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Jim and Chris Neuman

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Posts posted by Jim and Chris Neuman

  1. Another vote for a hydraulic hex crimper.  I have used both stab and hex crimpers extensively in boat building and am convinced the results from a hex crimper are by far superior.  Coupled with a good adhesive / heat shrink tubing will give you a really fine cable.   I do not remember the brand I purchased but it was under $100.

  2. Good point on the bedding compound.   

    Masts, booms, whisker poles & other common high-load components in sailboats typically use 6061 T-6 alloy.  Fasteners used to attach hardware is typically 18-8 stainless.  An anti-sieze compound such as lanolin applied to the threads can go a long way toward keeping bolts free and preventing snapping off of fastener heads ...  a stainless fastener can become extremely difficult to impossible to remove if installed dry into aluminum with no anti-sieze.

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  3. Coming from the sailing world I am a touch sensitive about corrosion brought on by dissimilar metals in close contact.

    Has anyone seen any issues arising from use of the Anderson system where the steel brackets come in contact with the aluminum frame?


  4. Just a thought.  You can take a ferry from Whittier to Valdez through Prince William Sound.  Really nice trip if it don't rain ( and whoever heard of rain in PWS? ).  Kind of spendy, especially with a trailer, but amazing sail.  At Anchorage you go East up to the top of Turnagain Arm and take a tunnel to Whittier ... an experience in itself.  If possible, take in the town of Hope ... they have a great bar / burger joint and a nice campground.

  5. You will have a wonderful time!  I have always gone up the Eastern route and back down on the Cassiar but the reverse would work just as well.  Up until about 10 - 15 years ago, you could pretty well kiss off your windshield but now the route is virtually all paved (with the exception of the Denali Highway).  On our last trip, during the summer of 2018, we found the roads to be in very good shape and experienced few rock dings on the front of our RV, an Aliner.  When we go up again in two years we will probably put a temporary gravel shield on the front of our new Ollie 2 but otherwise am not too concerned about it.  A bigger concern is the presence of an endless stream of frost heaves and the occasional, trailer-swallowing pothole.  Dampening the porposing brought on by frost heaves is a good argument for the Anderson system.  I have seen a number of trailers with broken axels and frames on the loop.

    Do take your camera, fishing pole and, most importantly, lots of time.  Six weeks to two months will allow you to only hit the high spots and I guarantee you will be mumbling to yourself "if only I had more time" as you pass countless lakes, rivers and incredible views.  Lots of campgrounds and boondocking available.

    Don't over-do the Bearanoia thing.  Bear spray is no problem to take into Canada and a rifle or shotgun easily transported with proper paperwork.  Don't even think about a handgun.  The real danger is other tourists looking at the scenery instead of the road - that and drunken locals. 

    A couple of extra gas cans makes a lot of sense and a 12V tire pump & plug repair kit can't hurt.  Start with good rubber and you will be fine ...  the Canadian and Alaskan road systems are pretty civilized these days.  On our last trip we threw a couple kayaks on top of the pickup and were really thankful we did.

    Do have a great time and let us know how it goes.




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  6. Just picked up a 2021 F150.  Max tow, FX4, 3.5 & short bed.  Initial impression is very good.  Fit and finish is excellent, cab is extremely quiet and comfortable.  Will put it through it's paces in April on the return trip from Holenwald.  

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  7. Re-gelcoating is not even remotely practical.  It can be done but the cost would be well north of 10 - 15K and there is really no point in it.  If your gelcoat has gone beyond buffing and waxes, than painting is the next step.  This is done all the time with fibreglass boats.  In fact, I don't think I have ever heard of anyone re-gelcoating an entire boat ... small, damaged areas yes but not large surfaces.  You can do an amazingly good job by rolling and tipping some of the high tech paints commonly used in the marine trades and professionally done sprayed two part urethane paints will out-shine new gel coat.  When your Oliver reaches, say 40-50 it may need paint but not before.

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  8. My wife Chris and I are primarily boaters, having owned and enjoyed our sailboat for 35 years.  But we also are avid hikers and campers and have literally beat three pop-up tent trailers and an A-Frame (aliner) to death over the last 25 years.  The typical stick built RV is simply not built to handle much heavy use.  Sketchy wiring, poorly built cabinetry and the generally shoddy construction found in most RV's does not lead to longevity.  I am able, after building my own cruising sailboat and several homes, to fix most issues that pop up but that does not mean I like spending my time in that manner. 

    Recently retired, we have decided to go to a larger RV with more off-season capability. We had narrowed our search to Airstream, Escape and, most recently, Oliver.  The 6061 aluminum frame, double hull glass construction (which, unlike aluminum, I can repair or modify myself) higher clearance and generally more robust construction has made the Oliver a no-brainer.  If we were to contain our travel to good paved roads and campgrounds with full utilities a good argument could be made for the Airstream as it is wider, cushier and generally better laid out for comfort.  But we are not ... Alaska, Northern Canada and other off-the-path destinations are in our future and, because of this, the Oliver decision was easy.

  9. Blue water sailers & others who around salt water a lot will use stainless or monel wire.  A small spool, available for a few bucks at marine supply outlets like West Marine & commercial fishing suppliers is relatively cheap and will last for many, many years.

    On our 35' ocean going cutter Light Beyond, we check ground tackle & other shackle pins yearly, applying lanolin to the threads.  Even heavy grease works will if renewed regularly

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  10. Mike,

    Correct - on my boats 3 battery  ships systems bank (all 12V 105 AH AGM's) the Blue Sea's fuse bar is placed on the + stud at one end of the bank and cables from both alternator and battery charger are fixed to the blocks fused terminal stud.  Negative cable is attached to the last battery in the bank and is not fused.  No need to fuse each AGM battery ... the manufacturer of your lithium batteries may have a different take.


  11. Hi Mike,

    I have two battery banks.  A single starting battery (105 - AH AGM) is fused between the alternator / battery charger and the ships power bank (3 - 105AH AGM's) is also fused between the alternator and battery charger.  This is done per the recommendation of Blue Sea's as well as Balmar, the alternator manufacturer.

    Battery charger is for use when tied to a dock, is also a Blue Sea's unit.  They make really good stuff.


  12. KatanaPilot,

    If you are planning to do the Dempster, the Steese or one of the other long stretches of gravel road, extra spare tires are a good call.  The Alaska and Canadian portions of the highway is now all paved, as is the Cassiar and other major Alaska highways.  The days of busted windshields and flats being a sure thing are now (unfortunately) over so I would not be too worried about duplicate spares.  There are a lot of other potential uses for that rear trailer rack (like a couple of jerry cans) and I would be interested in what you are coming up with.  The last five times I made trip (four from Western WA and once through Edmonton), I did not experience a single flat despite quite a bit of off-pavement travel.   

    If you have not done it yet, it is a wonderful trip!

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  13. Sak,

    Welcome to the Soon-to-be Oliver Owner's Association of Western, WA.  

    In answer to your question re: fiberglass and outside storage - not a problem with normal maintenance.  Witness the hundreds of thousands of fiberglass boats living happily on the Salish Sea.  Untended gelcoat can get chalky and even degrade to a degree but sun induced structural issues will not be a problem in your lifetime or that of your kids.  Your grandkids may want to paint your Oliver sometime late in their lives but the good news is that glass is easy to paint.  The other plastic exterior components however, may become an issue as UV tends to play havoc with many plastics.  For that reason a cover may be useful ... at least in keeping your trailer clean.


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  14. We are picking up our new Oliver II on April 1.  In advance, I am planning on picking up the same 2021 F150 truck with the 3.5 as I don't think my '13 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 is quite up to the job in the long haul.

    I don't see where you gain much, if any mileage with the hybrid and among the downsides is the cost (2K prox), added weight and complexity of the electric motor and battery pack and the loss of 5-6 gallons of tankage (36 gallon max tow package tank drops down closer to 30 gallon with the hybrid.  Added power would be nice on occasion and the hybrid is said to smooth out the power curve at highway speeds.  By itself though, the 3.5 Powerboost is not lacking in power.

    The built in generator could be nice occasionally but I just don't see much overall value in the 2021 system as currently detailed ... maybe when it grows up in a few years?

  15. I have it in mind to lay up a fiberglass storage bin just large enough to contain outside blocks, levelers, etc.  This would go in the spot forward of propane tanks where the optional aluminum storage box normally sits.

    Can anyone provide me with dimensions of the aluminum storage box for reference?

    Appreciate the help.


  16. We purchased an Aliner Expedition with dormers a little over five years ago and have used it extensively since racking up about 40K miles.  Love the layout and ease of use but have been very dismayed about the lack of quality.  Poor construction methods and materials throughout have necessitated a great deal of maintenance and in some instances, complete rebuild of core components.  For instance the front dormer was attached to the light stress-panel roof with pop rivets fastening the hinges to the light outer skin of the roof panel.  The dormer tore completely free requiring me to re-engineer and rebuild the entire attachment system.  I have a great deal of experience in working with glass so was able to bring it back far better than new but this sort of thing really should not happen with a company that poses as best of breed.

  17. I am looking to trade in my 4.0L 2013 Tacoma for a heavier truck prior to taking delivery of our Elite II this coming April.

    The new F150 Hybrid has my interest.   Being able to couple the hybrid's electric motor to the 3.5L V6 should deliver all the power you need for the western mountains.  If the hybrid actually delivers the promised boost in mileage while highway towing it would be a plus but I doubt you could recover the additional 4 - 5K cost of the hybrid.  Eagerly awaiting input from actual users.



  18. What are the protocols regarding states / provinces visited maps?

    I could color in every state except Rhode Island if the requirement is just to have visited at some point in my life.  Do you have to visit in your current RV or can previous RV's (or even car camping) be counted.   Must the visit be vacation related?   Somehow work related visits don't seem kosher.  For safety's sake, I would think only states visited with your current mate should be shown but others may be less risk adverse.   Not a large question in the scheme of things but I am curious what others do.


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