Dual Solar Panels on a 21 - Page 4 - 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 08-08-2016, 11:48 PM   #31
Member
 
John David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Rossland, British Columbia
Trailer: 2016 Escape 19 classic "Escapade", Tow: Nissan Xterra off-road 6spd manual
Posts: 84
For me, I could have a second panel because I did not get the TV antenna thingy.

John
__________________

John David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 05:26 AM   #32
Senior Member
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 3,382
When I checked my roof for a 2nd panel the issue is the width of the panels. I only have one place that could handle a 28" wide, which is where the original 160w panel is. I could however fit a 21", 95 or 100 watt, in a couple places. Does ETI give you the option to install either size?
__________________

__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 09:50 AM   #33
Senior Member
 
alanmalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Trailer: '21 - 'Velocity'. Tow: Toyota Tacoma V6, 4X4, manual.
Posts: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldstersOutside View Post
...
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.
Hello Oldsters;
I live in Colorado and also camp off season and have the same issues with short days, low sun angle, poor weather, trees, etc.

My solution was a second 150 watt panel for which I designed a permanent A-frame mount that I could adjust for angle. It connects to the existing solar controller via about 40' of heavy flexible speaker wire (8 or 6 gauge - don't recall) with an Anderson Powerpole plug, through a round porthole that Escape installed near the batteries. With some aiming it produces more than double what the fixed roof panel produces, so it was well worth the investment. It is somewhat bulky and a bit of a pain to toss into the pickup truck.

For batteries I am using a pair of 12v AGM size 31 batteries for around 220 amp-hours. I liked the idea of the "install and forget" maintenance plan as well as the low self discharge of the AGM construction. I have been using one for my boat trolling motor for 4 years and couldn't be happier. Like many others I have a minimal number of power hungry appliances so hardly touch the battery capacity. But someday in the future will be running my electric blanket from an inverter - because I like to be warm and cozy at night!

--
Alan
alanmalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 10:38 AM   #34
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Holland, Ohio
Trailer: 21 on Feb 28, 2017 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax
Posts: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
Hello Oldsters;
I live in Colorado and also camp off season and have the same issues with short days, low sun angle, poor weather, trees, etc.

My solution was a second 150 watt panel for which I designed a permanent A-frame mount that I could adjust for angle. It connects to the existing solar controller via about 40' of heavy flexible speaker wire (8 or 6 gauge - don't recall) with an Anderson Powerpole plug, through a round porthole that Escape installed near the batteries. With some aiming it produces more than double what the fixed roof panel produces, so it was well worth the investment. It is somewhat bulky and a bit of a pain to toss into the pickup truck.

For batteries I am using a pair of 12v AGM size 31 batteries for around 220 amp-hours. I liked the idea of the "install and forget" maintenance plan as well as the low self discharge of the AGM construction. I have been using one for my boat trolling motor for 4 years and couldn't be happier. Like many others I have a minimal number of power hungry appliances so hardly touch the battery capacity. But someday in the future will be running my electric blanket from an inverter - because I like to be warm and cozy at night!

--
Alan
Alan, could you provide some more info about how you connect the portable panel to the system? What type of porthole did ETI install? Do you plug the anderson plugs directly into some type of receptacle in that porthole? How are the cables then connected to the solar charger? Thanks. I have been thinking about adding a portable panel myself and have wondered how it can be accomplished.
stephen99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 11:17 AM   #35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 8,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
Do you plug the anderson plugs directly into some type of receptacle in that porthole?
Andersen Powerpoles are common connectors. The cable from the panel and the cable within the trailer would each have a Powerpole connector. The unusual feature of Powerpoles is that they are hermaphroditic, which means that the plug and the receptacle are the same, although the connector on the trailer side could be mounted to a panel rather than just loose on the end of the cable.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 11:21 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
ReagentGrade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Trailer: '87 Bigfoot 20DLX 5er (sold) - 2017 Escape 5.0 TA: Sep-17
Posts: 386
My Bigfoot has an Attwood trolling motor female connector like this (link below). I'll ask ETI to install one on my 5.0 TA. Others on this forum use something similar.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001O...bWL&ref=plSrch
ReagentGrade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 11:24 AM   #37
Senior Member
 
ReagentGrade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Trailer: '87 Bigfoot 20DLX 5er (sold) - 2017 Escape 5.0 TA: Sep-17
Posts: 386
My link didn't make it. Search Amazon for "Attwood trolling motor female". It costs about $15 each for male & female.

Mine works great!
ReagentGrade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 12:08 PM   #38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 8,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReagentGrade View Post
My link didn't make it. Search Amazon for "Attwood trolling motor female". It costs about $15 each for male & female.
Link: Search of Amazon.com for "Attwood trolling motor female"

It appears that the company name is Attwood Marine Products, but in Amazon.ca the name is mis-spelled as "Atwood", causing confusion with the actual Atwood company (Atwood mobile).

As is common with other brands of trolling motor connector, Attwood has both 2-wire and 3-wire connectors; the 3-wire type is used to include both 12V and 24V in the same connector, so it wouldn't be needed for a solar power inlet. Although the Attwood trolling motor connector information is a little scattered and inconsistent, it does indicate that the heavy-duty version of the 2-wire connectors has 8-gauge wire while the three-wire (and the medium-duty 2-wire) is 10-gauge, so I think it would pay to select carefully.

I think I would want heavy-duty 2-wire connectors with 8-gauge wire pigtails:
  • Trolling Motor Connector Receptacle 2 Wire (Female) [part 14366-6]
  • Trolling Motor Connector Plug 2 Wire (Male) [part 14365-6]

You would presumably be using these connectors in reversed roles compared to the standard use, since the plug (male body, on end of cable) is normally the one which receives power for the motor, and it would be used in the solar installation as the source of power from the panels. With other connectors his can be hazardous due to exposed live contacts, but in this case in the heavy-duty series (only) the male-bodied plug actually has female contacts, with the exposed male contacts in the wall-mounted receptacle, covered by a hinged door.

These connectors are non-locking straight round pins, similar to most styles of towing connector (but not the RV 7-way used by travel trailer such as Escapes).
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 08:35 PM   #39
Senior Member
 
alanmalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Trailer: '21 - 'Velocity'. Tow: Toyota Tacoma V6, 4X4, manual.
Posts: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
What type of porthole did ETI install? Do you plug the anderson plugs directly into some type of receptacle in that porthole? How are the cables then connected to the solar charger? Thanks. I have been thinking about adding a portable panel myself and have wondered how it can be accomplished.
The "porthole" that ETI installed is an ordinary cable inlet that I suspect is the same one they use for the detachable shore power cord. See photo.

The connectors are Anderson Powerpole 50 amp, good for 6, 8 or 10 guage wires. There is one on the cable to the solar panel, and another wired to the charge controller under the seat (with smaller wire because it is only 2 feet in length). The trailer connector can be pulled out of the porthole a few inches so I can plug them together.

I don't have any comment on the sex life of the connectors, only that they are designed so that 2 connectors fit into each other without worry.

A note about Powerpoles: The smaller connectors, 45 amps and smaller, will need a crimper to attach them to a wire. I tried many times to make manual connections with Vice Grips and they almost always fail after I have spent 10 minutes on each, while the crimped connections take 30 seconds and always work. The 50 amp and up connectors will be soldered to the wire which may actually be easier.

--
Alan
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 50 amp powerpole connector.jpg (113.4 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg shore power cover.jpg (30.3 KB, 12 views)
alanmalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 09:13 PM   #40
Member
 
John David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Rossland, British Columbia
Trailer: 2016 Escape 19 classic "Escapade", Tow: Nissan Xterra off-road 6spd manual
Posts: 84
Alan
I had the porthole added to driver side front of the trailer. Cost this year was $35. It is indeed the same as used for the shore power connection when you get the std shore pwr cord. I figured an access port next to the solar controller and load center was a good idea for future.

We bring an electric trolling motor with us which runs off a 12v agm battery in a battery box. I changed the motor leads from ring terminals to an anderson plug, The std solar controller (go power pwm30) will handle two separate battery banks on its output side. I connect an 8 awg wire to batt bank 2. The other end to an Anderson plug which reachs thru the porthole. The leads from the battery box end in another Anderson plug. When I'm finished fishing, I unplug the batt box from the motor, carry box to trailer, plug into the Anderson plug from the solar controller and recharge the troll motor battery.

All the above just to say that the Anderson plug and front porthole work great!
__________________

John David is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dual panels, solar

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






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.