Under-bench compartment dimensions on new 19'? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-10-2016, 03:56 PM   #1
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Under-bench compartment dimensions on new 19'?

I'm thinking about going with a full lithium+solar setup on a 19' Escape that would let me work from the road without hookups and with minimal generator use, as well as being able to run A/C for an hour or two when the dog's left alone.

I was hoping to do something like putting the inverter/charger and solar controller in the street/port/driver/left side and the batteries in the right side, minimizing the amount of rewiring and rearranging needed, but to figure that out I'd need the exact dimensions (probably including the support, definitely including the area used by the black tank) of each area. Does anyone have a new 19" that can measure these? Or is this something I should just contact Escape for?
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Old 12-10-2016, 04:01 PM   #2
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I just measured mine for another member, the curb side is 12"wide and 12" high and 40" long, using the top access.The street side has the solar converter, the converter and the black tank, there is room for an inverter in that location on top of the black tank. I assume you are not getting the EMS, if you are then the inverter will have to be behind the converter in that side, still plenty of room.
See here.. Interior measurements of dinette seat storage
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:28 PM   #3
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Thanks! That's at least enough for me to be pretty sure it's feasible to fit the inverter/charger on one side and the batteries on the other. Good question on the EMS - I definitely want some sort of surge protector, but I'll need to do some reading to figure out if I need a full EMS or if the Victron will take care of that. It's a boosting inverter, so it should at least take care of undervoltage.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:30 PM   #4
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True, but if you get dirty electric coming in it can fry your converter, your refer, your a/c....
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:46 PM   #5
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Oh definitely. I plan on having some sort of protection. The inverter is a "boosting" inverter, so A/C actually passes through it and can be supplemented as needed by the battery. It also has configurable thresholds for min/max voltage on input, so I think all I need is a surge protector to protect it from massive overvoltage and it'll clean up the rest. Might have to just ask AMSolar.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:47 PM   #6
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What happens if the hot and neutral were reversed? The EMS will not allow any miswired electric to enter your trailer.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:54 PM   #7
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Oooh, good point. Yeah, I'm not sure the Victron can deal with that kind of miswiring. I was just thinking in terms of bad/noisy power, not dangerously incorrect pinout.

Oh, going back to your original response, it's actually an inverter/converter in one, measuring 14.3"x10.2"x8.6". I'll have to see if Escape is willing to wire things up for it without me having to also buy their inverter and converter.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:11 PM   #8
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Elliott, are you planning a Victron MultiPlus 2 kVA or 3 kVAinverter/charger to serve as inverter (with built-in transfer switch) as well as replacing the charger/converter section of the stock WFCO unit? If so, I'm guessing that the plan would be to have Escape supply the trailer with stock wiring (and no inverter), then install the Victron inverter/charger and remove (or just switch off) the WFCO's converter/charger section. Since you would want a second AC distribution panel anyway, it might make sense to plan on ditching the entire WFCO unit in favour of separate AC panels and DC panel.

If I'm looking at the right product, this Victron inverter/charger is pretty slick: the "boosting" feature (listed by AM Solar as "hybrid") could allow an air conditioner to start when running from a generator which otherwise would not be large enough to start it, for instance. Without reading the manuals, I don't know if the Victron would cover all of the functionality of an EMS, or if its operation would be hampered by having an EMS in front of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
True, but if you get dirty electric coming in it can fry your converter, your refer, your a/c....
The 120V AC side of the refrigerator is just a resistive element and a thermostatic switch or relay - I doubt this would be affected by undervoltage or a dirty waveform. As Elliot explained, the converter is not likely an issue, and the Victron inverter/charger would protect the A/C... at least from under-voltage conditions.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:50 PM   #9
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Yep, that's the one. Probably the 3kVA to make sure it has no problems running the A/C.

Definitely ditching the WFCO, since the Victron will take care of everything it does and more.

What would the second A/C distribution panel be for? (I think I need a better idea of how AC is routed in the trailer, but I thought it all went through a small breaker panel under the driver-side dinette bench). I figure the existing breaker panel is good for the inverter's A/C output, and the input will have a surge protector on it somewhere to take care of "breaker" duty.

Reading the manual, the Victron should do quite nicely in terms of protecting from over/under voltage, but I think I do want some sort of EMS to protect it in turn from things like miswired sockets, open ground, or frequency issues.

Space-wise, it sounds like the solar charge controller can probably go on top of the black tank and the inverter/charger can fit in the main area. Squeezing the EMS in might be tricky, but I can either relocate that to under the bed area where the cord comes in or just get a portable/external one. Batteries can fit in the other side. It'll mean running some big cables between the two sides, but that should be pretty doable.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
Definitely ditching the WFCO, since the Victron will take care of everything it does and more.

What would the second A/C distribution panel be for? (I think I need a better idea of how AC is routed in the trailer, but I thought it all went through a small breaker panel under the driver-side dinette bench). I figure the existing breaker panel is good for the inverter's A/C output, and the input will have a surge protector on it somewhere to take care of "breaker" duty.
The factory-available inverter installation includes a second AC distribution panel, containing a couple of circuit breakers for the circuits which are supplied with power from the inverter, via the transfer switch.

The WFCO's AC distribution panel is in the same integrated box as the converter/charger and the DC distribution panel. In a trailer without an inverter it handles all AC circuits, but with the inverter and transfer switch the WFCO's panel is used only for
  • the incoming main breaker
  • a breaker feeding shore power to the transfer switch (and subsequently to anything which can be powered by the inverter)
  • breakers for circuits which are never run from the inverter:
    • converter/charger,
    • electric element of water heater,
    • AC element of refrigerator,
    • air conditioner
So the WFCO panel handles all of the shore power, but not power from the inverter, and doesn't have individual breakers for inverter-powered circuits (which are the ones connected to the visible outlets and the microwave outlet). Touring an Escape with the factory-installed inverter and transfer switch, it would be easy to miss the second distribution panel (breaker box) - it's a grey two-circuit box inside the dinette seat (along with the transfer switch), not visible unless you lift the seat.

The Victron MultiPlus design includes the same idea of separating loads which you are willing to run from battery power (with the inverter), and loads which you would never want to drain the battery. Not only is the transfer switch built into the MultiPlus, but it also has two outputs for those two categories of loads (one output gets power only when there is shore power); each set would need a separate distribution panel (or an electrically separate section of one panel).

AM Solar provides only one sub-panel in their kit, and provides an AC wiring diagram for a Victron MultiPlus installation with only one AC output from the MultiPlus, and so only one sub-panel. You might want to ask them why they don't show two sub-panels, one for each of the two AC outputs. I suspect that they designed the kit for the 2 kVA model, which doesn't have the dual outputs available.

This is Victron's description:
Quote:
Two AC Outputs
The main output has no-break functionality. The MultiPlus takes over the supply to the connected loads in the event of a grid failure or when shore-/generator power is disconnected. This happens so fast (less than 20 milliseconds) that computers and other electronic equipment will continue to operate without disruption.
The second output is live only when AC is available on the input of the MultiPlus. Loads that should not discharge the battery, like a water heater for example, can be connected to this output (second output available on models rated at 3kVA and more).
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