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Old 05-06-2017, 02:47 PM   #21
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by spaghettiroad View Post
Thanks so much for the help ! 2000W inverter, 6 way fuse box with , 100 W portable solar , ditch the hairdryer and coffeemaker, and stick with the newer marine battery. It's a small trailer, won't need much and I'll keep an eye out for a good little AC/DC tv. Haven't decided on the hydroflame heater. It does have a thermostat.. but I agree 16,000 BTU for a little space, it won't kick in very much. Thought about a catalytic system as well.
Remember that many times the btu's listed by the manufacturer of a furnace is imput not output .A 16,000 btu imput at 75% efficiency has a heating output of 12,000 btu's . The 4000 btu loss is why the exhaust on the exterior of the trailer is HOT.
Usually the more efficient furnaces are more expensive and more complicated. Since most FG trailers are single wall with little insulation and have leaky single pane windows the btu loss is quite high . Going bigger than you need wastes energy and leads to short cycling . It's not hard to do a heat loss calculation based on outside design temperatures and then size your furnace accordingly. Our Casita has a 16,000 btu furnace , which is too big most of the time but when it's windy and below zero it's none too big.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:04 PM   #22
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Name: pat
Trailer: MITY LITE
British Columbia
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Ok I'm going to install the Hydroflame heater. It doesn't draw as much battery as I thought, that's good. Thanks for the compliment on my " STARSHIP ENTERPRISE". It turn heads and campsites and sometimes get followed for pictures....QUESTION: I like the solar panel idea for charging phones ipads running small flat screen, LED interior lights, the hydroflame heater, 12v sink pump and a 12 ft strand exterior decorative ones. Ball park average 2-7 day trips. Should I go with a 100W folding panel ? 50W panel enough? Thanks
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:50 PM   #23
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For that many accessories I would start with a 100 watt panel, BUT if you want a more precise answer you have to provide specific information (voltage and amperage or wattage, and duration used) for each of the accessories that you mentioned. This will result in a more precise answer, and then the next consideration is how much sun exposure do you anticipate where you'll be camping?

Another QUESTION for you: What is the meaning of "spaghettiroad"???
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:10 PM   #24
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LOL.....Spaghettiroad is an old winding road heading north into our Cottage country near Mont Tremblant Quebec. The Gatineau hills are filled with spaghettiroads.
Thanks I will pick up a 100W and go from there.
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:55 PM   #25
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Ok...if it was me...(opinion)

what you seem to have there is one step up from a "teardrop" trailer....small and low...both of those are advantages IMO if it fits your needs....that's the definition of a perfect trailer: the smallest/lightest one that fits your NEEDS....congratulations if you found yours

I agree with your 100W decision....panels cost so much per watt...and the panel will only be a part of your whole system (panel, controller, fuse panel, battery)....you've got the room on the roof so why not go with the bigger option...you'll never regret that but you might regret (and be back at the store) if you find that 50 is just not enough

the actual dimensions of a 100W panel might not be practical/desirable for your roof size/shape...they come in all different sizes however so you could keep looking or get an 80W if it turns out to be the best fit for your roof....maximize whatever will "work"

Panel prices vary WIDLY....IME they can run from as low as a dollar a watt (a steal you might run into especially seasonally) to as much as three dollars a watt.....so SHOP

Given that your trailer roof is low (read easily accessible) I would mount the panel on the roof "semi-permanently" ... there's lots of trees in the world and if you happen to park under one the panel will be useless...if your mounting system allows for easy removal (wingnuts) you'll be able to take it off easily....a plug connector near the panel and an extension cord will allow you to go place the panel not only in the sun but at a perfect angle to it (MAJOR improvement in performance compared to a panel on the flat even if you were parked in the sun) Given that your trailer is small you will probably have a single 12V battery with X amount of storage (amp hrs) so daily performance should be important to you

You could spend a substantial amount of money on solar equipment that will give you lots and lots of info (percentage of charge, current power use, current charge rate, etc etc), interconnects with your tow vehicles electrical system and automatically powers the AC side of a trailer...at the other end of the scale is a panel, connected to a simple charge controller, connected to a battery (no 12V power from the tow vehicle)...if you choose this route the only information you will get from your system is when it's time to buy a new battery because you have ruined said battery (no longer holds a charge)

A rather inexpensive meter will supply all the information you actually NEED to maximize battery life. What I use is a permantly mounted 4 digit panel meter that can be checked at a glance any time you want (as opposed to a handheld meter that you have to get out and connect to your system now and then)

12.65+ volts is a fully charged battery
12.2V is 50% discharged and the level you should not let your system get below because you will be damaging your battery (shortening its life)
12.4V....if your system can stay at or above this value you will be maxmizing the rated cycle life of your battery (the rated amount of times it can be charged and discharged before the end of its "natural life")
(all these values are measured with no load on, batteries at rest for like 30 to 60 minutes)

great hobby this solar stuff... keeping it simple is the hard part

You have a neat, rare trailer there....have fun, good luck, F

pic of a dumb charge controller, a slightly "less dumb" controller, a 4 digit panel meter and "a shady spot is a good thing to have when it's HOT"
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:25 PM   #26
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Thanks for the tips. Didn't know how rare this trailer was until after I started cleaning it up. I found it advertised here on this website by chance the same day it was listed a year ago. A pilot locally had it sitting next to his hobby plane in an airport hangar for 12 years locally which is where I went to pick it up, lol. It appeared almost never used for a 1984 ! The envy of the boler scamp types is that the bed is a full queen

I will pick up those items you were suggesting. I do like the idea of mounting a 100 hundred watt folding on the roof. My only slight concern is the weight on the two hydraulics that hold the roof up, similar to what you would typically see it on a hatchback.

Yes I have one deep cycle marine battery.

I like the white aerodynamic plastic tongue box ! Where can I find one? I've looked on Amazon and eBay but all that's there is the standard aluminum boxes....
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:32 PM   #27
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and by the way....

yet another thing to consider...if a 100W panel is either to big to handle easily or too big/ugly looking on your roof....you could go with two 50s...

easier to handle the "deployable" part of your system.... and smaller width/footprint during the install and/or finished product....

I run 70, flat on the roof...and have a 40 deployable, stored inside trailer because my roof is sort of difficult access...compared to yours

if I'm parked somewhere and I'm going to leave the trailer....I set up the deployable on top of the rockguard or up on the roof as in pics below
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:48 PM   #28
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panels...box...

panels are relatively light...and if you would mount them at the back end (for easier access)...the weight difference on the shocks up front would be negligible I would think

that molded box is factory (Bigfoot).....nobody makes a similar one as far as I know...not even Bigfoot anymore....it is handy alright...from the factory the single battery was in front half, prop. bottles at the back....after moving to a dual battery system mounted inside trailer that space is now occupied by all my blocks/parking gear and WHY....it's a mess in there ....but it's all out of sight
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:29 PM   #29
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occurs to me...box wise...

found a pic of yours...you've got a "blank slate" there....there's two angle iron pieces (for a battery I bet)....and NOTHING else

it occured to me you could build a "perfect" box out of 2x2s and 1/4 inch plywood....it you're not the carpenter type get it built...(use your imagination for a lid/door solution)

then fiberglass up the box and paint it white...if you don't do FG or you want it REAL professionnal looking....take the box to a boat shop and get them to do a "perfect" job of fiberglassing it

in both cases the 1/4 ply will only serve as a permanent mold (why you can get away with 1/4")

you'll end up with a bigger/ better looking/more useful unit in both cases I bet...

good luck
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:45 PM   #30
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Tongue

Here is my roof and the tongue. Thanks for the vision. I'm not a Carpenter but I could put that together and you're right any mistakes give me in with fibreglass.
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