Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-23-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I'm thinking of ordering a new #19 with the solar and front storage box. What I can't find here is a discussion on using 2 x 6 volt batteries vs 2 x 12 volt batteries with the solar. I think the weight is comparable and Reace installs the 6 v in the new tongue tool box. Not sure of the resulting tongue weight with the dual propane there also. What if I decide to get 2 x 12 v AGM and install inside the dinette (one one each side of dinette). With AGM there is no off gas issue, this would distribute the weight equally and it would lessen my tongue weight. The batteries would be protected more and I would have more room in the tool box.
What are the plus or minus effects to this set up? thanks
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

Does anyone have the dual battery set up or am I a pioneer in this arena?
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I guess they're all off camping. Many with the dual 6V. I don't know of anybody with dual 12. Top of this page ( right ) is search where you can look for references in prior posts. I just have a single 12V myself.

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Old 07-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I'll take a stab at answering your questions. I have a 19 footer with two 6 volt batteries. The batteries are in the new fiberglass tongue box -- which is fantastic!

The 6 volt batteries have a heavier plate design that produces more amps, resulting in longer battery life between charge cycles. I'm not aware of Escape owners using two 12 volts batteries. Nor do I see any major advantage of using two 12 volt batteries. You could put the AGM batteries in inside the trailer, but why? The tounge weight savings wouldn't be that great. Based on my Escape's weight from the Oregon Gathering at Bandon, my tongue weight is about 9%. This is just below the rule of thumb of 10% to 15%; so more tongue weight is better.

I would recommend that you opt for the fiberglass tongue box and if (a) do a lot of dry camping go for the two 6 volt battery arrangement or (b) go for a single 12 volt battery and locate the battery(ies) in the tongue box.

Good luck!!
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

What was your wet weight @ Bandon to get the 9% figure.

I assumed with 256 # t/w "dry" from the factory without options, that with options and propane,batteries,tool box that wet weight would be closer to 400# and that is my reason in raising the question. With a wet trailer weight of approximately 3,000#, the 400# is about 13%. I guess I could always move the batteries later if I had to.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:54 PM   #6
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I gather that 2x6 volt makes 12. And, that the two batteries last longer than one 12V.
If you have two 12V you have to have some sort of switching system to go from the depleted battery to the other, and to switch the charging system to the depleted battery.

I don't see any advantage over charging a single 12V and since it's best not to run a battery down too far, probably there are more disadvantages ( weight, for one ).

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Old 07-24-2011, 11:11 PM   #7
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

Here are the weights in pounds. This is for a fully loaded trailer. Keep in mind that there was a different tongue box at the time - not the great box that Escape now offers (see the second picture in this thread, http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=1591.0 ). There were two bikes plus rack on the rear. The tongue was weighted with and without the bikes (the rack remained on). There was no axle weights made with the bikes off the trailer.

Left Front Axle 1,340
Left Rear Axle 500

Right Front Axle 1,180
Right Rear Axle 420

Total Axle Weight 3,440

Hitch Weight with 2 Bicycles on rear 320
Hitch Weight w/o 2 Bicycles on rear 360

Total Trailer Weight with Bikes 3,760
Total Trailer Weight w/o Bikes 3,800
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:37 PM   #8
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I know everybody is into bicycle lanes, healthy exercise and such, but I don't understand how the total trailer weight is 40 lbs. more without the bikes.javascript:void(0);

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:56 AM   #9
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

The answer to the 40 pound change is that the trailer axles were not weighted with the bikes removed, thus not getting a true apples to apples comparison.

Here is a cut and paste of two other 19' Escape weights (without any bikes!) from the 2010 Bandon Gathering:

2010 ESCAPE 19
Trailer axle 1: LEFT = 1140 RIGHT = 980
Trailer axle 2: LEFT = 960 RIGHT = 660
TRAILERíS TOTAL AXLE WEIGHT = 3740
TRAILER HITCH WEIGHT = 240
TOTAL TRAILER WEIGHT = 3980

2009 ESCAPE 19
Trailer axle 1: LEFT = 980 RIGHT = 740
Trailer axle 2: LEFT = 600 RIGHT = 600
TRAILERíS TOTAL AXLE WEIGHT = 2920
TRAILER HITCH WEIGHT = 220
TOTAL TRAILER WEIGHT = 3140

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:43 PM   #10
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo
I guess they're all off camping. Many with the dual 6V. I don't know of anybody with dual 12.
Good guess, Baglo. We just got back from camping & tubing at South Llano River State Park.

We have a 95w solar panel and two 6v batteries. Our batteries are mounted under the passenger dinette b/c the tongue box option didn't yet exist when we got our trailer. If it had been available at the time, we would've definitely opted for it. Having a solar panel, we opted for the 2 x 6v to enable greater power storage capacity than a single 12v.

The difference between 2 x 6v and 2 x 12v batteries would be in how they are connected - one in series and one in parallel, respectively. The 2 x 6v can store more power that should last longer between charges whereas the 2 x 12v would give more peak power output available at a single time.

There was a previous thread discussing this topic a while back... http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=862.0
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:19 PM   #11
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I think the a/h of 2 X6 and 2 X 12 would be close, approximately 200 total. But the weight is my concern between 2 six volts versus 2 X12 v AGM, are they the same and if so why not put the AGM inside?
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I'm surprised at those weight figures. For a 2500# dry weight trailer with a 4000# capacity, most of the 19' are at or near that number.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:34 PM   #13
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

I went for a single 12 volt battery for a diffrent reason.
I boondock camp mainly, for extended times.
Two 6 volt batteries would last a lot longer, but I would still run out of power.
So I bought a 1,000 watt inverter generator.
I run the generator about every 6 days for about 3 hours,
this brings my battery up to about 80%.
Works good for me.
Solar is not an working option in the forest .
LED bulbs help alot.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:11 PM   #14
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

From our experience, the panels work great, even in the forest. Last summer we boondocked in a thick cedar forest, where there was little, if any direct sunlight. We spent a lot of time searching for tiny sunbeams to sit in to drink our coffee! We never worried about using our lights (LEDs) and we even used the shower. Each day the batteries would rebound, in the shade. We did this for two weeks. We have had the same experience camping in Jasper, Alberta, where the furnace kicks in throughout the night as the temperature drops below freezing. I have made this point before on the forum, so forgive me, but we just are so happy with our panels. It was the best option for us. We run two six volt batteries, mounted on our rear bumper.

Just returned from our 26 day run down the Washington, Oregon and Northern California coast, then into Lassen Park, and finally to Folsum Lake neat Sacramento. What a great trip!
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:39 PM   #15
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

Solar panel and 2 six volt batteries.
4 days in Glacier Parks in the trees. 100% at the end of the day, every day.

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Old 08-12-2011, 01:02 AM   #16
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

My 19ft has 2 six volt batteries and a front storage box and a solar panel. I would not use the AMG batteries are Gel filled. A friend last summer gave me his dead AMG which cost a lot of money and did not work in his trailer. He replaced the battery with a lead acid type it is working for him.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:17 PM   #17
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by captmath
Solar panel and 2 six volt batteries.
4 days in Glacier Parks in the trees. 100% at the end of the day, every day.
Dick
I'm gonna have to get up to "Whoo-ville" and see this solar panel!
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:54 PM   #18
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Re: Solar package with 2x 6 volt or 2 x 12 volt AGM batteries

Come ahead! We got to meet somewhere. We are probably going to Kiptopeke in Sep to watch the birdies. I'm still working on getting pictures from the trip. I want to get the carport moved back 5 feet to make it as easy to back in as it was in the Casita days.

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