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Steve and Kelly from MO


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Hello!

 

Steve and Kelly here from Rogersville, MO. We are first-time RV owners, so we have a lot to learn (see question at the end of post). My wife and I talked about buying an RV for a little over a year ago after I got a job that would allow me to work remotely. The idea of packing up a trailer and seeing as much of the country as possible while not being tied to a desk was an opportunity that eventually was to good to pass up, so we took the plunge. Haven't quite decided where our first big trip will be, but New Mexico and Utah are high on the list.

 

Regarding my newbie question: Oliver put together a nice winterizing video here

 

 

...but my question is the "dewinterizing" process. Logic would have me believe all I need to do is the same process just replacing the anti-freeze with fresh water (plus flushing out the fresh water tank). Am I on the right track or is there a different process?

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Steve & Kelly -

 

Welcome!  Glad that you are here and ask away.

 

Yes, you are on the right track.  All but the fresh tank is taken care of by simply hooking the RV to a fresh water supply (house or campground faucet) and running water through those lines.  Every so often I tend to forget about flushing out the line to the outside shower, but that is easily taken care of when the time comes.

 

As far as the fresh water tank goes it is also easy.  First you flush it with fresh water in a similar manner to the rest of the water lines.  Then, particularly if you intend to drink water from this tank, you should sanitize that tank.  A number of videos on YouTube will lead you to the proper amount of bleach and methods of letting that solution sit in the tank prior to flushing.

 

That's it.

 

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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Sanitizing the fresh water system is part of the standard Maintenance routine.  Got this checklist from Warren Parlee a while ago.

 

Good Luck,   Scotty

 

Sanitizing the Fresh Water System

 

1       Frequency:  Twice per year.

2       Materials:  Bleach, 3 ft. hose, Gallon size pail, Vinegar.

·      Prepare the bleach mixture by multiplying the tank capacity (32.5 gallons for Elite II) by 0.13.  The resulting value of 4.2 ounces of bleach is added to one gallon of water.

 

·      Using the 3 ft. hose, add the bleach mixture to the fresh water tank via the (EZ) Winterizing System.

 

·      Finish filling the tank with water.

 

·      Run each of the faucets (including the outside shower) until you can smell bleach.

 

·      Let the water stand in the system for 4 hours. (Double the formula for one-hour standing time.)

 

·      Drain using the drain petcock on the bottom of the fresh water tank. (See Ollie owner manual.)

 

·      Refill the fresh water tank using one quart of vinegar to five gallons of water.  Add vinegar via the (EZ) Winterizing System.

 

·      Run the vinegar mixture through the system. (Caution:  Do not let the water pump run dry!)

 

·      Fill the tank with water and flush the water out again.

 

·      Refill with clean water.

 

·      That’s it!

 

Warren Parlee       07/18/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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Thanks so much for the replies. We will definitely need to sanitize the fresh water tank. We've only spent one night in it so far (the complementary night after we picked it up a couple of weeks ago), so we haven't been able to put everything to the test.

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Hey 404,

 

I think the bane of Oliver owners is that you feel like an idiot and a sage in alternating waves....   Fortunately we have each other and usually everyone is not on the idiot wave at the same time.  :-)   Welcome and hope our paths cross soon.

 

Scotty

 

 

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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In viewing the video it seems my owners manual differs slightly one the correct winterization process - perhaps a warning - to "consult your manual" should be added. It is interesting, however, learning about my particular EII, as I take on projects, prompted by the multiple post from this forum. As I have parked Ollie in my garage, I had decided not to winterize, but did so as a learning experience. Certainly learned a few things.

 

I think I'm having as much fun working on my EII, as I have using it.

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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Zen and the Art of Oliver Travel Trailer Maintenance.   Someone should write a book. :-)

 

Russ, Don't know if your garage is heated but if not you might want to think about monitoring the temperature.  I have an unheated garage in NC and use one of those inexpensive weather monitors that have a remote that can be put outside.  But I put it in the garage.  I find that even without heat the garage is running about 20 degrees warmer than outside temps.  Down to about 25 degrees that is..... garage was 48.  Don't know if that will change as the temp drops lower into the teens.

 

Anyway, good to keep an eye on and if temps get down to 27 degrees for an extended period you can use an electric heater inside the Ollie.  Just tilt your mattresses up and pop the hatches so it will keep everything between the hulls warm.

 

Scotty

 

 

Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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Owning a RV for the first is is a little overwhelming and definitely has a learning curve. You'll be fine and many folks here have been doing this for many years always providing great insight. NM and UT are beautiful places with many boondocking or other camping ground locations. As a cherry myself I would say don't get in a hurry when moving from site to site. My biggest bonehead mistakes always happened while in a rush.

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Yes, my 600-plus page owners manual/technical manual is a little intimidating, but I am learning the important stuff first...like how the WiFiRanger works. Got to have internet so I can google a layman's explanation of the other 550 pages.  :)

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When you say solar, do you mean just the panels, panels and charge controller, or more?  I did "more", which included doing my own charger, batteries, inverter, monitor, controller, etc.  I can say that getting the equipment into the Oliver is easy with a little planning, but of course the more complex of a system you design, then the more cables, connections, etc. and more chance of screwing it up.  But if you're comfortable with 12 volt circuits and either have or invest in a few specialty tools, then it's definitely doable, as proven by a novice like myself.

 

If you're just doing the solar, then the only things you'll need to coordinate with Oliver are your planned mounting locations and the number and size of cables that you want run from the roof.  It might be easier if you have them go ahead and install the combiner boxes on the roof so all you have to do is plug your panels in.

 

As for panels and mounting, I recommend doing what Oliver devised for the narrow Zamp panels on my trailer -

 

IMG_2414.thumb.jpg.3b3a1ba6734b249c29eba2caa6099fc2.jpg

 

It's a really tidy install, and you should be able to fit up to three each side, which would give you a max of 540 watts (90 each).  Then if you wanted, you could even add a larger 170 watt panel mounted flush to the roof.  It would be a pretty slick install and in hindsight is what I wish they'd done on mine.  Actually, it's what I wish they'd do standard, but of course it requires dual awnings.  Which everyone should have anyway, as they're awesome.

 

I'd try to find another supplier other than Zamp for narrow panels like that, since Zamp is overpriced; but I think they're the only ones who make them.

 

Charge controller, etc. is easily tucked under the street side bed:

 

IMG_0845.thumb.jpg.56e9c595866a08d87fe619ae34ac2b12.jpg

 

I put my battery monitor and system controller where the stereo would have gone:

 

IMG_2294.thumb.jpg.972c60a037c762a3779fba0f672c3114.jpg

 

And if you get fancy with charger and inverter, then you can get a pretty big unit under the front dinette seat by the bath:

 

IMG_0078.thumb.jpg.8ed803649e5ba1539e58965cc170190b.jpg

 

And batteries go in the battery box, of course.  If you're going lithium, you can fit up to six regular 100Ah lithiums in the tray, or if you don't want to bother with a separate BMS, then you can fit four 100Ah Battleborns in there, if you stand them on end - it's a tight fit, but it works.

 

Happy to help with any of the specifics.

 

Don't forget to factor in the solar tax credit for whatever you spend.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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If you’re going lithium, you can fit up to six regular 100Ah lithiums in the tray, or if you don’t want to bother with a separate BMS, then you can fit four 100Ah Battleborns in there, if you stand them on end – it’s a tight fit, but it works. 

 

I know the technology of  lithium batteries are getting better but can you charge them below freezing or do you need a way to keep them warm or cool in summer?

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Short answer is no, but it hasn’t been an issue for us so far. The protection circuits in the battleborns cut charging at 25°, which is low enough that we haven’t experienced any issues. We’ve had a few nights where the temp hovered around that but I doubt it got that cold inside the battery box.

 

The high end cutout is 135° and they say that there’s no long term issue using the batteries in 90°+ weather, which I know the technomadia guys had a problem with. But I don’t think their home built system used a BMS to care for their batteries so that may be the issue there.

 

I’ve put some thought into moving them inside, for that reason plus the idea that I might be able to add more someday. I think it’s possible to build a platform that runs between the dinette and bed on the street side that would hold 6 batteries, but I haven’t taken exact measurements nor put any thought into how it would connect to the hull. Nor how you’d make the connections in there since it’s a long reach from either side. I think you’d have to add an access hatch in the base of the pantry probably. Just spitballing - no idea if it’s feasible or worth the trouble.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland, I love your set up. Does the panel get shaded from the A/C unit? I also wonder since you've got the mptt charge controller on a typical summer day how fast does your systems state of charge top off? I use an average of around 80amp hr per night and normally topped off by 1:00-3:00 in the afternoon. I think Oliver should include at least a BMS so people could monitor what is coming in and going out.

 

Thank you!

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We'll use anything from 80 to 120 Ah, depending on if we use the toaster oven for dinner.  That includes hair dryer for my wife, two or three cups from the Nespresso, and maybe playing the HomePod for a few hours, which I've taken with us for the last few trips - sounds great in the trailer.  And our 12v fridge, which may draw ~30Ah/day, give or take.  So, after a heavy use night and morning, the batteries will be at ~70%, sometimes 65%.  On a light night, it might be at 90% when we leave in the am.   We can go on ultra savings mode and only lose ~5% of our battery life overnight - inverter off, no more than 2 lights on in the trailer and none outside, meaning the fridge is the biggest draw.

 

Recharge depends on the conditions.  If we're in deep shade like we were last week in the smokies, the solar will basically keep up with the fridge and parasitic draws during the day and so each night will progressively drain the batteries.  On a really sunny day, no trees, it might recharge before noon, even from 70%.  The lowest we've had it when camping is 40%, I think.  We can go to down to ~10% before things start to fail.

 

We made the mistake last week of doing two heavy use nights in a row while in a shady spot, assuming that when we moved to another campground that we'd have sun.  The next campsite was even shadier, so we managed to keep the loss at a minimum for a few nights before deciding to go to a nearby KOA for a night to recharge.  That's the first time in 15,000 miles that we had to do that, and had we not gotten complacent about the batteries, probably could have avoided it.  And arguably we could have toughed it out without the inverter, but I wanted my coffee and had no backup for the Nespresso.  Poor disaster planning on my part.

 

I'm sure that the smaller panels get shaded by the AC in low sun, but they're connected in parallel so one panel going out doesn't affect the others.

 

Obviously I like Victron equipment as a combined system; but if even you get a stand alone battery monitor, I think it's hard to beat the Victron BMV battery monitor with bluetooth.  It's an easy add-on to the stock Oliver system and gives what seems to be a very accurate reading of the battery state.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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IMG_2414.jpg

How do you clean that section of roof, do you remove the panels, how long does that take,  or do you just not bother? Is leaf and tree debris accumulation a worry? I see you still have the OEM rubber seal under the awning, removing that would let that area drain better.

 

I really like the brackets (very nicely radiused corners) but I gotta say you have made it orders of magnitude harder to climb up there for routine maintenance or repairs....

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"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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It isn't an issue with just the one panel each side, since I can easily reach from either end to clean.  But yes, if you ran three end to end down the full length of the awning then I think you'd want to incorporate some sort of hinge and latch so that you could lift them up to clean.  The big panels in front are a bigger pain than the rear.

 

I worried about roof access, but I had to install the soft start on my AC since Oliver forgot it, and it wasn't a problem.

 

The awning seal does collect junk, but that's a side affect I can live with.  Being able to leave the windows open in the pouring rain and not having to worry about gunk in the window tracks makes it worth the trouble.  When we camp, I roll out the awnings on both sides about 18", which is enough to attach the poles to the trailer without them hitting the belly band.  They can withstand most any wind in that position and allows us to leave the windows cracked when we leave without worrying about rain.  Plus I think it keeps the trailer a bit cooler inside.

 

A side benefit of those panels was that they gave me a nice spot for some reflective tape.  I realized during our first trip that I had driven one night after going over a muddy gravel road with pretty much no lights on the rear of the trailer, since they had gotten covered in dirt from the back spray.  The end of the panels were about the only place that stayed clean.

 

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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For roof work I have found this ladder to be pretty good.   Stable platform that is comfortable to stand on and secure enough to lean over and climb onto the roof. If memory serves not too expensive either.  Got it at Lowes.

 

Scotty

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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There are  many systems that work.

 

Do you want a system that Oliver will support? Then, the diagram says,  order the factory option. If you really,  really  want something else, buy it. And live with the results. And, support it outside the Oliver warranty.

 

In the end, it's a comfort level thing.  All the systems are good. Just. How good, and how much time do you want to spend if something fails?

 

Any system that gives me power from the sun is my friend.

 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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 When we camp, I roll out the awnings on both sides about 18″, which is enough to attach the poles to the trailer without them hitting the belly band. They can withstand most any wind in that position and allows us to leave the windows cracked when we leave without worrying about rain. Plus I think it keeps the trailer a bit cooler inside.

 

Thanks for the pro tip... I went all 3 months out west afraid to deploy the awnings because of the wind. You are 100% correct about keeping the inside cooler by not allowing the sunshine in.

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