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Old 02-02-2019, 09:49 AM   #1
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A Bunch of Electrical System Questions

Background--I have an Escape 19 on order and will be picking it up this Spring. Long time camper, newby to the trailer world. Went basic on the electrical system choices (do have a surge protector) after getting some fairly practical advice to use the new trailer for a season and see what you want after some experience, rather than making choices up front, and ending up with a generator you never use, a solar panel system that is inadequate, etc.

So, here are some questions:

Generator. If you want to run the air conditioner and aren't on shore power, how much inverter/generation capacity do you need (just the AC load, nothing else)? 2000 watts/3500 watts?

How long on shore power does it take the battery to recharge? Does it recharge automatically when the trailer is plugged in, or is there more to it.

Does anyone carry a second battery as a backup? It would seem like the cheapest and easiest way to double your power reserve? I didn't buy the battery upgrade for ETI, in keeping with my 'KISS' approach to the electrical system.

Does anybody know of a good basic orientation book/pamphlet/whatever for RV electrical systems. I've seen a couple of things along those lines for boats/marine systems, but not for RVs?

I'm sure any answers will prompt more questions.

Thanks, everyone.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Seneca View Post
Background--I have an Escape 19 on order and will be picking it up this Spring. Long time camper, newby to the trailer world. Went basic on the electrical system choices (do have a surge protector) after getting some fairly practical advice to use the new trailer for a season and see what you want after some experience, rather than making choices up front, and ending up with a generator you never use, a solar panel system that is inadequate, etc.

So, here are some questions:

Generator. If you want to run the air conditioner and aren't on shore power, how much inverter/generation capacity do you need (just the AC load, nothing else)? 2000 watts/3500 watts?

How long on shore power does it take the battery to recharge? Does it recharge automatically when the trailer is plugged in, or is there more to it.

Does anyone carry a second battery as a backup? It would seem like the cheapest and easiest way to double your power reserve? I didn't buy the battery upgrade for ETI, in keeping with my 'KISS' approach to the electrical system.

Does anybody know of a good basic orientation book/pamphlet/whatever for RV electrical systems. I've seen a couple of things along those lines for boats/marine systems, but not for RVs?

I'm sure any answers will prompt more questions.

Thanks, everyone.
I have a honda 3000 is and it will run the air and microwave(and anything else!) at the same time...I don't use it that often but it lives in my truck all summer anyway for work. I got it with my previous trailer, if I was buying new I might consider the new 2200 model as I hear it can run the air and is WAY lighter. You need generator or shore power to run the air conditioner, an inverter and batteries is probably not practical unless you are really crafty.

I would add the dual 6v battery and solar panel set up from ETI if you plan on boondocking much....I hardly plug in my trailer anymore and always have plenty of juice for all my needs.


Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:16 AM   #3
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and read read this, part 1&2 The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:07 AM   #4
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I did not get the storage box or second battery in front of my 19 but it did come with a rack that would hold two batteries. Since I already had a deep cycle battery for my trolling motor, two new matching battery boxes from Walmart and I was almost done.

On the inside of the trailer I put a battery switch and always charge and use them separately. I never hook them up together as they are different makes purchased at different times.

And yes this gives you twice the storage capacity.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seneca View Post
Background--I have an Escape 19 on order and will be picking it up this Spring. Long time camper, newby to the trailer world. Went basic on the electrical system choices (do have a surge protector) after getting some fairly practical advice to use the new trailer for a season and see what you want after some experience, rather than making choices up front, and ending up with a generator you never use, a solar panel system that is inadequate, etc.

So, here are some questions:

Generator. If you want to run the air conditioner and aren't on shore power, how much inverter/generation capacity do you need (just the AC load, nothing else)? 2000 watts/3500 watts?
While a 2000 watt generator will likely run your AC as long as there is little other load, at high altitudes it may be a problem. Honda, along with some others, has increased the wattage of their inverter generator to 2200, which might be something to look for. While going to a 3500 watt generator would be a sure bet, at over 100 pounds, the additional weight makes it something that most of us are not going to haul out every time you need it.

Quote:
How long on shore power does it take the battery to recharge? Does it recharge automatically when the trailer is plugged in, or is there more to it.
How long to recharge depends on how low you have discharged the battery. Recharging is automatic, and fully charging can take a number of hours, or even days, again depending on how far down your battery was before plugging in.

Quote:
Does anyone carry a second battery as a backup? It would seem like the cheapest and easiest way to double your power reserve? I didn't buy the battery upgrade for ETI, in keeping with my 'KISS' approach to the electrical system.
While some do carry a second unconnected battery, I find it easier to simply install a second battery (the pair of 6V that Escape offers as an option is a good choice).

Quote:
Does anybody know of a good basic orientation book/pamphlet/whatever for RV electrical systems. I've seen a couple of things along those lines for boats/marine systems, but not for RVs?
I'll second the 12V Side of Life, parts 1 & 2 as a good source of information on the 12V systems in your trailer.

Quote:
I'm sure any answers will prompt more questions.

Thanks, everyone.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:31 PM   #6
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Am thinking you may regret omitting the dual 6V option, particularly with the exchange rate discount you are getting. Thought I was going to be fine with a single Group 29 12V, however after a year it was apparent we needed more amp hours.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:57 PM   #7
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I would add the dual 6v battery and solar panel set up from ETI if you plan on boondocking much....I hardly plug in my trailer anymore and always have plenty of juice for all my needs.
I agree. Unless you install it yourself a solar package will be much more expensive after the build. Also the dual 6V batteries are a good option to increase amp-hours available whether you have solar or not. Personally if I was building new I wouldn’t omit these options but might hold off on the inverter. Depends on your style of camping.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:13 PM   #8
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Looking at work that will be more expensive, and difficult to accomplish, after the trailer is built I would have the solar wiring installed plus the Zamp solar plug installed. That gives you the flexibility to do solar your way going forward. On not doing solar if your camping style do not require it.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:20 PM   #9
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Am thinking you may regret omitting the dual 6V option, particularly with the exchange rate discount you are getting. Thought I was going to be fine with a single Group 29 12V, however after a year it was apparent we needed more amp hours.

Our thinking was that we'd be fine with the 12V Group 29 battery. A couple of times though, we were running extra stuff (musical instruments, mostly) and got a little close. So, all we did was add another 12V, wired in parallel with the other 12V to double our current capacity. On our 17, it was easy to mount another box on the other side of the rear bumper. But, on all the other Escapes, the second battery location takes more planning. Because they're in parallel, the second battery doesn't have to be in the same location.

19, 21, 5 owners, what say you.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:50 PM   #10
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I had the group 29 battery on my 2014 E21 with the 95 watt solar. After one year I replaced the single battery with dual 6 volts and doubled my storage. The good news is the oversized battery box is the same size as the dual 6 volts, so I was able to use the stock battery box. See here for details Upgrading your battery system....
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