Dual Solar Panels on a 21 - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-07-2016, 12:59 PM   #21
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Ok, newbie here getting a 21' next May, are the solar panels charging while you are driving down the road?
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Yes

As John says, yes. In fact, they charge whenever they're exposed to any light - even when the trailer is stored and the power to the batteries is cut off by the switch.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:29 AM   #22
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Thanks everyone for all of your input and recommendations. There are certainly a number of things to consider and a lot of pro and cons either way. I have to spend some time digesting all of this information. We are not scheduled to get our until July 2017 so we at least have a few months to decide which way to go. This is sure an active forum and a wonderful community. Thanks again!!
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:27 AM   #23
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Vacuum cleaner? Are you using an inverter, or do you have a 12V vacuum?
I got tired of the weak 12 volt rechargeable vacuums and with an inverter it made sense to use something with more power. I have a Shark hand held that works great in the camper or tow vehicle. We spend a lot of time at sandy campsites, add a little rain and Paul does lots of vacuuming.

Related to using the inverter is my surprise at how little overall power running the microwave and vacuum uses. Yes, it takes batteries over 75% full to operate but when completed the total draw is quite low.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:53 AM   #24
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We've decided on most of the items for the build sheet for our 21 but one of the items I'm considering is having two solar panels installed. I've been told it can be done but we won't be able to get the Jack TV antenna. That's okay with us since watching TV is not that important to us.

I've done some searching on the forum to try to determine if any other 21 owners have two panels but haven't been able to find anything. Anyone have any experience with dual panels? I'd like to find out what type/size of controllers are used etc.

Another configuration I've been considering is having one installed on the roof and then going with an additional portable panel. There are both pros and cons with going this route. How would this be wired in? Would the controller have to be upgraded and then the portable panel wired through the controller? My understanding is it's not a good idea to have two separate solar power sources going to the batteries.

We live in the PNW and plan on doing most of our camping in the off season. Between the cloudy days, treed campgrounds and short days we want as much solar as we can pull in.

Thank you.
if you are considering another solar panel in front be sure to inquire if ETI is also reinforcing the fiberglass in the new 2017 where the solar mtg bolts go thru the roof in the front....since a 2nd panel may be a somewhat rare request they may or may not....they apparently put a wood slat fiber-glassed on each side on the inside of the roof in the rear for the solar bolt/washer mtg and to better spread the solar panel's pulling force as a result of wind (which is better than just the thin fiberglass).
just a guess but the front panel may get more of a wind shear on it as the AC in back may help reduce it there, so mtg is important...
on the positive side you may find slight shade on one panel while the other has sun and still provides some charging
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:09 PM   #25
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So my fixed 90W panel generates quite a bit of heat collecting all those solar rays.

How will the fiberglass shell /finish hold up?
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:08 PM   #26
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freespirit - Good point on the reinforcement. I'll be sure to ask. Thanks!!
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:35 PM   #27
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So my fixed 90W panel generates quite a bit of heat collecting all those solar rays.

How will the fiberglass shell /finish hold up?
The hard part is getting wax under the panel. I rigged up a pad attached to a long plastic rod so I can clean and wax under there. As long as the finish has a good coat of protection on it, I think you're good to go.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:47 PM   #28
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freespirit - Good point on the reinforcement. I'll be sure to ask. Thanks!!
On our 19 the second panel is on the front, I asked Crystal if reinforcement was to be provided and was told yes. As well the panel is sloped down to front. I believe with the recent panel loss last year ETI is being very careful with installs. They certainly stepped up to the plate and did good after that incident. I have had only positive experiences with this company.

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Old 08-08-2016, 07:12 PM   #29
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And when I took the solar retrofit kit to them in May, they said, we've improved that setup and will fix you up with the latest version. Reece was walking around with a piece of weather stripping,'I'm going to tighten up you door seal while you're here. He said. Rita handed him the bill for the frame welding. He handed her the bill for the toilet shut off valve and new supply line. Then he looked at both bills. Let's call it even he said. Worked for us. Man that's some tasty Kool aid.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:26 PM   #30
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In July we were up in Chilliwack looking at the new 21' model. I asked Krista about installing a second panel on the roof, and she said no. I looked at my notes from the meeting and I didn't write down the reasoning, but Linda thinks that it was a roof vent placement issue or something along those lines. If you give them a call I'm sure they'll give you the information. I'd be interested in knowing.

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