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Old 10-10-2019, 08:33 AM   #1
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Modifying Trailer Cover

We purchased a cover for our 21. I am storing the trailer at a gated self storage facility. Once I winterize I'd like to keep the batteries charged up. No shore power. I was thinking about cutting out a section of the cover located directly above the solar panel. Thoughts?
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:20 AM   #2
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We store ours under cover similar to your situation. We have a light cover on it (not Tyvek) and find that the solar panels keep charged through the cover. We live in California though where we get lots of sunshine. Not sure where you live or what kind of cover you have.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:33 AM   #3
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We store ours under cover sometimes (if we don't use it for more than 3 months) and I noticed the solar panel is still charging even under cover.. no idea how much power it's getting but the panel gets about 1-2 hours of light a day and that seemed to be enough.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:47 AM   #4
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Unless you finish the edges I'd think it'd be more prone to tearing in the cut corners. If I were to try it I'd reinforce and bind the edges, not that I have any idea how to do such.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:06 PM   #5
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Unless you finish the edges I'd think it'd be more prone to tearing in the cut corners. If I were to try it I'd reinforce and bind the edges, not that I have any idea how to do such.
Good point. I'm looking at the possibility of ^somehow^ sowing in a clear vinyl piece that would go over the solar panel. I'm not confident that the particular cover I allow enough photons to reach the solar panel.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:15 PM   #6
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I see a great business opportunity, a trailer cover with clear vinyl inserts for solar panels.....
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:55 PM   #7
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Could also go the solar battery maintainer route, don't know about theft though.

http://products.batterytender.com/So...ontroller.html
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:13 PM   #8
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I see a great business opportunity, a trailer cover with clear vinyl inserts for solar panels.....
How many beers did you down at the Suburban Bowlarama today?
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:47 PM   #9
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We currently use the Classic Accessories cover sold by ETI for our E21 and the batteries stay topped off over winter in WI at 43 degrees N latitude, with light transmitted to the panels through the white fabric cover.

IMG_2359.JPG
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
We purchased a cover for our 21. I am storing the trailer at a gated self storage facility. Once I winterize I'd like to keep the batteries charged up. No shore power. I was thinking about cutting out a section of the cover located directly above the solar panel. Thoughts?
Since you've already purchased your cover, before cutting a hole and stitching a clear section to it, I think I would try and see if I could get any charge to the battery as is, first. Our cover is not so thick so our batteries stay fully charged from the solar panel even with the cover on top of it. If the batteries don't charge, then cutting and sewing a clear panel sounds like an interesting project. Please share this if you do!

Another idea is to see if you can charge up something you have around the house that has solar panel on it, like a solar charged camping lantern. If you set a lantern like that (with a low battery) under a section of your cover out in the sun for a day or more, perhaps you can see if it charges up or not? Just a thought....good luck! -Bea
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:06 AM   #11
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Since you've already purchased your cover, before cutting a hole and stitching a clear section to it, I think I would try and see if I could get any charge to the battery as is, first. Our cover is not so thick so our batteries stay fully charged from the solar panel even with the cover on top of it. If the batteries don't charge, then cutting and sewing a clear panel sounds like an interesting project. Please share this if you do!

Another idea is to see if you can charge up something you have around the house that has solar panel on it, like a solar charged camping lantern. If you set a lantern like that (with a low battery) under a section of your cover out in the sun for a day or more, perhaps you can see if it charges up or not? Just a thought....good luck! -Bea
Thanks Bea for your suggestions. The cover is still in the unopened box. I'm going to assume my cover is the same as yours. I'll see if the batteries stay charged with the cover on. Of course there is always the issue of how much trouble is involved in removing the cover in order to enter the trailer.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:13 AM   #12
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I think you may be able to loosen the side and squeeze inside without the removal, at least that is what I did in the past with trailer covers. It may even have a zipper panel already fo the door.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:18 AM   #13
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I think you may be able to loosen the side and squeeze inside without the removal, at least that is what I did in the past with trailer covers. It may even have a zipper panel already fo the door.
Wouldn't that be great if there was a zippered panel. You said that I'd need an 8' ladder?
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:58 AM   #14
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I have put a cover over my parked 19' every winter since it was purchased in 2013 and the batteries have always been fully charged from the rooftop solar panel when I uncover the trailer in the spring (usually covered from about mid-October to end of March).

Of course, the Calmark cover on our 15B is so heavy and thick that the solar panels do not charge the batteries at all while it is covered up for the winter.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:20 AM   #15
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Why don’t you just unhook the battery(s) Bring them home and put them on a trickle charge.
Probably only be a 15 minute job.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:26 AM   #16
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Why donít you just unhook the battery(s) Bring them home and put them on a trickle charge.
Probably only be a 15 minute job.
Have you tried to lift a 6volt out of the battery box? Let alone two?
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:59 AM   #17
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Thanks Bea for your suggestions. The cover is still in the unopened box. I'm going to assume my cover is the same as yours. I'll see if the batteries stay charged with the cover on. Of course there is always the issue of how much trouble is involved in removing the cover in order to enter the trailer.
This is our cover: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It came with several zippered panels so entering the trailer is easy, just unzip by the door and slide in. We do it all the time. If yours has zippered panels, you are good...but even if not, like Jim mentioned, hopefully you can loosen some straps and wiggle in. Most covers are made for 8' wide trailers so with our 7'4" trailers, seems feasible. We need a ladder to put the cover on and it takes the two of us but I can take it off by myself, no problem.

Leaving the batteries at home on a trickle charge is also an option but as Donna points out, they are heavy suckers. If you do, the nurse in me says, remember to bend those knees and save your back!
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:38 PM   #18
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Why donít you just unhook the battery(s) Bring them home and put them on a trickle charge.
Probably only be a 15 minute job.
Thanks for the suggestion but I'm not interested in that option. The batteries look to be a PITA to pull on the access door. I'm receiving encouraging feedback that the cover will detrimentally impede the inflow of photons.
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