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Can’t get help. Electrical/voltage problem.


Katjo

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2021 LE2 Solar, 3 Lithonics, front and rear AC input plug ins

I had an issue with the Xantrex settings. The "Low Battery Cut Off" setting was too high and would not allow my Lithonics to discharge below 75% SOC. So the 12 volt system was erratic. I lowered this setting (probably too low....12.5 or so) and the issue was gone at a snap of the finger. The attached file has all my Xantrex settings. This display is from the xantrex app for iphones. Below is the inverter settings  (also contained in the file).  You can compare all your settings and also observe the xantrex actuals when under load.

image.thumb.png.124bd1cc350ca7837c9b87944d14d41c.png

 

 

1025833337_InverterSettings.pdf

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22 minutes ago, SteveCr said:

2021 LE2 Solar, 3 Lithonics, front and rear AC input plug ins

I had an issue with the Xantrex settings. The "Low Battery Cut Off" setting was too high and would not allow my Lithonics to discharge below 75% SOC. So the 12 volt system was erratic. I lowered this setting (probably too low....12.5 or so) and the issue was gone at a snap of the finger. The attached file has all my Xantrex settings. This display is from the xantrex app for iphones. Below is the inverter settings  (also contained in the file).  You can compare all your settings and also observe the xantrex actuals when under load.

image.thumb.png.124bd1cc350ca7837c9b87944d14d41c.png

 

 

1025833337_InverterSettings.pdf 3.33 MB · 3 downloads

Thank you so much.  We will give it a try. 

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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Beyond the other suggestions, If you have tested the home outlet and are confident that your home power source is good, you could try sliding the switch on the ems to bypass. If everything in the trailer works, then your problem is in the ems. Buy a portable ems at camping world, and go camping until you can get a repair slot and a replacement. (Before you do this, please do check your house outlet one more time, to make sure you have clean power. ) is your home outlet a dedicated circuit, ie, nothing else on it?

You said your fridge won't run on either propane or 110. Does anything light up on the control board, at all? Unless something has changed in recent years, I don't believe the fridge is tied to the main gfci that protects all the other circuits. If you have no display lights on the fridge, at all, you probably have a 12v problem,  as well. Low battery, or poor ground somewhere. If you unplug the trailer from the home circuit, does anything work as it should on 12v? (Lights, fridge on propane,  fans, etc. A/c only works on 110)

Are you showing any error codes on the xantrex? Some of the early xantrex systems required a firmware update. I'll see if I can find the threads for you. 

I'd ordinarily say go camping in the hard sided Ollie tent, but I'd be surprised,  with the issues you've discussed,  if the tail lights and electric brakes work properly. So, that's really frustrating. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

Beyond the other suggestions, If you have tested the home outlet and are confident that your home power source is good, you could try sliding the switch on the ems to bypass. If everything in the trailer works, then your problem is in the ems. Buy a portable ems at camping world, and go camping until you can get a repair slot and a replacement. (Before you do this, please do check your house outlet one more time, to make sure you have clean power. ) is your home outlet a dedicated circuit, ie, nothing else on it?

You said your fridge won't run on either propane or 110. Does anything light up on the control board, at all? Unless something has changed in recent years, I don't believe the fridge is tied to the main gfci that protects all the other circuits. If you have no display lights on the fridge, at all, you probably have a 12v problem,  as well. Low battery, or poor ground somewhere. If you unplug the trailer from the home circuit, does anything work as it should on 12v? (Lights, fridge on propane,  fans, etc. A/c only works on 110)

Are you showing any error codes on the xantrex? Some of the early xantrex systems required a firmware update. I'll see if I can find the threads for you. 

I'd ordinarily say go camping in the hard sided Ollie tent, but I'd be surprised,  with the issues you've discussed,  if the tail lights and electric brakes work properly. So, that's really frustrating. 

We talked with Jason for over 2 hours today walking us through several things trying to find the problem. We have narrowed it down to a voltage issue as the camper is only showing 9 volts we just can’t find where the problem is.  The zantrek and batteries show over 13 volts but the battery/voltage display monitor shows 9. EMS shows no errors. The fridge has a C on the display which he said is error code for low voltage. When we tried to put the awning out everything went haywire, lights flashing, AC came on, which Jason said because of not enough voltage that will happen. We did try everything unhooked from shore power with the same results.  We do have a dedicated 30amp on our house and that’s been checked and working correctly. Tried all the wires/grounds for any loose connections, all are tight. He said it’s possible the breaker is bad (but unlikely) so we will change that when the part comes. I think he’s just as perplexed as we are. We certainly were so grateful for his time but we still have a unresolved dead camper. We can’t camp at all without AC, refrigerator, lights go on and off, no water pump, no CO2 detector etc…many components need 12V, at this point we wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling with this voltage issue. Sadly we can’t get it into a service center until mid July. We even called several electrician and none will work on an RV. So incredibly frustrating and disappointing. I know it will get fixed eventually but the excitement of buying this camper a few weeks ago took a nose dive really fast and the reality is there just isn’t enough service places/technicians to get anything repaired in a timely manner. I believe now the problem we have is out of realm of DIY. 
Thank you and everyone who have tried to help us, we are grateful to each of you for your time. 

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Michigan 

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It is possible that you have problems with your Lithionic batteries.  This older thread discusses severe under-voltage with the Lithionics even when the app says everything is fine and is describing the system in a 2021 LE II like yours.  Lots of useful troubleshooting information in this thread.

 

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LE II Standard  Hull #657  2004 4Runner 4.7 L V8

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2 hours ago, Katjo said:

I believe now the problem we have is out of realm of DIY. 

I don't fault you for wanting to give up, given all of the time and energy you have already devoted to this elusive, and remarkably frustrating, electrical problem.  I don't recall another post saying that Jason Essary is "just as perplexed as we are."  Jason is so competent that doesn't happen very often.

But please indulge me with another query: 

2 hours ago, Katjo said:

We have narrowed it down to a voltage issue as the camper is only showing 9 volts we just can’t find where the problem is.  The zantrek and batteries show over 13 volts but the battery/voltage display monitor shows 9. EMS shows no errors. The fridge has a C on the display which he said is error code for low voltage.

I note no reference to checking voltage with a voltmeter.  After I said a few bad words out of sheer frustration, I would get my hands on a good quality multimeter (Klein makes several reliable ones, available at Home Depot) and check the voltage on the batteries, at the fridge, etc. instead of relying on the Xantrex, Lithionics or EMS readouts.  I would start by checking battery voltage on each battery, then work "downstream" from there.  That might give you a clue as to where the voltage is going, and maybe if one or more of those components is faulty.

Good luck! 

And, please continue to provide reports of your progress (or lack thereof....)  Our 2022 Elite II remains on order, so my wife and I are keenly interested in the resolution of this conundrum.

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I , personally,  think you may have issues with the xantrex, and, possibly,  the ems, and the batteries reporting software .

If your trailer is at home, and you can go out after dark, and check the various meters,  I  "think" we'd see just the solar is working . I'm totally unsure,  wish we were closer. 

Solar of course won't work, after dark. That's the point. 

Do you have a multimeter? 

Did all systems work at pickup?

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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That said, you can take a deep breath or two, and try to isolate what's actually causing your  problem. 

Electron  magic is very frustrating,  but you can do it, with patience.  A lot of people here to help.  Hang in there.

Very sorry for your problems.  Indeed. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

I , personally,  think you may have issues with the xantrex, and, possibly,  the ems, and the batteries reporting software .

If your trailer is at home, and you can go out after dark, and check the various meters,  I  "think" we'd see just the solar is working . I'm totally unsure,  wish we were closer. 

Solar of course won't work, after dark. That's the point. 

Do you have a multimeter? 

Did all systems work at pickup?

Thank you so much for the suggestions. This is all a bit over our heads at this point as we have tried so many things unsuccessfully. Sadly I feel it has come down to having to wait until mid July to take it into a service center. 

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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2 hours ago, Rivernerd said:

I don't fault you for wanting to give up, given all of the time and energy you have already devoted to this elusive, and remarkably frustrating, electrical problem.  I don't recall another post saying that Jason Essary is "just as perplexed as we are."  Jason is so competent that doesn't happen very often.

But please indulge me with another query: 

I note no reference to checking voltage with a voltmeter.  After I said a few bad words out of sheer frustration, I would get my hands on a good quality multimeter (Klein makes several reliable ones, available at Home Depot) and check the voltage on the batteries, at the fridge, etc. instead of relying on the Xantrex, Lithionics or EMS readouts.  I would start by checking battery voltage on each battery, then work "downstream" from there.  That might give you a clue as to where the voltage is going, and maybe if one or more of those components is faulty.

Good luck! 

And, please continue to provide reports of your progress (or lack thereof....)  Our 2022 Elite II remains on order, so my wife and I are keenly interested in the resolution of this conundrum.

The mobile rv tech we had did check the batteries voltage with a meter and they all checked 13.9 volts. We do not have a correct voltmeter to check each and every wire inside the trailer with the meter (we will be buying one) we only checked to see if any of them were loose. I will keep you posted and thank you for the suggestions. 

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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2 minutes ago, Katjo said:

The mobile rv tech we had did check the batteries voltage with a meter and they all checked 13.9 volts. We do not have a correct voltmeter to check each and every wire inside the trailer with the meter (we will be buying one) we only checked to see if any of them were loose. I will keep you posted and thank you for the suggestions. 

As for Jason, he was wonderful! He even sent us photos to show us which wires to check. I believe he is incredibly competent and very patient but we understand it’s difficult to diagnose a voltage issue over the phone and we don’t know electrical so it’s like trying to teach a baby to run before it can even walk. We offered to buy him a plane ticket to come help us and cook him a nice dinner but he declined. Lol 

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On 6/14/2022 at 1:25 PM, Katjo said:

We bought our used 2021 Oliver Elite ll last month, we were so excited to have found one near our home. 
Unfortunately we can’t use it! --- I took the word of the seller that everything worked, that was my first and very costly mistake. Second mistake was believing you can get service in a reasonable time frame. I was wrong. If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate any help. 

It is frustrating to experience what you are going through, especially when help seems beyond reach.  So let me try from a distance -:

Troubleshooting electrical problems requires systematic testing of the system, with test tools - don't rely on the EMS, or any other component - Until you have proven they are functioning as designed. 

My first guess is you have grounding problem, next would be something in the EMS system, then the Xantrex. First thing - find every grounding connection - take each apart (or verify the connection is sound) and retighten to the correct torque. Does Oliver have a schematic available?

Were it me - I would verify the system voltage - disconnect the batteries and solar - check voltage at the connection where it enters the system - put it under a load - without a load you may not discover the problem. Then work your way step by step into the system. I understand this is probably outside your expertise.  I will repeat - the voltage will probably read fine - until put under load. Unless it is in the componentry - but if it reads fine going in, but doesn't come out fine, you may have found the problem, replace and test - you could have multiple issues - but I doubt it.

If the RV service centers are backed up until ----- find a tech on break, at a bar - wherever, explain the issue, discover their expertise on electrical,  if none, ask them for names/contacts and offer him/her double triple normal wages. 

Good luck, but with the current demand among skilled labor - finding anyone is tough - and most business are so busy they just don't have the time/concern to deal with customers as they once did.

My money is on the simple solution - a bad connection somewhere. 

RB - former Oliver owner, 

I wish you well. 

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44 minutes ago, BackofBeyond said:

It is frustrating to experience what you are going through, especially when help seems beyond reach.  So let me try from a distance -:

Troubleshooting electrical problems requires systematic testing of the system, with test tools - don't rely on the EMS, or any other component - Until you have proven they are functioning as designed. 

My first guess is you have grounding problem, next would be something in the EMS system, then the Xantrex. First thing - find every grounding connection - take each apart (or verify the connection is sound) and retighten to the correct torque. Does Oliver have a schematic available?

Were it me - I would verify the system voltage - disconnect the batteries and solar - check voltage at the connection where it enters the system - put it under a load - without a load you may not discover the problem. Then work your way step by step into the system. I understand this is probably outside your expertise.  I will repeat - the voltage will probably read fine - until put under load. Unless it is in the componentry - but if it reads fine going in, but doesn't come out fine, you may have found the problem, replace and test - you could have multiple issues - but I doubt it.

If the RV service centers are backed up until ----- find a tech on break, at a bar - wherever, explain the issue, discover their expertise on electrical,  if none, ask them for names/contacts and offer him/her double triple normal wages. 

Good luck, but with the current demand among skilled labor - finding anyone is tough - and most business are so busy they just don't have the time/concern to deal with customers as they once did.

My money is on the simple solution - a bad connection somewhere. 

RB - former Oliver owner, 

I wish you well. 

Thank you. We appreciate all the suggestions very much. I’m not aware of any detailed schematics available. A simple solution would be glorious, quite honestly at this point we are overwhelmed. 

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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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We had a camping van with multiple electrical problems. Several RV service departments looked at our electrical system and couldn’t figure out the problem. After several months, our local service station ended up solving our mystery. An electrical wire ran part way across our floor, under the tough vinyl flooring and over two or three years the insulation had worn through. The symptoms varied, I believe, based on how much weight was on the wire and how good the connection was from the wire to the frame.  I have very little experience with electronics, but maybe some else can chime in on weather a similar worn or damaged wire could be causing your problems. Good luck! Carrie and I definitely can relate to your situation.

Kirk

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, with overland conversion: Rooftop tent, water, stove, Battle Born batteries, lockers, onboard air, raised air intake, Warn winch. 

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1 hour ago, Katjo said:

I’m not aware of any detailed schematics available. 

Where do you live? You need to add this info to a signature so it appears in all your posts. Maybe an Oliver owner close to you would be able to help.

At this stage in your ordeal you need to bypass Jason entirely and make a personal phone call to an Oliver management person. The lack of diagrams has been a serious issue for literally YEARS and we keep hearing new and inventive reasons why, IMHO it is completely unacceptable, because it results in the emotionally devastating crap like what is happening to you now.

If Oliver used industry standard color coding on the wires, it would not be a big deal, but they do not!  This is crazy, they changed four of the five colors to the rear lights:

0E81F60F-CD68-4B1D-8D50-23734DB8B681.thumb.png.2bdc70cd1750e02daeb91d677805b090.png

I personally would never own an RV or a boat if I could not myself deal with stuff like this, I have the technical background to do it effectively. I really feel for “normal” people who have to rely on the outdated and crippled RV service model.

Please keep this thread going. Good luck.

John Davies

Spokane WA
 

 

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I would say blaming the previous owner having this problem could, or could not have been a problem prior to the sale. I will tell you owing any RV can be a problem at anytime, including an Oliver. I have had to replace the MaxFan, the Prodogy power controller, and a electronic panel for the water heater, all were handled under warranty and I chased down all the problems myself and Oliver sent me the parts.  I do sympathize for those who who can not chase down problems in there RV's as there will always be many requardless of how much you pay for it. This shouldn't be this way, but it just the way RV life is, you need to be a electrician, plumber, carpenter, and rocket scientist to own one of these things. It seems like everytime we come back from camping I have to address something, RV's are fun, I keep telling myself. 

trainman 

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8 hours ago, Katjo said:

The mobile rv tech we had did check the batteries voltage with a meter and they all checked 13.9 volts.

This does not sound right.  The lithium batteries should read no more than 13.6 volts when fully charged.  I expect the tech did not realize that when he checked the voltage of all your batteries, he was reading the solar charge controller's charging voltage of 13.9 volts, not the battery voltage.  If you have a charger hooked up to a battery, the voltmeter will be measuring the charging voltage and not the battery voltage.  The only way to accurately check the voltage of a battery is to disconnect the batteries from the system to ensure they are not receiving a  charge or seeing a load.  If they had been charging before disconnecting, then let them rest awhile and then check the voltage of each battery.  This is known as the "open circuit voltage".  If you haven't checked the open circuit voltage of your batteries, this is the first thing you need to check.  It could save a lot of unnecessary troubleshooting if it turns out you actually do have battery problems. 

Don't give up.  🙂

 

 

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Steve and Lornie

LE II Standard  Hull #657  2004 4Runner 4.7 L V8

Oregon

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58 minutes ago, Katjo said:
25 minutes ago, Kirk Peterson said:

maybe some else can chime in on weather a similar worn or damaged wire could be causing your problems. 

This is possible, the wiring on Olivers is very good compared to the SOB trailers in terms of protected harnesses and looms, but to the best of my knowledge they still do not secure the loose wires properly at the terminal ends, the connections. This results in wires falling off the water pump, for example. So while we are not literally “walking on wires” there could be failure points. My trailer Hull 216 had completely unprotected main battery cables, the soft rubber insulation was wearing away from chafing the steel battery tray. It was a serious fire hazard. Having to string a new wire to bypass an unknown fault is not something a tech or owner wants to do, but it could be necessary if detailed methodical troubleshooting and physical inspection doesn’t find the cause…😳

John Davies

Spokane WA

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18 minutes ago, Chukarhunter said:

The only way to accurately check the voltage of a battery is to disconnect the batteries from the system to ensure they are not receiving a  charge or seeing a load.  If they had been charging before disconnecting, then let them rest awhile and then check the voltage of each battery.  This is known as the "open circuit voltage".  If you haven't checked the open circuit voltage of your batteries, this is the first thing you need to check

I agree. 

FWIW, I don't have any Lithionics LiFePO4 batteries, but the Dakota Lithium LiFePO4 batteries I use to power my CPAP machine on extended river trips have an "open circuit voltage" (fully charged but rested) of 13.7 to 14.0 volts.  I have six of 'em, and just tested them with my Klein voltmeter.  I would consider calling Lithionics to ask what the open circuit voltage of their batteries should be.

I also second the "don't give up" admonition!  I don't have a technical background (I am a retired lawyer), but I have acquired some limited technical knowledge over the years when I needed to solve technical problems that I could not find anyone to solve for me.  This includes how to power a CPAP machine on extended wilderness river trips with batteries and recharge those batteries with a solar panel.

Before I gave up and waited another month to get into an RV service center, I would buy a good multimeter, learn how to use it, then follow the helpful suggestions offered in this thread.  You have nothing to lose but a little money and a lot of time, and you just might find the solution to your problem.  You should also acquire knowledge and transferable skills that will help you address other problems that arise with the complex electro-mechanical devices that are today's travel trailers.

My 2 cents,

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

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1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

Where do you live? You need to add this info to a signature so it appears in all your posts. Maybe an Oliver owner close to you would be able to help.

At this stage in your ordeal you need to bypass Jason entirely and make a personal phone call to an Oliver management person. The lack of diagrams has been a serious issue for literally YEARS and we keep hearing new and inventive reasons why, IMHO it is completely unacceptable, because it results in the emotionally devastating crap like what is happening to you now.

If Oliver used industry standard color coding on the wires, it would not be a big deal, but they do not!  This is crazy, they changed four of the five colors to the rear lights:

0E81F60F-CD68-4B1D-8D50-23734DB8B681.thumb.png.2bdc70cd1750e02daeb91d677805b090.png

I personally would never own an RV or a boat if I could not myself deal with stuff like this, I have the technical background to do it effectively. I really feel for “normal” people who have to rely on the outdated and crippled RV service model.

Please keep this thread going. Good luck.

John Davies

Spokane WA
 

 

We live in Michigan. To be honest, we are so discourage at this point and emotionally exhausted. A person shouldn’t have to know how to fix a voltage issue in an RV or any issue to own one but what I’ve learned is unless you do know how, basically you are at the mercy of overbooked service centers and rv techs. 

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1 hour ago, Trainman said:

I would say blaming the previous owner having this problem could, or could not have been a problem prior to the sale. I will tell you owing any RV can be a problem at anytime, including an Oliver. I have had to replace the MaxFan, the Prodogy power controller, and a electronic panel for the water heater, all were handled under warranty and I chased down all the problems myself and Oliver sent me the parts.  I do sympathize for those who who can not chase down problems in there RV's as there will always be many requardless of how much you pay for it. This shouldn't be this way, but it just the way RV life is, you need to be a electrician, plumber, carpenter, and rocket scientist to own one of these things. It seems like everytime we come back from camping I have to address something, RV's are fun, I keep telling myself. 

trainman 

It will be fun they said! I’m sure we will love our Oliver one day when it’s not just a $70,000 fiberglass tent! This too shall pass, trying to stay hopeful. 

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I haven't taken the time to read all of the responses to your original post.  A couple of comments -

Have you looked in your area for a mobile service technician?  They are frequently more responsive than RV dealers - since repair is their only business.

As several others have suggested - in a DC circuit, 9 times out of 10 (at least in my experience) - the trouble is on the ground side of the circuit.

I have to disagree with you somewhat - the unfortunate reality of owning an RV is that if you aren't mechanically inclined - it can be a frustrating experience.  I have suggested to several friends that aren't so skilled - to skip buying an RV and just rent for those occasional trips. These things aren't Toyota reliable - even as good as the Ollies are in comparison to many other brands.

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23 minutes ago, katanapilot said:

I haven't taken the time to read all of the responses to your original post.  A couple of comments -

Have you looked in your area for a mobile service technician?  They are frequently more responsive than RV dealers - since repair is their only business.

As several others have suggested - in a DC circuit, 9 times out of 10 (at least in my experience) - the trouble is on the ground side of the circuit.

I have to disagree with you somewhat - the unfortunate reality of owning an RV is that if you aren't mechanically inclined - it can be a frustrating experience.  I have suggested to several friends that aren't so skilled - to skip buying an RV and just rent for those occasional trips. These things aren't Toyota reliable - even as good as the Ollies are in comparison to many other brands.

We have had one mobile rv tech already that couldn’t find the issue and several others that aren’t available. 

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