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We currently have not ordered solar panels. We have about about 5 weeks to make changes. I just do not see the justification for them. We lived and cruised for 5 years aboard a sailboat and would go for months between pulling into marinas with only a generator for power, which worked great. The only reason I ask is that during the factory tour Rodney told us that between 70% and 80% of trailers are ordered with solar panels.  Am I missing something, which would not be the first time?

 

 

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If you want the microwave and plan to boondock, you absolutely need solar panels, the inverter and the four batteries. My microwave pulls 75 amps from the batteries for many long minutes....The alternative is to run your big generator a lot, which is irritating to everyone. Solar is dead silent and most always chugs away without any of your attention. If you will stay plugged in most of the time, you do not need it. The people who don’t buy panels tend to be those living in the east, where there are limited places to boondock.

 

If you want to have your Ollie available for a long term emergency like hurricane Francis, get solar and the composting toilet!

 

If you want to visit the desert West and stay at other than RV parks, solar and the composting toilet are must-have options. IMHO....

 

BTW with solar, you never need to plug in at a full hookup site, unless you want to run the AC.

 

The trailer looks a lot better without them on the roof, and it will affect the resale value a little, but they can always be added later, since the wiring inside the ceiling is in place already.

 

You will need a 2000 watt or bigger generator anyway, if you want to run the AC while off grid. If it is 90 degrees and 100% humidity, or 115 degrees in the desert, it is essential.  You can’t always seek a higher cooler location.

 

Finally, I have never heard of anyone who switched to solar power in an RV that wanted to go back to the old way. It’s time for you to come over from the corrupting power of The Dark Side. May the Solar Force be with you....  ;)

 

Much good info here .... https://www.rvwithtito.com/articles/solar-for-your-rv

 

Can you post a pic of your sailboat?

 

John Davies

 

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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I chose not to have the solar option. (1) cost. You can get a lot of other options and a 2000 watt generator for less.

 

(2) Boon docking. I don’t plan on any long term off grid stays 2-3 days if any. I did opt. For the AGM deep cycle battery’s, 2000 watt inverter, Ac easy start and an extra 30 amp outlet. With all that, the small generator is plenty. Don’t forget your tow veh. I have a Chevy diesel with a 200amp alternator, which can run all day and is quieter than the generator. Battery’s will charge quickly. With all that charging capability why solar? Of coarse down the road if i feel the need for solar everything is there for the install. Or choose a portable solar panel for a battery maintainer.

 

(3) Also didn't want the big panels on the roof the less holes the better.

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 I have a Chevy diesel with a 200amp alternator, which can run all day and is quieter than the generator. Battery’s will charge quickly.

With a modern diesel with emissions equipment this is not a very prudent practice, for several reasons. No worries with the generator.

 

John Davies

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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Cruising for five years, you have certainly learned how to manage 12 volt power, though your battery banks in the boat were likely much larger than the batteries in the Oliver.

 

Solar can always be added, and you'll find out along the way if you want/need it.

We added ours 6 months after we got out Oliver.

You could hedge your bets with a zamp or furrion port installed on your Oliver. It's easy to pick up portable solar along the way, or order it online. A couple minutes to set up if you have a port.

We do feel we need our solar panels, but we almost never camp with electric hookups, and we have a dc compressor fridge now. We're just now adding solar to the sailboat this year.

Beautiful boat.

Sherry

 

 

 

 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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To me, solar is much better than a generator.  No noise, no maintenance, no smelly fuel, etc.  I can leave the fridge on 12V while we're driving (propane off) and it won't draw down the batteries at all.  Yes you get some juice from the tow vehicle but without solar it will still draw down your batteries.  How do I know?  Driving at night.  :-)

 

Like John said you'll need a generator if you are boondocking and need AC but so far we haven't needed it.

 

Beautiful boat, by the way.  Do you still have it?

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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I'm open to solar down the road when the technology for "Nap of the roof" installation comes about.  I cover lots of miles each summer, basically coast to coast and then back to Dallas; so wind resistance (and appearance) are my two stopper points.

 

Having solar panels that are direct adhered to the contours of Ollie would eliminate almost all the holes and the wind resistance.  The manufacturers are not quite close enough at this point in time.  So, for now anyway, its a 2200 watt Honda EU-2000, four batteries, inverter and eazy-start for the A/C.

 

 


Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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We did order the inverter, easystart, additional 30 amp connector,  and 4 AGM batteries. We also talked to Rodney about a solar port, but that is done by service after completion. We see the advantage for a small panel to keep batteries topped off in long term storage while we are out of the country.  We spent up to 2 weeks at a time off the grid during our trip out west in the motorhome this year and never ran the generator more than 1 hour a day.  Right now we plan to buy either a Honda or Ryobi generator.

 

Unfortunately, we no longer have Calypso.

 

Thanks to everyone who responded.  Gave us a little more to consider.

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You can also change the plug on a portable solar panel to a 7 pin female plug and wire it to the charge and ground lines. Then you just plug the portable solar panel into the trailers 7 pin plug and your charging on solar. No it does not work while driving but we run the fridge on propane while driving and let the truck charge the trailer. I have done it this way for many years now and never found a need for a separate solar port.

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Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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You can also change the plug on a portable solar panel to a 7 pin female plug and wire it to the charge and ground lines. Then you just plug the portable solar panel into the trailers 7 pin plug and your charging on solar. No it does not work while driving but we run the fridge on propane while driving and let the truck charge the trailer. I have done it this way for many years now and never found a need for a separate solar port.

 

Interesting idea. I've not seen it before, but makes sense. Heavy dc wire from 7 pin to battery. I'm assuming there is an inline fuse, somewhere? Never looked.

 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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On the generator option you may want to look at the Champion duel fuel 3400 watt electric start, propane and gas. I found out how well it worked. Last Florida Hurricane 1 week with out power. The gas ran out in a two days, running 24/7   Taped into the trailers  30lb tanks it ran flawlessly for the next 4 days  with running the Ac. Great unit and only weighs less than 75lbs

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Landrover, Were you running ac in your Ollie, or your home?

We powered our home, and our friends next door, we with a 3000 Yamaha, post Irma, just some fans,some lights , refrigerators, and igniter for the gas water heater, plus same for the neighbors, off our single genset. I wouldn't have even tried to run even one of our 2 ton variable speed units off the genset, withou tthe load of the neighbour's needs.

Thanks.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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John the emissions on both can be a concern if your not careful. Just saying there are a lot of options out there. Technology is changing all the time.

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SeaDawg Ollie still on order June 26th pick up. We lived in our 30’ Airstream trailer, the week without power.

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That makes sense. You can live a lot longer on a trailer's needs than a home.

Todays specs on your genset say 95 pounds, but still lighter than the Yamaha by almost 35 per cent. Just a bit louder. The yamaha purrs. Even servicing two homes, with doors and windows closed, we didn't hear it in the yard.

On the road, we carry only an almost silent honda, very light Honda 1000, just to recharge batteries after the occasional string of crummy weather days.

 

We love the silent, fossil fuel free solar. On the road, and at home, in our solar powered home.

BUT, occasions like Hurricane Irma, can require breaking out the gensets. We were strictly gridtied then. We have ordered batteries for the next big one, and hope we will never need them.?

 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I thought that I had posted pictures of this solar panel previously.  I use it for winter storage (25 watts) and received it in trade from another Forum member.  It has the 7 pin connector and it is really easy to install.

 

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Bill


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

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After a year of living in our Oliver, I'm really glad I chose the solar option. We strictly boondock so having quiet power is very desirable for us. Don't get me wrong I also have a 2000W Honda genset. It is mandatory for us to have A/C power because my wife needs a CPap to sleep well. Based on last years experience I purchased an additional Zamp 160W suitcase unit. Sometimes a little more solar capacity would have been nice. That should eliminate the use of the Honda except for extended periods of foul weather.


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Ray and Betty Jo Bayless


Our two pups Muffinz and Maddie


2018 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax 6.6 liter 4WD Crew 


2018 Oliver LE2 Twin Bed, Hull #322, Our Igloo on Wheels

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