Battery Monitor Installation Question - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-09-2014, 07:18 AM   #1
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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
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:23 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:53 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:31 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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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).
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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Thanks both of you. I've thought of putting it above the stove but I hadn't thought of reinforcing the cabinet wall.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:03 AM   #7
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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.

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Old 05-10-2014, 07:33 AM   #8
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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
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #9
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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!
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:53 PM   #10
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Our batteries are located on the tongue behind the propane bottles.
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