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Old 11-18-2015, 09:39 AM   #61
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I need some advice, with rationale, to make a choice for storage. I live in southern Texas (Bandera) and have 3 choices for storage for my 5.0TA: build a $13 K shelter and plug in next to the house, buy a CalMark cover ($650+) and leave the 5.0 outside plugged in next to the house, or rent an indoor climate controlled unit ($127/mo) a few miles away without electricity for plug in. How important is keeping the unit plugged in during long periods of not traveling? Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:59 AM   #62
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The solar may still work with a cover, otherwise a portable unit up on the roof could be used. I find with a cover, the effort to put on and off sometimes may take away from the spontaneity of keeping the trailer ready for camping, in your yard, plugged in with the refer already cold and filled with beer. With a $40k investment, another $13k is worth it to protect plus a good selling point later.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:21 AM   #63
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With those winds and blowing dust storms in TX I don't know if I'd go for a cover. Think I'd opt for a 3 side shelter if you've got the space.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:29 AM   #64
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Thanks to both of your for your insight. My gut tells me to go for the shelter. While I have the $13 K, it's still hard to part with it.....if I don't really need to do so. Much appreciate your input.
Tom
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:34 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The solar may still work with a cover, otherwise a portable unit up on the roof could be used. I find with a cover, the effort to put on and off sometimes may take away from the spontaneity of keeping the trailer ready for camping, in your yard, plugged in with the refer already cold and filled with beer. With a $40k investment, another $13k is worth it to protect plus a good selling point later.
are you suggesting that a solar panel on a trailers roof may still provide a enough of a trickle charge to keep the batteries topped up?
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:47 AM   #66
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I need some advice, with rationale, to make a choice for storage. I live in southern Texas (Bandera) and have 3 choices for storage for my 5.0TA: build a $13 K shelter and plug in next to the house, buy a CalMark cover ($650+) and leave the 5.0 outside plugged in next to the house, or rent an indoor climate controlled unit ($127/mo) a few miles away without electricity for plug in. How important is keeping the unit plugged in during long periods of not traveling? Thanks.
I have a similar dilemma for a 21 due next Oct. I got a quote for materials for a 12'HX16'WX40'L RV cover of just under $3K. That would cover my 21 plus 2 or 3 other utility trailers. That's w/o sides just a steel roof. Add to that footings (concrete/sono tubes) and labor. You may find a suitable structure for less than $13K. $13K sounds high to me unless you have some stringent HOA rules.

I am leaning toward the pole barn. I have covered other trailers over the winter with styrofoam blocks and plastic tarps. They always leave dirt/moisture and take time to cover/uncover for use.
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:51 AM   #67
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are you suggesting that a solar panel on a trailers roof may still provide a enough of a trickle charge to keep the batteries topped up?
Even a small panel is more than adequate to maintain batteries over the winter. I've been doing it for years with my boats.

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Old 11-18-2015, 12:06 PM   #68
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are you suggesting that a solar panel on a trailers roof may still provide a enough of a trickle charge to keep the batteries topped up?
Yes...
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:12 PM   #69
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Love having my 21 plugged in while stored, lets me run a ceramic heater and power tools in a warm trailer for doing mods!
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:01 PM   #70
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I'm sorry, my post (#65) got away from me. In post #62 I thought cpaharley2008 was implying that a solar panel, on the roof of a trailer, covered by a trailer cover, might possibly give enough charge to trickle charge a battery. Did I read cpaharley2008's post correctly??
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:03 PM   #71
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Love having my 21 plugged in while stored, lets me run a ceramic heater and power tools in a warm trailer for doing mods!
I agree but I do it with a 110 cord that is independent of the trailer wiring. Trailer master switch is off, converter isn't powered up 24/7.

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Old 11-18-2015, 02:35 PM   #72
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I'm sorry, my post (#65) got away from me. In post #62 I thought cpaharley2008 was implying that a solar panel, on the roof of a trailer, covered by a trailer cover, might possibly give enough charge to trickle charge a battery. Did I read cpaharley2008's post correctly??
I believe several members here indicated some charging was accomplished while under cover, dependent upon the cover.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:59 PM   #73
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I wish they'd explain how that works. With my panel, and with everything I've ever read, sun is the working force, not shade.
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Old 11-18-2015, 03:05 PM   #74
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I wish they'd explain how that works. With my panel, and with everything I've ever read, sun is the working force, not shade.
I don't know how that works either. Not terribly well probably. Over the years I've seen the various effects of shade and even atmospheric fallout reduce the output a measurable amount. In my case I use an old 15 watt panel, out in natural light.

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Old 11-18-2015, 03:15 PM   #75
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I've had CalMark covers on both my 17 and now my 19. The covers are translucent to a certain degree. In direct sunlight, and through the cover, I've gotten a small charge...not much, but some. I suspect I'm getting more with the 160 watt panel on the 19 than I got with the 95 watt panel on the 17, but since I keep it plugged into shore power, I'm not relying in the solar and don't pay it much mind.

At one time CalMark would sew in a transparent plastic panel for your solar, but they apparently had too much trouble with that so they discontinued the option.
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Old 11-18-2015, 03:37 PM   #76
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Are you sure you were getting a charge from a covered panel? How much of a charge? I'm beginning to think it's unnecessary to remove the panel from the box if that's the case. This site does not support your experience.
Shading | PVEducation
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:56 PM   #77
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How important is keeping the unit plugged in during long periods of not traveling? Thanks.
Not important at all as long as you charge the battery/batteries before hand and disconnect them when you get to the storage lot. Little things in the trailer like the propane detector, radio, and so forth would draw and eventually drain the batteries if left connected for prolonged periods.

Many of us up north disconnect every winter, others leave power to the trailer. How you disconnect depends on your trailer, easiest is to have a disconnect switch installed, if not you can just pull a battery lead.

If I had the option to safely store mine away indoors for the winter, and be able to put it away and get it out when needed, I'd pay the $ and do so. The 2 around here have a 3 day window, or some such, to drop off the trailer in the fall, and another 3 day period to pick it up come spring. Doesn't work for us.

I know folks who pull the batteries, propane tanks, and spare tire, when leaving their units at a storage yard for the winter. They've been known to disappear.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:25 PM   #78
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Are you sure you were getting a charge from a covered panel? How much of a charge? I'm beginning to think it's unnecessary to remove the panel from the box if that's the case. This site does not support your experience.
Shading | PVEducation
What can I say? The monitor showed a very slight charge. I suppose the accuracy of the monitor could be questioned, but frankly I'm not all that interested about testing it out.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:44 PM   #79
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I agree but I do it with a 110 cord that is independent of the trailer wiring. Trailer master switch is off, converter isn't powered up 24/7.
The trailer wiring makes a great powerbar. To avoid running the converter, can't you just turn off the breaker which feeds it?
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Old 11-18-2015, 07:24 PM   #80
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The trailer wiring makes a great powerbar. To avoid running the converter, can't you just turn off the breaker which feeds it?
Sure, no problem doing that. I just like to shut down the entire trailer. All I need is my little convection heater and it avoids having to use the adapter cord on the side of the trailer. Around here, in the rain forest, I'd rather my power connection be in a nice dry place, under the trailer.

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