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Old 01-16-2017, 01:44 PM   #1
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Solar Charger

What solar charger does Escape install as part of the solar build? I am looking to get a battery monitor installed after the fact. The monitor I'm looking at is the Bogart TM-2030 battery monitor which (they say) pairs best with their solar charger: SC-2030 Solar Charger — 30 Amps Max- 12 or 24V PWM type - Bogart Engineering

Thoughts?
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
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I do not know what charger ETI uses. I did not have the solar option added to our build. My thought was to install the Bogart battery monitor after delivery. If I add solar, I would use external panels and have the SC-2030 mounted in the storage pod that has the batteries.

I am having ETI run a Cat5 cable (4 twisted pairs) from an overhead cabinet (driver side, front) to the battery box. I can use two pair to run the TM-2030 and the other two to connect the SC-2030 if and when I go solar.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrandenstein View Post
I do not know what charger ETI uses. I did not have the solar option added to our build. My thought was to install the Bogart battery monitor after delivery. If I add solar, I would use external panels and have the SC-2030 mounted in the storage pod that has the batteries.

I am having ETI run a Cat5 cable (4 twisted pairs) from an overhead cabinet (driver side, front) to the battery box. I can use two pair to run the TM-2030 and the other two to connect the SC-2030 if and when I go solar.
if you plan on mounting the SC-2030 (or any charge controller) in the Escape storage box on the Escape 19 with the batteries , you might check with the mfg of the SC-2030 to see if it is sealed and/or has a conformal coating (Protect electronic circuits from harsh environments that may contain moisture). A few mfg's do, and many don't.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up. The instructions say it should be kept out of direct rainfall, but not much else. I will ping Bogart for more clarification. As it has a large heatsink, putting it into a weatherproof box is probably not advised.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:59 PM   #5
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I have done what Bob is planning and had Escape run a length of 2 pair phone cable or 4 pair network cable, I think the cable was a kit sold by Bogart, both wires will work. On the 21, with the batteries inside, it was not such a deal. However on a 19 with the tongue batteries and depending where you want the Trimetric there can be a lot of wire fishing that Escape can eliminate.

Just to clarify, it is not necessary to use a matched battery monitor and solar controller. Though I will say from the specs I have read that the SC-2030 is a good unit. What makes it good in my mind is it is one of the few controllers that will allow you to reach the charge levels recommended for Interstate dual six volt batteries. If you study the Interstate website or contact their support staff you will learn that the recommended charge rate for the dual six volt is 15.3 volts for two hours. Be sure to use those settings when setting up the absorption charge rate on the SC-2030.

For a full discussion of this check this link on the forum for: :Is You Battery Really Charged?"
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:26 PM   #6
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I did the SC and the TM from Bogart, I like the set. There is a lot of settings available if you like to dink around with such like me, or you can use one of the presets. Ralph at Bogart is easy to ask questions, just call and leave him a message, he's always called me back. My controller has no weather cover, if it got wet I'd have to trash it, it's pretty much just a pc board.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:38 PM   #7
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Solar option

The charge controller that Escape is now using is from a company called Carmanah?? And is part of a package supplied by go-power. It charges the battery at 14.4 volts in bulk mode and is not adjustable. It does have a led display but it is installed under the seat on the drivers side so viewing the display will be a pita. The batteries, at least on a 5.0ta will be on the passenger side of the dinette. None of this seems ideal to me. The Carmanah charge controller sounds like the kind "handy Bob" installs in dumpsters. I had been planning to pay the $800 for the solar option but now I'm considering installing my own solar gear.
Does anyone know what Escapes solar prep package includes or cost?
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:00 PM   #8
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I'm not sure about the 5.0TA, but I'm pretty sure that on the new 21, the solar charge readout is above the refrigerator. Although "Handy Bob" "installs (them) in dumpsters" I'd be surprised of Reace would install something of as low quality as what you are describing or that GoPower would put their brand name on something that bad.

While it may not be what you are looking for, a lot of folks here have the ETI supplied solar package and are very happy with it.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:36 PM   #9
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I did my own solar install. I did not mount the panels on the roof though one of the options I choose was to have it wired for a roof panel. On a 21 not a big deal and not worth it especially since there seems to be a trend to go through the refrigerator vent. I am using portable panels. $25

A second part that they installed was the wire for the Bogart Trimetric, had WeGo ship them the wiring harness and they ran it through the wall and left one end in the cabinet where I wanted it and the other end next to the battery box, I had to install the shunt and finish the wiring. $35

A third part that I had them do was to cut the hole and mount an inlet to plug my panel into. They would not wire the inlet which was probably good so I was able to use the thickest wire capable of connecting. $40

The key reason for doing al this was to be able to install the Blue Sky 30 solar controller that has some charge rates that met the recommendations of Interstate. Finally, I wanted a viewable display rather than having a GoPower that I had to genuflect to read the screen.

GoPower is owned by Carmanah, not sure if that is recent. Carmanah seems to specialize in airport, marine and traffic lighting. Go Power is their RV division. One would need to know the specific model of GoPower controller to get the specs but the mention that it only charges at 14.4 volts would be a deal breaker for me.

However for the masses who want their roof mounted panel to charge their batteries while they drive down the highway, never camp in the woods, avoid shoulder season, always have lots of sun and "don't wanna think about it", the Escape installed solar is ideal.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
Does anyone know what Escapes solar prep package includes or cost?
Not sure of the cost, but what they are doing is installing a weatherproof hub on the roof with cable down to the batteries.
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