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June

Trailer covers for annElite II with solar

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for or against? Anyone know if you still can use solar, if batteries will charge, if covered? Will any certain cover material be best for that? Or do you just cover and plug in over the winter? I live in MA, so there’s up to two ft of snow at times, but I always remove snow promptly. Thanks!


June

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June -

 

There are no covers that I'm aware of that will allow you to still use your solar panels while the Ollie is covered.  Prior to getting an additional small solar panel that I plug into my Oliver's trailer plug (just like I plug it into my tow vehicle), I would disconnect my batteries and turn off the solar panels when I put the camper to bed for the winter.  Then once every six to eight weeks (when the weather wasn't too bad and sun was forecast for at least two days) I'd uncover the camper just enough for the solar panels to get sun, reconnect the batteries and turn the panels on in order to have them charge the batteries.  Other than the work of uncovering and re-covering the camper I never had a problem with this procedure.

 

Bill


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

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This will be our first winter with our Oliver, so we don’t have any personal experience on this, but we ordered a CalMark Cover and the company told me that the solar panels will trickle charge through the cover. I’m a little surprised at that (the cover is made of Sunbrella) and I’m not counting on it (we are going to plug in for the winter), but I do intend to experiment with it a bit when we don’t have snow cover and see if he is right. I know it’s of no help now, but I’ll report back later this winter about whether it trickle charges through the cover and how we like the cover overall.

 

Alison


Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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I used a cover once on a stick and staple trailer. I frankly cannot imagine any universal cloth cover surviving a winter of wind and heavy snow on top of the solar panels. It would tear immediately. You would have to either remove the panel entirely, whch would be fairly easy, or build some sort of perimeter support frame to keep the cloth free of it.

 

I would just leave the Ollie uncovered. It won’t hurt anything, especially if you clean and treat it with Rejx before storage. It leaves an extremely slick surface that the snow will slide off easily, there will be no worries about trapped ice or cosmetic damage from chafing.... and it will be really easy to clean in the Spring.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rejex-High-Gloss-Protective-Finish/dp/B00GM6NF0I

 

If your parking area lines up correctly, you can angle the panel about 30 degrees toward the sun. That will maximize the charging  rate in your high latitude, the snow will slide off, and any ice on the cells will melt from the heat.

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/how-to-solar-panel-extension-arms/

 

Total protection by using a fixed shelter would be best, but avoid a loose fabric cover entirely! It just won’t work well. IMHO.

 

Have you asked the factory about their recommendation about covers?

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"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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we ordered a CalMark Cover and the company told me that the solar panels will trickle charge through the cover. I’m a little surprised at that (the cover is made of Sunbrella)

Is that a custom fit? Do they reinforce the area that chafes on the solar panel frame? The corners are darned sharp. They are “as cut” and not rounded at all.

 

I cannot imagine that there will be any useful charging once there is a little snow and dirt buildup. You would have to keep the cloth completely free over the entire panel, and then you might get a few milliamps... Sunbrella is pretty dense. If you have the big battery bank, that will not be enough over a long winter. Plugging in would definitely be needed.

 

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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Hi June,

 

At the risk of duplicating/contradicting prior posts from other good folks I would like to offer my thoughts.

 

I am located in Maine and this will be my first winter with the OTT.  I did a fair amount of research, spoke to OTT, and the manufacturers of various covers. I knew before making my purchase that indoor storage would not be a realistic option for me. I also know folks in Maine who prepare for winter by waxing the camper well and remove snow as needed. They report very positive experiences.

 

With that info as background, I plan to use a CalMark cover as it is specifically designed not to chafe and will protect the surface from potential issues where I park my camper. (pine pitch, bird droppings, etc) You may have read other posts in a separate thread describing positive experiences with the CalMark Cover and the OTT.   In my humble opinion, storage for the OTT is like finding a pair of shoes: you must find what fits you.

 

FYI: After washing, waxing and winterizing I plan to use pool noodles (slit as needed) on the edges of the solar panels. I will also strategically place some pool noodles behind the awning to raise the cover a bit and eliminate the 'valleys' on the roof. I may create a lightweight  'skirt' to avoid build up or drifting snow beneath the unit. This will make it easier for me to 'unwrap' if I decide to bug out before the snow on the ground has disappeared. I used this general approach(noodles, skirt and cover) for many winters with considerable snow on both my boat and a prior camper with fiberglass sides and had very good results .

 

Congratulations on your purchase of the OTT. I am truly enjoying mine and continue to be impressed with the design and quality of the trailer!

 

Good luck with however you choose to store your OTT!

 

 

 

 

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Another option to guard against the harshness of winter extremes, live in FL as I have my entire life. No snow here (although an occasional hurricane might cause concern).

 

I am paying close attention to forum comments regarding storage and mold control - we do have quite the humidity in Jacksonville, FL. Upon retirement, my plan is to take the Oliver to a place of cooler temperatures and lower humidity - leave the beaches and Disneyworld to those that do not yet appreciate how much fun is had standing in line for hours waiting to see Mickey Mouse or getting baked on a crowded beach with red tide and sharks all around. (I am sure the FL Tourist Bureau appreciates my comments). I think Maine in the summer time sounds about right. Or possibly high up in the mountains. My opinion, FL is a wintering spot.


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Hey John,

 

Yes, the CalMark Cover is a custom fit. We debated a lot about covering or not, but read of other Oliver and Casita owners having good luck with the CalMark Cover. We hope to have a metal garage for the Oliver by next winter. We plan to wash and wax thoroughly before storage and use pool noodles on the edges of the solar panel, as others have suggested. We’ll see how this first winter goes - they are predicting above average snowfalls this year, so we’ll see how this works out. Hopefully it is just a one winter need, and we’ll have a custom garage for the Oliver by this time next year.


Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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Thanks, yes, the woman at the office told me about using the pool noodles. Will you plug in over winter, or will the solar still trickle charge the batteries with the cover on, do you think?


June

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Thanks, your plan sounds just right. I see the CalMark company also sells propane covers and tire covers as well. With a snowy winter predicted, I feel a cover is best, after spending last winter having to brush snow off and worrying if I’d hit and scratch anything under a few ft of white on white!


June

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Thanks. I asked the CalMark rep if they had ever customized the cover with a clear panel over where the solar is, and she said yes, but it didn’t work out well, easily damaged, she told me. Also told me that the cover must “hug” the camper rather than extend over propane tanks or front basket. Something about avoiding critter access, and not wanting air pockets.


June

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Yes. I believe they now feel that pool noodles along the sides of the solar panels is a must, and not rely on having any trickle charge.


June

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Thanks. Last winter I left it uncovered, but it’s in my driveway under trees, so it required extra cleanup. I like the advice to use the rejex, will check into that! Makes sense. I did not ask at the factory for specific information. We were told on tour that some cover, some don’t....


June

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Thanks. I’ll be ordering one this week. Did you also get the propane tank cover and wheel covers? Pretty pricey, but am told it’s a good investment....


June

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I've used a cover on a previous RV. It was a pain to use, but did a nice job of keeping the unit relatively clean. You must keep it tight to the rv and securely fastened - otherwise heavy winds will eventually tear it apart.

 

I've priced a Calmark and for the $$$  it seems just "ok". However, I prefer a hard roof structure overhead, and a lighter weight fabric cover for the stuff that accumulates over time. My issue is structure design (movable or permanent) and where I decide to locate it - I have no zoning or space issues.... and for the $700+ cost of the CalMark I can almost cover the $ for build material and build what I want. My issue is electrical -  I would want to run a 50 amp service to same spot ($1000 material), which would give me a nice permanent location for multiple RV's. (the sewer is there currently)

 

In either case, cloth cover or hard cover, a long term power supply is really nice to keep up battery charge. However, one can use the alternate solar port and plug in and use as a trickle charge - I have a small solar panel I use to do similar on tractors and stuff.

 

A good wax or Rejex job is great, but doesn't keep the "stuff" of the Ollie, just makes clean up easier. As usual (for me) its a matter of balancing $$$ against utility. But as I typed this out, the Oliver purchase price kind of flashed through my mind.....Guess it will be a nice hard cover, electrical service, and maybe even a picnic type pavilion. Ha Ha.. I'm crazy I know - but my wife keeps me in check... sort of.. ....her choice would be a cheap tarp from Harbor freight and a bunch of bungee cords.

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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We've ordered one.  Originally we were going to find a place to store the trailer, but I've learned that I really like having the Ollie here at the house.  Unfortunately our lot configuration and historical guidelines for the neighborhood don't give us much opportunity to build a structure for the Ollie.  And we have tons of trees, which means lots of gunk and leaves and little access to solar anyway.  I thought $720 for the cover was reasonable, considering the material and the fact that it's custom cut.  I was assuming it would be over $1000, frankly - and not having to pay for storage means that over time we'll save far more than we spent on the cover.  They said three weeks to delivery, which isn't bad at all.  Very nice people to deal with so far.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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As I have said or implied in other posts - I like my CalMark cover.  However, there are two comments that are appropriate here.  First is that one should not be surprised about how heavy the cover is and how "interesting" it is to put on the Oliver.  Certainly it would help if two people worked on putting to cover on but I have always done this chore by myself.  I first lay out the cover on the ground and then moving from front to back take the cover up the ladder and clamp it to the curbside awning.  Then without climbing on the roof I throw as much of the cover as possible over the bath vent, TV antenna, solar panels, MaxAir vent and air conditioner making sure that the three black straps make it over the street side edge of the Oliver.  Next I go to the street side and pull those black straps (and cover) the rest of the way over the camper.  After adjusting for side to side and front to back I then fasten the black straps and cinch the bottom.  Start to finish it takes the better part of an hour and a half to get everything the way I like it.

 

Second comment is that I did not purchase the CalMark wheel covers.  These covers are also made of the same fabric as the full cover.  I felt that the vinyl exterior of the Camco covers would repel dirt better and be easier to clean than the CalMark's.  Except where the storage facility's maintenance person hit these covers with a weed eater I've been happy with them.

 

Bill

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

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Bill, next time you put your cover on set up a camera and do a video. It would provide us endless entertainment! Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Thank you! I just bought the Calmark cover a few days ago along with the wheel covers. Last winter I was able to keep it clear so the solar panels could charge the batteries without a problem, and no damage had been done by leaving it uncovered. The skirt idea is a good one. I keep my Oliver in my driveway which is sort of  A protected area but snow certainly does collect underneath.

 

Hope someday to meet you, and other Oliver owners in the NE area, possibly at a New England rally? ?


June

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