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Jim and Chris Neuman

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Posts posted by Jim and Chris Neuman

  1. Geronimo John

    Had the same issue with our 2021 F150 FX4 crew cab and 2021 Legacy II.  As set up by Oliver the gate would hit the hitch were it allowed to drop all the way down - we never let it do that but it was inevitable if I left it alone.  We had some minor porposing on some poor roads at speed and fixed that with a set of air bags on the truck.  When pumped up to 40# or so, they lifted the back of the truck up about 2" - high enough that I inverted the receiver hitch 180 degrees and reinstalled the ball bracket so that it dropped the hitch down enough to bring the trailer back to level. 
    Adjusting the hitch only took a couple minutes and solved both problems ... porposing issue largely eliminated, gate no longer hits hitch and trailer is back to level.


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  2. You can find hardened bolts that are toughter than over the shelf stainless (usually 18-8) but in this instance stainless will be plenty strong and will not corrode.  Stainless does have the nasty habit of galling if the alloy of the nut and bolt are similar or identical and can sieze up to the point where the nut cannot be backed off without shearing the bolt.  This has become particularly problematical with the imports which are flooding the market in recent years.  In installing a new hydraulic ram on my boats autopilot, I recently had some 3/8" stainless bolts / nylock nut combo which siezed up simply threading the nut onto the bolt under no load whatsoever.  Taking a moment to smear the threads with lanolin anti sieze solved the problem and will aid in backing off the fasteners in the future should it become necessary.  Lanolin is your friend when using bolts to fasten dissimilar metals, particularly in a corrosive environment like around saltwater or in high humidity areas.  The brand I use is Lanocote which is readily available in marine supply stores,  A 4 oz. plastic jar lasts a very long time.  I am sure there are other brands every bit as effective.

  3. If you visit any seaside harbor you will likely see a forest of aluminum masts, booms, tuna towers and all manner of structures made, primarily of 6061 T6 aluminum, much of which is unpainted and unanodized.  6061 alloy holds up extremely well in harsh marine environments.  After nearly 40 years of living in saltwater year round, the 6061 aluminum mast, boom, downwind poles and most other major rigging components on my 35' cruising sailboat are virtually unscathed.  Yes, you will get an extremely thin dull coat of aluminum oxide built up but that is not a bad thing as it offers a level of protection to the alloy.

    A freshwater rinse after use on suspect roads is worthwhile but I would not sit up nights worrying about occasional exposure to road chemicals ... I would worry more about the steel axle frame.  The aluminum Oliver frame will undoubtably outlast most of us owners.

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  4. Here in the Northwest our "cascade concrete" can weigh up to 20# per cubic foot.  Wet, dense snow / ice a foot or more in depth can mean the equivalent of a couple of heavy guys standing on your panels.  Best to keep it brushed off.

    Lot's of snow weight computers on the web for the interested.

  5. A stand alone GPS / mapping unit which does not require an active cell signal is a must in many areas ... particularly in the west.  Garmin makes many good units aimed at RV'ers.  We use a Garmin Overlander and, as we do a lot of our travel and camping off the beaten track, we feel it is worth the relatively high price.

    A paper map is always a good backup and will astound your children and grandchildren!

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  6. We have the Norcold in our Oliver 2 (hull 770) with the lithium package.  Running the fridge on 12 volt the batteries run down very fast.  We recently ran the fridge on 12V on an 80 + degree day and found after about 8 hours the fridge drained the 390 amp hour battery bank to about 65%.  I do not believe his rate of power consumption is sustainable in our Northwest climate if you are off the grid as the solar will not keep up. 

    After 8K of travel in the five months we have owned hull 770 we find we use propane to power the fridge all the time unless hooked to 110.  There have been no issues so far.

    The inability to charge the lithium batteries from the tow vehicle is a serious issue for those of us who live in the Northwest and camp off the grid.  I went with the lithium package despite my misgivings in the hope Oliver will work with Lithionics and come up with a TV charging option which they both support and which we owners can confidently implement.  As I am unaware of any progress being made in that direction, I question whether I made the right choice going with the lithiums.

    In the defense of the system, we have found that given mild temps and a reasonable amount of solar gain, the panels will keep up with our electricity demands if we stick with propane to power the fridge.

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  7. Many people mistakenly attempt to lighten tongue weight by loading their trailer toward the rear.  This is a recipe for sway.  Stay with Oliver's tongue loading recommendations and you will be very unlikely to see any issues, however, if you heavily loat the aft end of the trailer your potential for severe sway increases greatly.

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  8. To get all of the chips out of the frame box beam, particularly one which is open only on one end, Oliver would have to turn the finished trailer on end and shake it in order to get the machining debris to fall out.  That or try to snake a vacuum hose past all the through bolts, etc that intrude on the interior of the box beam.  This metal debris is likely largely 6061 aluminum and unlikely to cause any harm if left in place.  I would not worry about it.

    As a side note I have seen this often during the fitting out of aluminum sailboat masts.  Every fastening operation will drop a bit of debris in the mast interior which is virtually impossible to remove except when the mast is hoisted vertical when being stepped in the boat.  At that point the crane operator can give a few shakes and lots of metal debris will drop out.  Upending and shaking your trailer may be less practical.

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  9. We just sold our 2013 Tacoma and bumped up to an F150 FX4 with max tow package in order to better handle the weight of the LEII.  We are extremely happy we did given our travel will be primarily in the mountainous Western US, Western Canada and Alaska.

    I am certain the Tacoma would have handled the LEII adequately on the flats but have found the brakes marginal for towing our far lighter previous trailer which weighed under 3000# loaded.  The far smaller tank on the Toyota was also an issue ... not of safety but of convenience.  The F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost has far more power than the Tacoma and gets better MPG.

    We were amazed at the price we got selling our Tacoma ourselves ... within 6K of the Tacoma's new purchase price despite 96K on the odometer.  Made purchasing a heavier TV easier to justify.  

  10. Having spent my working years in manufacturing I am convinced competition serves to make us better and is to be embraced,  not feared.  Chopper gun layup as used by Oliver can produce a strong, relatively economical structure.  It is however very, very heavy.

    Higher tech materials and technologies now make it possible to produce a far stronger, far lighter and far better insulated hull than is possible using an older technology such as the chopper guns primarily used by Oliver.  The drawback is cost as newer composite technologies tend to be more labor intensive and require far more sophisticated and costly equipment to produce.

    Oliver deserves high credit for raising the quality bar as high as they have and I doubt that they are done yet.  We will all be better off for it.

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  11. If you are concerned about potential toxicity take a look at the MSDS (material safety data sheet) published by the manufacturer of the resins used in the construction of Oliver trailers.   Oliver can provide this document at your request.  You will find no formaldehyde in the formulation.  

    Over time, ventilation will take care of the new fibreglass smell.  Open windows and mechanical air exchange will speed up the process.

    We picked up our oliver in late May of this year.  The new trailer odor has largely disapated at this point - if left tightly closed in hot weather, the resin smell increases until ventilated.  To Oliver's credit our trailer was delivered clean and largely free of construction dust and debris.

  12. We camped there on our return from picking up hull 770 in mid May.  Nice campground .... in season.  Come summer temps it would be a cooker.  No significant shade but that is to be expected in the badlands.  Lots of great hiking and large numbers of bighorn sheep, antelope, bison and prairie dogs.  The badlands are high on our "We gotta come back here" list.

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  13. We went with the stock mattresses in our standard layout at the recommendation of Oliver sales.  The reasoning was that the center cushion, if KTT, would be so bulky and heavy that it would make changing to the dinette setup a challenge.

    My wife Chris put together two 2" memory foam toppers to which she fitted sheets.  These are rolled up and stuffed in the backseat of our pickup when not in use.  It takes only minutes to switch from full bed to dinette set-up or back using this system.  The two toppers, laid over the stock cushions, makes for a very comfy bed.


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  14. Much depends on how much of you there is to squeeze in there 🙂

    We have the standard bed setup.  I am 5'9" and carrying about 15# too much weight but have no trouble sliding into the dinette area from either side.  We recently had six adults around the table for dinner on a windy night in the Steens and there was room for a couple more.


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  15. Nice video - Thank you Jason!

    Through trial and error while bringing our new trailer back to WA state, we sorted the Anderson out (aided by James input during our delivery walk through).  We did polish out some burrs on the hitch and pin which took just minutes and  made hookup go smoother.  Despite very heavy head and cross winds encountered across the prairie, we found the Oliver II towed extremely well behind our F150.  The trailer has exceded our expectations and our thanks go to the Oliver team.

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