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I noted that Mossey mentioned "useable" amp hours. With wet cell batteries,  it's recommended to not deplete your batteries by more than 50 per cent, so 280 ah useable.

With my agms, I try to not deplete by more than 30 per cent, but I  still know that I can deplete to 50 per cent and not damage the batteries.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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10 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

I noted that Mossey mentioned "useable" amp hours. With wet cell batteries,  it's recommended to not deplete your batteries by more than 50 per cent, so 280 ah useable.

With my agms, I try to not deplete by more than 30 per cent, but I  still know that I can deplete to 50 per cent and not damage the batteries.

Ah, you are correct on the “usable” amp-hour rating.   I missed that in his post.  Yeah, I never let the batteries get below 12.2 volts or so, to make sure they never get below 50% charge.  They tend to hold right around 12.5 to 12.6 when in storage for a long time (weeks).  The parasitic drain from the television, radio, etc. doesn’t seem to be much.   I store mine next to the house so I just plug in about once every 3 or 4 weeks. 

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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21 hours ago, dewdev said:

My Oliver came standard with the Zamp connection on the side of the Oliver pre-wired for connection of mobile panels. You should contact Oliver sales to confirm the connector is standard.

The 340 watt Oliver panels and controller are well matched to keep the batteries charged, even in the winter in New England, so why wait to later, since you can afford them.

My Oliver will spend 10-11 months inside my shop while plugged into shore power, I will travel for one month and sometimes two months per year staying long term at full service RV parks like Rocky Point in Mexico that cost $6-$700.00 per month. I can literally fund my trips for 5 years for the cost of a solar system on my Oliver. 

I was concerned about the mounting system and holes in the Gel Coat, Thanks to your replies, I am not longer worried in the least about that issue.

I will not be adding solar at this time, I expect that I will do so in the future if I keep the Oliver more than a few years I will likely hand it over to the Boondoctor and let him have his way with it. Until then I will have a "portable" solution of some sort and it may be suitcase solar of some type, it may be solar mounted on the bed cover of my truck or it might just be my Honda 2000... Time will determine this. 

Someone suggested I visit the factory and this was sound advice but the one thing I don't have? is time to do this prior to my pick up date, I will try not to bother you with any more silly questions. 

Thanks again to all of you for your input on my original questions I appreciate it. 

Happy Trails

Dan

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Dan:

One thing not mentioned that you might want to conside is the resale value of the Oliver. I noticed that on the Oliver classified forum one used Elite II took 5 or 6 months to sell that did not have solar panels when used Elite II's with solar sold within the same week listed.

 

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi

 

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31 minutes ago, fairmontrvpark said:

it may be solar mounted on the bed cover of my truck 

Keep us posted if you do a truck bed cover solar panel setup.  I’ve been considering doing that as well.  It’s a lot of square footage that could be put to good use generating electricity instead of just baking in the hot sun.  It would eliminate the setup issue with the portable panel, it doesn’t take up any cargo space, and easy to get to the panels for cleaning or any maintenance/troubleshooting, and easy to upgrade.  

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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34 minutes ago, dewdev said:

Dan:

One thing not mentioned that you might want to conside is the resale value of the Oliver. I noticed that on the Oliver classified forum one used Elite II took 5 or 6 months to sell that did not have solar panels when used Elite II's with solar sold within the same week listed.

 

Valid Point Dewdev, In the event I do decide to part with it I will cross that bridge. On the other hand I have seen inside the guts of some Solar equipped Ollies here that I would not touch with a ten foot pole..... because I am not a qualified solar tinkerer with a mobile machine shop in my TV with the want to or know how to maintain those systems.... Nothing against those that do its simply not what I am looking to get from my Oliver.  

That being said if you see a picture of my Oliver here in a few years with more flexible solar panels than gelcoat visible.... well I have been known to flip the script like that before once I am convinced of something. 😉 

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22 hours ago, dewdev said:

My Oliver came standard with the Zamp connection on the side of the Oliver pre-wired for connection of mobile panels. You should contact Oliver sales to confirm the connector is standard.

The 340 watt Oliver panels and controller are well matched to keep the batteries charged, even in the winter in New England, so why wait to later, since you can afford them.

I agree . . . . you can always upgrade them later.  Solar panels, like most technology, will come down in price as the market becomes more competitive.  I think, just the fact that the solar panels will charge the batteries while you are on the road is worth a lot, since the house batteries don't get much charge from the TV.  You should also ask Oliver, but whether or not you choose the solar option, I think they all come prewired for later solar installation, including the exterior solar connection.  I don't believe this includes a controller for the rooftop prewire, but everything should be there for a future installation.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

1UP-USA Heavy-duty bike rack

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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6 minutes ago, fairmontrvpark said:

Valid Point Dewdev, In the event I do decide to part with it I will cross that bridge. On the other hand I have seen inside the guts of some Solar equipped Ollies here that I would not touch with a ten foot pole..... because I am not a qualified solar tinkerer with a mobile machine shop in my TV with the want to or know how to maintain those systems.... Nothing against those that do its simply not what I am looking to get from my Oliver.  

That being said if you see a picture of my Oliver here in a few years with more flexible solar panels than gelcoat visible.... well I have been known to flip the script like that before once I am convinced of something. 😉 

I'm not sure there is much maintenance involved, other than cleaning the panels.

Regarding the flexible panels: we had these on our 2017 Leisure Travel Van.  We only had 2-100w units, and they struggled to keep the one flooded 12v battery topped off while parked for extended periods of time.  Ours were Go Power; perhaps there are better brands available and/or the technology has improved since 2016.  I just don't think the flexible panels are as efficient as the hard version.  They are also more susceptible to UV damage.  There is a reason they are less expensive than the Zamp rigid panels.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

1UP-USA Heavy-duty bike rack

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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25 minutes ago, Ray and Susan Huff said:

I'm not sure there is much maintenance involved, other than cleaning the panels.

Regarding the flexible panels: we had these on our 2017 Leisure Travel Van.  We only had 2-100w units, and they struggled to keep the one flooded 12v battery topped off while parked for extended periods of time.  Ours were Go Power; perhaps there are better brands available and/or the technology has improved since 2016.  I just don't think the flexible panels are as efficient as the hard version.  They are also more susceptible to UV damage.  There is a reason they are less expensive than the Zamp rigid panels.

Well reading the posts tells me that there is maintenance or at least more attention being paid than I am interested in providing while I am on vacation and again this is just my personal preference not trying to impose it on anyone else just answering the question I was asked as it relates to me.  

I hear tell of a start up that has solved the heating issues and makes a respectable flexible panel www.merlinsolar.com Yeah I know.... their a startup... but for a portable solution I may risk it. 

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I have a friend who carries a small (100 watt, I think) flex panel, and a homemade pvc frame, adjustable.  It's a neat solution for someone who uses very little power. Everything breaks down, and slides under the bed. 

We used SunPower flexible solar on our 600 watt (so far) installation on the boat's hardtop. Really nice, good production. Great reputation,  and pretty affordable. 

As far as maintenance,  a well-designed and well-installed solar system has a learning curve, and, after that, free clean power for decades . We mostly let the rain take care of cleaning, unless there are a lot of whirlys (spring) or leaves (fall) that the wind doesn't blow away.

We have never, in six years, gone up on the roof to clean our home install. Rain does it all.

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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2 hours ago, dewdev said:

Dan:

One thing not mentioned that you might want to conside is the resale value of the Oliver. I noticed that on the Oliver classified forum one used Elite II took 5 or 6 months to sell that did not have solar panels when used Elite II's with solar sold within the same week listed.

 

I’m sure there are lots of buyers out there looking for a non solar Oliver. This market is screwed up but the last non solar sold in two days (listed on this forum).  One thing to consider is the depreciation of the batteries.  I’m not going to pay top dollar for a set of six year old lithium batteries.  That along with technology advances over time might not make much of a difference on trailer value down the road. If one needs the capability now by all means go for it…set it up for how you travel/camp. 

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There is not much maintenance on the factory solar.  I wash it when we return from a trip.  That’s about it.  I’m up there cleaning the roof anyway, so it’s not a big deal.  I’ve never done anything while on the road.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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There are some, like us, who would be just as happy with a clean slate to "mod" our way. Others have no interest in boondocking,  so why waste money on solar?

Others would never think about a trailer without at least solar.

It's all ok, because everyone is different.  And has different needs and wants.

There was a super clean early Elite in Texas awhile back,  no solar, not even a furnace.. If my husband and I hadn't been so busy with so many other projects going on, we might have made that a permanent guest house at our camping property. I  seriously lobbied for it. Someone else got the trailer of their dreams, and that's awesome. I'm super happy for them.

It's sometimes hard to step back from your own situation,  and appreciate the other guy's spot. But, it's what life is. 

Even camping life.

Edit to add: 

If you don’t have a fave hockey team, please cheer for my Lightning. Thank you.

 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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4 hours ago, fairmontrvpark said:

Well reading the posts tells me that there is maintenance or at least more attention being paid than I am interested in providing while I am on vacation and again this is just my personal preference not trying to impose it on anyone else just answering the question I was asked as it relates to me.  

I hear tell of a start up that has solved the heating issues and makes a respectable flexible panel www.merlinsolar.com Yeah I know.... their a startup... but for a portable solution I may risk it. 

I agree with not wanting to spend vacation time doing maintenance.  For this reason we like to keep things as simple as possible.  I think solar panels contribute more to camping enjoyment than they detract with necessary maintenance.  

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

1UP-USA Heavy-duty bike rack

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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17 hours ago, FrankC said:

They are PowerTron brand which is a Trojan sub-brand.   The four 12v wet cell setup was an Oliver option when we bought our 2019 Elite II.   Not sure about the amp-hour rating.  Part number is PowerTron D24DC-140.  But I can’t find the specs online.  Looks like this model might have been discontinued.  The four 12 volt parallel arrangement has worked really well for battery life when boondocking at overnight Harvest Host stops.  We don’t have the inverter or factory solar.   Just running the DC accessories (fans, lights, water pump) when boondocking so the battery running time has been great. 

 

 

You are correct about not finding the amp-hours (AH) specs spelled out online. However, I was able to find one bit of information about these batteries; they have a 25 amp reserve capacity (RC) of 140 minutes. This is enough information to calculate the amp hour rating.

The reserve capacity of a battery is the number of minutes for which it can run at 25 amps of current without its voltage dropping below 10.5 volts.  As all babies in jungle know, at 10.5 volts your batteries are dead dead. Voltage relates charge and energy by describing the amount of energy in each coulomb of charge. AH is a different unit for describing the same quantity.

In order to convert RC to AH you first need to multiply the reserve capacity by 60 to convert it to seconds:  140 minutes x 60 = 8400 seconds

Next multiply this length of time by 25 (amps): 8400 x 25 = 210,000. This is the number of coulombs of charge in the battery.

Next divide this answer by 3,600, which is the number of coulombs in an AH: 210,000 / 3600 = 58, the number of amp-hours in the battery.

So these batteries are 58 AH each, wired in parallel totaling 232 total AH or 116 usable AH (at the 50% discharge limit.)

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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 #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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Thank you Steve for that excellent explanation.  You made it simple enough for me to understand.  And the usable AH's aren’t much more than a single Battle Born 100 AH LiFePO4 battery.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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1 hour ago, mossemi said:

Thank you Steve for that excellent explanation.  You made it simple enough for me to understand.  And the usable AH's aren’t much more than a single Battle Born 100 AH LiFePO4 battery.

Mossey

Thanks to Steve for the detailed explanation, and to Mossey’s point, true, the Lithium Iron Phosphate options are impressive for amp-hours vs. size and weight, but I’m not carrying the batteries around by hand 🙂 and we don’t boondock for extended periods like others, so I can’t justify the extreme cost of the lithiums for our camping style.  The lead acid batteries are heavy, and old technology, but they are cheap, they work, mine haven’t needed much water maintenance at all, they don’t need pampered with a heater or cooling like the lithiums in cold or hot weather, I can easily get replacements on the road if ever needed, and because they are lower nominal full charge voltage, they do charge from my tow vehicle.   Everyone has different camping needs.   The lead acid setup has worked great for us.  

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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