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Old 08-15-2016, 04:30 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by craiginpetaluma View Post
The surprise benefit is when tilted I can clean and wax easily.
that seems like a very useful benefit when being able to tilt the panel, even if only temporary like a hinged panel versus a fixed panel.

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Old 08-09-2017, 03:27 PM   #92
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Front mounted Solar panel

I know this is an old thread but I was curious to hear about the experience people have had with a second solar panel mounted on the front. Is there more risk from rock damage and/or bugs ruining the the panel? Does ETI mount any kind of diverter to keep the wind from trying to rip the panel off the roof?

I was originally thinking of using a portable for my second panel but I don't don't hang around camp during the day when I boondock and would not feel comfortable leaving a portable unattended

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Old 08-09-2017, 04:08 PM   #93
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I'm not sure what you mean by mounted on the front. My panel, which extends up higher than the roof and tilts and swivels, "lives" in this position. Its traveled many thousands of miles in that position without incident. It's "live" even in that position. My original intent was for that to be the storage position. But I found that it was continuing to provide usable output even when the tug was hooked up and partly shaded sometimes.

If I only had a portable panel I'd probably make a carrying bracket to hold it in the same relative position. Most of the time it would make usable output and, when full output is needed, it could be easily shifted to a sunny location.

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Old 08-09-2017, 06:11 PM   #94
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Thanks for the info, that is a very nice install. I was really thinking of an additional ETI installed solar panel on the roof.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:07 PM   #95
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we have the factory dual roof solar on our 2017 21'

and dual 6v batteries from factory.

we LOVE it.


we can pretty much always run the fridge off 12v while towing for a long day.... or two.... or whatever.... so we dont even need to think about propane / is it on? is it off? / are we gassing up? / going thru a tunnel? etc.


even in January pacific north west (low sun) the dual 6 v are always charged up fast


they bolt them down very securely, so i see no way it would blow off. or get bugs.

we are super happy. yes it was an extra $850 IIRC, but what the heck. suits the way we boondock, 4 seasons.

it means we just dont ever need to worry about state-of-charge of the dual 6. They just are.


we got the all plug inverter, and we use it, so again.... never a worry about the batteries.

oh and if part of the roof is shaded by a tree... when camping... the OTHER panel usually isn't, so still charging


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Old 08-09-2017, 07:23 PM   #96
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I also ordered an Escape 21 wth two solar panels. I just posted a page of the construction photos of my trailer. While none of the photos are a "roof view", if you look as the outside final photos, you can see the position of the front & rear panel.

I added a front panel to my Escape 17B, towed it to Alaska & a couple of trips across the US, and no chips (and, even though it was epoxied, it didn't blow off!)
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:27 PM   #97
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One of these days I'm going to try 12v operation while towing, but I only have the single 155 watt with dual sixers. May still work.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:54 PM   #98
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Thanks again. I think I will go for dual solar panels. I already have dual 6V batteries on the build sheet. I got thinking about the dual solar while I was reading about the thermal link issue on the 6 ft3 fridge. Having the option to tow using 12V seemed like a good idea. ETI seems to think that towing with the external fridge fan is the problem but my credo is "optionality", always have options.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #99
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Twin Panels is a good idea, dinnyberry! If I remember correctly, you'll need to pass on the option for the Jack TV antenna. Not a bad trade-off. ETI will know for sure.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:33 PM   #100
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Here is a picture from ours with the panel (only one) mounted on the front.
When zooming in, you can see it's tilted to the front.
Really like to having the solar panel on the front instead of the rear. Mostly, backing up in sites, your back of the trailer is parked in the trees. This way we get most advantage of the sun for our solar.
The panel is installed solid. No problem when driving. The tilt to the front helps "moving" the wind over top.
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