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Old 05-24-2016, 12:23 AM   #1
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Location: Shawnigan Lake B.C, British Columbia
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Electrical system

New owner of a 19 foot Escape and looking for some instruction/help. We have the typical electrical system a stock trailer would have but had some extras installed and looking for some help on running them.

We had a 1500 watt inverter installed and the one outlet wired to it.
I have a few questions here.

1, as I understand it the battery isolator switch stays on with the exception of when in storage or batteries will be drained.

2, I purchased a Honda generator and when the trailer is plugged into the generator the isolator switch is left on ?

3 when using the inverter I just switch it on and don't have to change or shut anything off ?

4 when the trailer is plugged into the generator the converter will automatically charge the batteries without me having to change anything ?

5 when using the inverter I don't have to switch off the isolator switch ?

Thanks in advance for any advice on this , it's all kind of complicated to me.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:49 AM   #2
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Electrical system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegrouse View Post
New owner of a 19 foot Escape and looking for some instruction/help. We have the typical electrical system a stock trailer would have but had some extras installed and looking for some help on running them.



We had a 1500 watt inverter installed and the one outlet wired to it.

I have a few questions here.



1, as I understand it the battery isolator switch stays on with the exception of when in storage or batteries will be drained.



2, I purchased a Honda generator and when the trailer is plugged into the generator the isolator switch is left on ?



3 when using the inverter I just switch it on and don't have to change or shut anything off ?



4 when the trailer is plugged into the generator the converter will automatically charge the batteries without me having to change anything ?



5 when using the inverter I don't have to switch off the isolator switch ?



Thanks in advance for any advice on this , it's all kind of complicated to me.


1. The battery cutoff does just that. It cuts off power from the batteries to the trailer. If you don't cutoff battery power when storing the trailer, then certain components that are hard wired and don't have an on/off switch, (like the Carbon Monoxide detector) will be powered and can slowly drain the battery.

2. The generator provides AC power, just like when you plug in at a campground with electrical hookups. The only difference is that the small Honda 2000 generator can't provide 30 amp power, and it's peak output is 2000 watts. So, that means you can't run everything at once like you can when you're plugged in to 30 amp shore power. Just as you don't cutoff the batteries when you're hooked up to shore power, you don't cutoff the batteries when you're connected to a generator.

3. The inverter takes DC (battery) power and inverts it to AC (household) power. You only turn it on when you are NOT connected to shore power and are using battery power only - and you want to plug something in to an AC outlet. When you are connected to shore power, the inverter is not part of the picture, because your trailer's CONVERTER powers the AC outlets.

4. With a generator running and connected to the trailer, the converter's charging function will charge the battery. But, the charging capacity will be reduced if you are using the generator power for something else. When you're connected to shore power the converter will charge the battery as well.

5. Once again, you only use the inverter when you're not plugged in to shore power and want to use an AC outlet. If you cutoff the battery power, the inverter can't function - it has no DC power coming in, so it cannot output AC power.


An easy way to keep it straight is to remember that a CONVERTER converts AC power to DC. An INVERTER inverts DC power to AC. Once you understand that, the rest falls into place.

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Old 05-24-2016, 01:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
3.
...
When you are connected to shore power, the inverter is not part of the picture, because your trailer's CONVERTER powers the AC outlets..
Sort of... the shore power (which is 120V AC) goes to the AC outlets though the distribution panel. The converter is located in the same box as the distribution panel, but is not involved in providing AC power... you could remove the converter - or just turn it off - and it would make no difference to using AC power. As Robert explained, the inverter and converter change power between AC and DC (in opposite directions) so in this case neither one is involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
4. With a generator running and connected to the trailer, the converter's charging function will charge the battery. But, the charging capacity will be reduced if you are using the generator power for something else. When you're connected to shore power the converter will charge the battery as well..
If you're using so much power from the generator that there isn't enough to run the converter properly, then nothing using AC power will be running properly.
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
5. Once again, you only use the inverter when you're not plugged in to shore power and want to use an AC outlet. If you cutoff the battery power, the inverter can't function - it has no DC power coming in, so it cannot output AC power.
That makes sense, but does Escape really wire the DC power for the inverter through the battery cutoff switch? Various owners' photos show two sets of cables connected to the batteries, with the second set presumably being for the inverter. Since a 1500W inverter takes over 125 amps from the battery at peak output but the cutoff switch doesn't look like it can handle this much current, and there are those two sets of cables, I assume that the inverter is not shutoff by the battery cutoff switch. Can anyone confirm or correct this?
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:10 AM   #5
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Thanks for the clarification on the converter Brian. I was simplifying for their understanding, just using the word converter to mean the entire distribution panel, converter and charger as one thing.


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Old 05-24-2016, 06:30 PM   #6
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Electrical system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I assume that the inverter is not shutoff by the battery cutoff switch. Can anyone confirm or correct this?

You are correct. I didn't know that there was a separate cable to the inverter.

So, it doesn't matter what position the battery cutoff is in when using the inverter. One of these days I'll be an expert on my trailer electrical system - instead of a pseudo-expert. Thanks for the post!


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Old 05-25-2016, 11:39 AM   #7
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Yes, it seems overwhelming to me trying to understand it all but our friend rbryan4 did a good job of simplifying it for me.. So I will just leave the battery isolated switch on all the time even when using the inverter with the exception of winter storage.

Thanks all pretty close to having it figured out. We had lots of upgrades done to make things easier and more enjoyable while out camping but I guess there was too much to take in in the during the orientation and the old brain will only Rolodex so much at a time now .��
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:10 PM   #8
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Wiring diagrams

Are there any wiring diagrams available for the Escape trailers?
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardr View Post
Are there any wiring diagrams available for the Escape trailers?
The only wiring diagrams I've ever seen are the ones in ETI's factory, on the walls in the electrical installation work areas. You can see them in the backgrounds of some build photos, and if you ever take the factory tour. There are nails on the walls, with lots of felt pen lines connecting them, and notes in various colors, to make the wiring looms for each trailer, including the custom stuff on the build sheets.

The trailers are ever-evolving, so ETI's documentation is scant.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:35 PM   #10
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Are there any wiring diagrams available for the Escape trailers?
Not provided by Escape. A forum member (Steve - st3v3) did create one for his Escape 15A; it is available in the Files collection as 15A Wiring Diagram.

A note from a previous discussion for anyone using this diagram:
Quote:
Originally Posted by St3v3 View Post
I was doing this reverse engineering last September and I see a few details now that I should mention: The location on the schematic roughly corresponds to location in the trailer. That is items on the left are near the front, on the right are near the back and in the middle, in the middle. There are also two Ground symbols. The one shaped like a triangle and labeled GND is a "local" ground, usually just a junction screw with a bunch of ground wires attached. The One labeled GNDPWR is a connection to chassis. Hope that helps.
Also, there is a NOCO brand charger shown in the diagram, because Steve has one in his trailer - that's an owner modification, not installed by Escape.

There are wiring differences
  • between models (of course),
  • between years of the same model (as the design evolves),
  • between trailers dependent on options, and
  • between trailers in response to buyers' requests for custom features.
So, no single diagram will correctly represent all Escapes.
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