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NCeagle

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Everything posted by NCeagle

  1. I suspect John has hit the nail on the head with the Charger current being set at 150 amps when the 1600 W the generator is running at is only able to support 133.33 amps (at 12V) theoretically. Given losses, I would predict that you can still use the 1600 Watts at 120V (13 amps) to charge your batteries at 100 amps (12V) without issue. I charge my pair of 200ah lithiums all the time at 40 amps (12V) because I have the time and I can - that fills my batteries at about 10% per hour. I'm not positive what John means by stating 13 amps (at 120 Volts) is marginal for lithium - I guess it's marginal if you only have a limited amount of time and 100 amps per hour is going to take too long - otherwise from my understanding you can charge lithium as slowly as you want - in fact, it's better for the ions / longevity if you charge at a lower amperage.
  2. @2008RN, the smart bilge fan I used is 120V. I just tapped into the 120V wire feeding the outlet under the forward dinette seat. I know the heating tape works very well while on the road although as I stated in another post recently, I don't consider myself an expert just yet as I still haven't towed in severe cold - only 25F for relatively short distances. I'm not sure about the truma as I have the standard water heater. I just make sure the water is hot before taking off on a cold drive. I also haven't had any problems driving with propane running the furnace, refrigerator and hot water heater.
  3. We have used our Houghton extensively this summer in the hot NC climate as well as on several camping trips. First, I run our Houghton off of the Lithium batteries (as Minnesota Oli mentioned above) all the time. I also run it off of a small 2400W generator with no issues - and no Soft Start. I have very little experience with the original Demonic AC that came with the Ollie because after trying unsuccessfully to run the AC and sleep (or think or talk for that matter), the Houghton was virtually my first (and in hindsight still the best) upgrade / mod. I talked to Houghton a while back about the cycling and they said it is working as designed (4 minute cycles when close to the set temp). I have the proprietary formula they use and they asked me not to share it publicly, but if anyone wants it PM me and I'll find it. I typically put the AC on 60F and it cools quicker without the cycling. Then when it's close to the temp I want I back it off and let it maintain with the cycles. The dehumidifier works amazingly well too. Actually, both the AC or the dehumidifier set low (like 60F) take out tons of water very quickly. Water does run off of the roof with the Houghton, so I just used some EZ gutters to divert the water to the back - rather than running down the sides and/or and getting into the window tracks, etc. It has a heat pump that I haven't used yet, and I'll likely stick with the gas furnace for heat and only use the Houghton heat as a backup. So far I give the Houghton a 10 out of 10 when compared to the competition.
  4. Yes, I am the culprit who accidently discovered the alternative use for switch #26. I discovered it when I read another thread about a new owner (can't remember who) was having trouble with his Xantrex charger not working shortly after delivery. Working with OTT Service, the problem ended up being that switch #26 was set to "auto on" rather than "off" and it was preventing the charger from charging the batteries since it was looking for an ignition signal (and would never get one from the Ollie obviously). I was honestly less than 24 hours from cutting a hole under the pantry to get easier access to that cutoff switch before the lightbulb went off that I could use that same software switch that caused the problem for the other owner. 🙂 A DC to DC charger won't change anything if it's an "independent" charger that doesn't go through or depend on the Xantrex in any way. There may be a slick way of hooking the TV ignition or DC to DC charger up so that it leverages the Xantrex - and then switch #26 could actually be used as intended. Cheers! John
  5. Hi Donna and Scott, unless you have made some modifications to your heating capabilities in the basement (specifically, getting some ducted heat to the areas at risk of freezing) and are willing to run your furnace while driving (at least while driving in below freezing temps), I'd suggest just winterizing your water lines with antifreeze. I did a little bit of successful towing in freezing temps this winter with water in the lines and my heat running, but nothing below 25F, so I really can't say for certain what the limits are even for my modified trailer. I also have a self-regulating heat strip on the city and fresh water check valves as many owners find those valves are prone to freezing and cracking and getting ducted warm air to those valves is not easy. Btw, I don't consider myself an expert in this area yet as I don't have any experience towing / camping in extreme cold - what I did have was lots of posts about what other owners have done to help get it ready for a 5th season - and I made modifications based on those posts. So far so good. Let us know if / what you try and your results - I know there are several owners who ski and are very interested in camping/skiing with an Ollie - including me! Best, John
  6. Hi @SeaDawg, yes it's a 100 Watt Obsidian Zamp panel that I added to the pair of 170 Watt ones that came with the trailer. That's all I could add for now without any upgrades to the Zamp controller (30 Amp). It fit great. 🙂 Here's a few more pictures of the panel fit and install: Prior to bolting and taping the panel on, I made sure it fit well: Then I bolted the trailing edge to the existing solar panel mounts and used VHB 3M tape on 4 additional mounts on the front edge. Probably overkill on the front - it hasn't budged over several thousand miles.
  7. Hi @Stranded, here are some pictures of how the 2020 panels are connected. First, there is a solid 90 degree angle bar on both the front and back of the panels connecting them together: Second, there are 4 bolts that go through the sides of the panel where they are butted up together (4 bolts total). I've included two pictures that show both sides. You can also see the underside of the angle bar in one of the pictures: All in all, pretty much bolted such that they are a single unit - which makes sense given that they are mounted as if they were a single panel. Hope this helps... I can take more pictures or measurements if you need. Best, John
  8. Our 2020 Oliver had a detector with a born on date of 2015, and it was giving numerous false alarms, so I opened a ticket and Jason sent me a new one that had a born on date of 2018, which he said is more in line with what it should be. So far so good with the new one.
  9. I think you are right to go with a 2" rise in your scenario. You want to be at 23.5" to the top of the receiver ball when loaded, so with your test you are at ~22" with 550 lbs of tongue weight. Better to be 1/2" higher in my opinion since 550 will be on the low end after you load your Ollie II. Most clock in around 600 lbs of tongue weight when loaded with camping gear according to lots of other threads. I was a bit low fully loaded, so rather than buy a hitch with more rise, I bought and installed a pair of these on my Silverado 2500: Air Lift 89275 Load Lifter 5000 Ultimate Plus. They allow me to level the truck and Ollie regardless of my tongue weight or TV load. Cheers, John
  10. Well, it's more than a few, so a large enough minority to just "write it off" IMHO. It's pretty tough to survive in business just keeping the vague "majority" happy, especially these days. One of the things I've learned reading this forum for well over a year now is that Oliver does pay attention to the owners. If there are a handful of owners seeing excessive fiberglass dust in their new trailer, then maybe the Oliver team will want to address it. It's not a tough thing to address unless you are unaware. 😉 I don't think any of the owners have said it's a problem per se, just a little bit of a bummer having to spend time cleaning up the dust right out of the showroom. I was one of the 2020 owners that had a lot of fiberglass dust in my Oliver when it was delivered, but I saw the dust along with some other minor things when we took delivery that I made a decision then and there to address myself rather than point them out and wait longer. Covid certainly played a huge role in that decision. When we picked up in mid-November, 2020, it was a ghost town in the Oliver sales office. It was even mentioned to us at the time that some of the Oliver staff were out sick with Covid and they were short handed. I know Covid was creating a lot of different challenges for every company out there. I think Oliver does an amazing job with the overall construction of the Ollie and didn't miss a beat in 2020 with regard to that. I get the sense from my own experience and what I've read in the forums that the attention to detail may have slipped a bit here and there in 2020. Again, it takes awareness before you can take action, so I'd bet Oliver would be happy to hear about easy things to fix like these.
  11. Hmmm? Did you even bother to read the rest of the post? Many of us that took delivery in 2020 had lots of fiberglass dust.
  12. GAP, curious whether the Xantrex techs that said it wasn't suggested gave any reasons (I'm assuming they know it works). The one's that said it doesn't work should actually get some hands on experience with the devices as opposed to thinking they understand everything just from manuals - IMHO of course! 😉 I've used this software switch (off is really on wrt the charger btw) literally dozens of times since I discovered it and it works every time without throwing any error codes. If I trip the breaker like I used to, I get the infamous Xantrex [20] lost communication error code - per design if you throw the breaker rather than a bug. So, I respectfully disagree with the Xantrex tech(s) that said it doesn't work. I think if it's bad for anything it's not the batteries - so I'd much rather replace the cheap Inverter than the Lithiums. I also appreciate the savings I'm getting avoiding rotator cuff surgery if I had to continuously reach under the bed for that breaker like I used to. 🙂
  13. @georgelewisray, there are two ignition control switches on the inverter. Switch #1 is for the entire inverter and switch #26 is for the charger portion only. So I don't mess with switch #1 and the inverter is always working. When I turn switch #26 to "auto on" the charger will be DISABLED (since there is no ignition circuit connected on the Ollie) and when I turn switch #26 to "off" the charger will be ENABLED. You will see this on the remote - when #26 is set to "off" the remote says it's charging the battery (e.g., "BLK" for bulk charging) and when #26 is set to "auto on" the remote says "NO" for the battery.
  14. Elite II #688 also has the Lithium package with the Xantrex XC Pro 3000. I also use #24 (Charger Current) and #28 (AC Breaker for Load Share) occasionally to match and manage power better as described above. However, setting #26 is the best thing since sliced bread! I use #26 (Charger Ignition Control) to manage my Lithium charging the most (by far). Since there is no ignition control in a travel trailer, this switch can be used to turn the charger "off" and "on" via the software while you are using the inverter functions. When we are on shore power I don't want the batteries always topped off at 100% (not good for Lithium longevity), so I turn the charger off by toggling #26 to prevent the charger from holding them at 100%. This switch is an arm-saver since you don't have to manually reach under the street side bed and trip (or reset) the breaker between the inverter and battery.
  15. Hi trekhard, I'd never consider reuse of the grey water in that manner. I simply keep the grey water in the black tank until the whole trailer is at the dump station and then you can open both valves (grey and black) to empty everything. Putting 15 gallons of grey water in the black tank gives us about 2 extra days without having to empty the tanks (which is a lot of work if your in the middle of your stay). Hope this makes sense.
  16. The black tank is only a 15 gallon tank. I opened a ticket and was told it's a "misprint" in the manual. Maybe the older Ollies have an 18 gallon tank, but I doubt it based on the response I got. I have been using the 15 gallon black tank as a temporary storage for grey water. It's a manual process of pumping 15 gallons of grey water from the outlet in the back using a pump to push the water into the black tank with the flush port. It's working great so far and has saved us from having to carry around one of those "totes" on wheels I see other campers towing / dragging to the dump stations. There's a post about my solution somewhere on this forum. Sometimes I can't even use search to find my own posts though. 😉
  17. IL_Travelers, several owners have replaced the Dometic with a RecPro Houghton unit. There's a pretty nice thread with a lot of information in it on the model numbers, noise levels, etc.: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/search/?q=earplugs&quick=1 We have a Houghton and it's very quiet. Haven't used it a ton yet, but so far so good.
  18. There is a fuse (30 amp I believe) inline between the Zamp controller/charger and the batteries (John Davie's diagram above shows them). When we picked up our brand new Ollie last November, we had NO fuse in the holder, so the Zamp was lit up and appeared to be working, but the missing fuse prevented it from actually charging the batteries. I put a fuse in and everything worked fine. From reading this thread, I'm not sure if anyone has checked that fuse? It's worth a check if you haven't.
  19. Owners have now gotten various answers from various employees on why Oliver won't share electrical diagrams any longer. From there are none (right!) to not sharing a super competitive design (right!) to a liability issue (right!). The real liability is in the fact that every time an owner of a 2020+ trailer has an electrical problem, add 1-2 hours of discovery work (more $$$) and/or risk (more $$$) to the labor tab due to lack of information. Oliver has set a precedent and provided electrical diagrams for all models until they magically disappear in 2020, so I think they need to provide recent owners with a valid, consistent reason or they may really be putting themselves at risk. P.S. I might not be as adamant about this topic if Oliver had at least provided some basic information in the non-existent electrical section of the owners manual or if they had bothered to label any wires or make sure things worked electrically before delivery. I had several electrical problems right out of the gate that took longer than they should have to troubleshoot due to the lack of a diagram / information. My examples of "need to know" would include which circuits have cutoff relays, which circuits have in-line fuses, which circuits have neither, which components are connected to DC only and which are connected to both DC and the inverter, and which circuits are not completed (e.g., the charge wire from the TV is NOT connected if the Lithium package is purchased).
  20. Your Oliver's brakes must work better than mine. I know mine don't work as well as I'm used to because when I slide the manual knob on my brake controller over to max, the brakes barely grab and slow me down. I've had horse trailers whose brakes could easily make the trailer tires skid if desired. Anyway, I also tow with a heavier 2500, so I agree the brakes don't have to work that hard in the Oliver. But.... with wet or slick roads, having good brakes on the trailer would sure make me feel better. 🙂
  21. I do feel like the current drum brakes on the Oliver's are useless - at least the ones on mine are (relying on them is dangerous), so this mod would be compelling to me. It's too bad that it takes a smaller wheel to upgrade the brakes because I like the look of the current tire/wheel combination on the Ollie's. I think small wheels on a tandem trailer look cheap. I suppose you could still get "bigger" LT tires with the 15" rims and it wouldn't be that noticeable. Thanks for bringing this to light JD, I didn't realize this design boxed us in so much. 😞
  22. Hey jordanv, I'd say you definitely have a leak (or three) somewhere downstream of your pump. Did you experience a deep freeze or a pressure spike in your water source? From your pictures of where the water is leaking (more like pouring) out, it looks like it's coming from the front portion - around the bathroom. You may have to remove the shower caddy from the vanity to have a look at that plumbing. There are weep holes all around the Ollie so wherever the water's coming out will help you narrow it down (assuming your Ollie is fairly level). The blue tube is the fresh water drain so that's not likely a problem. The other weep hole looks like it's in the back and only a drip, so perhaps some water getting back there from the "main" leak? I know you should disconnect your battery (trip the main breaker) and if you don't see an obvious break in the plumbing somewhere, you can use compressed air to locate the "hiss" without actually doing any damage with more water. Best of luck and keep us posted. I have had a few plumbing leaks crop up here and there after 3K+ miles on our Ollie - but plumbing is plumbing and it all eventually leaks. 🙂
  23. I called RecPro technical support with questions about the dehumidifier and how it functions. I sent them a graph that showed the humidity going up (or holding steady) rather than down when I used the dehumidify function. The response was that I likely had the temp set on the unit too close to the room temp. The owners manual says to set the thermostat 1 degree colder than the room temp, so I did (in Fahrenheit) - turns out it's 1 degree C and not 1 degree F. 🙂 So the recommendation was to set the thermostat AT LEAST 5 degrees F cooler than the room for the dehumidifier to operate as it should. When I followed these recommendations, I did see condensation falling off of the roof finally! Haven't had a chance to measure the humidity drop, but water is a sure sign things are working better.
  24. Excellent craftsmanship as always JD! I really like the location you chose as compared to OTT - they are putting the master cutoff under the street side bed. I have never personally used the master cutoff (I'm sure I will someday). Do you plan on putting a cutoff between your charger and the batteries as well? OTT also puts that cutoff switch under the street side bed and I used the cutoff at least 2-3 times a week. I was seriously considering moving that cutoff to somewhere more accessible until I figured out how to turn the charger off with software. If I'm ever forced to move that switch, I'd pick under the dinette as well.
  25. Hi John, the Bluetooth app doesn't offer anything special over the remote itself except that it's less button pushing and scrolling to use the Bluetooth app for configuring the Xantrex - so it's more of a convenience in my mind. In fact, you have to be right next to the remote and push a button for a few seconds to connect the Bluetooth every time anyhow - no automatic reconnecting, no remote monitoring/notification capabilities, etc. A working remote on the other hand is important because it reduces the amount of times you have to dig under the bed, etc. to get physical access to the inverter. This is especially true with Lithium batteries because it is nice to be able to turn off the charger part of the inverter without digging under the bed. So, my thoughts on the Bluetooth value... I doubt it's worth a couple hundred dollars for convenience. If it improves and offers remote monitoring, notification, programmability.... then I'd think the value would be there.
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