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6" of snow.. 8 more on the way

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Curious: we did not cover the Oliver. We have had 6" of wet snow fall and have 6" to 8" more on the way. Would it be ok to leave it on the solar panel? Should I use a plastic roof rake to remove before it turns to ice? Is there a danger of scratching it. I don't anticipate any warm weather for a while. ( my guess is they don't bring inside or cover any at the factory?)

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Canoe - I really don't know the answer to your question.  I suspect that the panels can stand that much weight, however, if it was me, I'd want to get at least some of that snow off given the amount and the heaviness of wet snow.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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If you are pretty sure the snow is going to melt completely, leave it. If it may freeze and turn to ice, then it would be good to remove it. The panels are glass, treat them as you would an expensive car windshield. They won’t scratch unless they are dirty (gritty). Personally I would not use any kind of residential roof rake or floor broom, you need to be careful about hitting other stuff up there. I suggest a step ladder and a long extendable auto snow brush, with the brush at 90 degrees. Like this excellent one (with push button lock)....

 

https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Moover-Extendable-Squeegee-Scraper/dp/B077BF5KQR/ref=sr_1_4?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1513017449&sr=1-4&keywords=Snow+brush+long

 

You can tilt the panels a few degrees away from the awning, that will help. Don’t tilt the other way or the snow will pile up behind the awning.

 

While you are up there, just clear the whole roof ;)

 

I wish we would get some snow, it is dry, cold and the air is stagnant...

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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If you have retired your Ollie for the winter season and it is plugged in and you don't plan on using it until Spring, I would tend to let it stay and melt away when the temperature rises.  If you want to use the panels for electrical production for your batteries or intend to do some winter camping, that's something else.

 

The panels should be strong enough to withstand the snow.  After all, they are installed on rooftops all over the country.  Although they are silicone there is a bit of elasticity in them that aids in resilience against inclement weather conditions.  Snow also cleans your panels.  I have 43 panels on my roof and after a recent 2' snowfall melted away the panels were sparkling clean. Here's a good read on the subject

 

https://energy.gov/eere/articles/let-it-snow-how-solar-panels-can-thrive-winter-weather

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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I am with Pete on this one.  Even if it is cold out the Sun will melt away a lot of snow on the panels.   Our trailer is in storage over the winter and we can't clean the snow off.  When we pick up in spring.. Full Charge!

 

Scotty

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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The panels are made for the outdoors and can withstand quite a bit, there are many in sand wind storms, your cleaning show off will not scratch them to a point of concern. My concern is that the mount points are actually quite small and the extra weight over the coverage of the entire panel can add a lot to those points. There is micro cracking around them on my trailer (I forget what it's called)

 

If leaving flat and level, I would clean them off if more than 4-6 inches. If you tilt one side up, I would think they'll clean themselves easy enough. The panels are dark so any sun on them will cause them to heat up, so even if you only clean what you can reach easily, the rest will melt faster.

 

I haven't yet, but I'll clean off after today is finished. (They're flat)


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I did raise the front of my unit when it was put into hibernation. Hopefully the little incline would allow snow to slide off on a "warmer" day. I certainly don't plan on ever having it on the pitch the house units have. Those have to be self cleaning, because I am not going up there. I assume ambient light coming through some snow will keep my batteries up? Hate the thought of plugging it in.

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I did raise the front of my unit when it was put into hibernation. Hopefully the little incline would allow snow to slide off on a “warmer” day. I certainly don’t plan on ever having it on the pitch the house units have. Those have to be self cleaning, because I am not going up there. I assume ambient light coming through some snow will keep my batteries up? Hate the thought of plugging it in.

 

I don’t think anyone is suggesting that you put the Oliver panels at 45 degrees, But it is very easy to just lower one side and raise the other, by several holes. That way the snow will slide off and not puddle and turn to sheet ice. Freezing is what does damage, not so much the dead weight, unless you are talking about several feet of wet stuff.

 

D58E3AD9-A984-45E4-A5B8-DA70D96FA9A9.thumb.jpeg.b5070c69ee17d9a3a064ab08a29f6d02.jpeg

 

I can’t comment from direct experience about charging, but I suspect that a couple of inches is all that would be required to shade them. Tilting will probably take care of your worries about charging, since even partially cleared panels will charge a little. Ones sitting under a coating of snow, probably not at all....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I assume ambient light coming through some snow will keep my batteries up? Hate the thought of plugging it in.

 

Before I clean them off, after today, I'll check and let you know what it shows for charging status.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Randy -  According to the local news, if you are home, you are getting the same mess we are. We are not attempting to clean the panels until at least tomorrow. We first got a dusting of fine powder and we want that. It forms a 'cushion' for the ice (freezing rain) to sit on. According to the article that Bugeyedriver referenced a little snow will scatter some light and panels will continue to charge. Interesting article.

 

My guess I probably have a a supply of suitable snow brushes handy. In this part of the world even drug stores carry them. The choices here are way wider (and cheaper) than Amazon...

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Nothing good to report, checked it yesterday afternoon at 2pm, full sun (break in clouds) and it indicated zeros, after all the winds there was maybe 4-6 inches on the panels. Guess their gonna have to be cleaned...


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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On the weather reports I'm seeing it sure does look like much of the Northeast is getting hammered.  Hope that those reports are a bit overdone.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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We didn't get out to check or clean yesterday. Actually we were hoping the forecast wind would do it, it didn't. Maybe today, but have been told I need to take the plow off the truck and do other things. Will do soon because we know discharged batteries will freeze. One of the joys of retirement; you never have time to do anything. Was thinking of heading south for the winter, but looks like Portsmouth is just as cold as here...

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Bill..

 

Not too bad here near the coast. The freezing rain is the worst part. The mountains got a little, but the ski areas and snowmobilers love it. Actually think you got more snow in NC and Atlanta area than we did. Just yours goes away a lot sooner. At 19 degrees it doesn't melt all that quick. And to think it is not officially Winter yet. We can sit around the stove and dream of camping and fishing. We need to catch another 30" Stripped Bass on 6lb test this coming season. Also we need time to read all the seed catalogs that keep showing up. Think Spring...

 

Bob

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You guys are absolutely fantastic at doing two things:

 

A.) Alleviating my fears about something that is / might happen to my beloved Oliver Trailer

 

B.) Creating new fears about something that is / might happen to my beloved Oliver Trailler

 

All kidding aside I love this forum and that we are kind of in this together instead of alone so please take my attempt at humor with a grain of salt.

 

Last year was the first winter our trailer was stored and we had no issues with the panels or batteries whatsoever. So, I thought it would be the same this year.  We store the trailer with the nose down as far as it will go, so there should be some slant to the panels.  It's stored in the open in northern NJ so they will get snow covered, but I am not overly concerned about damage to the panels themselves.  The snow, ice, whatever won't be there more than a few days and will probably melt from the Sun even in cold temps.

 

What does concern me is the AGM batteries.  How many days without recharge from the panels will they stay charged?  I would think that 4-5 days with minimal draw would be fine.  It was last year.  But you never know.  I remember a post about this where the batteries stay charged up even with cold temps etc. but as always everyone's mileage will be slightly different.

 

So, what do you think?  Do I need to drive an hour (one way) to check and brush?

 

Thanks everyone.... Hope for a short winter so we can get back out there.  And, hope to see many of you in May at the Rally.

 

Scotty

 

 


Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

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What does concern me is the AGM batteries.  How many days without recharge from the panels will they stay charged?

Last year was my first winter with Ollie, and I worried a great deal about the AGM batteries. My trailer is in covered storage, so no solar, and no electricity to maintain charge. I finally decided to install a battery disconnect switch, to eliminate all of the parasitic draws on the battery. Worked fine for me last winter. When I came to visit Ollie in the spring, the batteries had full power.

 

I now routinely disconnect the batteries every time I put the unit into storage, even between trips during the summer.

 

Do you need to maintain power during storage? You could simply disconnect the battery cable.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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I got curious. I went out and plowed a path to the camper, as I was going to use the tailgate to stand on. (Actually being lazy, and didn't want to carry a ladder down there). It looks like the deer will appreciate the exposed grass because I could see where they have been digging to get to it. Anyway, went in and checked the gauge. It was showing 12.6V, the batteries were 3/4 charged and the panels were putting out a charge. The panels were still covered by 4 to 6" of snow and a sheet of a little more than a 1/4" of white ice. With the truck snowbush we were able to clear most of one panel. Rather than use the other devices we decided to see how productive the units were only partially clear. I  went in as soon as we cleared most of the panel and nothing had yet changed. Still putting out. At a midday peak of about 22 degrees I don't expect much melting, but to have it charging when snow covered was a pleasant surprise. It looks like the factory set up was a great choice, at least for me. I have a 20 amp plug not 30' away, but I have not plugged in since bringing it home. Guess we want to see what all our options are when on the road.

 

Hope another fear alleviated...

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Scotty

 

Not sure about NJ snow storms. One of the worst ones I have ever been in was there. I found out that if I got off the NJ Trpk I would not be able to get back on...it was closed. Me and a friend pushed quite a few cars back onto the road. Got to the base in Maryland, and the banking were so high from the plowing, you could not see a two story building behind. Hopefully that was the storm of the century. Wait! How many years ago was that?

 

Winter starts next week... Think Spring...

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Anyway, went in and checked the gauge. It was showing 12.6V, the batteries were 3/4 charged and the panels were putting out a charge.  

How many amps did you see?

 

John Davies

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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DAVIDS post about a battery disconnect is a good one, also, you can minimize the parasitic amp draw on the 2017 and up Oliver's by flipping off the breakers in the compartment over the nightstand without disconnecting the batteries. The propane leak detector is hard wired and still draws power, but the tv, radio, max air fan,and refrigerator will be disconnected and every little bit helps.


STEVEnBETTY

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In my case, if I have a parasitic amp draw, the panels will recharge it up. Think I would rather have a cyclical current/charge thing going on than just a steady static charge. Deep cycle batteries like that I heard. They seem to last longer...

 

Amps? Have no idea. The panel told me it was charging. Good enough for me. Part of the KISS Principle. The system to me is like a hammer to a carpenter, a tool to get the job done. When I pick up a hammer I check to see if a curved or straight claw depending on the job at hand, then go do the job. Never check the hammer again. Though I do know that when I charge  a boat battery or tractor battery in the Spring we always run a slow and low amp charge. Longer battery life results, with less sulferization, especially important with thin plate conventional batteries like in cars, lawn tractors, motorcycles and such...

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