Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by GAP

  1. Great idea on the putty. Sounds like a good option. The closed cell foam I was considering is not a spray can, construction item. It's the same sort of stuff, but slightly firmer, that yoga matts are made of. Would simply cut tiny half moon wedges to fit the the intake covers. Of course this would be a winter only thing and I'd have to keep an eye on the floor of the basement and garage to confirm they are dry.
  2. Hey Charlie, I do appreciate the response but truthfully, if I had a better idea of 'physics, sizing of vents/ducts and water/hydraulic piping" I'd not have to ask these questions. Ha, ha. My work and education background is in other fields and I just don't speak that language. Am doing my best to figure out how to tweak the trailer so that it can operate in the cold conditions that it was supposedly built to work well in. I guess I'll do as planned, opening alternative return supplies further away from the furnace while incrementally closing the supply vent closest to the unit and keep an eye out for short cycling. From my 20 plus days in below freezing conditions, the cabin temps have been spot on yet varying to an acceptable degree between the bathroom (that was a dead end before my earlier tweaks) and main cabin. it's the temps surrounding remote water lines that has been the big issue. I really appreciate the feedback.
  3. It's hard for me to tell which one of those last two bullet points are the one to pay attention to. I'm thinking the last one describes our situation where the small round exterior vent is exhaust, which is not described as being exhaust venting in their description above. If so, the size of the existing return vent is too small as it is roughly 6x10". Either way, I was considering adding more area of return vent capacity through both the basement and garage due to the distances involved (to the bathroom and through garage via vents placed in walls under beds) and obstructions/restrictions along the path. I am not worried about there being fresh air to feed return vents as there are so many drainage holes through the belly to outside. There are enough holes to the outside that it makes me consider blocking some of them with plugs of closed cell foam as will be inefficient to heat the area between shells otherwise.
  4. Just a couple of clarification questions: Wouldn't you think that by diminishing the size (or eliminating) the existing return vent by the furnace and placing return vents further forward that feed into the basement, that when the furnace runs, it would pull warm air through the basement ? In my case, I placed a vent by the toilet, feeding into the basement below the forward dinette. There are exterior shower water lines run through the garage which is the most susceptible area with water to cold temps. To address those lines, was planning on adding a vent to the wall (separating basement from garage) in basement under the streetside bed and another in wall between garage and basement by the furnace under the curbside bed. I've already rerouted a heat duct through that area feeding into the main cabin below the battery box. This has considerably warmed up the area around the exterior shower. By partially of fully covering the only existing vent (right by the furnace) wouldn't the furnace operating then pull warm air through basement from the bathroom and through the garage from the now warm area under the streetside bed?
  5. I was considering something similar. I was going to contact cement a piece of pre cut foam pad to same sized piece of reflectex, both shaped to cover entire door. As I have lithiums, there is no need in cold weather for venting. Foam would be cut from a cheap, closed cell camp mat. I'd attach heavy duty peel-and-stick velcro to back of reflectex and inside of the battery compartment door. That way, it would be easy to remove the insulation and allow ventilation during the summer.
  6. I've camped quite a bit in winter conditions with temps down to single digits. Have been posting recently on tweaks that were necessary for the trailer to function in those temps but have not had any problem with our Dometic fridge _ that were related to cold weather use. I assumed but should double check to see if the cold weather kit is a standard feature on the current units. I too looked at skirts and do agree that they would be efficient for cutting Lp usage but think they would be quite the task to set up and tear down. My thoughts after spending a chunk of time starting up at the belly of the trailer is that the belly is already constructed in a way where it would be fairly easy to add a layer of insulation to the exterior. Not sure what the best solution is but seems that closed cell foam or even the blue/pink exterior home insulation would be tough enough and easily adhered with spray adhesive or contact cement. Would have to cut away holes for drainage in a few spots. Would also have to be super careful to make sure to pick the right material and glue it in place right as having chunks of material coming loose on the highway would be less than ideal. I think this would make a massive difference. Really, should have bought some 2'x2' squares of different materials to play with during the summer to see what the best option is. As cold is just around the bend, will need to be a project for next summer. As it stands now, on days where it is consistently in low teens to single digits, we burn through a 30lb LP tank every other day. To get through this winter, we picked up an extra tank which will travel in the bed of our truck. Gerry
  7. We live in Connecticut and use a Eevelle horse trailer cover. link to cover We use it year round and are super happy with it. Bought their top shelf version for a 24' V front trailer and it fits perfect except for not covering the storage box and leveler on the tongue - both fine with us. The material is very sturdy, there are vents running across the top lip which work really well even if cover is put on a wet trailer. A number of straps that go under the belly and one across the top, which holds the material firm to trailer even in wind storms. This also prevents the material from sitting on the ground and freezing to the pavement. There are top to bottom zippers every 6-7' with velcroe tabs at the top so it is easy to roll up panels for easy access to any part of the trailer. We wax and buff 2x/year, wash with a soap/wax combo in general and the trailer looks fantastic. Purchased on sale for 40% off so ended up costing around $550 including tax and shipping. They have lots of sales. Our primary reasons for going with the cover was twofold. We want to minimize drying/cracking of sealants arounds windows and roof. Also, leaves and dust collected around the roof supports for the awning which also pools water. This made for constant ugly staining which was a real chore to keep clean.
  8. Great way to help protect those areas. This season, I've unscrewed the exterior shower head , brought into the inner shell and put the head back on. Also pulled the cold and hot knobs so now there is a deeper space behind the little door to the shower to add a layer of closed cell foam. We used reflectex on our battery compartment as well and it made a huge difference. Used two layers of that stuff on both the garage and battery doors.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Hey Steve, Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. BTW, what is a Camframo Heater and an anti-freeze pump?
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  • Create New...