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Battery questions (solar/lithium package)


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Hello friends, 

I have been watching videos about electricity and batteries, but I had zero electrical knowledge until 2 days ago.  Right now I have a very basic understanding of what volts, amps, and watts are. 

1)  Do we keep lithium batteries clean the same way as regular batteries (baking soda etc)

2)  How do batteries have cycles if you are using it and recharging it at the same time?

3)  Is there a video that shows our system (I can't find one) and what we need to know for safety and use?

4)  My understanding is that you use (lead) batteries down to about 50% then recharge.  Is Lithium the same way?  

5)  We only need to discharge the battery to 50% if we are going to store, not for everyday (P 64 of manual)?  Why?   

6) How do we disconnect so that it's not charging but is still usable to discharge it to 50% as directed.  

7) How do we measure the watts our stuff is using, like lights?  

😎 How do we know the watts ALL of our stuff is using when plugged in together, like charging cell phones and computer and running lights and awning at same time?  

😎  some people are saying they leave a "trickle charger" going when in storage.  Can we do that with the cover on?  And if they want batteries at 50%, how do you do that?  Also do you get a smaller panel to do this?  Please explain this.  

I don't understand what the inverter does, and I don't understand what runs on A/C or D/C.  Things to learn this week....  

 

I do not have the Ollie yet to see the system so just trying to figure this out before we get it.  Thanks! 

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9 hours ago, trekhard said:

Hello friends, 

I have been watching videos about electricity and batteries, but I had zero electrical knowledge until 2 days ago.  Right now I have a very basic understanding of what volts, amps, and watts are. 

1)  Do we keep lithium batteries clean the same way as regular batteries (baking soda etc)

2)  How do batteries have cycles if you are using it and recharging it at the same time?

3)  Is there a video that shows our system (I can't find one) and what we need to know for safety and use?

4)  My understanding is that you use (lead) batteries down to about 50% then recharge.  Is Lithium the same way?  

5)  We only need to discharge the battery to 50% if we are going to store, not for everyday (P 64 of manual)?  Why?   

6) How do we disconnect so that it's not charging but is still usable to discharge it to 50% as directed.  

7) How do we measure the watts our stuff is using, like lights?  

😎 How do we know the watts ALL of our stuff is using when plugged in together, like charging cell phones and computer and running lights and awning at same time?  

😎  some people are saying they leave a "trickle charger" going when in storage.  Can we do that with the cover on?  And if they want batteries at 50%, how do you do that?  Also do you get a smaller panel to do this?  Please explain this.  

I don't understand what the inverter does, and I don't understand what runs on A/C or D/C.  Things to learn this week....  

 

I do not have the Ollie yet to see the system so just trying to figure this out before we get it.  Thanks! 

I'll answer some and let others fill in blanks as well...

1) Clean - Lithium Batteries don't out-gas acid vapors the way Lead Acid batteries do.  So there isn't a need to clean them.  Maybe wipe down surface dust but no real need.

2) For Lead Acid Chemistry batteries (wet or AGM types) a full battery cycle happens when you get below 50%.  
    Lead Acid batteries prefer to be kept charged up as it will prolong the life.  If you let a lead acid battery get below 50% repeatedly it will cause damage as the 
    lead plates get damaged and the result is a battery that won't recharge fully, nor provide power under load.   

3) Video about battery compartment:  This refers specifically to AGM or Lead Acid Batteries.  They've not yet produced one about Lithiums.
     A Lithium battery doesn't need to be vented to the outside. 
     Depending upon the specific lithium battery you may need to be careful about the "outside temperature" while using the battery.
     Lithium batteries can be discharged in cold weather down below 32F ...but unless they have an internal heating element or heating blanket they can't be charged
     if their temperature is below 32F. 

   4) Lead Acid batteries should be monitored and charged once they have discharged to 50% state of charge. 
        Lithium Batteries can be taken nearly to 0%.  In the case of the Lithionics Batteries like the GTX315, it's suggested a reserve of 15% be used as the have an internal heater that  will use about 10% of the capacity in cold weather.

5)   Not sure why that 50% statement was given.   Storage of Lead Acid and Lithium are different and each battery manufacturer has their own specific procedures.  I would suggest looking at the specific battery manufacturer's storage requirements.

6)  How to disconnect ?  It depends upon the specific trailer and which options are included.  If you disconnect from SHORE POWER then the batteries will continue to function and run all the 12V items in the trailer.  If your unit also has an Inverter/Charger, then when you are disconnected from SHORE POWER you can turn on the inverter to also run AC appliances like the microwave and items plugged into outlets.  If you have the 3000W Inverter and Lithium Batteries they are also wired to be able to run the Air Conditioner for a short time.  

7) The Lights are LED and very low wattage.  But take the microwave as an example, the wattage is listed on the sticker inside the door frame.  Typical is 1500Watts.
     If you can see a sticker on an appliance Wattage can be calculated from that sticker.   Watt's = Amps x Voltage    
     Calculation Example:  Device sticker says 110V and 15A = 110x15 = 1650 Watts.
    Another way is to buy a power meter, plug your device into the meter, which then plugs into a wall outlet and it measures the wattage real time and shows it on a display.

8)  On the web there are "Wattage Reference" charts available that give typical values for various items....simply add up all the watts your using to see the total.
      For Safety - In your Oliver, every place you plug in an item will either have a "circuit breaker" (for AC devices and plugs) or a Fuse (for DC and USB's) on the Oliver.

 9) Storage:  Lead Acid vs. Lithium

Lead Acid:  
Trickle chargers, or maintenance chargers are used specifically for lead acid batteries and provide small amounts of current to keep your battery topped off but not overcharged.  The lead acid batteries will still emit some gasses and this is why they don't want the battery box vent's covered in any way (like with a slip on cover).
In the case of cold winter storage it's better to take the "lead acid" batteries out of the trailer and put them in a garage or shop on a trickle charger. 

This is one I use on my bench for my extra AGM batteries that I use.
"687920823_ScreenShot2021-05-28at6_58_47AM.thumb.png.ee20410929a5a6faecb95b9a0a0779c8.png

 



Lithium: For lithium batteries, just charge them up and turn them OFF.  (That's for Lithionics which have a built in switch.)

10)  The inverter is a device that converts 12V DC Power from the Battery into 110V AC Power.  Inverters come in many forms but the ones in the Oliver are high
        quality "Pure Sinewave" inverters that mimic the power you get from typical house plugs.  The total output wattage of the inverter is one of the key specs.
       Oliver offers either a 2000W or 3000W inverter depending upon your configuration.   A 2000W inverter can run a Microwave (about 1400W) and maybe 
       a couple of 60W laptop chargers, and your lights all at the same time. 

       In our Oliver - Hull 505 there are only 3 things that are mounted in the trailer that run on AC.  The Air Conditioner, microwave and refridgerator (when on AC mode).
       Anything you put into the "ac outlets" is also running on AC, like a Computer Charger Brick, an Instant Pot or a VitaMix.
        
       The TV, Stereo, Vent Vans and all lights are all running off of 12V DC.

       If you plug in a cell phone or iPad charger into an AC outlet, it's converting AC to DC for your phone....in those case you would use less energy by plugging 
        USB Charged Devices directly into the USB or Cigarette Lighter ports in the Oliver.  (That way your not converting from AC to DC and wasting energy.)

 

Hope that helps:

Check out our Blog here and don't forget to look at the "Oliver Trailer Outfitters Guide" link to Amazon on that Blog.

https://4-ever-hitched.com

Craig & Rose Short
Hull 505 - Galway Girl
 
     

 

 

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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2021 F350 King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com

 

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You and a whole bunch of RV newbies have similar questions, it can be daunting because your house is pretty simple by comparison. There are a number of good beginner books that cover EVERYTHING in enough detail to educate you, but not freak you out with information overload. Something like this one:

RVs and Campers for dummies

Check your public library if you want a free one. Read it in its entirety, then you can ask for clarifications about an Ollie’s systems, which are pretty standard. The only thing remotely unusual is the factory lithium options, but other manufacturers also are beginning to do this.

My 70 year old sister bought her first RV ever, a tiny teardrop trailer with rooftop solar, last summer and she has struggled, partly because she is trying to make do with a completely inadequate tow vehicle, and she NEVER towed anything before, but she is now feeling a little more comfortable. But she still can’t back it, so she disconnects and moves it by hand 😳.

Knowledge is power. Learn how stuff works.

I STRONGLY recommend that if you have no previous towing experience, you should rent a small Uhaul trailer and haul it everywhere over a weekend. That will give you an idea of what it is like. Then rent a cheap “stick and staple” travel trailer for a week and take it camping. Some Ollie owners ignore these initial steps and unfortunately discover that they just can’t deal with their new rig and are forced to sell it after just a few months. 

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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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

...Knowledge is power. Learn how stuff works...

What he said X 1000

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Our system is lithium.

Now, I'm not sure how asking questions about electricity equates to not knowing  how stuff works or lack of towing experience.

I have lived in an RV for 6 months, on top of a mountain.  Did it have solar? No.  Electricity or gas? No.  Did I tow it and set it up and teach men how to do that? Yes. 

I am cramming to take over someone's contract that couldn't complete their purchase, and I've got less than one month to learn what you all took years.  I am gathering knowledge between work,  staying up late hours to do this.   I appreciate all comments that answer the questions and give information.  

 

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Trekhard, I'm very interested in your stories of living in a camper on a mountain for six months with no energy sources. More like living in a hardshell tent.

So, you'll be fine if everything fails, but you're obviously interested in learning how to prevent that from happening, with a new trailer with multiple systems . 

I appreciate that you are "cramming."

Start with the Oliver University videos on basic systems.  If you've never used any systems,  it will at least give you a start. 

Sherry 

 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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