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Oliver Experts,

Hope this summer is treating you well.  Ours in AK has been quicker than I’d like, but AK is made for social distancing.

Looking forward to the winter, which is quickly approaching my neck of the woods, and I’d like to pick your collective brains.

I’d like to get into snow machining/camping this winter and feel that’s one of the real reasons I chose an Oliver over the normal stick builds.

I’d like to camp, leaving my Oliver winterized reference the plumbing, and just use her as a warm place to sleep and eat dinner, bringing antifreeze for the toilet (no solids) and gallon water jugs for cooking.

A lot of the stick build guys do this, but I’m more particular than most.  So plumbing is figured out, that brings us to the batteries.

At -40, batteries freeze and split open.  Any ideas for this?  My winterization the past three winters has included pulling the batteries and bringing them into the heated garage and onto a tender.  This is tedious as I’ve got four, and they are awkward and heavy.  I’d like to avoid this, and was thinking of battery blankets and/or battery mats that will warm them.  We use them on the trucks up here, but they are used daily.  I would hate to rely on this, and only use Oliver once or twice a month to figure out that the blankets/mats/tenders couldn’t keep up with the -40 temps.

Course of action two:  remove batteries and tape of terminals, and rely on our generator to power Oliver on our occasional winter outing.

Thoughts, suggestions, comments?

As always, appreciate the collective genius that this forum always has!

-Alex

Obligatory summer camping pics!

 

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I'd put  a remote thermometer in the battery compartment.  Foam and reflectix in the battery door . 

Maybe a heat mat.

I talked to my cousin today in Cantwell. Cold summer, so far. We're usually up there, by now.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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SeaDawg,

Insulation is a great idea.  I just worry about leaving a $50 heating element plugged in all winter on my expensive TT.

Cantwell is where I go to sled...beautiful anytime of year!

AW 

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The big challenge is that recharging is not good when the batteries are severely chilled. I would get low temperature lithiums and relocate them to inside the cabin where they will stay a whole lot warmer.

I am not recommending these but the info is useful.

https://relionbattery.com/blog/lithium-battery-cold-weather


Even if you leave them in the factory location it would be simple enough to fully insulate a smaller sized battery bank since ventilation is not needed like a conventional or SLA battery. You could cut air vents to the interior, install a computer fan and pretty much seal off the door. And if you do decide to keep removing them they would be much less of a weight.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"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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John, 

I am researching this possibility.  We originally decided against lithium as the cold temperature restricts recharging.   In addition, I feared that due to my busy travel schedule, I was one mistake away from throwing thousands of dollars away.

I did find some information direct from Trojan, essentially saying that if my batteries remain fully charged that it would take temperatures south of -92 to freeze.  I have my doubts, as at least yearly I hear from some poor, newly assigned Alaska pilot that their vehicle battery exploded.

I think a compromise would be leave Oliver plugged in (as I do all summer) and place some battery mats beneath the batteries.

I’m going to do some more research on the lithium front—I have a hard time committing without more research.  The forcing function might be the batteries freezing this winter :) !

-AW

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2 hours ago, AW1985 said:

We originally decided against lithium as the cold temperature restricts recharging.   In addition, I feared that due to my busy travel schedule, I was one mistake away from throwing thousands of dollars away.

That is a lot of cash to risk when out camping, plus you are relying on your cheap RV furnace to not run out of propane (which I suppose it consumes at a prodigious rate) or not suffer a board or component failure. You also will have basically zero solar input for recharging. How do you plan to keep the electrical system topped up? Do you have a big generator suitable for the Arctic?

I see this as an extreme challenge for cold weather Ollie camping and I hope you are successful. Personally I have never experienced temps below -20F so I really can’t even begin to understand the dynamics. I just know that I wouldn’t want to be there.... 😳
 

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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Posted (edited)

 Not my favorite place for winter, either, though it's often colder in Minnesota (where I grew up) than Anchorage in the winter. 

Aw1985, where do you stay, or park your current trailer, when you go sledding in Cantwell? I don't think there's a lot open there in the winter.  The post office and gas station,  probably. The little (but very nice) campground  closes, or at least used to, in the fall. Do you go up to Healy?

Most of the cabins are closed by October. 

I'm curious.  I've never been there past August.  

And yes, Cantwell is an amazingly beautiful place. The views from my cousin's dry cabin is a picture book.

Sherry 

 

 

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry-

We haven’t camped yet with Oliver in the winter, but I’ve been down there with the sleds several times.  We generally park on one of the several pull outs south of Cantwell and join the many trail heads.  Many slide-in truck campers and class Cs as well.  I’d like to join the group as the trip is a bit much for an out and back from Fairbanks.  

When we camp in the summer we are mostly boondocking unless in Valdez or Whittier (the convenience of the camp ground more than makes up for the people).  This year was a treat as  all all the tourist were scared away by COVID and we could actually enjoy the state.  During a normal year, it’s crazy in Valdez-they take reservations 12 months out.  Three weeks ago I went down there and scored a front row spot with no reservations.

On another sad note—I winterized Oliver today, washed and waxed and put her under the overhang as I’m leaving for an undetermined amount of time (Army loves to keep me gone!).  

-AW

 

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