DIY Solar Installation Question - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Terrace, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19
Posts: 306
DIY Solar Installation Question

When installing the cable from the solar array to the battery charge controller, how and where did you route it through the trailer body? I am considering getting one of the outboard mounted receptacles to use when hooked up to shore power to get rid of the pesky cord and thought one may work for the solar cable too if installed on the driver's side toward the front of the trailer. Does that sound like a good idea?

Doug
__________________

__________________
We're still have'n fun...
NuthatchBC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 11:18 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
bvansnell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2010 Escape 13
Posts: 431
Doug:

You will see the method that Escape used on our trailer here:

Ladybug goes solar! | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The cable was routed through the driver side upper cabinets.

Escape does an excellent job of installation at a reasonable cost if you want to consider that alternative.
__________________

__________________
Brian

2003 Subaru Forester
2012 Toyota Highlander V6
2010 Escape 13 "Ladybug" Feb 2010
bvansnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 12:49 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Terrace, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19
Posts: 306
Our panels will not be mounted on the roof but rather will be portable. Therefore, I will have to get the cable into the Escape, preferably at or near the driver's side dinette bench where the inverter and EMS are located. Hence, my question about using an outboard power receptacle.

Doug
__________________
We're still have'n fun...
NuthatchBC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,934
I was looking for something like that too, Doug. I am sure I saw something on a site once, but haven't been able to find it since. I think one of those shore power connectors would be a bit overkill.

Another source might be an industrial electronic supplier, as there are lots of applications like this used on outdoor equipment.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 10:54 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N/A, Indiana
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 931
I used a standard 12v exterior receptacle and plug
Amazon.com: Perko 1190DP0CHR 12V Marine Watertight Deck Connection: Sports & Outdoors
You should make the entry close to the battery. Keep the distance between the exterior receptable, charge controller, and the battery as short as possible. Connect the controller directly to the battery for maximum efficency. I am asuming that the batteries are inside the RV.
Jubal
Jubal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,934
That does look like a decent solution, Jubal. Along the line of what I was thinking.

On most portable units I have seen, the charge controller is mounted on the panels, allowing a direct connect to the battery with the leads. It is not mounted inside. As long as it is weatherproof, is there any issue with that?
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 11:34 AM   #7
Member
 
btroxell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: San Jose, California
Trailer: had 2011 17B, now Bigfoot 21
Posts: 44
I went through this when I installed my solar system. I had upgraded to a replaceable power cord so coming through that the retractable cord connection (which would be much easier and protected the plug) was not an option. I wanted to be able to disconnect the panels at the trailer with a connector that was both watertight when the cable was connected and when underway. I also wanted to minimize the penetration into the trailer so the smaller the connecter the better. I decided to use these connectors http://www.bulgin.co.uk/PDFs/Cat83_s...0%20series.pdf, specifically PX0931/02/P for the trailer bulkhead. I also bought the protective cap so the pins are protected from the elements.
I have the 17B and wanted the trailer penetration close to the converter box and have as much freedom to move the panels to find the best sun. I ended up putting the connector above the license plate. The connector is protected from getting banged up there. The backside is close to the converter and has plenty of space to install the solar controller in that compartment.

Ben
btroxell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 11:43 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,934
I like the look of those, Ben. The fact the pins are better protected when not plugged in is nice, as they will have a 12V potential on them.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 11:55 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N/A, Indiana
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
That does look like a decent solution, Jubal. Along the line of what I was thinking.
On most portable units I have seen, the charge controller is mounted on the panels, allowing a direct connect to the battery with the leads. It is not mounted inside. As long as it is weatherproof, is there any issue with that?
Ideally, the shorter the distance between the controller and the battery the better. There is less voltage drop and more energy is supplied to the batteries. The less connectors between the collectors and the battery the lower the voltage drop. The further the controller is from the batteries the larger the gauge of the connecting cables should be. It seems that we cannot always achieve the "Ideal" and there are trade offs that we accept to achieve our goals. There is certainly a point of diminishing returns of the cost/efficency ratio.
Jubal
Jubal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Terrace, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19
Posts: 306
We have a 19 and the batteries are outside on the tongue. I want to bring the cable in on the driver's side right into the area under the front dinette where the inverter and the EMS are located, thus minimizing long cable runs. We are getting a Morningstar Duo contoller that will have the actual controller unit mounted in the inverter/EMS area and a remote meter that will be mounted inside the trailer next to the EMS read-out so we can see what's going on with the system. Also, in order to reduce the amount of wire, I'm thinking of attaching the controller to the batteries right at the inverter. After all, it's the same as connecting to the battery directly but using less wire. The controller has reverse voltage protection built in so when we're plugged into shore power it shouldn't affect the controller.


So many things to consider. What fun.


Doug
__________________

__________________
We're still have'n fun...
NuthatchBC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.