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Everything posted by Spike

  1. Wow! Thanks so much for this one too, Minnesota Oli. I was a bit depressed to learn, even after upgrading to my Battle Born 400AH system, that I would not be able to run my AC on the batteries. Unless some other stumbling block gets in the way of my goal of being able to run my AC--for even a limited amount of time, without shore or generator power using my 2000-watt inverter--this seems like the perfect solution. The reduction in noise alone would seem to justify the switch to the RecPro by Houghton. Of course, the lower profile of the top of the unit, its lower demands on power, a remote control that can be used anywhere in the cabin, etc, are also advantages worth considering. Thanks again.
  2. Thanks so much, Minnesota Oli, for your detailed, illustrated description. That is exactly the spot that I wanted, and my tech and I discussed completing just about exactly the same procedures as you describe for placing the monitor in that location. Yours looks sharp and just the way I imagined it would look. Others considering this location will benefit for sure from your help. However, I finally decided on a different location, mostly due to the oft-repeated reminder that the new product is blue-tooth enabled. Also is the consideration of avoiding putting another hole in the interior fiberglass, when in the future, for example, a different monitor may be desired. I have requested my tech to place it alongside the shunt, which will be placed under the dinette seat next to the pantry. There is, he discovered, a piece of wood over the wheel well under the hatch where he will secure the shunt and the monitor, placing the monitor in such a way to make it easily visible when I lift the hatch. I instructed him to leave the long wire attached in case I want to move the monitor elsewhere in the future. If I am unhappy with this placement, I may indeed use your great illustrated description to relocate it. Thanks again.
  3. I want to follow up by letting folks know that--after contacting Dragonfly Energy, who then contacted my RV tech--my tech was able to install the four BBGC2 Battle Born batteries. He accomplished this by placing the batteries on their ends as some of you have suggested that it be done. He told me that it was "a nightmare" to do the wiring in this configuration, and I see now that there is indeed a very tight fit of batteries and wires in that slide-out compartment. Thanks to all who offered their input. My tech and I discovered a new issue, however, involving using the new 400 AH battery bank and also a newly installed EasyStart in the A/C compartment to start and run the A/C. I assumed that my new setup would do this since Oliver announces on their sales website that their new lithium "Pro" package option, with 390 AH, allows one to the run the A/C without shore or generator power. One of my main reasons for spending so much money and time on my lithium battery upgrade was to enable my battery bank to accomplish this previously impossible task. The issue, says my tech, is that my Xantrex 2000-watt inverter is not connected in a way that allows it to start the A/C. (He has tested the EasyStart and it works well on shore power.) My uneducated guess is that the new "Pro" and "Platinum" solar packages must employ a different wiring configuration involving the inverter that was not needed when the only option was to operate the A/C on shore or generator power. I have contacted the Oliver service department about this issue (submitting a "ticket"), asking for advice on what my tech can do to work around this problem. Nonetheless, since my Ollie is in the shop over the weekend, and Oliver's response may not be as speedy as I would like it to be, I would appreciate any input any of you tech-savvy owners may have. Thanks.
  4. I have hired an RV tech to install four Battle Born 12-volt lithium batteries in my 2017 Ollie Elite II. We are in a bit of a quandary about the best place to install the Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor in a way to make it easy to view and with minimal risk of damaging the fiberglass or interfering with any other components. I am wondering if someone on the forum has done this or had it done and can share that location with me, along with information about where the wiring was placed and the way in which it was run from the shunt to the monitor without damaging the fiberglass. A bonus to a clear description would be a photo of the monitor placed in the cabin. Thanks!
  5. Perhaps this is only tangentially related to the topic, but I have a question concerning upgrading to BBGC2 Battle Born batteries. Has anyone been able to install four of the 100Ah BC2s in their battery compartment? I was assured by a Dragonfly Energy (maker of the batteries) representative that four of these would fit into the slide-out compartment that held our four 6-volt AGMs that I needed to replace in our 2017 Elite II. Has anyone here actually done that, giving them 400-amp hours of power?
  6. Here is my plumbing question. We own an Oliver Elite II (Hull #222, 2017), opting for the Nature’s Head composting toilet. We are glad we did for many reasons. However, since we sometimes find that our stay in some locations (when not boondocking in a place with city water and shore power but no sewer) is limited by the capacity of our graywater tank, we wonder how practical it might be to replumb the system to divert some of the gray water into the blackwater tank, thus increasing our capacity to hold it. Has anyone done this kind of replumbing or had it done? What might it involve? If it is feasible, I would not attempt this task on my own but ask an RV repair tech to take it on.
  7. I need to replace the after-market TPMS that I have been using in my 2012 Tundra towing my Ollie II (Hull 222, 2017). A sensor went bad, and the company no longer sells them nor the same system. I have been reading that it may now be necessary--due to radio frequency problems of some sort--to include something like a "repeater" to boost the signals from the tires to the monitor. (Hard-wiring the repeater to my Ollie would be a challenge to this electrically challenged camper.) I would love to hear suggestions from any folks who are using systems that work well for them. Which product brands should I consider? (The easier to install and use the better.) Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I know that this topic has been covered in the past, but perhaps new products have been used and tested recently. Also, if hard-wiring the repeater (or whatever it is called) is necessary, how have any of you done this or have had it done by a professional?
  8. Have read and heard good things about Happy Campers. I may buy some and try an experiment comparing it to Unique. I haven't tried HC yet because it seems they don't have a liquid form, and I preferred the idea of using liquid rather than solid, especially because I liked mixing the TankTechsRx with water in a spray bottle for the composting toilet and putting a few drops in the drains to cover the drain traps when the trailer would be sitting for a while, which I will do now with the Unique product.
  9. A few years ago, I conducted a similar experiment (and posted it on the forum), comparing black and gray water tank treatments using dog poop. In that experiment, TankTechsRx came out the winner over the other product (I’m sorry, I no longer remember that other product’s name), as it did a much better job of reducing the odor. I recently encountered another treatment with very good reviews, so I bought a bottle of it—Unique RV Digest-It—to compare with my TankTechsRx. The experiment was this: I mixed a capful of each product with water to nearly fill a small glass, and then I placed five pieces of small dog food kibble in each glass and let them sit. The photo showing the glass with the brown colored liquid is the one with TankTechsRx product, which is naturally brown. Result: Within 12 hours or so, the Unique RV Digest-It had reduced the kibble to a sludge at the bottom of the glass, whereas the glass with the TankTechsRx still held solid chunks of kibble. The odor was also different, with the TankTechsRx glass smelling a bit funky, while the Unique RV Digest-It glass had a faint, but rather pleasant, almost floral, smell to it. I will be using Unique RV Digest-It from now on in my gray water tank. We have a composting toilet, so we don’t use a black water tank. However, we have been spraying a mixture of water and TankTechsRx in our composting toilet, which has seemed to help with the composting process and odor control. I will now be trying the Unique RV Digest-It in the same way, expecting good results. I would surmise from my experiment that Unique RV Digest-It would work well in a black water tank and accomplishing what it advertises: 1. BREAKS DOWN SOLID WASTE INSIDE TANKS. Liquifies human waste and all brands of toilet paper. Digests residual sludge from years of build-up. Works in black and gray tanks. 2. ELIMINATES TOILET & TANK ODORS without masking. Extra strength activated cleaners eliminate odors at their source without covering them with overpowering perfumes. 3. HELPS PREVENT SENSOR MALFUNCTION. Cleans and removes solid waste and paper before it can cling to sensor probes, preventing misreads. No, I have no association with either company. Yes, I suggest others give Digest-It a try.
  10. Thanks to all who offered advice. Most of you seem to agree that a cheap 12-volt battery, properly connected, would suffice for the short term--getting us home. Mike at Oliver, however, did not agree, saying that we would drain the battery to uselessness within an hour or so. As I wrote earlier, he told me the best temporary solution was to tape up the ends of the cables and secure them until I could get new high-grade batteries. I decided that I wanted to upgrade to the Battle Born lithiums, thinking I might find someone along the route home from whom I could purchase the batteries and who could install them with the needed components. That turned out to be a fruitless search, as those I contacted either could not get the batteries or were scheduled way into the future with other repair jobs. My solution was to order the batteries and needed components-- BBGC2 Battle Born 100Ah GC2, PD4045LICSV Progressive Dynamics Replacements 4000 Series 45 Amp Lithium Converter, and BAM030712000 Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor--from Battle Born. If their shipping promise holds true, I will receive them after we return home. I have contacted my local RV repair shop in Sierra Vista, AZ, and they assured me that they have the ability to install the batteries and components, having done so before with a couple of other rigs. The downside is that they too are swamped, and will not be able to do the work until the beginning of December. In the meantime--since we are committed to staying in Escalante, UT till Tuesday, performing in the festival here--I have made an appointment with a mechanic for Tuesday at what seems to be the only auto repair shop for many a mile, who says he will try to install that cheap battery to help us get home. (I understand that we will have to be very conservative with our power consumption on that trip, hoping that Mike from Oliver might not have had it exactly right.) Despite all of the worry, hassle, and time, I am looking forward to eventually having an upgraded solar/battery system. I received the sale price on the batteries and a reduced price on the components. Folks who said Battle Born had good customer service seem to be correct. Thanks again for everyone's help.
  11. I finally connected with Mike from Oliver, who said, after putting me on hold to research the issue, that there was no way on my trailer to cut off the power to the battery compartment. I then asked if the best thing for me to do was to just make sure all of the wire ends were covered with electrical tape. He replied, "Yes, Sir." I'm a bit concerned about his answer; it seems that there should be a way to easily cut the power to the batteries. Yes, I do have a way to test to discover whether there is electricity in the wires. Thanks. I will try that soon.
  12. Thanks, but doing that disabled lights, fans, etc. that we need--as we are connected to shore power. I WOULD like to disable shore and solar that formerly went to the batteries if possible. What switch or button might I need to turn off to do that?
  13. Thanks for the information, tips, and link, Mike and Carol. We will indeed call BB. It's good to hear from you now that we are back on the road after a too-long hiatus. Yours was the first Ollie that we got to touch and see in person. Yes, let us know when you get down to our corner of AZ.
  14. Thanks, Mossemi. I have tried to attach a photo of the octopus wiring in the battery compartment. I've also attached photos of what might be relevant control panels. My camping friend did not enter our Ollie. I Is the button or switch in the attic marked "12 V DC" what needs to be shut off? If so, is it a button that needs pushing or s switch that needs moving? IMG_2477.HEIC IMG_2476.HEIC IMG_2478.HEIC IMG_2479.HEIC
  15. CALLING ON THE EXPERTISE OF TECH-SAVY OLLIE OWNERS Our about-five-years-old Trojan batteries failed us last night in an alarming way. My wife, Liz, noticed an electrical odor and then heat radiating from the battery compartment under the pantry. I checked the Zamp solar controller. No error message was displayed, and all else—voltage, amp hours, amps being use—looked normal. Upon sliding out the battery tray, we noticed one of the batteries was oozing fluid and the top was distorted with something like a bubble. That battery was very hot, and the others also more than warm. I have very little knowledge of batteries and electrical systems in general, so I was very fortunate to have met, a couple of hours earlier, a fellow camper who had described building his own solar system on his own home-built travel trailer. With his help and an alarming warning that a battery this hot could explode, we disconnected all four AGM batteries, removed them from the tray, and sealed all exposed wire connections well with electrical tape. We are now on shore power at an RV park in Escalante, UT. (We are here to perform at the festival this Friday.) It is now Sunday, and the one auto-parts dealer/auto-mechanic shop in town is closed. My fellow camper suggested that—with assistance of someone from this shop—we might be able to temporarily install an inexpensive 12-volt battery to suffice for the couple of boondocking stops we had planned to make before returning home in Southern AZ. He also recommended eventually replacing the blown AGMs with Battle Born lithium batteries, which I think I would like to do. I sure would appreciate any advice and answers to these questions that occur to me now: 1. If the local auto-parts dealer/auto-mechanic shop has a 12-volt battery that could suffice before I find someone to sell me and install the lithium batteries, would that temporary fix work with my solar-electrical set-up? If so, what things do I need to consider when dealing with the mechanic who may be able to help? (The octopus of wiring after the disconnect baffles me, but perhaps a good mechanic familiar with 12-volt-solar-converter set-ups like mine would be able to install the battery efficiently and safely until I get to a larger metropolitan center where I could have the lithium batteries installed. We plan to be in Flagstaff soon.) 2. When I DO find an outfit—I hope in Flagstaff—that could sell me the lithium batteries and install them, what things do I need to consider? Will my current equipment suffice to handle the new lithium batteries, or will other things need to be changed, like the solar controller, the inverter, etc.? All suggestions concerning this lithium battery replacement of my AGMs will be appreciated. Here is the list of components in our 2017 Oliver Elite II that I hope will help those who may be able to offer suggestions and answer any of my questions: 1. Four Trojan T-105 6v AGM batteries 2. Zamp solar Package 3. Progressive Dynamics converter 4. Xantrex 2000W inverter I thank all respondents in advance for any suggestions offered. I have previously received great advice on this forum and hope to receive some now. (Our Ollie had been, before this trip, more or less stationary for almost two years.) Also, please, if you can, avoid technical terms that a non-tech-savvy guy like me will not understand—or please define such terms. Thanks!
  16. We have the composting toilet and use the same method as Overland and the same adapters--garden hose, etc. We also discovered that we can open the gray-water valve just enough that we can close the basement door when hooked up to a sewer drain. (I understand the need to flush last with gray water if one does not have the composting toilet.)
  17. I can say that when I was researching trailers and when I first saw and understood the construction of the Ollie's steps is when I fully realized how superior this trailer is to the others.
  18. Raspy, I'm not sure that you got my reply to your other post in which I let you know that the problem with the inverter had been resolved. (See my posts above.) I am happy to report that we are now in Flagstaff, and the inverter has been working. Thanks.
  19. No, I leave them on. It was a bit of a hassle attaching them with the provided springs. I sure would not like to have to remove and replace them at every camp site. Here is a link to the other screen for the louvered vents.
  20. This organizer has worked for us, along with this cover that fits our grey, black, and white color scheme of our Ollie, along with using this dialectic grease inside the seven-pin connector.
  21. Here are the answers to your questions bhncb: 1. I flipped that jumper when I was attempting to attach the the inverter cable on the same post with the solar charge cable and 12v main, thinking that it might give me more room. It didn't. I gave up trying to get it on that post, came in the house, and saw the diagram that mossemi had sent. I'm thinking that, now that it works as is, I'll let it be. (Sharp eye for noticing though.) 2. Yes, the cable had no problem reaching that middle battery terminal, and the tray slides open all the way. I earlier mentioned that I could not pull it out to reach one of the OUTSIDE battery terminals, which someone earlier seemed to suggest I do. The mystery remains about why that cable was not attached with the inverter working for two years previous to it malfunctioning. It sure was a hassle diagnosing and solving the problem, but I'm glad that the inverter is intact, and I agree with Mike: "Issues like this result in better knowledge and greater confidence. It also helps to have so many smart folks willing to jump in and help." Thanks!
  22. Camco screen for water heater vent.
  23. Here you go. I think that I failed to understand that you were talking about the same screw post that mossemi revealed in the diagram he shared. Please critique. Thanks for your help and patience. All seems to be working. So glad I didn't have to deal with a fried inverter. Still puzzled by the loose cable.
  24. THANKS! I just about ready to correct my post of "SUCCESS!" because I could not get the inverter lug on that post with the other two lugs attached. Thanks to you, I will now try putting it on the post indicated by the Oliver diagram. I AM a bit concerned, nonetheless, because a yellow sticker on the battery informs me that the screw posts are NOT to be used except for low-current applications. I supposed that powering an inverter might not be a low-current application, but was then puzzled why the lug was obviously set up to be attached in that manner. I will now suppose that powering the inverter via the screw post is OK. I am going back outside now to attach it to the post indicated by the diagram. Thanks again.
  25. SUCCESS! I took the chance and leaned the cable lug up against that positive post of the inner rear battery (no explosion or fire!) and then tried turning on the inverter from the remote switch--and VOILA! I sure am glad that the problem was not due to a fried inverter. I will now work to firmly attach that previously mystery cable to the post. The mystery remains, however. How did it come loose? As you pointed out, there are indications it was once attached to something, but as I mentioned, I have had no work done in there, and I certainly did not mess with it. Perhaps it had been attached and detached at the factory for some reason. Perhaps it had been touching the post somehow for two years, allowing the connection to be made, and then flopped off during travel. I can see some silver lining in two days of hassle over this issue: 1. I learned more about the functioning of my Ollie, as I have every time I have had to deal with some issue. 2. I, once more, gained appreciation of the help Oliver owners are willing to offer their fellow owners. Thanks, bhncb, and everyone else who offered their insights and suggestions!
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