Battery Monitor Installation Question - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Escape Systems | Water, Waste, Charging & Propane
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-09-2014, 08:18 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Park City/Scottsdale AZ, Utah
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 109
Battery Monitor Installation Question

It seems that those who boondock frequently recommend upgrading to a Trimetic or similar. I believe the new Trimetic model is 2030. Do I need to ask for any specific wiring on my build sheet if I want to install an independant monitor after delivery? We will have the 160w solar package.
Barry
__________________

Bcdonaher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Forks, Washington
Trailer: Working on my build list
Posts: 93
Yes, you will need to have some wires run. How many depends on which monitor you get. It doesn't matter if you have the solar package or not, it's just another input the monitor will account for.

The battery monitor shunt has to go closest to the battery so it sees all of the current going in and out. Then you wire everything else to the far side of the shunt. If you have a wire that bypasses the shunt the monitor will never be accurate since there will be an input/output it will not know about.

I suggest finding a place to put it where you can see it easily. You won't use it to it's fullest potential if it is hard to reach. I'm still trying to figure out where to put mine when I buy my Escape. I want it close to eye level when I am standing. I'm looking at every photo of a 19 I find to see where they put theirs.

There is an article on installing battery monitors that appears on several boating sites around the web. It is posted on: http://forums.hunter.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=125606 among other places. If you don't DIY it will at least tell you what is involved. The article also discusses what a monitor will show you and why is is important to have it wired closest to the battery. The guy who wrote it has written a bunch of excellent articles on how to do various 12 volt projects. His web page is at Marine How To - Compass Marine - Boat Repair Free Information and he is an active contributor to a lot of forums.

The boating folks are much more interested in 12 volt systems than RV folks are so there is a lot more good 12 volt info over on boating sites. Your favorite search engine will find lots of info if you don't restrict your search to RVs.

The Trimetric has a good reputation in the RV world. The boaters like the Victrons and the Links. There are others that are well thought of too. Prices vary widely so shop around.
__________________

WestEnder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
jamie beers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC, British Columbia
Trailer: 19'
Posts: 326
If you provide ETI the wires they will run them for you where you specify. Presumably from the battery compartment where the shunt goes, to the interior location of the monitor.
jamie beers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 12:31 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,460
I ordered the cable assembly, shunt and Trimetric 2025 RV from WeGoSolar on Vancouver Island. I had it shipped to ETI for installation. I really only needed the cable assembly for Escape's use but found WeGoSolar prices to be competitive so bought the entire package. You want the 500 AMP shunt.

Some observations: Escape will gladly run the wire during the build process. On my 21 I choose the area above the stove, I would have selected the same location on my 19. The cable kit is 25 feet and there is not any issues with distance of wire run. Escape will not install the meter or the shunt, however these appear to be relatively simple processes using all the wires included plus you will need a battery cable (I believe but have not confirmed Escape uses 10 gauge wire for this) to run from the new shunt to the negative on the battery. The existing wire on the negative of the battery will come off and be on the other end of the shunt. I have in my possession and plan to upgrade to a 18" length of lawn mower battery cable, it has the smaller diameter ring connector on the 6 gauge cable and will connect properly to the shunt and battery. However, I will not have the Escape 21 in my possession for another two weeks so have not installed. The shunt will be within 18" of the battery

Escape has a relationship with WeGoSolar and all the items I ordered were never put on my charge card. Instead they were added to my build sheet as a part of the total package. I liked that.

I agree with all that WestEnder has written about location. Mine will be eye level and easily observed. Escape actually selected this area so I am going on some of their experience. I believe the cables will just be laying in that upper cabinet with hole drilling and final location left up to me. Perhaps it is possible to tack the cables inside that expanse of cabinet over the sink and stove and relocate it more toward the door?

I choose the Trimetric 2025 because the 2030 had been announced but was not yet available. I was interested in the SC-2030 controller as well. I am not sure that has shipped yet. I settled on a Blue Sky 30 as a replacement.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 12:55 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
jamie beers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC, British Columbia
Trailer: 19'
Posts: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I believe the cables will just be laying in that upper cabinet with hole drilling and final location left up to me. Perhaps it is possible to tack the cables inside that expanse of cabinet over the sink and stove and relocate it more toward the door?
It was my experience that "the cables will just be laying in that upper cabinet with hole drilling and final location left up to me."

I had the door side wall of the upper kitchen cabinet reinforced to mount monitor there, for a couple reasons:

-will be easy to see monitor from outside.
-will be easy to see monitor from inside, but it won't be "in my face" all of the time.

Oh, something minor: if using the Bogart wire, specify which end of the wire you want in the battery compartment (i.e. end with fuse and eyelets).
jamie beers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 10:39 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Forks, Washington
Trailer: Working on my build list
Posts: 93
Thanks both of you. I've thought of putting it above the stove but I hadn't thought of reinforcing the cabinet wall.
WestEnder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 08:03 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
DonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Corinth, Mississippi
Trailer: 2014 19' Escape - 2018 JGC Overland
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestEnder View Post
Thanks both of you. I've thought of putting it above the stove but I hadn't thought of reinforcing the cabinet wall.
I installed mine in the passengers side cabinet above the dinette. I just added a piece of 1/4" plywood and drove the mounting screws into it.

IMG_9758-.jpg
__________________
Don & Cheryl
http://www.corinthrose.com/Galleries/Escape-Travels
DonF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Park City/Scottsdale AZ, Utah
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 109
Thanks for everyone's input to my question, just another reason why I'm buying an Escape. Excuse my ignorance but where are the batteries on the 19"
Barry
Bcdonaher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 11:56 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
lefttee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Trailer: 2013 19' Escape
Posts: 147
Hi Barry...unless things have changed since last year, the dual 6 volt batteries are in the optional storage box over the tongue behind the propane tanks. Not sure where they go if you don't order the box. I know some folks have put them inside in a vented box. Have fun building your trailer!
lefttee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 02:53 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Klamath Falls, OR, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19ft. "Eh'gloo"
Posts: 62
Our batteries are located on the tongue behind the propane bottles.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0510141149.jpg (114.7 KB, 27 views)
__________________
2014 19er "Eh'gloo"
2005 Tacoma
Scruffy Varmint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 09:50 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Forks, Washington
Trailer: Working on my build list
Posts: 93
Thanks, Don. Did you secure the plywood in any way besides the screws?
WestEnder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 10:14 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
DonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Corinth, Mississippi
Trailer: 2014 19' Escape - 2018 JGC Overland
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestEnder View Post
Thanks, Don. Did you secure the plywood in any way besides the screws?
Your welcome, glad I could help. I only used the mounting screws from the Trimetric to secure the plywood.
__________________
Don & Cheryl
http://www.corinthrose.com/Galleries/Escape-Travels
DonF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 11:10 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Park City/Scottsdale AZ, Utah
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I ordered the cable assembly, shunt and Trimetric 2025 RV from WeGoSolar on Vancouver Island. I had it shipped to ETI for installation. I really only needed the cable assembly for Escape's use but found WeGoSolar prices to be competitive so bought the entire package. You want the 500 AMP shunt.

Some observations: Escape will gladly run the wire during the build process. On my 21 I choose the area above the stove, I would have selected the same location on my 19. The cable kit is 25 feet and there is not any issues with distance of wire run. Escape will not install the meter or the shunt, however these appear to be relatively simple processes using all the wires included plus you will need a battery cable (I believe but have not confirmed Escape uses 10 gauge wire for this) to run from the new shunt to the negative on the battery. The existing wire on the negative of the battery will come off and be on the other end of the shunt. I have in my possession and plan to upgrade to a 18" length of lawn mower battery cable, it has the smaller diameter ring connector on the 6 gauge cable and will connect properly to the shunt and battery. However, I will not have the Escape 21 in my possession for another two weeks so have not installed. The shunt will be within 18" of the battery

Escape has a relationship with WeGoSolar and all the items I ordered were never put on my charge card. Instead they were added to my build sheet as a part of the total package. I liked that.

I agree with all that WestEnder has written about location. Mine will be eye level and easily observed. Escape actually selected this area so I am going on some of their experience. I believe the cables will just be laying in that upper cabinet with hole drilling and final location left up to me. Perhaps it is possible to tack the cables inside that expanse of cabinet over the sink and stove and relocate it more toward the door?

I choose the Trimetric 2025 because the 2030 had been announced but was not yet available. I was interested in the SC-2030 controller as well. I am not sure that has shipped yet. I settled on a Blue Sky 30 as a replacement.
Paul
Did you end up ordering the controller as well? I see on their install instructions that a phone cable needs to be run from the monitor to the controller. I was planning on putting the monitor on my 19 in the front passenger upper cabinet end, but would have to have Escape run a phone cable back to where the existing Gopower controller is. Did you have solar on your 19? Where do Escape locate the controller on the 19, is there room to put the battery monitor there as well so I don't have to have them run the phone cable.
Barry
Bcdonaher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 12:01 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bcdonaher View Post
Paul
Did you end up ordering the controller as well? I see on their install instructions that a phone cable needs to be run from the monitor to the controller. I was planning on putting the monitor on my 19 in the front passenger upper cabinet end, but would have to have Escape run a phone cable back to where the existing Gopower controller is. Did you have solar on your 19? Where do Escape locate the controller on the 19, is there room to put the battery monitor there as well so I don't have to have them run the phone cable.
Barry
To connect the Trimetric 2025 and I assume the new 2030, you need one of two cabling methods. The cable kit from Trimetric, about $30 that has some ring connectors on one end and an inline fuse installed. I believe the other option is Cat 5 wire, perhaps phone wire would work but you may need the more pairs in Cat 5 or the better twisting of the pairs. Then you would need to crimp ring connectors and purchase a fuse. Either method allows long distance runs but the Trimetric cable is 25'.

I purchased the cable and the controller with shunt from WeGoSolar.

I have to think of the best method to install in a 19, someone else may add to this discussion. With the batteries on the tongue, I think the shunt would go into the drivers side dinette. All connections from the Trimetric go to the shunt, there is not a need to connect to the GoPower controller. So your only wiring need would be the selected cable from the shunt to where you wish to locate the monitor.

In this scenario you are going to remove the negative wire from the battery and install that on the shunt. You would need a new wire from the shunt to the negative of the battery or you may well be able to use the Escape installed wire. I cannot remember if the negative from the battery goes to a connector block in that dinette seat? You could just remove it and place it on the shunt, then install a new wire from the shunt to the connector block you removed the wire from.

I am not sure what Escape is using today for gauge of wire in this location but I would consider replacing with 6 gauge wire, it is not essential, just gives better performance.

I do not know where Escape locates that GoPower monitor on a 19. You could mount the Trimetric on the dinette seat between the WFCO power converter and bathroom wall. It might be too low to read easily. If your bathroom wall was reinforced it could go there, not sure I like that either. Higher is better in my mind, I think eye level has been mentioned several times. The upper drivers side dinette storage compartment seems like a good spot.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 02:32 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
DonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Corinth, Mississippi
Trailer: 2014 19' Escape - 2018 JGC Overland
Posts: 171
After reading that the shunt should be installed as close to the battery as possible, I chose to mount it on the battery case with 3M tape. I figured there was plenty of ventilation since the batteries are not in an enclosed box and corrosion won't be a problem; time will tell. I replaced the ETI cable between the battery posts with 4 gauge cable, the same size as cable from the inverter as well as using 4 gauge to connect from the shunt to the battery post. My local NAPA store cut the cables to the length I asked for as well as crimping on the end connectors to the cables.
IMG_9711-.jpg
__________________
Don & Cheryl
http://www.corinthrose.com/Galleries/Escape-Travels
DonF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 04:47 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,460
Good idea to put the shunt in the storage box. I never had the box so it falls out of my knowledge base. How hard was it to route the Trimetric wire assembly/cable kit out to the battery box, or did ETI do that for you?

I like the battery cable upgrade, it is on my list. What about the cable between the batteries? Did you install that or Escape? What about the neat labels? My 19 had a piece of masking tape with + or - on it.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 05:22 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
DonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Corinth, Mississippi
Trailer: 2014 19' Escape - 2018 JGC Overland
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Good idea to put the shunt in the storage box. I never had the box so it falls out of my knowledge base. How hard was it to route the Trimetric wire assembly/cable kit out to the battery box, or did ETI do that for you?

I like the battery cable upgrade, it is on my list. What about the cable between the batteries? Did you install that or Escape? What about the neat labels? My 19 had a piece of masking tape with + or - on it.
Routing the wire wasn't too bad. I followed the path of the wires from the GoPower controller to get to the area under the dinette seat. I didn't want to drill another hole through the floor so I removed enough caulking around the inverter wires to snake the wire from the Trimetric through the floor. I also used the existing wiring hole to route the Trimetric wire into the storage box.
I installed the larger cable between the batteries. The labels on the cables were applied by ETI. I carefully removed them from the original cable and reinstalled them on the replacement cable.
__________________
Don & Cheryl
http://www.corinthrose.com/Galleries/Escape-Travels
DonF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 07:48 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Park City/Scottsdale AZ, Utah
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 109
I've asked Reece to run the Trimetic wiring harness into the battery box, with plans on installing the shunt in there like Don did. The other end I originally asked to be left in the front upper cabinet passenger side with the intention of mounting the monitor on the end facing the door, but now I think it might be better to run it into the same cabinet where the existing solar controller is, I've asked ETI if there will be room. That way if I decide to change out the controller to the Trimetic, it will be easier to connect the 2. The specs call for phone wire, but I'll verify. Wegosolar don't answer their phone.
Bcdonaher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 12:11 AM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Forks, Washington
Trailer: Working on my build list
Posts: 93
Saying the shunt needs to be closest to the battery means that the shunt needs to be the first thing along the wire from the battery before anything else is hooked up. It doesn't have to be physically right next to the battery. In the compartment where the stuff like the inverter, charger, solar controller and associated wiring is will be fine. That will also be a lot easier than trying to get the monitor wires out to the battery box. Also, problems with corrosion of electrical connections are much greater in the battery box which argues for having as many connections as possible of stuff like shunts outside it.

The only thing that should be physically close to the battery is the catastrophe fuse. Various electrical codes specify the maximum distance from the battery for that depending on installation type but the usual feeling is the closer the better. There are a lot of folks who put them right on the battery terminal when possible.
WestEnder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 08:42 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,460
Those are some good pointers on shunt placement. It seems that Escape front storage box with batteries is a bit of a hybrid. Does it have vent holes like the interior battery box on the Escape 21?

Regarding the catastrophe fuse, is that used on the negative ground wire between battery and shunt or is this the fuse used on the wiring harness for the Trimetric? When you state fuse, would an automotive circuit breaker provide the same protection? Any idea of a range of distances that the different codes might specify for the location of that fuse?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Automotive Fuse.jpg (12.4 KB, 383 views)
__________________

__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×