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Hello, 

It looks like OTT is still using a Zamp PWM charge controller in their solar packages. 

It is very surprising to me that OTT has not upgraded to an MPPT solar charge controller. I know at least a couple of people have converted the system over to a Victron MPPT controller. Has anyone tried to begin this process prior to delivery? It would be nice not to have that large rectangle hole in the fiberglass for outdated technology. 

Would portable solar panels still run through the Zamp charge controller? I wonder if this would have a negative impacts on the portable panels?

 

Thanks for any comments!

Kirk

Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2: Due date December 5, 2022!

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17 minutes ago, Kirk Peterson said:

Would portable solar panels still run through the Zamp charge controller? I wonder if this would have a negative impacts on the portable panels?

The exterior solar port that Oliver installs does NOT run through the Zamp solar controller.  This exterior port connects directly to the batteries and, therefore, any portable panels must have a charge controller of their own.

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

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Thanks topgun2,

I guess I was mostly aware of that. I am going to use an external Victron MPPT charger for the external panels.  I would like to use a separate one for the roof top panels and not have the large hole cut into the fiberglass for the Zamp charge controller.  I am currently planning on the two 315Ah heated Lithionic batteries OTT uses. I am also interested in adding two zamp 90 watt panels on the roof, like rideadeuce did, using the VHB tape, if it has no reported problems. 

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2: Due date December 5, 2022!

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Kirk - 

If I were in your shoes, before I spent a bunch of time, trouble and money switching from one solar controller to another (interior) I'd study the differences between these two types of technology.  From what I've read, the differences are very small - in the real world - and would take considerable time to recoup any real difference in performance.

The reason Oliver switched from using MPPT controllers had more to do with simplicity for the user/owner than it did with anything else.

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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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

The reason Oliver switched from using MPPT controllers had more to do with simplicity for the user/owner than it did with anything else.

And, zamp equipment is installed on so many brands, finding a qualified service center should be easier for many people . 

Which  Zamp controller does Oliver install with the solar package these days? If it's the 30 amp, and you added the 2 x 90 watt panels, you'd be slightly (30 watts) over the stated  wattage capacity of the 30 amp controller. 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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Thanks SeaDawg!

That’s good to know. If & when I add the extra 180 watts, I guess I will be up grading the controller at the same time. 

 

Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2: Due date December 5, 2022!

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On 2/25/2022 at 2:23 PM, topgun2 said:

The exterior solar port that Oliver installs does NOT run through the Zamp solar controller.  This exterior port connects directly to the batteries and, therefore, any portable panels must have a charge controller of their own.

I've received all of the components I ordered to copy *someone*s portable installation (why is it that when I find cool stuff that someone does, I can never find it again when I go back to look for it?), tho that installation changed out the connecters from MC4s to super cool "foolproof" ones, I didn't go that far.  I was about to start assembling all of this and realized I'm not sure how to wire the charge controller because the pics that were in that post showed the front of the controller but not the back that would tell me how the wires got attached.  

Setup is 

2 Renogy 100w portable panels plus cables and connectors to join them together, the Renogy Voyager (20 amp, 12/24v) charge controller, polarity reverser and adapter to SAE connector, then the SAE to Furrion adapter.  Do I wire the controller for the way the Renogy wires are pos/neg and the polarity reversal will do what it's supposed to do?  

2018 LE2 with 4 Trojan AGM batteries

Also, the Voyager has a port for a temp sensor, do I need to have one of those or will the controller be fine without one?

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

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I'm confused about the furrion adaptor.  Do you have a furrion port? Oliver installs zamp port, ordinarily. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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OMG, you're right!!!  I saw the furrion adapter on someone else's post in the forum and assumed that was correct.  It is the zamp port and I have - thankfully - one too many adapters.  Will send that one back,  Thank you for pointing that out

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

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13 hours ago, Liana said:

I've received all of the components I ordered to copy *someone*s portable installation (why is it that when I find cool stuff that someone does, I can never find it again when I go back to look for it?), tho that installation changed out the connecters from MC4s to super cool "foolproof" ones, I didn't go that far.

This may be the post you were looking for:  

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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1 hour ago, mossemi said:

This may be the post you were looking for:  

Mossey

That is exactly the post I was looking for, thank you.  @John E Daviestrailer has a different side port than ours.

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

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Lliana, the Voyager instruction manual is quite complete, did you not get one?

https://www.renogy.com/content/RCC10VOYP-G1/VOYP1020-Manual.pdf

The optional temp sensor is useful IF you never get further away than about 10 feet from the batteries. The harness is not very long.

https://renogy.force.com/helpcenter/s/topic/0TO4W000000kvumWAA/accessories-wiring-faqs

BTW, if your batteries are the original ones, get them load tested before your next camping season, their life is probably close to finished. And if I were buying individual components, I would choose a better MPPT charge controller. The only reason I used the Renogy one is that it came with my suitcase kit. It would not be my first choice, or even my tenth one😬

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

B2C37F84-B50D-485A-8B34-7988179BDF72.jpeg

"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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On 3/5/2022 at 9:39 AM, John E Davies said:

the Voyager instruction manual is quite complete, did you not get one?

@John E Davies I did not see it, thank you for the link.  Everything that came with the controller just has their website posted in every language.  Well, a lot of languages.  😄

It is true that our batteries are old and I will convert the system to lithiums when the BBs go on sale.  We don't have a "next" camping season, we use the trailer year round, full time in the summer.

I did get everything hooked up and operating, full charge on the batteries within 30 minutes with the rooftop solar and the extra panels attached to the sidewall port.

Mostly I compiled this system for our airstream, which has a Wanderer controller, and chose these components because I've had bad experience with components that don't play together well.

I'm genuinely grateful for how helpful you all are!

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2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/26/2022 at 9:09 AM, topgun2 said:

Kirk - 

If I were in your shoes, before I spent a bunch of time, trouble and money switching from one solar controller to another (interior) I'd study the differences between these two types of technology.  From what I've read, the differences are very small - in the real world - and would take considerable time to recoup any real difference in performance.

The reason Oliver switched from using MPPT controllers had more to do with simplicity for the user/owner than it did with anything else.

Bill

I am trying to finalize my solar options before a May 15th deadline. I've asked OTT for several pricing options not listed.  They are now planning  to Victron MPPT controllers and to Newpowa panels instead of Zamp but will not tell me when they will switch but it will be this year 2022.

Ron

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25 minutes ago, Ron and Phyllis said:

They are now planning  to Victron MPPT controllers and to Newpowa panels instead of Zamp but will not tell me when they will switch but it will be this year 2022.

Are the Newpowa panels the 210W size?

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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I've searched and have seen a few comments from people using some portable solar panels.  Most comments from folks about the function of their rooftop OTT panels seem to live in areas like the West and Mid West where shade in not as much of an issue.  Most of our no hookup camping is in the East TN, western VA, and Western NC mountains. Would someone please comment about how their OTT installed rooftop solar functions for them using it with this type camping.  I am aware of the reduction in charging, but I would love to hear from someone who has experienced the systems use in my kind of camping.  I must finalize my options by May 15th. I posted earlier that OTT is switching to Newpowa panels and to a Victron MPPT controller but they won't say when other than this year.  I've asked them if I can get the Victron as it is more efficient, especially in shady/cloudy conditions.  They haven't replied yet.  We ordered in October and have really looked forward to getting our Elite in August.  I know they must redesign, but it's a little disappointing to know I'm spending this much now on a trailer that is being redesigned next year.  Any consoling will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ron

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25 minutes ago, Ron and Phyllis said:

Any consoling will be appreciated.

OK - consider yourself "consoled"😁.

It would appear that your choices are to either take your chances on getting the "new" equipment or to delay your delivery/production date so as to insure you get the "new" stuff.  Not a great set of choices in my opinion.

I live in Western NC and have done a fair amount of camping with the Ollie here.  However, the most telling experience I've ever had was camping in Colorado a couple of years ago and my campsite was under some lodgepole pines - reasonably shaded.  Add to this 4 solid days of rain!  My batteries never fell below 87% full!  Mind you that I was solo camping and I'm fairly frugal with electric usage.  My solar setup is 4 regular lead acid batteries and just the rooftop array of solar from Oliver.

Bill

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

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2 hours ago, Ron and Phyllis said:

I know they must redesign, but it's a little disappointing to know I'm spending this much now on a trailer that is being redesigned next year.  Any consoling will be appreciated.

No consolation from me, just congratulations on having a 2022 ready for production!  We have a 2022 Elite II on order for late summer production.  We are glad we didn't wait and order a 2023 because of the dramatic price increase.  With our selected upgrades, our Elite II would cost nearly $8600 more in a 2023 model.

On what do you base your belief that the Elite II is "being redesigned next year?"  My review of many years of posts on this forum suggests that Oliver has phased in improved components on a periodic, and unpredictable, basis ever since the Elite II went into production about 8 years ago.  These include solar panels, composting toilets, Dexter E-Z-Flex axles, lithium batteries, convection microwaves, backup cameras, better refrigerators (Norcold), better awnings (Girard), to name a few.  Upgrading to a Victron MPPT controller and (maybe even larger?) Newpowa solar panels in the middle of a model year is consistent with this pattern.  I hope those upgrades are implemented before our 2022 is built!

If it is any comfort, major redesigns are not always the best for everyone.   The biggest engine available on the significantly redesigned 2022 Tundra is a V6.  We are glad we have a 2019 Tundra with a 5.7L V8 engine.  For most folks the fuel savings may leave them better off with a V6.  But for use as a tow vehicle, we prefer the V8.  So, we don't want the "latest and greatest" Tundra.

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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We live in the wet and tree covered side of WA State.
Here's a post from our blog on using our upgraded Lithiums with the Existing Solar Panels and Zamp Controller:

https://4-ever-hitched.com/ggs-blog/f/lithium-battery-upgrade

Look down the blog post near the bottom for this section: 

 

*****************************

 

Roadtrip Testing in June
With the physical installations complete we'll be testing the system during our June road trip.
We camped in Kalaloch Campground on a mostly cloudy weekend with tree cover and shad for 1/2 the day.
Here's our State of Charge data for the dual GTX 315's in our trailer (Hull 505) over a few days of boon-docking at Kalaloch on the WA Coast in June 2021.

  •  NO Generator Use, No Shore Power.
  •  340W Solar on Roof and 30A Zamp Controller On Board
  •  No direct fully sunny days

Power Uses:

  1. Ran the max fan at night on low for air circulation and most of the afternoons
  2. Used the microwave sparingly to do some popcorn.  Didn't do the Oven.
  3. Did NOT run AC as in our setup we have a 2000W inverter, not connected to the AC.
  4. Watched TV  (we have a DC powered TV) each night for about 2 hours (streaming from downloads on the tablet.)
  5. Ran 2CPAPS all night for 8 hours.
  6. Did NOT run the generator nor hook up to any shore power.

DATA:

Starting AH: 630AH Total Capacity (both batteries) 

  • 8:00 AM Day 1 was 100% Partial Sun
  • 6:40 AM Day 2 was 90% Rainy Day
  • 6:13 AM Day 3 was 83% Rainy Day
  • 8:27 AM Day 4 was 75% Departure Day

Total Used AH: 178AH   or ~60 AH/day   
Remaining AH: 452 AH (sum of both batteries) 

I estimated with the dual 315A Batteries we could last between 10-12 total days in overcast conditions like those we experienced with our normal power use model.  

We can't run the AC because we only have the 2000W inverter and it's wired into the plugs for the trailer that power the Fridge, uWave and other outlets...but NOT to the AC which has it's own dedicated 30A breaker.

My guess is if we had the bank of 3 Lithionics which are part of the Lithium Pro Option (390AH) we could last about 7 days in slight overcast conditions.

Dual 315GTX's in the Platinum Option enable about 5-6 additional days of off grid camping given our use model.

*Your use model may be very different* 

We'll be testing full sun as we travel in Aug-October and we will post an update.

Hope that data helps some folks!.

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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
Batteries Upgrade: Dual 315GTX Lithionics Lithiums - 630AH Total
Inverter/Charger: Xantrex 2000Pro 

BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com

Amazon Oliver Outfitters Guide:  https://amzn.to/2mAAgPO

ALAZCAFLGAIDILINKSKYLAMIMNMSMOMTNENMNCOR

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20 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

No consolation from me, just congratulations on having a 2022 ready for production!  We have a 2022 Elite II on order for late summer production.  We are glad we didn't wait and order a 2023 because of the dramatic price increase.  With our selected upgrades, our Elite II would cost nearly $8600 more in a 2023 model.

On what do you base your belief that the Elite II is "being redesigned next year?"  My review of many years of posts on this forum suggests that Oliver has phased in improved components on a periodic, and unpredictable, basis ever since the Elite II went into production about 8 years ago.  These include solar panels, composting toilets, Dexter E-Z-Flex axles, lithium batteries, convection microwaves, backup cameras, better refrigerators (Norcold), better awnings (Girard), to name a few.  Upgrading to a Victron MPPT controller and (maybe even larger?) Newpowa solar panels in the middle of a model year is consistent with this pattern.  I hope those upgrades are implemented before our 2022 is built!

If it is any comfort, major redesigns are not always the best for everyone.   The biggest engine available on the significantly redesigned 2022 Tundra is a V6.  We are glad we have a 2019 Tundra with a 5.7L V8 engine.  For most folks the fuel savings may leave them better off with a V6.  But for use as a tow vehicle, we prefer the V8.  So, we don't want the "latest and greatest" Tundra.

Not the Elite II, but the Elite is being redesigned and the website says no orders are being taken for the 2023 Elite while they are being redesigned. 

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Oops!  I presumed you were referring to the Elite II.

If it is any consolation, I'll bet the redesigned 2023 Elite will cost a lot more than your 2022...

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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2 hours ago, topgun2 said:

OK - consider yourself "consoled"😁.

It would appear that your choices are to either take your chances on getting the "new" equipment or to delay your delivery/production date so as to insure you get the "new" stuff.  Not a great set of choices in my opinion.

I live in Western NC and have done a fair amount of camping with the Ollie here.  However, the most telling experience I've ever had was camping in Colorado a couple of years ago and my campsite was under some lodgepole pines - reasonably shaded.  Add to this 4 solid days of rain!  My batteries never fell below 87% full!  Mind you that I was solo camping and I'm fairly frugal with electric usage.  My solar setup is 4 regular lead acid batteries and just the rooftop array of solar from Oliver.

Bill

Thank you Bill & Galway Girl, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear.  I agree, I would not think of waiting, but how about hearing from someone with an Elite I with fewer batteries. Dumb questions, sorry,  but can the Elite I have more than 2 batteries? is the battery container on the Elite II larger than the Elite I?   I hear Elite II owners talk of 3 and 4.  If needed I was considering adding 1 or 2 maybe in the aluminum box on tonque.     

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24 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

Oops!  I presumed you were referring to the Elite II.

If it is any consolation, I'll bet the redesigned 2023 Elite will cost a lot more than your 2022...

It is consolation and I know you're right for all the reasons I've heard others discuss here concerning rising costs of fiberglass, everything, etc.

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