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Old 07-21-2019, 01:47 PM   #1
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Question Last Questions (I hope!) on the 17B Build Sheet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Originally Posted by cpaharley2008
Do not be surprised if there is no credit for no mattress as well as no heat tape option. The foam insulation is the best for your tanks in both winter and summer heat. With heat on inside your tanks will be fine, at least down to single digits. Also be wary of the inverter option, if you plan properly using 12v and propane, everything can operate off those 2 power sources, other than a/c. You will need hookups in the winter as well as summer heat, so other than that your solar will provide everything you need using 12v. Your water pump, stove, lights, furnace, refrigerator all operate off 12v and propane.
Thanks, Jim!

There'll be no surprises if ETI says "no" to my requests, but I nevertheless retain some hope regarding the mattress and deeply appreciate your comforting words regarding the foam insultation, as that's what I'd come to based on all of the discussions regarding it on this forum.

I'm a virtual kindergartener when it comes to understanding electrical systems. I've studied and taken notes on what I need to do for daily upkeep (and am petrified that I may miss something vital so hope somebody can share a list of these "daily upkeep" items with me), but I'm going to be totally reliant on professionals to install, inspect, and repair - which brings me to the build sheet.

I have absolutely no idea what to be wary of regarding the inverter options. Could you please view the items currently listed on my build sheet and tell me where I may have gotten it wrong? Just so you know, my goal is to be able to operate the refrigerator, A/C, laptop, Kindle, Mp3 player, and (occasionally) a small toaster oven - this while boondocking, which I hope to do 90% of the time. (I'm looking forward to rallies and am hoping to hook up with folks who love nature without blaring TV's and sound systems, generally avoiding "wall-to-wall" camping. Each to his or her own, but I favor the sound of birdcalls and rushing streams.) My goal, therefore, is to build a unit that handles all the above conveniences while totally independent of shore power, though nevertheless maintaining the ability to connect to shore power when it's available. I want Sojourner to stand on her own, even when parked in my daughter's or sister's driveway - not that either would begrudge the hookups.

So I appreciate any thoughts you're willing to share with me on the current options on my build sheet that relate to wiring and the use of power - and a few other items about which I still have some question. The advice of those of you who've been at this for a while is truly invaluable and has given me the peace of mind needed to venture out into the unknowns of full-time RV living! Many blessings to you all! I'm looking forward to meeting you at various rallies in Canada and the US after my October 16th trip north to pick up the much-awaited SOJOURNER! 🌻🌻🌻

Ava

These beyond the basics ETI already provides for the 17B:

-dual 6v batteries - 225 amp hrs
-inverter 1500 W (includes 1 additional 120 v. outlet)
-Inverter 1500 W (includes transfer switch and all outlets)
-190W solar panel with charge controller
-Zamp solar port -best place next to battery? (for solar panels to be affixed to PVC pipe and temporarily hung as awnings which can be lifted or lowered to maximize the sun's rays)
-surge protector
-removable power cord
-rear upper LED brake/signal lights
-A/C w digital thermostat (11,000 BtU) Dometic
-heat strip for AC
-wiring for backup camera (or go ahead and order the camera? still not good at baking but have experience pulling a utility trailer and a 17' Uhaul truck towing my TV behind from NC to TX)
-extra insulation * frame-less thermal windows (includes opening rear window)
-opening window in kitchen (thermal?)
-opening window in bathroom (thermal?)
-wiring for power tongue jack ( may install later)
-exterior propane quick connect w 12" propane hose & adapter (low pressure)
-spray foam insulation beneath the entire trailer
-interior switch at door for porch light
-exterior 12v/USB outlet (standard) one near the back passenger side; one back driver's side
-12 v interior outlet
-additional 12v/USB interior outlet at front (permanent bed) and back dinette
-additional 12v/USB exterior outlet
-LED Captains reading lamps -one at each of the 4 corners, front and back
-wiring for inside cabinet lights at rear overhead and 2 in the front cabinet
-brake controller (doesn't include installation)
-interior refrigerator fan? exterior refrigerator fan?

Whew! Quite a list! Am I a spoiled brat or what?
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:12 PM   #2
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Other than a toaster over you do not need an inverter. You can purchase a 12v television and like I already mentioned, everything else is 12v or propane. You do not need 2 inverter systems you have listed, pick one or the other, one comes with a dedicated outlet the other allows any outlet. But again you will find the use limited. The heat strip with a/c requires hookups, your propane furnace does not. Gives you more boon docking options. You may want to relocated the porch side light down below the belly band to give you better illumination of the step, helps when you are boon docking, also request amber lenses for all your exterior lights.
Your batteries will be on the rear bumper, outside. Very easy to access with a alligator clip vs an exterior 12v outlet. Actually on edit, the dual 6 volts will be too far apart, so a 12v exterior outlet maybe okay, but only one is needed right in the middle of the rear.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:25 PM   #3
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I don't believe you can run the air conditioner off a battery, even with an inverter and tons of solar panels.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I don't believe you can run the air conditioner off a battery, even with an inverter and tons of solar panels.
That was discussed in the first post....
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:28 PM   #5
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-Inverter 1500 W (includes transfer switch and all outlets)
Couldn't do without it. There are a lot of things that require 120v - try to charge your electric toothbrush or electric shaver on DC. Make a list of the devices you use on a regular basis and then try to find DC versions - good luck!

-heat strip for AC
Delete from list. Requires AC to operate and is not temp controlled. With the propane heater, you will have temp controlled heat when boondocking.

-brake controller (doesn't include installation)
Just buy a Tekonsha P3 from Amazon. Make sure to get the wiring harness for your vehicle and have it already installed before you pick up your trailer.

It's not on your list but are you having any of the interior walls reinforced?

Two way hot water heater?
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:56 PM   #6
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We picked up our 17b in March and have taken 2 month long trips. Most of the time we don't camp with hook ups. We don't have an inverter except a small portable one to charge my camera battery. We don't miss it except for the electric toaster. We just have to rough it and use the camp toaster on the stove. The electric toaster is a welcome luxury when we have power.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
-Inverter 1500 W (includes transfer switch and all outlets)
Couldn't do without it. There are a lot of things that require 120v - try to charge your electric toothbrush or electric shaver on DC. Make a list of the devices you use on a regular basis and then try to find DC versions - good luck!

-heat strip for AC
Delete from list. Requires AC to operate and is not temp controlled. With the propane heater, you will have temp controlled heat when boondocking.

-brake controller (doesn't include installation)
Just buy a Tekonsha P3 from Amazon. Make sure to get the wiring harness for your vehicle and have it already installed before you pick up your trailer.

It's not on your list but are you having any of the interior walls reinforced?

Two way hot water heater?
Okay, these next questions will prove just how ignorant I am about such matters, but I'm beyond embarrassment; I need to know the answers! So

-I only need the ONE inverter, right? The one with power switch and all outlets.
- Heat strip now deleted based on feedback.
- Your suggestion about the buying from Amazon and installing before I leave Texas makes sense. I plan to place the switch as close to the steering wheel as possible without letting it get in the way, because I cant reach the glove compartment from the driver's seat and can't imagine having to stretch for it during an emergency.
-The two-water hot water tank is on my build list.
-I read about strengthening interior walls for the first time yesterday, this after weeks of studying posts on this forum. So much to learn! From what I understood, if I don't hang anything on the vinyl headliner AND if I travel to cooler climes during the hot and humid months of summer, I need not reinforce the interior walls. Other thoughts? Also, folks seem to differ as to which walls need reinforcing. Another mystery.

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I have much to decide before next Tuesday!

Ava
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:54 PM   #8
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You need to reinforce any wall that will have something hanging from it, otherwise the corners will always have support for attaching a tv stand or any other item you want to hang. Yes, only one inverter. I'd recommend against the 2 way water heater for one simple reason, if you forget and turn it on when the tank is empty, pfft, gone.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightday View Post
Okay, these next questions will prove just how ignorant I am about such matters, but I'm beyond embarrassment; I need to know the answers! So

-I only need the ONE inverter, right? The one with power switch and all outlets.
- Heat strip now deleted based on feedback.
- Your suggestion about the buying from Amazon and installing before I leave Texas makes sense. I plan to place the switch as close to the steering wheel as possible without letting it get in the way, because I cant reach the glove compartment from the driver's seat and can't imagine having to stretch for it during an emergency.
-The two-water hot water tank is on my build list.
-I read about strengthening interior walls for the first time yesterday, this after weeks of studying posts on this forum. So much to learn! From what I understood, if I don't hang anything on the vinyl headliner AND if I travel to cooler climes during the hot and humid months of summer, I need not reinforce the interior walls. Other thoughts? Also, folks seem to differ as to which walls need reinforcing. Another mystery.

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I have much to decide before next Tuesday!

Ava
We reenforced bath walls . Pat
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You need to reinforce any wall that will have something hanging from it, otherwise the corners will always have support for attaching a tv stand or any other item you want to hang. Yes, only one inverter. I'd recommend against the 2 way water heater for one simple reason, if you forget and turn it on when the tank is empty, pfft, gone.
Agree on electric for water heater Pat
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bcescapist View Post
We picked up our 17b in March and have taken 2 month long trips. Most of the time we don't camp with hook ups. We don't have an inverter except a small portable one to charge my camera battery. We don't miss it except for the electric toaster. We just have to rough it and use the camp toaster on the stove. The electric toaster is a welcome luxury when we have power.
The toaster oven is pretty much a necessity for me, as I was diagnosed with celiac disease in March, and I'll often be in places where buying gluten-free breads and other foods will not be an option. I'll rough it in other ways, but my RV will be my home, and home also means baked goods. For me, anyway.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightday View Post
Okay, these next questions will prove just how ignorant I am about such matters, but I'm beyond embarrassment; I need to know the answers! So …

-I only need the ONE inverter, right? The one with power switch and all outlets.
- Heat strip now deleted based on feedback.
- Your suggestion about the buying from Amazon and installing before I leave Texas makes sense. I plan to place the switch as close to the steering wheel as possible without letting it get in the way, because I cant reach the glove compartment from the driver's seat and can't imagine having to stretch for it during an emergency.
-The two-water hot water tank is on my build list.
-I read about strengthening interior walls for the first time yesterday, this after weeks of studying posts on this forum. So much to learn! From what I understood, if I don't hang anything on the vinyl headliner AND if I travel to cooler climes during the hot and humid months of summer, I need not reinforce the interior walls. Other thoughts? Also, folks seem to differ as to which walls need reinforcing. Another mystery.

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I have much to decide before next Tuesday!

Ava
You only need one inverter - correct.

The walls are thin hollow frames and are reinforced by adding 3/4" plywood between the wall shells. Reinforcing a wall allows you to mount stuff to it. Umbra hooks are a common choice to add. A television mount that you don't have to take down when traveling is another. There are others but the point is that without a reinforced wall, you are restricted to mounting your "stuff" to spots that have frame members in the wall. With a reinforced wall, mount it anywhere you want.

"From what I understood, if I don't hang anything on the vinyl headliner AND if I travel to cooler climes during the hot and humid months of summer, I need not reinforce the interior walls." I'm sorry but the vinyl headliner and travel to cooler climates have nothing to do with reinforcing the walls. I'm guessing but I think you are confusing this with the insulation package.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:28 PM   #13
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There isn't a lot of wall space to hang things in a 17B so that would be the least of my concerns. I bought a TV mounting arm and ended up giving it away. Wife gave me a 4" X 6 " picture in a frame. Never mounted it.

I like 3M Command hooks because I can install them and then remove them when I realize it was a bad idea. See that hook next to the thermometer? I thought it would be great for hanging my clothes when I climbed into bed. But, my shirts would hang down far enough that I got tangled in them as I tossed during the night. Now it's for my flashlight.



I know it's exciting to plan what you will do with your new trailer, but I urge you to gather ideas and not to accumulate an Amazon inventory.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:02 PM   #14
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Thanks! I think the best option for me is to reinforce as many of the walls as possible and to hang as little as possible, if anything, on those walls.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:10 PM   #15
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Reinforcement costs money and adds weight.

My wife hangs three sundresses from a 3M Command hook ( 5 lb. size ). No need to reinforce that wall.

If you want to place a TV mount somewhere unusual, you could reinforce that wall.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:38 PM   #16
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Thanks! I think the best option for me is to reinforce as many of the walls as possible and to hang as little as possible, if anything, on those walls.
Check with Escape on the added weight on a 17. It may be trivial to you or maybe not. For perspective if all walls are reinforced on a 21 it adds on the order of 175# according to Escape. That is like carrying two addl rooftop air conditioners.
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:12 PM   #17
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Added cost I could manage, but that much extra weight would certainly pose a problem.
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:10 AM   #18
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Check with Escape on the added weight on a 17. It may be trivial to you or maybe not. For perspective if all walls are reinforced on a 21 it adds on the order of 175# according to Escape. That is like carrying two addl rooftop air conditioners.
I know really not much added weight to have the capability to be able hang things . We did both shower walls and glad we did . Pat
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:34 AM   #19
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The reinforcement issue is model particular, some Escape models need little, others maybe 1 or 2 sections. Weight is an issue and reinforcing and not using is wasteful .
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:38 AM   #20
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Added cost I could manage, but that much extra weight would certainly pose a problem.
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I know really not much added weight to have the capability to be able hang things . We did both shower walls and glad we did . Pat
Im not saying to not reinforce any walls. Im saying be strategic about which ones if you are concerned about the possible weight gain overall.
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