Where I work we have a little bus we use to take college students on field trips. (I call it “the short bus,” but it hauls honor students most of the time.) It’s about the size of a small class C motorhome. It has a Ford diesel chassis and it has three batteries.
Unfortunately, the bus doesn’t get used very often, and it frequently won’t start when we need it. It sits parked in a lot with no nearby access to an electrical outlet, so I am considering a solar trickle charger. With the solar panel laid on the dashboard, it should get enough Florida sun to provide charging power, especially in the morning (it faces east).
With a budget of about $200 can anyone recommend a solar trickle charger that can handle three full-sized truck batteries?
Tomorrow I’m going to jump-start the bus and figure out if any of the 12 volt outlets inside the bus are live when the key is not in the ignition. If one of the outlets is always live, that will make my job of hooking up the charger easier, but if they aren’t live, I will have to remove the battery cover and install a cable on one of the batteries.
I’ve taken a quick look at solar trickle chargers on Amazon, but I’m wondering if any of you have had good or bad experiences with any particular brands or models of industrial solar trickle chargers.