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Old 03-24-2017, 10:55 PM   #1
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Solar Panels

Bulding out an new 13 ft Escape. We will seldom if ever, hook up to 110volt
We're trying to decide wether or not to purchase a roof top solar panel from escape or just have it wired "solar ready." Any review on the Carmanah GP-RV-160W with the charge controller, escape uses, would be greatly appreciated. we plan on a 120watt portable so is that enough?
thanks the Sisters, Oregon newbies
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:08 AM   #2
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It all depends on your camping style. I camp mostly in the fall, winter, and spring and have found that my 90-watt fixed roof-top solar panel doesn't cut it in the winter months of November through March at the latitude in which I camp...lots of clouds and low sun angle. I have supplemented that with a 95-watt portable panel but am not sure that even that will do the trick in Western Washington in the winter (too soon to tell). But the roof-top panel (especially the bigger one now installed by ETI) will do fine in the summer and shoulder seasons just about anywhere--especially with dual batteries.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:20 AM   #3
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I didn't think they made 13' anymore? Or is this a previously loved unit?
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Old 03-25-2017, 06:29 AM   #4
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I don't have the Carmanah (GoPower) brand but do have a 160w. To add to what Karen says, I had no problems with it recharging this winter in AZ where it was sunny almost everyday but we don't use a lot of juice, no TV, no coffee pot. If you want more power you may be able to get a 2nd panel installed by ETI or go the portable route by having an external port installed.

FWIW, I've not heard any complaints about the Carmanah brand, they've been installing them for years. If you look on the internet they get good ratings. The panel itself seems to be one of the better ones out there, the controller is sufficient.
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:43 AM   #5
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We have two x 160W panels on our 19 and the std controller. It works well in sunny or partial sunny days near latitude 49. In full sun we can run the large fridge on 12 v and the panelskeep up. We have a portable boat wigh an electric motor. The controller has two outputs and we have charge the boat battery from that second outlet.

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Old 03-25-2017, 10:34 AM   #6
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John, do you have pictures of your coach showing placement of the two solar panels
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:44 PM   #7
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Smile Escape 19 with two solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockhead View Post
John, do you have pictures of your coach showing placement of the two solar panels
I've got pics but have never uploaded photos to this forum before. I'll try now. Here goes. Well that worked , at least I can preview it.

The picture shows the two solar panels, both on the roof, one rear and one front . The one near the front is on uneven legs and slanted forward probably to reduce or eliminate any wind uplift loads. Bear in mind that there needed to be blocking added during the build and before headliner install to accept the fasteners from the legs of the forward panel.
Please excuse the mess in the back of the xterra. We were travelling to our daughters wedding and were loaded up with all sorts of stuff.
Hope this helped.
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File Type: jpg TRLR WITH TWO SOLAR PANELS.JPG (300.3 KB, 65 views)
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:50 PM   #8
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Notice e there is no air conditioning shown, not sure if that is because of the solar set up or they chose not to order such.
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Notice e there is no air conditioning shown, not sure if that is because of the solar set up or they chose not to order such.
We chose not to order it . Its A/C ready. Just remove the second vent and add the std A/C unit.

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Old 03-25-2017, 05:54 PM   #10
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Yes it John tyvm
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Old 03-25-2017, 07:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkulus View Post
Bulding out an new 13 ft Escape. We will seldom if ever, hook up to 110volt
We're trying to decide wether or not to purchase a roof top solar panel from escape or just have it wired "solar ready." Any review on the Carmanah GP-RV-160W with the charge controller, escape uses, would be greatly appreciated. we plan on a 120watt portable so is that enough?
thanks the Sisters, Oregon newbies
We just had Escape install the GP-RV-160 solar kit on our trailer and picked it up today! We also had them add the dual 6V batteries at the same time. We use very little power so expect that it should meet our needs after we finish converting the bulbs to LED (thanks Jim!). Camping starts after ski season ends which is hopefully next weekend!

I was just up checking out the install. The front of the panel looks to be resting directly on the fibreglass. I am wondering if wind or road vibration might cause the panel to rub a hole in the shell. Is this something to be concerned about? What do other installs look like?
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File Type: jpg DSC_0136.jpg (164.3 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0139.jpg (142.9 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0140.jpg (167.3 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0141.jpg (98.7 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0144.jpg (151.9 KB, 37 views)
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