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Old 09-21-2015, 04:53 PM   #21
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Thanks Jon, I will ask if I can have ETI add this wiring to my build list since I want the flexibility to add more solar for winter camping in the southwest. I hear a lot of folks boondock around Quartzite in the winter for weeks at a time.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:12 PM   #22
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I stayed at Quartzite for 1 week & Imperial Dam for 2 weeks during February, and found that the single 95 watt panel combined with the low angle sun wasn't enough to keep up with my typical usage of 25 - 30 amp hours per day. That is why I added the Solar Blvd 160 watt panel...

Make sure that Escape understands how you want to add a portable panel. The wiring is different for panels that have a controller (what they usually expect) and one without on that is wired to the input of the Escape controller.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:16 PM   #23
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Jon, do you think adding an additional panel on the roof is better or having the portable panels where you can focus them towards the sun is better? What about line drop with the 20-30 feet of wire from the panel to the controller, it that a big factor?
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:41 PM   #24
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To be honest, I couldn't decide, which is why I carry both. The 195 watts I get from the two roof top panels is plenty for clear summer days, but in the shade they don't keep up. I haven't tried them with low angle sun since I just installed the second panel in June. Even under ideal conditions, you won't get anywhere near the specified wattage from the panel to the batteries. For example, with a clear sky & careful aiming directly at the sun, I tested my portable panel by feeding the batteries while drawing 60 amps (using an inverter to make a pot of coffee). The portable panel's controller produced 8.5 amps, which at 12V is 102 watts. While it might produce a bit more just feeding the batteries, I've never seen a system that can produce at 100% efficiency...

If you are feeding the input to the controller from the panel, the voltage drop is not as critical since the PWM controller Escape uses combined with the voltage output of a typical 12V panel has room for a volt or two of drop. I used #10 garden light wire for my 25' run from the 160 watt panel. If you are using the panel's controller, it is best to use as large & short wiring as possible since the controller drops the voltage so you have less room to play with.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:48 PM   #25
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Got my interest Ron . Where would you put slide in , slide out on 19 ? Pat
My reply was in response to the comment that if the panels were mounted on the roof of the tug you wouldn't be able to have them charging while you were out sightseeing.

However, there's probably no reason that couldn't be done for the trailer. As I've posted before, mine rides just above the tongue box and I put it up high and tilt it when that's needed. No reason a panel couldn't be mounted of a frame above the tongue box. Most of time it would just sit there and charge. If it was in a campsite with heavy shade it could be released from the frame and used as a portable panel.

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Old 09-21-2015, 06:44 PM   #26
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On my 19 I had ETI place the GoPower charge controller down by the converter (driver side front dinette) and also install a pass through port on the left side so I can add the wiring at a later date. It's easy to connect to the GoPower controller, just have to make certain the amperage is appropriate. ETI installed the same pass-through that is used for the power cord, if you elect the permanently connected one. I would do that differently and use some sort of plug.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:44 AM   #27
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I'm not sure what controller Escape is currently using....
When they switched from the 160W panel to a 150W panel, they also switched to a Samlex controller. The Samlex is superior to the GoPower in every way, and I'd suspect that the theoretical 10 watts of panel output loss is more than made up for by a more advanced and efficient Samlex controller. Would have loved to have the Samlex system instead of the GoPower, but of course we got what was available at the time. It's like many other things at Escape - they keep improving it - darn them.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:59 AM   #28
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It's like many other things at Escape - they keep improving it - darn them.
That won't be an issue when you follow Jim N's example and move up to the 21.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:49 PM   #29
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Methinks (if it ever did happen) I would be following another Jim's example and go with the 5er.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:46 PM   #30
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We wanted to add another panel to our 21 which will be ready in May 2016 and they said no room with A/C
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