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beeser

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Posts posted by beeser

  1. We attended the RV show in Pomona, CA this weekend and stumbled upon a lone Oliver on display. It was strange that no one from Oliver was around. Sales reps from the nearby Airstream dealer were apparently filling in for the traveling Oliver reps that supposedly needed a break. I think the trailer on display was a lifted Elite. It seemed to be getting a fair amount of attention. The show attendance was considerably less than last year and many of the previous vendors and manufacturers were not there. On a more positive note, show staff were handing out free passes this year, at least that was the case when we were there. Prices for everything seemed to be drastically marked down, even Honda generators. We were quoted a show price of $829 for a EU2000iac.

  2. It's good to see that the factory is responding to this issue. However, I would hope that the ensuing resolution and discussion on the "weight problem" would continue on this forum instead of the private correspondence with the factory that BuffaloBob has suggested. Any worthwhile solution deserves to be aired freely and openly in my opinion.

     

    Special thanks to member DougI for his many insightful responses contained in this thread.

  3. ... And I'm not so much concerned about the towing limitations (we're rated for 5500) - but rather the capacity of the trailer/axle itself being exceeded.

     

    - Cherie

    It seemed odd to me that your Liberty would have a maximum towing capacity greater than mountainborn's Wrangler Unlimited considering the Liberty's shorter wheelbase. So I did a check on the Jeep website and it shows a maximum towing capacity for the Liberty of 3500 lbs. Is the difference because of the diesel?

  4. We did inquire about the weight before ordering, actually - and were basing our decisions off of weight off of the Legacy Elite estimates given to us.

     

    The insulation change was made after we ordered, and we were only the third to receive the new method of insulation. At no time were we told that the base weight was increased so much as a result. And I'm not so much concerned about the towing limitations (we're rated for 5500) - but rather the capacity of the trailer/axle itself being exceeded.

     

    - Cherie

    What was the weight that you were told for the Legacy Elite? I'm confused, I thought Oliver changed the axle to a heavier duty one with a 4500 or 5000 lb. rating. Is that not the case with your build?

  5. Cherie - I didn't say you were stupid and never would suggest it. I realize you meticulously researched the options but perhaps you assumed too much regarding the base dry weight. The current Oliver website shows a dry weight for the Legacy at 2400 lbs. Maybe this was recently changed and the previous published weight wasn't clearly specified as being for the base Legacy. However, with only one weight shown it seems reasonable to me that it would be for the base unit. Perhaps, in hind sight, that was a question to raise with the factory prior to purchase. As for the added insulation weight, manufacturers make design and manufacturing changes all the time. I have never seen a manufacturer held to precise details contained in a sales brochure. Assuming you only have issue with the added weight, why not ask Oliver for assistance in resolving your towing limitations. They may have some ideas. I wish you well in your travels.

  6. The fresh and grey water tanks are both long and flat rectangles that are seated side by side inbetween the hulls and into the frame. They run from front to back, and thus the weight on those tanks is pretty fully distributed. The black water tank sits directly underneath the toilet on the front streetside of the trailer (aside for the apx 6 gallons of pipe that goes to the dump in the rear, which accounts for some fo the capacity.)

     

     

    We too are quite concerned about the CCC given these new measurements. As we fulltime, we *have* to keep everything we own in either the TV or the trailer, and were lead to believe we would have ample capacity to carry what we needed. We weren't even told that the insulation method was being changed until after it was applied and now to find out that it took away 250 lbs of our carry capacity. Well, yes, this is disappointing to us to learn now that we're out on the road and potentially traveling unsafely.

     

    I too would like to hear an official response from Oliver on this issue.

     

    - Cherie

    I'll probably receive some flak from this but those of you that have dressed your Olivers with numerous accessories should have realized that added weight would be a consequence. It seems to me that Oliver has gone out their way to increase the load carrying capacity of the trailer by installing a stronger axle and springs without increasing the price. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a favor that comes back to haunt them. Sitting on the sidelines with an Oliver purchase I have to admit seeing some of this coming. While Oliver has been trying very hard to get a product off the ground I'm sure they've been hit with countless suggestions, probably most of them having to to with added features. They have surely been accommodating based on the kudos expressed here on this forum. But all of this "one more itis" comes with a price. I think the direction of this thread should take pause and remember what Oliver has accomplished with respect to molded fiberglass trailer advancement. The end user has a role in that process too.

  7. ...I also wonder what the weakest link in the GVWR calculation would be for the Oliver? My guess is it would be the frame, then the tires and wheels. With a 5,000 pound rated axle it would not be that...

    Don't know for sure but I too suspect the frame is the weakest component primarily because of the aluminum. There was a molded fiberglass travel trailer with an aluminum frame made years ago that was prone to bend and subsequently break at the wishbone immediately in front of the trailer body. However, I don't recall it having a central boxed spine as with the Oliver. The other part that would concern me, especially with the added weight discussed here, is the extended tongue. Modified with added accessories like generators, etc. makes it even more worrisome.

  8. Beeser, tell me more about your Tacoma. I have thought that would be a great option for towing the Oliver. Does it have the factory towing package? Two or four wheel drive? What mileage do you get towing your trailer with the Tacoma? What mileage by itself? Year and miles on the vehicle?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Doug

    2004 Tacoma 2wd Prerunner (V6) automatic with about 38k miles

    Factory tow package

    20-21 mpg highway/16-17 mpg city

    13-15 mpg towing regardless of conditions

     

    As I said before, the Tacoma tows my 3700# (loaded) Bigfoot OK on the flats. Anywhere else with hills is frustrating.

  9. I found a towing solution.

     

    My daughter and I will switch vehicles every time we use the Oliver. She will take my RAV4 (and save on her fuel cost) and we will get her 2008 Silverado LTZ 4WD CC short bed truck with towing package. We will save on fuel cost, compared to using our Duramax big dually and have a very able tow vehicle for the Oliver, with thousands of pounds of extra towing capacity, along with a truck bed to carry other goodies, like our two Honda 2000i generators, with gas can.

     

    Problem solved.

     

    Doug

     

    PS: Now I have to decide if I am going to install the towing equipment I purchased for the RAV4, so I can give that option a try, once I get the Oliver back home, in late October. I think I could use the RAV4 to tow the Oliver on in-state trips, down to the coast for example. I don't tow at speeds over 55 mph, and I think the RAV4 would do fine as long as it stays out of the mountains. I have air bags ordered for it so I can keep it level with the Oliver tongue (fully extended) weight on the hitch.

    Sounds like a terrific plan. Glad it came together for you. I think you'll be surprised initially how well the Rav4 will tow the Oliver on the flats but you'll also quickly realize its limitations. Coincidently, the Silverado or equivilent Sierra is what I'm currently looking at to replace my Tacoma. Please keep us informed on your impressions using both tow vehicles. That would be a great read especially for newcomers to towing.

  10. The weight of Doug's Elite is about 400 lbs. more than Bigfoot's 17.5, which has considerably more interior space because of the 8 ft. width. The Oliver is no longer a light weight trailer.

     

    Doug - Since your trailer is very close to the weight of mine I would suggest taking a hard second look at your intentions to use the Rav4, especially if your travels will include a lot of mountains and steep grades. Our V6 Tacoma (similar engine size to your Rav4) performed well enough on the flats but steep grades were frustrating. Besides, it's very likely that you will be towing in excess of the towing capacity. We had over 1500 lbs. reserve towing capacity with our Tacoma and we're now looking for a stronger tow vehicle.

    Good luck!

  11. Link to the show schedule on the home page:

    That's one busy schedule for the next couple of months. Heck yes they'll be showing the Oliver.

     

    Pam,

    I think you got a bit carried away with . Now we know the impetus for the recent price increases. It's beginning to remind me of the Cimarron from Cadillac, marketing wise. Sorry but I think it was better with Jim Oliver carrying the torch.

  12. Ok so 33 off the line so far. Typical for my wife to find the newest and most exspensive. How costly are these? she is telling me aprox $30000. and what are the differences between the elite and the classic? does my 1970's Nomad stick and tin Canada style get me a discount?
    ;)
    probably not eh! A little canadian for yaall. Is that how you spell that (yaall)?

    Oliver's website is http://www.olivertraveltrailers.com/. That should answer your questions about the differences between the Elite and Classic models. I believe member mountainborn expressed an interest in selling his to get a newer model. Might be worth a try.

  13. A 6000 lb. rated axle only weighs about 30 lbs. more than a 3500# rated axle of the same design according to a catalog from Croft. They didn't have one rated at 4400 lbs. to draw a more accurate comparison with the one used by Bigfoot but it probably doesn't weigh more than the 6000 lb. rated one. Besides more load carrying capacity the heavier duty axle comes with larger brakes.

     

    I thought it was interesting that prior to 2005, Bigfoot used 3500 lb. rated axles on their 17 ft. trailers. They were called 1500 Series at the time. Then, in 2005 when the 17 ft. trailer was redesigned and the length increased (a little less than a foot) they began using a 4400 lb. rated axle. The dry weight of the 1500 Series trailers were about 2600 lbs., not much heavier than the Oliver and their storage tanks were smaller. Just seems to me that a heavier axle on the Oliver is worth looking into.

  14. The basis for my question is that my Bigfoot 17.5CB started out with a dry weight of around 2900 lbs. While returning from a recent trip we weighed our trailer and found it to be about 3700 lbs. with the tanks empty. The axle weight rating is 4500 lbs. on 17.5 Bigfoots. It's hard to believe we had 800 lbs. of gear on board because most of the heavier stuff was in the pickup bed but nonetheless the differential between dry and loaded was 800 lbs. We still had capacity for full tanks but not by much.

     

    Besides allowing for greater load capacity I believe the heavier duty axle also comes with 6 bolt wheel mounts. The corresponding wheels have a larger load carrying capacity, which in turn allows for greater load rated tires. Not positive but I think I'm mostly correct on all this.

     

    Back to my original question though. Is it possible for the Oliver to be fitted with a heavier rated axle?

  15. As promised, here's the update on four weeks of detailed mpg logs.

     

    Paul "tried" to drive more with the tach than the speedometer, attempting to keep the rpm under 1800. No cruise control. To save on the brakes, he downshifts going down the mountains. The Silverado has a special towing gear that can be engaged, but he tried to use that only when climbing the steep grades, such as the long stretch of 6% near Green River Gorge, and shorter stretches of 6-13% that we encountered along the way. (Yes, 13% in Pennsylvania near Laurel Mountain and Falling Waters.... and the Silverado/Oliver combo did great!)

     

    The first 650 miles of our trip was mostly flat, but starting at sea level here in FL going to 3000 feet in western NC, and mostly interestate. We travel about 150 miles of secondary, good roads to cut some miles on this part of the trip. We had the ATV, grill, charger, and generator in the pickup bed for this segment. The big mudflaps were on for the whole trip.

    Our average mpg on this segment was 12.56.

     

    The next 3000 miles was primarily secondary, small roads, and mountain driving... eastern TN, NC, VA, and PA... up the Cherahola, Blue Ridge, and Skyline. Later on, the Catskills... Almost no interstate driving (100 miles, perhaps). Lots of small towns. Mudflaps still on, but no ATV in the back anymore.

    Our average mpg on this segment was 13.64

     

    I did track our non-towing mileage, but at less than 300 miles, it could be really inaccurate. For what it was worth, a mix of mountain driving and around town, rarely over 50 miles per hour. No ATV in the back. Still the mudflaps. 15.2 mpg

     

    We do not have a tonto cover or capper for the Silverado (yet). V8, 5.3, factory towing package. We have about 65,000 miles on the truck now. Airbag shocks to help with the load when we have the ATV in the back, but no WDH or sway bar. I seemed to notice a mile better mpg on the rare occasion that we found gas with no ethanol added, but that only happened a few times, so it could be coincidental. It does make me curious, though,since we used to get far better mileage when the truck was new, and ethanol mix was uncommon. Does anyone else have a feel for this?

     

    Gas prices were, of course, amazing. A low of $3.69 in SC, to a high of almost a dollar more in CT. NY was .25 to .36 a gallon higher than neighboring PA... and the roads are pretty rough in NY. We got on the thruway for one exit and got off... the secondary roads provided a little better ride...

     

    I'll try to keep better track of our non-towing mileage for the next few weeks, so I have a good comparison.

     

    Sherry

     

    Sherry - Thanks for posting your mpg results. No offense but I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping for something better. Do you think the smaller V8 would substantially improve the mpg but still deliver some decent performance on the steep grades?

  16. The price I quoted earlier applies only to the labor and does not include the break controller or the hitch itself, nor any supplies, like a 4 to 7 pin adaptor, or any supplies.

    That's what I assumed. The price did not include any parts or material. As I now understand it the work involves the following.

     

    Complete wiring of a 7-wire setup - A factory 4-wire connection does not exist.

    Installation of a brake controller with all associated wiring

    Installation of a hitch receiver

     

    Again, sounds like a very reasonable price if done correctly. Good luck should you decide to tackle the work yourself. I installed mine on a Tacoma. The hardest parts were penetrating the firewall, finding the correct brake wire to tap into for the controller and working in very tight and confined spaces. Afterwards, I had an appreciation for the labor quoted me beforehand.

  17. I think I am going to order what I need (a wiring harness, a four to seven pin adapter, and a hitch) from e-trailer and install the hitch and the break controller myself, with a little help from a friend.

     

    Thanks for the comments and advice. I appreciate it.

     

    Doug

    I'm confused. I thought you already had the factory towing option. So, you have to install the hitch and the 4-wire harness in addition to the other 3-wire components and brake controller too? If so, the price you mentioned earlier is beginning to sound real good if done correctly. If you decide to tackle the project yourself make sure you get a factory compatible 4-wire harness if not already equipped. Also make sure the cable running under the vehicle is properly shielded.

  18. No, I haven't. I do know that I have the factory towing option on my 2007 Toyota RAV4. However, if you have a Toyota dealer do the work they charge even more. I'm not sure why, but I think it has to do with the wiring for some reason. One would think that with the towing option, a lot of the necessary wiring would already be in place, but I'm not at all sure it is.

    Does the factory towing option include a 4 or 7 pin connector? I assume you have the V6?

  19. Does anyone know what a reasonable price would be to install a Prodigy break controller in a Toyota RAV4? I was told by a well known Austin, TX hitch hitch installer that it took an hour and a half to two hours and would cost $140 to $175.

     

    That sounds high to me. What do you folks think?

    Depends if you already have the 7-wire setup (power for controller & aux., lights, etc.) in place and all that needs to be installed is the brake controller itself. If that's the case I would agree that it's high. But if they have to do all of the wiring from scratch or possibly convert a 4-wire setup to 7-wire then the price seems reasonable. I think it also depends on the quality of the work. There is a real opportunity to cut corners with some sloppy work. A quality installation takes a little more time and money. Have you specified exactly how you want the work done?

  20. This is part of a post by Denise Castro, Oliver Representative, in another thread.

     

    "... Our Classic trailer actually sells for $25,750 until we have set up a dealer in your area....

    ONCE WE HAVE SET UP A DEALER IN YOUR AREA, THIS OFFER WILL BE NO LONGER IN EFFECT

     

    I'm not sure this is a good thing. Thoughts anyone?

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