Oliver Travel Trailers Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2018
Letter from the Editor
This months letter from the editor is about New Years and new beginnings.
New beginnings. Those two words hold so much promise... so much possibility... they make up the perfect theme for our first issue of 2018.
Life has a beautiful way of renewing itself... whether through the changing of the seasons, the start of a new week, or the Grand Poobah of new beginnings: New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Day marks the first day of a fresh, unblemished year. There are 365 days of potential awesomeness...365 days lay ahead where you will exercise, eat right, spend more time with your family, and finally perfect that family budget. Well, at least that’s how you intend on spending the next year!
Does your family make New Year’s Resolutions together? I’d like to say that that’s one of our family traditions, but it’s not. It sure should be, though! One year we sat down with our kids and all came up with resolutions. And you know what? Those two little ones made them and kept them! It was a fantastic lesson in goal-setting... one we truly should keep up with.
But you know what? I might actually have to take back what I said about New Year’s Day being the Grand Poobah of new beginnings. Maybe, like me, your new beginning is simply the start of a new year. But that in and of itself is super exciting! Not only does the start of January mean starting over with a clean slate... it means looking around at our big backyard and taking account of all the amazing things we can fill our slates with!
So as we embark on this very special new beginning, at Oliver Travel Trailers we wish you all the very best for 2018! Here’s to a year where goals are met, relationships nurtured and dreams come true.
Until next month,
Jason K. Walmsley, editor
We encourage you to research further and I can promise you, you will like what you see in an Oliver travel trailer. Visit our website at olivertraveltrailers.com to see more and schedule a plant tour or field visit. Happy Trails from Hohenwald, TN, USA!
Goose Lake - Joaquin Miller Horse Camp - Malheur National Forest
By: Frank McMichael, Hull No.101
When I left Cattle Camp near McCloud, California, I had no particular destination in mind. Thinking that I would stop when I got tired, I headed east on State 89 and then 299 to US 395. After about four hours of travel, I reached US 395 and headed north.
Goose Lake lies along US 395 into Oregon - the greater part of the Lake is in California with maybe a third in Oregon. It is a type of lake similar to Tule Lake, mostly shallow and slightly alkaline. In the winter months it fills up with rain run in and then, in the summer, part of it dries out and grows grass and other plants in some parts.
Shortly after I crossed the Oregon State line, I saw a sign for a State run campground at Goose Lake. Turning in, I discovered a very nice green-grass, tree-shaded, well-kept, park-like campground with spacious sites, water, electrical, toilets and showers, trash dumpsters and a dump station, all for $20 a night. (The toilet and showers were clean but dated, I didn’t connect to the electrical.) It was about 2:00 and I was tired of driving, Site 19 became my home for the night. Before parking, I took advantage of the opportunity to empty my waste tanks. The campground was at New Pine Creek, Oregon which is the first community after the State line.
After setting up camp, I showered, read a bit, went for a walk and worked on reorganizing my truck. Someone had made a mess of it. About 6:00 I made something to eat, after dinner, I read some more and at 8:00 went to bed. That was my travel day.
The luxury of a hot shower was welcome. For water conservation reasons, I seldom use the shower in my beloved Oliver. It had been four days since I had a hot shower. Some will think this is gross, I know but boondocking requires a different mindset. Actually, a shower is not needed every day, one can adequately cleanse themselves with a half a gallon of water in a pan, a wash cloth and some baby wipes. Your skin will appreciate some rest and recovery time if you skip a few showers.
When I was younger, I backpacked. Not once did I discover a shower along the way. In backpacking one accepts that “needs must as the devil drives.” As the days went by, I did build up an odor that provided the lingering, quality smell of a rugged he-man. Sometimes when I returned home my wife was less welcoming than she otherwise might have been because Pepe Le Pew. My thinking is that if you are not a bit stinky you are not camping - at least not boondocking.
In my youth, tap water was a luxury we didn’t have. Our water came bucket by bucket from a well that was located about 300 feet downhill from the house. Hauling a bucket of water uphill tends to enlighten the mind as to its value. Therefore, we were not casual about our water use. The conservation mindset that was developed then, assists me in my camping endeavors today.
The following morning, after another hot shower, I left about 8:00 heading north on 395. (Two showers in less than 24 hours, I was practically antiseptic. Some conservationist, heh?)
Approximately an hour later, I was driving past Lake Albert which is a lake that is drying up from a lack of water. It is a salty, alkaline lake, presumably from the leaching of rain water through volcanic rock that picks up various minerals. The wind was blowing in gusts of 30-35 mph. For a walk and a stretch, I pulled over in the lee of an escarpment that had been shedding elephant sized boulders for thousands of years.
While parked, I called home. During my conversation, I watched a water spout form out in the middle of the Lake. First time I have seen what would be a dust devil on land be a water devil. The camera, because of distance and dust did not capture it well, so no picture. As I drove further north, I started to pass immense alkali flats, dust devils were busy there, too. The wind was driving alkali dust clouds across the road, it was like driving through light fog.
Further along, the wind was pushing sand from adjacent sand dunes into the road. The sides of the road had built up with sand, maybe an inch to an inch and half, sufficient to partly obscure the road and its edges, only the crown of the road was visible. The sand was skittering along the surface of the road, not blowing through the air as I have experienced in the desert. It did no harm to the truck paint.
Burns, Oregon provided an opportunity to obtain gas, stretch, unkink and decide on a burger. After that I headed north again.
After about an hour of additional driving, I decided to stop at the first available campground in the Malheur National Forest. The first campground I stopped at was not acceptable, I could see party trash and evidence of recent vandalism, so in an abundance of caution, I moved on. Approximately five miles further on was this camp.
According to Wikipedia, Cincinnatus Heine Miller, aka Joaquin Miller, was a frontiersman turned poet. He was called, “Poet of the Sierras” because of his 1871 book, Songs of the Sierras. Miller renamed himself Joaquin, after Joaquin Murrieta, an infamous California robber and horse thief of Miller’s era. Just like his chosen namesake, Miller was also a horse thief. Apparently, the moral distance from being an admirer of a horse thief, being a horse thief and being a writer is not all that much.
I suppose being a writer of a book overcame the horse thieving part, hence the name of the camp and other locations after Joaquin Miller. I have stayed in other USFS horse camps; they are, as the name implies, a campground where people may bring horses to ride and camp. The case of a horse camp named for a horse thief, I found ironically amusing.
The campground was empty, not a single other camper was to be seen, nor did any come in during the evening. Often, I have found this to be true for USFS campgrounds, maybe because they are isolated and/or a boondocking approach is needed. People driving or pulling behemoths that need major roadways, wanting shore power connections and daily showers, for some reason, are not very inclined to come to USFS campgrounds. I have seen the behemoth RVs dry camping in Walmart parking lots but not in a USFS campground. This is as strange to me as seeing a hitchhiking Bigfoot with a backpack.
USFS campgrounds are perfect for Oliver owners who understand and practice water conservation and have a solar package. With 320 watts of solar, four Trojan, six-volt, AGM batteries and a 2000-watt inverter, I have never lacked for sufficient power for my boondocking. Charging while driving and the charging from the solar collectors are all that is needed to have plenty of power. No generators are needed. I once dry camped in the Grand Tetons for eight partially cloudy days in late October using only my solar package and batteries. This, among other reasons, is why my Oliver is beloved to me
The spot that I chose for the night was an easy pull through but it was not level, it had a decline towards the front and side to side adjustments were needed. In circumstances like this where I need to level the Oliver and I know that I will be leaving the following morning, I release the Bulldog hitch and decrease the chain tension on the Anderson anti-sway, weight distribution lash up. Otherwise I do not disconnect from the truck, it remains positioned.
This allows me to level as needed and it also means that when I am ready to leave, I can reconnect by dropping the Bulldog hitch back onto the hitch ball, (after returning the rear jacks to the travel position), re-tighten the Anderson and go. No jockeying of the truck is needed.
This only works if the front of the Oliver needs to rise up or remain the same level as the hitch ball which has been the usual for me. Other than one time in Kentucky, I have not parked on a rearward slope where the front end needed to go down substantially. This type of situation requires a full disconnect. For some reason, a “steep” rearward slope makes me more nervous than the other direction. Maybe, because I know if the Oliver starts rolling backwards at night, there is no truck to stop it and I will be the first person at the crash scene. For either case, I am not that trusting of chocks, gravity is a powerful, relentless force.
This procedure saves me a great deal of time and frustration for the next morning as I am not the best backer for aligning and re-connecting. It also means that if there is inclement weather in the morning, one can minimize the time outside hitching up. As it turned out, this was a good thing for the next morning.
The campground had numerous down trees that had been cut down, apparently because they had died of some kind of disease, perhaps bark beetles. Plenty of dead branches and a number of cut chunks from these trees made it possible for me to have all the fire that I wanted. Utilizing my advanced camping skills, some gelled alcohol and a Click-it Flame Starter, I was able to readily start a fire. I haven’t used the old rub two sticks together trick for some time.
This campground is at approximately 5,500 feet in elevation. All this day of May the temperature had been in the high 60s with some overcast. When I went into my Oliver at 7:30 pm, it was 62 degrees with heavy clouds and the wind was starting to blow. I expected that it would rain during the night.
The following morning at 6:00 when I looked out the window, it was snowing and the temperature was 33 degrees. Fearing that I might get caught in snow and ice that would require chains, I hurriedly broke camp and headed north on 395.
Chains, I have with me, however I have no urge to attempt to install them if it can be avoided, thus my hurry to get down elevation to warmer places. There were snow flurries almost all the way to the community of John Day before it turned to rain.
The Oregon rules for chains and trailers, I didn’t know, still don’t. California requires chains on all wheels of the trailer as well as the tow vehicle and that is how I am prepared. Actually, the “chains” that I have are not chains, they are stainless steel cable linked and spaced rollers, but I still use the old timey term. It strikes me that old time terms that described my youthful manliness and handsomeness should still be used today also. That appeals to me more than terms that describe me in my current ear-hair and tufted-eyebrow old age, thus I will still call them chains.
My chain story: Only one time have I needed to use chains for my truck and the Oliver and that was in the Sierras going over the Donner Pass on IS 80 in a snowstorm. It was a major pain to install them until I got smart. When I purchased them, I practiced installing them on both vehicles. I can tell you that leisurely installing chains on a sunny day on a quiet, level, street is much different than installing them in 3-4 inches of snow in windy, snowy, freezing weather at 5,000 feet. Not being an old fool, I wised up and paid someone to do it for me.
From Truckee to the peak of Donner Pass at 20 mph in the blowing snow seemed to take hours but not so, like Einstein said, our perception of time is relative. Heading downhill from Donner Pass, as soon as the snow turned to rain, I took the first available pullout that was sufficient for my truck and trailer. Where I parked had enough space forward of my truck and the vehicle in front to allow me to move forward to collect the chains once, I disconnected them.
Cable chains are somewhat easier to remove than to install as long as one remembers that the connection link on the inside of the tire should be disconnected first and then the outside. If the opposite is done then, the upper part of the chain with the still connected inside connection link can fall into the confines of the wheel well. For most vehicles, because of the tight space of the wheel well it is difficult to impossible to reach into, if this happens.
Partially crawling under the vehicle in the wet and slush can be one option for locating the disconnect link or jacking the vehicle up and removing the tire, is another. Trucks have enough clearance for crawling under. Most modern cars only have 6-8 inches of underbody clearance to the roadway - option one will likely not work, option two of removing the tire becomes the binary choice.
Disconnecting and collecting the chains on the trailer was completed in good order. I was disconnecting the last chain on the truck when a man in a Toyota Avalon slotted into the space between my truck and the vehicle just forward of mine. It was a tight fit but the driver did it anyway without a care or concern for the effect on others (me) who were attempting to remove their chains. There was open space above the forward vehicle - why he decided to jam his vehicle between the two of us is unknown and incomprehensible except maybe that the Stupid was strong with this guy.
His vehicle was close enough that I could not pull forward so that I could collect my truck chains. Explaining my need, I asked him to move forward past the vehicle just in front of him where there was ample room for his car. He just shrugged indifferently and said, “I will not be long” then squatted down and started to disconnect his right front wheel cable chain - but not in the right way. The wheel well ate it.
Clearly his viewpoint was that his circumstance was more important than any inconvenience he was creating for me. He was dressed for his up-yours attitude, wearing polyester pants, a polyester polo shirt, a thin polyester jacket and low cut-loafers with flimsy socks, probably polyester given the rest of his garb. His clothing was not purposed for a snow storm in the Sierras. It was more suitable for hanging out in a bimbo-Soprano bar or a casino in Reno. Obviously, he had not been a Boy Scout.
When polyester guy’s partially disconnected chain fell to the inside, the space was so limited in the wheel well of the Avalon that he could not reach inside to find the disconnect point. In the freezing cold, he struggled for some time to reach the disconnect link but couldn’t. Observing his increasing frustration, his cursing, and mad enough to punch a puppy anger, I decided to “help” him. As the forward vehicle had left, I went over to him and suggested that if he would drive forward some, maybe he would be able to see the connection link and that would help. In his unreasoning, emotional state, he thought that made some kind of sense and he did.
Of course this more hopelessly entangled his chain into the wheel well. He moved forward far enough to allow me to move forward so I could collect my truck chains. I could have backed up and collected my chains and had actually walked to the rear of the trailer to confirm that I had sufficient clearance to do so. Upon returning, I paused for a minute or so to watch his struggle, taking some satisfaction in watching him attempt the impossible. When I became aware of his emotional state that is when I decided to “help” him. After collecting and loading my chains in the truck, with a smile I drove away leaving him with his problem.
My delight in my old man’s retributive trickery was such that I was happy-clappy about it for a while. My wife told me that I was mean for doing this and not very forgiving, maybe you think so too. I consider that I was doing a good deed by providing him an opportunity for a learning experience, namely, consider the effect of your actions upon others, don’t make decisions while emotionally upset, know stuff, be prepared and don’t mess with old men.
The root word for travel is travail, I have occasionally wondered if polyester guy prevailed over his travail.
Apologies for telling my chain story that was not part of this camping story but the possible need for chains at the Joaquin Miller horse camp reminded me and I couldn’t resist. I was triggered.
This was the day that was.
Teak Shower Mat
I have finally had a chance to both tinker and document the modifications & customizations I’m making to my Oliver.
This Teak Shower Mat is something I’ve had for years in my Airstream and really Like it to shoe marks in the shower. Purchased from Teakworks4u. $189 plus shipping. They have the Oliver LE II template in their system.
156B Galewski Drive
Winona, MN 55987
- cobra1169 on Oliver forums
Stretch Your Legs at the Dismal Nitch Wayside
A fierce winter storm forced the Corps off the river Nov. 10 and pinned the group to a north shore cove consisting of little more than jagged rocks and steep hillside. Captain William Clark called the dreary spot “that dismal little nitch.” For six stormy days, the group was trapped by fierce wind and high waves at the rocky shoreline. For only the second time in the expedition, Clark said he was concerned for the safety of the Corps. “A feeling person would be distressed by our situation,” he wrote in wet misery, as the expedition became in danger of foundering just within a few miles of its destination — The Pacific Ocean. Finally, the storm broke and allowed the group to move on.
Survey a Chinook Trade Village
This site across the Columbia River in Washington state holds a wealth of history in just under 8 acres. Middle Village - Station Camp has been an important archaeological resource for learning about the trading practices and cultural history of the Lower Columbia Chinook. This location was also significant to the Corps of Discovery as a brief campsite and survey point during November 1805. Later in the 19th century, the site was a stop on the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company’s narrow gauge line and named McGowan after P.J. McGowan bought the land. McGowan church was constructed in 1904 and still stands today, renamed to St. Mary’s Church in the 1960s. In present day, Middle Village - Station Camp, focuses on the Chinook Indian Nation history, as well as telling the story of early contact, the Corps, and the town of McGowan.
See the Pacific at Cape Disappointment
About 12 miles west of Middle Village - Station Camp is the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Cape Disappointment State Park. Departing from Station Camp, the Corps hiked overland to take their first view of the Pacific Ocean from inside what is now Cape Disappointment State Park.
Note that this site is not part of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park; additional fees will be required for entry.
Experience History Come Alive at Fort Clatsop
Fort Clatsop was the winter encampment for the Corps of Discovery from December 1805 to March 1806. The visitor center includes a replica of Fort Clatsop similar to the one built by the explorers, an interpretive center offering an exhibit hall, gift shop and two films. The park features ranger-led programs & costumed rangers in the fort during certain seasons. Fort Clastop is also the starting point for a number of hiking trails including the Fort-to-Sea, Kwis Kwis, Netul trail, & South Clatsop Slough trail.Best time to come:Mid-June through Labor day 12:30pm-3pm will give you the best chances to see ranger led programs and demos!
Find a Salt Camp in Seaside
Much of the Corps' stay on the North Coast was spent securing sustenance for the winter and provisions for the trip home.
By the time they reached the lower Columbia River region, the Corps had run out of valuable salt for seasoning food, and, perhaps more important, preserving meat. Capt. Clark didn't care if his food was salty, but many other Corps members did. Good food meant good spirits, and keeping morale up during the rainy winter of 1805 was key. On the other hand, meat preservation was a matter of life or death for the Corps. Spoiled elk meat could make the Corps sick, and without meat for the return home, weakened with hunger.
To make salt, the Corps had to find rocks to build a furnace, wood to burn, ocean water to boil, fresh water to drink and game animals. Nearby rivers weren't salty enough, but a site 15 miles southwest of Fort Clatsop proved perfect. What's more, there were homes of local Clatsop and Tillamook Indians nearby, local experts who could help the Corps members.
Five men traveled to the beach site, built the camp and set five kettles to boiling, 24 hours a day, to produce salt. According to their records, they set out from Fort Clatsop on Dec. 28, 1805, and left the camp Feb. 20, 1806, with 3 ½ bushels or about 28 gallons of "Excellent, fine, strong & white" salt.
Continue South to Find a Whale
You likely won't see the skeleton of a 105 foot whale, but you can visit the spot where in 1806, Captain William Clark and 12 members of the Corps of Discovery traveled through what is now Ecola State Park in search of a beached whale near present-day Cannon Beach. Hike in the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery with the 2 1/2 mile historical interpretive route of Clatsop Loop Trail and the additional trail over Tillamook Head. Clark described the view from Tillamook head as “… the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed…”
Note that this site is not part of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park; additional fees will be required for entry.
MUSIC CITY MIDNIGHT: NEW YEAR’S EVE IN NASHVILLE
Get ready for an incredible New Year's Eve celebration with thousands of your closest friends! Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Cheap Trick, Carly Pearce, Jonny P, Larkin Poe, and the Fisk Jubilee Singers are playing the 2017/2018 event as we count down to the midnight Music Note Drop and fireworks to ring in the New Year against the backdrop of the iconic State Capitol building.
New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery Weekend
You never know who is the suspect at a murder mystery dinner at the Commodore Hotel in Linden, Tennessee.
Mystery, intrigue, MURDER! Once again, the Commodore Hotel & Café present Murder Mystery Dinner Weekend – but this time with a twist! This time, guests are PART OF the show or you can just watch!
When: Saturday December 30, 2017 - Monday January 1, 2018
Where: Commodore Hotel & Café Linden, Tennessee
3rd Annual Oliver Travel Trailers Rally
There is nothing like seeing an Oliver Travel Trailer in person. If you have not had a chance to see one or even if you have seen a previous model, stop and see us at the Pittsburgh RV Show. We will have a 2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II Twin Bed on display and we will be showing off our tandem axle aluminum chassis.
January 6-14, 2018 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA
Monday thru Friday: 4 pm – 9 pm
Saturdays: 10 am – 9 pm
Sundays: 10 am – 5 pm
Pittsburgh RV Show
We are planning a great time for the 2018 Oliver Travel Trailer Rally. As the popularity of the rally has grown from 45 attendees for our first rally to the second this year of 175, we wanted upscale accommodations that offers exceptional recreational activities as well as great local attractions. We also needed a campground that is near enough to Hohenwald, Tennessee to allow an easy drive for Oliver Travel Trailer service work. For the 2018 rally, we will gather at one of the most beautiful state parks, Lake Guntersville State Park located in Guntersville, Alabama. This premium park offers full hook-ups, exceptional views of Lake Guntersville and the Tennessee River.
May 4-7, 2018
Lake Guntersville State Park
24 State Campground Rd,Guntersville, Alabama 35755
Classic Pot Roast
Total: 4 hr 45 min
Prep: 1 hr 5 min
Cook: 3 hr 40 min
Yield: 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 5-to-6-pound boneless beef "7-bone" chuck roast, tied
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 pound carrots, halved lengthwise, then crosswise, plus 1 cup chopped
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/3 cup cognac or brandy
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
- 1 stalk celery, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 black peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice
- 4 whole cloves
- 6 sprigs parsley, plus 2 tablespoons chopped leaves
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1/2 large rutabaga (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced into half-moons
- 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the flour; add to the pot and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pot.
2. Add the bacon, onion and chopped carrots to the pot; cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic; cook, stirring, until the paste starts to sizzle, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cognac, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the wine and broth, then return the meat to the pot.
3. Put the celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice, cloves and herb sprigs on a square of cheesecloth and tie into a pouch with kitchen twine; add to the pot and bring to a simmer. Lay a round of parchment paper on the surface of the meat and cover with the lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook 1 hour, 30 minutes. Turn the roast, then add the rutabaga, potatoes, halved carrots and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with the parchment and lid and return to the oven until the meat is fork-tender, 1 hour, 30 minutes, to 2 hours more. (A meat thermometer should register 185 degrees F.)
4. Transfer the vegetables to a plate using a slotted spoon and transfer the roast to a cutting board. Make the gravy: Remove the herb pouch and skim off the fat from the cooking liquid; simmer the liquid over medium heat until reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the vegetables to the gravy.
5. Untie the roast, thinly slice against the grain and arrange on a platter. Spoon the vegetables and gravy over and around the meat. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Welcome to the Family
Welcome June Leslie to the Oliver Family. We hope y'all have a wonderful time in your brand new Oliver Legacy Elite II!
Welcome the Montemayors to the Oliver Family. We hope y'all have a wonderful time in your brand new Oliver Legacy Elite II!
Welcome Timothy Lyons and Melissa Aday to the Oliver Family. They are taking home their brand new Legacy Elite II and looking for adventure!
Welcome Don and Yvette Heath to the Oliver Family. We hope y'all have a wonderful time in your brand new Oliver Legacy Elite II!
Welcome Jack and Patricia Shuman to the Oliver Family. We hope y'all have a wonderful time in your brand new Oliver Legacy Elite II!
Ollie's Trivia of the Month
Last Month's Trivia:
What Marlon Brando file was released on December 30th 1953?
The Wild One.
This Month's Trivia:
What year was the 1st New Year's ball drop at Times Square, NYC?
On behalf of The Team at OTT and The Oliver Family we'd like to thank you
for your interest in Oliver Travel Trailers.
We look forward to helping you learn more about the Oliver difference.
Feel free to give us a call with any questions you may have at this time.
The Oliver Family and Team
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