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Jim and Chris Neuman

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Everything posted by Jim and Chris Neuman

  1. We have had very good luck with the Garmin Overlander. If you are into more backwoodsy stuff the topo option is useful as is the campground database for those times where there is limited cell coverage. Mounted ours on a Biltright base with a long arm to hang over the front of the dash ... keeps the unit out of the windshield and gives easier access to both driver and passenger.
  2. You will not have a great deal of trouble finding places to camp, especially if boondocking. There are spots, Laird Hotsprings comes to mind, where dropping in could be a problem in the summer months but normally it is easy to find a spot. Do you have the capacity to charge from your tow vehicle? If not, consider a small generator like the Honda 2200i. Even with solar panels finding the sun in June can be iffy. The roads are generally quite good but do not pass up an opportunity to top off your fuel tanks whenever possible. On our last trip from Washington I hauled two full 5 gal gas containers but never needed to use them. If you doubt your tires condition, change them out ... it can be a long way between good tire stores. I am assuming you have a good GPS? If not, it is a good investment. I carry tire chains for the truck and cable chains for use on one axle of the trailer. Never had to use them during spring, summer and fall months but have encountered snow. The horror stories about endless miles of bad dirt roads and lack of services are very old history. Condition of the roads will vary from very good to not quite so good but the main routes are quite pleasant. It used to be that you could hardly make the drive without losing a windshield but that has not been the case for 15 - 20 years. The only stretches of dirt / gravel will be sections under repair as pretty much the whole routh has been paved for years. Have fun and enjoy - your Oliver is more than a match for the trip! Just one last thought - give yourself a lot of time (two months if possible). Your round trip is likely to be in excess of 7K miles and every few miles will present an opportunity for camping / hiking / fishing and enjoying a truly spectacular part of the world are limitless. Have fun!
  3. Standard flooded batteries are cheaper than AGM's but they are definitely not lower maintenance. AGM's are sealed and require no maintenance beyond keeping them clean and appropriately charged. Flooded batteries require topping off with water (preferably distilled) on a regular basis and also present an explosion risk.
  4. Although we have the heaviest suspension then available in the F150 when we bought it in '21, we still found that there was a bit of porposing while towing when you encounter severe frost heaves or a road bed which is extremely uneven. Added a set of air bags under the rear springs and that cured the issue. I also suspect the problem can also be mitigated through more robust sidewalls than found on stock tires (20" rims on my truck). Probably beef up the next pair of tires and shocks when replacement of the originals becomes necessary. Still, I find the F150 to be a very, very comfortable ride and is a fine match for the Legacy 2. I don't think there is a wrong choice between the 5.0 and the 3.5 ... both are fine, proven power plants.
  5. Not a 5.0 but milage on our 3.5 Ecoboost is running right at 12 MPG after about 23,000K in the mountain west. We run a canopy on a shortbox FX4 with the max tow package.
  6. Lucky you did not get my Dodge Ram. I have had to replace two rear ends, the transmission, shocks, front end linkage parts, wiper motor, cam sensor and numerous other deeply buried enjine parts. Finally gave up and dumped it at a bit over 110K. Even with highly regarded trucks, some of us win the lottery! Only 30K on my 2021 F150 3.5 but no issues so far ... holding my breath.
  7. I found three areas under the sink of our Legacy 2 (hull 770) which were badly leaking, causing a mess and delaminated drawer cabinet plywood. Two were located at both ends of the sink drain pipe trap/elbow. The collar which tightens the compression seal on one end was not tightened during manufacture and was literally pouring water. At the other end of the elbow the joint is a slip fit which normally would be glued together. In this case it was not and the leakage, although more limited, was still significant. At the compression fitting the collar was tightened, as it should have been at the factory, and the leak stopped. At the other end of the trap I obtained a silicone reducer sleeve, available at Amazon among other places, and used it to enclose the slip joint (hose clamp at each end). This allows the elbow to be removed or replaced if necessary). The other major leak under the sink was due to a split in the 1-1/4" overfill hose on the top of the fresh water tank. This split was due to the installation of a hose which was far too short to make a gentle curve from tank fitting to the hull drain. Instead of getting a hose of the right length, the installation crew bent the hose over nearly 70 degrees at the tank fitting, causing a split which poured water into the space between the hulls as the tank was filled. In order to access and fix the split hose, it was necessary for me to cut an access hole in the bottom of the drawer cabinet which enabled me to get at the hose/barb. I spliced in a section of hose long enough to allow a gentle curve in the overflow hose. In general the manufacturing of these trailers is far superior to be vast majority of RV's on the market but, speaking as someone who spent his working life in manufacturing, you cannot at any point drop your guard and slack off on your QC measures. In my case, the most superficial of QC inspections of these three potential failure points would have revealed their obvious leak potential. As it is, my grading of Olivers QC has gone from a B+ to a C.
  8. Like most here, I would be happy to show our trailer for free. I have been asked by Oliver if I would participate in showing to two potential buyers. In both cases I spoke with the buyers to set up a date and time which works for all involved. In both cases I arranged to be home and available at the appointed time and in both cases the buyers did not show nor did they have the courtesy to let me know their plans had changed. Money was not the motivation for my willingness to show our Oliver, rather a desire to pay forward the kindness of other Oliver owners who were took the time to answer our questions when we began to explore the purchase of our Oliver. I hope our experience has been the exception to the rule.
  9. I can see using an anti-corrosion spray on the ferrous metal which makes up the axle framework. That makes sense. I was referring to the 6061 aluminum trailer frame. I built and own a 35" sailboat with a 6061 mast, boom and other components and, after 40 years living in saltwater, there is essentially no corrosion on any of the aluminum parts (the mast and boom is painted with AwlGrip). I spent the last 30 + years of my professional life as a sales manager with an aluminum extruder where we annually punched many millions of pounds of extrustions of all types using many different alloys including 6061 - it is remarkable stuff. The one compound I do use religiously is an anti-galling gel on fasteners. You must also protect against contact with dis-similar metals ... mounting say a bronze winch directly against an aluminum mast or boom is a sure route to serious corrosion of the aluminum. I am not against the use of waxes on gelcoat. It does help with aestetics and can extend the number of years your Oliver will have that brand-new look. My point was that a good gelcoat will put up with a lot of abuse and can be brought back to as-new appearance with surprisingly little effort. Take care of your Oliver but don't be afraid to use it ... they are tough little trailers and built to be used and enjoyed.
  10. I would not paint any aluminum part unless you have extensive experience with aluminum coatings. Coatings which will work are expensive and difficult to apply. Rattle can sprays from your local hardware store will shortly fail. Go to any marina and you will find uncoated 6061 aluminum masts, booms, etc. living very happily in a marine environment The surface will oxidize over time which provides a degree of protection. If you find yourself up to your frame in saltwater give the trailer a good hosing off in fresh water. After a winter of road salts it is good to do the same. Otherwise, don't worry about it. Waxing the hull is a good idea but even left unprotected modern gel coats are extremely durable and will easily outlast anyone old enough to be able to afford an Oliver 🙂
  11. GJ I used bags made by Air Lift in Michigan. They were a bit more costly than the Firestones and were more highly recommended by the dealer (Les Schwab Tires, a chain in the Northwest). Mine are the 5000 series and have twin nylon fill lines. So far I am very happy with them. I will occasionally have to top them off a few pounds but leakage is minimal. They are rated to 100# but I find 35 - 45# does the job quite well. They will lift the rear end so adjustment of the Anderson hitch was necessary but simple. A set of heavier shocks would help as would tires with tougher sidewalls than those that came with the pickup. They have tamed the porposing greatly. Jim
  12. When chosing rock to add to your firepit, do not use river rocks or any rock which might soak up water. The explosion you can get from water cooking off in some river rocks can be quite impressive. Porous lava rock, 1-1/2 to 2" in diameter, is a good choice, especially if you can find a place and time to cook any moisture out of them before use around people.
  13. Be aware that there was a change to the size of the dash tray starting with the 2021 model year of the F150. The Builtright rack from previous years does not fit the new tray. Builtright did not know this at the time I ordered my rack for my 2021 F150 but exchanged the old style rack for a new one which they have since built for the newer trucks. The back-up plate Builtright made for the new rack also did not fit but I was able to Bubba up a fix. Result, our 7" Garmin Overlander now hangs from the long arm over the front of the dash, lowering the screen and moving the GPS out of the windshield. A very nice system once you get it sorted out.
  14. We use SPOT when we are sailing. Two years ago we took the Light Beyond, our 35' sailboat, from Washington to Glacier Bay in Alaska. Cell coverage was limited to near a very few towns & even then was poor. Have done the Alcan 8 times and found cell coverage spotty at best ( & expensive as a Canadian plan is necessary ) SPOT or Garmin allows different levels of anywhere communication depending on hardware & plan. Money well spent.
  15. Jackson Hole has a serious lack of camping options near town. We came through winter before last and found only camping near town was a private, not particularly nice, RV park which went for the bargain price of $125. This was in late May and the Grand Teton campgrounds were booked full or not open yet. Get your camping arrangements done in advance! I recomment Grand Teton NP - it is beautiful.
  16. Regarding your Maxair issue. Mine also died and I contacted Maxair with the same result... they sent me a new board explaining possible conflict with Lithiums. Replaced the board to no avail. Closer inspection revealed that there was no power to the hot lead where it connected to the fan. Fuse was good and the bathroom fan, which is on the same circuit, was fine. Determined that there was likely an issue with wiring itself and, after discussing the problem with Oliver, I ran a new lead (an adventure in itself) to the attic where the wiring was accessable. Problem solved. It appears that Oliver tied the Maxair positive lead into the wire leading to the bathroom fan and this appears to have come undone in a totally inaccessable area between the upper hulls. Ran a new tinned two-wire cable back to the attic along the port side of the AC unit using a wire snake... an adventure in itself. Note to self and others who may be listening... particularly those involved in manufacturing - NEVER bury a connector in an area which cannot be accessed. I was hesitant to send the trailer to a service center for repair as Oliver suggested might be necessary as my faith in the abilities of the average knuckle-dragger working in RV service is not high. I had mental pictures of getting my trailer back with holes poked here and there in the inner hull in their attempts to run a new line between inner and outer hulls. Jason in service was good enough to point me to the right wires in the attic by providing a schematic of the wiring from the attic to the fans in the head and the Maxfan. That revealed a possible source of the problem and suggested a fix.
  17. We have a heavy 12'5" telescoping ladder which lives happily in the closet of our Legacy II. It is one of the heaviest versions I have seen at around 34# but is rock solid. Can't recall the brand. All telescoping ladders are not created equal and I would avoid the light / cheap ones. I do make a habit of tying a 25' length of 3/8" nylon rope at about awning level on the ladder and running the lines fore and aft to front and rear tralier frames. This will keep it from sliding over sideways. I have done this faithfully on ladders for many years after learning painfully that it was a good idea. Pad the ladder where it contacts the awning or side of the trailer to avoid scoring your Oliver.
  18. We now have towed our Legacy II over 22,000 miles since we picked it up in May of '21. Our tow vehicle is a 2021 canopied shortbox F150 FX4 3.5 Ecoburst with max tow package. This truck has plenty of power and has pulled several 11,000' plus passes as recently as last month. The truck has yet to struggle on any thing we have taken on in every lower 48 western state. Your 2.7 will not have the pull of the 3.5 but I doubt you will find traffic stacking up behind you. The only thing I have beefed up was the rear suspension with the addition of air bags to cut down on porposing as we anticipate a trip to Alaska in the near future. Our truck is rated for about twice the weight of a loaded Legacy II and is set up a bit beefier than many F150's and we make it a habit not to load the Oliver heavily or carry too much heavy junk with us in the pickup bed. We do use an Anderson as the hitch load is North of 500 pounds. I believe you will find your truck is very well matched to the Oliver II.
  19. Just today I lost power to the rear / streetside jack on our Oliver. Checked fuses & found them all good. A close look revealed a wire had come loose from the back of the switch. Crimped the female fitting on the loose positive wire a bit to increase tension on the switch as it was still a bit loose when re-attached and now all is well.
  20. Those AlCan frost heaves are a real joy, aren't they? Spoke with a friend today who recently had the frame of his trailer (conventional construction) break in the yukon. Put a set of air bags on my F150 FX4 and am pleased with the result. Set at about 50#, they tame the porposing greatly.
  21. Must of looked right past them recently in a Lowes. At your suggestion I also found them on Amazon. Thank you!
  22. I have been using zip ties for years on my sailboat. They are a fine way to make a light fastening but do have the drawback of degrading in sunlight to the point where, after a season or two, their resistance to abrasion and breaking is seriously compromized. Replacing these plastic ties would be on my annual to-do list. I have looked for UV restant zip ties but no luck so far ... would like very much if someone here could post a source. In this application stainless or monel seizing wire would be a superior option.
  23. No need to replace the bolt if you bugger the bolt threads, it is a simple matter to run a thread die down the bolt to clean up the mess. On stainless it is helpful to coat threads with an antisieze (I use lanolin) in order to help eliminate the galling that is common between stainless bolts and nuts.
  24. I have an F150 with the 3.5 Ecoburst. It gets an average of 12 mpg highway in the mountain west while towing the Legacy II and 21 - 22 mpg highway sans trailer. Owners of F150's with the V8's I have spoken with report about the same while towing and less without trailer. What kind of milage do owners of diesel pickups tend to get while towing the Oliver? The Ecoburst requires 87 octane gasoline which is an upgrade from the 85 octane standard in many states. It would be hard to believe significant money would be saved with such a switch.
  25. Been over the Beartooth many times with no issues. Twice with trailers lighter (3000#) and shorter (20') using a Dodge Dakota and a Toyota Tacoma. Both times were coming in from the north and were a breeze. I have seen larger, heavier trailers towed over the pass but do not know if the drivers regretted their choice in retrospect. Am not sure I would be concerned making the uphill pull coming in from the North towing our Legacy II with our F150 but would try to do it at off-peak travel time of day. Snow or heavy precip would cause me to re-route. Heading North out of YNP would involve a lot of elevation loss and give the brakes a serious workout. Would think twice about traveling that direction on the Beartooth without a heavy, capable TV.
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