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Everything posted by Mac

  1. We have the 2020 2500HD Duramax w/10sp trans. The more we drive (21k as of today) the more we like it, incl the controversial Chev Grill. The Duramax and 10sp are so smooth!
  2. Dropped in on my Oliver this morning for a wellness check as temps this week in Franklin, Tn will drop to near 20* a couple of nights. The furnace is working great and the batteries are staying well charged, BUT the inverter isnt working! Not good since we’re off to the gulf of Fla in two weeks. Any ideas?
  3. I want to walk back my earlier statement regarding camping in 120 degree heat, especially since i’ve never done it. What i’ve always read about what to expect from a/c performance is that they cool 20 degrees on average. That gets us “down to 100!” Perhaps parking under or next to a large shade producing object would help.
  4. Though I’ve not camped in 120 degree heat, i have in 90+ degree Alabama humidity...not pleasant w/o A/C. If you have a generator to power your A/C, and enough fuel handy to keep it (them) going, i’m guessing you should have no problem keeping your Oliver comfortable for as long as you wish. To my experience, drier air feels cooler, especially when being moved in a small space with the A/C fan.
  5. Re the Chev/Gmc ... The ride does soften but only ever so slightly, and more so under load. For what it’s worth, I was told by the Chev dealer that the z71 package (off road) is the most rigid-ride of the options. Perhaps someone would know if the off-road packages of Ram and Ford ride differently than their non off-road packages? At the end of the day, across all brands, the necessary heavier components (frame, diesel engine, trans, brakes, drivelines, axles, etc) required to give HD diesel trucks higher working margins will naturally cause them to ride far more rigidly than the ride-friendlier light duty pickup/suv. If a friendlier ride on bumpy terrain is near the top of what you value, the light duty truck would hit the mark more effectively.
  6. I have the 2020 Chev 2500HD, z71 4x4, w/Duramax and 10 spd trans. The truck’s drawbacks to me are: rigid ride but only over things like speed bumps and pot holes (Z71 off-road suspension), large hood presence makes for tighter forward view than i like, cooled seats need more cooling umph, and the rear seat climate controls and vents are too limited. The positives, in my opion are many and excellent. The diesel is smooth, powerful and quiet, especially at cruising speeds. The steering feel and responsiveness is calibrated very well, as is the way the vehicle tracks on the road. The ride is very smooth. The technology, though not the latest in some respects works. The multiple camera views work great. The payload and towing #s are excellent with a lot of margin. I’m not saying that the gas options wont get the job done, but having towed and hauled with both gas and diesel, when it comes to getting the vehicle that will have no issues with any of it, i’m guessing you’d be quite happy with any of the big 3’s HD (diesel) options. They are all amazing. Besides all the great features on all these trucks, for me it came down to loving the look of the Chevy grill (seriously), the recent major updates to the Duramax engine, the 10 sp trans, and how planted and correctly calibrated it feels at the steering wheel.
  7. For sure we went overkill. Considered the 3-8” chain at about half the price (and weight) and it would have done the trick, but doubt we’ll regret experiencing the extra peace of mind from amped security of the 1/2” chain. Two generators, two bikes and propane equipment, etc, would be a hassle to replace. As noted, the lock wasnt inexpensive either, but necessary to complete the system.
  8. Seriously, depends on chain length. We went with 30’ so theres plenty of room to secure several things. The chain is over 50 lbs!
  9. Seriously, depends on chain length. We went with 30’ so theres plenty of room to secure several things. The chain is appx 50 lbs.
  10. While nothing is entirely theft proof, when camping and especially boondocking in places where expensive gear is exposed, and especially vulnerable while away from the campsite (esp inverter generators), one way to heavily discourage a would-be opportunist, is a bolt-cutter proof lock and chain. Pictured is a 1/2” chain and lock. It would take a cutting wheel to break it. This chain is from Tulsa Chain. The lock is a Viro. We worry a lot less about our gear things are secured with it.
  11. As so many have said, getting the right product to meet one’s PRIMARY usage need is the issue. We primarily needed 1600 lbs load carrying capacity for our SxS and secure storage for our generators and other gear so went with the heavy DB option. As for leaks, we’ve been in many a torrential downpour without a problem BUT our Silverado 2500 HD truck bed rails are level and flat all around and the bedliner is sprayed on, insuring a level surface. In contrast, one of our Ollie friends has a new Ram 1500 with the 400 lbs DB. his bed liner doesnt set flat on his rails and compresses under the the compression of the DB clamps ... creating a dip at the clamp, and thus a makes sealing more of a challenge. With so many options, it’s a bit crazy-making, challenging and fun(?) to make THE perfect decision. One of my college professors had a good line about making decisions amongst several good options, “go with the option that makes the most sense.” You can always change your mind if something comes along that makes more sense.
  12. We also have a 2020 Silverado 2500HD and sometimes experience the same indicator readout BUT it’s not consistent. Sometimes the readout shows no problem, recognizes the Ollie, etc., and other times the readout indicates a problem. So far, the signals, trailer brakes, Ollie recognition, etc, work fine, regardless of the readout.
  13. Now that the cancelled Oliver Rally is only a few days away, i’m curious how many Ollie owners are still planning camp at Guntersville SP? We will be there Fri around noon and depart Sometime Sun am. Looking forward to meeting those who decide to camp.
  14. Forgot to comment, Re slide drawers, with the post and beam setup, the bed is open on either side of the post. However, Once the weight is off the cover, the post gets removed for full bed access. With the side rail spacers, the entire bed remains open. Suggest you talk with DB to see if they have a solution to your questions. Perhaps they can custom engineer what you need.
  15. The ramps i have from DB are High strength aluminum, with welded cleats (the ramp’s ladder) spaced every 7”. The ramp is hinged at the center and opens to a length of 12’ 4”. The ramps have 3” high “side walls” to provide rigidity for the ramp and also serve as a boundary for the tires to track within. A UTV or ATV will walks right up the ramp and onto the DB cover with no problem, and though the first few experiences felt a little precarious due to the incline of the ramp, after a while it becomes second nature. (If i had a motorcycle to tie down on the cover, i’d Remove the windshield and winch it up backwards, OR, find a loading dock to back into so the ramp would be closer to level.) my UTV is 1588 lbs and the weight compresses the DB cover to the point that the tailgate will not open. DB makes an adjustable expansion “post and beam” that gives lift to the DB cover so the tailgate opens under load. They also provide “side rail spacers” to lift the cover when under load for those that dont use the post and beam system. apologies for sounding like a DB sales rep, but i am a believer in their products, at least for my application.
  16. Susan, the exterior covers are aluminum and the Internals and hardware are either stainless steel or zinc coated steel. I’d doubt that rust would be an issue but just to be sure I’d call DB to find out more specifics and get info about how they warranty against rust. Their customer service folks, especially Jason, know their stuff and shoot straight. The black finish seems extremely durable to me and i’m pretty heavy on it with storing ramps along with the utv, but i’m sure the shining aluminum would work and look great. Again, check with DB for better info.
  17. Susan, the exterior covers are aluminum and the Internals and hardware are either stainless steel or zinc coated steel. I’d doubt that rust would be an issue but just to be sure I’d call DB to find out more specifics and get info about how they warranty against rust. Their customer service folks, especially Jason, know their stuff and shoot straight. The black finish seems extremely durable to me and i’m pretty heavy on it with storing ramps along with the utv, but i’m sure the shining aluminum would work and look great. Again, check with DB for better info.
  18. The two DB doors (front and rear are hinged at a center panel. The center panel is attached to the truck bed with clamps. Once the center panel is secure, the door panels hinge to it. The doors are removable by uncoupling the hinges. The initial install took me about two hrs, which included unboxing, lining everything up and installing. I installed it by myself and It would have gone a lot faster with two people. If you call DB, they are great with solutions to storage and rigging questions, including racks, tie downs, ramps, etc. We went with the black textured finish, seems tough as nails so far.
  19. We needed a solution for both secure storage and carrying capacity and decided on the Diamondback HD tonneau cover. It’s about as secure as it gets, has front and rear access panels, and carries 1600 lbs (Side x Side, motorcycle, etc). Extensions and loading ramps were part of the package. The setup is simple, and removes/installs easily.
  20. We are keeping our reservation and looking forward to meeting fellow Ollie folk ,,, from a distance, of course. Mac (Maridus and Connie, plus doodles Bentley and Doc)
  21. John, thank you for the safety reminders. Traveling through the open county in broad daylight (in Kansas, Ut, ID and Mt) where posted speed limits of 75-80 mph were common, and because the Ollie tows so smoothly with the Andersen system ... I evidently got too comfortable and anxious to put miles in the rear view and pushed it a bit. I didnt imagine that 5-10 mph would make that much difference for the LT Michelins on the Ollie but safety thresholds exist for a reason. Steve, thanks for the encouragement on the truck. I’ve had several great 1/2 ton gassers over the years, but the HD 2500 diesel is in a different category. It’s more truck than I need but now that it’s the reality I don’t regret the extra margin it creates. Rear passenger (Dog(s) space isn’t as nice as the SUV but they’ll adjust. Added a couple of dog beds and rigged a Velcro system to keep them from sliding on the seats ... now need something thin to keep the seat backs clean. Btw, for cargo capacity and management, decided on an aluminum “Diamondback” cover. It definitely inclined toward work-grade over cosmetics. The setup seems durable at handling weight (1600 lbs) and also claims decent security. Time will tell.
  22. John, you’re too technically sophisticated for me! But I really like that about the things you share. The Seq was a 2019 Platinum 4X. We loved much about it. It could have worked had I wanted to “live with some of its drawbacks. I drove always in “tow/haul mode, and some in manual mode, but @ 75 mph the high revs and low mpg were a bit much. Like I said, <200 miles per tank meant constant eyes on the distance to the next gas station. A couple of time we cut it too close between fillips. Another major issue was the constant loading of and unloading of gear. We are looking fwd to having a place to secure things we’re not using and keep them out of the way. all said, we are learning as we do more traveling, and being less technically minded (dumb) means my learning curve is a little longer (and more expensive!). on another note, Power management with generators, solar, age batteries is something I’d like to talk about with someone at the rally in Sept.
  23. Our Sequoia seemed a great All-around vehicle to haul us, or two 65 lbs dogs, the Ollie and various kinds of gear ... (the Ollie also functioned as The cargo carrier for generators, tables, chairs, etc... so it was a regular cycle of packing/unpacking that became a little monotonous on the stop and go overnighters. After 6000 miles from our home in Tn out West (Ks, Ut, Id, Wa, Mt, Wy, SD, Ne, Mo) we grew increasingly dissatisfied with the towing experience of the Seq. Previously we’d done flatland towing, within Tn and to Fl so all seemed great. We loved the roominess, ride and reliability of the Toy, but once we started dealing with elevation, the engine, trans, gear ratio combo made for constant shifting (constant is an understatement) and became so annoying that we almost traded it in while out on the road. (The Seq has a low tow rating of 7100 lbs but with the Andersen hitch stability was never an issue from the standpoint of driving stability.) The transmission overheating warning light also came on once while backing up a 100’ slope. Mpg was also disappointing, from 6-11 depending on elevation and speed. We literally had to fill every 200 miles to be safe and not run out of fuel. Our solution was definitely overkill but after looking at the big three American options we decided to go Silverado, Z71 4X, 2500HD Duramax with the 10sp Allison trans. It’s a long term play as we’re hoping Ollie builds a slightly larger trailer in a few yrs (as we RV for longer stretches a little more interior space will be welcome). The downsides of the pickup are several... way less interior space for the dogs, a lot more rigid/solid ride and less space for gear we want to have in the vehicle, but from a camping standpoint way more functional storage capacity in the bed and a much better towing experience. As others have said, the pull is so effortless you don’t even know the trailer is there.
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