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Old 05-21-2020, 04:57 PM   #1
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New Solar install in Escape 19

Hi, I am a new member have just purchased a 2015 Escape 19, without solar, and will be installing one myself in the next few days (hopefully not weeks). Though I do not know much about electrical, I have done my best to draw out a plan / schematic that I will use to do the installation (see below). I would love some feedback from those of you who seem to know a lot about this stuff (tdf-texas, Vermilye, Patandlinda, Lanark Camper perhaps)?

My outstanding questions are as follows:
- Are there any grave mistakes in my plan?
- The dual 6v batteries are new - can just connect them to the old 12v connectors in the front storage bin (but in series of course)?
- How and where do I connect AC to the inverter and do I need a manual switch to switch between shore power and inverter AC?

Any help is appreciated - Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2020, 05:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Davin View Post
Hi, I am a new member have just purchased a 2015 Escape 19, without solar, and will be installing one myself in the next few days (hopefully not weeks). Though I do not know much about electrical, I have done my best to draw out a plan / schematic that I will use to do the installation (see below). I would love some feedback from those of you who seem to know a lot about this stuff (tdf-texas, Vermilye, Patandlinda, Lanark Camper perhaps)?

My outstanding questions are as follows:
- Are there any grave mistakes in my plan?
- The dual 6v batteries are new - can just connect them to the old 12v connectors in the front storage bin (but in series of course)?
- How and where do I connect AC to the inverter and do I need a manual switch to switch between shore power and inverter AC?

Any help is appreciated - Thanks!
You might consider connecting the tow vehicle/breakaway switch to the battery side of the disconnect switch. That way it will always be "on ".

How you connect the inverter depends on whether you are OK with inverter only receptacles or want to switch to all of the trailer receptacles. A transfer switch (automatic or manual) that switches both hots & neutrals is necessary for whole house, adding separate receptacles for the inverter is easier, but less convenient.

To go whole house you will need to add a separate panel and move the breakers for the trailer receptacles to it. The transfer switch goes between a breaker in the original panel & the inverter output. While you might be able to get away with a 15 amp transfer switch if you are only going to power the standard receptacles, a 30 amp would be better if you are going to power more than one (particularly if you include the microwave). Here is a typical 30 amp transfer switch.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:10 PM   #3
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Good ideas from Jon. Maybe my brother will chip in, but he put three 80W panels on his 2020 19, though not sure if the exact width of the top surface differs from yours and he is well aware of what it is on the 2020 model. This would keep you fully charged in good weather days with good sun exposure, and lessen the amount of portable you need to closer to 100W.

I use four 60W on my 5.0TA and rarely needed to use the portable, and when I did the 80W I had supported it fine. I may buy a Lensun 100W portable to replace it.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Davin View Post
Hi, I am a new member have just purchased a 2015 Escape 19, without solar, and will be installing one myself in the next few days (hopefully not weeks). Though I do not know much about electrical, I have done my best to draw out a plan / schematic that I will use to do the installation (see below). I would love some feedback from those of you who seem to know a lot about this stuff (tdf-texas, Vermilye, Patandlinda, Lanark Camper perhaps)?

My outstanding questions are as follows:
- Are there any grave mistakes in my plan?
- The dual 6v batteries are new - can just connect them to the old 12v connectors in the front storage bin (but in series of course)?
- How and where do I connect AC to the inverter and do I need a manual switch to switch between shore power and inverter AC?

Any help is appreciated - Thanks!
The 200 amp fuse should be attached directly to the battery terminals.
Depending on the size of the inverter, 2 awg may be a little on the small size for the voltage drop across that long a wire run.

Here is a diagram of the wiring in my trailer for reference.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:28 PM   #5
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Tom's schematics are always impeccable....
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:03 PM   #6
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The 200 amp fuse should be attached directly to the battery terminals.
Depending on the size of the inverter, 2 awg may be a little on the small size for the voltage drop across that long a wire run.

Here is a diagram of the wiring in my trailer for reference.
Tom, I need guidance on your wiring for brake/7 pin/tongue jack. Maybe I'm totally off base but I'll try to explain.

On my 2017 E19 it appears they have a single power lead that ran to the hot side of a 50 amp thermal breaker, not after on way to main switch. . From this wiring I figured ETI used the battery positive 40 amp maxi fuse for protection?

Looking at your schematic did you remove the brake positive wire from the electrical frame box and run it to your hot main switch pole? This is protected by your 60 amp maxi fuse? How is the brake wiring upgraded with length and size (10awg) to switch?

The remaining wires for the 7 pin/tongue jack are on the original frame box stud and a 8 awg wire is then run from there to the switched power side of the main switch. This has a 40 amp thermal breaker added inline? location in trailer but as close to frame electrical box as possible?

For grounds are they all the frame electrical box ground stud?

Make sense?
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:08 PM   #7
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To go whole house you will need to add a separate panel and move the breakers for the trailer receptacles to it. The transfer switch goes between a breaker in the original panel & the inverter output. While you might be able to get away with a 15 amp transfer switch if you are only going to power the standard receptacles, a 30 amp would be better if you are going to power more than one (particularly if you include the microwave).

Here is a typical 30 amp transfer switch.
If you have the stock WFCO power center and have room at the rear the WFCO T-30 transfer switch can be mounted on it. That is the same set up that Escape does when you power all outlets with the 1500W inverter. They put a 30A breaker in the WFCO fuse panel labeled transfer switch which feeds the transfer switch on the “shore power” contacts. Other feed to transfer switch is 120V AC power from the inverter on what is sometimes called the “generator” contacts. Output from transfer switch to a separate distribution panel with (2) 15A breakers feeding all the outlets. [I believe at least one member (maybe tdf-texas) put twin 15A breakers in the external distribution panel so he had four breakers to wire outlets from. This may be unnecessary unless you are looking to run dedicated wire to a microwave or something else with high draw.] Obviously the existing wires feeding receptacles need to be pulled out of the existing WFCO power center and fed from the breakers in the new distribution panel.

WFCO T-30:
https://wfcoelectronics.com/product/t-30/

A typical 30A load center should do the trick:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D...0SCP/100157760
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:04 AM   #8
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Tom, I need guidance on your wiring for brake/7 pin/tongue jack. Maybe I'm totally off base but I'll try to explain.

On my 2017 E19 it appears they have a single power lead that ran to the hot side of a 50 amp thermal breaker, not after on way to main switch. . From this wiring I figured ETI used the battery positive 40 amp maxi fuse for protection?

Looking at your schematic did you remove the brake positive wire from the electrical frame box and run it to your hot main switch pole? This is protected by your 60 amp maxi fuse? How is the brake wiring upgraded with length and size (10awg) to switch?

The remaining wires for the 7 pin/tongue jack are on the original frame box stud and a 8 awg wire is then run from there to the switched power side of the main switch. This has a 40 amp thermal breaker added inline? location in trailer but as close to frame electrical box as possible?

For grounds are they all the frame electrical box ground stud?

Make sense?
The wiring on my trailer compares very little with the stock Escape wiring.

Yes, I ran a separate wire for the emergency brakes direct to the 60 amp fuse. The 40 amp thermal fuse was added to the 7-pin circuit to prevent blowing the 60 amp fuse when the pigtail got wet. I also moved the jack and 7-pin connection from before the battery disconnect switch to after the switch to kill power when in storage.

The original 40 amp fuse was changed to a 60 amp after increasing the wire gauge for the battery circuit from 8 gauge to 6 gauge. (55 amp converter on 40 amp fuse?)

The AC wiring was redone to separate the microwave and outlet circuits using 4 breakers instead of the original two breakers better distributing the AC power loads.

Only one ground connection is made at the converter negative lug. Having more than one ground can cause ground loops.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_loop_(electricity)

AC wiring physically separated from DC wiring on runs to prevent overcurrent being able to burn a hole in insulation and short the AC / DC wiring together.

Etc. etc. I wasn't pleased with the wiring on the Escape and upgraded pretty much everything to meet my standards. Not that Escape doesn't do a better job of wiring than the rest of the industry but I think all RVs have terrible wiring. (see signature)

Now.... Why did I post my wiring diagram instead of one showing Escape wiring? If the OP is starting from scratch on his solar wiring - the way I did my wiring would be a good choice for a guideline as to how it should be done. There are reasons for every change I made based on reliability and fault tolerance engineering practices.
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:12 AM   #9
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If you have the stock WFCO power center and have room at the rear the WFCO T-30 transfer switch can be mounted on it. That is the same set up that Escape does when you power all outlets with the 1500W inverter. They put a 30A breaker in the WFCO fuse panel labeled transfer switch which feeds the transfer switch on the “shore power” contacts. Other feed to transfer switch is 120V AC power from the inverter on what is sometimes called the “generator” contacts. Output from transfer switch to a separate distribution panel with (2) 15A breakers feeding all the outlets. [I believe at least one member (maybe tdf-texas) put twin 15A breakers in the external distribution panel so he had four breakers to wire outlets from. This may be unnecessary unless you are looking to run dedicated wire to a microwave or something else with high draw.] Obviously the existing wires feeding receptacles need to be pulled out of the existing WFCO power center and fed from the breakers in the new distribution panel.

WFCO T-30:
https://wfcoelectronics.com/product/t-30/

A typical 30A load center should do the trick:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D...0SCP/100157760
I separated the AC circuits from two breakers to four in able to have the microwave on a dedicated circuit (per code) and also to better distribute the outlet loads.

The original AC wiring had two breakers - one feeding the driver side and the other feeding the passenger side. The first time we had a heater plugged in and my wife used a hair dryer on the same side of the trailer (blowing the breaker), I decided a rewire was in order.
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:50 AM   #10
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There is one thing I don't like about the WFCO transfer switch. The 30 second switching delay cannot be changed. You do not need the delay with an inverter when not running an air conditioner. It is designed for generator use. A minor annoyance, but some transfer switches allow instant switching, and since I leave my inverter off unless using it, I'd rather not have the delay.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:50 AM   #11
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I can see where I am having some difficulty is the E21 has the batteries beside the electronics in the dinette and my E19 has batteries separated by being out in the front storage box.

Dissimiliar wiring would be that my battery negative is connected to the frame at box. The negative and ground to the converter buss enters with a wire from another frame connection point below the dinette. I thought I would leave this in place and up the ETI wires to 6awg. From my batteries instead of leaving as installed and planning on a battery monitor with shunt I then added a negative wire from batteries to likewise end up at the converter buss. So in effect I have 2 loops from battery negative to converter buss?

To sort this out can I remove the storage box battery ground/negative to frame wire? This then has my battery negative to converter buss with shunt inline to sense voltage. To maintain ground I have the 1 wire from converter buss to frame below dinette thus eliminating additional loop.

When looking at the converter I saw that the common attachment point was a small stud screwed through the back of the box. Could all these factory wired negative plus ground wire be moved to a proper power block beside the converter allowing for a stronger electrical connection point. I have a Blue Seas terminal block from my boating days.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:11 AM   #12
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I can see where I am having some difficulty is the E21 has the batteries beside the electronics in the dinette and my E19 has batteries separated by being out in the front storage box.

Dissimiliar wiring would be that my battery negative is connected to the frame at box. The negative and ground to the converter buss enters with a wire from another frame connection point below the dinette. I thought I would leave this in place and up the ETI wires to 6awg. From my batteries instead of leaving as installed and planning on a battery monitor with shunt I then added a negative wire from batteries to likewise end up at the converter buss. So in effect I have 2 loops from battery negative to converter buss?

To sort this out can I remove the storage box battery ground/negative to frame wire? This then has my battery negative to converter buss with shunt inline to sense voltage. To maintain ground I have the 1 wire from converter buss to frame below dinette thus eliminating additional loop.

When looking at the converter I saw that the common attachment point was a small stud screwed through the back of the box. Could all these factory wired negative plus ground wire be moved to a proper power block beside the converter allowing for a stronger electrical connection point. I have a Blue Seas terminal block from my boating days.
On the last solar rewire I did, eliminating the ground at the battery box and leaving the ground at the converter is exactly what I did. That also allowed me to install the shunt inside near the converter on the negative battery wire.

Also, the wiring run from the battery back to the inverter / converter needs to be looked at to be sure you don't have too high a voltage drop on the wires.

https://www.bluesea.com/support/arti...r_a_DC_Circuit

I have the 1500w inverter Escape installed. They had used 2awg wiring from the battery to the inverter - I changed it to 2/0 wire due to the voltage drop being too high when under full load. I sized based on less than 3% drop for a 200amp draw and a four foot wire run. On your trailer it will be a much longer run. Your 2000w inverter is not going to be happy with using 2awg due to too low a voltage at the inverter under high load.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:37 AM   #13
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Wow, thanks for the replies gentlemen. This forum is great. I hear you about the breakaway and 200 amp fuse location and will fix these as recommended.

I am still struggling with the inverter/shore power transfer switch issue. I understand John that you wanted a separate box in order to fix the AC circuit alignment, but is there another reason why this separate box is necessary?

I am probably naive about this, but in my head it seems like it should be simple - couldn't I just install a transfer switch on 3 AC wires diverging from the source upstream of the entering the stock AC outlet box? See my very sketchy drawing...

How hard is it to figure out the installation of that WFCO T-30?

Also, is a 2000 w inverter overkill - I see most have gone with 1500 w?

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:12 AM   #14
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Wow, thanks for the replies gentlemen. This forum is great. I hear you about the breakaway and 200 amp fuse location and will fix these as recommended.

I am still struggling with the inverter/shore power transfer switch issue. I understand John that you wanted a separate box in order to fix the AC circuit alignment, but is there another reason why this separate box is necessary?

I am probably naive about this, but in my head it seems like it should be simple - couldn't I just install a transfer switch on 3 AC wires diverging from the source upstream of the entering the stock AC outlet box? See my very sketchy drawing...

How hard is it to figure out the installation of that WFCO T-30?

Also, is a 2000 w inverter overkill - I see most have gone with 1500 w?

Thanks!
Your drawing is somewhat correct - but the circuits fed by the inverter have to go through breakers before they go to the outlets.

You are going to have certain AC circuits that you want to power from the inverter when not connected to shore power. These circuits are rewired to a separate breaker panel (BP2) than the converter breaker panel (BP1) so you can have the T-30 switch power to these circuits.

Here are the scenarios:

You are connected to shore power - AC power comes from a 30 amp breaker in BP1 through T-30 to BP2 and powers the circuits connected to BP2.

You are not connected to shore power and the inverter is on. Now T-30 switches incoming power from the 30 amp in BP1 to the inverter and and powers the circuits connected to BP2 by inverter power.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:47 PM   #15
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...

Also, is a 2000 w inverter overkill - I see most have gone with 1500 w?
Thanks!
2000 Watts is only overkill if your biggest 120VAC appliance only needs half that much wattage. Look at the power rating on the backside of your microwave, hair dryer, coffee pot, toaster, etc and anything else of that nature that you intend to power from the inverter - when shore power is not available. Do not expect to power your 'fridge, hot water heater or A/C and other heavy drain appliances - only run these when shore power is connected or use the propane that most of them were intended to use.

Once you have decided on the biggest item add about 10-20% for a safety buffer. 2000 W might in fact be appropriate. As an example, our normal 120VAC requirements while camping (and not connected) are to charge radios, computers, phones and run the heated blanket (oh, so nice in cold weather). The blanket is the biggest drain at about 250 Watts, so my standard inverter is 400 Watts ("Pure Sine Wave" since running delicate electronics). I have owned a 1000 Watt inverter for 6 years and have used it twice - a waste of $$.

If your 120VAC power needs are simple like mine, try running the output of the inverter to a single, dedicated outlet. This will greatly simplify your life by not having to rewire the trailer and not have to install a transfer switch.

Or if you are really a risk taker and have good insurance, do a Google search for a "widow-maker plug". I will not go into more detail.

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Old 05-22-2020, 05:29 PM   #16
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Since my needs are like Alan's I'm planning to install a small pure sine 300W inverter with cig lighter plug. Since it draws a max. of 14+ amps would it be suitable to connect an appropriate cig lighter plug receptacle to dedicated DC fusing in the converter. Converter is all 6awg to batteries.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:12 AM   #17
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Since my needs are like Alan's I'm planning to install a small pure sine 300W inverter with cig lighter plug. Since it draws a max. of 14+ amps would it be suitable to connect an appropriate cig lighter plug receptacle to dedicated DC fusing in the converter. Converter is all 6awg to batteries.

Should be ok if you can find a quality 12V outlet and all your wiring is appropriately sized for the load. I would wire to one of the two bottom fuse locations on the 12V DC board in the WFCO power center. These are rated for 30A.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:41 AM   #18
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Should be ok if you can find a quality 12V outlet and all your wiring is appropriately sized for the load. I would wire to one of the two bottom fuse locations on the 12V DC board in the WFCO power center. These are rated for 30A.
Thinking I wouldn't get one that has light that will draw load sitting unused. Plan is to use/turn off inverter which has ON light. Wonder if I should switch fused 12v outlet line to converter also? I tend to over think the small stuff!

Any quality outlet you like?
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:14 AM   #19
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Your drawing is somewhat correct - but the circuits fed by the inverter have to go through breakers before they go to the outlets.

You are going to have certain AC circuits that you want to power from the inverter when not connected to shore power. These circuits are rewired to a separate breaker panel (BP2) than the converter breaker panel (BP1) so you can have the T-30 switch power to these circuits.

Here are the scenarios:

You are connected to shore power - AC power comes from a 30 amp breaker in BP1 through T-30 to BP2 and powers the circuits connected to BP2.

You are not connected to shore power and the inverter is on. Now T-30 switches incoming power from the 30 amp in BP1 to the inverter and and powers the circuits connected to BP2 by inverter power.
I am struggling.

1) I am looking at the diagram of the T-30 (attached) and see it has two inputs (ie: shore and inverter), but only one output. I therefore don't understand how it can switch between sending power to BP1 vs BP2.

2) If I connect the T-30 for whole house, isn't it going to want to charge the battery? And won't this result in a constant loop with conversion losses?

Sorry if these are dumb questions.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:21 AM   #20
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The diagram is for a generator. Substitute the inverter for the generator & a 30 amp breaker in the converter for the shore power connection, and a separate breaker panel for the "out to control panel".

The inputs come either from a 30 amp breaker in the converter's breaker space or from the inverter.

The output feeds a separate panel that has the receptacles you want to be powered by either the inverter or shore power. The converter breaker should not be connected to the separate panel, but left in the converter breaker space.

The transfer switch switches the separate panel between the inverter & the 30 amp breaker in the converter breaker space.
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