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Old 04-01-2020, 01:19 PM   #1
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Protection of solar panel during outside storage

Greetings Escapees,
Just returned home from picking up our new to us Escape 21. It has a solar panel that works great. The Escape will live outdoors. We have a 5 acre heavily wooded property. We have lots of deadfall every year. There is nowhere to park it without being under a tree. A garage or carport is not an option (HOA rules). How should I protect the solar panel?
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:32 PM   #2
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Solar panels are tough. If something falls on one hard enough to break a panel, then it would break whatever else it hit on top of your trailer too. No special prep needed for the panels. Just clean them off periodically to maintain optimum output. Even a small percentage of the panel being blocked will dramatically decrease output, and one of the nice benefits of the permanent roof panel is that it’ll keep your batteries topped up, whether you’re using the trailer or not, which will make them last much, much longer, which saves money, pays for the panel itself in the long run, extends boondocking capability, etc. etc.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:48 PM   #3
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If I had to park under trees all the time I would cover the trailer with a lightweight Tyvek cover. More for the crap that trees drops then to protect the solar panel from breakage. I parked under some pines and oaks in LaGrange just recently for a month and got to clean off the sap when I got home. Keeps the pollen off too.


Once you get used to putting on and taking off a cover it's not a big deal unless you have some physical limitations.
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Old 04-01-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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Top or a car port

We invested in a Escape tarp for our E21 it’s on its last legs after it 4 year in SW Florida sunshine . I just went down to the Collier county to apply for a carport permit .So many rules for your own property anyway it can happen Hopefully I can get to HD to buy supplies We will build a 22d by 12 w this just makes the setback rules
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:28 AM   #5
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Glad to see you made it back safe and sound. Did you not have issues traveling at the moment? I bought a new toy over the weekend, a Miata in Pompano Beach FL and bummed I have to wait to get it. YES I know WAY MORE important things going on in the world at the moment but still a bummer. Hopefully when I can go airfare still as cheap, ATL to Ft Lauderdale you can get for $33.00 one way right now.
Enjoy your new home on wheels!!!!!!!

Enjoy the journey,
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:21 AM   #6
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You might consider getting one of these. No trees around us but do have much NM sun and wind. Better than a tarp since nothing touches the gelcoat. Did have to raise the posts 10 inches to clear the AC. Guessing a (temporary) work-around to the yard police and therefore acceptable in a yard. Bought mine at Costco, think for around two hundred bucks. Other option might be a chain saw.
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Old 04-02-2020, 11:18 AM   #7
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Steve,
Thanks for the update. No problems on the return trip except WDH not set up correctly for my Explorer. Had to replace two rear tires. Let me know if there is a SE Escape rally.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:44 PM   #8
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Has anyone here experienced hailstones large enough to damage your solar panels? I took possession of my Escape 19 two days ago and cut some ˝" plywood panels to protect them as severe weather was predicted last night. After reading the above posts, I think that was probably unnecessary. We get some strong storms in this part of the country on occasion.
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Curious Mike View Post
Has anyone here experienced hailstones large enough to damage your solar panels? I took possession of my Escape 19 two days ago and cut some ˝" plywood panels to protect them as severe weather was predicted last night. After reading the above posts, I think that was probably unnecessary. We get some strong storms in this part of the country on occasion.
I have the flexible solar panels which seem to be resistant to hail damage but I did do some research before deciding on them. Here is a good article about the tempered glass solar panels and how to protect them.

https://campgenerator.com/how-to-pro...els-from-hail/
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:53 PM   #10
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Myron, I have a couple questions. Are the poles tied in to the horizontal wooden "beam" along the bottom? What did you use for each (beam and ties)?

How did you extend the poles? And is the extension at the top or the bottom?

Thanks, this looks like a good option for me.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:06 PM   #11
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It looks like Myron added a wooden base to raise the poles in the picture....
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Mike View Post
Has anyone here experienced hailstones large enough to damage your solar panels? I took possession of my Escape 19 two days ago and cut some ˝" plywood panels to protect them as severe weather was predicted last night. After reading the above posts, I think that was probably unnecessary. We get some strong storms in this part of the country on occasion.
While I'm sure that the next storm will drive hail through my panels just because I said it won't happen, they are really tough. I had my portable panel blow away during a windstorm where it ended up 30' from the trailer down hill & face down on a bunch for rocks. I hauled it back, plugged it in & it worked. Some scratches on the aluminum frame, but the glass held up.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:28 PM   #13
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I went thru a hail storm one night that shattered the neighbors trailers skylight, no damage to my rooftop panel. I don't see why it would be a problem to cover them when you're at home if you live where they are bad. If it was me, I wouldn't worry about it when traveling.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Mike View Post
Has anyone here experienced hailstones large enough to damage your solar panels? I took possession of my Escape 19 two days ago and cut some ˝" plywood panels to protect them as severe weather was predicted last night. After reading the above posts, I think that was probably unnecessary. We get some strong storms in this part of the country on occasion.



well its cheap insurance If you parked at home. speaking of insurance i wonder if its cover under glass. I think my glass coverage has no deductible . I have to check into it .
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:03 PM   #15
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My solution to the problem after last week's wind/rain/tornado in Georgia was to place styrofoam surf boards over the solar panel and secure them with Duc tape. Fortunately, they weren't exposed to the real thing. But I'm prepared for the next tornado watch we have.
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Mike View Post
Has anyone here experienced hailstones large enough to damage your solar panels? I took possession of my Escape 19 two days ago and cut some ˝" plywood panels to protect them as severe weather was predicted last night. After reading the above posts, I think that was probably unnecessary. We get some strong storms in this part of the country on occasion.
Strong storms? Isn’t Moore, Oklahoma the tornado capitol or the country? Maybe a storm cellar would be better. Just kidding, I think a simple solution for hail protection might be a sunbrella cover for the panel. I think I might do that when I get my 200 watt array finished for my truck canopy.
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:08 PM   #17
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H2owmn... here's my simple solution. Home Depot sells 2" x 8" x 12' wood, and pre- formed concrete bases. Canopy poles are standard factory length. Lag bolted to plates into the 2x8's.

We get a lot of wind here. Needed to hold things down with cable anchor lines into the ground, and extra concrete blocks. Crossing cables with turnbuckles are crucial to prevent poles' wracking.

I should also mention my first canopy was 10 foot wide x 20 ft, at Costco but when it blew down one year I decided I was done with the hassle of backing into it and busting awning brackets. Found one 12 feet wide x 20 ft online. ShelterLogic Watertown, CT.
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File Type: jpg canopyA07.jpg (193.2 KB, 25 views)
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Old 04-22-2020, 05:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Mike View Post
Has anyone here experienced hailstones large enough to damage your solar panels? I took possession of my Escape 19 two days ago and cut some ˝" plywood panels to protect them as severe weather was predicted last night. After reading the above posts, I think that was probably unnecessary. We get some strong storms in this part of the country on occasion.
We drove through a hailstorm last summer while on a highway. It dented our tonneau cover a lot as it is thin aluminium, had some small dents on our truck but did not do any damage to the Escape. I was concerned about the solar panel but do not see anything obvious and it still works fine.
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:55 PM   #19
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Strong storms? Isn’t Moore, Oklahoma the tornado capitol or the country? Maybe a storm cellar would be better.
The last 10 years or so have been bad here for tornados. Destroyed a lot of homes and killed a lot of folks. I do have a fraidy hole (storm shelter) to get in when the storm sirens go off. I'll be getting a carport sometime this summer to park trailer under. Just hope the big storms miss me this spring.
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