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Everything posted by DavePhelps

  1. Oh yes, I almost forgot. For future reference, the AM Solar 200 amp/hr Lithium Batteries will also, as it turns out, fit into the Elite. http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/page_32 ... ttery.html They assured me that the battery would work with the Elite's 9" of headroom. This appears to be an awesome battery platform for solar application, but they are extremely expensive at this time. But for a fulltimer....it may be worth it. Dave
  2. Thanks for the reply Pete, it's much appreciated. After the shock wore off about the T-105's not fitting I got to work re-researching batteries. Then, save the day, I remembered an article that Chris and Cherie (aka the folks) wrote. This was a detailed listing on how they outfitted their Oliver Elite for solar, here's the link: http://www.technomadia.com/2010/04/tech ... solar-faq/ They also ended up with a Lifeline battery, only theirs is a 6volt AGM type (Lifeline GPL-4C 6Volt AGM). Their install was apparently known as the "Technomadia Solar Package" back when the Elites were still being produced. Why Oliver never brought this up to me for my current build I haven't a clue. But I'll be finding out tomorrow when I talk to Anita. Could be that the newer folks there never heard of it ..... In any case, I'm hoping that I can finally close the book on the solar option, the last loose end on my build sheet, and shift my attentions to other endeavors, like trip planning!! Say, how is it having the panel on your roof?? Ever wish you could move it around so you could park in the shade but have your panel in the sun? It has been suggested that ultimately, it is very convenient to have one or two on the roof, and then maybe later add some remote panels if needed. I was originally thinking of remote panels only, but am now reconsidering this idea. Thanks again for your input Pete. And a BIG thank you to Chris and Cherie for all your help too. I'll be making a donation to the cause shortly! Dave
  3. We have put our deposit down on the smaller Legacy Elite. I did a lot of research on this forum and others before we settled on the Elite. Going solar is an important part of our setup as we will be boondocking most all of the time. The issue I am now faced with is that after assuming that a pair of the Trojan T-105's would fit in the Elite, I now find out that they will not (from Robert Partee). This assumption was based on folks on this forum who said that they had installed them in their Elites. So I am wondering what's up? I would like to hear from anyone who has the T105's in their Elite, and find out if you had to do any mods to fit them in. Other than that, with the Oliver quoted 9" of battery box height, this is severely limiting for decent quality deep cycle batteries suitable for solar applications. We are very excited about the trailer, but this seems like a pretty serious design flub. I can't even squeeze in a Lithium battery with that height spec. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Yes, I am just a bit flustered over this!! Hoping to come up with some kind of solution. Thanks, Dave
  4. Trumpetguy, I am also new to the solar game and have been trying to learn as much as I can from various sources, in anticipation of my new trailer. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet, from installers, and from some manufacturers. But I have come to realize that HandyBob is one of the more believable and trusted sources out there. I would reread his "The RV Battery Charging Puzzle" because I believe the answer to your problem is in there. First, I don't get what Blue Sky told you that your 320 watts of solar panels don't produce enough voltage to equalize your batteries. I don't know what panels Oliver uses, but the 160 watt panels offered by AM Solar are rated at 18.5 volts and 8.65 amps output per panel, in ideal situations. Wired in parallel, that's 18.5 volts and ~17 amps output. Figure some voltage drop from panel heating and wire resistance loss (although I believe Oliver uses 6 gauge in the harness from panel to charge controller so not much loss there), and you still should have about 16.5 volts at the charge controller. That is plenty of voltage to equalize your batteries. Have you tested panel output at the charge controller? Am I missing something here? It sounds like the charging profiles on the Blue Sky controller do not accommodate the equalizing requirements of your Trojans. Or there is some other voltage loss going on that needs to be corrected. But it is not your panels! Get a digital volt/ohmmeter and do some testing. If the Blue sky controller is the problem, then I would go with the Trimetric SC2030 controller and the TM2030 meter combination. That's what is going in my rig. HandyBob did a great recent write-up on the pair. I hope my info is all correct, as I said, I'm still learning. Hopefully someone with more experience can verify or correct what I said. Good luck though. Get that meter and do some testing. Best, Dave
  5. Pete, all those things you mention about the Casita really make sense to me. One of the many reasons I love the design of the Oliver is that there are no bulkheads or bathrooms stuck in the middle of the trailer which create a strong visual and physical block, making everything seem smaller. Sitting at a dinette with a bathroom wall crammed right next to you is not so cozy. I've been in much larger trailers where this has been a real deal killer for me. Everyone is different but for me the design of the Oliver is tops. Plus that little sprinkle of that Pixie dust doesn't hurt either! Dave
  6. Thanks Sherry for the encouraging post. That kind of experience is what I have been looking to hear about. The bed size/configuration, while maybe a bit tight, will be fine for us as I rarely need to get up in the middle of the night, so my wife can take the outside spot. I love the compactness of it all really. Kind of like being in a boat more than a trailer. And of course, the darn thing is built like a boat as well (well, maybe yacht is a better word...!) Love the details and the quality and thoroughness of construction. Just patiently waiting for updates and pictures from Oliver. Hopefully, they will be updating their website soon. Thanks again. trumpetguy, I've been looking to find a local Casita to check out (for size comparison). But I must say I'm feeling better about the smaller Oliver. In the end, the factory tour will make the decision for us. Thanks for your input. Dave
  7. ....after touring the factory there was only one outcome. LOL. I know, how could there be any other?
  8. Pam, I live in Portland, OR. Others have mentioned that they didn't feel too much of a difference in the space. I am beginning to think that one must instinctively adjust to the space that they are in. At 5'-10", I'll have 3" of clearance, probably less in the Bathroom. I think in the end that a factory tour will be necessary unless one of the Elites makes to Oregon somewhere. Very glad to know that yours is working well for you! Bugeyedriver, I've been watching the FGRV forum for info on the Olivers and FG trailer life in general. I have always enjoyed Norm and Ginny's posts over there and I'm very glad you brought them up because as I recall, Norm is a pretty tall fellow, over 6' if I'm not mistaken. So that they could spend as much time as they do in a small trailer and be comfortable is good for me to remember. We're coming from tent camping so we're used to small, and want to keep it small with our trailer. Like you say it's a mindset. The more I think about it, the more apparent a Factory tour is in the cards for us. Thanks for the thoughts! Dave
  9. I have been waiting for news on the 18.5' Legacy Elite, but nothing yet on the website. AFAIK, they are in production but I have not been able to find any pictures or hear comments from owners. My wife and I recently looked at a LE2 (thank you Dave G.), we it, but thought it would be a little too large (long) for us, although the interior width and the height were perfect. Early on when the folks at Oliver were planning the smaller Elite's comeback, there was talk of increasing its width and the height to match the Legacy Elite 2. Had this come to pass, I would have money down on this trailer as we speak. As it is, I am a little concerned that the 5" less headroom (6'1") and 5" less width (extrapolated from exterior dimensions) will be a little tight. If there is anyone out there who has been in both trailers who has any insights on how the feel of the two spaces compare, it would be much appreciated. A dedicated trip to the factory would be a great way to compare the two, but it is an expense I would rather put towards buying the actual trailer. So far, there are no owners of the 18.5 Elite out West as far as I can tell. I'm 5'10" tall, and 150 lbs. We are very excited about the Olivers, having looked at many different models out there. They truly stand apart as a well thought out and constructed trailer. We're hoping that the smaller Elite will still be comfortable given its reduced width and height. Thanks. Dave
  10. Do you folks notice much battery draw when deploying the jacks? Seems like they could be big energy users but I'm just guessing. Either way they're a great idea. Dave
  11. This is a great mod. Has anyone notified the Oliver team about it so that it could be included into the standard wiring schedule? The higher water pressure would be a great convenience, especially for speed of filling the water tank in areas with no direct hookups. The pump motor should last much longer as well if operating at the correct voltage. Thanks for sharing. Dave
  12. Stan, if you come to any conclusions about this, please let us know. Like you, I am also wading through all the Solar Design questions for when we order our Oliver. Handy Bob has some pretty convincing arguments for the T-105's. So far, I value his opinions more than anyone else I have read on the web. But I am by no means an expert on this subject. Good luck in any case with your quest for the best design for you. Dave
  13. Thanks blodn2, you are right about checking out a rally to get a feel for the different sizes. Of course I'm sure I would love the 23 and it's extra room. The questions I have about size are being able to (or not) park the trailer in the smaller campsites in the out of the way places we like to go. Seeing the 23 will be a great help and I hope to accomplish that in the next few weeks or so. I just wish Oliver was also getting the 17 on line a little faster, but I know they've had their hands full and are doing a great job. So I'll just have to be patient! Thanks again to everyone for their responses. Dave
  14. Thanks for the replies everyone. It's hard to forecast what my needs are as far as trailer size having never owned one. I do know I would like to keep it on the small size. But after just coming home from Yellowstone Park and seeing some of the rigs out there, the 23 footer seems pretty small!! Sherry and Paul, I assume you folks are in the 17'? This rig seems like it would be easier to get around in some of the smaller, more primitive sites, but maybe that 6' extra in the 23 wouldn't make all that much difference... Everywhere I go now I'm looking at various sites figuring how I could get a trailer in there! Mountainborn, I've been following and appreciating your blog. That was quite a trip you and your wife had there. I bet that seat in your fishing boat feels pretty darn good about now! Didn't you folks used to have a 17? Do you miss anything about it? Or has the 23 just won you over? Soon I hope to arrange a visit with some new owners who just got a 23. That will go a long way to help me figure things out. To get a feel for the 17, I suppose I could track down a local Casita as the overall size and floorplan is the same. Thanks again! Dave
  15. Hello everyone, I have been looking hard at fiberglass trailers for over a year now and have very favorable impressions of the Olivers and their incredible attention to detail. I have a question to those of you that started out with the 17' and have decided to move up to the 23'. I have not seen either yet, though hope to see a 23' soon. This will be our first trailer. Our camping style is rustic and we will be boondocking most all of the time. I'm used to seeing other 17's like the Casita around, and they seem to fit well into almost any space. So I'm wondering for those of you that have sized up if you've noticed any drawbacks to finding places to park your rig. 6' is quite a bit of extra length. Towing either size for me is no problem. Any thoughts anyone might have regarding their experiences with these two sizes good and bad would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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