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Basic Solar and Lithium Battery


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When we purchased our 2015 LE2 used during 2016 it had two group 27 12V lead acid batteries without factory solar.  The following information & process has happened over a few years.

Initially we purchased a Renogy 100W suitcase solar panel and used it charging the batteries through the trailer's 7 pin connector. Wanted to have a more efficient way to charge batteries.  Installed a Furrion Solar port and mounted Renogy Waterproof solar charger in the battery compartment.  Use about 36' of 10/2 cable with 12' sections from solar panel to Ollie's Furrion Port.

Had to drill holes in Ollie's pretty finish for the Furrion Solar port next to battery compartment. Keep Ollie's fiberglass plug on my desk along with other interesting items :classic_smile::


Furrion inlet under port bed:


Renogy Solar 20A Waterproof Charge Controller mounted on plastic kitchen cutting board in battery compartment:


When Ollie is in the shade it's nice to be able to reach out up to 36' placing panel in the sun, panel in lower LH corner of photo. Highest charge amperage seen using 36' of panel cable is 6 amps and highest charge amperage seen is 7.1 amps using one 12' section of solar cable.


We purchased a Honda EU2000i to charge batteries on poor solar days. Installed a EZ start on the 13.5K Dometic AC so the Honda gen-set can also run the AC unit, or microwave, or hot water heater.


Been actively reducing Ollie's weight when possible, currently Ollie's ready to camp weight is around 4950 pounds with full 6 gallon hot water tank and all other tanks empty as per CAT scales.  Keep Ollie's spare tire in the TV bed and been using two 1 gallon LP gas bottles for a couple years. One gallon LP bottle will run the refrigerator for 4 days with morning use of cooktop with high outside temps in the 70s. I can also pick up a full one gallon bottle with three fingers.

Replaced two group 27 12V (125 pounds) batteries with one BattleBorn 100AH Lithium (35 pounds) battery for loss of weight and Lithium battery performance benefits. Also installed the Progressive Dynamics Lithium charging section in our Progressive Dynamics convertor that BattleBorn said would work fine with their battery. Using the Honda gen-set connected to Ollie's 30 amp connection, the Progressive charger slowly drops charge amperage then cycles charge rate between .25 amps to .4 amps at full charge. 


BattleBorn told me not to worry about TV alternator damage when connected to TV with 7 pin plug with our system. They said because of charge cable's small diameter and distance from TV to battery,  would not see very high amperage charge with TV connected. So far with BattleBorn battery at 75% charge while connected to TV with engine idling have not seen more than 3.5 amps of charge. Our TV has 180 amp alternator and with ignition turned off, the 12V power supply to Ollie is also switched off.

Initially installed a Victron BlueTooth shunt to monitor the battery, but my Android 5 was not supported by the Victron system. Believe Victron unit is the way to go, but at the time my Android was not compatible so purchased an inexpensive shunt & monitor from Amazon to monitor the battery. Found a automotive 2" instrument mount on Ebay to mount the monitor:



The battery monitor is not waterproof, use a 1 1/8" hole saw to cut out 1" OD plastic cutting board plugs to fill the existing ventilation holes in the battery compartment door. Did not want to mount these plugs permanently, sealed with clear RTV silicone for easy removal:




The benefits of the Lithium battery is much faster charging with gen-set or solar panel with plenty of battery capacity for our style of camping. Will be doing more camping without electricity and water connections with this system, too. :classic_smile:

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Tundra LE2


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Btw, your weight on an Elite II approaches that of a bloated Elite. You put a lot of thought, obviously,  in what you "need" vs what you might "want".


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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12



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3 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Btw, your weight on an Elite II approaches that of a bloated Elite. You put a lot of thought, obviously,  in what you "need" vs what you might "want".


For us we were taking lots of stuff we did not need on trips. Now we pack according to each trip. This rig handles nicely and stops easily, too.


Tundra LE2


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  • 8 months later...
Posted (edited)

Purchased an iPhone and  replaced the existing battery indicator and shunt with a 500A Victron Bluetooth Smart Shunt on Ollie yesterday.  This system works great for our needs:



Extra wire/cable needed to  roll out battery tray.




Edited by rideandfly
Udated Photo
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Tundra LE2


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  • 6 months later...

Added an additional 100W Renogy solar suitcase making two total 100W solar suitcases. Currently using a Renogy PWM charge controller. Decided to increase solar port capacity from 10 Amps to 20 Amps.

Original Furrion 10 Amp solar port:


Installing Zamp 20 Amp solar port in existing Furrion unit:





Next modification will probably be installation of a Victron or Renogy MPPT charge controller.


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Tundra LE2


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