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Chukarhunter

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  1. Another place you could check for a phantom draw is the light in your rear storage garage. I am kind of embarrassed to admit this but recently while camping I opened the streetside rear storage hatch at night and it was lit up inside! I had never really thought about there being a light in there. It could have been on for over a year since I picked up our Oliver for all I know.
  2. It is interesting that Truma markets their units by specifying "watts of cooling capacity" on their website instead of Btu's of cooling capacity. Stating the input power in watts only tells you the maximum input Btu's for the unit, but tells one nothing about the output (cooling) Btu's, i.e., the maximum BTU's of heat the unit is capable of removing from the trailer over a one hour period. In the case of the Truma, it appears that a 2,400 watt cooling capacity corresponds to 15,000 Btu/hour of cooling capacity. As Geronimo Joe correctly points out, 2,400 watts input is 8,189 Btu's so the Truma converts 2,400 watts of input Btu's into 15,000 Btu's of cooling. This relationship is commonly referred to at the Coefficient of Performance, or COP. In the case of the Truma, the COP is 15,000/8,189 = 1.83. This is really, really inefficient. This past summer I installed a high efficiency Lennox unit in my home (to replace a failed air conditioner). The unit modulates between 30% to 100% capacity based upon cooling demand. At the minimum 30% capacity and a 15 degree differential between outside temp and inside setting (80 degrees inside and 95 degrees outside), the unit will supply 10,700 Btu of cooling while using only 730 watts of input power for a COP of 4.3. Under the same ambient conditions at 100% power, the unit will supply 35,000 Btu's of cooling while using only 2,700 watts of power, a COP of 3.8. Unfortunately, one-piece RV air conditioners are already pushing the limits of achievable efficiency, given the one piece design and requirements to be ultra compact. They must be designed with smaller heat exchangers/coils and fans due to space limitations that in turn requires high velocity fans to work well, hence the noise. I don't expect the Truma will be all that much quieter than all the others out there today. I expect what is needed to achieve a breakthrough in much quieter operation (and much higher efficiency) would be the development of a two piece rooftop air conditioner for RV's, much like home air conditioners (and heat pumps) that have an outside compressor unit and an inside air handler and coil. The same size inside unit as installed in the Oliver today could then have the space freed up to use a larger coil and a quiet, low velocity, high volume fan, gaining higher efficiency and much quieter operation.. The compressor itself could be mounted on the roof immediately behind the existing inside unit and be connected to the internal air handler (inside unit) with small refrigerant lines, just like today's outdoor units designed for the home. The result would be a quiet, more powerful and more efficient air conditioner (or heat pump) that could be easily run with an 1,800 watt generator or battery power. Of course, it would also probably cost a lot more than today's units but my guess is there is a large, untapped market for a truly quiet, higher performing two piece unit, even at a significantly higher price.
  3. Oliver under a full moon in front of a large campfire (No flash used). Boondocking in the Owyhee country of Oregon.
  4. Thanks for sharing your experience with the smaller 900 watt EU1000i and the Progressive Dynamics 60 amp converter/charger. I checked the specs on the PD60 amp model and it requires a 1000 watt input to deliver 60 amps to the batteries at 13.6 volts which means it has a conversion efficiency of less than 82%. Since the charging current is not adjustable in the PD60, anyone with a PD60 must use a generator rated at a minimum of 1,000 watts continuous to charge their batteries and the EU1000i will not work. So to summarize: If your Oliver has the Progressive Dynamics 60 amp converter/charger, then you cannot use an EU1000i to charge your batteries. If one has the PD45 (45 amp converter/charger), then the EU1000i is more than adequate and moving to a larger generator would not provide any charging benefits. Finally, if one has any one of the inverters (2000 watt or 3000 watt), the EU1000i will definitely work because the maximum charge current is user selectable. Also, because the inverter/chargers are more efficient (rated at 91% nominal efficiency versus 82%), the EU1000i should be able to comfortably charge the batteries at a 55 amp rate and possibly even 60 amp.
  5. All really good information in this thread. I am bumping it because I have also considered getting a 1,000-watt generator (Honda or Yamaha) to use for topping off my batteries instead of my current generator which is the Honda EUI 2200 Companion. My LE II charges the batteries via the 2000-watt inverter/charger so while boondocking last week, I decided to determine how many charging amps I could deliver to my batteries with a Honda 1000-watt peak generator (900 watt rated) before overloading the generator, after accounting for electrical losses through the inverter charger. The 2000-watt inverter/charger in my Oliver can be set to a maximum charge current limit of 0-80 amps in 5-amp increments meaning it is capable of delivering 80 amps to the batteries IF the batteries can accept 80 amps. I have the lithium phosphate batteries so they will always accept 80 amps charging current up to full state of charge with my EUI 2200, but the smaller generator would not be able to deliver 80 amps to the batteries without overloading. It is straightforward though to calculate how many watts a generator must deliver at 120 volts for the converter/charger to deliver any given number of amps to the batteries at 14 volts, ignoring losses. What I did not know was how many watts the generator must deliver to also make up for the losses in the converter/charger and wiring. Using the formula volts x amps = watts, I knew that the minimum watts that a generator must deliver at 120 volts to provide 80 amps to the batteries at 14 volts would be 1,120 watts. 14 volts x 80 amps = 1,120 watts. The Honda EUI 1000 is rated at only 900 watts continuous so I knew it could not support 80 amps charge current to the batteries, but I did not know what the maximum charge current that a 900 MW generator could support when accounting for losses. The maximum charge current with no losses would be 64 amps 14 volts x 64 amps = 900 watts. While I was charging the batteries at 80 amps with the EUI 2200 last week, I read the 120-volt input amps to the inverter from the panel, and it showed that the generator was supplying 10.2 amps of 120-volt power to the inverter. This meant that the generator was supplying 1,224 watts to the inverter including any bypass current to any other 120 trailer loads. 120 volts *10.2 amps = 1,224 watts I did have my satellite receiver operating on 120-volt power at the time, so I assume that the inverter/charger itself was requiring approximately 1,200 watts at 120 volts to deliver 80 amps to the batteries at 14 volts. This implies that inverter/charger losses were about 7% meaning 93 percent of the 120-volt input power was reaching the batteries. (1200 watts - 1,120 watts) / 1,120 watts = 7% losses Now, using the loss factor of 7%, a 900-watt generator could be expected to deliver a maximum of 837 watts to the batteries in my Oliver. 900 watts x 0.93 =837 watts This means that the I would need to set the maximum charge current in my inverter/charger to no more than 60 amps, or the 900-watt generator would overload and shut down. 14 volts x 60 amps = 840 watts For me, this means that if I switched to the 900-watt Honda generator it would take about 33% longer to top off my batteries than it does now with the larger EUI 2200 at 80 amps charge current. For example, if it would otherwise take 3 hours of generator operation to top off my batteries with the EUI 2200 at an 80-amp charge rate (i.e., 240 ah into the batteries), it would take 4 hours to get the same 240 ah into the batteries with the 900-watt generator. Some with the inverter/charger may find this longer run time unacceptable. I personally think it is a reasonable tradeoff when boondocking, given the much lower weight, quieter operation, and lower fuel consumption of the 900-watt generator. (of course, it would not run the air conditioner) If I can ever find the Honda EUI 1000 in stock anywhere again, I will probably pick one up. It also explains why SeaDawg has been more than happy with their Honda 1000. I assume they have the 45-amp converter/charger so there would be no charging benefit for them of using a larger generator. It would not charge their batteries any faster. I am not a professional and may have made mistakes in this assessment. Please correct me if I have.
  6. I have paid close attention to tongue weight as I have a marginal tow vehicle. My 2020 Elite II came out of the factory at about 5,500 lbs with full fresh water tank and a tongue weight of about 550-570 lbs (Shurline 1000 lb scale). It had the front cargo carrier (since removed and stored) and 20 lb tanks plus the solar option. I do not have a composting toilet. Since every pound of cargo capacity in my tow vehicle is precious, I have endeavored to reduce my tongue weight to no more than 9% of fully loaded trailer weight which for me is about 520 lbs, and succeeded. (I agree with others on this forum that 9% tongue weight is just fine for the LE II). All I did to reduce tongue weight was remove the front basket (-35 lbs.), switched from 20 lb steel tanks to 17 lb composite tanks (-20 lbs) and switched to four 105 Ah Lithium Ion batteries (-100+ lbs). As others have said, how one loads the trailer for travel can have a large affect on tongue weight. Anything loaded behind the door has a negligible affect on tongue weight, or even positive effect if loaded in the very rear of the trailer. Anything loaded in the bathroom or closet has a significant effect on tongue weight, as do the contents of the black water tank. I suspect those reporting tongue weights in excess of 600 lbs carry at least 50 lb. in the front basket, and have the 30 lb propane tank option. This alone would add close to 100 lbs. of tongue weight on top of the 520 lbs that I now typically see when pulling my LE II.
  7. My 2021 LEII came with 4 of the Brightway flooded batteries. They fit snug but easily in the tray with enough room for thin padding on the sides.
  8. Lornie and I have owned our LEII for a year and have traveled quite a bit with our two cats (and our dog). We have the standard floor plan and we ordered the optional inside access hatch to the outside rear storage compartment without really knowing whether we would ever use it. We quickly discovered we could place the cat litter box in the back storage area (i.e., outside the living space of the trailer) and leave the inside access hatch open to the storage area. Cats go in and out to use it and as a bonus, only kick litter into the storage area and not onto the trailer floor. Less odor as well. Works perfect for us. When we ordered our LEII, the inside access hatch option was only available on the standard floor plan but that may have changed.
  9. The advantages of lithium-ion batteries over flooded/AGM batteries are numerous, although the relative importance of each benefit to some extent depends on how you plan to use your trailer. I have owned my 2020 LEII for one year now and almost always boondock. Oliver didn’t start offering a lithium package until one month after I placed my order and the first thing I did after arriving home from Hohenwald was to swap out the 4 lead acid batteries it came with for four 105 amp-hour Group 24 Lithium-Ions. Since I already had the 340 watts of solar and 2000-watt inverter/charger, it was a simple swap to make as Galway Girl points out. No changes in cabling required or anything else. For me, the greatest benefit is the much higher rate at which the lithium-ion batteries will accept a charge. If you go with AGM batteries and solar, Oliver will require you to use four 110-amp hour AGM batteries weighing over 200 pounds, even if you don’t want or need that much battery storage. I was told that this is so Oliver can test the performance of the solar system before it leaves the factory and that explanation makes sense. This is because the maximum charging rate of an AGM battery roughly 150 watts (12 amps) up to 80% charge and only about 60 watts (5 amps) between 80% and 100% charge. A single lithium-ion battery, on the other hand, can accept a charging rate of over 1,000 watts (100 amps) all the way to 100 percent charge. The 2000-watt inverter/charger Oliver installs can deliver about 1,000 watts (80 amps) to the batteries and the 3000 watt inverter/charger can deliver about 1200 watts (100 amps) to the batteries. This can all be confusing so I will explain what this means in the field. If you remember one simple rule, it becomes much easier to understand this. The rule is: volts x amps = watts. My Oliver solar panels are capable of 340 watts on a sunny day. At an average charging voltage of 13.5 volts (controlled by the solar charge controller), the panels are capable of delivering roughly 25 amps to the batteries, ignoring losses (340 watts / 13.5 volts = 25 amps). If you have 4 AGM batteries, once they reach 80 percent charge, they can only accept about 20 amps of charge current (4 batteries times 5 amps each) which means the solar panels are throttled back to only produce about 270 watts (13.5 volts *20 amps = 270 watts) to protect your AGM batteries. This slow charging between 80% and 100% means you are wasting potential solar energy and your batteries will likely never recover to full charge after you have started your trip, (this is true even if you use a generator unless you want to run the generator for 6 hours/day). With my lithium-ion batteries, my solar panels always deliver their full capability, unless and until my batteries reach 100% charge. I am a high desert bird-hunter and so I boondock in the fall/winter. The solar panels are not always adequate for longer trips in the winter due to shorter daylight hours, sun much lower in the sky, and cloudy weather. For winter trips more than 3 days I reluctantly take a generator and hope I don’t need to use it. If I do need to use a generator though, I only need to run it for an hour to put 80 amp-hours into my lithium-ion batteries. One would need to run a generator for 2-4 hours to put 80 amp-hours into four AGM batteries. A bigger generator doesn’t make a difference since the limitation is in the batteries and not the capacity of the generator. In fact, I can put 70-80 amp hours into my lithium ion batteries in one hour using the smallest/quietest /lightest inverter generator made (Honda EUI 1000 at 28 lbs). The newest LEII has a 3000 watt inverter/charger that can put 100 amp hours into lithium-ion batteries in one hour, but will still only put 20 -40 amp hours into AGM batteries in the same hour. One other consideration is that with lithium-ion batteries, you can get by with fewer than 4 batteries and still have more usable battery storage than you get with 4 AGMs. When you factor in the difficulty of charging the AGM’s above 80 percent with solar in the field, you really only have 40% of usable storage with AGM’s (50% to 90%) whereas the lithium ions give you up to 85% usable storage (15% to 100%). Translated to amp hours, the AGM’s give you about 170 usable amp-hours/day before charging is mandatory (40% of 420 amp-hours), whereas the lithium ion’s give you over 350 usable amp-hours/day before charging is mandatory (85% of 420 amp-hours). My understanding is that the Oliver lithium-ion package comes standard with two 220 amp-hour lithium batteries at roughly $3,000 more than AGM’s. For those that don’t need 420 amp-hours but still want all the benefits of lithium, I think Oliver should also offer a lithium package with only one 220 amp-hour lithium-ion battery at a savings of about $2,000. This would mean the upgrade to lithium-ion would only be about $1,000 above the four AGMs instead of $3,000, while still providing more usable battery storage than four AGM’s. Hope the above makes sense. I am no expert and welcome corrections/clarifications from other forum members.
  10. Thanks for sharing your experience on with using a trailer dolly on gravel. I think I will pass this one by. I will definitely look to putting on a front hitch when I upgrade my current undersized TV. My current backing maneuver would probably be impossible to do if my TV was a full size pickup.
  11. In my current situation, I would only use it on the level. The only place I can store the LEII is in the backyard off of a one-way alley. I have to back the LEII about 200' down a very narrow alley and then cut it through a slightly angled 14' gate and then curve it to achieve a 90 degree turn before I hit the neighbors side-yard fence. Making the 90 degree turn without my tow vehicle hitting the side of the gate opening is a challenge. I am reasonably proficient but it would be much easier if I could just back it in through the gate, unhook, and then move it into the final parking spot using the dolly. The working surface is gravel and I am concerned the small wheels could be a problem.
  12. Great idea. The idea of relocating the forced air furnace return duct(s) is something I have independently identified as a must do since I have spent many nights recently in temperatures down into the teens and like others don't expect to have to worry about freezing water lines or cold batteries. The place that Oliver chose to located the single return vent in the LEII is the worst possible place they could have put it. Besides being the noisiest place, it compromises the function of a good forced air heating system. Placing the return so close to the supply ducts means much of the heat never circulates in the trailer and instead is drawn under the dinette and back into the furnace almost directly from the supply vents. Also, failing to have placed a return duct in the bathroom renders the hot air supply vent in the bathroom almost worthless when the bathroom door is closed since pressurization of the bathroom creates backpressure on the supply vent. Further, with the bathroom door closed, there is insufficient free air flow through the furnace heat exchanger resulting in reduced efficiency, more propane consumption and possible cycling due to the heat exchanger reaching its thermal limit. So my thought is the most important single thing to improve the heating system in the LEII and significantly reduce any risk of freezing pipes or batteries is to put a small return vent (4" x 4") in the bathroom as low as possible below the existing supply vent (below the T.P.). Even with the door closed, the bathroom will now be warm but much more importantly, the warm air in the bathroom will be pulled under the bathroom sink into the hull and flow over all the plumbing lines and fresh water tank to the back where the furnace intake is. To complete the job, I think that after removing and closing the approximately 50 square inch return vent under the dinette, it should be replaced with a 16-20 sq. in. return in the bathroom, a second 16-25 sq. in. return under the dinette front side, and a third 12-16 sq. in. return in the rear street side across from the furnace to heat the outside shower plumbing. This should result an a balanced heating system with fairly constant temperatures throughout the inner space and within all inner parts of the lower hull as well. Added benefits should be a more comfortable trailer and less propane consumption. Thoughts about this?
  13. Here are a few photos of the strike plate. I did notice the door hangs slightly lower on the handle side compared to hinge side, but it does not appear to affect the operation of the door in any way and the latch appears to be centered vertically in the strike plate.
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