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I may end up doing that since I want to run cables to the back of the truck for a portable winch. I figure that I might as well make a plug for the trailer at the same time. I need to do a bit more research though, since I'm installing LFP batteries and believe that I need a regulator between them and the alternator to keep the alternator from burning itself up trying to charge them.  I don't have any spare brain cells to devote to that just yet, but sometime in the next month or two I'll get back at it. I'd love a link to that discussion...

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Also reading discussions on Air Forums.

 

Folks there are starting to replace lead/acid batteries with Battle Born BB10012 Lithium Ion LiFePO4 Battery 12V 100Ah batteries with built in battery management system.

 

Contacted Battle Born about using the 100watt Renogy Portable Suitcase Solar Panel system to charge the Battle Born batteries. They said the Viewstar VS1024BN controller's settings are not compatible with their batteries. Working to resolve this issue.

 

We have an original equipment Progressive Dynamics PD4045 power control in our 2015 Ollie. After reading Battle Born site information, the existing power control will charge Battle Born batteries, but for faster charges the 14.4V boost mode would charge faster.  After talking to Progressive Dynamics, my power control boost mode comes on when battery voltage drops to 12V or every 21 hours for 15 minutes to prevent battery stratification.

 

Could replace the existing PD 4045 convertor section, located above the fan in existing power control,  with a Progressive Dynamics # PD4045LICSV convertor section, for Lithium battery charging. The folks at solar-electric.com said to give the original Progressive Dynamics charger a try first, it may work fine without upgrading the convertor section.

 

 

 

 

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Bill & Debbie / 2015 LE2 #75 / 2022 Tundra / North Carolina

 

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Greetings Campers! We believe in transparency at Oliver Travel Trailers. We would like to clarify our decision to change from the BlueSky charge controller to the ZAMP charge controller was based on the idea of providing an easy and enjoyable camping experience. We chose a charge controller that was hassle free and designed to best suit the Oliver. Listed below are the reasons why. ZAMP solar is based in a world-class factory in Bend, Oregon, USA Easy to use, less complex than MPPT controllers Less prone to failure than MPPT controllers Recommended for smaller (under 350 watts) systems like the OliverPrevents overcharging and gassing of your batteries Recommended for travel trailers and RVs We hope this clears up any confusion as to why we chose to go with ZAMP. If you have any questions please feel free to call our Service Dept. at 1-866-205-2621. Thank you!

Thanks Jason, I think that Karen and I just got caught up in the middle of the change over. The Blue Sky system was what was being advertised still and I read all about it and was expecting to have that system on our rig. When we went thru our walk thru, Jason said we had the Zamp system and I had to ask him, “What’s a Zamp?” because I’d never heard of it and didn’t know beforehand that our solar system had been changed out. So that was our first surprise, then learning the difference between the MPPT & PWM systems. In order for the Zamp system to compare with the MPPT, it needs to have a 3rd panel added because a PWM system is 1/3 less efficient then an MPPT of equal size.

 

There was no office when we picked ours up, everything was in turmoil and everyone was working from a temporary desk at the factory while the sales office was being remodeled. Tommy had retired, Jason had stepped out of sales and dropped in as service manager and Anita became our salesperson while we were driving out to pick up hull #200. So we got caught in the middle of the big change and the trailer needed our entire pick up day to be completed and ready, which was fine. It put us into Fall Hollow after dark but we’re experienced with trailers anyway and that night was the first time that I had ever heard of Zamp… Which brings me to the next question, on our paperwork it just states a 320 watt Solar System and we paid $2800.00 for it. I’ve done a ton of homework on the Zamp system now and have found that the 320 watt Zamp Solar package sells complete for between $1100 – $1300 retail and it has had me wondering for sometime, did I get charged the $2800 for the Blue Sky System or or was the solar installation cost the extra $1500+?

 

Reed

 

Screenshot_2017-07-14-17-23-16

 

 

Thanks for clearing that up. We were definitely going through some transitions as the Oliver popularity has been growing and thankfully we've completed them.

As for the pricing of your Zamp that would be an Anita question. You would be able to reach her Monday morning. The number is: 1-888-526-3978

 

- Jason

Full Stack Developer/Marketing @ Oliver Companies

Oliver Forums Guidelines & Rules

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If one did run some large cables from the alternator straight to the batteries would a charge controller be needed to void over charging?  This just seems too logical not to be fraught with problems.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Regulation is provided by the vehicle's charging system.  When connected, the alternator will just see one big battery same as if you had a dual battery setup in your truck.  And so long as you're using lead acid, the battery type doesn't matter - you can combine starting and house batteries no problem.  The best setup is to use an intelligent relay that connects the batteries when there's a charge on either end, be that from the alternator, solar, or shore power.  That way, both batteries get charged whenever there's power.  But you could just unplug when discharging, use an ignition relay (have heard this doesn't work well with Chevrolets for some reason), or use a manual switch.  It's a bit more complicated with LFP in that they will accept a ton of amps, and supposedly will burn up an alternator - that's what I need to research for my needs.  Victron does a lot of dual battery systems for ambulances and such, so I'm sure that they make whatever doohickey I need to hook to the truck.  And it may not matter for high output alternators.  The one in my truck will be 220A and it would be nice if I can just connect it up and go.

 

One other complication is with Toyotas and Mercs, since they charge at 13.9 volts.  You have to connect to them using a battery to battery charger.

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If one did run some large cables from the alternator straight to the batteries would a charge controller be needed to void over charging? This just seems too logical not to be fraught with problems.

 

Please read my earlier post.

 

If the truck and the trailer batteries are tied together the alternator just sees one big battery.  The alternator is regulated at 14.1-14.4 volts and charges the truck batteries with no problems.

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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An easy and reliable way to connect/disconnect the house batteries from the truck battery, automatically, is to use a "Ford solenoid" rated for continuous duty.  The ignition circuit, or the alternator output would pull it in and the alternator power to the house batts would feed through it.  The "continuous duty" rating means the pull in coil can stay energized continuously, as opposed to a starter solenoid, which looks the same, and is much cheaper, but can only be on long enough to run the starter motor.

 

The one shown is rated for 80 amps continuously. It might be a bit light for a 100 amp alternator, but probably OK since the 100 amp output would not be continuous during the charging cycle.

 

Here's one:

 

https://www.zoro.com/white-rodgers-dc-power-solenoid-12v-amps-80-70-111224s1/i/G1031852/

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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  • 3 weeks later...
An easy and reliable way to connect/disconnect the house batteries from the truck battery, automatically, is to use a “Ford solenoid” rated for continuous duty.  The ignition circuit, or the alternator output would pull it in and the alternator power to the house batts would feed through it.  The “continuous duty” rating means the pull in coil can stay energized continuously, as opposed to a starter solenoid, which looks the same, and is much cheaper, but can only be on long enough to run the starter motor.

 

Has anybody done this? We're getting a new tow vehicle & if this is a solution, I'd love to have it pre-wired.

Chris & Duke Chadwell
🐾Maddie & Baxter🐾
Elite II Hull 292
2022 F-250 Lariat 7.3 Godzilla 4x4 Lakeland,FL
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There's a really good thread on ExPo right now about connecting LFP batteries to your vehicle's charging system, specifically Battle Born batteries. Lots of good technical info is being posted from both ExPo peeps and Battle Born themselves about their batteries.

 

By the way, we did a test fit of the BBs in the Ollie's battery tray when I was over there last Friday. It's a snug fit but you can get 4 in the box without too much difficulty. The only issue was the screws that hold the strike plate for the door would need to be countersunk.  That, or I can grind off the plastic strap keepers on one side of the batteries, which I'll probably do anyway just so they lie flat.

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  • 4 months later...

I thought that I would add to this being that we have been consistently using the Renogy Solar Suitcase as our main Solar System for most of the year. We have the Zamp and it continues to pulse away but here at 8am, the Zamp is putting out 1.4amps, while the Renogy Solar Suitcase is putting out 2.8amps. The 100watt Solar Suitcase is putting out twice as much as the 320watt Zamp hard wired Solar System! Then at noon, for a couple of hours the Zamp passes the Suitcase up because it has more wattage and the sun is at its highest at about 45° from the horizontal horizon. At that time the Renogy Solar Suitcase maxes out at 5.8amps and the Zamp maxes out at 6.8amps because of the 0° angle. I do have my Zamp panels tilted a touch to keep the rain rolling off of the street side, so we also take that into consideration when parking because we want to get the most out of the roof mounted panels that we can. Personally, I think that the best thing that Oliver could do if they really want to keep the Zamp system, is to Mount it on a tilting platform that will take it up to 45°... If I didn't have my Renogy Solar Suitcase, then I wouldn't have anywhere near enough Solar Power being that it is December and the shortest day of the year is right around the corner. Once again, my little 100watt Renogy Solar Suitcase is still my #1 Energy Provider.

 

I will always wish that we had received the Blue Sky Solar, the better system over all, that we had originally ordered...

 

This is a good thread to completely read thru for anyone interested in learning more about solar.

 

Reed

 

IMG_20171213_075727_1-1.thumb.jpg.644d1c3152ca8c104e37966d56266a20.jpg

 

 

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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I'll be interested to see what my portable panels do relative to the rooftop system once I get them set up.  (I decided to run them through our onboard charge controller, which means that I need to remove the charge controller from the panels, swap out cables, connectors, etc. - it's on the to do list still)

 

What I can say though is that location is a huge determinant relative to what your charge controller is doing.  Here's a graph of our solar output showing the difference between being out traveling in the desert vs parked at home in the shade.  It's pretty obvious when we parked it and you can see that even with 640w of solar and an MPPT controller, we're just seeing around 2 amps many days and only brief peaks of 6 to 8 even on good days...

 

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With our fridge running, it's not quite enough to keep the batteries topped up.

 

To be clear, I do think that the MPPT controller will be better for you, but I'm going to guess that it won't show as big of an improvement as you're hoping - though I'm curious to see.  For me, the drawback of the Zamp is that it's a black box and no way to see or control what it's doing.  I would recommend my system to anyone and everyone, but because of the info and data rather than performance.

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Because of the lack of info on the Zamp controller, any controller with a shunt will put it to shame...

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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