adding a portable solar panel along with roof mount 95 watt - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-28-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
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adding a portable solar panel along with roof mount 95 watt

Orderd an escape 17b trailer with the 95 watt solar panel and 2 6v batteries, just wondering how a portable solar panel, panels could be hooked up to assist during heavy battery use times. Spring and fall while boondocking with lights, furnace etc.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:00 AM   #2
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Our 19' with solar and dual 6V batteries has performed very well and I have no need for additional solar charging capabilities. We did have all lights in the trailer converted to LED's when we bought it, which really helps reduce the battery usage.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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I don't have fixed solar panels, but use a portable if I feel the need to top up. As my batteries are inside under the dinette seat, I just bought a female 7-pin connector (the one meant to go on the vehicle) and wired it in to that and just charge through the wiring harness. More than adequate for my 40W panel.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:44 AM   #4
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Thanks Dave and Jim, I have ordered the trailer with LED's and a thermal package, so time will tell. Spring and fall can be chilly in the mountains around Kimberley so don't know how much we will have to use the furnace. The 7 pin connector sounds good if I have to supplement the existing solar panel. We do a lot of boondocking at lakes and remote campsites. Also getting a lift kit for the frame.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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I rely exclusively on a system connected just as Jim uses. I would add that if you are going to purchase a portable system look at getting two 30 or 45 panels and joint them with a hinge. It is a lot easier to find a place to store a panel that size than a 75 or 90 watt.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
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We have the solar panel on the roof of our 19, with the two six-volt batteries in the box up front. We plan to camp in the Keys early next spring and will be relying on solar for close to three weeks....and it's very likely we're camping in the shade. When we ordered our 19, I asked that the solar controller be mounted in the driver side bench with the rest of the electrical stuff so I would have easy access for connecting a portable panel in parallel with the rooftop one. I recently contacted GoPower! (suppliers of the Escape equipment) to ask about how best to connect the second panel, and they suggested I consider one of their portable kits, complete with controller, and connect it directly to the battery. They said there is no issue with the two controllers fighting with each other, and the cost of the second, smaller controller in the kit is not all that much. So, for convenience, I think I'll take their advice. With the batteries in the box, they're easy to access, but I also have a seven-pin connector already made up to simply connect as Jim suggested.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info on the solar panels. This is my first time posting, what a great site. Very excited to get the 17B from Escape. Will pick it up early spring. 10 or 11 hour drive.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dglasrud View Post
Very excited to get the 17B from Escape. Will pick it up early spring. 10 or 11 hour drive.
Well, you're in for a treat. Wish we were only 10 or 11 hours away. We drove out from Ohio, and had a good chance to get acquainted with the Escape on the way home.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:14 AM   #9
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We have a 17B with solar as well, and camp in the shoulder seasons, using the furnace a lot, and no problems keeping our twin 6 volt batteries up. We were also fine boondocking for two weeks on the west coast, with heavy shade. I must add that this summer we were boondockef for 4 nights in a site on Quadra Island, off Vancouver Island, where we NEVER got direct sun, and our batteries were low-ish the entire time. The portable panels would have been needed had we stayed there for a long time. 99% of the time, our roof mounted panels keep us very happy.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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I moved my portable 50W and controller over to the Escape from my Casita. The controller sits in one of the battery boxes. I opted not to roof mount it and instead use a 25' 16 gauge extension cord to move the panel to the sunny spots. The extra flexibility lets me opt for shaded or scenic campsites I'd otherwise have to pass up.
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