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Everything posted by GAP

  1. I would bet that what allowed you to camp in those nightime single digits was the daytime temps in the 40s. Those conditions are iffy to bank on but do work around the inner shell's slow decent into freezing temps by allowing things to warm up each day.
  2. Here is a link to a recent thread which dives pretty deep into tweaks to help the Oliver function (mosrly) in sustained cold temps: 3.75 Season Trailer?
  3. Wow. Great post Oli. I have dug through your furnace modifications once and, while it will take another peek or two, was super impressed with your approach. The primary difference in my shot at it was that you added heat to the pex runs for the external shower while I have tried to isolate those lines so they can be left filled with antifreeze. Not sure if I have the mechanical chops to do the same as you outlined but it could be the path of least resistance to address that particular problem. Thanks much for the thorough description and photos. Gerry
  4. My last trip last winter was 5 days where daytime temps were in teens and nightime lows around 0. I attribute mad scientist mods with the level of success we had but, it felt like walking a knife's edge. Temp in battery box was solid, by the knobs to shower was in mid 30s and between the shells, under the front dinette seat dropped till freezing till I propped open the lid in the seat. Then was in high 30s. Our trailers are so well insulated that having extended daytime periods above freezing allows the inter-shell area to warm up which may have an effect that lasts well into the night. This is pure conjecture as none of the weather I saw last season got that warm. Super interesting stuff. Really helpful hear everyone's experiences. Thanks for sharing.
  5. Been thinking Steve about the differences in our experiences. May not be all that far apart. During my test trips, the temps never got above freezing even during the days. You mentioned lows around mid teens. What were average daily highs? Good idea on the exterior shower head. When I moved a thermometer around to test different areas in that below-the-streetside-bed, a mater of a half foot in bound would make a pretty large difference. As the exterior shower pex lines terminated by the hot/cold knobs, that is where I hung the sensor. Looking forward to comparing notes with you and others that have tried similar.
  6. Oooops. I got it. Camframo is a manufacturer of small heaters and the antifreeze pump is the hand pump used for winterizing. Thought it was anti freeze pump. Ha.
  7. Hey Steve, Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. BTW, what is a Camframo Heater and an anti-freeze pump?
  8. We use a light weight, 12' ladder like this Telescoping Ladder to get to the panels. If they are covered with powdery snow, we clear with a long brush attached to our truck window scraper. You can also get a rubberized "roof rake" to push the snow off. If snow is wet, dense or icy, we wait for a warm day and use our little generator to keep the batteries topped off until the panels can be cleared off. BTW, those ladders are super handy. We keep in our truck bed all the time and I can't tell you howe often we've been glad it was there.
  9. Hey Kirk. Sorry to say but, from my real world testing, you are right. Great as they are, these trailers are not set up stock for use in temps below mid 20s if the water system is on. To different degrees of efficiency, just about any trailer with a decent heating system could be used in the winter as long as the water system is turned off. I've heard that a number of other manufacturer's stick built models are set up for running dewinterized in deep cold conditions and cannot square how Oliver claims these trailers to be truly 4 season capable as they are currently built. Your trailer's huge lithium capacity my be able to handle the bilge pumps and keep them running 24/7 but I'd suggest running some tests with the unit winterized first to see what is what. Please share your results here as it could prove helpful to all.
  10. For the sake of efficiency, we sleep with everything buttoned up. If you run your hands past the edges of window sliders, past the seam between panels on the bathroom window, around the edges of the door, etc... there are plenty of minor leakage points. We feel these minor porosity is healthy and would prevent mold much the same with a modern house. During the days we run the Maxair when cooking and, as necessary, pull the reflectix inserts in the windows to allow the heat "cook away" moisture buldup per condensation on on the glass. We also carry a small mountain of micro fiber hand cloths to wipe away moisture from the glass, bathroom and galley. Super absorbant and easy to clean. Our safety backups is the monitor/alarm to warn of of C02 buildup. The smoke alarm has gone off while cooking items that really produce smoke but the alarms have not gone off otherwise.
  11. That's it exactly. We were testing the system free of frozen line consequence This winter we are planning a month long cross country ski safari and, being that long, would want to be able to have showers. Scuba, We're super interested in your project and not just the process of rerouting water lines. Hope to hear the gory details.
  12. Glad to hear you fixed that problem and sorry for the hair pulling and hand wringing it must have taken to get that ugly job done. That said, mine was not a dropped power line problem. The Maxair would run but run goofy. Sometimes would shut off on it's own, other times it would change speed, toggling up and down, without reason. Definitely a bad brain situation.
  13. My wife and I purchased our 2020 E2 based, to a certain degree, on our enthusiasm for cold weather adventuring. We took a number of trips over the 21/22 winter season to check out limits and capacities. All were trips between 3 and 7 days, in northern New England with night time temps in the range of roughly 30-0 degrees Fahrenheit. We would note nightly exterior temps, kept the overnight cabin interior set to 60 and rotated 3 digital temp sensors around what we found to be the most vulnerable areas to cold we found (and could get to) between the shells that housed water lines and tanks: 1) under front dinette seat, under street side bed by the exterior shower, 2) the pex lines to exterior shower passing through the faux wall at very rear of basement and 3) the battery box. We could not get to but are curious about the cabinet housing containing the bathroom sink. Playing it safe, we kept the trailer winterized for the entire time relying on containerized water and our composting toilet. All of our sites were boondocky, with no shore power hookups so we relied entirely on the LP furnace and solar/lithiums. We found that the stock trailer could manage to keep all the areas listed from dipping below freezing down to 25 (exterior temp). The lines behind the faux wall and exterior shower would hover in the low 30s at that temp. We realized those pex lines will, realistically speaking, need to be always kept winterized by adding cut offs as heating the basement area would be an inefficient waster of LP. Side note that we asked Jason if that could be done during our build and he informed us that the shop could not find anywhere with enough space to add them. We're open to suggestions. A simple set of tweaks including adding two layers of Reflectix to cover the interior of both the basement and battery compartment doors got us down to 20 with similar results. Next project was more involved. The temperature difference between the areas under and wall along side the curbside bed versus the street side bed was resulting in heavy condensation on the streetside wall and window which would soak that bed. We also found that the battery compartment was dropping down into the 30s at exterior temps in the high teens. While there is a matte heater pad below the batteries, it seemed to us that the compartment was too cold to reflect the lithiums themselves being warm enough to run efficiently and we noticed anecdotally an increased need for more charging assist - be it solar or generator. Could haver been the drain of the heat pad or the lithiums running less efficiently in the cold (as validated by the manufacturer) but which one did not matter. We felt adding heat to the box would be of benefit. Our fix was to re-route some heating vent. We capped the rearward 4" vent and re-ran that line through the gap behind the water tank from the furnace to the street side, past the inverter, under the battery box to a new vent we placed as a mirror image to the existing one below the drawers in the galley. One vent grate is pointed fore and the other aft. Here we used semi rigid vent tube specifically because it sheds so much heat, allowing the areas it runs through to warm. Where the tube ran past electronics, we would shield the hot tube in a layer of reflectix. Measuring with an infrared thermometer, the reflextix surface was cooler than the surface of the OEM flexi vent tubing and quite cool to the touch. The heat exiting the new vent would run about 10 degrees warmer than the one on the other side of the isle even though it is a further distance from the source. We expected an increase in output from the vent in the bathroom but did not notice much of a change. As the bathroom is a bit of a "dead end" with air being forced in but nowhere for it to exit, we added a 4" eyebrow vent at the floor level below the towel rack to allow for circulation and share some heat passively with another problem cold area - under the front dinette seat. While there are no pex lines run there, there are drain pipes and tanks and it would otherwise fall to freezing if outside temps were in the teens. Not very scientific but the furnace did not sound like it was under further strain or seem to run more frequently given similar temps. Our rate of LP consumption is roughly the same now as it was before alterations which, in single degree night time temps, consumes a 30lb tank in just over 2 days. Not very good. To increase efficiency, we cut two layers of "double bubble"reflectix and taped the edges with silver foil vent tape - as suggested in a previous post. They fit tightly inside all windows and are held in place by closing the shade. Bought a camco 14" soft material vent cover which bunjied over the Maxair (when not cooking) and cut a piece of 2" open cell foam to fit the window in the door. Covered it with a layer of reflectix and taped the edges. This is held firmly in place by the screen door. As all including the fan cover have refectix sides facing inward, the add ons look good enough - not jury rigged. Our takeaway is that these tweaks have bought us 20 degrees of leeway so we have squeaked by to zero. The batteries box is running much warmer but the other areas are more iffy. There is less condensation around the streetside bed but the exterior shower, for it's entire run, will need to be somehow shut off and winterizede or will be subject to freezing. Someone had suggested cutting a block of memory foam to put in the box with the exterior shower nozzle and knobs which may work but would not help with the tubing behind the faux wall. As to factory options that would have really helped: The exterior shower really needs cut offs or could have had it's lines run through a heated area of the belly and it would be super helpful to insulate the basement walls, basement door and shower door. The walls of the trailer REALLY transmit a lot of cold into the interior. A layer of spray on insulation foam would have gone a long way to help with that. I am also eyeballing the sealed belly and thinking a layer of sprayed on insulation could really help there as well. Am going to contact an HVAC place to get some feedback on options there. Also looking for doable suggestions. We love our Oliver and appreciate the incredible quality of the build. We also realize that there are very few folks looking to use theirs in frigid conditions. We're hoping that those of you that do, pipe in with further feedback and refinement to increase both capacity and efficiency in these sort of conditions.
  14. Really helpful information Brian and Ray. If the the replacement board can be purchased for less than half of what I was quoted and there is half a chance I can switch out on my own, then keeping the unit is a no brainer. I'll go through the shared materials and give it a go. Much appreciated.
  15. My 2020 E2 came with a Norcold 3 way fridge. It's always seemed a bit prone to minor level related problems and I've had to do a couple of "hard resets". Just before my most recent trip, the unit shut down after a few hours running on LP and would not start again in any of the settings (LP. DC, AC) even though the trailer was carefully leveled. I looked up the code and the manual instructed to contact a repair facility. After trying another reset, I called a couple of local shops and they were both convinced that the board was fried. $250 to buy a replacement - not sure if I can instal on my own. Is out of warrantee. Two seemingly tangental questions: 1) There has been extensive discussion on this board about other types of refrigerators that are less finicky and, if I remember right, more efficient. Can any of you that have shared the replacement process and outcome, point me in the direction of that posting? $250 (plus instal?) seems steep on a $1,100 unit which was persnickety from the get gto. 2) The board on my Maxair Fan has now fried twice. First time they sent and I installed a replacement board and, this time, sent an entire new unit which I have yet to switch out. Maxair suggested that the problem was that their boards were susceptible to damage caused by using lithium batteries and claimed that their new units have brains built to deal with lithiums. As these batteries were so new to Oliver when I bought my trailer, is it conceivable that the batteries could be the source of the fried board issues and, if so, is there a setting on the Xantrex that would address the likely source of the problem? I'd call Xantrex directly to discuss but have found that blame is always shifted laterally.
  16. Ive often wondered if it made sense to use an external surge protector along with the internal Progressive unit. The argument I've heard for this option is that if the external unit is somehow damaged by an electrical hit, causing it to be inoperable, the Progressive would remain in a healthy and usable state. Fair enough but I question what sort of situation could cause either unit to be damaged as I assumed by their very nature, they would be able to protect themselves as well as the trailer from bering damaged. Does anyone know if the Progressive internal system is susceptible to damage from bad power?
  17. Jim, I had tried the soft reset earlier but to no avail. Thanks on that. John, you are, as usual, spot on. Oliver should pay you to be an on-line consultant. I managed to brail my way through a "hard reset" and is holding so far. According to instructions, it can take 3-4 hours to work through process so may still fail. I think it's likely that the trailer was a tad too off angle and that caused the code. If so, lesson learned, as the angle was only modestly off level so now I know to be careful on that. Process was a tad convoluted. The link John sent above was for a pre 2006 Norcold so used a different board. This link is for the most recent models. John's older link is necessary as it's description of the process is more comprehensive and the late model link listed here is worthwhile as the photo is more accurate. Problem was that they instruct you to unplug a half dozen connections, none of which are labeled. Some simple work with a multi meter and sub-rudimentary understanding of electronics was what it took for me to stumble through. I sent a ticket to the shop at Oliver and shortly after coming in from doing the reset, got a call from Jason, the shop manager. Hats off to him for taking the time to follow up the same day. Super reassuring. Between the amazing resource of you folks at this forum and support from the shop, I can keep myself in a pre-hyperventilating state while on the road. Thanks to all.
  18. We are leaving on a month long road trip tomorrow. Running through a systems check and found that the fridge on our '20 Elite 2 #701 is not functioning. Tested it in AC, propane and DC. Checked both breakers under dinette. Code N comes up in the unit window each time which, according to the manual, is a warning for the cooling system being inoperable. Kinda obvious. When I first turned it on last night to let it cool overnight, the fridge did cool a bit but came out this morning to ambient temp and code N. I hear there is a hard reset that may eliminate the code but 1) no instructions on how to do so in the manual and 2) could not find on line. Any input or guidance would be deeply appreciated. Our campsites and schedule is a bit of a domino line-up so having to postpone to wait on a mechanic would have frustratingly deep effects. Gerry
  19. Just following up here concerning positioning of the little hole in the shaft of the wet bolt. Dexter confirmed that there can be issues with a plugged bolt (grease not being able to come out of the hole) unless the hole is oriented to 3:00 or 9:00. I spoke to someone at the Oliver shop, just after removing and re-orientating the problem bolt on my trailer and he stated that he thought the orientation was irrelevant but would contact Dexter to confirm. A week or so later, he followed up with me to let me know that Dexter had repeated the information given to me. Word to the wise: If you are having an issue getting your wet bolts to accept grease, it may have been installed improperly at Oliver. This was a doable but clumsy job to complete as it was difficult to de-weight the nut to allow it to be removed..
  20. Soooo, this was an interesting project. I had tested the ball on the end of the zerk fitting before seeking input above on how to remove the wet bolt. pushed it with a small nail punch and it seemed to work well. I did spray both the inside and outside of the wet nut with a penetrating oil. It probably helped some but I feel that the load on the shackle was preventing the nut from being hammered loose. I took most of the weight off the tires on that side and let it sit on a couple of floor jacks, one each on the appropriate jack points in front and behind the tires. I then used a scissor jack to see-saw the Dexter suspension rocker to minimize the tension on the shackle encasing the wet bolt. Jason, the Oliver shop manager, wisely suggested backing the nut to the end of the thread of the bolt to give a larger surface to hammer on. Too bad for me that I got that info after going to town with a hammer. Oh well. The nut did break free - finally. used a float punch (wide head punch) to drive it out of the shackle which turned out to be smart cause the punch itself was what kept the two parts semi aligned when the nut popped free. I tested the nut and zerk by pumping grease through them and they worked fine. After talking to Dexter, my conclusion is that the nut had been installed incorrectly. The little hole that the grease comes out is supposed to be at 3:00 or 9:00 and, turned facing say 6:00 or 12:00, will not dispense grease. Could not find a replacemt local and did not have the stomach to wait for shipping for the $10 part so used a $4 thread cutter to repair the mushroomed threads (damaged by my misguided removal process) and reinstalled. Took some tweaking to line up the parts of the shackle but none too ugly. Guess I did OK as it took grease as it's supposed to. John was right that allowing the penetrant time to do it's thing seemed to be key. Wish I had read the Neuman's post before reinstalling as an application of anti seize would have been prudent but I did grease the nut well so hopefully that grease does not wash out or dry up and works as a lubricant when I replace the nut when it's time to grease the bearings. Will certainly pick up a can of Kroil too. Thanks all for thoughtful responses.
  21. Hey All, I just got done doing a grease job on my Elite 2. Hull 701, 2020 model with Dexter components. Turns out that one of the zerk fittings won't accept grease. I de-weighted the axels and tested the ball on the zerk, but, even with a heavy duty grease gun, was unable to get any grease in there. I am just out of warrantee and did a ticket to Oliver. Oliver suggested I contact Dexter to see if they would cover the cost of replacement and Dexter blamed Oliver for creating a problem when installing. Sigh!!! It seems like a simple enough job to replace. I took some wight off the axles by using the power jack (behind the rear tire) and a scissor jack to a jack point to take weight some weight off the front tire. I then removed the inward facing bolt and tried to tap out the bolt with a hammer. I saw the zerk side of the wet bolt has splines so seemed like the unit is meant to come out with a large punch instead of turning. It did not budge. Does anyone have a suggestion for preceding?
  22. Question is: Which wall would you mount a urinal to? Seems to me that the only open space would be on an outside wall, which would make for some fascinating conversation.
  23. We tried installing a WeBoost in our 2021 EII. A tech at Wilson's said the system would speak to our coaxial cables for either cable or dish. When the system was delivered, we immediately saw that their coax style connections were a different size. Called Wilson again to discuss and this tech suggested that using the existing Oliver coax cables would result in a diminished signal. We ordered turnarounds that spoke to their cables, ran a test per the tech's instructions and were underwhelmed by the minnimal increase in signal strength as measured on our Iphones through an RSRP readout - beyond my understanding but, again, per the tech's instructions. We returned the unit. Questions to the forumn: - does anyone know or have tried to replace the existing coax cable(s) with another that would speak to their WeBoost style system? We are wondering whether it is a simple snaking project or whether the existing coax cables are somehow permenantly fixed in place. - The range on a WeBoost internal antenna is 3' and starts to fall off after just 1'. Can that range be increased by using a router or a puck of some sort?
  24. Quick follow up here: I did order the XL unit but the order was screwed up and would not have arrived till mid winter. In the end, I decided to push off until the spring. Am super curious as to how it would work but there is frequently too much snow and ice in our driveway to check out,
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