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dhaig

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  1. In preparation for delivery of our LEII in January, 2022, I have been researching many accessories I expect we will need, including generators. I have seen many recommendation of the Honda 2000/2200 watt generators and acknowledge their reputation for reliability, durability and quiet operation. I also see the appeal of running a generator on propane to avoid the hazard of hauling gasoline and maintenance issues associated with gumming in the carburetor. The dual fuel generators, such as the from 2500 watt Champion, look very appealing, especially since they cost ~$575, with no conversion kit required and a 3 year warranty. I acknowledge they are not as quiet as the Honda generators. I have read a number of favorable reviews of the Champion generators, including by Oliver owners here on the forum. However, the cost comparison is heavily in favor of the 2500 watt Champion. A Honda 2200i costs at least $1050, plus ~$270 for a propane conversion kit, for a total of about $1320, and the loss of the Honda warranty. I acknowledge the Champion does not have the long reputation of the Honda, but I could buy two of the 2500 watt Champion generators and still be ahead $170. I could also purchase two of the 2500 watt Champions AND the parallel kit be ahead approximately $100 versus the Honda 2200i + propane conversion kit. Having two of the 2500 watt Champions and the parallel kit could also provide backup for critical residential loads during power outages. I live in Dallas, TX. I expect to see MORE power outages over the next few years. Can someone provide a compelling argument why I should buy a Honda generator and a propane conversion kit?
  2. We have ordered a 2022 LEII and were also asked if we would like an earlier delivery date. This opportunity arose in connection with the introduction of the Platinum Solar option, which we declined. We were being asked if we would consider trading delivery dates with someone ahead of us in the queue, who might want the Platinum Solar option, not available until October, 2021. One significant advantage I see in the 202 model LEII is the no-lube Dexter axles. I was told this feature would be available only on the 2022 models. Thus, I declined the possibility of an earlier delivery date, and held to our January 7, 2022 date. Avoiding the PITA of having to clean and pack wheel bearings every year seems worth the wait.
  3. When on our factory tour on March 18, we were told Oliver has discontinued the graphics, except for the front of the trailer. We chose a color combination for the standard Oliver logo graphic. I don't know the effective date of this change, but it certainly applies to 2022 models. My understanding is the model year changes in October.
  4. We were fortunate to have an excellent vantage point for viewing the most recent solar eclipse on 8/21/17 at the home of my brother-in-law & sister-in-law in Simpsonville, SC, near Greenville. They hosted an eclipse party on several acres in front of their house. Shooting conditions were excellent, except for temperature in the mid-90s. I collaborated with my wife's nephew to photograph the eclipse using Solar Eclipse Maestro software to control exposure settings and shutter release on two Canon full frame DSLR cameras. The shoot was not fully automated, as we manually tracked the Sun/Moon to keep them centered as much as possible in the frame. The manual tracking proved to be challenging, as we were using 150-600mm Sigma lens mounted on ball heads. We prepped the software for several weeks prior to the event and conducted numerous dry runs. The exposure settings to shoot all of the events which occur during a solar eclipse must be changed multiple times, often within very short periods. We were pleased with the results and learned many lessons for the next solar eclipse. For anyone interested in photographing the 2024 eclipse, I am happy to share lessons learned and list of Internet resources useful for preparation. Send me a PM if interested. Anyone interested can view a gallery of 33 images covering all phases of the 2017 solar eclipse at: https://jdhddh.smugmug.com/Photography-General/Photography-DDH/2017-Solar-Eclipse/ We live in Dallas, which will be within the Path of Totality for the 2024 solar eclipse. Unfortunately, we do not have space to accommodate any guest Oliver trailers. I am concerned that large trees on and near our property may obscure our view. I have not yet taken the time to check the azimuth and elevation details to determine if tree blockage will be an issue. April weather in Dallas is usually excellent. However, as mentioned above, thunderstorms can interfere.
  5. We have just ordered an LEII, and currently have 1/7/22 delivery date. I also like your mod and hope you will share construction details. I also contemplate mounting a Lagun table using the design by Overland, mounted under a bed rail.
  6. If you are looking for an app to record all sorts of miscellaneous information, I recommend Evernote. See www.evernote.com. The free version is quite capable. There are versions for all popular platforms, including WIndows/Mac/iOS/Android. There are also web clipper plugins for all major browsers, which enable quickly saving of webpages, or portions of webpages. Multiple notebooks can be created with unlimited notes in each. The search capabilities are good and keywords are also supported. Evernote is cloud based and capable of syncing to multiple heterogeneous devices. The premium (paid) version add capabilities, but I recommend first trying the free version. I have been saving info found on the Oliver forums in Evernote to be able to categorize useful information I might use in future.
  7. I second the SeaDawg's recommendation of Shoe Goo. Several times while traveling, my wife has had sections of hiking boots or walking/running shoes come loose and flap around. Shoe Goo does an excellent job re-attaching the loose parts. I also experimented with various clamps, but have settled on using thick rubber bands stretched across the area being glued. Having about 8-10 thick rubber bands will provide the capability to fix nearly any area of a shoe. Carrying a batch of rubber bands around is also much easier than C-clamps and other tools. Also handy to have available is a roll of blue painter's tape. The tape can be used to mask of areas of a shoe to protect from spread of Shoe Goo.
  8. Susan, Since my postings in May, I did more research on towing with a BMW X5 35d, including the Bimmer Forums for which you provided a link. I found a number of cases where owners of similar vehicles were successfully towing loads similar to an Oliver LEII. Best of all, though, I connected through the Oliver forum with the owner of an LEII, using an X5 35d at TV. We have had several conversations in which I posed many questions. As a result of these conversations, I am inclined to use our X5 35d to tow an LEII, when we are ready. However, due to the pandemic, we have not proceeded to place an order for an LEII. We will continue to wait to do so until there is clear evidence we could travel safely. In the meantime, I continue to follow the forum discussions, which I find very informative. I have seen your posts and am aware you have ordered an LEII. I am sure you will enjoy it. We were in Portland in March, 2017 for a ceramic arts conference, then spent a week hiking and photographing in the Columbia River Gorge. It is disturbing to hear of the scale and severity of the forest fires in your state. Regards, Don
  9. 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!
  10. 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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