Solar hookup - 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 11-09-2017, 02:13 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
James Gang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 233
Solar hookup

I am considering a portable solar panel. Is it possible to hook up the solar panel's alligator clips to the battery cables that are run to the drivers side of the trailer even though the battery is on the passenger side (21)? I have an access door on the drivers side. I called Renogy and they said no, that the solar cables must be hooked directly to the battery.
__________________

James Gang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 02:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,228
Not certain what you mean by the battery cables you are looking to hook to. While connection to the battery is preferable, if you connect to the 12V trailer system anywhere you are effectively providing charging power to the battery.

Some folks (and myself in the past) have connected solar to the trailer via the 7-pin pigtail on the trailer. This makes for a longer cable run to the battery, with the potential for more loss, but still is fairly effective.

Why not do a solar port right outside where the battery is housed, and connect directly to it with appropriately sized wire?
__________________

__________________
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 11-09-2017, 03:45 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
James Gang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 233
Renogy said "to the battery posts". The other day I went to where I store the trailer (20 miles away) and looked at the Battery. The battery cables leave the battery and go over to the left hand side. Could I not connect the + solar alligator clip to the 12V cutoff switch? I am looking at the easiest, least time consuming way and without cutting any holes in the trailer.
James Gang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 04:16 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,457
I would echo what Jim says, install it close to the battery. Are you also aware that you need a solar controller between the panel and the battery? The recommended installation of that solar controller is within three feet of the battery. I use 10 gauge wire from the panel to the outside port next to the battery. Then 8 gauge to the controller and again 8 gauge on that all important run from the controller to the battery. I would use larger wire but the controller will only accept 8 gauge.

I had an older model of the portable set up and ran it through the Bargman connector to the vehicle. On the 21 you have an really long run of wire, but Escape is using a heavy gauge wire now, not sure of the gauge. You still have to deal with getting that controller close to the battery. See a description of this early installation in the files section above.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 04:18 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Sherburne, New York
Trailer: 2016 21 ft escape
Posts: 295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Some folks (and myself in the past) have connected solar to the trailer via the 7-pin pigtail on the trailer. This makes for a longer cable run to the battery, with the potential for more loss, but still is fairly effective ?
So Jim, how effective is effective? I was thinking of connecting a panel through the 7 pin to help the roof top one out during longer boondocks. Could you expand on your experience with this please. Thanks.
I do not want to high jack this thread, so if anyone feels this question does not belong here I’ll delete it it.
Jake930 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 04:39 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,228
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Gang View Post
Renogy said "to the battery posts". The other day I went to where I store the trailer (20 miles away) and looked at the Battery. The battery cables leave the battery and go over to the left hand side. Could I not connect the + solar alligator clip to the 12V cutoff switch? I am looking at the easiest, least time consuming way and without cutting any holes in the trailer.
Especially if you are just using it to keep the batteries topped during storage, this will work fine. Just make sure you are on the right side of the switch if it is turned off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake930 View Post
So Jim, how effective is effective? I was thinking of connecting a panel through the 7 pin to help the roof top one out during longer boondocks. Could you expand on your experience with this please. Thanks.
I do not want to high jack this thread, so if anyone feels this question does not belong here I’ll delete it it.
The answer to that is pretty subjective. It depends on lots of things, like wire size and length of run. You will get benefit from it.

For me, it seemed to work with my 40W Coleman portable quite well. My daughter is using this setup with her wee Trillium 1300. It charged things up and kept them charged well when the trailer was not in use, and did top things up a bit, but could not keep up with needs all the time.
__________________
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 11-09-2017, 06:37 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 2017 17A
Posts: 98
Jim- One more question... Can you post a link to an adapter that you would need to hook a portable panel to the 7 pin?

Thanks-
davedru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 06:52 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Sherburne, New York
Trailer: 2016 21 ft escape
Posts: 295
Quote:
Originally Posted by davedru View Post
Jim- One more question... Can you post a link to an adapter that you would need to hook a portable panel to the 7 pin?

Thanks-
https://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-Trai...+solar+adapter
Jake930 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 08:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Trailer: 2017 19 Escape
Posts: 200
Go power makes an adapter that connect the plug from ur panel and into your 7 pin plug on the trailer. I have one I use with my go power 120 watt panel and it works very well. Doing so utilizes the heavier gauge wire found in the 7 pin harness vs a separate solar port.
I got mine from Tweety's.
Moaboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 08:48 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Patandlinda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2013 19 Escape
Posts: 5,793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moaboy View Post
Go power makes an adapter that connect the plug from ur panel and into your 7 pin plug on the trailer. I have one I use with my go power 120 watt panel and it works very well. Doing so utilizes the heavier gauge wire found in the 7 pin harness vs a separate solar port.
I got mine from Tweety's.
We have one too. Yes it does work very well with our 80 watt folding go power panels . Pat
Patandlinda is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 10:16 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,228
Quote:
Originally Posted by davedru View Post
Jim- One more question... Can you post a link to an adapter that you would need to hook a portable panel to the 7 pin?

Thanks-
I used one like Jake posted. You just use the positive and negative terminals and plug it in. Easy peasy.
__________________
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 11-10-2017, 12:13 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 2017 17A
Posts: 98
Awesome- thanks guys!
davedru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2017, 06:19 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
James Gang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 233
Ordered a GP120. It has the Anderson style wiring with ring connectors that I can slide through the battery vent. Later this year my 2 DS, the oldest one's SO and I will be in Big Bend for a few days. Reserved an open site that should give me a good angle on the sun from the drivers side rear corner of my 21.
James Gang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2017, 08:49 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Devil Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Steveston B.C., British Columbia
Trailer: 2012- 17'B.... 2016 Tacoma SR5 TRD
Posts: 505
I use a 7 pin hook up works fine .
__________________
I've almost been everywhere man.
Almost been everywhere.....
Devil Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2017, 10:45 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Afton, Minnesota
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA (May 2015)
Posts: 49
Send a message via Skype™ to HappyCampers
How does the charge controller on the solar panel work with the controller already inside the trailer? I thought I read in other posts that an auxiliary solar panel controllers dueled with the on board controller and it did not work out. Or, is the charge coming thru the 7 pin connector not go through the on board controller? Thx
__________________
Escape with us,
George and Jodi
HappyCampers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2017, 11:35 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCampers View Post
Or, is the charge coming thru the 7 pin connector not go through the on board controller?
The battery charge wire of the 7-pin connection is connected to the battery without any kind of controller in the circuit. It does not go through the trailer's solar charge controller, or the shore power converter (which has its own voltage control).
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2017, 11:39 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Patandlinda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2013 19 Escape
Posts: 5,793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Dog View Post
I use a 7 pin hook up works fine .
Me too! Pat
Patandlinda is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2017, 01:58 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
AKCamper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Trailer: 2016 Escape 19
Posts: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Dog View Post
I use a 7 pin hook up works fine .
I think the issue is weather you want your solar to work fine or great. Controller as close to the batteries as possible with the biggest wire you can hook to the controller and wire from controller to panel sized for minimum voltage drop. I use 6 gauge wire for both and have a 40 foot extension to my panel. Can put our portable panel in the sun while we’re in the shade.
__________________

AKCamper 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






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×