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Old 01-03-2019, 03:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Trailer: Escape 19
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Factory-installed solar or no?

Itís an $850 CDN option. Was wondering if Escape owners feel it is worth it.


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Old 01-03-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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Location: Friendswood, Texas
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19', Escape 5.0 on order July 2019
Posts: 381
Absolutely. Itís done, in place and it works.

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Old 01-03-2019, 03:33 PM   #3
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Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2019 5.0TA "Junior", 2019 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
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We don't do extensive boondocking but do stay several days in campsites with no hookups. Our previous trailer had two 6-volt batteries and we found that much of the time they were more than adequate to get through 3-4 days of off grid camping. We are relatively sparing in our use of electricity, but in cold weather the furnace does take a fair amount.

We got the ETI solar package in our new 5.0TA. For us it will mean the difference between really having to watch our batteries when dry camping vs. essentially never having to worry about electricity, with the solar panel providing some recharge daily we will likely never run short of electricity. And so much easier to have it all done by ETI and ready to go from the factory rather than having to fool with adding it later. An added plus for us is that when storing the trailer for several months away from home without electricity the solar panel will keep the batteries fully charged.
David, Mary, and 3 Cats
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:07 PM   #4
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Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21 (One Life...Live It)
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We the solar package on ours with an inverter and have alternated between dry camping and full hookup. The solar is definitely worth it, we leave the inverter off all the time and just turn it on to use the microwave or a blender. The solar keeps up if you have sun and will make power on cloudy rainy days. My wife and I would get it again if we purchased a new 5.0.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:15 PM   #5
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Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
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We had the factory retrofit on both our 19 and now the 21. For the way we camp, it’s perfect. We don’t use a lot of electric accessories and the batteries are always back up by noon or so. The 170 Panel on the 21 with dual six volt batteries is all we need. Definitely worth it for us.
Iowa Dave
Strike while the iron is hot. Live every day as if it were your last and one day you will be right.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:22 PM   #6
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Location: North of Hertel, Wisconsin
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Our 2018 trailer has dual roof top solar panels .
In the summer , it’s more solar than what we need or can use and in the winter when our trailer is in storage they just sit there doing absolutely nothing . ( No Sunlight)
Our 17 ft trailer has a single 27F battery and one 100 watt Renogy portable solar panel .
The only time we’ve had an issue was after camping for 4 days in rain / extremely cloudy weather in the Fall . It has been more than ample and the cost was under $300
If you plan on camping without hookups then I would go with a single factory solar panel
If you plan on camping with hookups , I would skip the factory solar . If you decide at a later date to add solar , you can buy a portable solar set up for half the price of the factory solar
ď The Danbury Malcontented Curmudgeon
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:42 PM   #7
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Location: Baytown, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape - since 1/9/2017
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Originally Posted by Erik65 View Post
It’s an $850 CDN option. Was wondering if Escape owners feel it is worth it.

It depends. The Escape solar package is worth what you pay for it but you have to remember that you are getting a minimalist system. PWM instead of MFFT, solar panels bolted to the roof, and battery monitoring that is fairly useless.

I installed my own solar package and it did cost more than the Escape one. But it has a Victron MFFT with bluetooth, 200 watts of flexible ETFE solar panels without holes in the roof, and a Victron battery monitor. You do get what you paid for.
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If It Isnít Perfect, It Isnít Finished
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:55 PM   #8
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Location: Milpitas, California
Trailer: 2017 19'
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The price tag is higher than if you do it yourself, but that's assuming your labor is free. If you do a lot of camping without hookup, solar is a good idea.

We choose to have the factory installed solar because then it's done and we can use it from day 1... we just came back from an 11 days trip.. only the first day we plugged in, the rest we either camped at BLM land or state/national park without hookup.. the battery is charged before noon everyday except the last day when it's mostly cloudy, but it got to 88% anyway...

we have ETI installed a zamp port for external panels but so far have not need it...
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:32 PM   #9
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We didn't get the factory solar on the roof since we like to camp in the shade. YMMV
I have a portable setup (GoPower 120) that I like, and works great. If we do more boon docking, I might miss the added capacity of the rooftop panels.
No good deed goes unpunished.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:55 PM   #10
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Location: Burlington Twp., New Jersey
Trailer: 2010 Escape 19
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ETI previously used the GoPower GP-160-RV kit. I believe they changed to this:

Same basic kit just 10 more watts.

ďOne way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.Ē― W.F.
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