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Posts posted by NCeagle

  1. Here's the humidity from outside and inside the Ollie during the same time period.  It seems with no one inside and the furnace running (no vents or windows open), the humidity is largely stable and independent of the outside humidity.  Sort of interesting - the furnace must not be adding a lot of moisture - not sure how it works.  I have the 2020 Dometic furnace.


    In the 6 weeks of ownership, I've only seen high humidity in the trailer when it is pretty warm outside (no furnace running) and raining or foggy (nearly 100%) outside.  I've had humidity levels near 70% inside then, but the only condensation I saw was on the rear windows.  I ran a dehumidifier, but the "smaller" one I have is basically useless.  A real dehumidifier (for a small basement) works but seems like overkill as it keeps the humidity down by running all the time and not collecting much if any water.  I'm still searching for a good dehumidifier to use for semi-storage and traveling.

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  2. 56 minutes ago, Overland said:

    I'm just curious how quickly the hull temps would fall.  We do sleep without heat most nights, but in freezing temps, we'll typically keep the heat on, but at a very low temp - 50° or so - perhaps that's a more useful test.  I know some other owners that do the same.  

    A test with an electric space heater would also be interesting to see, since there'd be no air circulation in the hull.  Quite a few owners carry a space heater to use when plugged in.  

    Ah ok, those are easy tests.  It's going to be 26 tonight here, so that's a reasonable temp for the space heater test.  I'll turn on just an electric space heater (1500 watt) to keep the cabin in the low 60s or so.  If any of my sensors send me a text that it's approaching 32 somewhere in the basement during the night, I'll call off the test and turn on the furnace.  🙂


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  3. 46 minutes ago, Overland said:

    Great info, John - thanks for sharing.  I think the only thing that surprises me is the outdoor shower, since I'd have thought that area would be colder than the basement if anything.  

    I think the one important area that you're missing is the space underneath the closet.  If you could get a sensor in there somehow, it would tell you how well the furnace ducting is working to protect the plumbing that feeds the bath.  

    I'd be curious to see what the temps do without the heat going at night.

    It seems unintuitive that it would cool off while the other areas are warming, but the rear curb temps are going to be largely dependent on whether the furnace is running or not, so it does make sense.  I'm actually surprised that the temps there aren't higher than the cabin, but I guess that depends on exactly where the sensor was placed.  To a lesser extent, the bath vanity would be the same.  

    Overland, for the outdoor shower area, I knew from reading the forum that area was very susceptible to freezing, so I put an extra large hole in the duct I have on that side - and it's pointed right at that plumbing.  That really helped bring that whole area up about 7 degrees from "stock".  I may try to get a sensor under the closet from the bathroom vanity access.  I'm not sure if I can - do you know of any "easy" way?  maybe a small access port in the floor?

    I'm wondering what you mean by what the temps would do without heat?  Do you mean without the furnace and maybe just an electric heater running in the cabin?  Without any heat, the temps everywhere would approach the outside temps.  Some areas would be faster than others for sure depending on where you start.  Let me know what your interested in here and I'm happy to run some additional tests.  We have temps in the mid-upper 30's here for a while now so I could easily do some testing without heat or with different heat sources.

    • Like 1
  4. 4 hours ago, mjrendon said:

    Thank you for sharing.  I really enjoy data like these.

    What system was used to collect these data (logger and sensors)?

    Any thoughts on why the temp dropped on the rear curb at 2pm-4pm on the 26th?

    Are you planning any further modifications based on these results?


    Hi Mike, I used SensorPush Wireless Thermometer/Hygrometer for iPhone/Android - Humidity & Temperature Smart Sensor with Alerts. Developed and Supported in The USA and then put the hourly averages into Excel.  I put hourly averages into a spreadsheet manually, but there is a way to download that I just looked up - what a dummy I am - I could have saved a ton of time!

    The curb temp dropping - Overland nailed it - the temps in the basement curb stay really warm when the furnace is running.  It's only a few degrees of difference when the furnace is running and the difference increases as the furnace runs less.  

    I'm not really planning any further cold weather modifications unless something comes up in further testing.  I'd love to have an all-electric backup plan, but that's a bunch of holes and computer fans so I'm not going there at this time.  I'll run more tests with my current config if I get substantially colder weather this winter.  I'm also planning on towing the trailer around in cold air with the furnace running to see how much I could push my luck traveling from ski resort to ski resort without winterizing.  That could result in some additional changes.

    I think there will be a few modifications needed to keep that battery compartment cool in the summer - that's probably going to be tougher than keeping it warm in the winter.

    • Like 2
  5. 4 hours ago, John E Davies said:

    Great info, thanks for taking the time and effort to collect the data. I love your graph!

    What was the thermostat temperature setting? 68? I set mine at 55 overnight and it doesn’t use so much propane, and it definitely saves the batteries, but it also doesn’t provide as much heat under the floor. But as warm as your underfloor areas are,  I think you could safely lower your stat a whole lot. Just bundle up.

    Did you have any windows or vents open?

    Did you have the bathroom door open?

    Do you have adequate airflow to the bathroom air register?

    How did you determine propane use -weigh the tank?

    It is interesting to see how warm your battery compartment stayed. I am sure  your extra duct on that side of the floor was doing that. With no battery compartment vents, do you think your lithiums will be too warm in summer, on a 100 degree day in direct sunlight? Have you added any extra vents there, inside? I am working on that mod.... to warm it in winter but also to cool it in summer. Minimal cost, around $60, but you have to drill a bunch of big holes😳😳

    Thanks again.

    John Davies

    Spokane WA

    Hey John, great questions.  Here's some answers...

    - I had the thermostat on 68 and that kept the inside at roughly 66 the entire time.  I have been using 52 to keep it at 50 in my garage and that has kept all the temps well above freezing so far.

    - No vents or windows open.  Closed up tight.  With the furnace venting the moist air outside, I don't foresee humidity being a big concern in cold weather.

    - Bathroom door was open.  If the door is closed the bathroom gets very much colder since it's pretty airtight and with the door closed the airflow through the vent is really non-existent.  With the door open, quite a bit of warm air comes through the vent.  Side note:  Interestingly, I also opened the access door in my vanity, the hatch under the dinette seat nearest the shower, and the back basement access door on the nightstand to see if that made a difference.  If anyone can see any blips in the graph where I did that let me know - it didn't seem to do anything at all.  My guess is that the cold air settles in there and with no fan mixing it around it's the same open or closed up.  

    - Yes, propane usage was done by weight the tank before and after the test.

    - I really don't think the battery compartment felt the effects of the furnace ducting - at least not to the extent other areas of the basement did.  I say that because the sensors collect data every minute and I used hourly averages.  I could see the up and down spikes on most of the sensors from the heat running and shutting off - but I couldn't see any of that on the battery compartment - it seems to be dependent on the outside temps.  I used foam inserts in the battery door vents and 2 layers of reflectix on the inside of the door.  I can easily remove all of that in the summer to let the batteries air/cool via the vents.  If that doesn't work well enough, I'll put a hole or two through the inner hull and battery compartment under the pantry with a small DC fan to mix cool or warm air into the compartment from the cabin.  I'm going to wait and see what you and Overland do to get conditioned air into your battery compartment and then copy the best one.  😉


    • Like 2
  6. NC had a cold snap over the past few days / nights and I was able to get some pretty good data that validates what other owners already know - the Ollie does quite well in cold weather and will stand up to just about anything if you run the furnace. 

    Disclaimer:  I have done some minor cold weather modifications.  In addition to adding some reflectix to the outside shower housing and the battery and basement storage doors, I added a furnace duct through the basement and down the street side.  By putting 3 small holes in the duct to help heat that side of the basement, I have raised the average temp ~7F, so that gives you an idea if your Ollie is stock.  During this testing, I had the hot water heater on occasionally (I've been testing my new shower head) and had the fresh water tank full at the start and used 20% or so during the two days.

    Here's the data:


    Some observations...  

    1.  The higher risk areas are definitely the rear storage compartment and street side basement.  They tend to get colder than the other parts of the trailer and do have a considerable amount of plumbing.

    2.  The front street side near the toilet / black tank are definitely the coldest.  I'm not worried about that as I have a composting toilet and have drained the water from the line that's there for the standard toilet.

    3.  Both nights were similar in temperature, and an average of 7.2 lbs of propane was burned per night.  At peak, the furnace ran 5 times per hour for 7 minutes each (so 35 minutes per hour).  During this test, I burned about .75 pounds of propane for each 60 minutes of furnace run time.  I'm going to run a separate test soon to pinpoint propane usage over furnace run time as that's going to be important for trip planning.

    4.  The batteries run the furnace and each night the batteries dropped an average of 22%, so 88 Ah of battery was also required per night.

    5.  As long as the Ollie has electricity and propane, nothing is going to freeze easily if at all.  Even the Lithium battery compartment stays warmer than I expected.

    I need some colder temps to do more testing, but this looks very promising!

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  7. 8 hours ago, John E Davies said:

    I really like the big hatch, and would do that mod except I need the existing cubby to hold a bottle of vinegar, for rinsing the Natures Head. Maybe if I can come up with another place for that bottle......

    I have not yet ventured under the sink, it is on my Honey Do list, near the bottom. I sure wish these trailers came with hatches everywhere. But compared to stick and staple ones, they are fine, most of the time.

    John Davies

    Spokane WA


    I moved quick before my wife could figure out what useful things to put in that cubby besides a washcloth.  We keep a small bottle of vinegar water in the small cabinet above the toilet for our Nature's Head.

  8. 13 minutes ago, mountainoliver said:

    Seeing the shower head changes reminded me that when I ordered our trailer I wasn’t real fond of the shower arrangement so had Oliver make a modification for me. I liked the idea of being able to select the shower head that I wanted and be able to replace it whenever. I used Shurflo brand “Trinidad” model shower diverter valve. Both bath/kitchen faucets are the same design for fewer parts inventory and are the Shurflo “Trinidad” type as well. 




    Very nice indeed!  That would really simplify the mess I created with the diverter.  🙂

    • Like 2
  9. 20 minutes ago, Overland said:

    Did you have trouble getting it to fit with the curved vanity front?  

    No - I was definitely worried about that so I made sure the hatch wasn't any wider than the current hole for the washcloth rack.  The hatch required exactly the same width and I only had to cut 1" off the top and 2" off the bottom.  The hatch is very sturdy and the fiberglass on that vanity is flexible enough that it worked out well.  No big gaps to caulk around the outside and just to be safe I ran a bead of 3M 4000 along the inside edge.

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  10. 1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

    In our older trailers, the shower and faucet were one unit. Scandvik marine hardware.

    You lift the faucet out of the sink, and put it up on a hook. No diverter necessary.  Pretty common in boats, especially older ones like ours .

    This will obviously work. But, you lose that precious bit of counterspace to the right of the faucet .

    I do like the idea of the access panel. Now wondering if I  could modify the abs insert on ours. Probably not. It's not that strong. Not like your hatch.

    I do agree, high Sierra is highly rated.

    I will be on the lookout for a better faucet / diverter solution.  We really do like the high sierra showerhead so far, so that was the driving factor - not looks obviously.  Now that I have "standard" plumbing connections under the sink (and easier access), I'm hoping I can improve upon this over time.  I considered running something through the closet and creating a "dedicated" shower but I'd prefer something like what you are describing.  

    • Like 1
  11. My mission after the first few camping trips was to install a better shower head in the Oliver.  I especially didn't like the fact that I had to turn the water off at the faucet handle and lose the setting.  Research turned up a highly regarded brand called High Sierra.  I searched for those on this forum as well and found that at least one person (Overland) has also upgraded to a High Sierra.  I chose the same ugly one with a nice new faucet but an even uglier diverter.  😄  


    I also hope my wife doesn't notice that her washcloth holder is gone now.  😬  I decided that a permanent access hatch (DasMarine Marine Deck Access Hatch & Lid with Lock, White, 24" Length X 14" Width (606MM. Length X 353MM. Width) in it's place was a better value (at least to me!).  I can get at all my new valves now.



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  12. 10 hours ago, Mcb said:

    NCeagle, have you explored the possibility of cutting a hole below the bed and rotating the inverter so that the controls are accessible from the cabin? Maybe move the 300a breaker there too? 

    That's definitely a possibility I hadn't considered.  I'm more interested in gaining easy access to that breaker as I assume we'll have the remote working some day.  That blasted breaker is in a tough spot to get to even with the bed cover off, although I've done it enough now that I can just reach my arm up in there and grope around - hoping to not grab the wrong wire or terminals.  🙂  I use it all the time.  Maybe LifeBlue will come up with a way to have the battery stop accepting charge at whatever percentage we want with the internal BCM.  Wouldn't that be nice.

    • Like 2
  13. My inverter remote worked for the first week we had our trailer.  Then I jinxed it by saying we didn't have the problem.  It's gone again right now but comes and goes seemingly randomly for me.  For me, the hard resets that naturally happen from time to time when the inverter and battery are disconnected and then reconnected seem to fix it - but it eventually goes back to the [20].

    While working on another inverter issue with Xantrex support last week, I was told by the person I was working with that the problem was software related and required a re-flash.  Apparently this is more involved than a firmware upgrade and may require an authorized Xantrex service center to perform the upgrade.

    I'm in no hurry as this particular remote error is cosmetic and does not impact the operation of the inverter.  Will wait to see what solution Jason and the OTT team come back with.

    • Thanks 1
  14. Got them finally.  It did take some extra to get them to pop.  Now the fun part.  There's a lot packed under the sink and now I see why there's very little airflow from that vent.  It's twisting and turning around a bunch of stuff.

  15. Anyone have any tips on removing the white caps covering the screws on the bathroom vanity panel without damaging them?  They are being stubborn - I'm trying to use plastic auto trim tools so I don't scratch anything, but that's not working.  I thought this would be the easy part.  🙂

  16. Thanks for sharing this video - it's excellent!  We just picked up our new Ollie last month and we are very impressed with the workmanship and quality.  I will get a lot of value out of the portion between 6 and 7 minutes where you can see the HVAC, plumbing and electrical.  Very handy.

    • Like 3
  17. Ok, I spent about an hour on the phone today working through this with Xantrex support (they are great as others have mentioned), and this is a bit complicated, but I'll try to explain what we think happened.

    The only way we could reproduce the problem is with the inverter to battery relay tripped and both "power" buttons (remote and main unit) in the up position.  So my working theory is that we somehow tripped the battery to inverter cutoff relay (300A) before leaving for home - but not before heating our sandwiches with the microwave to our satisfaction!  👍

    So not knowing the cutoff relay had been tripped, when we got home I noticed the 120V was not working (Microwave clock was off).  I checked the Xantrex remote first, and there was no power.  During checking, I must have left the remote power switch up - which is "hard off" when there is no shore power.  I then went under the street bed and got no response from the inverter - even after resetting the cutoff breakers - because I had inadvertently left the remote switch in the off position.  Plugging into shore power bypassed the remote switch, so that's why it fixed the issue.  I'm relieved that I could have recovered without shore power (or a generator) by turning the remote switch back "on" and resetting the relay cutoff switch.  I tested this multiple times and I'm convinced this would have worked.

    To complicate matters further, the [20] error code that's popping up on the remote (loss of communication with the inverter) was going on intermittently during all of this.  I had that error code on the remote the entire camping trip but now I know to ignore it as the remote is still controlling things - as long as the inverter switch is in up / standby.  There's another thread on this error code that I'll post what I've learned about that through all of this - which is quite a bit.  

    Bottom line - I think things are working as they should - it's just not always intuitive figuring out how things work or don't together - especially with a remote that is having software problems communicating with the inverter.

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  18. 9 hours ago, John E Davies said:

    Or for around $120 you can get a 20 amp Renogy unit  that will eventually get them to 100%.

    Or for an even better amps to $ deal, for an extra $100 you can triple the amps and get out of an emergency situation with a 15 Amp generator 3x faster (it's $100 off regular price right now).  I have this in my shopping cart but have yet to purchase.  https://www.etrailer.com/p-PD9160ALV.html  Could be mounted in the basement somewhere and connected to batteries or just use alligator clips and make it "portable" (that's what I'm thinking).

  19. 5 minutes ago, Mac said:

    Charging from solar

    Mac, there's actually a power switch of sorts on the front of the inverter.  It's not really power - it's for "hard on" or "standby" mode.  Standby is what it should be on for normal operation (button out) I believe.  You could push it in and see if that turns on the inverter.  If you have absolutely no power from the batteries to the inverter and you've made sure the inverter breakers (there are 2) aren't tripped, then you may have encountered the exact problem I was having.  Plugging into AC/Shore fixed mine - at least for now.  

    • Like 2
  20. Yep, it's right there under the street side bed duct and it is exactly where I found a tear in my duct upon inspection.  I reinforced that area of the duct with some Gorilla duct tape so it won't rip again.  The access panel is pretty useless I have found.  I've been getting at that and the fresh water drain valve, which is even deeper down in that area via the top like Mcb.

  21. I have not seen that Mcb, but I had really messed up readings while at David Crockett.  When I got home I dug around until I found the SeeLevel strips that are stuck to the sides of the tanks.  I found my grey tank strip was partially peeling off and just pressed it back onto the tank better.  That at least fixed my readings being skewed.  You might check and see if a strip came completely loose somewhere or toggle the DC fuse for it.

    • Thanks 1
  22. I was able to "wake up" the inverter by plugging into shore power.  I was kind of "shocked" 🙂 that it came on and started charging the batteries.  I then unplugged shore power and it stayed on with DC.  Go figure.  I'm definitely not happy with not being able to understand what happened or explain it yet.  I will still call Xantrex and open a service ticket with OTT.  I need to understand if this was normal (hope not) and if not what could have caused it.  Could be a precursor to an all out inverter failure for all I know. 

    So, I hope to learn more from either OTT service or Xantrex, but here's what I've learned so far.

    1.  This issue combined with the [20] error code (lost communication) on the remote leaves me with zero confidence in this component.

    2.  To JD's point, what if the microwave really fries the inverter and with it the critical charger?  Definitely need a backup AC charger for Lithium and would consider one now even if the charger was isolated from the inverter.  It's just too important to not have a backup in my mind.

    3.  Thank goodness OTT engineering has not designed the Ollie in a way that relies on 120V for anything operationally critical.

    4. My all-electric backup plan for heat (which is critical unlike Air Conditioning) should my propane run out or the furnace fail has to be all 12V DC.  I was considering using my Mr. Heat portable as a backup, but that's 120V.

    5.  My wife brings some reality to the situation.  She says we paid good money for the ability to have oven cooked chicken and microwave popcorn if we want and this is not a pop up camper.

    If I get an answer to what happened in this particular case, I'll definitely update this thread.

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  23. There is a switch on the Xantrex inverter as well as the remote.  I've been toggling both with no results.  Not even a flicker of electrons.

    I don't see any loose connections anywhere and there's not much I can do besides call OTT and Xantrex on Monday.

    I'm now thinking I better invest in a good Lithium charger as problems like this put my 4K worth of Lithiums at risk.

    Not good.  I'm more and more frustrated not having the electrical schematics too.  Seems I need them daily at this point.  😬

    • Sad 1
  24. Just got home from a great boondocking trip where we used the inverter for a bunch of things, including the microwave to heat sandwiches for lunch before hitting the road.

    I put my trailer back in the garage and discovered my Xantrex 3000 Inverter is not working at all - no lights, no power - nothing.  My batteries are at 61% and all DC is working fine.  I checked the breaker and the cutoff switches and all look normal.

    I'm going to go out and try to trace the wiring to see if there's an inline fuse or something, but since it worked literally minutes before we pulled out to drive home I'm thinking something must have come loose somewhere?

    I'm hoping I missed something simple.

    Any ideas?  Thanks!

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