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Everything posted by Fritz

  1. A primary limitation with electric trucks pulling heavy trailers (e.g., Olivers) is the battery weight -- it requires a large, heavy battery pack to carry enough energy to pull more than a hundred miles between charges. In contrast, it seems more manufacturers (e.g., Cummins) are looking at hydrogen fuel cells. A hydrogen-electric system packs more energy with less weight. From an environmental perspective, generating hydrogen with solar, winds, etc. is clean; generating hydrogen with fossil fuels less so. The same, though, is true with electric vehicles: generating electricity for vehicle batteries with solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear is emission-free; charging batteries with coal-fired electricity does not represent an environmental gain. I don't understand much about fuel cell technology, but I'm intrigued. Given large distances in America, and the large amount of freight being hauled (and yes, RVs and travel trailers, too), I suspect that something like fuel-cell technology will be needed to further reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Something that I'm not sure large electric trucks can provide. A Google search for "Cummins fuel cell" brings more information, e.g., https://www.airproducts.com/news-center/2021/07/0726-air-products-and-cummins-to-accelerate-development-and-deployment-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-trucks John Welte commented on Sunday, "I wrestle with the idea that hauling a trailer around is bad for the environment, but I rationalize that over the years our average mpg has gone up as we get more fuel efficient vehicles. Is that a concern that's shared by others?" I suspect that a number of us do share his concern. Yes, vehicle efficiencies have improved, but so far there is no viable technology to tow with drastically lower emissions. The only current alternative is to stay closer to home, or perhaps tow something much smaller, lighter, and/or more aerodynamic. But that would not address the need for a world-wide, systemic improvement for hauling freight, construction equipment, travel trailers, etc. I, for one, am looking forward to towing technology (e.g., fuel cells, or perhaps hybrids with bigger batteries designed for towing up mountain grades) that uses much less fossil fuel.
  2. If you do still hear the fan (or perhaps even if you don’t), you might try tripping the 300A breaker and see if the dehumidifier will still run….
  3. Not sure about this, but here are a couple thoughts. First, I think the button on the inverter remote (or the inverter itself) controls only inverting function, but not the charging function in the inverter. So, even with the batteries off the inverter may be detecting a charge current (because you're hooked up to shore power), and if so the fan might on from time to time. You can turn the inverter completely off by tripping the 300A breaker located under the pantry near the inverter, but I'm not sure if this would interfere with running your dehumidifier. If your dehumidifier works on 110V, you should be able to go into the inverter app settings and set the charger ignition control to “auto-on”. In this mode, shore power energizes the 110 outlets but would bypass the inverter, and the fan should stay off. For more info on making this setting change, see https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/6228-living-with-lithionics—some-tips-tricks-and-observations/#comment-65906. Hope this helps...
  4. The Zamp connectors are proprietary, but apparently do not have reversed polarity. From the Zamp website (https://www.zampsolar.com/pages/faq): "Is the Zamp Solar port reverse polarity? No, but they are different from other brands of solar ports because all of our SAE plugs are polarity-protected for safety reasons. That means the positive pin on all of our SAE plugs is set back and covered to prevent accidental contact that could damage your panel, short your battery, or give you a pretty nasty shock. So, because of the polarity protection on our plugs, Zamp Solar ports are only compatible with Zamp Solar SAE plugs."
  5. I think it depends on how you like to camp. Our solar package (with 340 watts of solar and 390-Ah batteries) typically produces between 100 and 120 amp-hours per day (Ah/day) in the summer, depending on exposure, shade, etc. Late fall and early winter (with sun at a low angle) we were gaining about 20-30 amp-hours. Maximum summer charge rate is about 15 amps. Of course, hourly and daily charge rates are less if there is shade. In the summer when boondocking we use about 40-50 amp hours for lights, water pump, CPAP, jacks, awning, etc., and more with abundant furnace use. A microwave (which we don't have) uses a lot of electricity; the amount of electricity it consumes depends on how long you use it and the power setting. The A/C uses about 100 amps per hour, so it works fine for rest stops but it can't be run very long with the expectation that it will charge quickly with solar. Here are typical draws (per Oliver User's Manual): When traveling, the refrigerator uses about 15 amps when switched to 12 volts (and it generally runs continuously when it is switched to 12V). Thus, even in full sun with the panels producing 15 amps, the batteries are not charging when the refrigerator is on 12V. This is why some have installed DC to DC chargers for the lithium batteries: it lets you drive down the road with the refrigerator on 12V and provide additional charging capacity for the batteries. Here are some simple scenarios to illustrate the number of days before an external charge from shore power or generator is needed. I calculated the number of days before a charge is needed based on an assumed useful capacity of 312 Ah (80% of 390 Ah, the rated non-platinum lithium battery capacity). Clearly, a 600-Ah battery set will let you boondock longer in the shoulder seasons, under shade, or with greater power demand, but perhaps the 390-Ah battery set is sufficient for your intended use. So, whether you need 390-Ah or 600-Ah batteries depends on how and where you intend to use your trailer. Good luck!
  6. I might add that if the heating pad is turned on when there is no other source of power (or no incoming charge from solar in excess of what the heating pad draws), the heating pad may draw down the batteries unnecessarily.
  7. Another reason for installing a fan would be for summertime heat reduction. I have found that static temperatures in the batteries to reach 95°F when the outdoor ambient temperatures are slightly over 100°F. A fast charge to the batteries (100 -150 amps), which I have only done a cooler temperatures, can add 25°. Although the Lithionics batteries can handle up to about 130°F, I would be cautious about a fast charge during the summer (such as after using the air conditioner on battery) without being able to cool the batteries. For that matter, just using the air conditioner with battery power heats up the batteries -- another reason to install a cooling fan. Some have insulated the battery box door to keep the batteries from getting too cold. This helps, but absent internal conditioning, the vents should remain open (IMHO) during the summer for cooling.
  8. The Lithionics batteries come with a heating pad underneath the batteries. There is a switch in the battery compartment that turns the heating pad on or off. When turned on, the heating pad comes on when the temperature falls to 35°F. It goes off when the ambient temperature reaches 45°F. This is only necessary to charge the battery, and if there is a charging source available (i.e., shore power, solar, or generator). The batteries do not need a heating pad to discharge (e.g., turn on lights, etc.), even when the temperature is below 35°F.
  9. It appears that the programmable thermostat speed controller that you used (this one, perhaps: https://www.amazon.com/TerraBloom-Programmable-Thermostat-Controller-Temperature/dp/B083W2MRK6/ref=pd_day0fbt_img_2/146-3356731-9507947?pd_rd_w=Q7AR3&pf_rd_p=bcb8482a-3db5-4b0b-9f15-b86e24acdb00&pf_rd_r=XVV5SHAE2FP5518SGFZW&pd_rd_r=e2e72b65-4f68-4988-9560-bae75e92c00e&pd_rd_wg=FyVXm&pd_rd_i=B083W2MRK6&psc=1) will handle up to 4 fans. I'm curious if there is a reason that you used two controllers for your installation (one for the basement and one for the battery compartment)?
  10. I just noticed the mouse-in-the-pantry decal in one of the photos in John Davies' original post for this thread (I was looking for the type of hole saw you guys were using). Nice touch for the Mouse Haus!
  11. Good summary, Overland. One question, though: my impression is that the 7-pin charge wire on recent trailers with a lithium package is not even connected to the battery. Is this correct?
  12. Nice work! Just to be clear: I assume that the basement fan is different from this installation, i.e., the battery fan conditions the battery box and the basement fan conditions the basement space?
  13. We opted for a high topped (but not the highest topped) A.R.E. shell. I like the extra height; it's easy to crawl into the back; taller items (e.g., bicycle, chairs, patio rug) can be transported vertically. Eventually I'll build slide out drawers that can double as a bed platform. I agree with Jim and Francis: build quality is good but not great. I really like the flip out side windows for side access.
  14. You might also want to confirm that the cabinet-instead-of-microwave option is still available; I was under the impression that 2021 was the last year for this. Also, temporarily sliding an oven away from the back wall while in use may not be an option in that the bottom the cabinet door when open is about 1/2 in above the cabinet floor, and the top of the door when open extends about 4.5" beyond the counter into the isle.
  15. The storage cabinet in a 2021 LE2 is 19.25" W, 13.0" H, and 13.5" D. You can request a hole in the roof of the cabinet that goes to a 120V outlet in the cabinet above. I agree with the other responses: you'd want to be careful with oven temperatures. We keep an instant pot in the storage compartment. On slow cook, no problem. We put the instant pot elsewhere (e.g., outside, or on the table) for pressure cook.
  16. After spending hours and hours dealing with communication errors and unsuccessfully uploading new firmware Xantrex has sent me a replacement Freedom XC Pro inverter. It looks like at least two of you have replaced the inverter. Might you have any guidance that would help in replacing this unit (and to help keep me from electrocuting myself)? Thanks!
  17. My comment about the Zamp controller in the original post in this thread is incorrect. The Zamp controller does charge the batteries up 14.4 volts. Moderators: I tried to modify the original November 4 post, but could not find the "edit" option. Could one of you please show me how to correct the error in the original post?
  18. I recently purchased the 780. As far as I can tell, it is mostly the same as the 890 except for a smaller screen. The old TomTom failed a couple years ago. This last year we used Google maps and Carplay exclusively, but were of course limited in areas of no reception. Of which there are still quite a few, especially out west. (In our experience, cell phones will work on GPS in an area without coverage if already programmed for a route; they’ll lose the map if you turn the phone off in an area of no coverage). I suspect the RV functions on the 780 will turn out to be mostly gimmicks, but I liked the higher screen resolution compared to less expensive GPSs. There’s also something to be said for comparing google and Garmin routes, especially in urban areas. I would not want a bigger unit than the 780 on our pickup’s dash. The 780 is almost too large as it is.
  19. I received the following private message, and am posting it here in case anyone else has the same question (or to give others a chance to correct my response): "Are there switches/breakers inside the trailer that I need to switch off before I remove my batteries? I would assume so - like a "main" switch similar to on a house panel that would just power everything off." I have not yet removed the batteries for the season (I'm still trying to get an inverter issue resolved). That said, I think the only thing that is necessary is to stop all major loads (e.g., unplug from shore power, turn off major uses (e.g., microwave), and perhaps turn off the solar controller (the red dial-switch located in the upper cabinet above the streetside bed). Record the SOC and voltage for warranty purposes (I take screenshots of these readings for each battery). Take a photo of the wiring array before you begin disconnecting terminals to help with reconnection in the spring. Then turn off each of the Lithionics batteries (the light-blue lit button in the far right corner of each battery). Disconnect the batteries beginning with the primary negative terminal (this is the right-front terminal with multiple, heavy-gauge wires), then disconnect all of the other wires being careful not to accidentally bridge terminals with a wrench. As a heads-up for reconnecting in the spring, I think I recall seeing a torque specification in the manual for tightening nuts on the terminals (to avoid damaging the batteries by over tightening terminal nuts).
  20. The question that I have -- and I like your idea -- is whether this configuration of return air vent (with associated length, twists, and turns) would have too great of a friction loss given the size of hose that would fit, thereby making the heater work inefficiently (or perhaps shorter life because of getting too hot). You might want to look up specs on the furnace to see what the friction-loss constraints would be for this return-air venting location and configuration. Please let us know if you do this -- I think several of us would be interested.
  21. To me, the Lithionics storage requirements are a bit ambiguous, in that the duration of extreme temperatures isn't addressed. For example, the batteries have a 130°F maximum operating range; does this mean that temperatures during storage cannot exceed ~95°F at all, or for most of the time, or? Similarly, short-term low temperature limit is -4°F, but longer term short-term limit is 14°F. So for how long can short-term storage can batteries be less than, say, 14°F -- a month, or? Here in southern Idaho temperatures can be lower than 0°F for a few days (or nights), but not generally very long. But nighttime temperatures can be less than 14°F for several weeks at a time, with daytime temps above 14°F. To be safe, I'll be removing the batteries for the winter, storing them at about 50% SOC. I haven't done so yet, because daytime temperatures here are still in the mid 50s -- and it's December! There are also relative humidity (RH) criteria for storage. I have no idea how to address these here in a relatively dry climate, especially indoors in the winter (the batteries will be stored in a heated shop/garage). Recognize that the SOC values under load (or while charging) can be substantially different than those when the batteries are at rest, at least in my experience. So, I plan on discharging for a while, stop the load, look at the resting SOC, repeat as necessary. Next, for those that haven't seen earlier Lithionics-related posts, the SOC is unreliable if the battery firmware has not been upgraded to the current version. See: Finally, note that the manual suggests that you record SOCs and voltages when storing the batteries for warranty purposes. See https://lithionicsbattery.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/12V130-G31LRBM8-Battery-User-Guide-R1.pdf.
  22. We use a foldable shower stool. Toilet does not get wet. I wipe down the shower door before getting out, and then squeegee the shower pan. Works well, at least for us. I think I prefer this approach to having a shower curtain bulked up in storage next to the toilet and towel rack, although I haven't really tried the latter.
  23. Did you by any chance look at Park-it 360 (e.g., 10,000 lb version)? I have no experience with either, but am looking at both....
  24. Something isn’t right. Your batteries should be able to put out full power up until they’re almost dead. My guess is that the low voltage cutoff on your inverter is set too high. Larry and Linda, if you picked up your trailer in May, and if you have not updated firmware for the Lithionics batteries, I'm willing to bet that your State-of-Charge values are incorrect. Here is a thread that might help...
  25. I agree -- we've been very pleased with the composting toilet. No second thoughts on that choice. Urine in the primary compartment has simply not been a problem. It did take several cycles to properly prepare the coconut coir (i.e., to get the right amount of starting moisture, which varies depending on whether we are in a dry or humid climate). And we don't seem to get the 3-4 weeks of use that some might; 7-10 days has been quite manageable (the crank gets too hard to turn for arthritic hands). But even with that, I empty on my terms (not when the blank tank is suddenly full and won't take the last flush, like in our previous camper). We don't wait in line for the campground dump station, and we don't have to drive around looking for one when boondocking.
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