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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

Now I am totally confused . . . . . . we are ordering the lithium pro package . . . . . . do we leave the TV  (2013 F-350 SD with tow package) charging connected or disconnect?  Would leaving it connected risk damage to either the Lithium batteries or the TV alternator and/or charge wiring?  

Leave it as it is and you’ll be fine. The discussion above is only relevant if you rewire your truck with heavy gauge cables.  It’s an important discussion,  but it applies only to the very few people who want to modify their vehicle. 

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I do have some specific questions about your batteries - 1. RE @NCeagle's concerns about prolonged charging at 100%, I know that Battleborn batteries have a higher capacity than labeled and that

Hello, I have attached a letter of Exemption. All LiFeBlue Batteries sold by Oliver include all the benefits of the 10 Year Limited Warranty. Oliver TT LiFeBlue warranty exemption.pdf

Hi all, Jason did respond back on this topic.  He reached out to the R&D team at Oliver that has worked on the Lithium package and this team also recommended following LifeBlue's design that has b

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

Also, no one has said anything about the solar panels that are continuously supplying power to the batteries.  While traveling, wouldn't solar, along with the TV alternator, supply enough power to charge the batteries during an average day of driving - say 4-5 hours with moderate sun exposure?

Yes, on a sunny day with no shade, your solar panels will likely recharge your batteries completely.  How likely depends on a few factors but that’s probably a subject for a separate topic. With the vehicle’s stock wiring and no other modifications, your alternator will provide some charge but not a lot. 

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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9 hours ago, Overland said:

While traveling, wouldn't solar, along with the TV alternator, supply enough power to charge the batteries during an average day of driving

My primary reason for the solar option was to replenish draw-down while traveling. So far, traveling 6 hours a day during mostly winter daylight hours, it has served it's purpose. Even on cloudy days I've found there will be some solar charge current produced. The vehicle charge line may assist to some degree but the only reason Oliver provides this connection at all is because the main batteries are used as the breakaway power source for the brakes. Applicable standards require this TV charge capability.   

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11 hours ago, Overland said:

Leave it as it is and you’ll be fine. The discussion above is only relevant if you rewire your truck with heavy gauge cables.  It’s an important discussion,  but it applies only to the very few people who want to modify their vehicle. 

Thanks . . . . . that's reassuring 😊

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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1 hour ago, bhncb said:

My primary reason for the solar option was to replenish draw-down while traveling. So far, traveling 6 hours a day during mostly winter daylight hours, it has served it's purpose. Even on cloudy days I've found there will be some solar charge current produced. The vehicle charge line may assist to some degree but the only reason Oliver provides this connection at all is because the main batteries are used as the breakaway power source for the brakes. Applicable standards require this TV charge capability.   

This is great!  I'm going to put the lithium charging worries aside and enjoy our RV travels 😄  All we need now is an Ollie  . . . . . .

We are selling our LTV Unity next week; will be three months without an RV - two of them the best camping weather!  I tell myself, "that's ok" . . . . until this pandemic thing settles down, camping just isn't what it used to be.

Edited by Susan Huff
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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

I tell myself, "that's ok" . . . . until this pandemic thing settles down, camping just isn't what it used to be.

We just got back from a few weeks in Colorado and northern Arizona.  The pandemic does make things less fun.  We visited a couple of National Monuments outside of Flagstaff and masks were required, the visitors centers were closed to the public.  If you wanted to purchase any kind of souvenir you had to visit an outdoor table and point to what you wanted and a ranger or volunteer would go inside and get it for you.  We found ourselves not stopping to see certain things, just not as much fun.  Hopefully our Lake Guntersville/TN/KY trip will be a little better.  But, it was still good to get out on the road and away from this south TX heat for a while!

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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On 8/20/2020 at 8:25 AM, Jairon said:

...Can you confirm that the warranty on your webpage is the same as what will be offered to Oliver owners? There is some verbiage about dealers and OEMs that could apply to Oliver. ....

Hello, I have attached a letter of Exemption. All LiFeBlue Batteries sold by Oliver include all the benefits of the 10 Year Limited Warranty.

Oliver TT LiFeBlue warranty exemption.pdf

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Larry Crutcher, GM
LiFeBlue Battery

sales@lifebluebattery.com

(920) LiFePO4
(920) 543-3764

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Posted (edited)
On 8/21/2020 at 9:12 AM, Overland said:

@JEssary @LiFeBlueBattery

I do not think it's wise to give this as generic advice - for two reasons:

1) If your truck has a modern, smart alternator, then it likely will not provide a continuous 14.4 volt charge.  It probably will at first, but after 5 minutes or so it will back down to around 13 volts which won't charge your lithiums.

2) If you have a standard alternator, or know a way to trick your smart one into charging continuously, you should only wire your vehicle like that diagram if you know for certain that your alternator can handle a 100+ amp draw for extended periods at low RPMs.  (Or being maxed out if you have a lower rated alternator.).  Burning up your alternator will make for a very bad day.  Remember that just because an alternator may be rated that high, that doesn't mean it was designed to sustain that current for long periods, especially at low RPMs without adequate cooling.  

 

Better advice is this -

1) Test your alternator - measure the voltage across the battery right after you start and then again five or ten minutes later.  If the voltage drops down below 14 or so then you have a smart alternator and you can stop here - you will need a battery to battery charger to charge your lithiums.  Sterling has traditionally been the choice, but Victron also makes one now, and they make solid kit.

2) If you have a traditional alternator, then find its rating.  I don't know for sure, but my gut feeling is that if it's below 150, then I'd probably go back to using a B2B charger.  150 amp is probably marginal, and 200 amp is probably fine.  Don't ask me to pay for a new alternator if that turns out to be bad advice.  If you have a smaller alternator, then an alternative to a B2B charger would be a current limiter, like this one.  I can't say anything about how well that works - I just know it exists.

3) If your alternator is dumb and beefy, and you aren't risk averse, then OK, go for the diagram above.  As a personal recommendation, I use a Victron Cyrix relay on my truck and it's been dependable so far.  Personally, I still don't think I'd go this route with lithium (my truck has an AGM house battery).  Even if your alternator can handle it, it will still run hot for however long it takes and I don't think doing that repeatedly with a component that could leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere is smart.  A battery to battery charger won't charge as fast, but that's ok.  And it will also charge your batteries to 100%, whereas due to voltage drop your alternator will probably only take them to around 80%.

Hi Overland,

I can only say that with hundreds of auxiliary charge systems installed by us for both LA and Li, 
(1) no one has reported to us they had a problem charging the house battery with our charge circuit,
(2) nor has anyone damaged their alternator.
(3) We never installed a DC converter (battery to battery) in any of our Aux. charge circuits. 
(4) What did happen is customers wrote to us with great appreciation for saving them the need to buy and carry a generator and fuel.

Our design works very well. I am sure that I would have had claims about this if something did not work as we would charge about $600 for the Aux. charge circuit parts and labor. I have attached some photos of one of our Aux. charge circuit installations for a TT.

Hope this helps.

Engine aux charge circuit.JPG

Anderson 175A Alternator charge-005.jpeg

Alternator charge Anderson 175A.jpeg

Edited by LiFeBlueBattery

Larry Crutcher, GM
LiFeBlue Battery

sales@lifebluebattery.com

(920) LiFePO4
(920) 543-3764

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Obviously I can't speak to your experience, I can only repeat and give links to experts in the field.

Could you tell us what business it is that has done these modifications?  You mentioned you've been doing this for twenty years, but obviously not as LifeBlue.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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On 8/21/2020 at 2:01 PM, Overland said:

@JEssary @LiFeBlueBattery

I think the advice you're giving is outdated and potentially dangerous.  It also flies in the face of what your competitors (BattleBorn), your own, well respected suppliers (AM Solar), and known experts in the field (Victron, Redarc) have to say on the subject.  The fact that everyone else in your field disagrees with you makes me concerned that you don't actually know the product you're selling.  

Your design was perfectly fine ten years ago with a traditional alternator and lead acid batteries.  You cannot apply that same solution to modern alternators with modern vehicle energy management, and it is potentially dangerous with lithium batteries and a traditional alternator.  Even more so with the hybrid drivetrains coming out now.  The links provide ample evidence of that. 

Hi Overland,

My experience designing and installing the systems that I have described and regular study is the source of my undersatnding. People must chose who they want to believe.

We operated a retail store in Yuma, AZ and had thousands of customers over about 2 decades until May 2018. Every day we would talk to customers that had a false understanding and wrong ideas about how things work. We would spend a great deal of our time educating people so they would have a good experience with their RV power systems.

Here's a example: Have you ever hear someone say "you can only use 50% of a deep cycle lead acid battery"? Yes, you and every other reader of this post has heard that. That rumor started about 6 years ago and spread like covid 19. Well, that statement is completely false. Yet, I have heard it from Battleborn, AM Solar and tons of other experts, even a major battery distributor that should know better.

I understand you have beliefs and it won't be to anyone's advantage to enter a controversial conversation here. In closing, here's something I said a long time ago that is still apropos : "The internet exposes you to a world of passionate people with strong opinions. Many are formed in ignorance from bias or lack of understanding. Be careful what you believe.” Larry Crutcher

Happy Trails to you all!

Larry Crutcher, GM
LiFeBlue Battery

sales@lifebluebattery.com

(920) LiFePO4
(920) 543-3764

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6 minutes ago, Overland said:

Obviously I can't speak to your experience, I can only repeat and give links to experts in the field.

Could you tell us what business it is that has done these modifications?  You mentioned you've been doing this for twenty years, but obviously not as LifeBlue.

Yes, Starlight Solar Power Systems in Yuma, AZ.

Larry Crutcher, GM
LiFeBlue Battery

sales@lifebluebattery.com

(920) LiFePO4
(920) 543-3764

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Just one other point if it will help. We sell thousands of Li-ion batteries that are being installed in boats and RV's every day. We field lots of phone calls and emails from DIY'ers about alternator charging. We always recommend our Auxiliary Charge design for high current alternator charging. No one has contacted us with any trouble. Many of our customers use Sprinter Vans or new Ford trucks that have very finicky electrical systems.

Happy Trails!

Larry Crutcher, GM
LiFeBlue Battery

sales@lifebluebattery.com

(920) LiFePO4
(920) 543-3764

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Well I'm always willing to learn, and yes there's all kinds of misinformation on the internet.  However, I don't think that companies like Victron are ones to spread it.  If you can provide some links to better information I'd be thrilled to read it.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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57 minutes ago, LiFeBlueBattery said:

Hello, I have attached a letter of Exemption. All LiFeBlue Batteries sold by Oliver include all the benefits of the 10 Year Limited Warranty.

Thank you for taking the time to put this together. We're sold on the pro package now 🙂 Do you know if Oliver is using the heated batteries or the standard ones?

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Posted (edited)

Not for nothing, as we are only looking at lifepo4  in two to four years down the road, but most installations I've seen on other forums use a b2b, dc to dc, like the Stirling for charging from the alternator,  with LifeBlue batteries, or Battleborns.

(BTW, I am careful to monitor our Agm deep cycle so they don't go below 50 per cent. I try to keep them at 70 or above. Last set life was definitely shortened by excessive deep cycling. They're not cheap. ) There is a ton of respected literature out there that promotes that idea, and my experience is in line.

If it were me today, I'd just not bother with charging from the truck's alternator for lithium charging,  and rely on solar and genset. Even though my truck is older, and probably not a "smart" alternator,  I find that solar is my best and most complete charging. And, it's silent and emission free. And, it has worked for us for 12 years, with fla and agm batteries. No doubt, it should work even better with Lithium.

Having experienced two alternator failures on our boat in the past 40 years, both in tricky situations,  I  can say it's definitely not a good situation to risk.

Sherry

 

 

 

 

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I do have some specific questions about your batteries -

1. RE @NCeagle's concerns about prolonged charging at 100%, I know that Battleborn batteries have a higher capacity than labeled and that their BMS is supposed to keep their batteries within a range that will prolong their life.  Do you use a similar tactic or should owners be cautious about charging your batteries to 100% or depleting them to 0?  I did notice that you recommend that owners deplete their batteries to 50% if being stored for longer than 30 days, whereas Battleborn recommends charging them to 100% before disconnecting.

2. Is your BMS software upgradable via your app?  Are there any user controllable parameters for your BMS?  Does the software provide any insight into battery health, cell balance, etc., or does it just give info on state of charge?

3. For those of us with programmable chargers, what do you recommend for absorption and float voltages, charge current, absorption time, etc.?

4.  I've read that Battleborn says that the main difference between their batteries and yours is that they use a cylindrical cell vs a prismatic one.  I haven't a clue about the two, but Battleborn reportedly says that in their tests the cylindrical cells lasted longer and were easier to keep balanced.  What is your response to that?

5. The simplicity of these types of batteries with a built in BMS is a sword with two edges; i.e., there's more to go wrong and if it does, then you've lost the whole battery.  You guys have doubled down on that by including bluetooth and heating inside the box and I'm wondering are either of those, or your BMS repairable, or worth the trouble to get repaired even if it is?

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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11 hours ago, Jairon said:

Thank you for taking the time to put this together. We're sold on the pro package now 🙂 Do you know if Oliver is using the heated batteries or the standard ones?

Oliver is using the heated batteries.  I have asked because winter camping is important to my wife and I.  I have made a note to double check that when we pick up our Ollie in Nov.

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John and Anita

Future (11/20) Oliver Elite II Owners, Hull TBD

Tow Vehicle:  2006 Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab.  6.6L Duramax

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11 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Not for nothing, as we are only looking at lifepo4  in two to four years down the road, but most installations I've seen on other forums use a b2b, dc to dc, like the Stirling for charging from the alternator,  with LifeBlue batteries, or Battleborns.

(BTW, I am careful to monitor our Agm deep cycle so they don't go below 50 per cent. I try to keep them at 70 or above. Last set life was definitely shortened by excessive deep cycling. They're not cheap. ) There is a ton of respected literature out there that promotes that idea, and my experience is in line.

If it were me today, I'd just not bother with charging from the truck's alternator for lithium charging,  and rely on solar and genset. Even though my truck is older, and probably not a "smart" alternator,  I find that solar is my best and most complete charging. And, it's silent and emission free. And, it has worked for us for 12 years, with fla and agm batteries. No doubt, it should work even better with Lithium.

Having experienced two alternator failures on our boat in the past 40 years, both in tricky situations,  I  can say it's definitely not a good situation to risk.

Sherry

 

 

 

 

As I've mentioned in another post, I've decided not to bother with charging from my truck.  I already have a small Honda generator and rather than upgrade my truck's charging capabilities, I've just splurged for the 180 watt Zamp solar suitcase to help when the sun is out.  Still getting a 26% rebate this year helps.  I just got it and it's working great - pretty fun charging all of my deep cycle marine batteries and several other 12v batteries I have around the house with it.  🙂

John and Anita

Future (11/20) Oliver Elite II Owners, Hull TBD

Tow Vehicle:  2006 Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab.  6.6L Duramax

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Posted (edited)
On 8/23/2020 at 7:02 PM, Overland said:

I do have some specific questions about your batteries -

1. RE @NCeagle's concerns about prolonged charging at 100%, I know that Battleborn batteries have a higher capacity than labeled and that their BMS is supposed to keep their batteries within a range that will prolong their life.  Do you use a similar tactic or should owners be cautious about charging your batteries to 100% or depleting them to 0?  I did notice that you recommend that owners deplete their batteries to 50% if being stored for longer than 30 days, whereas Battleborn recommends charging them to 100% before disconnecting.

2. Is your BMS software upgradable via your app?  Are there any user controllable parameters for your BMS?  Does the software provide any insight into battery health, cell balance, etc., or does it just give info on state of charge?

3. For those of us with programmable chargers, what do you recommend for absorption and float voltages, charge current, absorption time, etc.?

4.  I've read that Battleborn says that the main difference between their batteries and yours is that they use a cylindrical cell vs a prismatic one.  I haven't a clue about the two, but Battleborn reportedly says that in their tests the cylindrical cells lasted longer and were easier to keep balanced.  What is your response to that?

5. The simplicity of these types of batteries with a built in BMS is a sword with two edges; i.e., there's more to go wrong and if it does, then you've lost the whole battery.  You guys have doubled down on that by including bluetooth and heating inside the box and I'm wondering are either of those, or your BMS repairable, or worth the trouble to get repaired even if it is?

Bumping these questions in case they were overlooked.

BTW, I have Battleborn batteries now. If I had to replace them for whatever reason, or we’re starting from scratch, I’d probably be choosing between LifeBlue, Relion, Battleborn, or Victron; and these are the questions that I’d want to know before choosing. 

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Hi Overland, I saw the many questions you have. As soon as possible I'll provide answers. We are very busy right now so please give me some time.

Larry

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Larry Crutcher, GM
LiFeBlue Battery

sales@lifebluebattery.com

(920) LiFePO4
(920) 543-3764

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Hi Larry,

 

In cold temperatures, when does the warming feature operate?  Is it constant below a set temperature or does the system vary to meet charge demands?  How many watts are used for temp control?

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34 minutes ago, Dean said:

In cold temperatures, when does the warming feature operate?  Is it constant below a set temperature or does the system vary to meet charge demands?  How many watts are used for temp control?

Here is the data I have for the heating element. This could be different on LifeBlue's but I doubt it:

Note: The language isn't mine 😃

"Heating on conditions:
1. Below the low temperature charging protection value -2 ° C.
2. Temperature is more than -30 ° C (the lowest temperature allowed to open the heating film)
Meet the above two conditions to open the heating.
Stop heating conditions:
1. Stop heating when above the heating termination temperature.
2. Stop heating when in the discharge state.
3. In the low temperature protection state, heating should be stopped when heating is for more than one hour or so."

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57 minutes ago, Dean said:

Hi Larry,

 

In cold temperatures, when does the warming feature operate?  Is it constant below a set temperature or does the system vary to meet charge demands?  How many watts are used for temp control?

To expand on Dean's questions,

Does the warming feature trigger when there is a demand on the batteries, or does heating occur all of the time at temperatures less than some threshold (e.g., 37 °F)?  In other words, do the batteries heat when the trailer is in storage below 37 °F or only when in use?  

If the batteries only heat when in use, then how do the batteries recognize "in use?"  

Does the heating stop when the batteries reach a certain low-voltage threshold, regardless of temperature?   If so, what is the voltage threshold?

What is the best strategy for maintaining charge during winter storage?  Trickle?  If not trickle, then...?  If trickle, is that enough to maintain battery temperature during cold periods?

I understand that the lithium batteries will charge in 4 hours. Is this with a 30-amp connection, or with reasonable solar gain (e.g., 10–15 amps)?    It seems that to charge 320 amp hours (80% of 400 amp hours in two 200-amp hour batteries) it would take ~ 10 hours with a 30-amp connection, and with 15 amps from solar it would take twice that long….  What am I missing here?

Are there risks associated with overheating batteries when the trailer is stored (or otherwise experiencing) temperatures in excess of 100 °F?

Will periods of cold temperatures (e.g., < 10 °F) or excessively hot (e.g., >100 °F) decrease overall battery life?  What conditions or maintenance is required for batteries to last 10 years or more?

Thanks!

 

 

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On 8/19/2020 at 8:24 AM, NCeagle said:

I'll just pull the fuse and disable that circuit.  In my case, the fuse is under the hood in the main electrical distribution center and it's a dedicated circuit, so it doesn't impact anything else to pull it out.  I have a "dummy" fuse to put in there to keep dirt out of the contacts in case I ever want to use it again.

By dedicated circuit, you mean that fuse only handles the charge going to the trailer battery through the wiring harness?  If the fuse is for the entire hitch plug, wouldn't this also disable the trailer lights and the electric brake?

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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On 8/24/2020 at 4:04 AM, NCeagle said:

Oliver is using the heated batteries.  I have asked because winter camping is important to my wife and I.  I have made a note to double check that when we pick up our Ollie in Nov.

This is also what we have been told.  Picking ours up the first week of December.

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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