Solar considerations on a 21; Where to locate Batteries - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-12-2015, 11:28 PM   #11
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With the furnace space now available in the rear, the converter can be installed on the back of the "U" and both dinette sides are now open. With weight equalization an issue, what other options a being considered in the trailer? I Have the oven on the curb side and the larger fridge on the street side. The water heater is fixed and any additional batteries under the bed will intrude upon the hatch space opening as there has to be a vent to the outside. One pair may fit forward of the w/h that is all. My suggestion is have ETI install one group 29 on the curb and another on the street side. The larger group 29 box is the same as the dual sixes box, making an upgrade simpler during post delivery as the wiring will all be in place. If you drop the a/c, dual ETI 195 panels should fit on roof. The weight saving from dropping the a/c should compensate for the additional steal sixers.
Just my thoughts, run it by Reace.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:35 PM   #12
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Am I just dreaming or is it possible to put 3 160 watt panels on the roof , Probaly not going w/ air conditioner but I would like to install second Maxx fan in it's place. With all those panels on the roof, It's like parking in the shade
Craig
My Escape 21 had the 95W panel, and I had an additional 100W panel added to it by AM Solar in Oregon. When AM Solar added this panel I was told that the trailer had room for two more 100W panels, which could be located at the front, longitudinally and side-by-side. However, these panels appear to be smaller in size than the 160W panel that Escape now provides. My trailer has the A/C unit and one roof vent.

I have the dual 6V batteries. AM Solar warned me not to add additional battery capacity unless I was sure I needed it. If I did, I could run into the problem of never being able to get the batteries fully charged via the solar panels.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:46 PM   #13
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good point on the additional drain on the converter and controller with more than one set of sixers
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:10 AM   #14
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Something to consider...installing Lithium batteries...cut the weight in half compared to AGM and increased usable capacity. The downside more $$$ but they will outlast wet cell batteries. Check out AM Solar if you have questions...great company.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:58 PM   #15
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I agree that the right type of lithium battery (which I believe is LiFePO4) would work well in a trailer. Unfortunately, that extra cost is about $1000 per battery (plus perhaps a specific charger to suit them), and I would find it difficult to justify that cost premium.

Lithium would help the weight and balance issues.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:18 PM   #16
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I agree that the right type of lithium battery (which I believe is LiFePO4) would work well in a trailer. Unfortunately, that extra cost is about $1000 per battery (plus perhaps a specific charger to suit them), and I would find it difficult to justify that cost premium.

Lithium would help the weight and balance issues.
Yes Lithium power to weight ratio is outstanding. AM solar told me 3-4 times the cost per amp hr up front, But predicted life span is 3-4 time longer. But I can't find any real world stories to back up these claims of life expectancy. Maybe because they have been around for very long. With good battery management one can get 7-10 years from a lead/acid battery. Still, very expensive to save some weight.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:37 PM   #17
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Help with solar question. What does the stock Escape solar panel wiring look like underneath the panel? Is there a connection between the panel and the wire into the trailer than can be opened? I'm wanting to add another panel and need a joint where I can use the mc4 "Y" connector to connect the new panel and then push the joint back under neath the original 95 watt panel on the roof?
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:39 PM   #18
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Brian, scientifically you are right but in this case I think this is pretty theoretical. If you put two 6's in back to start with and put a second pair on the tongue later with #4 or larger cables connecting the bunch I think you would have the ideal setup. Long cables will work fine with typical trailer loads including a DC fridge. The 130 lbs front and back are fairly light compared to the rest of the trailer and the tongue weight would be in a very acceptable range for your TV. If you get the front box (which you absolutely should) you have room for the next pair if you decide to go that route. 4 batteries hidden under the dinette will not be easy to access no matter how you arrange them. BTW, go for the three big panels, 4 may even fit on a 21!...

Steve
Just how restricted is the access to the batteries under the dinette? Once in place Wouldn't I only need to add water on occasion ?
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:53 PM   #19
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You have easy access to the battery under the dinette, here are some pictures
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN1375.JPG (136.5 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN1378.JPG (122.8 KB, 15 views)
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:54 PM   #20
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If you put two 6's in back to start with and put a second pair on the tongue later with #4 or larger cables connecting the bunch I think you would have the ideal setup. Long cables will work fine with typical trailer loads including a DC fridge.
I agree that the long cables can be managed. My concern would not really be with the length, but with matching the two banks so that a difference in cable length causing one bank to do more of the work, and the other to not get fully charged. Maybe Steve has a good point, and that the currents would be so low (even while charging?) that the voltage drops over heavy cable would be small enough that this would not be a concern.
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