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Old 04-02-2015, 07:18 PM   #1
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RV Cover With Solar Panels

Here is the dilemma:
I recently invested in solar panels to keep my batteries charged when in storage. Since I won't be using the trailer much this year due to my wife being pregnant, I wanted to get a cover so my new TT doesn't bake in the NV sun this summer.

Do I cut a hole in the cover for the panels, which will void the cover warranty?

or

Completely remove the batteries and throw them on a battery tender in the garage, which makes me feel like I wasted my money on the solar panels?
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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Removed the batts and put them on a battery maintainer-not a battery tender.Big difference.
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:35 PM   #3
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Store the batteries. To put holes in the cover, you'll need to have them reinforced and edged or your cover will shred with minimal wind unless you're starting with a $1K Sunbrella fabric Calmark custom or similar.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:42 PM   #4
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IF I were to cut it, my wife would sew in reinforcement, but that would void the warranty. I wonder if enough light goes through where the panels would still work....just thinking out loud.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evo2700 View Post
IF I were to cut it, my wife would see in reinforcement, but that would void the 4 yr warranty. I wonder if enough light goes through where the panels would still work....just thinking out loud.
She happen to be a canvas maker? Not being flippant, my brother is and to stitch in what you'd need to keep it together with the fabrics used in the less-expensive covers is a bit more than the home sewer can usually do.

I'm not a solar guru by any means, and you are more knowledgeable of your particular panels. However, no matter what you'll be severely inhibiting their performance. I know some are good with indirect sunlight, but seem to think all still warn against dirt and its effect. Even the most opaque fabric - Tyvek - is as bad/worse than a dirt film I'd think... I'd also wonder about the heat. We can fry an egg on any panel in the 10kW array just with the morning sun.

If you pay the premium for a custom cover (like a Calmark), they'll do the holes, reinforce them, and give you the 6 year (I think that's theirs) warranty.

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Old 04-03-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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There was a thread on this very topic some time ago. I believe that OP ended up trying the cover on top of the panels.

If your cover lets some light in, and your panels capacity is enough I think the panels should produce more than enough power covered, to keep the battery charged during storage. Hey, why not try it and see. My panels were producing power with 6" of light snow on them during a sunny day. Now it wasn't much, but enough to trickle charge the battery.
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:43 PM   #7
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store the batteries
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:18 PM   #8
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Portable Solar

"Do I cut a hole in the cover for the panels, which will void the cover warranty?"

One solution I've seen is the purchase of a smaller, portable solar panel. I don't need one, but my solar panel has a plug that would allow an additional solar panel to be attached. You can find them on Google.
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