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trumpetguy

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This question is for those owners who have the solar option on their Ollie. Is it worth the price and do you actually benefit from having the panels? I am asking this because my trailer is in production, and I may still be able to order this option. I would use some sort of deploy-able solar even if I do not get the Oliver option. The Bosch 150 Watt suitcase panels appear to be a good value at $350.00 on Ebay so that is what I would go with. It has a built in 15Amp charge controller, and 15 feet of connector cable with battery clips.

 

Most of our camping will be with electrical hookups, but it will be nice to have battery backup for occasional boondocking and emergency use. I do have a Honda 2000i generator with an extended run gas tank.

 

I ordered the (4) Trojan T105 batteries.

 

My concerns with the Oliver option are...

 

Price

Getting up to the roof to deploy and make adjustments

Added wind resistance

Exposure to the elements

Difficulty of cleaning

 

Thanks in advance for your comments.

 

Dave


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Hi Dave,

 

I just upgraded my 100W panel, to a 160W panel from AMSolar. The 100W has been adequate, but now that I have 60 % more collection ability, when I find myself in partial sunlight due to tree cover, my batteries will have greater charge, sooner. I also upgraded to Lifeline, mil spec, batteries that can store 200 amp hours of energy. Amp Hours storage is the key for me.

 

My panel is mounted flat on the roof. It can tilt, but I prefer the simplicity of a leave it alone system ... a no fuss method to make my camping experience nicer. It charges my batteries as I relax in camp or as I travel down the road to the next rest stop in Paradise. A silent method of charging my batteries adds to the serene settings I have found myself over the years. Yes, I haul a quiet generator, but it is only for rare usage.

 

They mount these things on buildings all over the world, so I'm not really too worried about hail damage. If falling ice- boulders are big enough to hurt it, I will have bigger problems to deal with. Chances are too small for me to worry about it.

 

Mounted longitudinally on top of the trailer, it only exposes a 1.5" by 26" face into the wind. That's minuscule in comparison to the rest of the trailer's exposure, so I'm not worried about any appreciable drag, or resistance, to the wind-flow.

 

I clean it whenever I wash the trailer. Usually, simply passing the extended cleaning brush over it with water knocks off the dust. If tree droppings are on it, soapy water does the trick very nicely.

 

Some of the most beautiful places to camp are found in State or National Parks, BLM, or USFS land, where you have access to water, but no electrical hookups. With solar, you don't need to fret about power for your lights or water pump for as long as you care to relax and soak up the beauties and wonders around you.

 

Go for it!


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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We are getting the solar package, weather that decision is good, bad, or indifferent, we will see. Not going with a generator, so that was not a option. Goggle HandyBob's Blog, lots of good info there.

Getting excited for next week.

 

Stan


Stan and Carol


Blacksburg, VA


2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi


2014 Legacy Elite II Standard  Hull 63

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Thanks for the feedback guys. Turns out it is a moot point because I just found out the electrical is done so we don't want to lose our spot in the production line. I have asked Robert to prewire a charge wire from the roof to the battery box for a future installation.

 

Bugeye did give me a good idea though. Mount some of the new flexible panels on the bed covers on my Chevy Avalanche. They are super thin, flexible, and mount with Silacone adhesive. I could link three together with a quick release connection, run a charge line back to the batteries, and make power while driving, or parked. What a concept.

 

Renogy® 100W Monocrystalline Bendable Solar Panel on Amazon.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Here are my two cents worth on the subject.

 

Price: heck once your in this deep the full blown Solar Package is only another 5% ± more, its almost chump change by comparison. :D

 

Cleaning: ladders work great, but only at home.

 

Exposure: there are probably by now hundreds of thousands maybe millions of these things on RV's, home, buildings. I suspect they are reasonably durable or we would have heard more about it by now. Not that it can't happen but my guess is your tow vehicle is going to be in far worse shape and cost way more to repair should some disaster like a hail storm occur.

 

Roof adjustments: Agreed the Oliver does not lend itself to an easy up on the roof scaling but at 320 watts even at 60-70% worse case scenario thats still 200-240 ± watts of solar power on a sunny day. Not bad IMHO. But I agree wish it were easier to make adjustments without carrying a ladder around with you all over the country. But those 4 Trojans charged up fully should last several days too.

 

Hope this helps.

 

This question is for those owners who have the solar option on their Ollie. Is it worth the price and do you actually benefit from having the panels? I am asking this because my trailer is in production, and I may still be able to order this option. I would use some sort of deploy-able solar even if I do not get the Oliver option. The Bosch 150 Watt suitcase panels appear to be a good value at $350.00 on Ebay so that is what I would go with. It has a built in 15Amp charge controller, and 15 feet of connector cable with battery clips.

 

Most of our camping will be with electrical hookups, but it will be nice to have battery backup for occasional boondocking and emergency use. I do have a Honda 2000i generator with an extended run gas tank.

 

I ordered the (4) Trojan T105 batteries.

 

My concerns with the Oliver option are...

 

Price

Getting up to the roof to deploy and make adjustments

Added wind resistance

Exposure to the elements

Difficulty of cleaning

 

Thanks in advance for your comments.

 

Dave

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The solar panels are pretty much self cleaning. They get a bath every time it rains.

We added ours six months after getting our trailer, so had to come up with the sidemount panel to acheive enough space. We only adjust ours if we are camping for an extended period of time without hookups. We have to carry a small stepladder for that.

I'm sure they add wind resistance, but didn't see that much difference in the mileage before and after the panels.

We like making our own power, like the extended camping time without services.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I have located a terrific bendable solar panel made by Renogy that can be guled to the roof. At $199 per 100 Watts this is a great deal. The panels are virtually flat, and stuck to the roof so cleaning is just like a car wash. They link together easily so I will start with two and add more if needed.

 

Thanks to all who shared.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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So this is what I have done so far. Bought two 100 Watt flexible panels from Renogy. They are flat, weight only four pounds, and can be applied on the rooftop with industrial Velcro, or a silicone adhesive. Bought Samlex SCC-30AB 12/24V 30A PV Charge Controller. Had Oliver pre wire for solar with the standard 6/2 wire run from the roof into the battery compartment. Total investment so far is $399 for the panels, $154 for the charge controller. I am not sure if I need an inverter but I like the KISAE SWXFR1220 2000 Watt Pure Sine wave with built in 30 amp transfer switch. It senses if you are on shore power or not and makes the transfer internally.

 

Now if I can get my hands on the new Ollie all will be well.

 

Nov. 25th is the delivery date.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Hey all you experts, I have a wiring question. I am installing my solar panels. Oliver ran a 6ga wire from the roof into the battery box so all I have to do is wire up my charge controller and the batteries. Does it matter if I connect to the same terminals that the convertor/charger is already connected to, or should I use the other two terminals. I am not certain as to how the converter functions, and I would think that back feeding from the solar would be unhealthy.

 

The new Ollie is just wonderful. Such attention to detail. I look forward to seeing some Ollies together at a rallie.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Dave, you may just want to give the factory a call tomorrow. I'm sure they'll be helpful.

Glad you love your new Oliver.

We love our 17 a lot. Still looks pretty great after almost 7 years, and 60,000 plus miles.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Well now that it is too late I regret not opting for the factory solar option. Plan was to stick two 100 watt flex panels onto the roof end to end but as it turns out there is room for only one panel due to the limited distance between rooftop fixtures. Fan and antenna. I am faced with either limiting myself to only 100 watts, or making a mounting fixture that will accomodate both panels and affixing it to the rooftop using a super strong adhesive. (I will not drill into the trailer...period)

 

Ideas will be appreciated but my inclination is to buy a pre cut piece of Star Board to glue onto the trailer. The board will be 42 x 42 so it will overhang the raised part of the roof about six inches on either side. To the Star Board I will Velcro the panels. Bear in mind that these are flexible panels so I need the board for mounting otherwise the panels would flap in the wind and self destruct.

 

Perhaps 100 watts is sufficient? I don't know my amp hour useage at this point so maybe the 30 ah a 100 watt can produce will be enough. Any real life experience with that? Led lights minimize power consumption, but there are two CPAPs that need to run all night.

 

Sorry for the ramble. If you are ordering a trailer go ahead and fork out for the solar.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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When The Wonder Egg was born, it had a 100W single panel on top which kept the two Blue Top Optima batteries charged. After six years of traveling I've recently made some changes. The Optimas I had only stored just over 100AH of power, total. Worst case scenario would be winter boondocking in a partially shaded campsite. With the furnace fan using power to keep Oscar the Smiley Dog warm it would be on the edge of capacity and after 4 or 5 days I would need to run the generator a bit to top off the batteries.

 

The new solar panels being offered by the factory are virtually the same size and are 160W units. I asked the factory if they could swap out the older panel for a newer one and they said "Sure, Pete!" (Ya gotta love those guys) I also swapped out my batteries for Lifeline maintenance free units that have just about doubled my capacity, with 200AH of storage.

 

January will be my first time checking out the new set-up as I head to the Big Bend National Park for some boondocking at the Chisos Basin campground, up in the old volcano cauldron. I expect to maintain a much higher charge percentage from the previous set-up.

 

My advice to you, Trumpetguy, would be to head for the factory and ask them to toss a couple of 160W units onto the rooftop of your Ollie. They could likey join two panels together, side by side, and put the. Up on your roof with minimal overhang of the roof bump structure. I' believe that's how Technomadias had theirs mounted on their Legacy Elite. They'd be happy to oblige, I'm sure.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Pete. Thanks for the input. I have a message into Robert Partee about adding some solar. It is my understanding that they have to mount a rack on the roof, which would entail some through bolts. Not sure about how they would do that. I already have the wiring and charge controller so just need the panels. I will keep posting as this project evolves.

 

Off to Camping World to get the fridge looked at. Darn thing won't shut off and runs at the coldest all the time.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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If you opt for two panels, they'll also need to add a Combiner Box, which combines the two panel inputs as the power heads to the charge controller. It is about an $80 gizmo.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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The ingenious crew at Oliver added solar to our trailer seven months after we bought it. That included running the heavy cable that your already have, which was no mean feat, and maybe not even possible now with the new insulation techniques. Glad you pre wired. The metal shop made custom saddle brackets for our two fixed panels, based on my husband's sidemount concept, and added them to the trailer. We've not had problems with anything they did, even though it was an addition, and not part of the original build.

 

The thin film flexible adhesive panels take up a lot of rooftop "real estate" to create the same amount of power as our racked panels. That's one of the reasons we did not seriously consider flexible panels for our pv installation on our new home. They do, however, have that great advantage of "no drilling required" on the travel trailer rooftop. The flexible panels don't really add any "drag" to the roof top, either, and I've read of a number of very happy users on other forums.

 

You might consider boondocking a few times without any panels, but with a good monitor installed, to see what your actual power requirements are. With all LED lights, and camping in Florida weather without heavy use of the furnace fan (our biggest power draw in the mountains, usually), you may find one 100 or 160 watt panel may just be enough. A lot depends on your consumption, camping style, and of course, battery storage.

 

Tough decision to make.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry,

 

Thanks for the input. I did speak with Dustin yesterday about a factory install and he is thinking about ways to accomplish it. If you have a photo of your setup I would sure like to have a look.

 

In the interim I will just go with a single 100 watt flex panel and see how it works. I installed the charge controller last week and today will work on connecting the solar panel to the 6ga wire on the roof. Should have gone with 10 ga because the six is hard to work with and all the MC4 connectors use 10.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Dave, while I look for photos of our installation, here's a link to a thread by Andrew, who did his own pv installation, based on our factory install.

 

If you go down the thread, you'll find a link to a photo album of Andrew's install. It looks a lot like ours. He did a great job.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Here are a few taken shortly after we had the panels installed:

 

 

LakeOuachitaPetitJeanMtMagazineU-16.jpg

 

LakeOuachitaPetitJeanMtMagazineU-17.jpg

 

LakeOuachitaPetitJeanMtMagazineU-23.jpg

 

In this one, if you look closely, you'll see the awesome saddle bracket Oliver made to match the curve of the hull.

LakeOuachitaPetitJeanMtMagazineU-15.jpg

 

We took all these at beautiful Lake Ouichita campground on our way to the River RV Rally.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry,

 

Thanks a bunch for the photos. very pro looking.

 

How are the panels attached to the roof? Screws, bolts, etc. I am wary of putting any holes into my Ollie.

 

With that said Robert Partee has conferred with the service department and they are working on a retro fit installation for me. I managed to fit 100 Watts on the roof with Industrial Velcro as the fastener. It has been cloudy so I can't tell if I am getting any PV, but I want at least 200 Watts when all is done.

 

I appreciate the link and will check that out.

 

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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