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Old 07-15-2021, 09:46 AM   #1
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2013 ‘19 replace solar panel

Hi,

Apparently we lost the solar panel off our 2013 E19. We would like to replace the panel only and leave all the original controllers and wiring in place.

Anyone have a good recommendation for a 100ish watt solar panel that would be compatible with our ancient system?

Thanks,
Kelly
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Old 07-15-2021, 03:10 PM   #2
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Why not upgrade your system now?
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Old 07-15-2021, 03:24 PM   #3
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If the brackets are still there, GoPower's 190 watt panel is the same physical size as their 170 & 180 watt panels. It is .8" wider than the 160 watt panel. I'm not sure when they changed sizes & mounting methods. My 2011 17 had a 100 watt panel attached to a 1" Square aluminum tube attached to the trailer with VHB tape.
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Old 07-15-2021, 04:45 PM   #4
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Am wondering why GoPower panels are so expensive. They are more than twice the Eco-Worthy 195 panels I bought for my van's solar power. $428 vs. $192 on Amazon. Same dimensions and similar weight.

Grape Solar out of Bend, OR is another good 190W panel and Home Depot has them for $250, however they've been out of stock for some time now.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:12 PM   #5
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Finally was able to get up on a ladder and see what is going on. Looks like the adhesive that Escape uses failed. One side, 18 inches of dried adhesive still remains. Other side there are exposed fiberglass fibers and just a thin strip of adhesive. So will need to do some repairs to the roof.

Wouldn’t mind getting more wattage in the replacement panel. Just limited with space since this is the “original” style shell, more rounded and so not as wide on top.

Any suggestions on upgrades?

Kelly
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Old 07-21-2021, 12:13 AM   #6
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It sounds like your trailer does not have the brackets that were distributed from ETI to correct the way ETI was attaching the panels back in 2013-2015. I also had the glued on aluminum tubes (one per side). I did add the bolt on brackets.
I would repair the roof, then determine panel size using bolt-on brackets. The brackets can be bolted thru the roof into the internal supports inside the rear upper cabinets. Or you could use the 3M tape to attach the brackets with proper preparation.
Either way you should be able to get a 150 to 190 w panel.
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Old 07-21-2021, 07:16 AM   #7
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I have the Grape 190watt solar on my 2013 19. Do not rely on anyVHB tape alone, is my advice. Use brackets bolted through at the corners.
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File Type: jpg solar190W.jpg (88.0 KB, 32 views)
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Old 07-21-2021, 07:22 AM   #8
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There's no way I'd spend $428 on a 190 watt GoPower panel. That's obscene!

At this point I would replace the GoPower PWM controller with a MPPT controller with bluetooth (we chose Victron) and install a 200 watt 24v Rich Solar panel for about the same cost as a GoPower panel. The GoPower panel is 59.7" long and the Rich Solar is 58.7" so only .4" difference that can easily be accommodated. If you're installing new brackets it's definitely the way I would go, and for similar money have a bluetooth MPPT controller.

A 24v panel is slightly more efficient, but mainly starts charging earlier in the morning and later in the evening. We had a hard time deciding on the direction we were going to go when adding panels to our 5.0 and Rich Solar's panels were the other consideration. We ended up adding three 100w Renogy panels to our 170 watt GoPower panel.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart View Post
Hi,

Apparently we lost the solar panel off our 2013 E19. We would like to replace the panel only and leave all the original controllers and wiring in place.
Just curious how one can "apparently" loose a solar panel.

I would agree that the largest panel (wattage) that will fit is the way to go. It is a moving target but I think 230 watts is the highest currently available in a 12 volt panel. Also examine the wiring that Escape used back then, I would recommend 10 gauge from the panel to the controller. I have some from 2014 and I believe it is 14 gauge. Controllers have changed dramatically in recent years. A MPPT type controller has dropped in price to make it comparable. Victron seems to be a favorite brand on the forum.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart View Post
Hi,

Apparently we lost the solar panel off our 2013 E19. We would like to replace the panel only and leave all the original controllers and wiring in place.

Anyone have a good recommendation for a 100ish watt solar panel that would be compatible with our ancient system?

Thanks,
Kelly
A 2013 Escape had 90W solar panels I believe and the 19 had them in front of the Air Conditioner. The problem with bolting through in that location is you have bolts coming through your headliner and are visible. There could be a risk at that point of condensation weakening the headliner glue and cause sagging. Karl, in a video with Johnny Hung mentions that Reace had problems early on with glues failing there.

With a panel mounted at the back of the trailer the bolts still go through the headliner, yet it is at an edge and can be hidden in the upper cabinets.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:57 AM   #11
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One advantage of going to a larger panel is it may be wide enough that the mounting brackets end up inside the upper side cabinets. If they are not wide enough, you can fabricate a mount that extends past the panel ends to do the same.
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Old 07-21-2021, 01:35 PM   #12
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Rossue, you are correct that the panels were placed “midship” between the fan and the A/C on this 2013 E19. Perhaps mounting one like Myron, behind the A/C is the way to go. More real estate back there.

Perry, will a new controller significantly increase our rate of charge? Otherwise, I can’t see the upside for the spend. The GoPower PWM works so why change?

Part of the fun with the trailer is it’s simplicity. Don’t want to complicate it.

Thanks for the suggestions
Kelly
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Old 07-21-2021, 02:29 PM   #13
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Maybe a moderator can change the title of this thread to 2013 19' replace solar panel. It mistakenly has 2019 in the title.
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Old 07-21-2021, 03:11 PM   #14
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Performance of a newer solar controller is hard to measure. There are certainly advantages to MPPT, can those improvements be measured? It depends as there are many variables. In my mind the biggest value is the improvement in monitoring your solar. The Victron smart series continues to impress me with the information it provides. There have been improvements to all solar technology since 2012, while reliable the Go Power is not an industry leader. If you use a smart phone get a Victron, if not . . .
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Old 07-21-2021, 03:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart View Post
Rossue, you are correct that the panels were placed “midship” between the fan and the A/C on this 2013 E19. Perhaps mounting one like Myron, behind the A/C is the way to go. More real estate back there.

Perry, will a new controller significantly increase our rate of charge? Otherwise, I can’t see the upside for the spend. The GoPower PWM works so why change?

Part of the fun with the trailer is it’s simplicity. Don’t want to complicate it.

Thanks for the suggestions
Kelly
Here is what I did: see Post #92. The image shows the angle that Escape wanted me to bolt through the roof and because I didn't want to do that decided to have larger angle brackets made for a larger area for the VHB tape. The install was done in June 2017 and we've traveled many thousands of miles with lots of wind with no problems. Watch the AM Solar instructional about preparation.
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...f-10184-5.html
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Old 07-21-2021, 04:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart View Post
Perry, will a new controller significantly increase our rate of charge? Otherwise, I can’t see the upside for the spend. The GoPower PWM works so why change?

Part of the fun with the trailer is it’s simplicity. Don’t want to complicate it.
Will a MPPT controller significantly increase your rate of charge? Perhaps 5%, slightly more if it's cold outside. That's not why we purchased ours, but it helps.

Complicated is when our 1st set of batteries were failing in Organ Pipe National Monument on the 1st day there. The GoPower really tells you nothing. When our second set failed the Victron monitor told me not to waste my time and get new batteries. Coincidentally, I decided to disconnect the WFCO charger to make sure our solar was charging. It did and the WFCO has been disconnected since February.

I also have a Victron BMV-712 battery monitor. About a month ago I decided to hook the 712 to the Victron 100/30 smart controller. I was looking historical information on the 712 and noticed the high voltage to the battery was over 21 volts at some point in time. The controller was set to 14.6 volts. It was the WFCO charger that fried two sets of batteries by over-volting. I never would have noticed that with the simple ETI supplied GoPower controller and would have eventually fried another set of batteries, this time worth $1,000. However, it was just dumb luck that I turned the WFCO charger off.

If everything goes perfectly, the GoPower is just fine. I'm done playing the odds. You have to choose the odds you're willing to live with.

Again, for example, you can buy a Victron 100/30 controller for $193 on Amazon and a Rich Solar 200 watt 24 volt panel for $229. So are you going to overspend $428 for just another GoPower panel, or $422 for a modern smart MPPT controller that is really handy if your expensive batteries start crapping out on you AND a 200 watt 24v panel. Your decision.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 07-21-2021, 04:20 PM   #17
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New panel

Kelly, I suggest you get a wide panel and fasten it using bolts and nuts at the rear of your trailer. The bolts should come down into the cabinets. Getting a different charge controller will not improve production a lot or even a little. The only thing that will increase production is a larger panel or maybe one that you tilt or track the sun with. If you decide a 24 volt panel is what you need then a new mppt controller is needed. But there are good 12 volt panel options and your pwm controller is fine. Forget the Bluetooth bullshit, keep it simple and bolt on a new 12 volt panel and go camp!
Steve
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