Solar panel charger - 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 08-16-2014, 08:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Missoula, Montana
Trailer: 2014 19ft
Posts: 11
Solar panel charger

I have a new 19 ft trailer ordered, due for delivery in November, and am trying the finalize the options list. Will be doing a significant amount of off-grid camping, have the solar panel with dual 6v batteries ordered. I have extensively read through the forum discussions (as well as a few other outside threads) and it sounds as though to optimally charge your batteries requires a 3 stage charger, and to optimally determine their charge state, requires a digital voltmeter. Can anyone tell me about the charger ETI is installing currently with the solar panel (or the 120v charger/converter for that matter). Also what type of battery monitor comes standard? Should I ask Reace about running wires for a digital voltmeter? Or for a 3 stage charger? Do I even need to be concerned about this? Thanks in advance. I am real impressed with the amount of info contained in these forums.
__________________

donehrlich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #2
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 13,654
The factory stock charger/converter is a 3 way charger and all you need for a voltmeter is a 12v socket to plug one of these in DROK Universal Cigarette Lighter Car USB Port Cell-Phone Charger Digital LED Display Voltmeter Thermometer Auto Gauge 3in1 12 V 24 Volt Battery Voltage Tester Temperature Monitor Meter (Red) - - Amazon.com
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 41zuse531gL._AA160_.jpg (5.2 KB, 265 views)
__________________

__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2014, 08:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
LeonW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 -- The Skylark. Towed by a 2014 Highlander
Posts: 980
wish I had ordered a trimetric battery monitor

One of the things I didn't have on our build sheet that I regret is a trimetric battery monitor. It seems it is the best way to tell the state of one' s batteries. But I will be adding it later. And, as Lindy says, we have managed to survive so far without a good battery monitor....
LeonW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2014, 09:36 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,226
Jim is correct that the Go Power Solar Charger and an after market battery monitor is adequate for running, using and monitoring the solar system that Escape provides.

I realize you may have read some of these threads but let me reference them just incase.

Portable Solar and Monitoring

Interstate 6 Volt Charging
with sub topics mentioned in posting.

Is Your Battery Really Charged?

I have chosen to take a different route, mostly because I am frequently boon docking for up to two weeks without power, limited sunshine and inconsistent sunshine. We are not big electrical users and I think we could last about five days in warm weather with just the dual 6 volt batteries, but change the temperatures, add usage, give us three days of rain and we could be in electrical trouble.

I chose my own controller, mostly because of the low charge voltages of the Go Power provided by Escape. Below is a table of the recommended charge rates with the Interstate batteries that Escape provides.

To accomplish what I wanted in solar I did not order the Escape solar but I asked for the unit to be solar ready. This puts the wiring for a panel near the roof. I added an outside receptacle for plugging in a portable panel, only because I did not want to drill the hole. And I provided Escape with the wiring harness for a Trimetric 2025 RV battery monitor to install during their build process. They only installed these components, they did not connecting any wiring associated with these devices.

Other options would be to have Escape install their roof top panels and add your own solar controller. Skip the battery monitor and install your solar controller in a conspicuous and easy to view area and relay on the information it provides.

In the weeks awaiting the final build, I constructed a small module containing my selected solar controller, circuit breakers and kill switches with the associated wiring. Here I was able to increase wire gauge to the size giving better performance. Upon taking delivery of the new trailer it took me about an hour to install the module and use solar immediately and for the next three weeks of our pickup tour. At the same time I installed the Trimetric battery monitor using the preinstalled wiring.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Interstate Charging Table.jpg (61.0 KB, 31 views)
__________________
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 08-16-2014, 09:45 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Escondido, California
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19'
Posts: 874
Paul, any pictures of your work?
__________________
480 Amps 12VDC Battery Capacity,
350 Watts Adjustable Solar Panels,
2500 Watt Inverter;
"Want Some Ice Cubes?, "Want a Frozen Margarita?", Want a Jump?"
hotfishtacos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 08:52 AM   #6
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 13,654
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
One of the things I didn't have on our build sheet that I regret is a trimetric battery monitor. It seems it is the best way to tell the state of one' s batteries. But I will be adding it later. And, as Lindy says, we have managed to survive so far without a good battery monitor....
I had one in another unit which I installed myself. But after using it a couple of times I realized it was too complicated, I had to jump thru all these screens to reprogram it and every time I unhooked or turned off the battery switch it became too much information overload. I'm happy with a simple plug in volt meter and once a year I check my electrolyte levels and add distilled water if needed. I also disconnect from the house and operate off solar for a couple of weeks to allow it to maintain the battery, I feel it may be better for the battery vs the converter, but the jury is still out on that one.
__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 08:56 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N/A, Indiana
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 930
One can easily and rapidly reach the point of diminishing returns.
__________________
"Never argue with an idiot. They only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin
Jubal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 09:02 AM   #8
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 13,654
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
One can easily and rapidly reach the point of diminishing returns.
totally agree
__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 11:02 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Missoula, Montana
Trailer: 2014 19ft
Posts: 11
I was hoping to hear something along those lines (and figured that was the case). I really just want to go camp (and fish), and not worry excessively about the details. Of course, I do want to take good care of the trailer. Thanks for the info.
donehrlich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 01:35 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N/A, Indiana
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 930
http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr...ler2-FINAL.pdf
If you have the gopower solar controller installed by ETI, your batteries are depleted, you are relying on solar gain to recharge, and there are two hours of sunlight left in the day with good exposure.
__________________

__________________
"Never argue with an idiot. They only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin
Jubal 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 02:10 PM.


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