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Overland

How to get in touch with Oliver service in emergencies?

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I left our trailer with Oliver on Thursday to fix the broken water heater before our next trip. and being unfamiliar I guess with the trailer, they pulled it inside and left both the 12v fridge and the inverter on, without plugging it in. Without solar or shore power, our batteries are good under those loads for about three days, which meant that they would hit 100% DOD sometime Sunday afternoon.  I realized this on Saturday when I checked on the trailer status and tried contacting Oliver without any luck.  I wanted to see if someone could go over and either plug in the trailer or turn off the fridge and inverter to protect the batteries. I left messages with both Jason and Ritchie, but neither returned my calls and nothing was done to trailer. It stopped sending updates around 9:30 last night when the batteries finally dipped below 10v. I’m hoping that the battery protect circuits did their job but I have no way of knowing right now.

 

Anyway, what do you guys do in emergencies when you need to get in touch with Oliver?  Calling and leaving messages obviously isn’t the way.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Define emergency.. As a consumer of a non life and limb product, I wouldn't really expect any emergency contact access.

 

Maybe that's just me though.

 

Although, if they fried my batteries, I might expect some remediation


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Overland - sorry to hear about the trouble, but, I'd bet that the battery protection deal DID its job and your batteries are OK.  I've never had a similar problem to yours with my Oliver.  However, I have been greatly surprised by Anita, Jason and Richie when they have either emailed me or phoned me on weekends and/or after regular working hours to answer questions.  Over the two years that I've had my Oliver I have tried to obtain as many phone numbers and email addresses of the Oliver staff  as I could.  Hopefully one of those will get a response.  Within the past two months another owner told me about getting a call on a Saturday from Scott Oliver regarding a problem they were having.  The real surprising thing about this was that Scott was vacationing at the time and not even anywhere near Hohenwald.

 

Bill


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

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Define emergency.. As a consumer of a non life and limb product, I wouldn’t really expect any emergency contact access. Maybe that’s just me though. Although, if they fried my batteries, I might expect some remediation

I think that's semantics.  The situation here is that not returning a phone call could easily cost them $4000 in batteries and I get to delay or cancel yet another trip while we wait for batteries to ship.  That's worst case, and hopefully unlikely, but worth me trying to get in touch with them I think.  Fortunately, they're LFPs - if they were AGMs, they'd be toasted for sure.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland – sorry to hear about the trouble, but, I’d bet that the battery protection deal DID its job and your batteries are OK.

I think that's the most likely situation.  Dustin is supposed to call me in a bit and hopefully everything is fine - nothing is updating online yet.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I really don't know how I would deal with a situation like this. It has to be frustrating in the extreme.... I do know that If it were my trailer I  would be sure to tell them to plug in to shore power if they moved it. Having custom equipment means the average factory worker there will be clueless about the implications of bringing it inside with the high-draw DC systems running.

 

OTH, I do agree that there should be an "Oliver 911" number, somebody in a position of authority who is willing to answer text messages on weekends to deal with stuff like this.

 

I am sure Oliver will make this right if your batteries are toast, but I think that is unlikely to be the situation.

 

Good luck and keep us informed.

 

JohnDavies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Just to update, everything is back up and charging now, and Battleborn/Dragonfly say that the batteries did what they're supposed to, which is to shut down at ~10 volts.  It took a moment of troubleshooting to get the charger going again - if a control panel is hooked up, the charger looks to that to tell it whether to turn on, and if the controller has no power, it's a bit of a loop and nothing happens.  The solution is of course to just unplug the control panel and let the charger wake up, then plug the panel back in.  Easy, though not intuitive if you're scratching your head looking at a bunch of dead equipment.  Dustin and I then changed a few settings to make sure it charges as quickly as possible.

 

At the end of the day, this was a good test of the equipment and is something I had planned to do myself sometime, only not from 200 miles away and no way of knowing the state of things once the control panel conked out.  Anyway, all is well that ends well.  Hopefully everything kept their settings and I don't have to go back and reprogram the battery monitor, charge controller, etc.

 

One thing I learned is that the battery monitor was spot on, which is difficult with lithiums since their charge state doesn't correlate all that much with voltage.  From the voltage, everything is fine and then it just drops off a cliff in the last hour.  So the charge controller has to do some guessing and the algorithm Victron uses for lithiums seems to match the battle born batteries pretty well.

 

The other thing I've learned is that the batteries are good to about 10% remaining charge, rather than the 20% that I thought.  Battleborn assures me that discharging down to 0% won't damage them nor effect their lifespan.  Others say don't take them below 20% but Battleborn are confident that you can take them to zero and still get 3000 cycles out of them.  But 10% looks to be the point where the voltage begins to drop precipitously.

 

I also verified that 3 days (3 days, 6 hours, to be exact) is what we can expect with normal use, which is pretty much what I'd planned for.  Possibly more, if we only rely on 12v, since the inverter was definitely consuming more power than we would use with lighting, fans, etc.  In fact, I need to call Victron about the inverter's power use - I asked them before about a ghost ~50w of power that it shows being consumed when the inverter is turned on.  Victron said that was normal noise in the system and wasn't real, but going from this experience, there is in fact that draw somewhere, since it correlated well with the battery discharge.  The fridge doesn't consume nearly that, and I can tell from the graphs when the fridge cycled on, and apart from that, there should only be a minor draw from other electronics.  Victron advertises 8-20w of idle consumption for the inverter, depending on what mode it's in, so I need to do some digging to see where that extra power is going.

 

I guess the final thing I learned - apart from making sure Oliver knows to plug the trailer in, or that I shut off the fridge and inverter before handing it over - is that I need to get the remote console working for the Victron system.  I should be able to log in and do things like shut off the inverter, but something on the router is preventing that communication.  I can see everything, but it's not allowing two-way communication.  Just another thing on the to do list, but I guess I need to give it priority.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks for posting your experience.  It's illuminating for those who may be considering an (eventual) upgrade to lithium batteries.

 

This may be a bit off topic but why did you decide to go with Battle Born batteries versus the (LFP) competition?

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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Originally I didn’t know when I would be able to swap out the charger and charge controller so I opted for the Battleborns since their built in BMS means they will work with what Oliver installs. I think they’re a good swap for current owners but had I known that Oliver was going to give me a trailer without a working solar setup I would have gotten a cheaper and smaller set of batteries and a separate BMS.   The main drawback of the Battleborns is that they’re big. You can barely squeeze four 100Ah Battleborns into the elite II battery box where a standard LFP would allow 6 with room to spare.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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BTW, I now know that it takes 7 hours on a 30 amp connection to fully charge my setup from zero. I’m curious how that compares to AGMs. It looks like my charger limits itself to 56 amps charging, and 13.5 volts, only upping it to 14.4 volts at the very end of the charge cycle.  I know it wants to maximize amps during the bulk phase but I don’t know enough to know why it chooses the ratio it does.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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That does sound a bit strange. Most electric car systems charge quickly and bulk at the bottom, and slow down at the end. Maddenly slow, for us.

I'm really glad your battery limiter worked as it should.

I'll be following your experience.

It'll be a few years before we look at new batteries, but lithium iron seems to be the better choice.

I'd love to be able to take my batteries to ten per cent. Battery killer on any lead acid.

Keep us posted. You're breaking new ground .

BTW, charging our agms from 12.4 to full charge can take a really good sunny day, all day, or several hours on a Honda 1000. Since we almost never have 110, I'm probably the worst person to answer.

Anyone else?

Sherry

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Originally I didn’t know when I would be able to swap out the charger and charge controller so I opted for the Battleborns since their built in BMS means they will work with what Oliver installs. I think they’re a good swap for current owners but had I known that Oliver was going to give me a trailer without a working solar setup I would have gotten a cheaper and smaller set of batteries and a separate BMS. The main drawback of the Battleborns is that they’re big. You can barely squeeze four 100Ah Battleborns into the elite II battery box where a standard LFP would allow 6 with room to spare.

What didn't they do to get your solar working before delivery? Did you get your new Victron controller installed later or did they do it at the factory? Show us some pics of your new controller, shunt, etc and expand on the install, pleeease :)

 

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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I got four cables coming from the roof and...that was it. No controller, nothing going back to the batteries, no disconnect, breaker, place to mount anything...nada. The plan had been for them to install their Zamp system so that I could just swap out the controller when I had time.  So instead we delayed our vacation while I installed everything. Went ahead and installed the rest of the electrical system while I was at it. I’ll do a thread on it...someday.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I got four cables coming from the roof and…that was it. No controller, nothing going back to the batteries, no disconnect, breaker, place to mount anything…nada. The plan had been for them to install their Zamp system so that I could just swap out the controller when I had time. So instead we delayed our vacation while I installed everything. Went ahead and installed the rest of the electrical system while I was at it. I’ll do a thread on it…someday.

 

The stock Zamp controller is only 500watts anyway, so they were probably lost being that you had more pannels then the Zamp has ports... So... they wired the 3 together, and then put a second control box up there for the two 80's? Or did they put in a different box?


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 they installed two ridiculously sized boxes on the roof.  The charge controller was a larger unit that they had to special order so that they could charge me for it and then not install it.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Aaaaaand now it looks like my trip to Oliver was all for naught, since they're telling me they can't get the replacement water heater in time for our trip. You'd think that since they knew exactly what the problem was weeks ago, and that both they and Truma told me that they'd have to replace the unit, and then told me that dropping the trailer off Thursday would be fine and that they'd make sure they have it fixed for our trip, that they'd have had the part friggin ordered and on hand for when I showed up.

 

But no, they ordered it today.

 

I think at this point I'm going to tell Oliver that they need to find me someone local to do warranty work because I'm about done with Oliver's service department.

 

And I think this time someone with a last name of Oliver - whomever they've decided is in charge of the factory and service this week - needs to be the one to call my wife and explain why we have to cancel or delay yet another (third) vacation because of their general state of disorganization.

 

And send me a damned check for my time and the fuel to haul the trailer over there and back for apparently the sole purpose of having them try to destroy my batteries.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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They can pull the whole unit and replace it with a new one in less than 2 hours, I would insist!

 

Have them throw in a Suburban temporarily.


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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The Truma is a simple water tube boiler, there's not much that can go wrong with it. It has a few temperature sensors and a control board. Pretty basic design. Flip the outside switch into the opposite position if you haven't already tried it. You can temporarily bypass the high temp cut off, if that's the problem.


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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They don't have the right model.  I said to put whatever model they have in there, but then Jason started complaining about the water lines not being the same and they wouldn't be able to reuse that unit etc.  Of course those are just problems they need to deal with internally - I've had my say and we'll see what happens.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The Truma is a simple water tube boiler, there’s not much that can go wrong with it. It has a few temperature sensors and a control board. Pretty basic design. Flip the outside switch into the opposite position if you haven’t already tried it. You can temporarily bypass the high temp cut off, if that’s the problem.

It's got an internal leak - spews water everywhere.  Truma doesn't want them to try to repair it.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The water lines are a feeble excuse, they are close enough, both easy to get to...


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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Probably - I haven't cracked open the case it since I don't want to void the warranty, but like you I'd bet that it's something simple inside that can quickly be repaired.

 

In fact, when I opened the front panel to inspect it after it sprung the leak, two screws fell out.  One went to the regulator in the front but the other came from the back somewhere.  It's probably a fair bet that it held together whatever is leaking.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Regarding the original problem of the trailer batteries being run down, I'm curious about what Oliver's drop-off process is.  I'm new to RVing so maybe I'm just ignorant about this, but I'm not sure that I would expect Oliver to perform power management of my trailer for me, especially over the weekend.  Is it SOP that when trailers come in for service but have to wait a day or two they get hooked up to power?  If it was and they didn't I would definitely be upset, especially if any damage to my batteries resulted.  But if that's not the norm, I would say the onus is on the owner to ensure that the trailer is buttoned up prior to dropping it off.

 

Whatever their process is, better communication of said process to customers would definitely help avoid problems like this in the future.


2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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I wish an Oliver representative would be active on this forum addressing concerns and problems of current and potential owners. It would certainly put to rest the mounting fears some of us have, or will have, going forward. In light of this Christmas wish, it is hoped that all forum members would be respectful to any Oliver rep willing to enter this, at times, rather hostile coliseum.  Getting answers to questions and offering useful information and guidance would no doubt be very much appreciated.


roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

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Regarding the original problem of the trailer batteries being run down, I’m curious about what Oliver’s drop-off process is. I’m new to RVing so maybe I’m just ignorant about this, but I’m not sure that I would expect Oliver to perform power management of my trailer for me, especially over the weekend. Is it SOP that when trailers come in for service but have to wait a day or two they get hooked up to power? If it was and they didn’t I would definitely be upset, especially if any damage to my batteries resulted. But if that’s not the norm, I would say the onus is on the owner to ensure that the trailer is buttoned up prior to dropping it off. Whatever their process is, better communication of said process to customers would definitely help avoid problems like this in the future.

It might happen all the time.  The only reason I know is because my system can be viewed online.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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