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Old 11-19-2015, 08:09 AM   #81
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I leave my twin 6's in the trailer over the winter. Just make sure they are well charged at the time it is winterized, turn the master power switch off to eliminate parasitic drains, put the cover over the trailer (over top of the solar panels), and come back (6 months later) in the spring. I don't plug in at all during that time period. So far, batteries have been close to full-charge still in the spring so I do not worry about it. It is possible that the solar works as a trickle charger through the cover, but I cannot say for certain.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:45 AM   #82
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I leave my twin 6's in the trailer over the winter. Just make sure they are well charged at the time it is winterized, turn the master power switch off to eliminate parasitic drains, put the cover over the trailer (over top of the solar panels), and come back (6 months later) in the spring. I don't plug in at all during that time period. So far, batteries have been close to full-charge still in the spring so I do not worry about it. It is possible that the solar works as a trickle charger through the cover, but I cannot say for certain.
I doubt it. Batteries can hold a charge for six months at a time on the store shelf too.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:19 AM   #83
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Seems possible to get "some" charge through a cover that is thin enough. Many reports of " some" charge on a Rainy, cloudy day ? or under the canopy of thick redwood forest ? I use a 30 y/o solar pocket calculator in my shop under lights ? When I turn the lights off it stops working ?
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:13 PM   #84
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FWIW... (Jim B, that's For What It's Worth) Parked in heavy shade in Capital Reef NP I still got .5A from my panel, definitely no sun hitting the panel although it was sunny out.
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:46 PM   #85
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Thanks. The high cost of my cover is compounded by the fact that I live on rock and the structure has to tie into the house. Thus, the builder has to get some very heavy equipment out here to drill four post holes about 4 feet down through the rock. Plus, the roof has to match my metal roof. Yea, I know, I got issues!
Regardless, given the sage information from some of you, I am going to bite the bullet and build the structure. Thanks for your input(s).
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:23 PM   #86
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Thanks. The high cost of my cover is compounded by the fact that I live on rock and the structure has to tie into the house. Thus, the builder has to get some very heavy equipment out here to drill four post holes about 4 feet down through the rock. Plus, the roof has to match my metal roof. Yea, I know, I got issues!
Regardless, given the sage information from some of you, I am going to bite the bullet and build the structure. Thanks for your input(s).
Sounds like you may not need sonotubes. No reason for roofs not to match. I have used sonotubes and I have used native dirt for my woodsheds. My brother had preformed concrete cylinders dropped into the post holes for his garage/woodshed. I like your choice and will follow suit. The tax man always likes it when I put another non movable structure on my property.
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:38 PM   #87
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Seems possible to get "some" charge through a cover that is thin enough. Many reports of " some" charge on a Rainy, cloudy day ? or under the canopy of thick redwood forest ? ...
I thought I would simulate a cover and see what happens. It is a bright sunny day here in Colorado, around 1pm in the afternoon. The 150 watt (36 cell) panel has a slight tilt towards the sun to compensate for a couple of bits of tree shade.

Using a flannel sheet with kitty-cat images:
Before sheet - measured 3 amps into 8 ohms - I2R (I squared R) gives us around 70 watts.
After sheet - measured 0.5 amps into 8 ohms - I2R gives us 2 watts.

I don't know how a flannel bed sheet with kitty-cats compares to a standard trailer cover, but I can see that "some" energy is likely being produced, perhaps enough to maintain a float charge if the main battery switch is off.

As Donna would say: "Your Mileage Will Vary."

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Old 11-19-2015, 03:11 PM   #88
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Alan, your results are somewhat skewed, as you never compensated with your calculations the effect that kitty cats have on solar gain.
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:38 PM   #89
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Alan, your results are somewhat skewed, as you never compensated with your calculations the effect that kitty cats have on solar gain.
I suspect real cats have a better understanding of solar gain than I do.

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Old 11-19-2015, 03:42 PM   #90
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I suspect real cats have a better understanding of solar gain than I do.

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There are a few of us in that same boat, I believe.
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:19 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
I don't know how a flannel bed sheet with kitty-cats compares to a standard trailer cover, but I can see that "some" energy is likely being produced, perhaps enough to maintain a float charge if the main battery switch is off.
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If I had bed sheets with kitty-cats I wouldn't tell anyone.

Interesting experiment. Maybe someone will try it with a trailer cover and see how the results compare. With zero draw on the batteries it wouldn't take much to compensate for self discharge.

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Old 11-19-2015, 06:36 PM   #92
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I added a SAE port outside and wired it in parallel to the rooftop solar. Bought a 6 watt $30 panel. Plan to plug it in when trailer is under cover to keep batteries up.

I got about 1/2 amp through the cover last year. After a good snow cover, that went to zero.
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:47 PM   #93
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Okay, I'll bite, what's an SAE port?
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:25 AM   #94
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The polarized connector comes on the little 6 watt panel. So it plugs right in. I already made up a 50', 10 gauge extension cable for a future folding panel.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:23 PM   #95
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I got my Adco cover on the 21' today. Listed for 18'1" to 20'. A little big. Covers from spare tire to front of ball hitch. I put a plastic coffee can over the hitch and plastic peanut butter jars over back bumper. Used some tarp clamp/hooks to take up some excess at the front and back. All in all happy with it. Will see how it holds up. Paid $140 back in the late spring on special at Camping World.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:11 PM   #96
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Looks like you got a great deal. My own experience is that these cheaper covers provide much more value for your dollars than the outrageously expensive Calmar products. My own cover was priced similarly to yours and is still performing flawlessly three years later.
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Old 11-28-2015, 01:15 AM   #97
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I got my Adco cover on the 21' today. Listed for 18'1" to 20'. A little big. Covers from spare tire to front of ball hitch.
A typical Adco cover for 18 to 20 foot trailers is 243 inches long - that's 20 feet plus three inches. When they say 20 feet, they mean that the body of the trailer is 20 feet long - that's how most trailer manufacturers designate their products, both in cargo and travel trailers. Most moulded fiberglass travel trailers - including Escapes - are designated by overall length, including the bumper and tongue. An Escape "21 Foot" has a body only 17'4" long, so perhaps the next size down (for 15'1" - 18') - as mentioned by Ron in post #13) and at least considered by two other 21' owners - would be a more suitable fit... at least for those without the storage box.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:26 AM   #98
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A typical Adco cover for 18 to 20 foot trailers is 243 inches long - that's 20 feet plus three inches. When they say 20 feet, they mean that the body of the trailer is 20 feet long - that's how most trailer manufacturers designate their products, both in cargo and travel trailers. Most moulded fiberglass travel trailers - including Escapes - are designated by overall length, including the bumper and tongue. An Escape "21 Foot" has a body only 17'4" long, so perhaps the next size down (for 15'1" - 18') - as mentioned by Ron in post #13) and at least considered by two other 21' owners - would be a more suitable fit... at least for those without the storage box.
I will probably give the next smaller a try next time. I do like how it covers the hitch and all.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:42 PM   #99
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I'm thinking of getting something more permanent and wanted some input from you guys.

I was thinking of getting a large carport or possible shed to house my trailer. So far, I've seen some mentions of Shelterlogic for something on the cheaper side or Weatherport for something more durable and longer lasting. Wanted to see if anyone had any feedback on products?
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