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Old 10-03-2017, 06:56 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ericw View Post
The like the idea of burning less propane and using renewable energy. I have a "phobia" about water in trailers which drove me to fiberglass trailers in the first place and a 12V/120V fridge eliminates 2 more holes in the trailer. Also, I have read too many occasional issues with the 3 way fridges whereas the 12V/120V I installed in my Scamp has been reliable across the years and 30k+ miles and from the mountains to the desert. The choice does it have its significant downsides though....

Eric
I gave up on using DC for our fridge, it just kills the battery. The fridge seems extremely efficient on LP, so we use that quite a bit, yes even when driving...( OMG ! )
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:57 AM   #22
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I elected to not get the ETI solar option. My rational was that, for the amount of panel you are getting, the ETI is pretty expensive. yes, it is installed in the best manner ETI knows, which from reading the forums, ETI has changed how they do this over the years. But I figure I can do a better solar system for less money. More watts, tiltable, better controller. So, if you are handy and willing to research and learn, I think it can be done better. ETIs is more a pre-made kit that they simply install.

And since you currently don't run out of power, it is not an issue. And it can always be added later if willing to do the work.
That's EXACTLY my logic. I think we'll order the pre-wiring option and I'll add it later. ( I'm very handy. ) Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:00 AM   #23
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We didn't get the solar option, but had ETI run the wiring so it would be easier to add later. Meanwhile, we already had a 3.1 amp panel (that we used with our Casita), and so far it has handled our needs (which are minimal). We like the flexibility of being able to EITHER put our panel on the roof OR set it up in a sunnier spot when the trailer is parked in the shade.

As always, YMMV.
I've been interested in getting a portable "suitcase" type panel for years, but never could pull the trigger. It does seem very flexible, but another thing to drag around, pack/unpack, and setup. I could see using it for other purposes than camping perhaps.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:34 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by jking1224 View Post
I elected to not get the ETI solar option. My rational was that, for the amount of panel you are getting, the ETI is pretty expensive. yes, it is installed in the best manner ETI knows, which from reading the forums, ETI has changed how they do this over the years. But I figure I can do a better solar system for less money. More watts, tiltable, better controller. So, if you are handy and willing to research and learn, I think it can be done better. ETIs is more a pre-made kit that they simply install.

And since you currently don't run out of power, it is not an issue. And it can always be added later if willing to do the work.
There is no doubt that a person with sound technical abilities would be able to purchase solar components and do their own rv solar system install of comparable or higher quality than ETI would do, for less $$$ than ETI would charge. Case in point is the solar setup recently done by Jim Bennett. I am currently doing a similar type of install on my 15B and have been able to source high quality components for much cheaper than the total "supply and install" cost ETI would charge. Of course my greatest contribution to the reduced cost is the free labour that I am able to provide.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:42 AM   #25
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Congrats on getting your order in. How exciting for you both. I am sure you will be counting off the days. We hope to get our order in Monday as we are viewing a 21 for the first time this weekend.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:46 AM   #26
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Congrats on getting your order in. How exciting for you both. I am sure you will be counting off the days. We hope to get our order in Monday as we are viewing a 21 for the first time this weekend.
Yes, very excited for sure. Too bad it's 9 months away !?!



We were very impressed with the 21 Escape we were able to view/tour. I really liked the nice cabinet work they do, with actual WOOD panels, not the high density press board many others use.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:49 AM   #27
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Of course my greatest contribution to the reduced cost is the free labour that I am able to provide.
This is one of the bigger factors that some fail to take into account when comparing "store-bought" costs versus do-it-yourself costs. Add into that the cost for a business to purchase and inventory stock and the costs mount. Good for you for recognizing that your labor is a major component of any DIY project.

Edited: ...and if it's skilled labor, even more so.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:00 AM   #28
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This is one of the bigger factors that some fail to take into account when comparing "store-bought" costs versus do-it-yourself costs. Add into that the cost for a business to purchase and inventory stock and the costs mount. Good for you for recognizing that your labor is a major component of any DIY project.

Edited: ...and if it's skilled labor, even more so.
If I had to pay myself the same rate for doing work on my Escape as what my company charges clients for my services as a professional engineer, there is no doubt that I wouldn't be able to afford myself, and would have to get ETI to do the work at a much more favorable rate.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:16 AM   #29
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No warranty on DIY.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:34 AM   #30
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No warranty on DIY.
True, but with the engineers and skilled tradesmen that I see taking on their own projects you don't need one. When I do something I know it is done right and because I built it I can easily troubleshoot if something happens to give me trouble. Some of the modifications I have done would have been cost prohibitive, too risky, or even impossible to have done by someone else. I do realize that not everyone possesses the skills, tools or willingness to do their own work.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:52 AM   #31
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Could someone please elaborate on exactly what is involved in prewire by ETI. I suspect hot wire to roof or outside of trailer for portable panels ( is there a female plug to connect portable) and control wiring to monitor location inside. I am a DYI type, but new to RVS. and no prior experience with solar. I do wholeheartedly agree if you install it you can trouble shoot if needed.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:43 AM   #32
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No warranty on DIY.
If you do it right, there is no need for warranty on your diy install. With respect to solar panels, controllers and other components, you will have the same manufacturer warranty regardless of whether you or ETI do the install.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:16 PM   #33
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No warranty on DIY.
I honor full warranties on all my own work...

I have also found that even though I might be slower ( because I care ? ), and may not be as "experienced" and an "expert", the end results I produce are much better than any "expert" I could have hired. So, I hire myself.

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Old 10-03-2017, 03:16 PM   #34
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It is not so much for what you do on other additions for yourself but the fact that other manufacturers will say that you voided their warranty by doing anything regarding their items. As some people here have found.

Any changes to what Escape has done and they can say that, and I believe they and/or others have. If you do not clear some changes and then have problems, they are free to deny warranty work.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:25 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by oldsalt View Post
Could someone please elaborate on exactly what is involved in prewire by ETI. I suspect hot wire to roof or outside of trailer for portable panels ( is there a female plug to connect portable) and control wiring to monitor location inside. I am a DYI type, but new to RVS. and no prior experience with solar. I do wholeheartedly agree if you install it you can trouble shoot if needed.
I believe this is correct, as I have asked about this option, and have ordered it myself. But I have not actually seen it in person (yet!)

The "pre-wire for solar" option places an MC4 connector on the roof, ready for customer to install their own roof panels and connect to this location. Then it uses either a through the roof sealing plate or the wires go into the roof vent for the refrigerator. Then this wire pair is run down to the battery box area (behind the fridge, along the walls, inside any cabinets and wall spaces) and left loose. It is left to the customer to install a charge controller, the related breakers or fuse blocks and wire direct to the batteries. If you wish to have a remote controller monitor, that is all up to the customer.
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