Need help understanding the power systems in the trailer please - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-25-2015, 07:20 PM   #1
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Need help understanding the power systems in the trailer please

Kind of embarrassing to show my ignorance here but I'm not clear on which items in the trailer draw their power from which sources. I found snippets of info in various forum questions, and some info in the owners manual (although I can't find that online anymore), but no answers to the real life application questions. This is my understanding (which may or may not be correct!):
  1. When connected to shore power everything runs off the shore power except for the stove and water heater which always run on propane.
  2. When not connected to shore power
  • stove, water heater and fridge run on propane
  • everything else runs from the battery
So how does all that change when you have solar? Are there things that won't run from the battery (ex. Microwave, AC?)? Or is it just that they draw so much power that you wouldn't want to? If you have solar does that supplement enough power to run the energy hog appliances? Do any appliances run directly from the solar power? Or is it just that the solar power is used to recharge the batteries and the appliances still run off the batteries? If you don't have solar power, how do the batteries recharge? Is it only when hooked up to shore power or maybe while traveling?

Told you I was confused!
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:28 PM   #2
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Basically you have 3 types go power systems, propane for the stove and furnace and water heater, 12v for your lights and MaxxFan and water pump and the furnace blower, 120v for your a/c and microwave. The 12v runs off your battery and the solar panel recharges your battery. While towing your tow vehicle will also recharge your battery. While hooked up to cg electric your converter will also recharge your battery. Thus with the more 12v use you have more ways to recharge. I hope this helps....
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
Kind of embarrassing to show my ignorance here but I'm not clear on which items in the trailer draw their power from which sources. I found snippets of info in various forum questions, and some info in the owners manual (although I can't find that online anymore), but no answers to the real life application questions. This is my understanding (which may or may not be correct!):
  1. When connected to shore power everything runs off the shore power except for the stove and water heater which always run on propane.
  2. When not connected to shore power
  • stove, water heater and fridge run on propane
  • everything else runs from the battery
So how does all that change when you have solar? Are there things that won't run from the battery (ex. Microwave, AC?)? Or is it just that they draw so much power that you wouldn't want to? If you have solar does that supplement enough power to run the energy hog appliances? Do any appliances run directly from the solar power? Or is it just that the solar power is used to recharge the batteries and the appliances still run off the batteries? If you don't have solar power, how do the batteries recharge? Is it only when hooked up to shore power or maybe while traveling?

Told you I was confused!
Hi - you are pretty close on everthing. the solar only recharges your batteries. the major appliances will not run on 12v as the consumption of battery power would be 2 great.

the batteries recharge when plugged in to shore power or when travelling from your connection to the tow vehicle ( although this charging is very slow ).

I would suggest you get 2 6v batteries and the solar option. You may want to consider the inverter option ( this converts the 12v up to 120v and would let you run the microwave, or the drip coffee pot etc. ) when not on shore power. You would need the 1500watt inverter.

It is easier to have done by ETI now than for you to try and do later.

Ken
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:33 PM   #4
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Also, you can only run the a/c when hooked to shore power or to a portable generator.

Ken
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:36 PM   #5
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The hot water tank may/can also run off 120v, if equiped that way from the factory. Optional.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:56 PM   #6
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One more thing to add: the fridge can run on propane even when you have hookups. In fact, most Escape owners have reported the fridge cools better on Propane. Absorption fridges require a heat source to start and sustain the absorption cycle. Propane is an excellent heat source.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:23 PM   #7
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Jill, it is an excellent question and never do we see a good basic explanation of this. You are one step ahead of most newbies for asking.

If you intend to be in campgrounds a lot, you would want the dual water heater so you do not have to use your propane. You also can use a small electric cube heater to not pay and bother with propane when hooked up. One with a thermostat is good.

The 1500-watt inverter that can be bought from ETI is said to be good enough to run the microwave by some and not good enough by others. It may depend on what else you have running if using the microwave, or not. Maybe some more people can give their experience on that. I think you would have to forget the A/C with solar, at least without a whole lot more solar and more than two 6-volts, which you would also want with solar, as Ken said.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:42 PM   #8
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Might be more then you care to know but you can try reading "The 12 Volt Side of Life", 2 parts.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:45 PM   #9
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Thank you for all the very helpful input. I'm sold on the need for the dual batteries and solar as well as the dual water heater. I don't remember seeing the dual water heater as an option but will ask. Floating Cloud are you also saying I should get more than the dual 6volt batteries if I want solar? Didn't see that as an option either.

I wonder if we want the 1500W inverter after all. For $480 it will allow me to run the microwave when no hookups, but not very well? Probably a toaster oven would need the inverter as well, but not a coffee maker for us. We make aeropress coffee so no power needed for that. And then when the inverter allows those appliances to run, I'm guessing it draws a lot from the battery. If so we might be better off to learn to live without them when no hookups. Even if we have the 1500w inverter we still can't have AC. Maybe we just plan accordingly.

I'm beginning to learn that trailering is all about conserving - water, energy, space etc. Live smaller and simpler!

Thanks again for the input. It's all much clearer now.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:53 PM   #10
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No, Jill, I meant can't run A/C. Two six-volts are good. There is an additional charge I think for transfer switch regarding inverter which, as far as I understand, is pretty well needed, although someone might want to comment on that, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
Thank you for all the very helpful input. I'm sold on the need for the dual batteries and solar as well as the dual water heater. I don't remember seeing the dual water heater as an option but will ask. Floating Cloud are you also saying I should get more than the dual 6volt batteries if I want solar? Didn't see that as an option either.

I wonder if we want the 1500W inverter after all. For $480 it will allow me to run the microwave when no hookups, but not very well? Probably a toaster oven would need the inverter as well, but not a coffee maker for us. We make aeropress coffee so no power needed for that. And then when the inverter allows those appliances to run, I'm guessing it draws a lot from the battery. If so we might be better off to learn to live without them when no hookups. Even if we have the 1500w inverter we still can't have AC. Maybe we just plan accordingly.

I'm beginning to learn that trailering is all about conserving - water, energy, space etc. Live smaller and simpler!

Thanks again for the input. It's all much clearer now.
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