Made the 19 foot Escape plunge! Need Solar suggestions/reports - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-14-2018, 10:34 AM   #1
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Question Made the 19 foot Escape plunge! Need Solar suggestions/reports

Already have spent way too much time on this very helpful Forum!
Finally got to see a 19 ft 2017 and put our deposit down the next day
Bern and Ruth are here we hope to stay!
I have looked at lots of Solar discussions, but still struggling with the mediocre set up ETI puts in for we hard core boon docker wanna bees.
Original plan: Full double solar 170 Watt fixed, and blocked/added portable port /battery upgrade/inverter to all outlets/surge suppressor etc. But, looking at what you get for the money and the heavier weight of fixed panels has made me question (rather put the weight towards 4 6 volt AGM, has anybody done this in a new 19?) and upgrade to 2000 watt psw inverter and better monitoring gear along with a 40 amp MPPT charge controller.
I would love to see and hear about successful upgrades to the roof and hardware!
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:03 AM   #2
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I'd concentrate on using less 120v battery hungry appliances and use 12v and propane for all your needs (except for a/c). The stock 170 watt solar with dual 6 volts is enough to handle most of the 12v needs in a day and is recharged full before noon the next day. Other than lights which are LED and the pump, the furnace will meet most of your needs and the refer on propane works very well. Spending close to $2,000 to use 120v appliances can be done but the trailer can be use without it.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:25 AM   #3
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We have “Boondocked” camped several times for a week in a trailer with one 27F deep cycle battery , 100 watts of portable solar and no inverter without issue.
As Jim pointed out with 12VDC and propane the only thing you can’t do is run the A/C
We bought our trailer used and it came with dual solar panels , full inverter and the EMS system , if we were to order new we would have spent thee money elsewhere .
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:14 PM   #4
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Our single 160 Watt roof panel with one 12V battery works amazingly well in the Pacific Northwest, where it's cloudy and rainy for 4 months a year. We've never failed to recharge in half a day even under the huge trees in Redwood National Parks in California. However, we only. use our little 300W plug-in inverter to charge laptops. Everything else runs on 12V or propane.


If we're only going to be out for a couple of weeks I don't even pack my generator any more. Has maybe 30 hours run time in the last 4 years.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:14 PM   #5
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Made the 19 foot Escape plunge! Need Solar suggestions/reports

Hi, Bernard, and welcome to the family. I am like-minded about wanting a robust off-grid setup, and have found a combination of Escape factory options combined with some carefully selected aftermarket options to work exceptionally well for us. On our 19 we had Escape install their solar package (with an additional second panel), as well as a custom solar port that I provided (for an additional third, portable panel only now used in special circumstances), and inverter and EMS. After delivery I replaced the factory solar controller with a BlueSky MPPT controller that can be programmed for the correct voltages that Interstate recommends for their batteries, along with a temperature probe, and a Trimetric battery monitor so I can see true state of charge on our batteries. The only thing I’d do differently now would be to use a Victron BM702 battery monitor instead of the Trimetric. The Trimetric works great, but it’s kind of clunky. And the Victron would do Bluetooth to my phone. Bells and whistles can be both practical and fun!
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:27 PM   #6
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Thanks all!
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:29 PM   #7
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So you stayed with the 1500 watt inverter? And what Amperage was the Blue Sky?
I will look now at the Victron.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:41 PM   #8
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The only 4 battery setup I recall was used to run a 12v fridge, think they went with 3 solar panels on the roof.

I also didn't care for the stock equipment and did my own installs, but it's an old body style 5.0TA so mine will be different then yours. I used Bogart Engineering's Trimetric monitor (TM-2030-RV) and their solar controller (SC-2030), which work as a set. ETI ran the monitor cables for me as well as the solar panel cables up to the roof. I put in a Magnum Dimentions 1000w inverter (CSW). Had ETI install the Progressive Industries EMS.

Everything worked out fine but it's a good deal of work.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berndad View Post
So you stayed with the 1500 watt inverter? And what Amperage was the Blue Sky?
I will look now at the Victron.


Yes, we’ve been good with the 1500 watt inverter. The only appliance we use that comes close to max capacity is when we use our Instant Pot.

We chose the BlueSky 3000i MPPT for two reasons, first cause its MPPT, but second, and actually more importantly to us, it’s one of only a few solar controllers that can be programmed to the higher voltages that Interstate Batteries specifies for their 6V batteries, which gets us fuller, healthier batteries that should last longer than the chronically undercharged batteries that you‘re likely to have with a suboptimal setup.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:19 PM   #10
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Bern and Ruth, a hearty congratulations on your purchase. We love our 19 as much today as we did when we picked it up almost 4 years ago.
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