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Adding Solar to an Oliver that is set up with lithium batteries but not any solar package.


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Posted (edited)

I guess the short answer is that it would be a lot easier to add lithium batteries to a trailer with solar than vice versa.  

Another way to answer would be that it's no different to add solar to a trailer with lithiums than it is to any other trailer.  You've got to mount them, run cable, and install a solar charge controller.  Or you could see about getting Oliver or someone else to do the work for you.  It's something people ask about occasionally but I've never known anyone but the early few pioneers actually do it.

I'm curious what led to the question.  Maybe if you can give us some info on what you're thinking, we can better help you figure it out.

 

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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18 minutes ago, mikeandkimvegas said:

Also can those portable solar screens be a substitute?

I use a portable solar is an option for battery charging and running the DC accessories like the lights, fans, water pump, radio.   I don’t have the voltage inverter option though so I can’t use it to provide AC power for the microwave or air conditioner.   I use a ZAMP 140 watt portable panel with integrated charge controller.   I connect through the 7 pin trailer wiring  pigtail connector.  Works well. 

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

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Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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54 minutes ago, mikeandkimvegas said:

How hard is it to add Solar to an Oliver that is set up with lithium batteries but not any solar package.  Also can those portable solar screens be a substitute?

Yes, it's possible.  We added fixed solar to both our trailer, (in 2008) and, recently,  our 40 year old sailboat. Oliver did the initial install on the trailer. We did the 600 watt install on the boat ourselves. 

It's also quite possible to just use portable. Both Zamp and Renogy, both respected names, offer suitcase solar of 200 watts plus that have controllers capable of charging lithium. ($600 to $950). Could also be built on your own from less expensive panels with a decent programmable controller. You'd probably want to install a port for easy setup, with the fused line to the batteries. 

I'm intrigued, and, I'm guessing Overland is, too.

I'd like to hear your ideas, and reasons to go big battery power first, solar second.

 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Actually considering buying a recent model Oliver with the Lithium battery installed but no solar package.  I have already ordered one with both but I can get this one about 11 months sooner.  I would like to boondock though.

 

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The portable would be easy and least expensive,  but, of course, it means a setup and tear down every time you move. And, it's fairly expensive equipment to just leave sitting out if you're not around. Then again, you don't have to leave it out, or even use it that often, depending on your length of stay, and power consumption. Lithium gives you a lot of "staying power."

You might want to call Jason at Oliver to see if they would add solar to a trailer, and what they'd charge for a fixed installation,  just for grins. Several people have done their own solar installs on Olivers, back in the day. It's certainly possible. 

Good luck on your decision.  

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Mike/Kim,

If you are handy and have a sense of adventure, it is not hard.  I have done so and helped a number of other Oliver owners do the same.

If you are interested in discussing further, please PM me your contact information and I will give you a call.

Andrew

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Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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