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DavePhelps

BATTERY DILEMMA....HELP!!

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We have put our deposit down on the smaller Legacy Elite.

I did a lot of research on this forum and others before we settled on the Elite.

Going solar is an important part of our setup as we will be boondocking most all of the time.

The issue I am now faced with is that after assuming that a pair of the Trojan T-105's would fit in the Elite, I now find out that they will not :o (from Robert Partee). This assumption was based on folks on this forum who said that they had installed them in their Elites. So I am wondering what's up? I would like to hear from anyone who has the T105's in their Elite, and find out if you had to do any mods to fit them in. Other than that, with the Oliver quoted 9" of battery box height, this is severely limiting for decent quality deep cycle batteries suitable for solar applications. We are very excited about the trailer, but this seems like a pretty serious design flub. I can't even squeeze in a Lithium battery with that height spec. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Yes, I am just a bit flustered over this!! Hoping to come up with some kind of solution.

Thanks,

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Hi Dave,

 

Can't help ya with the Trojans, but I can offer an alternative. My current battery setup in The Wonder Egg is a pair of Lifeline GPL-27T Deep Cycle RV batteries, http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/rvflyer.php?id=2, which provide me with 200 AH of power for use. I've been out boondocking a lot this summer and unless my campsite is deep in the woods for and extended period, or in partial shade but with heavy overcast for days, the generator is never needed. My single 160W panel, which is mounted on top of the trailer, has me up to 14.4V by late morning if there is full sun available. (longer, of course, with shaded sun) I experience only a .2V drop overnight while running the furnace with the outside temps in the mid 40s.They are pricey, but the five year warranty makes me feel better about the cost involved. I went with 12V units so I would still have a capable 12V system running if one battery fails. Overall I am very happy with their performance.

 

 

They fit just fine in my Legacy Elite battery compartment.

 

Pete


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Thanks for the reply Pete, it's much appreciated.

After the shock wore off about the T-105's not fitting I got to work re-researching batteries.

Then, save the day, I remembered an article that Chris and Cherie (aka the folks) wrote.

This was a detailed listing on how they outfitted their Oliver Elite for solar, here's the link:

http://www.technomadia.com/2010/04/tech ... solar-faq/

They also ended up with a Lifeline battery, only theirs is a 6volt AGM type (Lifeline GPL-4C 6Volt AGM).

Their install was apparently known as the "Technomadia Solar Package" back when the Elites were still being produced.

Why Oliver never brought this up to me for my current build I haven't a clue. But I'll be finding out tomorrow when I talk to Anita. Could be that the newer folks there never heard of it ..... In any case, I'm hoping that I can finally close the book on the solar option, the last loose end on my build sheet, and shift my attentions to other endeavors, like trip planning!!

 

Say, how is it having the panel on your roof?? Ever wish you could move it around so you could park in the shade but have your panel in the sun? It has been suggested that ultimately, it is very convenient to have one or two on the roof, and then maybe later add some remote panels if needed. I was originally thinking of remote panels only, but am now reconsidering this idea.

 

Thanks again for your input Pete. And a BIG thank you to Chris and Cherie for all your help too. I'll be making a donation to the cause shortly!

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Oh yes, I almost forgot. For future reference, the AM Solar 200 amp/hr Lithium Batteries will also, as it turns out, fit into the Elite. http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/page_32 ... ttery.html

They assured me that the battery would work with the Elite's 9" of headroom.

This appears to be an awesome battery platform for solar application, but they are extremely expensive at this time.

But for a fulltimer....it may be worth it.

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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I recently purchased a new Elite and came across he same situation. Although I was not outfitting with solar, I did want a high performance battery,I was unable to add anything more than a standard battery. The issue is the additional space the slide out tray takes up

I think you might be able to give up the convenience of a slide out if you can find a low profile battery clamp. Of course, safety is a major concern.

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Hardrock,

what is the height from the bottom of your pull-out tray to the top of the battery box??

What if the tray was removed, what is the height then?

Thanks

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Have they changed the size of the battery box on the new Elite's? We had two Optima Yellow top AGM's in our original . They were over 9 inches tall and had plenty of room above them.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Dave,

 

Having the panel up and running all the time works well for me. It gathers power traveling down the road, as well as when in camp. I prefer the "leave alone and forget it" mode. Pointing and angling a panel directly at the sun is most efficient right after it is pointed, but several hours later, when the sun has moved across the sky it loses efficiency as well. I do have the ability to angle the panel left or right but have not found the need to in 7 years.

 

I don't want to be babysitting the panel all day, I don't want it to "walk away" when I'm gone, I don't want to fiddle with where to put it while I go down the road, I think most extension cords for it are of limited length and I don't want to fiddle with a very long one.

 

My current campsite in Maine gets full sun for about 6 hours of the day. (it collects energy whenever the sun is above the horizon and has 6 hours of non shaded overhead) I've been there going on five nights now and have not needed the generator. This morning I powered up the 2000W inverter and used 110 voltage to make toast for breakfast. Works for me!

 

Pete


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Hardrock,

what is the height from the bottom of your pull-out tray to the top of the battery box??

What if the tray was removed, what is the height then?

Thanks

 

Dave

Dave

I measured mine and the rough opening is 18" deep, 17" wide and 12" high. The tray is approximately 1.5 " from the bottom to the bottom of the tray. I have standard top post batteries. From the top of the post to the top of the opening is approximately 1". Side mount batteries would give you more room. :D

My trailer was delivered in April so should be same as yours

I have the standard battery, although like you, I seriously contemplated doing solar. However, as I looked at how I would be using my trailer, I will be traveling from campsite to campsite looking at national parks and highways such as Route 66. The wind drag on the trailer with solar for 2-300 miles per day will take its toll.

If you have further questions, send me your contact info and I will give you a call

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Hardrock,

thanks for the reply. I'm assuming from your post that you meant there is 1.5" of space between the floor of the compartment and the battery tray. Therefore leaving ~10.5" of clearance height for an actual battery. Do I have this right?

T-105's spec out at 10.75" tall, the Lifeline GPL-4CT specs at 9.92". If you wouldn't mind, do you have the length and width of the ? Sounds like height is the only issue but I just want to be sure!

Thanks a lot.

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Be sure to have an accurate height measurement in the rear of the battery compartment. In my older Elite, the compartment is taller in the front than it is in the back.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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The battery tray is 14" square

The front has a lip all the way across the front that is .75 inches. Imagine an inverted "L" that serves to help as a drawer pull to slide out the drawer. The sides have drawer hardware attached much like a home kitchen cabinet, only more heavy duty

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14" square (LxW). OK. So is the height clearance 10.5" (or ??) from the tray up? And as Pete mentioned, how much is this height diminished towards the rear of the compartment? Most of these batteries are 10" to 10.5" long so there should be some room in the back to allow for a loss of height due to the radiused ceiling of the compartment. Hopefully we can put this to rest soon. I really appreciate this.

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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To accurately measure the compartment, I would need to remove both batteries and the tray, no easy task. I thought I might try sliding my framing square to the back but the quarters are too tight. I thought I might try it from "up top". Inside the cabin there is a storage bin directly above the battery compartment. Alas, the storage seems to be affixed with no easy way to remove it

To not be outdone, I slid a square piece of paper and the back wall seems to be at the correct angle to the side wall. This is as scientific method of measurement as I can muster without major disassembly.

I purposely mentioned the storage bin. This is a new feature and Oliver has done some major redesign work in several areas. It is quite possible that they "squared up " the battery compartment. :)

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There always has to be a "slight" amount of relief in a mold or it would not release. However, this "out of perfectly square difference" is most likely insignificant in this case.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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OK,

thanks everyone for their responses.

Hardrock, or anyone, if you have any energy left, you could measure the available battery box height by first pulling out the battery tray, measure from the tray floor (base of battery) to the tallest battery component (probably the posts). Push the tray back into the compartment, then measure the space between the top of battery (same as before) and the top of the compartment. Add the two together and that's the number I'm trying to find. It's looking like I'll be going with the Lifeline GPL-4CT 6volt 225 Ah AGM batteries. They fit in Technomadia's rig when they had an Elite so they should fit in the new version as well. Waiting to hear back from Oliver on this.

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Dave

When I slide out the tray the weight of two heavy 12 volt batteries, this action distorts the measurement. Although heavy duty slides, the batteries are cantilevered into thin air yields an inaccurate measurement

I spent time at Oliver when I picked up my trailer. They tried both the T-105's and the AGM. I was told that neither would fit. :evil:

If I ever replace them and need more room, I would consider removing the tray and putting an anti-battery acid matt in. Longer cables would allow me to sit each battery on the ground. :?:

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Thought I would post a final comment for the record about my battery situation for anyone interested.

It took a while, but it turns out that Oliver did change the slide out battery tray in the new Elite. This change, along with a slightly redesigned battery compartment, reduced the available battery height to just over 9". Pretty limiting for anyone needing some serious battery power for extended boondocking (we also got the solar package). After some inquiry, Oliver said that they could use the old style tray giving me a little over an extra inch of height. I hate to be vague with these numbers, but that's the best I could get from Oliver. The good news is that with the extra height, I was able to fit 2 Lifeline GPL-4CT AGM 6volt, 220 amp/hr batteries. I was hoping the Trojan T-105's would fit, but it was not to be.

So my trailer is just entering production. Glad to stop sweating the details now and just let them build the trailer.

It's been a learning process, that's for sure.

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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