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"What about the solar panels? Do they need to be disconnected from the house bank? "

"Will they be damaged without a load?"
>>No, again.

If you are concerned you can certainly disconnect them and cover them but that's totally unnecessary. They probably have a nominal no-load output of 17-22VDC and shouldn't be bothered by seeing the typical 15VDC equalizing charge on the batteries.

However, the rest of your electrical system may be damaged by an equalizing voltage. DO make sure all lighting, electronics, etc. is turned off and preferably "disconnected" by throwing the breakers. Or make sure the equalizing is done with only the batteries connected directly to the charger.

If you're disconnecting battery cables, that might be a good excuse to have whatever new ones you need made up, so the cable lengths to both "sides" are now balanced and equal as well.
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