Arizona: Up on the roof

Today, we moved from our BLM short-stay spot to the long term visitor area on the south side of Quartzsite. Since we got set up fairly early, we decided to see if the solar panels needed cleaning. It turns out that they did. 🙂 It isn’t usually something you worry about, but we’ve been in the Quartzsite and western Arizona areas for a couple of months, and these areas are pretty dusty. We want to maximize our solar collecting capabilities, especially with our new 400 amp hour capacity.

The roof

A dusty solar panel on the roof.

If you look closely, the dirt border on this panel shows that our RV washers did some spraying of the panels while they were working. I’m thinking the dust level could have been a lot worse without that spraying.

Another look at our solar panels.

The roof photos are courtesy of Bob – I’m a little too unsteady and the wind was picking up, so he used my iPhone. 🙂

Getting set up to wash the panels.


Bob dipped the scrub brush pole in the soapy water on the table.
Then pulled the scrub brush pole up to the roof. He did for each panel at least once, depending on dirt level.
A side view of the dipping process.
Scrubbing away on the panel.
More scrubbing.


The rinsing process involved me and a soft-sided bucket of water. I’d fill the bucket from the wet bay, then Bob would haul it up via a rope.

Bob throwing the empty bucket down my way.
The bucket in the air.

Bob says that after all the cleaning, we were pulling in another 2.5 amps. Maybe not worth it with so little dust, but I’m betting that the RV wash took care of most of that.

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