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Everything posted by KenB

  1. I work on a lot of small engines and motorcycles professionally and as a hobby. Here in Minnesota they get stored for an extended period annually. The number #1 reason they won’t run in the spring is a gummed up carburetor due to evaporated gasoline, especially ethanol. If you’re a non mechanic, consider sinking $20-$30 on a brand new carburetor. They’re cheap on Amazon, eBay, and small engine sites. You’ll spend hours unsuccessful attempting to clean/test/clean/test your old carb and you’ll still end up buying a new one. I have an ultrasonic cleaning bath, chemicals, tools, and experience and I spend very little time cleaning carbs anymore because the new ones just bolt right on and off the engine fires. Take lots of pictures of the linkage routing. Unbolt the old carb, bolt on the new one. It’s going to take longer to find which one to order than actually replace it. HTH. Ken
  2. I’ve got the same image with my wife and I in our 2013 Land Cruiser! We’re in the red one on the left side of the photo. Also drove the Million Dollar Highway with the E II. Wouldn’t have been too bad except when a diesel pusher took up some of my lane while going around a corner. Thought he was going to force us into a rock overhang.
  3. In addition to cold air, plan on mosquitoes too. I was up late one night trying to find where they were coming in when I noticed one fly out from behind the refrigerator face trim plate. I taped up the opening inside, swatted the rest of her buddies, then went back to bed. Next day I pulled the outside refrigerator cover off and found a bunch of the foil tape had come off in the heat. It’s not only cold air that can blow in through the openings. Bugs will be attracted to the heat and refrigerator combustion gases and eventually end up inside with you too.
  4. It’s not a leak, it’s condensation. The area of condensation is roughly in the profile of a body. I’ve tracked down leaks that landed under the mattress before. It’s not that. Last night was another data point. No rain. Indoor recording thermometer registered a low of 67 degrees inside the camper. Roof vent running on low all night. Fan on night stand running on medium all night. The window next to the bed wide open. Blinds open. Dinette window wide open. I slept in the street side bed. There was condensation under my mattress this morning. I’m certain that if I moved to the curb site mattress tonight I’d have condensation under that mattress on that side instead. It’s not a leak. We used to have a hybrid camper with tip out bunks on the end. With nothing but cool air under the bunks when set up, that setup was a condensation capturing machine. The Oliver comparatively captures a fraction of the condensation. My point is that even the standard cushions will allow condensation to form under them nearly year round for me. It’s not limited to the latex mattresses. Ours are the standard cushions. HTH, Ken
  5. I have the standard mattress with a topper over it and have problems with condensation underneath. It's not just restricted to latex mattresses. Minnesota fall camping is worst for under mattress condensation, but it can occur anytime when the conditions are right. Cool hull and several blankets on top of me holding in moisture seem to make it most likely to occur. When I'm solo I sleep on the curbside of our twin bed E2. The water heater and furnace (if its cool enough to run it) under the bed keep the fiberglass under the mattress warm enough to keep the condensation under control. Water has condensed on the wall a few times next to me while sleeping, but nothing like the regular condensation I get under the mattress. Update- Just went out and lifted the mattress after camping last night. There is condensation underneath. Temps were in the high 60's-low70's Roof vent fan was running on low all night. One window cracked. One light blanket half on me. Top and bottom sheet. Rained yesterday afternoon. I need to put an old camping mat under the mattress and give that a try. So it's not just the latex mattresses. My 2018 also has regular issues.
  6. Here is the board I used. There are two styles of this board; one with a blade connector for the igniter, and one with a stud connector for the igniter. For my 2018 I got the one with the blade. They are available from many suppliers, including Amazon. HTH, Ken (Out camping right now. Enjoyed a warm shower just this morning.)
  7. Last season our Suburban water heater didn't always light on the first try, or even second. Once from inside I heard it light with a startlingly loud WOOF! Not good. On the second trip this season it quit working altogether. This past week I started troubleshooting and found that they aren't that hard to work on. This is what I found. I checked the gas supply by trying the stove and furnace. Both worked, so it's not a gas supply issue. Watched and listened for the gas valve to open and the igniter to cycle. I could hear at least one of the gas valves clunk open and could see the igniter try to spark. I pulled the orifice and orifice tube expecting to find a spider web or mud dauber nest like I did in a previous camper's refrigerator. All clean, so not the issue. There is a high and low temp cut off switch. Neither was tripped. I don't believe the water heater will cycle the ignition circuit if either are faulty or tripped. Mine was still trying to light, so I didn't think this was the issue. On-line reading said to suspect the coils on the gas valve. There are two side-by-side. Both need to open. They are redundant for safety. A local RV/Propane service shop gave me some used coils out of their junk box to try. Swapped out the coils. Still didn't work, coils were not the issue. Early on I should have tried lighting the gas coming out of the orifice tube with a camp butane lighter as the furnace went through its ignition cycle. Finally did. Lit just fine. This would have eliminated any issues with the gas valve, coils, orifice, and orifice tube from my trouble shooting. Learn from my mistake and don't jump ahead too fast. By now I notice a weak to non-existent spark. Early on I thought it might be weak, but now it's not even present. I now believe the spark got weaker as the ignition board warmed up during testing and cycling. All that was left in the ignition circuit to eliminate was the spark igniter and the igniter circuit board. I ordered a both spark igniter and a Dinosaur Igniter board (Model # UIB S w/spade connector) off of Amazon. Since it was the least expensive and the easiest to get at, I Installed the new spark igniter first. Still no love. Unplugged old board, plugged in the new Dinosaur board, turned on the heater switch, the water heater fired right up. The igniter board was bad. Old board wasn't hot, but was warmer than expected. One of the traces on the old board looked a little warm around one of the transistors. I'll have to look it over under a magnifying glass when I get a chance. Might be good for a spare if I can fix it. The existing cover won't fit over the new Dinosaur board. Dinosaur sells their own cover to fit their own boards. I'll put one on my shopping list for someday. The old board was held in with double stick tape. The new board is now in place with some VHB tape I had on hand. That's it. These aren't too complicated. Though I wasn't interested in scheduling an appointment, the local RV service center was booked 6 weeks out. Minnesota summers are short and I enjoy hot water in the camper. Maybe this will help someone else troubleshoot and save a trip to the service center. Ken (Safety disclaimer - Follow at your own risk. Beware of gas, high voltage from the igniter circuit, sharp edges on the water heater sheet metal, and the pointy end of the screwdriver.)
  8. Tractor Supply zerk shopping tip: Zerks are packaged in smaller quantities and are more expensive per piece in the tractor parts section at Tractor Supply. Zerks in the Hardware or Autos section of the same store have more per package and cost less per piece. Probably a made in USA vs made elsewhere issue. Quality may or may not follow price. I replaced most of my straight ones with angled zerks. Much better for avoiding contortions under the trailer.
  9. I bought a Caframo heater that I should have tried to take back, but it was too late. The grease/oil used in the fan bearings don’t like temps lower than about 40 degrees. The armature won’t turn when it’s cold. Kinda defeats the purpose of buying a heater that won’t work because it’s too cold.
  10. I’ve been out to the Black Hills area several times with an RV and a tent. The closer you get to Mount Rushmore, the more valuable campsites become. If you’re planning on staying in the Hill CIty or Keystone area and want an electric site, it’s going to be in a privately owned park with sites shoulder to shoulder. It’s going to be expensive and its going to be crowded. Just accept that given. If you don’t want electricity, or you’re willing to drive from further away, things open up. Angostura Reservoir is a BIG campground to the south. We practically had the whole place to ourselves one time. Unfortunately its a long drive to everywhere. Not much shade, but you can get an electric site. Pactola Reservoir had some nice sites, but most were in the trees and would be tough if you were expecting to run solar. I don’t think there were electric sites. Spearfish Campground is at the north end of the Hills and is run by the city. A trout stream runs through it along with a historic trout hatchery. Walking distance to restaurants. If I’m going to camp near others, this campground was a good compromise for me. No input on Custer State Park other than plan ahead. I wasn’t able to ever snag a reservation. The Black Hills in July is a busy area. Highly consider a reservation. Take your time, there is lots to see. And everything is spread out. Twice I’ve made the mistake of putting too much drive time into the trip. The roads are twisty and herds of buffalo take their time blocking roads. HTH, Ken
  11. I can confirm that the state park north of Ouray has daily site fees, vehicle fees, and coin operated showers. We stayed there for a week during the summer of 2019 while attending a Land Cruiser event based out of Ouray. This is a photo of the view out of our Oliver door.
  12. When I picked up our new trailer we had to go back to Oliver the next day for refrigerator service. There were hours of idle time just waiting around for service. While chatting with the employee who did the walk through the previous day, I was asked if I’d lowered the tire pressure yet. I told him I had. He nodded, smiled, and said “Good”. Don’t worry about lowering your tire pressure at pickup. I believe it’s expected that the new owner will do this as their very first trailer personalization.
  13. Welcome from another Minnesota Oliver. I’m in the Stillwater area. Looks like you were on the North Shore. I’m going to guess Tettegouche State Park since it looks like Palisade Head in the background. Nice job scoring a North Shore campsite at the peak of leaf watching! Hope to see you around. Off the top of my head we’ve had our Oliver to Tettegouche, Temperance River, Interstate, Flandrau, Blue Mound, and Bear Head Lake State Parks since buying in 2018. The avatar picture of my wife and I was taken standing on the lake shore at Temperance River. During the summers of 2005-2009 I took our two boys to all 70 (at the time) State Parks in MN. It was a fun challenge. You’ve put up some really nice posts today. Well done! Ken
  14. Easily. Even in 90 degree temps I think you could hang meat inside. The issue is the noise from the AC. Kicking in an out during the night isn’t very restful. We shut it off whenever possible. The ability to control humidity is what we enjoy the most.
  15. Here are a couple of field-trails-wanabees that love to travel in our Elite II. They’re English Setters for the non-bird dog audience. We hunt ruffed grouse together.
  16. I use mine all the time. With two dogs, something always needs cleaning or rinsing off outside. Sometimes when the weather is nice and we’re boondocking in a private spot, I’ll take a shower or wash up outside so I don’t have to prep or wipe down the bathroom or dry the shower curtain. I found a suction cup shower head holder on-line. I stick the holder on the outside of the camper so I can have two free hands. Works great. The one improvement I’d like is to add a longer hose. The stock hose is too short. Also wish I could close the basement door once the outside shower is set up. I’ve gone to bed several nights with the basement door still open. Someone posted a how-to on adding an outside shower privacy curtain to an Oliver, so others are showering outside too. I use the outside shower often.
  17. I agree with this. All the other bits and pieces are just nice to have. Everything you might have forgot or didn’t know you wanted can be purchased at Tractor Supply or Walmart just a minute or two drive from your pickup. All you absolutely need is payment and proof of insurance if you paid for the trailer via a secured loan. If you’re paying with cash, I don’t know if proof of insurance is required by law in TN or not.
  18. Yes, A B50 MX would be a good find. I haven’t run across any for sale at a reasonable price, so I scratched the itch with a ‘69 Triumph 250 single. It was sold by Triumph dealers, but is just a rebadged BSA. I bought it more than 25 years ago and it’s been sitting in the back of the garage. This spring when I was stuck home in isolation I brought it to the front and got it road worthy. My intention was to sell it off and roll the money into upgrades for everything else, but it’s been so fun to ride around town I might keep it. It turns head where ever it goes, it’s easy to push around, and sounds great. (Yes, I see the oil drip under it, I missed parking it over a piece of cardboard) If I could only figure out how to bring this along with the Oliver when it’s being towed by the Land Cruiser. Every option I’ve come up with is too risky, or too heavy. Can’t bring everything.
  19. Never owned an Eldorado, but did own a brand new Moto Guzzi V65 for awhile in the 90’s. Bought it from a Honda dealer when they absorbed another Honda dealership that also carried Moto Guzzi. The new Honda dealer just wanted it gone. I heard they had a Guzzi on the floor and went in hoping for a LeMans or an SP. Salesman begged me give them an offer. I didn’t really want a 650, so I offered about 30% of what I thought it was worth, and they took it! Ran that bike for several years before selling it on consignment at the local Moto Guzzi dealer. Made ALL my money back on that one including parts, tires, insurance, and gas. It was free transportation for at least 10k miles. Rode it to a few State and National Moto Guzzi rallies. Even after I sold it I continued to be the ‘Guy on the Norton’ at the Moto Guzzi rallies. The Moto Guzzi people are a nice crowd.
  20. My ‘75 Norton Commando 850 Roadster that I’ve owned since 1990 is pictured below. It often pains me to drive the Land Cruiser and tow the Oliver over some of the many great motorcycle riding roads we’ve been on, especially out West. Often makes me want to trade off the Land Cruiser for a pickup so I can bring along one of the bikes. Haven’t been down the Dragon yet, but have put lots of miles on many other nice roads. Current stable. ‘75 Norton Commando, ‘75 Triumph T160 Trident, ‘74 Triumph T150 Trident, ‘69 BSA Rocket III, ‘77 Triumph Bonneville, ‘69 Triumph Trail Trophy 250.
  21. Open the back flow prevention valve, the handle on the wall next to the toilet. Hth. Ken
  22. Dug around tonight and found a set of 2018 printed brochures. Not in there. Must have been on line in 2017 or earlier where I saw the alternate Elite I layout. Ken
  23. I’d need to dig deep, but I remember this too and might even have a brochure. We didn’t start looking at Olivers until 2017. I suspect 2017 was the last year, or maybe 2018, of getting that floor plan on an Elite I. It looked like a nice setup for a single person. I’ve never seen it in person.
  24. Yes! You must be a Scout too. I’m actually typing this from the dinette in our Oliver while parked for a few days in a Scout camp. They called for alumni who were willing to bring a tent or a camper and be self-sufficient to come to camp to help train staff, cut grass, and generally help out before the campers arrive next week. The physical distancing aspect is being taken very seriously. Camp is going to be a different experience for everyone this year. The talk of Lakehead Boat Basin has me thinking that my wife and I should head up for a few days. Did you go or make reservations yet? How difficult was it to get a spot? Thanks, Ken
  25. Absolutely! We were in the area, so I stopped with my wife to show her where our boys and I had been backpacking. I went once as a youth years ago, and once as an adult with my oldest son a few years back. Youngest son went with his troop. Hope you were able to get out on the trail yourself. The property is quite an asset in many ways for the Scouting program.
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