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A/C in direct sunlight


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Hi!

We are looking at an Oliver (Elite II, specifically), and are wondering about the performance of the insulation & A/C.

We currently own a Provan Tiger, and even though the A/C is great, it can't stand up to direct Colorado sunlight due to the poor insulation. We are moving to western-slope Colorado, and temps of 100+ and direct sunlight are going to happen, and for the sake of our dog we'd like to keep the inside of the camper to below 80 degrees.

Is the insulation of the Oliver enough that it can reasonably cool the space with a good size AC unit?

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For insulation, there is a layer of 1/4" thick (I think) reflectix installed between the hulls.  Mostly installed, I should say, in that insulation has gaps in some corners (such as behind some cabinet areas.  Layers of reflectix in our trailer are not taped together at seams, so there is room for air movement at corners and reflective joints.  Theoretically, I would love to see more insulation between the hulls (reducing loads on the AC and furnace), but  air and space between the hulls is what lets moisture (if present) seep toward the bottom of the hull and out one of the scupper drains.

Reflectix helps reduce radiant heat transfer under a hot sun.  It probably also helps with conductive heat transfer.  There is still ample space between the hull walls, so I'm not sure how much it helps with convective heat transfer.

I have found the combination of double hull walls, double-pane windows, and AC effective in hot western weather, at least into the low 100°F range.  Our 2021 AC is noisy, but gets the job done.  Battery compartment can get warm, especially at high charge rates in hot weather.  All of that said, we prefer to seek out higher elevations and/or shade on hot days.

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2021 Oliver LE2
Ram 2500 diesel

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20 minutes ago, Fritz said:

For insulation, there is a layer of 1/4" thick (I think) reflectix installed between the hulls.

Actually the stuff that Oliver has used for insulation has been similar to Reflectix but instead of being basically "bubble wrap" in between the foil it is a foam composite of some sort.

Here are a few pictures which show how and where this is applied to the shells prior to them being joined together.

Bill

 

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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We've camped in humid 90s a few times. The Dometic A/C on our trailer quickly brings the interior into the 70s and keeps it there, even in full sun. It is loud, though.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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Our previous Dometic Noise Maker A/C, and current Houghton are both 13,500 BTU.  Both were used over the past five years at Tinker AFB, OKC OK. in 108 degree full sun conditions.  Both of these A/C's were cycling which tells me that they had a bit of spare capability in them.  Note that I did keep the sun side window shades drawn, and had the awning extended about 3' for some wall shading.  Did not go beyond this distance due to local thermals passing by occasionally.

If you buy a used Ollie, plan on replacing the Dometic Penguin II A/C.  New OTT offers a much better A/C now.  

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.

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We stayed in 100°+ temperatures last summer and did fine. We had to travel into the heat for a family memorial service in New Mexico and then to Southern Missouri. It did great in dry and humid conditions. We had to use a generator or be hooked up to shore power. We also learned to set the fan to low speed and let it run. This way only the compressor cycles intermittently which is muted by the constant white noise of the fan. For us, this is way less disruptive for sleeping. 

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Thanks all.

Yes, the plan is usually to be at higher elevation, but even then the poor insulation on the Tiger can't keep up if I'm in direct sunlight.

But, we will be full timing at points, so we don't always get the luxury of getting high up.

 

Geronimo John: good advice on replacing the A/C. We generally like buying used, then tinkering until we get it to where we want to be. So, for an Oliver it'll be Lithium, sounds like a new A/C, composting toilet, etc.

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6 hours ago, Carleton said:

Is the insulation of the Oliver enough that it can reasonably cool the space with a good size AC unit?

For about a year now, Oliver has been offering the Truma AC package on new units.  Our Hull #1291 Elite II has the Truma air conditioner.  It is much quieter than the standard Dometic.

I don't know if it cools any better than the Dometic, but we used ours last August on a couple of 100 degree F days in direct sunlight at 4200 feet in Idaho.  The Truma AC effectively cooled the cabin down to 75 degrees F, which is where we like it, and kept it there.  I would not fear leaving pets in the trailer during ambient outside temps of 100 degrees F, with a Truma air conditioner running.

Of course, you must have shore power or at least a 3KW generator to run the AC for more than an hour or two, even with the Lithionics batteries Oliver is now offering with new units.

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

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

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We’ve camped in 100+ temps often, normally when we’re trying to get out of south Texas to cooler areas.  The old Dometic in our trailer does fine keeping the interior cool, although it is a bit noisy.  Texas heat usually includes a fair amount of humidity.  Western Slope in CO will have significantly less humidity.  We camp there often since our son and family live in Durango.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

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21 hours ago, Carleton said:

Geronimo John: good advice on replacing the A/C. We generally like buying used, then tinkering until we get it to where we want to be. So, for an Oliver it'll be Lithium, sounds like a new A/C, composting toilet, etc.

Keep an eye on the OTT "For Sale" section of our forum.  If you find one you like, check out the owner's posts.  It is amazing what you can learn about the history of their trailer as a result, and about the owner's skills as well.

To you above list of upgrades if purchasing an Older OEII, I would add upgrading the Invertor to 3,000 watts, a Victron Orion DC-DC 12-12 30 amp charging system, and of course a 350 amp BlueSeas Master Switch and Victron 712 Smart Shunt to your list.  Maybe adding solar or at least a solar suit case or two if it does not have solar already. Each of these efforts have been done by many owners and how to do DYI documentation here is off the charts helpful.   To do the project listed, you will need normal tools, plus assorted hand power tools, a hole saw of the proper size, dedicated cable cutter, and a hydraulic lug crimp for starters. 

First spend some time with your used Ollie and try to understand all of the systems before doing any DYI mod.  Please take the time to really study each project and look at all the different ways of doing each of them well before buying anything.  Questions?  First search the web.  Then Google search the web.  You'll get more items to digest as their search engine seems to be better than ours.  If you still have questions then ask them on one of the threads for that mod.  Just know that there may be several threads for a given topic, and each of us posters generally like our way the best....but some times the other thread has a better.  And most importantly, looking at them all you likely will come up with an even BETTER way for that DYI effort.

 

18 hours ago, Rivernerd said:

Of course, you must have shore power or at least a 3KW generator to run the AC for more than an hour or two, even with the Lithionics batteries Oliver is now offering with new units.

With our new Houghton A/C and 3 ea Battleborn 100Ah batteries and 3,000 watt inverter we can run our A/C for almost three hours in hot conditions.  We routinely charge our BB's with a Progressive Dynamics 60 amp charger.  When we need to run longer and do not have shore power, our Honda EU2200i generator works great.  Some owners have the older Honda 2,000 w inverter and it is equally successful.  However, some other brands of 2K generators will not pull the load.  Lots of posts on this topic!

IMHO, only for special needs situation is there a need for a super expensive and heavy 3,000 watt generator.... On the other hand, if you are Full Timing, and you discover some gold nuggets, then the Honda 3000 watt inverter generator would be the best on the market.  Then you have a lot of power flexibility.  I recall a recent post about this generator and that it fits in our front aluminum basket.  

GJ

 

 

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.

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3 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

Some owners have the older Honda 2,000 w inverter and it is equally successful.  

We can run our Dometic A/C with our 2000W Honda generator but it's my understanding that a 3000W generator is needed to run the Truma A/C because it doesn't have the soft-start feature.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.b96241bad6752dec89d25af6ffbc8d99.jpg

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9 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

Keep an eye on the OTT "For Sale" section of our forum.  If you find one you like, check out the owner's posts.  It is amazing what you can learn about the history of their trailer as a result, and about the owner's skills as well.

 

@Geronimo John

There is no longer a For Sale or Classifieds section allowing an owner to sell an Oliver on this forum. It was recently shut down by Oliver Admin on Oct 20.
Here -  https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/19-classifieds/
 

Patriot🇺🇸
 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka- “Beauty & the Beast” - 2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor

 

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6 hours ago, Steph and Dud B said:

We can run our Dometic A/C with our 2000W Honda generator but it's my understanding that a 3000W generator is needed to run the Truma A/C because it doesn't have the soft-start feature.

That is correct. The Truma Aventa 13.5 BTU AC requires a 3000W gen. Presently per the Truma rep I spoke with a soft start is not available. The rep also said Truma is supposedly looking at a soft start solution. 

 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka- “Beauty & the Beast” - 2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor

 

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On 11/5/2023 at 11:39 PM, Rivernerd said:

I don't know if it cools any better than the Dometic

The Truma Aventa (13.5K BTU) definitely cools better than the Dometic Penguin (11K BTU). Having done the upgrade I have experienced both. The Truma lowers temperature much more rapidly and maintains it easily. Because of the higher BTUs, it does not run as long, leading to somewhat higher humidity. There is a Dehumidify Mode that will drastically lower the humidity (and temperature). It works very well. The Penguin ran longer, but humidity could still get pretty high under some circumstances. Both machines use Oliver's internal condensate drain plumbing. The downside of the Truma is its price. Carleton, if you're going new, I suggest ordering the Truma package. It will cost less than upgrading the AC post sale, plus you get Truma's on-demand water heater (AquaGo). Both the Dometic FreshJet and the Houghton RecPro cost considerably less, but Oliver will not install them at this time.

The big reason to go with something other than the Penguin is reducing noise. It is quite loud.

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2021 Elite II Twin #850 "Mojo", 2020 F250 Lariat 7.3L FX4 3.55

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12 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

We routinely charge our BB's with a Progressive Dynamics 60 amp charger. 

Does the 300W inverter you installed have charging capability, as well? Wondering why the PD charger is needed.

2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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Our 3,000 watt inverter does not have converter (Charging) capacity.  The 60 amp PD does this separately on the older trailers.  The Inverter is located in the aft bed basement.  The Converter is part of the fuse/circuit breaker panel located in the rear dinette basement.

I understand that the newer trailers have a combo Inverter/Converter unit.  Personally, I like having them separate.  If I smoke in one of them, then I still have something.  If I smoke the smarts in a combo unit.......maybe not so "enlightening".   On the other hand though, I really like the updated power panel and breaker setup of the newer Ollies.  

🙂

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.

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22 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

Our 3,000 watt inverter does not have converter (Charging) capacity.  The 60 amp PD does this separately on the older trailers.

Thanks for the clarification! I’m thinking of bypassing the Xantrex ‘converter’ and adding a separate PD, maybe the 80A model specific to lithium. 

2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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3 hours ago, Ronbrink said:

Thanks for the clarification! I’m thinking of bypassing the Xantrex ‘converter’ and adding a separate PD, maybe the 80A model specific to lithium. 

For our OE2 setup, our old style PD 4060 maximum output to the batteries is 780 watts (60A X 13V).  But it consumes 1300 watts of generator power.  So the PD 4060 is operating at only 60% efficiency (780/1300 =60%).  Our Honda EU2200i is rated for 1800 continuous duty.  That leaves 500 watts for anything else in the trailer.  Therefore, no A/C, no coffee pot and no microwave use when charging with this set up.   

Due to low efficiency alone, your thoughts about using the newer PD stand alone converter has merit.  Coincidently, I am currently researching a set-up for my brother's SOB trailer.  So, I have taken the liberty to dig in a bit further into this new PD line to see if we can use this new inverter at 80 amps output an our 2KW class generators.

For consideration, I'll evaluate the PD 80 amp converter (PD9180ALV with PD92201 Charge Wizard).  Per PD Technical Services:       INPUT POWER:  15 amps of shore power at 120V = 1800W          OUTPUT POWER:  80 amps to Lithium's @ 13.6V = 1088W 

Sadly, the PD 80 amp unit efficiency is only 60.4% (1088W/1800W).  But it will require 100% of a Honda EU2200 generator's max continuous output.  Basically, it leaves nothing on the table for other purposes when charging.  The Honda EU2200i can pull the load, but not the Predator or Yamaha from the 2K class generators.  That said, having everything shut off in the OE2 to do so is not realistic.  As such, if we really wanted to get that extra 20 amps, it will entail an upgrade to a 3,000W class generator.  In the Honda inverter line, that would be an extra $600 to get the Honda 3200i EU generator the EU2200i.   

Since both I have the smaller Honda's, my path forward is to not try and drive the charge process beyond the realistic realistic output for our existing generators. For our uses, the 60A PD was the cap.  And frankly a better choice likely would be the standard OEM PD 4045 unit to reduce the draw to allow power for other uses while charging (I.E. Coffee Pot!  But that is covered in a much longer thread.   🙂  

I suggest looking into the actual converter efficiency of other manufacturers converters.   Likely you'll find some with much better efficiencies, and then it is a matter of cost vs. performance.  Ditto with replacement inverters as well!  My Renogy 3,000 watt inverter efficiency is also rather poor.  Two lesson's I learned post installation that I should have figured out pre-purchase!

Hope you find this exercise interesting.

GJ

 

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Geronimo John said:

Due to low efficiency alone, your thoughts about using the newer PD stand alone converter has merit

Thank you for the detailed assessment, much appreciated! I am mostly concerned with keeping the battery bank adequately charged when in storage on shore power, which seems to be the issue with Xantrex in general. However, you shed some light on the draw a PD or like would have on generator power, something I hadn’t thought about. Since I use my small generator primarily for A/C, I would need to be able to easily turn the charger Off to prevent an overload situation. 

2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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If ready to move now, there’s an awesome, fully loaded Elite 2 listed on the Olivers for sale Facebook page. 2023 @ $92k, if I temper correctly. At least $10k off retail. TN location. 

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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