Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-18-2020, 09:08 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
tampa , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 19
To Carport or leave uncovered

We bought a 2020 26' FC last month and plan to keep it parked on land in north Florida. There is no power accessible on the property so we will depend on our solar panels to keep the batteries charged.
I would like to have a carport built to protect the AS but the roof will restrict the suns rays to the solar panels.
My dilemma: leave the AS exposed so the batteries can maintain a charge?, or protect the AS with a carport and not worry about the batteries discharging?
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
wwesthof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2020, 09:18 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1967 17' Caravel
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 938
Protecting your coach from the strong Fla sun, not to mention rain/wind possibly carrying salt, is a good idea. Could you use a couple of portable solar panels set outside of the carport to keep your batteries powered? Or on the carport roof?

Landshark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2020, 10:25 AM   #3
Rivet Master
1967 17' Caravel
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 938
Just thought of something else in favor of the carport: the sun will heat up the interior of your coach like you won't believe, destroying stuff and making your coach uninhabitable when you arrive to use it. And with the rain and insects in Fla, you can't leave anything open for ventilation. So the carport idea gains even more, IMHO.

Landshark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2020, 10:50 AM   #4
Rivet Master
2018 28' International
Fayetteville , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 736
Cover it, whenever possible. Add external solar panels to keep batteries charged up.
2018 International Serenity
Cute wife...
brick1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2020, 11:33 AM   #5
Rivet Master
jeffmc306's Avatar
2019 27' Globetrotter
McHenry , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 1,194
Blog Entries: 4
wwesthof, I agree with the other posters - protect the AS at all costs

Take a look at PulseTech’s line of solar chargers. They have some that work with two 12V batteries in parallel like the one below so perfect for your application.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2334C201-1FCE-42F8-9D6E-932113C652B7.jpg
Views:	90
Size:	244.2 KB
ID:	361379  
2019 27’ Globetrotter FBT Walnut/Dublin Slate
2018 FC23FB
2019 Ram 2500 6.4 Hemi Laramie Blue Ox 1000#
WBCCI# 10258
jeffmc306 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 04:35 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
tampa , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 19
Thank you all. After reading the comments I began to wonder why I would even place the charging of batteries at the same degree as protecting a new AS!!!..duh!!! It is a no brainers! Thank you.
wwesthof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 07:28 AM   #7
Rivet Master
Al and Missy's Avatar
2002 30' Classic S/O
Fleming Island , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,175
Either purchase and install a real battery disconnect switch or disconnect the negative side of the batteries when you leave the trailer. The batteries will hold their charge for weeks if you do. If not they will be dead in days. Repeated discharge will kill the batteries.

Here’s a simple disconnect that some people use. Depending on how your trailer is wired you may need two, one for each battery.

Merely driving with the trailer connected to the tow vehicle typically will not provide sufficient charging. You shoudl be sure your batteries are fully charged before leaving the trailer. A night or two at a campground with shore power will do that.

“You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"
Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO WBCCI 1322
2002 Classic 30 Slideout -S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
Al and Missy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 08:09 AM   #8
Rivet Master
kscherzi's Avatar
2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,556
Images: 24
My trailer is stored under a carport but just enough light leaks in to keep the batteries charged with roof mounted solar.
kscherzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 09:00 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
2016 26' Flying Cloud
Southlake , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 460
I have used a Pulse Tech solar charger for years to maintain the battery in my tractor which is stored in a shed in the back yard. Their products are great. There is no way I would leave our AS uncovered. One hail storm is all it would take, not to mention the other elements.
2016 Flying Cloud 26u
2017 Silverado Duramax 4x4
Equalizer Hitch
Bgibbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 09:15 AM   #10
Site Team
Rocinante's Avatar

2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6,974
Blog Entries: 1
Great question. We heartily agree, whenever possible store the Airstream under a roof. A small portable solar panel and a simple solar charge controller, even if you just alligator clip it to your battery terminals, should keep the coach batteries happy during storage and will keep your trailer in much better condition overall. We rent space for Rocinante where she's stored inside a building when we're not on the road. As others have observed, covered storage is particularly important in hot southern states where the sun is also especially strong.

Forgot to mention, we actually have a separate battery disconnect switch and lithium batteries. As a result, when we store the trailer, we turn the switch to off (e.g. no battery power to anything, not even the propane detector or the jack), and when we return the batteries are still fully charged.
Rocinante Piccolo is our new-to-us 2016 Interstate Lounge 3500 EXT
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

Rocinante is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 09:27 AM   #11
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 17,136
Images: 1
If you want, why not? But you don't have too.
For me getting the axles unloaded is more important.

Oh...and I just charge and isolate the batteries and leave them in the AS. I used to remove and trickle, but found that unnecessary. Both the AGM's and the BB Lithiums have held the charge very well thru the Winter.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	fullsizeoutput_2195.jpg
Views:	53
Size:	307.6 KB
ID:	361420   Click image for larger version

Name:	fullsizeoutput_1322.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	389.4 KB
ID:	361421  

ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 09:33 AM   #12
4 Rivet Member
2019 25' Flying Cloud
Greeneville , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 351
My AS is a 2000 Excella. It has always been under a carport type shelter. People can't believe it is 20 years old. The interior is also great. I vote for portable solar panels and a carport.
jimfa440 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 09:43 AM   #13
Rivet Master
TBRich's Avatar

2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,620
Images: 64
If you find the solar panels on your Airstream are not able to keep the batteries charged while under the carport, is it possible to install a solar panel on the roof of your carport to attach to your Airstream when it's inside?
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair & PastPrez, 4CU/WBCCI
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 09:57 AM   #14
Stay CazuaL
cazual6's Avatar
2018 25' Flying Cloud
2014 19' Flying Cloud
Reseda , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 862
Images: 1
I wish I could build my carport. City Permits is my problem.

Your problem could easily be solved by getting an external solar panel. A 100w will be enough to keep your batteries charged. Build your carport.
"No job is so simple that it cannot be done wrong."
"Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."
"Either I will find a way, or I will make one."
WBCCI 9164
cazual6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 11:13 AM   #15
2 Rivet Member
Glen Carter's Avatar
2018 19' Tommy Bahama
Rancho Santa Margarita , CA
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 26
What about the possibility of adding a skylight or translucent panel to the carport over the area of the solar panels. Will not get full charging power, however over time should keep it fully charged.
Glen Carter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 11:34 AM   #16
4 Rivet Member
2016 30' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 315
I highly recommend the carport for al of the obvious and stated reasons. Cant you have electrical service installed? Keep the batteries topped off and to run a dehumidifier.
dhroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 12:51 PM   #17
Rivet Master
banderabob's Avatar
2008 19' Bambi
2012 23' Flying Cloud
Bandera , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 615
I’m sure you’ve already determined to cover it, no question!
banderabob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 04:35 PM   #18
2 Rivet Member
2018 30' Flying Cloud
Elgin , Texas
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 59
I keep my Airstream parked under a cantilevered carport. The roof has translucent panels that reject uv and heat from the sun. I have 50 amp service plugged into the trailer. In your case I think the translucent panels would permit enough light to activate your solar panels.
caz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2020, 07:47 PM   #19
Rivet Master
1967 17' Caravel
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 938
I don't even have my Caravel yet and I've already built a carport for it! And with the wind here, I had glass put on two sides to protect it from blowing rain, or more likely, snow.

But now I'm intrigued by the idea of hanging a portable solar panel on one side of glass to keep it powered up.

Lots of good info here. Thanks, guys!

Landshark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2020, 10:23 AM   #20
1 Rivet Member
2005 28' Classic
Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 8
I just purchased my 28 ft Classic and read advice to not cover airstream because might ruin finish? Should I buy a cover and if so, which brand? Best Regards CoCo
CoCo9460 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Uncovered outdoor storage in the North bikechuck Winterizing, Storage, Carports & Covers 31 12-11-2017 03:54 PM
Interior vinyl and wood layer, to leave or not to leave? amaelish General Interior Topics 0 05-29-2017 12:18 AM
Storage - covered or uncovered KariRich Clearcoat, Exterior Paint & Trim 21 02-19-2016 09:23 AM
Storage: sunny uncovered vs. salt air but covered? Moondoggie Winterizing, Storage, Carports & Covers 3 08-13-2014 05:20 AM
Storage: Covered vs. Uncovered Will_Brule Airstream Lifestyle 19 08-24-2013 08:34 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.