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technomadia

Planned Upgrades & Downgrades

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Here is my current rough outline of upgrades (and downgrades) I will be asking to have done to our Oliver...

 

Downgrades:

Satellite Television Antenna: I need to clear up roof space for the solar system, and I really could care less about television. That's what Netflix is for...

 

Entertainment System: The stock system has a 15" screen - no better than our laptops. And the DVD player only outputs low-res composite video to the screen. I want much better.

 

(Maybe) Microwave / Convection Oven: Most Oliver and Casita owner's who have an integrated microwave seem to never user it and they wish that they had the extra cabinet space instead. We could if desired instead carry around a small toaster oven or cheap microwave - and we could then use it for outdoor cooking as well. Cherie and I are still on the fence about whether or not we want to ask them to leave this off...

 

 

Upgrades:

Double Pane Windows: Extra insolation is always a good thing.

 

Enhanced Batteries: I am going to research the largest possible battery capacity that can be squeezed into the Oliver's battery box. Right now I am debating between Lifeline AGM's or Trojan flooded lead acid.

 

Combination Charger / Inverter: The stock battery charger / 12V converter will be replaced with a combination inverter / smart charger / transfer switch. This way the entire trailer will have functional AC power even when disconnected from shore power, and the battery will be able to charge quicker when I do resort to using the generator. I am researching several alternatives for this component, debating the tradeoffs of cost, modified sine-wave or true sine wave power, and charger and inverter capacity.

 

Solar Panel(s) & Charge Controller: The Oliver's roof is oddly shaped, and it will be hard to fit more than one panel up there without engineering some sort of deployable slide out or trifold system to allow multiple panels to stack for transport. But I have found a few promising panels - and at the very least I should be able to get a single 130W panel on the roof. I'm also researching the ideal charge controller to interface the panel to the batteries. The MorningStar SunSaver MPPT is currently the top choice.

 

Battery Monitor: The Oliver comes with an integrated voltage gauge for monitoring the battery, but this is all but useless for getting an accurate sense of how much battery capacity actually remains. I will instead have a proper amp-hour meter installed to track battery performance.

 

Cell Phone Booster: A roof mounted antenna combined with a signal amplifier and interior rebroadcast antenna will give us vastly better cellular voice coverage, and faster Internet speeds as well.

 

Enhanced AV System: I have been very disappointed researching the systems designed for "mobile" and RV use. Instead, I am contemplating a "home theater in a box" system from Sony or Panasonic. This way I can get vastly better audio and video quality in a cheaper system that takes up essentially the same amount of space and which hardly burns up any more power.

 

22" Widescreen Monitor: Instead of the small square factory 15" TV, we will have them mount a 21" or 22" widescreen monitor on the wall that will also take HDMI input from the AV system. This will give us a stunning screen for movie watching, and the swing arm will also allow us to position it over the table for use as a second monitor with one of our laptops. The swing arm should also be able to position the monitor so that it is viewable out the side window from the front porch for outdoor movie nights.

 

Tongue Generator Mount: We plan to get a small Honda or Yamaha generator for running the AC and topping off the batteries when needed. We'll want a way to secure the generator to the trailer tongue.

 

 

And of course, we will also be picking out custom fabrics, panel colors, and even tiles for the interior.

 

I think this covers the most of the upgrades that we will be building into our Oliver. I expect that I will be posting in depth articles here detailing my research into each of them.

 

Any thoughts, suggestions, or comments???

 

- Chris // http://www.technomadia.com

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Chris,

 

Looks like you're having a lot of fun building your ideal trailer!

 

Will your solar panel be able to tilt up to maximize input during the low sun angles of winter if you are in a northern location?

 

Could you ever anticipate using Ham radio for long range emergency contact, etc. If so, Oliver can provide the appropriate cable & connections for outside & inside.

 

Be sure to add strategically placed extra 12V connections.

 

An old fashioned telephone jack connection on the inside & outside would add flexibility.

 

I like your "big screen" TV concept and the swing arm for viewing from the porch. When you have hooked up some speakers outside, it will be just like an old drive in movie theater! I can smell the popcorn . . .

 

Oh! And don't forget the turbo booster rockets and deployable wings to help you zip through the air with George Jetson! ;)


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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I want to get a Xantrex Prosine 2.0 to put in our trailer eventually. I like the true sine wave inverter because electronics generally like them better. Specifically, our Dish receiver won't run off the crappy inverter we use now.

 

The reason I am looking at such a large inverter is that I want one that will allow us to re-heat a cup of coffee in the microwave (for 30-45 seconds) without turning on the generator!

 

However, it is over $700 for a refurbished one, or almost double that for a new one. I also want to figure out how to NOT run the fridge through the inverter, but I haven't found a decent dual breaker box to support things that aren't on the inverter.

 

I also do want to get some solar eventually, but haven't looked into it much so far.

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On either the CasitaClub or Casitaforum, someone 'glued' a large solar panel using a 3M adhesive...and blocks to make it flat. A search there cud be of assistance to you I think. I'm VERY int in solar with no knowledge so will be following your blogs and postings closely hopeing to learn.

Thanks for your battery postings! Do you think you will go to 6v ? Mountainborn has a VERY nice gen cover for his Yamaha 3000 which could be easily downsized to my Honda 2000. I have seen it and it is one of the nicest I've seen on ANY small trailer. FYI, by turning the electric tongue lift to one side (curb best IMHO) you can pick up almost an 1.5" of tongue room for your box! And believe me, every little bit counts!!

Regards, Chuck 8-)

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Thanks for your battery postings! Do you think you will go to 6v ? Mountainborn has a VERY nice gen cover for his Yamaha 3000 which could be easily downsized to my Honda 2000. I have seen it and it is one of the nicest I've seen on ANY small trailer. FYI, by turning the electric tongue lift to one side (curb best IMHO) you can pick up almost an 1.5" of tongue room for your box! And believe me, every little bit counts!!

 

Great tip on turning the electric lift to the side - I just wrote to Robert about that.

 

Where can I get more info on the generator cover? We are probably going to get a Honda 2000, but I haven't figured out how to secure and protect it yet.

 

As for 6V - yes, I think so. My current leaning is two big LifeLine AGM's for 220 total amp hours of storage.

 

Cheers!

 

- Chris

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Generator cover thread:


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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