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Winter cover over solar panels

Hi everyone, we have a 2019 Wonder with 400 watts of solar on roof. We've ordered a CalMark cover for it and we're wondering if we should do anything regarding the panels before covering, we live in Maryland so we don't get a lot of snow, I've read that enough sunlight can get through a cover to keep the batteries charged if the disconnect switch is turned to off. I was almost thinking I should lay something on top of the panels to prevent the cover from scratching the panels but I might be over thinking it. Does anyone have any experience regarding this? Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!

Robert

Re: Winter cover over solar panels

Reply #1
We have a 2019 Wonder and living in New England we have been thinking of a cover also. Last winter we did not cover but made sure we waxed it at the end of summer. On this RV and the other one we owned, we always left them plugin and battery maintainer charging engine batteries and solar charging house batteries. I am worried about the cover rubbing on the paint of the RV but looking at the one your purchasing looks more of a custom fit. We plan on traveling 4-8 weeks in February/March and worry that if there is much snow on the cover it will be painful to remove. If you dont mind be asking what does CalMark cover cost?

Thanks
Charlie
Middle Haddam, CT
2019 Wonder FTB

Re: Winter cover over solar panels

Reply #2
If you put something over the solar panels you certainly will not get any battery  charging from them!
I would not worry about damaging them, those flex panels supposedly won't last more than 3 years anyway, some people  reported much less.  I would be more worried about damaging your paint,  paint cost $10,000, those panels $150 ea!
Harry
Tempe, Az
2019 Wonder FTB
Toad 2007 Honda Fit

Re: Winter cover over solar panels

Reply #3
We have a 2019 Wonder and living in New England we have been thinking of a cover also. Last winter we did not cover but made sure we waxed it at the end of summer. On this RV and the other one we owned, we always left them plugin and battery maintainer charging engine batteries and solar charging house batteries. I am worried about the cover rubbing on the paint of the RV but looking at the one your purchasing looks more of a custom fit. We plan on traveling 4-8 weeks in February/March and worry that if there is much snow on the cover it will be painful to remove. If you dont mind be asking what does CalMark cover cost?

Thanks
Charlie
Hi Charlie , we bought a Scamp 5th wheel "new" back in 2013, covered it in the winter months for 6 years with a Calmark cover. We never waxed the Scamp & it still looked great when we sold it this summer. I Believe I paid about $750 + shipping for the Scamp cover back in 2013. I got a quote back in March of this year for the Wonder, $975 + shipping. When I actually placed the order 2 days ago they told me they've had a price increase but honored the March quote. Calmark covers are not off the shelf, i had to fill out a sheet requiring 15 different dimensions besides having to send about 10 pictures. You measure as accurately as you can and they add the little bit of extra. Their covers fit so you don't have a lot of extra material flapping in the wind.The cover also includes a zipper door so access to the RV is quite easy when covered. I've never owned another brand cover but when doing my research for the Scamp I remember reading that "there are covers and there are Calmark covers". Are they expensive, yes but so was the Wonder.

Thanks again for your input!
Robert

PS. if you plug  into shore power over the winter it'll keep your house batteries charged, don't know about engine batteries.

Re: Winter cover over solar panels

Reply #4
If you put something over the solar panels you certainly will not get any battery  charging from them!
I would not worry about damaging them, those flex panels supposedly won't last more than 3 years anyway, some people  reported much less.  I would be more worried about damaging your paint,  paint cost $10,000, those panels $150 ea!
Hi Harry, the purpose of the cover is to protect the paint. Camark covers are custom-made to fit so there's not a lot of extra material flopping in the wind. As for the solar, I don't know how long it will last but we just returned from a 8 week trip (9,165 miles) and it worked great.

Thanks for the input
Robert