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Jim and Chris Neuman

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Posts posted by Jim and Chris Neuman

  1. Agree completely with the hole saw recommendation.  Will add that it must be extremely sharp and of high quality ... recommend bi-metal hole saws of professional grade construction.  Cheap is never worth the cost as you can get hundreds of dollars worth of pissed off when a poor quality tool fails causing you to make a major screw up.  Never more true than with cutting tools.

    It may not be possible, depending on the job, but if possible stop just short of complete penetration of the hull and then make a cut from the backside through the existing pilot hole.  This will ensure a clean cut on both sides of the hull as it eliminates exit slivers.

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  2. Those of us in the West are surrounded by exactly the right type of rock to use in propane fire pits.  Fresh from the volcano lava rocks are there for the picking.  Alongside a central Oregon road I picked up a fire pit full of 2 - 2-1/2" lava rocks chosen for high density and low water content.  Lava rock varies from extremely light to very dense ... some lava rocks float in water - you don't want that as the heavier rocks absorb and give off far more heat than the fluffy stuff.

    Avoid the immitation stuff that comes in some fire pits.  Make sure your rock is from a genuine, certified volcano that has not been soaking in water recently.  Porous rock filled with water can blow up in a surprising manner when put in a fire ... best to avoid that.

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  3. A little anti-sieze compound in the threads will make checking the shackle pins easier in the future as well as protect from corrosion.  Follow that up by siezing shackle pin to the shackle with a bit of light stainless wire and the potential for having this happen again in the future will be eliminated.  Shackle pins can and will back out given the opportunity unless lashed in place.  Even better is monel wire as it can be re-used more readily than stainless.

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  4. Same problem on hull 770.  Several slides came adrift within a few months of purchase.  The #6 screws are inadequate and too few.  The slide will handle #8's and there are plenty of spots along the track for additional screws in addition to the few Oliver put in.  An hour or so  of labor and many more fasteners will solve the issue.  A small dab of woodworking adhesive will improve retention of the screw.  I would not bed them in epoxy but a small drop of Titebond smeared on the threads will improve the bond.

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  5. Spent 4 nights there summer before last early in September.  Really enjoyed the hiking and the relative quiet once off the main road.  Many of the sites are too small for even smaller trailers - we lucked into a great pull through but they were few.  Choose your site carefully and well in advance.


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  6. A bit over a year ago I visited a vacant lot I own on the Deschutes River south of Sunriver, OR.  The lot is river front and undeveloped and we have used it occasionally over the years for camping and messing around.  Arrived to see a "For Sale" sign stuck  in the ground advertising the lot for a local real estate firm.  Made a quick visit to the realtors office and was told there was a lot of interest in the lot but, sadly for me, it had sold a couple days previously and the sale was due to close shortly.  Jaws dropped when I mentioned I owned the lot and that I had not listed it ... they had taken the listing over the phone and, apparantly, were a bit slack on their due diligence.  County sheriff put some effort into identifying the scammer, who by this time had gone underground, but nothing came of it.   I avoided being involved in an uncomfortable situation, the buyer got his down payment back, which was being held in escrow and no one was badly hurt (aside from the agent who lost a significant commission).

    Vacant lots and homes are apparantly considered fair game by the ethically challenged.

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  7. Corrosion between dis-similar metal is common in the boating world.  Very common to find severe corrosion between, say, a 6061 aluminum mast pad  or hardware pedistal and a bronze halyard winch if the two are bolted directly together.  A thin layer of plastic between the two  virtually eliminates this problem, particularly if you use an anti-sieze on bolt (typically stainless) threads.  I use lanolin anti-sieze commonly found in boating stores.  My favorite barrier material is easy and cheap to make.  Prepare a smooth surface with mold release wax, lay a section of a light fiberglass cloth (say an 8 oz) and saturate with a laminating epoxy such as West Systems or System Three.  You now have a sheet of flexible barrier material which can be cut to size as needed.


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  8. We spotted two Olivers at Twin Peaks CG around the first of Feb.  Another in Guadalupe Mountain NP & a couple on the road.  Total of 5 sighted during our recent 6 week tour of the SW.

    Galway Girl has popped up near us twice in our travels.  Once in Boise when they pulled up alongside us in traffic (could do no more than wave & yell Hi) & once at Fort Warden in Port Townsend (we live a couple blocks from the campground).  You guys get around!

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  9. Another vote for the hydraulic crimper with dies.  The quality of the crimp is outstanding and far surpasses results you can get with a stab crimper.  Really, there is no comparison, particularly in applications which might be wet or corrosive.  Coupled with quality lugs properly sized for the wire, adhesive shrink tubing like that made by Anchor and you will get really professional results.  I have used mine to rewire a number of boats that live in saltwater and am very impressed with the results ... particularly when coupled with tinned multi-strand wire like that market by Anchor.  Available at West Marine and other marine supply outlets.  Expensive components but you will not use all that many and the results are as good as a professional shop will provide.

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  10. Drove though Quartsite about 10 days back but could not bring myself to go in ... what a zoo!

    My allergy to crouds is a personal problem though and I have a number of friends there now and they are having a good time.

    For those closeted science nerds out there ... stopped into the Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico a couple days ago (see the movie "Contact") - what an amazing place in a seriously out of the spot.  Birding on the Rio Grande was also impressive.

    On to Big Bend NP!

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  11. Noticed a couple of issues with our 2021 Legacy II (with Truma) I had not run into before.  We have had a week of unusually cold weather here on WA's Northern Olympic Penninsula with temps sitting in the low teens and 20's.  I had left the fresh water tank very low after our last usage and found, on attempting to fire up the Truma anitfreeze kit, that the water pump was starting to pull air due to tank being near empty.  This prevented the Truma from filling and as a result, the Truma would not operate the antifreeze kit.  An error message on the panel told us of this issue.  Lesson learned - ensure some water is in the fresh water tank and that the water pump can deliver water to the Truma prior to startup of the antifreeze kit.  Adding water to the tank solved that issue.  Which bring us to issue #2.

    A week of temps in the low teens resulted in a small ice plug forming in the street side fill fitting.  Hooking up a hose and attempting to add water to the tank did not work.    Note to self - street side water fill fitting is in a low, cold and virtually unheated part of the area between the hulls.  Prolonged temps in the teens allowed an ice blockage to form right at the fitting.  Solved this by filling a couple of 5 gal water jugs with warm water and bringing it into the fresh water tank through the boondocking fill .  Problem solved - water pump purged air from the lines, Truma got it's water and all is good.

    Heading out for 6-8 weeks toward (hopefully) warmet climes tomorrow with a freshly lubed, filled and pampered Oliver and fresh tires on the truck  Should be fun.


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  12. I have made the trip eight times now and, other than losing a couple windshields during the earlier, pre-paved days.  Have experienced no major issues.  

    If I could add one caution to those already mentioned it would be to avoid driving at night.  Moose, elk deer, bear and bison are out there in high numbers and are large, dark and tough on fenders.

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  13. Very helpful.  If you see water coming out of one of these scuppers be sure to investigate as you surely have a water system leak.

    We have have had two instances where water poured out of one of these scuppers.  The line attaching the water pump to the water line popped off when the trailer was new and on another occasion water poured out of a scupper forward of the steps when the overflow hose on top of the freshwater tank split due to faulty installation.  

    We opened interior hatches and ran fans in the bilge for a couple weeks in order to dry things out.  Without the scuppers water would have been trapped between the hulls and would likely cause damage over time.

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  14. Where are you coming from?  Best route depends on where you start and your goals along the way.

    Whichever way you go, give yourself time to explore the spectacular country along the way.


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  15. We have found in hot summer weather our Dometic AC will cool our trailer to habitable level in an 1/2 hour or so.  We do so on battery in the evenings to allow comfortable sleep.  That said, on the West Coast, we do not typically have the humidity issues found elsewhere and our solar panels will recharge our 390 AH hour Lithium bank with ease.  We have not yet had need to use our 2200i generator although we pack it around just in case. 

    We find we have to abandon the trailer while the AC is in operation as hearing loss is likely severe within a campsite or two of the screaming Dometic.  We use the time to walk around and apologise to our neighbors for the racket.

    Looking anxiously at the newer, supposedly quieter, options which are coming available.

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  16. I would bet you could buy an unventilated door from Oliver and change it out yourself.  I believe it would put Oliver in legal jeopardy to eliminate battery box venting which is required by code as it is conceivable someone could switch from lithium back to wet cell, thereby putting themselves in danger from unvented gas given off by owner servicable wet cell batteries.  I once had the pleasure of having a battery explode next to me in my early days - believe me when I say it left a lasting impression.

    lt would be quite easy to patch the existing vent holes if you so desired or even to make a new door yourself if you have basic fibreglass layup skills.  In fact the durability of fibreglass and the relative ease of making fibreglass repairs as opposed to aluminum skin repairs was one of the big reasons we went with Oliver as opposed to Airstream.

    Although we have lithium batteries which require little maintenance, it is still nice to be able to easily inspect connections and turn off batteries as needed.  After years of fighting to service batteries deeply burried in the nastiest little spots to be found on most trailers and boats, that little battery door has become one of my absolute favorite features on our Oliver.

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  17. Craters of the Moon is one of our favorite spots.  Located right in the middle of a vast (and recent) volcanic flow, this park is unique!  

    A couple of considerations.  First, number of sites are limited and, of those available, many will not handle a 20+ trailer.  If possible, get a reservation.  If not, get there early and be prepared to move on if needed.  Secondly, this place can get HOT!  Temps commonly push 100 in summer months and there is really no shade.  For that reason we tend to limit our visits to the shoulder seasons.

    Take in the visitors center and some of the local hikes.  The topography brings to mind the big island of Hawaii or Newberry Crater near Bend, OR.  Morning and evening hikes are best to avoid heat.  Bring a sunhat, lots of water and good, solid hiking boots ... this is not a padded forest floor!

    Many campgrounds are somewhat forgetable ... this is NOT the case with Craters of the Moon.

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  18. When new, both curb side bearings on my 2021 Legacy 2 ran much hotter than the street side, hitting just over 200 degrees on a warm day.  At about 11k I  finally pulled bearings to have a look and found one outer set scored on one wheel and and the other outer bearing beginning to burn.  Changed them all out with (supposedly) Timkens from Amazon which solved the problem.  I doubt the bearings I bought were genuine due to low cost but they have worked up to date.  Coming up on 25,000 miles on the trailer and plan to track down genuine Timkens for the next change-out.

    Bearing replacement is tedious but simple for those with basic mechanic skills.


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  19. On 5/16/2023 at 6:11 PM, Patriot said:

    Here if you want a “custom” gen box-



    Has anyone used this vendor for a custom box?  If so, what dimensions did you go with?  With the hindsight of having had this vendor build a box for you, any insights you can share with us? 

    My inclination would be to go with a smaller box than the lighter commercial boxes shown in previous posts ... just enough for chocks and a few commonly used setup tools & supplies.

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  20. Not a powerboater by preferance but have spent a lot of time on them including a couple trips from WA to AK.  If I were to buy another boat at my current age of it would be a powerboat because they are generally easier to handle if not as challenging or fun.  While standing wet and cold at the wheel on the stern of my sailboat can be charming, especially in really cold, nasty weather, at '71 I admit there is something to be said for sitting warm and dry at the helm of a trawler type boat.

    My own cruising powerboat preference would be a displacement type hull along the lines of a Nordic Tug.  I'll keep this discussion down to vessels of around 40' or less (about all an older couple cruising alone can phsically and financially handle.

    I am not a fan of those designs, such as some of the Rangers, which attempt to turn a displacement hull into a planing hull.  A couple of problems there.  First, they are incredible fuel hogs.  Fuel up the tank of a boat that burns 20+ gallons an hour in a remote village on the way to Alaska and you are in for a serious sticker shock.  Secondly, they are screamingly loud, which is fatiguing aboard the boat and irritating to others in the neighborhood.  They also throw up a huge wake.   It has been my experience that there is an inverse relationship between seamanship and available horsepower.   A slower, more stable pace allows for far more accurate navigation, situational awareness and overall safety.  Your chances of piling into a deadhead at 20 knots is far greater than at 6, especially in foul weather or high sea state.  The damage done at high speed is far greater than a lower speed.  A collision with a rock or other boat at 5 - 6 knots will normally mean an expensive hull repair.  The same collision at 15 - 20 would entail no repair as your boat is going down ... fast.

    Next to a pet peeve.  Powerboaters driving heavy hulls at speeds which raise huge wakes.  Folks of this type (I hesitate to call them sailors) are flat dangerous aside from being irritating.  Case in point, a fine gentleman and friend who for many years kept his sailboat in a slip next to mine had a powerboat pass close beside him at the entrance of our marina on Admiralty Inlet in WA.  The huge wake caught him off balance and he was thrown against the binnacle of his sailboat injuring his ribs.  A few days later he was dead from a punctured lung.  

    Enough lecturing.  After a lifetime of messing about in boats I would offer the following advice.  If you are on a budget, buy a used, well equipped and lovingly maintained boat.  The cost of the boat itself is only a starting point.  I just bought two new sails for my relatively small (35') but circumnavigation capable sailboat.  The main, genny and new roller furling setup ran over 20K.  Best to let a previous owner foot that bill.  Integrity of the hull and overall quality of the build are far more important than glitz and nautical bling.

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