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<span style="line-height: 1.5;">In full sun, 300 watts has proven to be more than enough to fully charge our batteries every day by 1400. Parking in the shade expectedly decreases our ability to charge, but the areas we typically travel to (Western USA) usually don’t have shade anyway. An added benefit of the three panels is that now I have a large enough area to land our helicopter on the roof!
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Haha Steve :)

 

So you have 3 panels on your roof- side by side? I know Oliver told Overland that they would add a third small panel but not another full 160... I think it was a 100watt. The 320 with the Blue Sky is a great set up :)

 

Reed

 

 

Happy Camping,


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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 did call Jason Essary this morning, as Bill suggested I do, in order to inquire about the new now-standard exterior solar ports.  Yes, they not only fit the mobile Zamp solar suitcase options but Jason added that other solar manufacturers also provide an adapter as well that will plug into this same Zamp port. Jason said the original Blue Sky system is superior when wanting a more powerful unit and the options for controlling it and fine-tuning, but they found it is complicated for some people. The Zamp system is automatic and is designed for trouble-free operation. Turn on the switch and everything is already set for you. No adjusting. Also, with the Blue Sky system, other perhaps not-so-handy operators adjusting things created a bit of a problem for themselves and Oliver with burned-out batteries and other inconveniences. Jason's explanation made sense and I feel better now for staying with the Oliver Zamp recommendation. Once I start modifying Oliver systems certain warranties will no longer exist. In addition, I have no desire to fool around with my trailer tweaking things and being an amateur engineer. I want to travel with ease and comfort, see the sights, relax, and enjoy our little home on wheels. The more the Oliver people can do for me in providing an easy accommodating switch and equipment that makes my life more comfortable I am willing to pay a higher price.

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roguebooks 2020 Ram Classic 1500 Warlock 4x4 Hemi V-8 2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309  ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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In full sun, 300 watts has proven to be more than enough to fully charge our batteries every day by 1400. Parking in the shade expectedly decreases our ability to charge, but the areas we typically travel to (Western USA) usually don’t have shade anyway. An added benefit of the three panels is that now I have a large enough area to land our helicopter on the roof!

Haha Steve ???? So you have 3 panels on your roof- side by side? I know Oliver told Overland that they would add a third small panel but not another full 160… I think it was a 100watt. The 320 with the Blue Sky is a great set up ???? Reed

Oliver did three 160w panels (I guess I should get out the tape measure and verify that's what I got, lol), and then they did two skinny 80w panels at the rear on each side, so 640w total.  I actually think that the 80w panels look really good where they put them, and in fact wish that we'd have had some better communication when they were coming up with that solution - I'd have asked them to do three pair of 80w running down the sides and then just a single large panel lengthways on the roof, mounted directly to the roof rather than up on stilts.

 

You can see here how they're mounted.  The awning mounts have been raised and the panels mount to the back of those, then the inside has a little spar that attaches to the 'curb'.  I honestly think this should be the new standard - compared to them I think the ones in front look like a real mess.  From the side, they disappear as they look a lot like part of the awning.  In fact I asked them to order silver awning cases so that it would all blend in.  The only thing I don't like is that they're not perfectly horizontal, which drives me nuts...

 

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Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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I wonder if there are any alternative placement options on the Elite as opposed to what seems to be the current standard placement.

2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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I did call Jason Essary this morning, as Bill suggested I do, in order to inquire about the new now-standard exterior solar ports. Yes, they not only fit the mobile Zamp solar suitcase options but Jason added that other solar manufacturers also provide an adapter as well that will plug into this same Zamp port. Jason said the original Blue Sky system is superior when wanting a more powerful unit and the options for controlling it and fine-tuning, but they found it is complicated for some people...

 

I think that Oliver's basic problem with the Blue Sky was that the people that they had installing them into the trailers were not double checking to make sure that things were installed right in the first place. Then, not being installed correctly and not working and having never been checked, it was given to the customer. Then the customer had to figure out why he had no solar... This was still an in house issue and in reality, their employee's weren't given the instruction needed to correctly install it. Basically the same reason that they don't offer the Truma Comfort+ hot water heater, the products are thrown at the employee's and they have to figure it out on their own how to install it and they do their best; but like with our Truma, it just wasn't checked before final delivery. Then I found the problem after a few months, pulled the new wires between the hulls myself, mounted a new switch and fixed it myself, which unfortunately has been the standard in the industry since day one. Regardless, it's always the customer that ends up finding the real problems as they get to know their new trailer. Seriously though, Oliver really needs to work on their final check list and truly have the trailers ready when the customer comes to pick it up. Ours still had a full days work needed to finish it for delivery when we arrived. A number of the options had never been installed, but they have a great service team that came in and spent the day finishing up our trailer while we waited.

 

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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Reed. So knowing what you know now, would you have still gone with Oliver?

Yup, but I would have done things a bit different. Overall you just can't beat the quality of the shell. Because it wasn't finished and because Jason had been shoved into the Service Managers position the week before, we all did our best to get things moving. I've had lot's of trailers but this was my first new purchase. You always hear that there's a lot of problems with all brands of new trailers and though I have had my share in the 2017 Oliver, I had no leaks on pick up, I had hot water even though with no controls working inside, and I had heat, so the basics were all there. They changed a lot of things this year and that has created more problems for them then usual, so the growing pains are there. But the quality of the shell itself is what sells it. You can buy cheaper trailers but...

 

Reed

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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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Agree - you're buying the shell as that's the value of the trailer.  But for me, I can't recommend anyone buy a new one until Oliver gets their act together.  Buy a used shell and then do whatever modifications you want to do.  You'll save money and know that everything is done right.

Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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OK. Reed I need a little more advice.  I am going back mid January for my second factory tour and to finalize my options.  You mentioned that so much had changed and they were having growing pains.....What questions should I ask?  What should I be aware of and/or shy away from?  I am not locked into this purchase decision until mid Feb as that is production start.  Any suggestions or advice?

 

And like you, this is not my first travel trailer rodeo.  I have owned many over the years.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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Regarding the solar system, I had an Elite, hull #23 for five years without it and now have one with the factory system.  It works well for me.  Mine is a 2015 so I don’t know if it’s the same as the current system.  I still bring a Honda 2000 generator with me so that I could run the ac or charge batteries in an emergency.

 

When I didn’t have the solar system, one tank of gas in the generator would last for weeks.  It only takes a couple of hours to charge the batteries.

 

As far as installing systems your self, in my opinion, with minor exceptions, the factory does a great job.

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OK. Reed I need a little more advice. I am going back mid January for my second factory tour and to finalize my options. You mentioned that so much had changed and they were having growing pains…..What questions should I ask? What should I be aware of and/or shy away from? I am not locked into this purchase decision until mid Feb as that is production start. Any suggestions or advice? And like you, this is not my first travel trailer rodeo. I have owned many over the years. Thanks in advance for your help.

 

You said that you wanted to save money, so for an Elite, I would skip the Solar personally being that it's only 200watts. The best part about the growing pains they are having is that they keep making the right changes. The water tank is fixed, the sewer storage is fixed, etc... along with that the bathroom has 2 mirrors now, they added the extra storage behind the propane tanks, etc...

 

The rest is up to you and if you have the ability to put options in yourself, then go for it. I would have them run the wires for the solar between the hulls for you and then put in your own system as you can afford it, or go with the Renogy Solar Suitcase that will save you a couple thousand. We got most of the options for resale value ourselves and were not aware of most of the issues even after monitoring the forum for a year before. What happened is Oliver ramped up production this year and made some serious changes, and in my opinion have been paying for it ever since with all of the customers having to return for the water tank fix, broken drawers, etc... :)

 

We looked for a long time for a used one but couldn't find anything close to the options that we wanted, so we ended up buying new. Since then, many have come up for sale that we would have jumped on since we bought ours but over all if I could have found as used one with the Blue Sky System, I would have bought used myself because we didn't know that they were changing solar system companies on us until the day that we picked our trailer up...

 

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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Yes, I did a factory tour, yes, I thought and thought and thought, yes, I’ve crunched numbers til I can’t crunch any longer and YES, I paid my deposit last week and locked in a production date! Now….Decision time. Solar or no? AGM batteries or no? I am a life long camper, retired school counselor and do not have unlimited financial resources. BUT, I do want to do this Ollie right. Thoughts, opinions, guidance sought?!??

Hi Mmoren

 

Just my opinion, but I would  add the factory installed Solar and the AGM batteries. I would also recommend a good generator if you are planning to stay in some of the great BLM parks, boondocking etc. Sometimes when it rains for several days and we are parked in a location with large trees,  Solar alone just can't do the job.

 

As to your question "So knowing what you know now, would you have still gone with Oliver?" We have owned two Oliver Elite II's. This year we have traveled to California, then to Washington State, back to LA, Calif, then back to Florida. Another trip to Maine and back to Florida. We've used it in 15 degree and 100 degree weather and have been very comfortable. Personally for me the colder the better. Except for a few minor new teething pains that Oliver had fixed in a prompt manner, we have had very few issues with our trailer.  We would have no problem recommending either a new or used OTT to our best friends. In fact, we have consistently done so to all the travelers we have met along the road.

 

Hap and Mrs. Hap

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