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Old 07-31-2020, 05:26 PM   #1
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2014 25' FB International
Somewhere , Virginia
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Cover solar panels on classic during storage?

I recently purchased a 30 FT Classic. The trailer comes with solar panels on top. As part of storage should these panels be covered some how? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:30 PM   #2
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Why? I keep mine on 24-7-365 so I never have to remove the batteries in winter.

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Old 07-31-2020, 06:44 PM   #3
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I'm thinking that the leaves and other things may build up on the panels. I guess I would need to climb up there and clean the top often
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:11 PM   #4
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They need a good washing now and then, especially underneath. But other than that I just shovel the snow of in the winter since that is the only way my batteries charge and stay charged us by solar.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:24 AM   #5
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we leave them uncovered keeps the batteries charge - like is so sunny!
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:30 AM   #6
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Blue Ridge , Georgia
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We leave ours uncovered. Our Classic is stored under overhead cover. Has anyone used a external solar panel attached to keep the batteries charged when the top panel get no sun? Didn't mean to change the subject but we are taking solar.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:15 AM   #7
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Battery Life with Continuous Solar

Can somebody comment on battery life with the scenario of leaving batteries installed while being continuously charged with solar. I can't recall if it was a discussion I had with Lifeline or Sunexplorer, but I was left with the impression that the battery(ies) would last longer if removed because they would experience fewer charge cycles.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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If lithium batteries are in the picture, they will not charge successfully below 32 degrees F without an internal heater in the battery. In areas with lots of snow fall, the snow load of the square footage of the solar panel is concentrated to the four feet attaching the panel to the roof. Not all four will be on a rib, so lots of stress on just the skin in those areas.

In our Airstream only RV park in the mountains at Lakeside, AZ, some folks that leave their trailer for the winter on their assigned lots built covers with side boards to distribute the snow load for that solar panel to the roof along the perimeter of that panel.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by drbrick View Post
we leave them uncovered keeps the batteries charge - like is so sunny!
We do the same, but not living in Canada's Shangri la, we do need to clear them of snow from time to time to maintain the batteries healthy.

But I'm a bit wiser now, there is no need to clear all five panels, one will do to maintain the battery bank in float mode; the four others are covered with a 1/2" flexible foam just to make it easier to clear them off when (or IF this year?) we leave for the South after the Holidays.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:52 AM   #10
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Assuming you have a lithium battery with a *good* BMS, it will prevent charging at temperatures that are too low.

With lead acid batteries, a lot depends on your charger (since there is no BMS). The charge voltages on a lead acid vary with temperature. If the charger does not track these changes, you might over-charge the batteries (at high temperatures ...). Generally this pushes water out of the battery ( = you need to add water more often ...).

Either way, keeping batteries charged up does not add to charge cycle wear and tear. Charge cycles impact varies with depth of discharge. A "shallow" discharge does not count the same as a full discharge to nearly nothing left ....

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Old 08-03-2020, 12:39 PM   #11
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Fitchburg , Wisconsin
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The other side of the coin:

My Blue Sky controllers get their operating power from the batteries, not the panels, and will be damaged if battery power is removed while the panels are producing power. Your controller may be different but I suggest you trip the panel breaker before/if you disconnect the batteries.
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