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Lithium Pro Package vs Solar Pro Package


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Yeah!  Once again I'm among the "lucky ones" - my Ollie batteries are now into year 7 and my lone remaining motorcycle battery is on year 11.😉

In the interest of full disclosure though - both have always been religiously maintained and on chargers when not on the road.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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On 11/25/2021 at 2:16 PM, Spike said:

Perhaps this is only tangentially related to the topic, but I have a question concerning upgrading to BBGC2 Battle Born batteries.

Has anyone been able to install four of the 100Ah BC2s in their battery compartment? I was assured by a Dragonfly Energy (maker of the batteries) representative that four of these would fit into the slide-out compartment that held our four 6-volt AGMs that I needed to replace in our 2017 Elite II. Has anyone here actually done that, giving them 400-amp hours of power?

I want to follow up by letting folks know that--after contacting Dragonfly Energy, who then contacted my RV tech--my tech was able to install the four BBGC2 Battle Born batteries. He accomplished this  by placing the batteries on their ends as some of you have suggested that it be done. He told me that it was "a nightmare" to do the wiring in this configuration, and I see now that there is indeed a very tight fit of batteries and wires in that slide-out compartment. Thanks to all who offered their input.

My tech and I discovered a new issue, however, involving using the new 400 AH battery bank and also a newly installed EasyStart in the A/C compartment to start and run the A/C. I assumed that my new setup would do this since Oliver announces on their sales website that their new lithium "Pro" package option, with 390 AH, allows one to the run the A/C without shore or generator power. One of my main reasons for spending so much money and time on my lithium battery upgrade was to enable my battery bank to accomplish this previously impossible task. The issue, says my tech, is that my Xantrex 2000-watt inverter is not connected in a way that allows it to start the A/C. (He has tested the EasyStart and it works well on shore power.) My uneducated guess is that the new "Pro" and "Platinum" solar packages must employ a different wiring configuration involving the inverter that was not needed when the only option was to operate the A/C on shore or generator power.

I have contacted the Oliver service department about this issue (submitting a "ticket"), asking for advice on what my tech can do to work around this problem. Nonetheless, since my Ollie is in the shop over the weekend, and Oliver's response may not be as speedy as I would like it to be, I would appreciate any input any of you tech-savvy owners may have. Thanks.

 

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  • This is how I ran the AC with the 2000 watt inverter. I added anther transfer switch to operate the AC circuit on my 2019 built Oliver.

Besides the huge improvement in the sound level there is also another area where it surpasses the Dometic AC that I had replaced. The Houghton with the compressor running draws 10 amps while the Dometic was pulling 16 amps. So I decided to install a second transfer switch for the air conditioner to test it running off the batteries.

IMG_E1120.thumb.jpg.f111d61fc60278d062165a73436e468b.jpg

 

It was 11 o'clock in the morning on a cloudless sunny day the temperature was 88 degrees. I had my batteries 400 Ah fully charged with 340 watts on the roof and 230 watts remote ready to feed it. I set the thermostat at 70 degrees and turned on the AC. Once it brought the temperature down to 70 I noticed it was cycling four minutes on with the compressor and four minutes off. I left it running until about 5 o'clock and was surprised to see that the batteries were at 97 percent. So I was happy with those results but time will tell if that is the norm.

 

IMG_1125.thumb.jpg.102bebd8e5a49946669dd076c473c978.jpg

 

I put the picture in to also show it's nice low profile.

 

Paul

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Thank You everyone. We are going to stay with the Lithium Package. Everyone's posts gave us great input and helped us make the decision to stick with Lithium.

We found four (4) items to cut-out $1,500 (Laguna Table, shower curtain/track, the powered back flow control for gray water, and the extra front 30amp outlet).

We spent 8 years playing the AMP Game. We now have the real peace of mind.

After everyone's posts here and on Facebook, we got the answer we wanted.

 

Enjoy the rest of the Thanksgiving Weekend. Happy and Safe Travels😊

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We got our OLE2 in May of this year.  My original thought was to get lead acid batteries and then upgrade to lithium later but found out you need a 3000 W inverter for lithium.  So we got the 390 Ah lithium batteries with the 3000 W inverter and have been happy with them.  We didn't get solar panels but did get a plug for a portable solar panel. In WI most campsites are shaded so I didn't think solar would be all that helpful.  I have found I can run off batteries for 5-6 days and the batteries will be down to about 50%.  I found out you can't run the microwave unless the batteries are over 80% but you can run a coffee maker.  I didn't use A/C boondocking but found that with the awnings out to shade the sides and running the fan with the windows open in summer kept the trailer comfortable given it is well insulated.  I did get the easystart so I can run the A/C with a 2000 W generator.  Running the refrigerator off batteries when driving will take the batteries down to about 70% in 6 hours.  The lithium batteries do charge quickly.

When running the refrigerator on propane it is very efficient.  I have had no trouble towing the OLE2 with my 2017 Tundra 5.7 L crew cab.  It tows much much better than the 3 box trailers we had rented.  In the about 5000 miles I have towed the Oliver I have gotten 10.2 to 11.9 MPG driving in the midwest.

Overall I have been very happy with our Oliver LE2.

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20 minutes ago, Larry and Linda said:

I found out you can't run the microwave unless the batteries are over 80% but you can run a coffee maker. 

Something isn’t right. Your batteries should be able to put out full power up until they’re almost dead. My guess is that the low voltage cutoff on your inverter is set too high. 

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1 hour ago, Larry and Linda said:

 We didn't get solar panels but did get a plug for a portable solar panel. In WI most campsites are shaded so I didn't think solar would be all that helpful.  

I guess if you never plan to leave Wisconsin, that is a valid remark😀. When you are actually towing, your panels would have worked perfectly fine, up to maybe 200 amp hours per (cloudless) day, since most highways are wide open to the sky. And most western campgrounds have plenty of sun exposure….. Are you aware that your lithium batteries will not charge from the tow vehicle? How often do you use the generator? How has that worked out? How will you deal with a no-hookup campground that does not allow you to run a gennie? Most allow it, some do not…. Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

"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, Safari snorkel.

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18 hours ago, Overland said:
19 hours ago, Larry and Linda said:

I found out you can't run the microwave unless the batteries are over 80% but you can run a coffee maker. 

Something isn’t right. Your batteries should be able to put out full power up until they’re almost dead. My guess is that the low voltage cutoff on your inverter is set too high. 

Larry and Linda, if you picked up your trailer in May, and if you have not updated firmware for the Lithionics batteries, I'm willing to bet that your State-of-Charge values are incorrect.  Here is a thread that might help...

 

 

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23 hours ago, Larry and Linda said:

My original thought was to get lead acid batteries and then upgrade to lithium later but found out you need a 3000 W inverter for lithium.  

While I think the lithium package is really nice I don’t see how the 3k inverter is required for a lithium battery upgrade down the road.  I hope this misinformation, along with $25k service department lithium upgrade estimates, are not being used to up sell right now. 

 

On 11/26/2021 at 8:57 PM, Spike said:

My tech and I discovered a new issue, however, involving using the new 400 AH battery bank and also a newly installed EasyStart in the A/C compartment to start and run the A/C. I assumed that my new setup would do this since Oliver announces on their sales website that their new lithium "Pro" package option, with 390 AH, allows one to the run the A/C without shore or generator power.

The response by @Minnesota Oli is really helpful in two ways. My guess is using an external transfer switch will keep rewiring to a minimum.  Also his AC upgrade would provide another huge benefit to your 2k inverter because of the low power draw.  It might be a better investment vs upgrading to the 3k inverter w/ longer battery endurance as well. 

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On 11/26/2021 at 8:06 PM, Minnesota Oli said:

This is how I ran the AC with the 2000 watt inverter

Wow! Thanks so much for this one too, Minnesota Oli. I was a bit depressed to learn, even after upgrading to my Battle Born 400AH system, that I would not be able to run my AC on the batteries.

Unless some other stumbling block gets in the way of my goal of being able to run my AC--for even a limited amount of time, without shore or generator power using my 2000-watt inverter--this seems like the perfect solution. The reduction in noise alone would seem to justify the switch to the RecPro by Houghton. Of course, the lower profile of the top of the unit, its lower demands on power, a remote control that can be used anywhere in the cabin, etc, are also advantages worth considering. Thanks again.

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On 11/26/2021 at 8:06 PM, Minnesota Oli said:

This is how I ran the AC with the 2000 watt inverter. I added anther transfer switch to operate the AC circuit on my 2019 built Oliver.

Minnesota Oli, I am just about completely sold on replacing my Dometic AC with the Houghton for the advantages you list--and more. 

Nonetheless, as I have done some online investigation of the Houghton, it seems that, unlike the Dometic system that came with our 2017 Oliver, one cannot control the furnace with the Houghton remote. Did you purchase and use a separate remote to be able to control the furnace in your Oliver? If so, what product did you purchase,  and what further modifications, if any, were needed to allow it to function?

This is the RecPro air conditioner (apparently manufactured by Houghton) that I am considering purchasing:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089MYDLTY?tag=asmipr-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1&keywords=rv air conditioner

 

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@Spike, the unit you referenced is 15k btu, over a foot tall. I don't think any of us have installed this unit,, which I think is 1st generation,  not 2nd gen lower profile like Minnesotaoli, katanapilot, and others. 

My amateur understanding would be that 15k is way over the top, probably contributing to short cycling, for an le2, but who knows? 

The Houghton we installed will not accommodate a thermostat,  of any kind. I "think" this is true of all their models  remote only. Also, condensate runs down the roof.

Btw, I've found prices to be better on the recpro site, rather than Amazon. 

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28 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

My amateur understanding would be that 15k is way over the top, probably contributing to short cycling, for an le2, but who knows? 

The Houghton we installed will not accommodate a thermostat,  of any kind.

Thanks, SeaDawg. Please let me know what model you installed. Also, how do you now handle controlling the furnace? 

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11 minutes ago, Spike said:

Thanks, SeaDawg. Please let me know what model you installed. Also, how do you now handle controlling the furnace? 

Since the furnace is separate wouldn’t the wall mounted thermostat still control it?  The AC would be separate, controlled with whatever is on the unit.  I hope someone knows, I’m thinking of getting the Houghton unit too.  I agree with Sherry that a 15K unit is too much for an Elite II.  Mike

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17 minutes ago, Spike said:

Thanks, SeaDawg. Please let me know what model you installed. Also, how do you now handle controlling the furnace? 

My Hull 218 has an Air Command AC, it does not communicate with the furnace. Oliver installed a cheap mechanical stat (circa 1940, using a mercury switch) for that, it failed after three seasons and was very hard to adjust, so I replaced it with this Emerson digital one. It has been fine and it is easy to use and very precise, with a minimal dead band.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00204WWGE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

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, Safari snorkel.

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3 hours ago, Spike said:

Minnesota Oli, I am just about completely sold on replacing my Dometic AC with the Houghton for the advantages you list--and more. 

Nonetheless, as I have done some online investigation of the Houghton, it seems that, unlike the Dometic system that came with our 2017 Oliver, one cannot control the furnace with the Houghton remote. Did you purchase and use a separate remote to be able to control the furnace in your Oliver? If so, what product did you purchase,  and what further modifications, if any, were needed to allow it to function?

This is the RecPro air conditioner (apparently manufactured by Houghton) that I am considering purchasing:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089MYDLTY?tag=asmipr-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1&keywords=rv air conditioner

 

Minnesota Oli

Here's a paragraph from Got Earplugs by katanapilot from My version of the Houghton AC install posted May 27.

As a sidenote halfway through the install I thought of a different way of doing the wiring for the thermostat. If a person replaced the LCD thermostat with a older manual style you could do away with the LCD relay board. If you look at the first picture that shows a group of wires that are in a black sheath, these are the control side of the wiring for the AC. In that group of wires there are two blue wires one with a white stripe. The one with the white stripe is hot 12 volts DC and the solid blue is the wire that goes to the furnace relay board. So re-allocate the existing thermostat wires by doubling them up ,two of them hooked to the solid blue and the other two hook to the blue with the white stripe. Then at the wall hook the two thermostat wires that are hooked to blue with white stripe to the power in on the new manual thermostat and the other two to the power out. The reason I would double them up is because of they're small gauge. This would do away with having to pull wires and using the LCD relay board. Also save you having to toggle through the unusable modes (heat strip, cool)  on the LCD thermostat to get to the furnace mode.

IMG_0860.thumb.jpg.e24d8b6991597a21250ae47b934868af.jpg

By re-allocate the existing thermostat wires and doubling them up ,two of them hooked to the solid blue and the other two hook to the blue with the white stripe. Now you are able to utilize wires that are already there saving you having to run new ones. Simply switch out the thermostat with one that does not need a control board.

Paul

https://www.recpro.com/rv-air-conditioner-low-profile-13-5k-quiet-ac-with-heat-pump-remote-non-ducted/

 

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@Spike, our 2008 Ollie has the original old school analog thermostat for the suburban furnace (which I really like), and our 2008 dometic ac had no thermostat,  just dials on the adu/interior unit . 

We replaced the aged dometic with a 9500 btu houghton/recpro ac, but we have the smaller elite. It has a remote, no thermostat capability, and no heat pump. It does have a dehumidifier function,  which is great, in Florida humidity.

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21 hours ago, Minnesota Oli said:

Here's a paragraph from Got Earplugs by katanapilot from My version of the Houghton AC install posted May 27.

Thanks to all who offered advice on how I might modify my system. 

My goal, using my newly installed Battle Born battery bank (now with 400AH) and solar compatible components (charger/converter and monitor), is to be able to run an air conditioner (looks like it will be the 13K RecPro/Houghton) while still being able to control the furnace. 

If I understand the advice correctly, these are the items that I should consider ordering to allow my tech to complete the modification:

1. RecPro AC:

https://www.recpro.com/rv-air-conditioner-low-profile-13-5k-quiet-ac-with-heat-pump-remote-non-ducted/

2. KISAE Technology TS20A 20 Amp Transfer Switch:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IKVHA9K/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

3. Emerson 1E78-140 Non-Programmable Heat Only Thermostat for Single-Stage System:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00204WWGE/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

My understanding now is that, after obtaining these items, my tech—who has been reliably competent and has done several jobs for me on my solar equipped 2017 Oliver Legacy II—should be able to help me achieve my goal. (I will be asking him to switch out the MicroAir soft start recently installed in my Dometic to the new AC.) I will, of course, share the wiring advice and photos graciously passed along to me by Paul (A.K.A. Minnesota Oli).  

If I misunderstand something, or further things need to be considered, please let me know. Thanks. (I don't know what I would do without the great input I get from folks like you on the forum.) 


 

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From casually reading I think you can just use the heat portion of the current thermostat.  I’ll be looking to do the same thing in 6 months or so. Current thinking is trying out the 9.5k unit and see how it will cool an elite II. 

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2 minutes ago, ChrisMI said:

From casually reading I think you can just use the heat portion of the current thermostat.  I’ll be looking to do the same thing in 6 months or so. Current thinking is trying out the 9.5k unit and see how it will cool an elite II. 

I’ll be interested in how well it cools the Elite II.  I’m thinking the same thing.  Mike

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28 minutes ago, ChrisMI said:

From casually reading I think you can just use the heat portion of the current thermostat.  I’ll be looking to do the same thing in 6 months or so. Current thinking is trying out the 9.5k unit and see how it will cool an elite II. 

 The control board for the thermostat is mounted on the AC unit. So when you set thermostat to heat it sends a signal to the control board that is mounted on the AC which then sends a signal to the furnace control board which then initiates the start up of the furnace. The work around I mentioned earlier in this post is a way you can make this work without having to pull more wires.

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21 hours ago, Minnesota Oli said:

The work around I mentioned earlier in this post is a way you can make this work without having to pull more wires.

My tech said that he understands your work-around and will be able to do it. Thanks!

 

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22 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

Current thinking is trying out the 9.5k unit and see how it will cool an elite II. 

I'd like to know your current thinking: Why the 9.5 rather than the 13.5? 

By comparing the two units on the RecPro site, I see some of these differences. The 9.5 is, $400 less expensive, lighter (by about 30 lbs), does not come with a heat pump, uses less electricity, and is recommended for about 250 less square feet. Interestingly, on low speed the 13.5 is quieter by a little more than 3 decibels and even slightly quieter on the outside.

I see a definite advantage in a lighter unit. I foresee using the heat pump only when on shore power (to save propane running the furnace), so the missing feature on the 13.5 might not be that important, as I plan to do more boondocking with my new lithium battery bank able to run the AC for at least some time. I like the idea of using as little power as possible, which should let the unit run longer on my lithium battery bank. I don't know how much the three-decibel difference might make--although I am REALLY looking forward to a quieter AC. 

I plan to call RecPro soon to ask some questions about both units, but I'd be interesting in learning your thoughts and those of any others who might want to comment. Thanks.

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