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Old 08-24-2010, 02:08 PM   #21
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Re: Solar Panel - and tow vehicle

Hi, we are planning on purchasing a 19 ft. It will be our third Escape! Our first was #33 and they just keep getting better! Our second was a 17B. Our current tow vehicle is a 2008 Toyota 4Runner, V8. We have towed with V6 4Runner and a V6 T100 (Toyota) pick-up as well. The 4-Runner is a dream! Can't even tell we are towing anything; it is rated for towing 8,000 lbs. Pete believes in as much power as possible and it makes it much less stressful for him to drive/tow. We don't want a pick-up, so the 4Runner is great; a very quiet and smooth vehicle as well. No comparison to Hondas when it comes to road noise! I think the new 4Runners have V6 engines now, but same capacity as our V8. We haven't needed additional mirrors when we towed our last trailer. Also use the WDH as we had a very scary experience years ago while towing a Bigfoot.

We are considering the addition of solar on this unit as well. Just found one package on www.costco.com (a 60W for $300). How many watts is the one that Reace installs?
Linda
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:18 PM   #22
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Pete_Linda

If you have not seen it already you might want to review the below link from our friends at the other forum. Some interesting things happening with solar that make many of the units on the market obsolete.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...4-a-41609.html

PeterH has had a number of interesting posts on solar, you may want to search for other information he has provided.


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Old 08-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #23
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

We have a solar kit recommended & installed by Reace which included a 95 watt panel based. He helped us decide based on our particular needs and wants. My posting in this thread on 8/5 has a link to our kit. I'm sure Reace would likely be willing and able to install whatever solar setup you decide on. We are very happy with our setup.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:01 PM   #24
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Thanks to both of you! How much was the unit that Reace installed? How is it attached?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texscapees
We have a solar kit recommended & installed by Reace which included a 95 watt panel based. He helped us decide based on our particular needs and wants. My posting in this thread on 8/5 has a link to our kit. I'm sure Reace would likely be willing and able to install whatever solar setup you decide on. We are very happy with our setup.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:13 PM   #25
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Our solar panel is mounted using 3M's Very High Bond (VHB) Tape to minimize having holes put in our egg shell. After one year it seems to holding up well.

You can see a pic of the solar panel mounted on our roof at...
http://picasaweb.google.com/shayroal...92589180240722
and the charge controller mounting here....
http://picasaweb.google.com/shayroal...85331245647458

Here's a link to a prior discussion on this forum re: solar that you might find useful...
http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=1115.0

Also, I came across a useful thread on a Casita forum when I was researching VHB & other solar panel mounting options. It is very informative & has good pics too. I forwarded it to Reace & several other online vhb articles. Reace is now a vhb believer having played around with it when he installed my panel. I believe he's been using VHB for future installations ever since unless otherwise requested. Here's the link to the Casita forum thread...
http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/ind...=8079&hl=solar

The total cost which included the solar kit (95 Watt Panel, charge controller, mounting hardware, wires, etc), the VHB tape, and labor for the installation (mounting & wiring) I believe came out to about $950 USD at the time.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:40 PM   #26
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_Linda
Hi, we are planning on purchasing a 19 ft. It will be our third Escape! Our first was #33 and they just keep getting better! Our second was a 17B. Our current tow vehicle is a 2008 Toyota 4Runner, V8. We have towed with V6 4Runner and a V6 T100 (Toyota) pick-up as well. The 4-Runner is a dream! Can't even tell we are towing anything; it is rated for towing 8,000 lbs. Pete believes in as much power as possible and it makes it much less stressful for him to drive/tow. We don't want a pick-up, so the 4Runner is great; a very quiet and smooth vehicle as well. No comparison to Hondas when it comes to road noise! I think the new 4Runners have V6 engines now, but same capacity as our V8. We haven't needed additional mirrors when we towed our last trailer. Also use the WDH as we had a very scary experience years ago while towing a Bigfoot.

We are considering the addition of solar on this unit as well. Just found one package on www.costco.com (a 60W for $300). How many watts is the one that Reace installs?
Linda
Just to defend my lowly Pilot. It is every bit as quiet as the 4Runner, one of the biggest improvements in the latest model. The towing capacity of the 4Runner with the V6 is 5,000 lbs, not 8,000.

I had looked hard at the Toyota, as it really is a great vehicle too, but ease of driving and operating, along with a bit more room and a slightly lower cost won me over. The biggest thing I liked about the 4Runner is that they use a frame instead of uni-body construction, though it seems many vehicles are moving in that direction.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:44 PM   #27
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

You are right about the towing capacity on new 4-Runners! Glad we have a 2008; towing on ours is 7,000, not 8,000 pounds. I stand corrected and glad you are happy with your Honda! I know there are many happy Honda owners and my observations are not based on current models. I think there are lots of great tow vehicles out there and it comes down to what fits a person's needs and finances best! Just know we are happy with our choice!

Have appreciated all of the help with solar panels! Great to hear from those who have them! Got some info from Tammy as well. This forum is wonderful!
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:08 PM   #28
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Re: Solar Panel - do you need 2 batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_Linda
I think there are lots of great tow vehicles out there and it comes down to what fits a person's needs and finances best!
Very true words.
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