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dhaig

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  1. Thanks to all for the warm welcomes. It is great to know there are some Ollie owners in TX, even as close as Ft. Worth. Thanks also for the comments and suggestions regarding use of our BMW X5 35d as tow vehicle for an LE II. I have spent quite a bit of time investigating the questions of towing capacity and use of WDS on this vehicle. The BMW X5 owner's manual is silent on trailer towing and WDS. I have been unable to find anything appearing to be a BMW official position on WDS, but many references to BMW recommending against use of WDS. When we purchased the X5, I installed an Invisihitch (aka Execuhitch, now out of business) which claimed towing capacity of 7,700 lbs and tongue weight up to 600 lbs. At the time, they claimed to be used by BMW in Europe as the OEM offering and meeting stricter European standards for hitches. The U.S. BMW hitch offering at the time was rated at only 6,000 lbs. Stealth Hitch is makes a very similar product and similar claims for hitch capacity (see: https://stealthhitches.com/products/x5-f15-model-year-2014-2015-2016-2017?rq=mk_bmw~md_x5~yr_2014~ly_f15-also-fits-m-sport&variant=32517249106013). I found it hard to believe BMW would build the X5 with different towing capacities for the U.S. and Europe, so differing hitch rating standards seemed a plausible explanation for the differing capacities. I had previously read of concerns about the limitations of unibody construction vs. body on frame, such as mentioned by John Davies. However, I had not until today been able to find any evidence of such occurrences. See: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=863710 This has caused me to re-consider using the X5 as tow vehicle. Several of you mentioned the hazards of towing an LE II on rough roads such as those encountered on BLM land. We have been on such roads in our X5 on a limited basis, but never towing a travel trailer. We are most likely to do as several of you suggested- set up a base station at locations close to the desired wilderness location, then drive the TV and hike to desired destinations. We are very unlikely to take the X5 without the trailer in tow on very rough "jeep roads". John Davies had suggested a truck mounted camper, but I think these are a much less desirable solution- very limited space, questionable handling and stability, clearance on poor roads, etc. I have previously owned a pickup and will likely review current offerings. Having had six years experience with the X5 diesel, I would certainly look for a diesel TV alternative with 4wd. A pickup also offers more storage options than the X5. I had been looking at options for tongue mounted or rear mounted cargo carriers for an LE II. Your recommendations of favorite destinations was a great bonus. Thanks!
  2. My wife, Jan, and I became interested in travel trailers as a means for better access to photography sites, especially in the Western U.S. We are avid photographers and have taken a number of car trips to sites in the West. We learned quickly that desirable accommodations are seldom located near the sites we wished to photograph, making it difficult to reach remote sites at the most favorable hours. My wife was not excited about my suggestion to rent an RV. We have no experience with RVs and she has generally disliked using rental cars, much less an RV we would eat and sleep in. Travel trailers seemed the most suitable, for access in parks where we had seen posted restrictions on large RVs, and providing the flexibility to establish a base of operation, with flexibility to use the tow vehicle unencumbered. Thus, a few months ago I started researching travel trailers which would suit our perceived needs. I relatively quickly identified the Oliver Legacy Elite II as a potential fit. Upon seeing photos of the LE II features, Jan responded favorably, saying it looks like an upscale sailboat with wheels. This was in her comfort zone, as her family had owned sailboats. I found the Owners Forum which has proven to be an immensely useful resource to learn about travel trailers, boondocking and related topics. Contemplating the purchase of a new LE II, I have read widely to establish a knowledge base to make informed decisions on the purchase and use. I very quickly became impressed by the sharing of information by Oliver owners, and especially the innovative solutions for adapting and using their trailers. I assembled an LE II build list and we planned to visit Hohenwald for a factory tour in late May (now). However, the coronavirus pandemic destroyed those plans. So, until travel in the U.S. becomes relatively safe again, I am continuing to investigate details about how we would equip and use an LE II, primarily focusing on boondocking in state and national parks, BLM land and some use of RV parks. We have a BMW X5 35d (diesel) which I believed would well suited as a tow vehicle, although I had until recently seen little mention of tow vehicles other than pickup trucks. Recently, I noticed a post by AndrewK, indicating he uses a BMW X5 35d as his tow vehicle. I sent him a personal message asking of his experience towing his LE II with his BMW. He promptly replied and generously offered to have a phone call to answer any and all questions. He confirmed the BMW was an excellent tow vehicle and provided many additional insights from his recent experience purchasing an LE II. We spent several hours on the phone, for which I am very grateful. We look forward to purchasing an LE II and meeting many owners whose handles I have come to know. I thank you for the information and hope I can contribute in future. Don Haig
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