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Everything posted by dhaig

  1. I second the recommendation to contact a Truma authorized service provider. One such provider was key to resolving the problem I encountered with Truma WH not starting up. I would pursue phone and/or email contact w/Truma service provider before traveling to wherever the closest provider is located. Given your relatively remote location in NE Maine, the nearest service provider may be far away. I do not know of anything specific to check on the Truma WH accessible via under bed hatches. I assume you have verified it has power. Good Luck Don
  2. This may or may not be relevant to the current situation. In May I encountered a problem with our Truma Water Heater, which would not startup following a period of storage. See: In our case, I don't recall hearing any indication from the Truma Water Heater that it was trying to light. The link above includes instructions which resolved the issue.
  3. My wife and I took delivery of Hull 990 on 2/17/22. There were very heavy rains in the area of Hohenwald the week we were there, or relatively nearby. The third or fourth night following delivery we were staying at David Crockett State Park, near Hohenwald. We discovered water was leaking in from the street side window by the bed, causing the cushion and bedding to get wet. We called Oliver Service and returned to Hohenwald for the problem to be addressed. We were notified our trailer was fixed and ready to go in slightly over 2 hours after dropping it off. When I inquired for details of the cause of the leak, I was told the window vendor had failed to apply butyl caulk to the fasteners in the window frame. OTT Service had applied butyl caulk to the fasteners and conducted a water leak test. This action appears to have addressed the issue, as we have not observed any further leaks around the windows. Oliver provided the service without charge to us, as a warranty claim. Don
  4. To my knowledge, GasBuddy is the reigning champ of apps to find the lowest price fuel. We have used it for many years and find it very easy to use. You can specify the type of fuel you required, including diesel. We search ahead when on road trips and plan our purchases to get near the lowest price without significant departure from our route. It is available for iPhone/iPad and Android devices, as well as a browser based website. GasBuddy relies on crowdsourcing for updates on prices.
  5. Regarding the cracked rubber shock bushings, those on our 2022 LEII show similar cracks. I noticed their condition the first time I went under the trailer to look for the Zero grease fittings. Our Hull 990 was delivered 2/17/22 and now has had approximately 3000 miles of use. In such limited time and use, I would expect the bushings to be dirty, but not significantly cracked.
  6. @Wildbrew, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, I cannot claim full credit for the external towel rack. I expanded on the idea from @Calypso, who made a single rod towel rack using a pair of suction cups. I see your idea as a general solution for mounting shelves inside an Oliver trailer, or outside. Your shelf caused me to think of making one for our 2 slice toaster oven, about which I posted recently. Or, an external shelf to hold my beer while grilling. What is the weight of your CPAP machine? Do you leave the shelf in place, unloaded, when underway? I had previously noticed the suction cups you used from HF and had wondered how one might be used. It had not occurred to me to fasten the fixed handle to a flat surface for a shelf. Obviously, if one suction cup is not sufficient, a second could easily be added. Well done!
  7. @Townesw, Kudos on the creative solution to supporting the Sidewinder where sloping terrain near the sewer connection is encountered. I don't know where you store the long pieces of wood, but I don't have any easy storage location for what appear to be 8 foot lengths. This caused me to think of alternative supports. I recently posted about constructing an external towel bar, using ¾" PVC tubing. Since I am already carrying three pieces of ¾"x 45" PVC tubing, I can add a fourth piece and 2- ¾" couplings and I should be able to achieve an equivalent support mechanism for our Sidewinder. Thanks for the idea! )
  8. @Rivernerd, I am sorry to hear or your poor experience with Specialty Products Technologies (https://www.specialtyproducttechnologies.com) (sptech.com), the vendor for the TrailerLife odometer, manufactured by Veeder Root. IMHO, their customer service response is entirely unreasonable. I suggest you phone them at (910) 862-2511 and ask for someone in a managerial capacity to whom you can express your dissatisfaction. Regards, Don
  9. Our 2022 LEII, Hull 990, is equipped with the Lithium Pro package, which includes three Lithionics batteries. These batteries have a built-in battery management system and an iPhone/Android app which connects to the batteries via Bluetooth. I use the iPhone version, Li3 Battery, which I downloaded from the Apple App Store. The Li3 Battery app provides a great deal of information about the batteries, their charge level and general state of health. I don't know there is any additional information I could possibly need to know beyond what this app provides. Obviously you need to be within Bluetooth range, approximately 10 meters, for the app to connect with the batteries. So far, I am impressed with the capabilities to monitor the batteries.
  10. Unfortunately, no, there is not, to my knowledge, a thread on drain/weep holes. @John E Davies may be able to offer more details, especially given his experience dealing with structural elements on aircraft. My understanding is that any buildup of water within a structural element is a a potential source for failure of the structural element in the event the water freezes. Such failure is most likely to occur when the trailer is subjected to sustained sub-freezing weather. For the rear bumper and the extended support arms under my cargo carrier, I plan to drill ¼” weep holes to allow any trapped moisture to escape. Since I live in Dallas, TX,I believe the prospect of freeze damage to be relatively low. However, in February, 2021, we experienced the “Texas deep freeze”, with temperatures at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for a week. The cost or prevention is low. I will drill the weep holes, but probably not until mid-September, when the daily high temperatures are no longer near 100 deg. F. I see no downside to having the weep holes to allow the moisture to escape.
  11. Our LEII, Hull 990, was delivered in mid-February, 2022. It is equipped with CooperLT225 /75R16 Cooper Discoverer HT3 tires: https://coopertire.com/en-us/find-tires/all-tires/discoverer-ht3 Treadwear up to 50,000 miles UTQG Load index/Speed Rating- 115\112R Load Range- E1 Tread Depth- 14.5mm At delivery the tires were inflated to 55psi and had rubber valve stems. Also, none of the wheels & tires were balanced at delivery. I recently took the trailer to a local Discount Tire location and had all five wheels/tires balanced and chrome steel valve stems installed on all wheels. The cost was just $112.06, with tax. Each wheel required a significant amount of weights to achieve dynamic balance. On several occasions, when checking tire pressure, the cores of the original rubber valve stems would stick open, allowing air to escape. On some of those occasions, I was able to use a pocket knife to probe the core and get it to reseat and close. The chrome steel valve stems provide a much more substantial mount for the TireMinder TPMS sensors on each wheel.
  12. @John E Davies, great recommendation on the flat plug 2 foot extension cord for use with the toaster oven. I had forgotten we have several of these around the house for making connections behind furniture, or other cramped areas. Thanks
  13. @John E Davies and @MountainMan, We decided to forego the ejection seat option due to weight and cost considerations. The circular black switch controls the nightlights/courtesy lights at floor level, now a standard feature, at least on 2022 LEIIs. We have not yet used these lights, as the glow from the various electronic devices onboard and ambient light through the entry door window provide sufficient illumination to make our way to the head at night. Don
  14. The towel bar is from Amazon. I bought two of the 18" model, $14.98/each. The one you saw below the pantry is attached with a disk of VHB adhesive, included with the bar. The VHB comes attached to two plastic disks which slide over the ends of the suction cups. In this location I could not get the suction cups to stay attached, perhaps due to flexing of the wall of the battery box, so I resorted to using the VHB.. I installed the second bar in the shower, under the mirror. This one has stayed in place quite well using only the suction cups. I have save the two plastic disks with the VHB for the day when the suction cups no longer work. See: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JWS988Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Don
  15. Prior to delivery of our 2022 LEII in mid-February, I posed a question on the OTTO forum asking how many owners had installed odometers on their trailers, and if they had, what brand they had selected. I was surprised to learn almost no one had installed a hub odometer, with most relying on manual logs for mileage tracking I did not want to be bothered with keeping a manual log, knowing I would inevitably forget to enter tow vehicle mileage when towing our LEII. Undaunted, I began to search for a suitable hub odometer. I found few offerings for travel trailers, but did come across the TrailerLife Odometer line. On their website is a Ratio Selection Guide for determining which model odometer best matches the outside circumference of the tires on the trailer. I checked with Oliver Travel Trailers to confirm the tires to be installed on our LEII were 225/75R16 Cooper Discoverer HT3. On the Cooper Tire website I found these tires have a diameter of 29.21", a width of 8.5", mount on a 16" rim and make 710 revolutions per mile. The calculated rolling circumference= 29.21" x 3.1416= 91.73" I contacted Veeder-Root, the manufacturer of the TrailerLife odometer product line, where their tech support recommended using Model 714. They also recommended using one of their wheel center caps for a 4.25" wheel center hole for a 6 lug wheel. Otherwise, a hole must be drilled in the center of the standard Oliver hub cap to accept the mounting stud of the odometer, I placed an order for the Model 714 odometer, $84.99, and the wheel center cap, $15.99. The total was $104.56, including $3.58 for shipping. Front View Profile View The TrailerLife odometer and wheel center cap were delivered one month after I placed the order. A week or 10 days after placing the order, I called to inquire of the expected delivery date. Only then was I told the item was backordered and could be six weeks for delivery. Fortunately, I received the odometer and hubcap in time to take it with us for the LEII delivery date. On our LEII delivery date, the weather in Hohenwald was miserable, with pouring rain and cold, with temperatures in the low 20s at night. I asked Oliver to install the hub odometer, which they did during the delivery process for $20. I thought this was reasonable and was glad to have the odometer installed at the time of delivery. I asked to have the odometer installed on the street side rear wheel, since this is closest to the primary service connections and storage.. I don't believe it matters which wheel the odometer is installed on. The hub odometer now shows we have covered over 3,000 miles since delivery. I am sure the miles reported by the hub odometer are far more accurate than I would have manually recorded. Being a first time RV owner, I was (and still am) focused on learning the systems on our trailer and the procedures for using it safely. Manually recording the mileage traveled was not high on my list of priorities. I am keeping a log of our travel destinations, maintenance, modifications, etc. Don
  16. I don't recall the alligator clips. I did find an instruction sheet in the box which mentions the alligator clips. I would never have considered using them for reliable connection to a DC power supply. Either the polarity doesn't matter, or I got lucky. In any case, the signal booster works fine.
  17. We are big fans of our Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven at home. However, the size of this toaster oven precludes use in our 2022 LEII, Hull 990. We have the HighPointe EC028KD7 Convection Microwave in our LEII, which we have used a number of times since pickup in February, 2022. The convection feature works well as an alternative to a conventional oven, however, it cannot match a toaster oven for toasting bagels, bread and English muffins. Thus, I began the hunt for a small/compact toaster oven which would be used in the LEII. I searched reviews of toaster ovens recommended for RVs, on Google as well as Amazon, but all were too large, claiming capacity for 4 pieces of toast or 9 inch pizzas. Finally, I searched Amazon for a 2 slice toaster oven and the few results included this Elite Gourmet ETO236 Personal 2 Slice Countertop Toaster Oven. I ordered one which arrived a few days ago. We tested it by making several slices of toast and it did a commendable job. We have not yet tested it in our LEII, but I am confident it will provide the desired toaster oven functions. I may need to provide some heat protection for the fibergranite counters in our trailer. Below are photos showing how the Elite Gourmet toaster oven fits in an LEII. The first photo shows the toaster oven on the counter in front of the pantry, with clearance to open the pantry door. Side view on pantry counter Plugged into electrical outlet with 3 foot extension cord We purchased a pair of these 3 foot extension cords rated for 1625 watts, to power our coffee maker and other appliances with very short cords. Stored in the curb side overhead compartment The Elite Gourmet ETO236 is rated at 650 watts power consumption. I expect we can easily power this toaster oven from our lithium batteries for the 4-5 minutes required to prepare toast. Most toaster ovens require 1200-1500 watts. For $35 is looks like a good solution. Regards, Don
  18. Shortly after arriving home from our delivery trip to Hohenwald, I installed a TireMinder i10 Tire Pressure Management System (TPMS), with six sensors, a monitor and a signal booster (installed later). Four of the sensors were fitted to the valve stems of the four trailer wheels on the ground, one on the trailer spare and one to the tow vehicle spare. The sensors transmit tire pressure and tire temperature status continuously to the small monitor in the tow vehicle. The 433 MHz RF signal booster is to ensure the signals from the sensors reach the monitor. The TPMS is quite configurable and can support up to 10 sensors simultaneously. Thresholds can be user specified and the system is preconfigured to create alerts for slow leaks or catastrophic loss of tire pressure. I first mounted the sensors to all the six wheels. The sensors appeared to have no problem communicating with the monitor in the tow vehicle. I deferred about a month installing the signal booster. Mounting the sensors is quite straightforward, requiring only insertion of provided disc batteries to the sensors, then screwing the sensors onto the valve stems. I like the inclusion of a lock nut to secure the sensors to the valve stems, using a provided small wrench. TireMinder Air Pressure & Temperature Sensor TireMinder i10 Monitor On each spare wheel I added 36" long extension hoses ($11 each) and 90 degree valve stem extensions ($7/pair), based on a recommendation from @John E Davies. The TireMinder sensors are mounted to the end of the extension hoses, which are routed through the wheel spokes to the accessible side of the spares. The valve stem extensions allow the hoses to be attached to the valve stems with no danger of kinking. These accessories eliminate a huge PITA- both spares are stored with their valve stems inaccessible. The trailer spare mounts with the valve stem facing the rear wall of the trailer. The tow vehicle spare is stowed valve stem down in a well under the cargo area at the rear of the vehicle. Now the TPMS reports the tire pressure with no hassle. Even if the spares require addition of air, the access is easy, without removing the spares from their storage positions. I always intended to install the signal booster, but had not settled on the best location. The installation instructions recommend locating the signal booster on the undercarriage, toward the front of travel trailers, with the antennas pointed toward the ground. The signal booster requires 12 volts DC for operation. I searched the OTTO forum seeking information on locations chosen by Oliver LEII owners for mounting such signal boosters. I found references to mounting signal boosters within the doghouse or in one of the upper storage compartments, neither of which appeared to offer ease of connection to a 12 VDC supply. Other owners indicated they had not installed the signal booster, since the monitor seemed to reliably provide tire pressure and temperature information. While vacuuming fiberglass dust from all areas accessible under the interior access hatches, I found what appeared to be an ideal location for the TPMS signal booster. The hatch under the rear dinette seat is the location of the Progressive Industries Surge Protector, mounted to the wall on the aisle side of the compartment. Adjacent to that location is a large area of unobstructed wall. Just below the surge protector is a ground bus and on the forward wall is the rear of the DC distribution panel. I believe this is a very desirable location for the signal booster. It is located low, slightly forward of the axles, in a protected space near the needed power supply. TPMS Signal Booster Location The TireMinder Signal Booster is attached to the fiberglass wall using an Industrial Velcro Coin, which enables easy removal. TPMS 12 VDC Power Switch I chose the top of the Progress Industries Surge Protector to mount a switch to turn the 12 VDC power supply to the TireMinder Signal Booster ON/OFF. The signal booster has a green light to indicate the power is ON. The wires from the signal booster are very thin and are both black (despite the instruction manual indicating one to be red and the other black). I don't believe it matters which is +12 VDC and which is Ground (GND). I routed the wires along cables in the compartment. The pink zip ties appearing in the photos provide clues to the routing. I arbitrarily selected a position on the Ground Bus to mount one of the wires to be Ground. The other wire was routed to the rear of the DC Distribution Panel, mounted on the forward wall of the compartment. Fuse position 14 was unused, so I selected it and connected the second wire from the TireMinder Signal Booster, using a crimp-on connector. Finally, I inserted a 3 amp fuse to the front side of the DC Distribution Panel, position 14. DC Ground Bus DC Distribution Panel (Rear) DC Distribution Panel (Front) Summary Although I had encountered no problems with the communication between the tire pressure/temperature sensors and the TireMinder Monitor, I believe having the signal booster installed reduces the risk of loss of communication between the sensors and the monitor. I have been leaving the signal booster on while traveling and turning power OFF when in storage. The signal booster draws only 75mA (Transmitting) to 14mA (Inactive). I tested the range with the signal booster installed and powered ON. I was able to walk over 300 feet from the trailer with the monitor receiving signals. I have been impressed with the TireMinder TPMS system. I have not mounted the monitor in the tow vehicle, but keep it on the center console, where I can view it as desired, and also hear any alarms which may occur. I purchased the TireMinder i10 and six sensors from TechnoRV (https://www.technorv.com/) for $279.65 (no shipping and no sales tax).
  19. @John E Davies, Thanks, John, for kind words. Thanks also for reviewing and commenting on my design approach. In answer to your questions: Yes, I did write the dimensions on the wooden mockup pieces. As I mentioned in my writeup, I also took one of the original support arms to the machine shop and explained the most critical dimensions are for the horizontal holes through which the clevis pins pass to secure the arms to the receivers and the vertical slot. I had initially assumed I would need to provide dimensional drawings to the machine shop. However, when I asked if they needed drawings, they said no, the dimensions on the wooden mockups and having the original support arm were sufficient. Thanks for reminding me to drill drain holes! I had planned to do so, largely from reading some of your write-ups. I agree with the need for them. This is relatively easy to do with the support structure in place. I composed the article initially using the Safari browser interface for Gmail on my MacBook Pro M1 laptop (MBP). I used Gmail because I am very familiar with its behavior, particularly the autosave function. I had to break the article into two draft emails when I reached the 25 MB limit of Gmail, after which it loads images to Google Drive. I wanted the images kept in place in the text flow. Once I completed composition and proofreading I copied the contents of both draft emails into a new topic page in the owners forum. Not having previously composed a long article directly in the new topic page, I was concerned about possible loss of content before completion. All of the photos were taken with my iPhone 13 Pro Max, which automatically stores the images in Apple's Photos/iCloud. I created a smart collection in the Photos using keywords, to make it easier to see all of the related photos together. I selected photos for inclusion in the article and exported them as JPEGs to the Downloads folder on my MBP. I used Apple's Preview app on my MBP to do some minor cropping of the photos and used the annotation features to add arrows, circles and text. I got lazy and used a grey filled rectangle to mask the license plate in a few photos, rather than take the photos into Photoshop for a more elegant edit. The Preview app is surprisingly robust. I do not know of any comparable utility in the Windows or Android worlds. I have previously used Window PCs extensively, but the Android world is foreign to me. I suspect you use a similar annotation process, having seen many of your annotated photos. Finally, yes, posting informative articles is time consuming. I spent most of the day yesterday drafting and editing. I also found I needed to take a few more photos yesterday, in addition to those taken during work on the project. I also had to confirm some measurements and materials details. I have benefitted significantly from reading your well crafted articles and those of many other contributors to the forum. I feel an obligation to contribute. Regards, Don
  20. Summary I have installed a rear mounted cargo carrier, with lights, to our 2022 Oliver Legacy Elite II (LEII) travel trailer. We recently completed a two week, ~2000 mile trip, using the cargo carrier, which performed flawlessly. Below are photos of the installed cargo carrier, which are followed by a detailed description of its installation. Storage Constraints Prior to ordering our Oliver Legacy Elite II (LEII) travel trailer I knew we would need additional storage space on the trailer. We are using a 2014 BMW X5 35d (diesel) as our tow vehicle, rather than a pickup truck. Thus, we could not plan to use the pickup bed for supplemental storage. We also needed to stay within the tow vehicle's cargo capacity of 1100 lbs and maximum tongue weight of 600 lbs.. Expecting a tongue weight of approximately 500 lbs. plus two occupants at approximately 300 lbs, we could only accommodate a maximum of 300 lbs. of other cargo. The available payload will be partially used by our camera gear, which must be protected from exposure to moisture. A tongue mounted cargo carrier was not viable, given the tongue weight limit for the tow vehicle. Storage Requirements I anticipated needing additional storage space for the following items: Champion Dual Fuel Generator- 2500 watt (~45 lbs.) (too large for basement storage) Napoleon TravelQ™ 285 Portable Propane Gas Grill and hose (~35 lbs.) (too large for basement storage) Anderson Ultimate Leveling kit (~25 lbs) Harbor Freight rubber chocks (4) (~20 lbs.) Camco Stabilizer Jack Supports (3) (~10 lbs.) Miscellaneous accessories All of these items can tolerate some exposure to moisture, which is likely when stored in any external cargo carrier. A closed and reasonably secure cargo carrier was needed. Searching the owners' forum, I found examples of rear cargo carriers/bike racks and found several examples, including: Oliver's original bike rack design using twin receivers and extending approximately 3 feet beyond the rear bumper; Various rear mounted metal cargo boxes, including custom designs; Rear mounting of an Oliver tongue cargo box by John E. Davies. I also looked extensively at aluminum cargo boxes from various manufacturers, trying to find options which could accommodate the cargo items listed above. I already owned a cargo carrier which we had used on the BMW X5 tow vehicle. This carrier has a heavy steel swing-away frame which mounts to a standard 2" receiver. Mounted on the steel frame are a polypropylene tray and an enclosed container with 13.5 cubic foot capacity. The tray and enclosed container interlock. This cargo carrier also is equipped with fully functional lights (running, brake, turn, flasher). Interlocking pins on the enclosed container mate with the tray. Locking latches secure the container to the tray. Solution Approach I decided to re-use the polypropylene tray and enclosed cargo container, but not the heavy steel frame. Instead, I would use a design similar to the original Oliver bike rack. I ordered the current optional Oliver bike rack when we placed our LEII order, planning to utilize some, but not all, of its components. The current Oliver rear hitch (photo below) utilizes twin receivers that are 11" long, constructed to receive 2" x 2" X 0.25" (wall thickness) T6061 aluminum square tube support arms, which are 17 inches long. The receivers are each mounted to the LEII frame by two long 0.5" diameter stainless steel bolts and nuts. The other components of the rack are a 2" x 5" x 0.25" T6061 aluminum cross-member, 51-1/8" long (with end caps), and a 1-1/4" receiver for connecting a bike rack. I planned to use the twin receivers, and the cross-member, but not the support arms, nor the 1-1/4" receiver. Instead, I would replace the 17" long original support arms with longer equivalents, whose length was to be determined. I would utilize the original 2" x 5" x 0.25" T6061 aluminum cross-member and add another cross member, this one 2" x 2" x 0.25" T6061 aluminum, also 51-1/8" inches long with end caps. The cross members would be bolted to the support arms, in the same manner as on the Oliver rear hitch. The tray and enclosed container from my existing cargo carrier would be mounted to the cross-members. Note the clevis pins circled in the photo below, there are two 0.50" diameter horizontal clevis pins securing the support arms in their receivers. Each clevis pin has a washer on either side of the receiver. Removing the clevis pins permits the support arms to be pulled to the rear, enabling removal of the spare tire cover and spare tire without dismount the support arms. Solution Model A critical dimension to be determined was the length of the 2" x 2" x 0.25" support arms. The new support arms need to be long enough to: Support the polypropylene tray and enclosed cargo box and attach using the molded mounting holes in the tray; Allow the lid of the enclosed cargo box to open without striking the spare tire cover; Permit removal of the spare tire cover and spare tire without removing the cargo carrier and support frame; Permit access to waste water hoses stored behind the bumper; Minimize the additional length of the cargo carrier and support frame to the LEII's length. I fabricated 2" x 2" wooden support arms, approximately 40" long. Using woodworking equipment, I cut slots into one end of each support arm to fit around the bolts holding the twin receivers to the frame. I also drilled horizontal holes for the clevis pins which retain the support arms in the receivers. Positioning the Cargo Carrier on the Cross-members The wooden support arms were inserted into the twin receivers and secured with the clevis pins. Then the 2" x 5" x 51.125" T6061 cross-member was placed across the support arms near the bumper. The additional 2" x 2" x 51.125" wooden cross-member, was also placed across the support arms, but further from the bumper. Clamps were used to hold the cross-members in place on the support arms. The polypropylene tray and enclosed container, latched together, were positioned on the cross-members, centering both to the trailer's width. I opened the lid of the enclosed container and adjusted the spacing (fore and aft) between the lid and the spare tire cover to ensure they did not contact each other. Once I had located the joined tray and enclosed container in what appeared to be a desirable position, I adjusted the positions of the cross-members fore and aft to establish alignment with the mounting holes in the tray. The 2" x 5" cross-member engages two mounting holes on each side of the tray. The 2" x 2" cross- member engages only one mounting hole on each side of the base of the tray. Six 5/16" carriage bolts will fasten the tray to the cross-members. Only four carriage bolts attached the tray to its original steel support frame. I used a mason's string stretched across the width of the tray with weights on either end to aid in aligning the mounting holes in the tray with the positions of the cross-members. I also used carpenter's squares to verify the cross-members were perpendicular to the support arms. Another check of squareness was made by measuring the distance from the trailer bumper to the cross-members. Once I was satisfied with the position of the tray and enclosed container on the support structure, I marked the locations for the holes to be drilled for the six mounting bolts to secure the tray to the cross-members. The tray overhangs the rear cross-member at the rear. With the cargo carrier tray and enclosed container in place on the clamped cross-members, I wanted to determine if the spare tire cover could be removed without removing the entire cargo carrier and support assembly. I found I could remove the clevis pins and pull the support arms aft approximately 7 inches out of the twin receivers and enable removal of the spare tire cover. With the tray and enclosed container positioned on the cross-members, I could now determine the required length of the support arms, which is 33.75 inches. The location of the rear cross-member determines the length of the support arms. After locating the mounting position of the tray and enclosed container I marked all key positions and hole locations on the wooden support arms and wooden rear cross-member. I cut the wooden support arms to the desired final length. Material Sourcing and Machining The required T6061 aluminum components required are: 2" x 2" x 0.25" x 33.75", square tube, quantity 2 (support arms), cost= $110.18 2" x 2" x 0.25" x 51.125", square tube, quantity 1 (cross-member), cost= to $99.08 2" x 12" x 0.125", flat bar, quantity 1 (to be cut into 2" squares for end caps on the support arms and rear cross-member), cost= $6.86 Sales tax= $17.83 No shipping charge. I picked up the materials at the local Metal Supermarkets warehouse Total cost= a $233.95 The above T6061 aluminum components, cut to specified length, were obtained from: Stainless steel bolts and nyloc nuts were obtained from: I was referred by Metal Supermarkets to a local machine shop: When I received the materials I took them and my wooden mockups of the support arms and cross-member to Air & Earth. I also took one of the original support arms. I discussed the machining needed: to cut the slots in one end of the support arms and to drill the needed 0.50 diameter holes for the clevis pins and mounting bolts. I also asked them to cut the 2" x 0.125" flat bar into 2" x 2" squares. I did not ask them to drill the smaller holes for mounting the cargo tray to the cross-members. I was quoted $220 and turnaround of the job within a week. They did an excellent job within the promised timeframe. Finishing and Assembly of the Support Structure After Air & Earth completed the requested machining, I performed the following finishing steps, which included: Rounding the edges of the 2" x 2" square tubing on the slotted end to be inserted into the receivers. I used a 3" wide belt sander with 100 grit sanding belts to round the corners of approximately 12" of the tube which would be inserted into the receivers . The original Oliver support arms also had the corners rounded to more easily slide within the receivers. Several trial fittings were required to verify smooth insertion and removal to/from the receivers. The support arms and the rear cross-member were sanded with an orbital sander using 200 grit disks. This sanding removed markings on the tubes and made the surface textured, similar to the Oliver rear hitch components. The support arms were inserted into their receivers and fastened with the clevis pins. The cross members were aligned with the mounting holes on the support arms and bolted into place. The cargo tray was positioned on the 2" x 5" cross-member at the previously determined mounting position and holes drilled to mount the cargo tray. Holes were then drilled in the 2" x 2" rear cross-member. Carriage bolts, flat washers and double jamb nuts were used to secure the cargo tray to the cross-members. Once all test fittings of the support assembly were completed, lithium grease was applied to the ends of the support arms which are inserted into the receivers. 2" x 2" x 0.125" caps were attached to the open ends of the support arms and the rear cross-member, similar to the end caps used by Oliver. These were attached to the square tubing using JB Weld epoxy. Cargo Carrier Lighting The cargo carrier partially blocks visibility to the taillights of the trailer, which is most noticeable when viewed from close behind the trailer. At a distance the taillights are largely visible. The cargo tray is fitted with two LED light fixtures and a wiring harness with a 4-pin flat connector. A corresponding 4-pin flat connector was installed on the LEII to integrate the lighting on the cargo carrier with the trailer lighting. Details of the installation of the 4-pin connector in the trailer are covered in a separate article. The lights on the cargo carrier ensure the trailer is quite visible from behind. A license plate mount was added to the cargo carrier tray, since the license plate mount on the spare tire cover is blocked by the cargo carrier. Lighting for the license plate mount is provided by adding a Y connector to the license plate light cable under the spare tire cover and adding an extension cable routed to the cargo tray mounted license plate mount. I also added reflective tape to the support frame members. I used the following reflective tape: https://www.amazon.com/gp/your-account/order-history/ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_search?opt=ab&search=reflective Conclusion This addition to our trailer provides significant benefits, with no significant disadvantages. It does add approximately two feet to the length of the trailer. Besides the additional storage space, the cargo carrier and its load slightly reduces the tongue weight. I measured the tongue weight, using a Sherline scale, at 450 lbs., with no water onboard. Tongue weight seems sufficient, as no swaying or other handling issues have been observed. This project had a successful outcome due largely to the information I was able to glean from the Oliver Owners Forum. I hope this information is useful to others on the forum. Comments and suggestions welcome. Regards, Don
  21. @johnwen, as I recall, the threaded end of the PVC adapter fit into the suction cup handle somewhat loosely. I don't recall having to reduce the diameter at all. The PVC cement bonding provides the greatest strength where the flange of the PVC adapter meets the cross-section of the suction cup handle. I would also recommend using a generous dose of PVC cement into the suction cup handle, where it will likely bond to the threaded end of the adapter.
  22. I had seen the posting on 4/22/21 by @Calypso showing an externally mounted towel bar on the side of Hull #520. The towel bar was made from a suction cup lifter and a piece of ¾" PVC tubing. I thought this a great idea and made one for our LEII picked up on 2/17/22. Due to nearly constant downpours in central TN the week we picked up Hull #990, we had immediate need for an external towel bar. We recently returned from a two week trip during which we also encountered several downpours. We used the towel bar nearly every day, often not having enough space to hang damp items. Upon our return I was about to make a second towel bar. I was thinking of adding an improvement to offset the bar/tube further from the hull of our LEII, to avoid having towels in contact with dirt on the hull. After mulling over a design for several days, I had an Aha! moment. I could modify my existing PVC towel bar assembly and add additional tubes for greater capacity, while also moving the tubes further away from the hull. Below are photos and a description of the result. Materials (Quantity, Description, Source, Cost, URL) 1- 4-2/3 In., 125 Lb. Dual Suction Cup Lifter (Harbor Freight, $8.99, https://www.harborfreight.com/4-23-in-125-lb-dual-suction-cup-lifter-57501.html?_br_psugg_q=suction+cup+lifters) 2- 3/4 in. PVC Schedule 40 MPT x S Male Adapter (Home Depot,$0.71/each, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-PVC-Schedule-40-MPT-x-S-Male-Adapter-PVC021090800HD/203811638 4- 3/4 in. PVC Schedule. 40 90° S x S Elbow Fitting (Home Depot, $0.75/each, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-PVC-Schedule-40-90-S-x-S-Elbow-Fitting-PVC023000800HD/203812123) 4- 3/4 in. Schedule 40 S x S x S Tee (Home Depot. $0.85, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-Schedule-40-S-x-S-x-S-Tee-PVC024000800HD/203812197) 2- 3/4 in. x 10 ft. PVC Schedule 40 Plain-End Pipe (Home Depot, $6.98/each, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-x-10-ft-PVC-Schedule-40-Plain-End-Pipe-PVC-04007-0600/100348472) 1- 0.091 in. x 2-3/4 in. Zinc-Plated Safety Pin (2-Piece) (Home Depot, $2.31, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-0-091-in-x-2-3-4-in-Zinc-Plated-Safety-Pin-2-Piece-815408/204276312#overlay) The finished towel bar/drying rack shown in place below. The disassembled parts are shown below: I chose NOT to cement the entire assembly, since it would be much harder to store when in transit. Construction Cut the handle of the HF Dual Suction Cup Lifter in half transversely. A hack saw or bandsaw is recommended. File/sand the cut edges to remove burrs. Use PVC primer and cement to fasten the threaded end of each 3/4 in. PVC Schedule 40 MPT x S Male Adapters to each of the cut ends of the handles of the Dual Suction Cup Lifter. Cut the ¾" PVC tubing for the hanging tubes I chose to make 3 hanging tubes, each 45" long. This length easily fits in our rear cargo carrier and sags very little Adjust length to suit yourself. Cut 8 pieces of ¾" PVC tube to 1-½" in length. These short pieces serve to couple the elbows, tees and adapter together. Using a belt sander I slightly beveled the cut ends of the hanging tubes and the connector tubes so they would more easily slide into the tee and elbow sockets. Assemble the two "manifolds" as shown above, each having: 2 elbows, 2 tees and 4 of the 1-½" connector tubes. Use PVC primer and regular PVC cement to assemble one joint at a time. Be sure to align the open sockets of the tees and elbows. Hold each joint until cement prevents movement of components. The manifolds should be identical. NOTE: do not put PVC primer or cement on the short connector tubes which will be inserted into the adapters cemented onto each handle of the Dual Suction Cup Lifter. When the manifolds are assembled insert the hanging tubes into the three open sockets on each manifold. Again, I chose not to glue the hanging tubes to the manifolds for ease of storage. Insert the connector tube on each manifold into the adapters cemented to each half of the Dual Suction Cup handle. Again, do not use PVC primer or glue. With all components assembled, do a test fitting on the hull of your Oliver. Slightly dampening the suction cups significantly improves their grip on the hull. The hanging tubes and manifolds assembled should largely support themselves horizontally. I had leveled my trailer and used a level to also level the towel bar/rack. When the towel bar/rack is level drill a 7/64" hole vertically through the adapter coupling joining each half of the Dual Suction Cup Lifter to the short connector tube of each manifold. The purpose of the hole is to permit insertion of the zinc plated safety pin which will prevent the towel bar/rack from sagging, while still permitting the rack to be disassembled. Insert the zinc plated safety pins through the holes drilled into the adapter couplings to maintain the towel bar/rack in a horizontal position extending from the hull. I marked the suction cups and manifolds Left and Right to avoid difficulty later inserting the pins through the connectors. I also put an index mark on the adapters and manifold connectors for easier alignment. I have not yet tested this assembly in the field, but am confident it is strong enough to hold as many towels and clothes as will fit. I expect it could also support wet shoes or hiking boots. I hope this is useful to other owners. I welcome suggestions for improvements. As a final note, update your departure checklists to include removing and stowing the towel bar/rack.
  23. In response to @Chukarhunter, my prior description may not have been clear on a few details.. We took delivery of Hull #990 on 2/17/22. I installed the Truma 12 VDC powered anti-freeze option immediately following delivery, while at the Oliver factory campsite. Since the nighttime temperatures were then in the low 20s and we planned to be in transit over the next 10 days or so, I expected the DC powered "anti-freeze" option to protect the water heater. I was not previously aware of a plug for the exhaust port of the Truma water heater. I separately purchased the antifreeze unit, which I understood to be the same as installed by Oliver. I don't recall any mention of a plug in the installation instructions. When we returned home to Dallas, the temperatures were still below freezing during nighttime, so I fully winterized the water system, following the instructions in the Oliver owners manual, including draining the water from the Truma water heater. I did close the water inlet valve to the Truma, to prevent the RV antifreeze from entering the unit. Following the winterization, several weeks later I moved the trailer to an enclosed storage facility, where I turned OFF both the propane and lithium batteries. Since the water had been drained from the Truma water heater, there did not appear to be any reason to continue to provide 12 VDC power to the Truma antifreeze unit. At the start of our recent road trip, I flushed the RV antifreeze upon arriving at the campsite for our first night. I turned on the propane, then turned on the Truma water heater, first at the external switch on the unit, then at the internal/remote control inside the trailer. As described above, the internal/remote control did NOT show an amber light and the water heater would not operate. Based upon my interaction with the Truma authorized service provider, who conveyed instructions from Truma, I don't believe the reason the water heater would not operate had anything to do with winterization processes. Truma indicated the problem was the result of completely shutting down power to the water heater control circuits by turning OFF the lithium batteries. In the next week or so, I plan to again put the trailer into the storage facility and turn OFF the propane and lithium batteries. When I retrieve the trailer from storage for our next trip, I expect I will encounter the same issue, where the Truma internal/remote control does not show an amber light without repeating the steps listed in the prior post. I appreciate your comments and will investigate the plug for the exhaust port of the Truma water heater.
  24. My wife and I pickup up our LEII, Hull 990 on 2/17/22. We spent the nearly a week at or near Oliver's operations in Hohenwald shaking down the systems before returning to our home in Dallas. Our Truma water heater worked as expected and we marveled at how it was "just like out tankless water heater at home". I winterized the trailer upon our return home, including installing the antifreeze option for the Truma water heater. Our LEII spent the next 6-7 weeks in our driveway while I made additions to it. On April 23, I moved the trailer to an enclosed storage facility approximately 30 miles north. We have three Lithionics batteries, for which I followed the recommendation to turn OFF the batteries during storage for 30 days or less. On approximatly May 8, I retrieved the trailer from the storage facility to prepare for departure on May 11 to South Carolina. Everything appeared to be in order prior to our departure, although I did NOT test the Truma water heater. After a full day of travel, late on the night of May 11 I discovered the Truma water heater would not operate. We had two full 20 lb. propane tanks, the stove easily lighted verifying the flow of propane. I verified the power switch on the Truma unit was ON, however, the interior control located to the right of the pantry did NOT display an amber light. No hot water. I contacted OTT Service the next day and was advised to check the fuse, which proved to be OK. I was also advised to check for 12 volts DC at the rear of the Truma remote control. Today I removed the access portal from the forward interior wall of the pantry to discover the Truma remote is apparently epoxied to the hull. A black cable with an RJ11 type telephone connector plugs into the rear of the Truma remote, making testing for 12 VDC difficult. I again called OTT Service, and after four hours have still not received a call back. I searched Google for "Truma service near me" (now Paris Mountain State Park, near Greenville, SC) and found the Truma Dealer Partner Locator on Truma.net. The first listing was for Retromodern Campers, in Pickens, SC. I phone them and spoke with Scott Whitmire, who indicate his company had recently become an authorized servicer for Truma and he had been installing Truma units in refurbished trailers, many from the 1940s and 1950s. After describing the symptoms of our Truma unit, Scott indicated he had encountered the same symptoms twice, once as recently as two weeks ago. He said he would call Truma for guidance. In about 10 minutes I received a return call from Scott, saying he had spoken with Truma and received the following directions: Power ON the Truma unit at the main power switch. On the interior mounted remote control, turn the dial to OFF Wait a few seconds, then turn the power to ON at the remote control The remote control unit should now display the amber light on the dial. I was pleasantly surprised the amber light came on. I went outside to the external shower (not wanting to fill the gray tank) and ran the water for less than a minute, when hot water began to flow. I then verified hot water was available at both the bathroom and kitchen faucets. Scott said as long as the power is not shutoff to the Truma unit, it should work just fine on the next trip. I point out that I expect it to be common practice for Oliver owners, many of whose whose trailers are equipped with lithium batteries, to power the batteries OFF between trips. This will necessitate performing the Truma re-boot process described above after each storage period in which the lithium batteries are turned OFF. I can find no reference to this re-boot process In the Truma section of the 2022 Oliver Optional Features Component Manual. I hope others with lithium batteries and Truma water heaters will recall call this procedure after they have turned OFF their lithium batteries during storage.
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