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

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Old 02-12-2015, 12:31 PM   #1
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Solar considerations on a 21; Where to locate Batteries

I'm wanting a large solar system ( Steve HFT type ) I'll start with 2 6v batteries, maybe go to 4 if needed ( love the SteveNovacool refer ) So the tongue seems to be the best location, if I were to increase battery capacity. But now I'm fighting large tongue weights. What are real world weights for the 21? The spec is #360 plus 4X 66 lbs batteries, a 25lb solar panel on the roof = 650 lbs 4500 lb loaded trailer @ 13% = 585lbs . So it seems that when loading the trailer you " load back heavy" behind the rear axel to compensate, does that work ?

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


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Old 02-12-2015, 12:52 PM   #2
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... But now I'm fighting large tongue weights. What are real world weights for the 21? The spec is #360 plus 4X 66 lbs batteries, a 25lb solar panel on the roof = 650 lbs 4500 lb loaded trailer @ 13% = 585lbs . So it seems that when loading the trailer you " load back heavy" behind the rear axel to compensate, does that work ?
That works to reach a desired tongue weight, but it puts the big masses out at the ends of the trailer which is bad for stability. I would rather find a way to place those huge boxes of lead (the batteries) closer to the axle, and avoid the tongue-heavy problem in the first place.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:13 PM   #3
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There are a bunch of Escape 19's listed on the "Trailer Weights in the Real World" spreadsheet at LakeshoreImages. I keep this Excel sortable version of Frederick's original kept at Fiberglass RV. (With Frederick's permission).
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:44 PM   #4
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Now that the furnace has moved out of the street side dinette, maybe Reace can locate another battery box there.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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Now that the furnace has moved out of the street side dinette, maybe Reace can locate another battery box there.
Now that's finding a silver lining!

Does that mean all four batteries in the back, two under each side of the dinette, given that the stock battery location in a 21-foot is under the forward end of the curbside dinette seat (or is that just with a single battery?)

If you don't mind a set of 4 batteries located as two widely separated pairs (rather than all four together), then a pair in the dinette and a pair up front (on the tongue? under the bed?) seems like another viable option.

Another option (regardless of furnace location) is to put all four batteries under the bed.
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... Only about a foot of the black tank intruding into the center front and the hot water tank took up a foot or so at the back of the compartment. On that unit there was a storage compartment accessible from inside at the foot of the bed behind the water heater.
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Under the bed seems like a big space which could still accommodate even four batteries in a box even with those other things in it, at the expense of storage of course.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:50 PM   #6
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The tongue weight on my 21' BlackJack is 500# loaded. I have one group 29 battery in the rear as well as other items stored in the dinette storage. I have very light outdoor mats and clothes under the bed. I'm planning on replacing the single battery with dual 6ers very soon and hope to reduce my tongue weight. I'd strongly suggest installing the dual 6ers on each side of the rear dinette, that should help with your heavy tongue weight which you will have with the 21'.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:14 PM   #7
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The tongue weight on my 21' BlackJack is 500# loaded. I have one group 29 battery in the rear...
I'd strongly suggest installing the dual 6ers on each side of the rear dinette, that should help with your heavy tongue weight which you will have with the 21'.
Good info, Jim. It looks like any forward weight shift is problematic, so even with four batteries they should all be in the back, or at least half of them with the other half under the bed (not on the tongue). Mass out at the ends of the trailer is undesirable, but the front end of the dinette seat is much closer to the axle than anywhere on the tongue.

If there is space under the curb-side dinette seat, the tidiest installation would likely be to put in one box big enough for four batteries in that location, only putting in two batteries to start if desired.

Two batteries on each side of the dinette is still an option, but is not as easy to wire properly.

Does anyone know what the side-to-side weight distribution is like? Will having four batteries all under the curbside dinette seat cause an issue with being too curbside-heavy?
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:28 PM   #8
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I was told I could not order 4 in the curb side on my 2014. If that does not change then its a split we are looking at.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:35 PM   #9
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Jim,
Thanks for your info, as Brian said seems that a split in the rear dinnet would be best for good weight distribution. The wiring with a split battery set up should work with sizing cables with voltage loss in mind. Although 4 in a row would be easier. Maybe Reese couldn't' put 4 on the curb side because of space restrictions not weight. With the heater moved……..Maybe . Did Reese give a reason why?

If the water heater was moved forward under the bed,( so the batteries would be closer to the axel and farther from the tongue) 4 batteries would fit side by side perpendicular to the outside wall.

Seems the tongue weight on the 21 is much higher than the 19. I think I read that Steve ( HFT) with 4 batteries on the tongue is 500lbs also.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:01 PM   #10
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That works to reach a desired tongue weight, but it puts the big masses out at the ends of the trailer which is bad for stability. I would rather find a way to place those huge boxes of lead (the batteries) closer to the axle, and avoid the tongue-heavy problem in the first place.
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
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