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Old 02-07-2017, 05:55 AM   #1
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Solar Port

We are thinking about adding a solar port to our 17B for adding a portable panel later. Escape will install a owner supplied port for $100. Anyone know what type of port would be a good one and where to buy it. Any suggestions as I really don't know anything about it. Where would the best place for Escape to install it? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:58 AM   #2
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Brenda - first a question for you - are you planning on getting the solar option or solar ready?
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:55 AM   #3
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We will not be getting the solar option with the panel on the roof. So there is an option for customer supplied solar port $100.00 ( customer to determine location). I don't see anything about solar ready. Do you think I need solar ready to add a solar port? I just want to be able to add a portable solar panel later on when I'm ready for it.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:04 AM   #4
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If you are not getting the ETI installed solar controller, there isn't a lot of need for the solar port as the batteries are on the rear bumper. On our 17B, I put a decent quality, small solar controller (Morning Star SunSaver) in a small waterproof box, and connected that directly to the dual 6V batteries. I had quick connects on both the input from the panel and the output to the batteries so it was a very easy hook up process.

I would recommend dual 6V if you plan on boondocking very often.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:11 AM   #5
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If I asked ETI about a solar ready package and than installed a port does that mean I would be already to plug in and go? I just don't see anything about solar ready on the build sheet.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:22 AM   #6
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Solar ready usually means that it is ready for the solar panel on the roof to be installed later. I do not know if it includes the solar controller. If you do not want to put a panel on your roof later, then it is probably not what you want.

If you want a solar controller and quick connect jack installed for later use with a portable panel, I would ask specifically if that is something they are willing to do for you.

Solar can seem all confusing as you first start considering it, but it gets easier.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #7
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Thanks so much! Very helpful. I think we will call ETI today as we have a School Snow Day!! Yeah
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:24 AM   #8
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My portable solar connects to controller and battery on rear bumper.
I do have a Honda 1000, that mainly stays home.
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File Type: jpg Solar Honda w.jpg (332.9 KB, 80 views)
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:32 AM   #9
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Thanks for showing that Glenn - similar to how I did it with our 17B.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:52 AM   #10
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My portable solar connects to controller and battery on rear bumper.
I do have a Honda 1000, that mainly stays home.
Glenn, The glare from the shine on your trailer obscures my view of the port. Do you have a dirtier picture to contrast the detail?
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:57 AM   #11
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I don't have a port. Just connect solar to battery terminals with alligator clips.
As for shine; don't look now.
Told my daughter that she and son-in-law could use the trailer this summer, so I expect it will be gleaming again in the spring.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:09 PM   #12
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I don't have a port. Just connect solar to battery terminals with alligator clips.
As for shine; don't look now.
Told my daughter that she and son-in-law could use the trailer this summer, so I expect it will be gleaming again in the spring.
That's the ticket!
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:14 AM   #13
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We are having just a solar port installed (customer supplied) for $100.00 wired to the battery so we can add a portable panel later. ETI recommend the Zamp port. Does that sound like a good option? I'm surprised they didn't recommend GoPower if thats what they use. I don't know anything about solar yet. Any ideas would be appreciated.
(I'm answering your question back here on your original thread rather than on the solar charger one)

If you search for them both at Amazon, you'll see that the GoPower and Zamp ports are the same thing with different brand names. For less than $10 you can buy one of these: Cable . It simply connects to each 6V battery and has a weather protected plug that is the same as the GoPower or Zamp. Then you can plug a solar panel into that plug just like you would do with one installed on the side of the trailer. The 17B makes this easy to do because the batteries are mounted on the rear bumper.

Were it me, if I were going to spend the $100 on the ETI wired port, I'd ask how much more it would cost -and if they would - to prewire in a solar controller in the area under the seat where all the electrical equipment is located.
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:15 PM   #14
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Were it me, if I were going to spend the $100 on the ETI wired port, I'd ask how much more it would cost -and if they would - to prewire in a solar controller in the area under the seat where all the electrical equipment is located.
Tammy said it's $100 to prewire for a solar charge controller. I'm not sure the solar port installation includes any additional wiring from the port to the controller, but they confirmed the wiring from the battery to the charge controller is 10 AWG. $100 seems a bit steep for the wiring part so we're leaning toward having the port installed but handling the wiring from the controller to the battery.
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:26 PM   #15
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Keith on the 21 the batteries are under the rear seat bench so a port would definitely make it easier to plug in an external solar panel. Everything can be installed right in the battery area yourself unless you want a display for the charge controller up and visible above the fridge like the regular solar option. That would require prewiring I believe.

There isn't much involved in putting in the port yourself - basically just drilling a hole in the fiberglass with a hole saw where you want it, putting on something as a backing plate and screwing on the port.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:29 PM   #16
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Right on, Eric. I'll second-think doing the port myself. Just gotta get over that sinking feeling of plowing through the hull. I'd get a hole saw out of it, though... Who can resist more tools? Do you have a caulk recommendation for an exterior application like that, or know what ETI uses?

We'll have a digital piano on the dinette benches when we're sitting still so I'm not sure yet if we'll want the charge controller underneath the bench where it'll be harder to get to. It may end up on the dinette side, near the electrical outlet, where I can take a peek from time to time. Has anyone else done that? From the pictures I've seen it looks like I may need to move the batteries a smidge to get the hole cut and the wires set up but everything would fit neatly around to the rear of the batteries, leaving the storage area under the bench intact.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:42 PM   #17
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Proflex is what Reace uses and I have followed his lead. I think ,ETI used to put the controller readout on the front of the passenger side bench but someone with a non-2017 model will need to correct or confirm


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Old 02-08-2017, 05:13 PM   #18
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There isn't much involved in putting in the port yourself - basically just drilling a hole in the fiberglass with a hole saw where you want it, putting on something as a backing plate and screwing on the port.
I would be inclined to use rivets, no backing required.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:36 PM   #19
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I would be inclined to use rivets, no backing required.
Trying to make it into a Scamp?
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:43 PM   #20
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Trying to make it into a Scamp?
'tis what Escape uses already to mount a lot of the external stuff. Scamp uses them to mount internal things, like cabinets.
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