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ccarole

Blue Sky solar

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Hi,

 

My trailer has been unplugged and under cover for a few months. Went to check it out recently and the Blue Sky monitor numbers were all blank. So just plugged in the trailer for a few days and went back today. The Blue Sky monitor still registers blank. The tank monitor registers battery at 13.0 (unplugged) and 13.2 (plugged in).

 

Previously they did appear normal as far as I could tell as  it did have numbers registering.

 

Is my battery charged?? Any idea what's going on?  This thing is completely beyond me. I read through some posts but I can't get a comprehension of this thing.

 

Here are some pictures of the monit0rs today.

 

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Carole ....and a couple of Malinois


2016 Legacy Elite II #175


2016 Ram 2500 


 

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From my understanding, the blue sky requires a few days of solar activity and use activity to get its reference bearing. After that it should all indicate correctly.

 

The only concern would be if you depleted your batteries too much and then I believe you would notice it in that they wouldn't hold a charge for as long a period as they used to.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I'll be pulling Ollie out to live in the sun for awhile next week. Hopefully it resets as you suggested. That would be great!

 

The battery drain and not holding charge thing..... BOOO!!

 

Thanks Randy!!


Carole ....and a couple of Malinois


2016 Legacy Elite II #175


2016 Ram 2500 


 

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CCarole,

 

Let us know what you are seeing on the Blue Sky display after a day or two out in the sun.  Your system may have an installation problem with the Blue Sky controller that prevents the solar system from charging the batteries.  We were at the factory tour with you and picked up our trailer the same day as you.  Our controller had a wiring issue that caused failure of the unit.  It took some coordination with Jason at Oliver and the Blue Sky technical rep. but with a new controller and repositioning the terminal connectors our system has been operating just fine since and we are quite pleased with it.

 

On the second page of the Introduce Yourself  topic listing is the Blue Sky Tech Support contact info. which might be worth looking at.  If Ryan is still their tech guy he was very helpful with our resolution.

 

 


George and Gretchen


Gig Harbor, Wa.


Hull Number 178

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Hi George!

 

Thank you.  I hope there's nothing wrong with it. ...that's why I drove all the way out to TN to pick it up......to avoid that kind of thing. They forgot to install things and other things were installed wrong. It's been a bit frustrating and is the reason why my trailer has been in storage. I got so disgusted with the problems that I couldn't get resolved.... that I just had to put it away.

 

But - I'll hope getting it into sun fixes it. :-/

 

Thank you for the info on how to contact the Blue Sky rep.  I sure hope I don't have to drive back to TN to get it fixed -- well I could always have them fix my Anderson Hitch too while I'm there!  :-O

 

Hopefully,

 

Carole

 

 

 

 


Carole ....and a couple of Malinois


2016 Legacy Elite II #175


2016 Ram 2500 


 

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Hi, My trailer has been unplugged and under cover for a few months. Went to check it out recently and the Blue Sky monitor numbers were all blank. So just plugged in the trailer for a few days and went back today. The Blue Sky monitor still registers blank. The tank monitor registers battery at 13.0 (unplugged) and 13.2 (plugged in). Previously they did appear normal as far as I could tell as it did have numbers registering. Is my battery charged?? Any idea what’s going on? This thing is completely beyond me. I read through some posts but I can’t get a comprehension of this thing. Here are some pictures of the monit0rs today.

 

If your trailer has been sitting for "a few months" with no power input your batteries were probably dead. You state you plugged it in and is now reading 13.x volts so apparently you lucked out and they came back to life. Just the normal parasitic drains in the trailer would draw over 5 amps a day from your batteries. You don't say which batteries you have but they also have an additional monthly self discharge rate of up to 12%. Every time the batteries get depleted they loose some ability to recover. Several depletions will ruin them so you should never leave the trailer without a power source be it plugged in or out in the sun. If you have to store it covered and without access to 110VAC you should unhook the batteries to prevent them from draining so fast, though they will still go flat over time - NOT GOOD.

 

The IPN-Pro is only reporting what it knows.  In order for it to accurately report amps going into the batteries from your converter, the negative wire coming out of the converter MUST go directly to the shunt and then from the shunt back to the grounding bus bar located under the rear most dinette seat. If you look inside that area you will see that the negative (yellow) wire coming out of the back of the converter is connected directly to the bus bar thus bypassing the shunt. The converter in your trailer was not wired correctly to be able to interact with the IPN-Pro (all of the trailers at that time were wired this way.) So all the amps going into your battery via the converter after you plugged it in were not registered by the IPN-Pro and it thinks they are dead.

 

There is nothing wrong with the IPN-Pro, so pull the trailer into full sun and the meter will reset itself in no more than a day, probably just a few hours since your batteries are back up to charge.

 

I can help you fix the wiring issue if you wish.

  • Thanks 1

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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Thank you Steve.

 

I parked my Oliver in the shade earlier this summer ( to protect the finish) and left it plugged in for much of the time. After unplugging it for about two weeks with everything turned off, the batteries were down to 84%. Lesson learned about parasitic draw on the batteries.

 

Thank you for your input.


Grayson and Ann Cook


Northwest CT and Mid Coast Maine


2016 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed FP


Toyota Tundra, Extra Cab, Long bed, 5.7 V8


Yippee-i-o-ki-yah

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ScubaRx,

 

Wow thank you so much for the explanation. Dead battery information - good stuff. The older I get the less I know. Lol!

 

It sounds like I may have lucked out. When I get the trailer here in my drive I will be able to tinker around with it more. I may take up your offer to fix the wiring issue then.

 

I have the Trojan AGM batteries.  I will be taking better care of them from now on!

 

Thank you !!

 

Carole


Carole ....and a couple of Malinois


2016 Legacy Elite II #175


2016 Ram 2500 


 

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Carole,

 

On page 4 of the mechanical tricks and tips is the 4 page string of my Blue Sky troubleshooting and resolution experience for Hull number 178. Lots of technical info. there and on the last page a picture of the simple solution to the wiring installation problem.  If it gets to looking like your controller is non functional I have pictures of the controller internals that I sent to Blue Sky for their assesment and recomendation.  We have the same batteries as you so there should be similarity in system performance.  The pictures of the Blue Sky display will be helpful when you get the trailer out in the sun.

 

George

 

 


George and Gretchen


Gig Harbor, Wa.


Hull Number 178

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If your trailer has been sitting for “a few months” with no power input your batteries were probably dead.  

 

Steve with all due respect this is not exactly correct. We have been storing our Oliver every winter since picking it up in a RV storage faculty with no electricity to plug in. The solar is turned off, and the master switch next to the Blu Sky is also off so that there is NO parasitic drain. I will go out about once every other month during our long winters to check the battery voltage, measured at the battery compartment and the lowest they have been after a long Montana winter is only 12.8 volts ± a fraction. Effectively we do have the capability to turn off all parasitic drains to the battery without doing any harm.

 

However I do agree that once the solar package has a day or two to "reset" itself all of the needed information will display. We've gone through this several times now ourselves after taking the camper out of storage.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Rob

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If your trailer has been sitting for “a few months” with no power input your batteries were probably dead.

Steve with all due respect this is not exactly correct. We have been storing our Oliver every winter since picking it up in a RV storage faculty with no electricity to plug in. The solar is turned off, and the master switch next to the Blu Sky is also off so that there is NO parasitic drain....

 

Thanks Rob.  You are correct, of course, and I was not very clear the way I worded that sentence. What I should have said was: If your trailer has been sitting for “a few months” with no power input to your batteries and they are still connected to the trailer, due to all the parasitic draws, they were probably dead.

 

Short of disconnecting them, I have no way to isolate our batteries. In our trailer, with all the miscellaneous idiot LED's that are always on, CO detector, refrigerator board, etc. I have a phantom draw of 0.4 amps/hour.  That's a little over 9 amps/24 hours. Left alone with no voltage input, I would be at 50% battery in less than 3 weeks.

 

Of course, with you wisely removing your parasitic draws, you avoid that plight.


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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Thank you George and Rob. Your thoughtful input is greatly appreciated. I'm very happy to know that I don't have a problem with my Blue Sky - just a matter of my mismanagement. :-)

 

I had actually considered and looked at all those lights indicating parasitic draws on my battery when I first parked into my storage unit. My unit unfortunately  had problems at my plug in. I did all kinds of backbends trying to get them to fix it - and even after they fixed it the box would trip randomly (wasn't me didn't have anything extra turned on in the trailer).  Somewhere along the way I forgot about the draws - unplugged the trailer and walked away for awhile. My frustrations blinded me. :-/

 

George, I will seek out and digest the info you have on Blue Sky trouble shooting on the form this weekend. So great for you to share all that. I look forward to understanding my Blue Sky.  :-)

 

Carole


Carole ....and a couple of Malinois


2016 Legacy Elite II #175


2016 Ram 2500 


 

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Just for clarity and for anyone else stumbling into this issue and conversation allow me to explain how one cuts off all power to all devices so there is no parasitic drain.

 

On the street side of the camper in the storage area below that side of the bed (king for us) where the Blu Sky controller is mounted for those with the solar system there exist one large red switch that turns the Blue Sky off, but there are also two rather unusual circuit breaker switches, one for the solar controller and the other for the entire electrical system. Our Oliver is in storage several miles out of town otherwise I would provide a quick and dirty photo for those interested. Anyway the circuit breaker to the far right is the one that turns off all electricity flowing from the batteries thus preventing any parasitic drain.

 

Just in case there is confusion on how these breakers work, given their unusual nature each of those should have a smallish push button mounted to the top, one is yellow the other red. Once that button is pushed a lever underneath swings out approximately 30 degrees or so while cutting off the respective circuit. The circuit it turned back on by pushing the lever back to its original position. Presumably those without solar power would have only one of these circuit breakers.

 

Hopefully this will be helpful to prevent any major battery drains in the future.

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Just for clarity and for anyone else stumbling into this issue and conversation allow me to explain how one cuts off all power to all devices so there is no parasitic drain. On the street side of the camper in the storage area below that side of the bed (king for us) where the Blu Sky controller is mounted for those with the solar system there exist one large red switch that turns the Blue Sky off, but there are also two rather unusual circuit breaker switches, one for the solar controller and the other for the entire electrical system. Our Oliver is in storage several miles out of town otherwise I would provide a quick and dirty photo for those interested. Anyway the circuit breaker to the far right is the one that turns off all electricity flowing from the batteries thus preventing any parasitic drain. Just in case there is confusion on how these breakers work, given their unusual nature each of those should have a smallish push button mounted to the top, one is yellow the other red. Once that button is pushed a lever underneath swings out approximately 30 degrees or so while cutting off the respective circuit. The circuit it turned back on by pushing the lever back to its original position. Presumably those without solar power would have only one of these circuit breakers. Hopefully this will be helpful to prevent any major battery drains in the future.

 

Then it changes for the 2017 models with the Zamp Solar and only has the one switch under the street side bed again, but only for the 12vdc. The only way to disconnect the Zamp Solar itself is to unhook the negative ground cable from the battery... The Zamp is a much cheaper system, not to be considered top of the line.

 

Reed


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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Thanks I had not realized Oliver had abandoned the Blue Sky system of solar charging. Wonder what they were thinking with that move?

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The Zamp is a much cheaper system, not to be considered top of the line.

In quality, I agree.  I'm not sure that it's any cheaper in terms of dollars.  Zamp has a reputation of being a bit overpriced for what they offer.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Routlaw - from what I was told the change was made primarily because "most" owners didn't need or want the advanced features and complicated nature of the old system.  Zamp was deemed to be of a more user friendly design.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Just for clarity and for anyone else stumbling into this issue and conversation allow me to explain how one cuts off all power to all devices so there is no parasitic drain. On the street side of the camper in the storage area below that side of the bed (king for us) where the Blu Sky controller is mounted for those with the solar system there exist one large red switch that turns the Blue Sky off, but there are also two rather unusual circuit breaker switches, one for the solar controller and the other for the entire electrical system. Our Oliver is in storage several miles out of town otherwise I would provide a quick and dirty photo for those interested. Anyway the circuit breaker to the far right is the one that turns off all electricity flowing from the batteries thus preventing any parasitic drain. Just in case there is confusion on how these breakers work, given their unusual nature each of those should have a smallish push button mounted to the top, one is yellow the other red. Once that button is pushed a lever underneath swings out approximately 30 degrees or so while cutting off the respective circuit. The circuit it turned back on by pushing the lever back to its original position. Presumably those without solar power would have only one of these circuit breakers. Hopefully this will be helpful to prevent any major battery drains in the future.

 

That's what I thought too, until I had a problem and found out it doesn't, at least on hull 69 it doesn't, still measured current draw on the big cables (battery) under the rear dinette seat. The only way to kill everything was to disconnect a battery terminal. If I remember correctly, the inverter has nothing to do with those little breakers.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Routlaw – from what I was told the change was made primarily because “most” owners didn’t need or want the advanced features and complicated nature of the old system. Zamp was deemed to be of a more user friendly design. Bill

 

That's what we were told also, but the problem that we are finding is that in order for an old school PWM system like the Zamp to compare with the Blue Sky or any other MPPT, is that people need to always add a 3rd pannel to make up the difference. We have found that the 320watt pannels with the Zamp controller just isn't enough. Oliver is now adding in a Zamp auxiliary plug in Port on the side of the trailer but in reality, they need to be adding a 3rd 160watt pannel to the roof of all of the new trailers. And this is the BIG difference between the 2 types of systems. The 320watts of solar pannels ran fine and is recommended with the Blue Sky but by changing to a cheap  Zamp controller they didn't finish the system by adding the other 160watt pannel to the roof to bring it up to 480watts, which is what is needed with a PWM system.

 

Either way you look at it, Oliver had the perfect system set up for the 2 160watt pannels that they put on the roof for the Blue Sky system. Now, we need to either upgrade to 3 160watt pannels on the roof, which will add that much more weight to the roof... Change out the Zamp controller  for an MPPT, which will add the weight back under the street side bed, or carry àn external ground based 160watt Solar system that needs to be set up on the ground, which will add the extra weight plus an added controller to the tow vehicle.

 

We have added the 100watt Solar Suitcase to our Olli and still it just isn't quite enough to fully charge the batteries most of the time. But it adds 100 of the needed 160watts back into the system and really helps us out.

 

I need to make the phone call to Oliver because I'm flat out not satisfied with the Zamp PWM system being that we paid for the Blue Sky... If the Zamp system worked and was put in properly with the 3rd pannel, I wouldn't have an issue... But it wasn't! So I've spent many hours researching why our $2800.00 overpriced Zamp Soler system doesn't work and that's the simple answer. You need to add the 3rd pannel to bring it up and match the quality and output of the Blue Sky system...

 

Honestly, I don't recommend anyone buy the new Oliver Solar package option because there are way better complete working packages available everywhere else for less then half of the price, and this is what I tell everyone who asks about our trailer. The bait and switch tactics of the sales office this year, really has caused so many issues with so many of us new owners, and switching out the Blue Sky system with no notice and charging us the same amount of money for a system of far less quality and incomplete absolutely tops our list of complaints!!!

 

Reed


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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Wow! I had no idea this was happening, really glad I received one of the older Blue Sky systems, thus far it has worked perfectly and we never ever come close to running out of electricity. I've told many an admirer we will run out of water and gas long before electricity. Not sure why Oliver thought the other system was so complex either.

 

@ Randy, really I'm surprised to hear you've run into this. As previously stated on two long Montana winters we have stored our Oliver for months at a time and never has the DC voltage dropped below 12.83 ± a tenth. I will be doing the same this winter again. I'm not sure how the converter could possibly draw a parasitic drain if its completely disconnected like it appears to be on ours.

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@ Randy, really I’m surprised to hear you’ve run into this. As previously stated on two long Montana winters we have stored our Oliver for months at a time and never has the DC voltage dropped below 12.83 ± a tenth. I will be doing the same this winter again. I’m not sure how the converter could possibly draw a parasitic drain if its completely disconnected like it appears to be on ours.

 

Let me apologize, I did not mean to confuse the parasitic draw discussion, my post was for using extreme caution, I would not want someone sticking an arm down into the electrical area thinking everything was off. I just retested and if you shutoff the switch and trip the two breakers, then press the inverter button, you'll find all the AC turns on and powers up.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I'm not sure when the changeover to the ZAMP controller was done

 

We ordered around the first week of May and was aware of the change so no surprise when we picked up in July.

 

We're on a 3 month trip to the NE (Maine right now) and the ZAMP is working fine, but I intend to swap out to the Bogart system soon.  In fact it's in a storage box but we've been touring with no time to swap it out.  The Bogart is PWM so no great advantage other than having a full feature information display including percentage of battery by having a shunt in the negative battery lead so the computer can track usage versus charge currents.

 

Bogart has a new owner who may come up with a MPPT controller sometime in the future (I hope).

 

I've installed Bogart in my last two trailers and helped friends install in there's.

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Well hopefully everyone who has invested in the solar system can get things worked out properly, sounds like some of you have a legitimate complaint regarding the Blue Sky changeover.

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Routlaw – from what I was told the change was made primarily because “most” owners didn’t need or want the advanced features and complicated nature of the old system. Zamp was deemed to be of a more user friendly design. Bill
I like my Zamp system, just spent 8 consecutive days boondocking, with the max fan on 24/7, inverter on making toast and my wife drying her hair, batteries were fully recharged (went into float) no later than 4 everyday. I considered hooking up a battery monitor, but don't feel a need for it right now.
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STEVEnBETTY

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Hi Ollie helpers  :-)

 

I have my Ollie at home now so can play around with it. I've left it unplugged for the last few days....some sun some rain. There still are no numbers on the Blue Sky IPN- PRo Remote.  Well there is one still - the Bolt Amp = -0.7/8

 

See Level II Tank Monitor shows. Batt at 12.7.

 

No electric has been used besides the usual ghost draws.

 

So I was hoping after time in the sun that The Blue Sky IPN remote would start to show me some numbers. No such luck. Any suggestions how to get it kick started again?  I'm assuming (hopefully not mistakenly) that the solar is working but that the monitor just doesn't want to speak to me. Maybe I should get in there and run some electrics to to pull Batt level down and see if it recharges?

 

Solar niave,

 

Carole


Carole ....and a couple of Malinois


2016 Legacy Elite II #175


2016 Ram 2500 


 

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