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Old 08-20-2020, 03:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by SamIam View Post
.... A compressor refrigerator for the 19. Optional ....
I was thrilled to see this for the ~5cuft size and hear Karl mention work in progress to 'validate' a ~6.5cuft compressor fridge option for where that's applicable.

Not for everyone but that's an option I'd be very interested to have for consideration. Nope, no specific vendor mentioned (NovaKool, with headquarters in nearby Coquitlam, BC, perhaps?)

>>>>

I must say that the overall 'message' that ETI is thriving, sales are growing, lots of innovations to keep them competitive in the market are definite with more in the works, and they have a goal to increase production, are all encouraging news items in terms of corporate health and longevity, IMO, good for both current and prospective owners.

I'll remain optimistic (it's my nature) that they can pull all this off without sacrificing any of the quality and attention to detail that's been the hallmark of their reputation from the start.
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Old 08-20-2020, 04:23 PM   #22
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I’ll admit I cringed when he spoke of ramping production to 3 units. I know it’s good for companies to grow, hire and train new employees but still I hope my unit built after the first of the year doesn’t suffer.
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Old 08-20-2020, 05:17 PM   #23
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I'm pretty confidant that whatever ETI does they will continue to keep the focus on quality that is the foundation of Escape's reputation. The possibility of a compressor fridge is very intriguing, the more I read up on them the better they sound. This is probably the first time since we finalized our build sheet in late 2018 that I have had "option envy". I had never had solar before and didn't fully appreciate until we got our trailer just how capable the solar and electrical system is, I can see why a compressor fridge would be appealing.
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Old 08-20-2020, 06:23 PM   #24
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The other side of the coin with the LiFePO4 battery is, (I've read that) they should have a different type of charge controller than a lead acid battery. I wonder if that will be incorporated into the battery option package?
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:05 AM   #25
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The other side of the coin with the LiFePO4 battery is, (I've read that) they should have a different type of charge controller than a lead acid battery. I wonder if that will be incorporated into the battery option package?
Karl specifically mentioned that they recognize the need to ensure battery charger compatibility for the lithium option; he did not go into details of what that might entail.

>>>

IMO part of the 'message' in all of this is that ETI was motivated to identify new items for 2021 and, where they were able, to commit to availability and pricing even though the full details of the implementation are still 'in works'. This makes sense and is possible when the development of the new item has progressed to the point that one has confidence the 'TBD details' will not have a significant cost impact. There's time between the announcement and actual 2021 model year production, still several months in the future, to work those details out.

There's another 'hinted list' of items for 2021 that are TBD in terms of availability and price in addition to implementation details. IOW those haven't yet reached the point of development where fitment and cost validation is fixed to a sufficient degree of confidence for any commitment. The strong implication is that there's more to be announced for 2021 Escape upgrades and options, perhaps 'phasing-in' during 2021 builds.

That process nothing new for ETI is it? It's not uncommon in the world of automotive production, where manufacturers will often publish 'official hints' of options planned for 'late model year availability' (some which do materialize, some which don't).

>>>

I found minor humor (but certainly no fault) in Karl's explanation of the change in nomenclature from "High Lift Axle" to "Body Lift Kit" for that long-standing option which is unchanged in substance. Attention to detail, even when just semantic, is appreciated.

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I'm pretty confidant [sic] that whatever ETI does they will continue to keep the focus on quality that is the foundation of Escape's reputation.
I'm happy to share your confidence and run with it!
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Old 08-21-2020, 01:00 AM   #26
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They could also stop calling the Pro Series weight distribution hitch an Equalizer hitch. Equalizer may be another term for weight distribution, but it's also a brand name ( spelled differently ) and confuses customers.
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Old 08-21-2020, 08:53 AM   #27
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a bit more on pricing and options

I'm happy to see Escape "evolving" and at least considering new options, designs, and working to stay as current as possible.

When Karl spoke of possibly bringing on another shift to increase production it was with some apprehension. I think gets that the company has to maintain standards while growing.

As far as lithium, they work with Go Power now and that company does offer a 250ah battery @ 12v. Renology offers a 170ah version and there are others offering more than 100ah. Sailboats and expedition overland rigs make use of them all. They are spendy.

I sent a note to Linda asking about putting a deposit down for a production slot in 2021 and being able to switch from a 21 to a 23 if I wanted. I asked about gray and black tanks with a composting toilet. As far as tanks, nothing changes. Same configuration from the factory.

She did tease a bit and said "the 23 will probably be quite different from what we are currently doing in the 21C. 😉"

Interesting.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:16 AM   #28
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As far as lithium, they work with Go Power now and that company does offer a 250ah battery @ 12v. Renology offers a 170ah version and there are others offering more than 100ah. Sailboats and expedition
I doubt the LIthium battery that Escape is offering is a 250ah. Not for $1575. A quick search shows the 250ah running about $2400 each.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories.../34282740.html

Much more likely is they are installing the GoPower 100ah which runs about $1000 each.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories.../34282738.html

So a $1000 for the battery and an additional $575 for a converter that can handle a lithium charge rate. https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...PD4655LIV.html
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:17 AM   #29
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The other side of the coin with the LiFePO4 battery is, (I've read that) they should have a different type of charge controller than a lead acid battery. I wonder if that will be incorporated into the battery option package?
I could be wrong, but I believe the latest GoPower solar charge controller has a lithium setting. As to the converter, if they continue to use the WFCO, on paper it should charge the lithium at 14.4V, but mine never got into the absorption stage, only sat at 13.4V, so it won't take a lithium to full charge.

While I have no idea what lithium battery Escape will use, I suspect it will be a 100 amp hour since that is the most popular size. One limit - the Battleborn (one of the most popular lithium suppliers) lithium battery is limited to a 100 amp draw (a bit more for very short draws). Might be a problem for microwaves. I have 2 Battleborn lithium batteries in parallel and have no problem drawing 140 amps to run a 950 watt microwave...
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:44 AM   #30
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I doubt it too but someone mentioned they only found 100ah batteries. I simply said there are others.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:49 AM   #31
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I doubt it too but someone mentioned they only found 100ah batteries. I simply said there are others.
Yes, thanks for correcting me on this. I thought I was being accurate, but good to know there might be high capacity options.

And as I said then.... I must be patient... I must be patient... I must be patient... :-)
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:50 AM   #32
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FYI, these are what Oliver told me they settled on:

https://www.lifebluebattery.com/rv-b...attery-pc.html

Other companies I have been talking to use Lion. There are more and more suppliers popping up but all seem to aiming for 100ah 12v at that near $1000 per price.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:12 PM   #33
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Escape is pricing the single lithium battery option at $1575 USD. That is considerably more than the 100Ah batteries I have seen. For example, the Battle Born 100Ah Deep Cycle batteries are around $1000.00 USD. There is a company called Ampere Time (which I have never heard of) that advertises a 200Ah 12v battery for $1300.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:31 PM   #34
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Since Escape tends to lean towards GoPower (a Canadian company), they might be looking at the GoPower lithium battery. Specifications are at their site. Looks like it would work well with the stock inverter - 100 amp continuous, 120 amps for 30 minutes, 150 for 5 seconds. Depending on where you shop, between $870.00 - $1000.00 US.

For the heavy hitters, you might be able to talk them into the larger 250 amp hour, but, as Tom (tdf-texas) says, $2400.00 is pretty steep. I'd rather get one 100 amp hour & add the second myself. If they are going to replace the WFCO converter, I'd go for the lithium upgrade just for that!
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:31 PM   #35
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2021

All this talk of new trailers, I had to get involved. We now will have to figure out what a 5th wheel will look like. I have already found out it will be tough to tow behind my Dodge Durango and I like the Durango so much. In the 1920's there were quite a few cars that were modified to tow 5th wheel type of trailers. I'll have to think about that some more.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:43 PM   #36
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As to the converter, if they continue to use the WFCO, on paper it should charge the lithium at 14.4V, but mine never got into the absorption stage, only sat at 13.4V, so it won't take a lithium to full charge.
The peak voltage is not the only issue: the whole staging logic of a lead-acid charger is inappropriate for a lithium-ion battery. The Progressive Dynamics units intended for lithium omit all of the staging and just run to constant current and voltage limits (with the voltage setting adjustable but factory set to 14.6 V assuming typical LiFePO4 battery chemistry).

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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
While I have no idea what lithium battery Escape will use, I suspect it will be a 100 amp hour since that is the most popular size. One limit - the Battleborn (one of the most popular lithium suppliers) lithium battery is limited to a 100 amp draw (a bit more for very short draws). Might be a problem for microwaves. I have 2 Battleborn lithium batteries in parallel and have no problem drawing 140 amps to run a 950 watt microwave...
Whether the load is a microwave or something else, if the trailer has the optional 1500 watt inverter it should have a battery suitable for a sustained current draw of at least 140 amps. Currently, the inverter can only be ordered in combination with the dual 6V battery option; presumably there would be similar restrictions with the lithium battery option.

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Since Escape tends to lean towards GoPower (a Canadian company), they might be looking at the GoPower lithium battery. Specifications are at their site. Looks like it would work well with the stock inverter - 100 amp continuous, 130 amps for 30 minutes, 150 for 5 seconds.
While on the edge of its ratings, I agree that this should work, depending on how tight the discharge current shutdown limits are set. By the way, those specs say 120 amps for 30 minutes.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:56 PM   #37
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Last interesting thing, again to me, the Mach 10 installation instructions make reference to a specific large aluminum 'plate' which must be "embedded" (their word) in the roof for installation of the Mach 10. Maybe that's essentially the same as the mounting base for the Dometic, just referring to sealant between that and the roof, but an interesting word choice, IMO.
That note is in the installation instructions for the top-down mounting kit, and is specific to that unusual mounting method. The instructions note:
Quote:
When using this top-down installation method, the vehicle must be structured with a minimum 0.200" thick 6061-T6 aluminum plate embedded in the vehicle roof for the rooftop unit mounting screws to engage.
... but this is not needed for a normal installation. In a normal installation an interior frame is inserted into the opening from below, and bolts between the interior frame and the unit clamp the unit into the roof opening, just like any other RV air conditioner.
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Old 08-21-2020, 02:04 PM   #38
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The peak voltage is not the only issue: the whole staging logic of a lead-acid charger is inappropriate for a lithium-ion battery. The Progressive Dynamics units intended for lithium omit all of the staging and just run to constant current and voltage limits (with the voltage setting adjustable but factory set to 14.6 V assuming typical LiFePO4 battery chemistry).


Whether the load is a microwave or something else, if the trailer has the optional 1500 watt inverter it should have a battery suitable for a sustained current draw of at least 140 amps. Currently, the inverter can only be ordered in combination with the dual 6V battery option; presumably there would be similar restrictions with the lithium battery option.


While on the edge of its ratings, I agree that this should work, depending on how tight the discharge current shutdown limits are set. By the way, those specs say 120 amps for 30 minutes.

Thanks - I fixed the typo on the 30 minute current. The stock Escape microwave is a 700 watt that draws well under 100 amps, so it should do OK with the single battery. I upgraded to a 950 watt so I need more.

As to the Progressive Dynamics lithium converter, I'm still not completely satisfied with it. Battleborn recommends 14.4V - 14.6V for charging, and the PD 4635LIV conversion for my existing WFCO 5500 does that. Again, Battleborn recommends either no float or 13.6V. The problem is the PD 4635LIV does not do float & sits at 14.6 continuously. Fortunately, the board for the converter has a jumper that goes between lithium & lead acid. When jumped to the lead acid side, it is a 3 stage converter that can be controlled by the Charge Wizard pendant. I replaced the jumper with a switch so I can use either configuration. After the batteries are full, and the hour balancing time is up, I switch it to lead acid & use the pendant to select float.

Probably not necessary, but I'd rather not have the batteries held at 14.6 continuously. Actually it doesn't matter all that much because most of the time I'm not connected to a pedestal, running on a Victron 100/30 solar controller that speaks lithium very well.
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Old 08-21-2020, 02:10 PM   #39
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They could also stop calling the Pro Series weight distribution hitch an Equalizer hitch. Equalizer may be another term for weight distribution, but it's also a brand name ( spelled differently ) and confuses customers.

totally agree. Karl, I you reading this?
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Old 08-21-2020, 02:50 PM   #40
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Battleborn recommends 14.4V - 14.6V for charging, and the PD 4635LIV conversion for my existing WFCO 5500 does that. Again, Battleborn recommends either no float or 13.6V. The problem is the PD 4635LIV does not do float & sits at 14.6 continuously. Fortunately, the board for the converter has a jumper that goes between lithium & lead acid. When jumped to the lead acid side, it is a 3 stage converter that can be controlled by the Charge Wizard pendant. I replaced the jumper with a switch so I can use either configuration. After the batteries are full, and the hour balancing time is up, I switch it to lead acid & use the pendant to select float.

Probably not necessary, but I'd rather not have the batteries held at 14.6 continuously.
Floating lithium-ion cells is not good, but the battery unit should handle that by disconnecting internally before the charger's set voltage; you could just set the PD fixed charge voltage up to achieve that, but it would be quite high for the trailer's "12 volt" equipment.

This situation is awkward, because RV equipment is not designed for the voltages of any lithium-ion cell type. If the loads in the trailer were fed from a voltage regulator (DC-to-DC converter) it wouldn't be a problem.

Battleborn's suggestion of a 13.6 V float configuration would result in cycling the battery from fully charged, then down to the float level as "12 V" power is used - does anything stop you from driving away from every serviced campsite with only 3.4 volts per cell (13.6 V total) of charge?

A variation on the switching scheme would be to use the float mode and use that switch (with an added relay if desired) to disconnect the battery from the charger-converter and loads when you switch to float mode. Many kill switches for auto racing have the high-current contacts (so no relay is needed) plus another set of contacts (intended to kill the ignition) which could switch the charger mode. A switch arranged this way could also serve as your storage switch.
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