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Old 11-01-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
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General Questions About Escape

Thinking about joining the RV community when I retire. I like the looks of the Escape. I know nothing much about trailers in general. I know from reading other posts in this forum that the shell thickness is about 1/8 inch. How is the shell insulated? If you order the extra insulation option what exactly are you getting above and beyond the standard build?

In other RV forums I've read of people having problems with their water storage tanks for whatever reason and it seems the tanks are just suspended under the trailer via some metal straps. How are the storage tanks installed in an Escape or any other fiberglass RV?

One option I will definitely order will be the solar panel and charger along with the 6V batteries. I would like to add more solar in the form of a portable panel that could be positioned somewhat away from the trailer to take advantage of whatever sun there is. Is there an option for an external jack that I could plug the portable panel into in order to add the portable power to the onboard panel output?
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:09 AM   #2
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Been a while since I looked into it but I think the normal insulation is just the upper half of the trailers being lined with what amounts to 3/8" Reflectix (foil bubblewrap). The extra means the whole trailer is lined, don't think the floor is part of the deal though.

Yes the storage tanks are held up by straps, have yet to hear of someone having an issue with it. I've been reading RV.net for 9 years, have only heard it mentioned a couple times. If anything the tanks sag down some after a while, on my brothers Jayco they sag so much the fresh water tank is resting on one of the axles.

I've heard of someone having ETI add an outside port for a portable panel, don't recall the particulars.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:23 PM   #3
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What Bob said. I think with the extra insulation package you also get thermal double-paned windows. That's the really big deal. The floor is not insulated. Some opt for sprayed on sticky-foam on the undercarriage but I think adding a nice carpet is smarter. Have never never heard of any troubles with the way the water storage tanks are secured. I have a portable solar unit I put together. Its controller and connecting linkage to the batteries are inside my tongue box. Works fine.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:26 PM   #4
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Have you ever checked out gas tanks on some motor vehicles? Same thing, held on by straps. However, the freshwater tank in my Scamp is inside (under passenger side dinette seat). Those have different issues because if the hose inside leaks just a tad and you don't notice it, overtime the floor rots.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I think I will add the extra insulation and thermal windows but skip the spray foam and just go with a nice rug as Myron suggested. I'll have to check with ETI on the external solar jack.

My concern with the water tanks was simply one of accessibility. I was concerned they were buried in the belly of the beast and might need to tear up the floor to get at if a problem arose.

We still have a long time, well, a year anyway before decisions have to be made so there's time for consideration. I appreciate the help you folks give on the forums. So much to learn.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:50 PM   #6
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No worries. The black tank and grey water tanks are closer to the front of the trailer and secured about the same.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:08 PM   #7
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No worries. The black tank and grey water tanks are closer to the front of the trailer and secured about the same.
Cool! Thanks for the photo Myron.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:13 PM   #8
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Actually, as Myron's photo shows, the Escape tanks are much better supported than the typical two strap method. The flange provides even support for the full width of the tank.

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Old 11-01-2015, 01:29 PM   #9
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Actually, as Myron's photo shows, the Escape tanks are much better supported than the typical two strap method. The flange provides even support for the full width of the tank.

Ron
Depends on the trailer model I guess. Here's one from the 5.0TA before the foam was installed, basic 2 straps.
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:40 PM   #10
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For an external solar panel Escape will install whatever socket/jack that you provide. They will not wire it however. Some models, the 19 and 17 have their batteries outside the camper shell so connecting an external solar panel is a bit easier.
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:51 PM   #11
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Another option is to use the trailer's 7-pin connection: 7 Pin Trailer Adapter | Go Power!

With the trailer disconnected from the tow vehicle, you can plug a portable solar panel directly to the 7-pin connection and go right into the trailer's charging system. Doesn't matter where the batteries are located and needs no extra hardware, sockets, wiring. I am leaning this way on my 17B build.
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post

One option I will definitely order will be the solar panel and charger along with the 6V batteries. I would like to add more solar in the form of a portable panel that could be positioned somewhat away from the trailer to take advantage of whatever sun there is. Is there an option for an external jack that I could plug the portable panel into in order to add the portable power to the onboard panel output?
Hi, Stephen,
I see you are getting the solar and two 6Vs. Not sure why you want to add more solar. Do you have special medical or other needs? The 150-watt panel will cover use of anything except A/C. A microwave can be used with inverter.

There are those who did not get the panel and bought their own portable one instead. There are also those who had earlier models whose panel is 95-watt so they added a portable panel.
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:01 PM   #13
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Depends on the trailer model I guess. Here's one from the 5.0TA before the foam was installed, basic 2 straps.
Does it have the side flanges plus the straps? Or just straps? (end view?)
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:04 PM   #14
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We have done this with our Casita. It works, but you do need to monitor it so you don't over charge your battery. Am looking into a charge controller that could be added to this "system."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadark View Post
Another option is to use the trailer's 7-pin connection: 7 Pin Trailer Adapter | Go Power!

With the trailer disconnected from the tow vehicle, you can plug a portable solar panel directly to the 7-pin connection and go right into the trailer's charging system. Doesn't matter where the batteries are located and needs no extra hardware, sockets, wiring. I am leaning this way on my 17B build.
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:30 PM   #15
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Not sure why you want to add more solar.
The other advantage to a portable panel is being able to leave the trailer in the shade but still have the movable collector out in the sun. If I'm off-grid in hot and sunny conditions, I will be trying to put the trailer in the shade.
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:04 PM   #16
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As I understand it, you want the solar controller near the battery ( s ). For that reason, I've discarded the idea of plugging into the 7-pin because it is at the front and the battery is on the rear bumper.
I go direct to the battery terminals with alligator clips.
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:05 PM   #17
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Installed a SAE jack near the batteries and solar controller. Jack is wired in parallel with rooftop panel input to the controller. Outboard panel must be similar voltage to rooftop unit. Bypass controller on outboard panel.
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
Hi, Stephen,
I see you are getting the solar and two 6Vs. Not sure why you want to add more solar. Do you have special medical or other needs? The 150-watt panel will cover use of anything except A/C. A microwave can be used with inverter.

There are those who did not get the panel and bought their own portable one instead. There are also those who had earlier models whose panel is 95-watt so they added a portable panel.
No special medical needs. Just thinking it would give more flexibility. If the trailer is in shade can still charge the batteries with the portable.
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:48 PM   #19
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The other advantage to a portable panel is being able to leave the trailer in the shade but still have the movable collector out in the sun. If I'm off-grid in hot and sunny conditions, I will be trying to put the trailer in the shade.
We considered that and I know you save money getting a portable. We, however, are usually out all day and would not be leaving a panel there. Any campsite has room to back even if treed and we can get some sun from some of the open area, even if we are mostly in shade. We will have to keep looking at that. Done too little so far to tell the situation. Few owners seem to be having trouble getting sufficient solar and their batteries come back up even in adverse conditions, according to their comments.
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:17 PM   #20
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During the build for Ten Forward, I paid to have a roof mounted solar installed... wiring only. Watching and paying attention to how solar has changed (foot print) and cost (going down) told me to not buy what I didn't currently need. A couple of years from now, if and when I decide Solar is what I need and want... I'm expecting to see (and have available) a lot more options than now.


So, when do you need it and how much are you willing to pay to get what you want?
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