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Everything posted by GAP

  1. Last winter I put a 4" vent through from the base of the toilet to the area under the dinette. It's an eyebrow style vent so shower water can't splash into the belly. I also removed the exterior shower head, brought that hose inside and re-attached the head. Also removed the hot and cold water knobs. Used closed cell foam to insulate the space behind the tiny door and two layers of reflectix to insulate the outer door. All super easy and very productive. Those belly areas were measurably warmer as was the temp in the bathroom as air now flowed through there where it had been a dead end.
  2. I'd second the comments quoted above. I've found with a month worth of below freezing camping that the trailers in their stock configuration is safe to run de-winterized until the mid 20s. Below that the garage (the area behind the skimpy wall at the very rear of the trailer belly) drops below freezing posing a threat to the pex lines and connectors in that area. In pre 2023 models, the belly areas below the front dinette and by the exterior shower can also freeze when temps dip into the low 20s. With mods currently in 2023 models and/or mods outlined in the discussion titled 3.75 Season Trailer, all belly areas except the rear of the garage, have stayed above freezing down to -5 which is the coldest I've been able to test, so far, since making the modifications. It's tough to say what "4 Season" means but, to me, any place that occasionally sees temps to 32 could easily fall to the low 20s so, the short answer as far as I'm concerned and have seen in my testing is Not Really, these are not currently outfitted for true 4 season usage. Others may draw different conclusions or even have different experiences. For what it's worth, at the end of the winter, I'll share a full breakdown of my mods and results.
  3. I got a copy of the waterline distribution diagram and found that these lines go to both the Fresh Water and City Water feeds and then go onto feed the bathroom. That sadly excludes the option to add cut offs to protect them from freezing. We just returned from our 2nd winter ski safari this season. As with prior system testing, we did not dewinterize but did have temp/humidity sensors in the bathroom vanity, under front dinette seat, by the exterior shower outlet and in the rearmost area of the garage. The good news: even at -5 degrees, all areas (except the garage) never dropped below the mid 40s. All these areas had previously, before modifications, dropped below freezing when ambient outside temps were in the low 20s and internal temp was set to mid 60s. Progress! The horrible news: The area at the rear of the garage still dropped below freezing when ambient outside temps were in the mid teens and internal was set to mid 60s. This is in spite of our having placed return vents in the end walls of that compartment to allow return air to be drawn through by the furnace. These findings were constant for any night over a two week testing period when ambient temps would drop to this level. Our sensors are all adjusted to read the same temps within 1 degree. It is worth noting that there seems to be no adjustment made in the 2023 units to warm this problematic area. There have been a couple of accounts of folks with new trailers camping in temps down to this range with no incidence of burst lines but without monitoring the temp in that area, who knows how close to the edge they were or if they split a pipe/fitting without knowing it. A slow leak would drain out the belly so may go unnoticed on a short trip. Our next trip is in about 10 days from now and it will be at least 2 weeks so would be great to fix this problem. I don't want to add anything requiring power as our winter trips are always boondocking so power is limited. Fans and/or heat pads could do the trick but would certainly increase the power draw. We'll remove the flimsy rear wall and look below the partial floor to put eyes on things. Has anyone had success with addressing this problem?
  4. A major problem with using the stock 1.5" receiver is that all "RV rated" bike racks are made for 2" hitch receivers. There is no law that I know of that requires using an RV rated unit but, given the potential liabilities, I opted to do something along the lines of what John suggested. The forces at work on a bike rack, that far behind the closest axle are much higher than on a car or pick up. To me, the minor expense of stepping up to a rated. unit was worth the piece of mind.
  5. We are frequent winter camper taking my Oliver E2 to ski resorts in Northern New England. We have a composting toilet and, to date, have run dry, without de-winterizing the water system, for all these trips to allow us to quantify the issues the trailer has in sub freezing conditions and making adjustments to rectify. A summary of our experience with great input from others was outlined in this forum chain 3.75 Season Trailer?. On a trip last week, we used multiple digital bluetooth thermometers, adjusted to read temps consistent to each other, to different parts of the belly of the trailer. As compared to cold trips before our system tweaks to date, all previously problematic areas (= drop below freezing in areas w/water lines) worked fine when ambient dropped down to -5f. Amazing. The outlier was, you guessed it, the rearmost area of the garage behind the flimsy wall. In spite of venting into and out of that area and opening the bottom door in the cabinet between the beds, the temp at those water lines dropped below freezing when the ambient temps was in the low teens. Crazy making, especially as there is no reason for those lines to have been run through such an exposed area. My thoughts concerning next steps is to add cut off valves to those lines just behind where they feed past the furnace. The following image is towards the rear. Bottom of photo is just past the furnace. After the elbow, the lines feed into the garage. My questions to you knowledgable folks are 1) There are three lines, two of which are for the exterior shower. Which two? and 2) What is the third line? Is it the City Water feed? and 3) Considering that we will always start the season winterized, do you think it is necessary to add a cut off to all three lines if we dont use the City Water line? Once we address this issue and successfully complete a mid winter trip with the water activated, I'll share a post on the 3.75 Season chain to share update and gory details. I am also curious to hear if those with 2023 trailers, with the improved heating system, have run their water in temps below 10 degrees. Exotic as those conditions may seem to some, in many parts of the country, any mid winter night could be considerably colder.
  6. I have a 2022 F150 which I bought brandy new in December of 2021: Weird but true. It's my daily driver and, unladen, gets roughly 21mpg. Towing my Oliver E2 with stock Goodyear Wrangler Territory P (passenger) rated all terrain tires, I would average 11-12mpg. In searching for a winter rated (3 Peak) tire, as opposed to a snow tire, I found plenty of information confirming that the average P rated tire is at it's outer limits towing an Oliver so best for low mileage on smooth roads. Very limited options for C&D rated tires (roughly 6&8 ply respectively) I opted for a E 10ply Michelin Agilis Crossclimate. Took my first winter trip which was 7 hours driving each way to and from a ski mountain in northern Maine. I go there often enough to know what to have expected with the Wrangler tires. Averaged 13-14mpg so noticeably better. Unladen, mpg dropped 1-2mpg compared to stock. Towed MUCH BETTER and seeing as how half my annual miles is while towing, the mpg balances out. As expected, the new tires are a tad louder then the stock ones but barely noticeable difference. Also slightly stiffer ride when unladen but perfect and much less squishy while towing. A whole world of improvement on snow. More appropriate for rough road usage and greatly decreased chance of blowing out a sidewall. Found a great conversion app for comparing differences between tires so I ignore the door sticker and run the tires at 45psi unladen and 60psi while towing. It's convoluted but, in short, as plys go up, it takes more psi to achieve the same carrying capacity so beefier tires need to run at a higher pressure to get to the factory tire spec. This is my 2nd truck where I tried stock and beefier tires while towing my Oliver. Similar outcomes in both cases. I'll use the stock tires during warm seasons but will retire them before they are at the end of their life and switch full time to the beefier options. Will try to keep them off heavily rutted roads and drive slowly when on dirt.
  7. Where did you source that vent? It's exactly what I was looking for. In my case, I vented the bathroom into the space below the front dinette seat. Also added a 4" return in the rear face of the same seat which I use to tweak air flow coming from the bathroom as too much would reverse exhaust venting from my composting toilet. That same adjustable vent cover would be great for the return vent under the seat.
  8. If the fan running while the compressor is off is the source of the problem, would it make sense to have chosen a smaller unit? Would the 9.5 BTU in an Elite 2 run the compressor for longer periods, removing more moisture from the air? I would also guess that the smaller unit running for longer would have a similar power draw to what the bigger unit would use running for a shorter time.
  9. Has anyone replaced their cooktop because of the "NHTSA RECALL 22V350 Damage Cooktop Control Valves May Leak Gas" recall posted on the forum? My Elite 2 falls into the dates of potential problematic units. I'm looking to find out where the serial number fror the cooktops are located and to see if anyone has suffered the infamous Dometic black hole where their service centers refuse to work on warranted product because the center does not sell Oliver trailers while Oliver refuses to do the work because they are not a Dometic service center. On an additional note, I feel it would serve customers well (not to mention making plenty of sense with little cost) for Oliver to include all product serial numbers with each new trailer. In my two years of ownership, searching for serial numbers has been a fairly frequent occurence as in having to repair/replace/maintain my bathroom sink, Maxair fan, inverter, fridge, furnace, thermostat and now, cooktop.
  10. Great to hear that the aluminum frame is standing up to marine environment so well. Guess that makes plenty of sense. Even with lots of exposure over last winter to the hideous stuff they apply to winter roads here in NE, my frame looks pretty good but, you can bet, I'll be watching as that mystery stuff is a different animal from ocean salt. The overly wordy descriptor (apologies) I offered above about Fluid Film is very worth considering for those of us exposed to winter roads for both our trailers and vehicles. Perhaps not for the frames of the Olivers but my trailer axles and suspension parts, LP tank trays - which were heavily corroded - all looked old beyond their one year of exposure. I used a spray can of FF being careful not to contaminate the brakes. After my truck is a couple of years old will have that sprayed stem to stern too. Really stops rust dead. Let a little surface rust form first for something to adhere to, wash and apply. If you have flaking rust, hit it with a wire brush and paint scraper just to take off big bits, wash and apply. Stops all undercarriage squeaks and cuts new rust growth to zero.
  11. Not that it applies just to the trailer but Im wondering what you would refer for an anti galling gel? There are steel on aluminum spots on the Oliver that are concerning to me as is the case with my mountain bike and some of my fancy pantsy camping gear. Thanks on that.
  12. You are right about aluminium in marine environments but that is different then the effect of whatever scary material they are spraying roads with. That said, while the metal on the axels and suspension on my trailer is certainly beat up, the frame still looks surprisingly new which is why Im holding off for no on spraying the Fluid Film. BTW, this stuff is a grease not a paint. Much the same as beeswax that you use to oil leather products. Washes off with water and soap. I sincerely doubt there is any chance of it having anything but a positive protective effect on the frames of our trailers. Easy enough to find gory details on the website. https://www.fluid-film.com/
  13. We live and travel mostly in coastal environments. Do quite a lot of winter trailering too. The stuff they put on roads nowadays is murder on vehicles. I used to have a film lighting business and had a number of trucks. Historically, rust related problems ran me thousands of dollars. Did some homework and found that plow guys often undercoated their gear with Fluid Film as did maintenance folks working on bridges in marine environments . It's a natural based fluid, sprayed on undercarriage (with options of spraying into rocker panels, etc...) which acts as a penetrant and lubricant. Used if for years on work and personal trucks and absolutely swear by it. Lots of folks apply every year. I used to clean my vehicles, coat with fluid film, repeat again the following year then do every other or 3rd year depending on how much use the vehicle sees. Commercial applications at garages is about $20/running foot but, if you have a compressor, you can buy the kit to do it yourself. A garage should discount as there is only frame to do on our trailers as opposed to the entirety of an average vehicle. Stuff goes on like viscous fluid then absorbs dust and firms up a bit. I used to go right from garage to drive on a dirt road. Turns into a brown, rubbery coating. You can leave entirely alone till next application or spray with low pressure but will wash off with high pressure and soap. I put on a 5 year old box truck which I had another 10 years with absolutely no new rust growth. You hit rusty spots with a wire brush - lightly - apply the film and that's it. Unlike standard undercoating, will not trap moisture and cause further rust creep. Penetrates into nooks and crannies really well. There is overspray which gets on exterior of vehicle but is easily cleaned with a hose and whatever cleaning soap you use. Have to be careful not to get on brakes. I always had the tech steer clear of them and I would follow up with canned spray Fluid Film which you can get at auto stores/amazon to hit spots they missed. I have not applied to my entire Oliver undercarriage yet but have done the axles, trays that LP tanks sit on, base of the tanks themselves and suspension bits. Our trailers have so little metal in undercarriage that it would probably be easiest and certainly less $ to just buy a few cans and apply by hand. Will do a test by coating a cross member under the Oliver and checking progress in the fall before doing the whole frame. My f150 is just a year old so will wait till the fall before having it done. Some folks say it's best to wait for a bit of corrosion before applying so there is something for the film to stick to.
  14. Thanks both of you for that. Much appreciated.
  15. Hey All, I was doing some work under the bathroom sink. Pulled the insert out of the vanity and left the switch for the water pump hooked up. Someone trying to help me out unhooked that connection and did not map out how things were originally attached. No good deed goes unpunished. There are 6 potential points of attachment and only three wires to hook into those points and I have not yet been able to figure out the configuration? I'll run at with a multi meter but am not a master of that device. Can anyone help me out with this?
  16. Lots of great stuff there Gj. I am especially interested in the insulated flexible vent duct options. I'd like to replace sections of duct close to the furnace as that is an area least in need of heating that runs super warm because of heat loss through the duct itself. I've replaced the duct line that feeds the cabin mid way under the curbside bed. Ran the new duct to a spot opposite the existing vent under the galley so now there is one close to the battery compartment. I used semi rigid duct which gets hot so it has heated the compartment surrounding the exterior shower and opened a vent through to the garage to share heat with pex lines run through there. insulated (with reflectix) areas close to electronics to protect that stuff. Will add some of your suggested insulated duct from the furnace till the duct comes out under the streetside bed as to minimize heating areas where not needed. The ideas about running a fan and portable AC powered heater sound like smart thinking but I have yet to winter camp somewhere with access to shore power so may be a project for next summer. Thanks much for sharing. Very helpful stuff.
  17. Geronimo John and Seadawg are on to something. I vote that, as a forum, we pitch in for a dedicated proofreader. Bet if we spend a few more $, we can even get someone to compose our posts for us.
  18. That is great. It's is a vast improvement over what my 2021 would have done before I tweaked the heat system. Would be interesting to test readings in the rearmost area of the garage as the pex lines there are likely the most susceptible. I'm earnestly glad for you folks that have the new upgraded system and commiserate with the rest of us of us that have to do some pretty serious surgery to have trailers that work well (= having access to water) in actual 4 season conditions.
  19. Hey All. My bad. Seadawg pointed out I was confusing pounds and gallons. I need a personal proofreader. Mabey a new year's resolution in the making?
  20. Sounds like a great experience. Glad to hear it but your post does bring up a couple of follow up questions: - You state that you used about 1.5 gallons per night and have two 5 gallon tanks. My experience with the Dometic furnace in similar situations (but likely colder daytime temps) was burning around 15 gallons/day off a 30 gallon tank. I'm surer the Truma is more efficient but would be surprised if the difference was that much. The two stock options for tank sizes on the Olivers is either a 20 gallon tank ( similar to what you would find on a gas cooking grill) or a 30 gallon tank. A 5 gallon tank is about the size of big guy's head. Is that what you actually have? - You shared the belly temp of 38 degrees on a night where it was single digits. That's great and, I agree, is likely an improvement due to the new return placements. Out of curiosity, where did you take this reading? The area of most concern for me, which is likely the most vulnerable, is behind the garge at the very rear of the trailer as that is where the lines to the exterior shower run. I would bet your "sweating walls" was condensation settling on the walls as they and the windows are so much colder than the rest of the csbin. Thanks much for the informative post
  21. Can anyone who has done the Houghton install themselves go into a little gory detail of what it took? I would love to give it a go. Am happy to end up using a remote to control the unit as long as the heat could still run off the existing thermostat.
  22. Soooo, I spoke with the head honcho at the link. Background is that my light bar works perfect till my headlights are on. Then the turn signals get crazy glitchy. Turns out that it's a common Ford problem but can happen with any vehicle that has "modern conveniences" such as blind spot monitoring (which is deactivated when trailer is attached) and the only fix is to hard wire. There is a bar light that is made by one company that will work in plug-and-play mode but it is (drum roll) $300. Does have a 3 year warrantee which, from my research, is three times the average working light of even good bars. Crazy! Seems like the solution is following John's excellent set up or spending a pile of $ and tossing my current bar on the trash heap. John's fix and instructions are, as usual, fantastic but I am intimidated by drilling a through hole and doing the electric work. Etrailer carries a set of running/turn lights that terminate in a standard 4 pin connector which the claim will play nice with the Ford. Not as good a solution as a 60" bar but I may give it a go.
  23. I'm sure I 'm not alone in trying to find a workaround for bikes mounted on the rear bumper blocking the rear lights. Particularly bad in my case as I wrap the bikes in a protective travel bag. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RNPS8CM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1. The bag is fantastic for keeping the bikes dry and clean and has translucent panels on both sides to facilitate rear lights shining through but cuts the light too much to be of use on a sunny day so my turn signals are useless. I purchased a 60" LED lightbar that terminates in a standard flat, 4 pin, connector. https://www.amazon.com/OPT7-Redline-Triple-Tailgate-Sequential/dp/B0771WDRHH/ref=rvi_sccl_4/144-1395279-4476013?pd_rd_w=VSM8e&content-id=amzn1.sym.f5690a4d-f2bb-45d9-9d1b-736fee412437&pf_rd_p=f5690a4d-f2bb-45d9-9d1b-736fee412437&pf_rd_r=76TJTKPWAPHZRG5MA7A3&pd_rd_wg=hgQej&pd_rd_r=d840fc24-bf18- . Fit perfectly on lower rear bumper and was clearly visible under the tires of the bikes. "Dry tested" it and it worked great. Ran wiring under the trailer, mounted the bar and all seemed great. Found that the turn signals on the bar got super twitchy when my headlights were on. Turns out, all these bars get twitchy when using 4 pin plug-and-play with modern vehicles that have BLISS (back up assist), blind spot monitoring or OEM reverse cameras. Top fix, you need to hard wire to rear lights. Crazy stuff. I can't tap into my truck's lights as that could potentially void the warrantee. I have no idea how to get to rear light harness on the Oliver. Hate to do electric as I really don't speak that language but need to do what I got to do. Any ideas?
  24. Sounds like some good ideas there. Have a couple of thoughts. If the fan is itself under the dinette, where would you be drawing warm air from tho heat between the hulls? On the newest trailers (and mine after tweaking last season) there is a vent cut from bathroom to under the dinette. Using the fan would work well in that circumstance but, if you have a composting toilet, could reverse the flow of the air through the solids box = sad faced smell. Another option would be to cut a small louvered vent under the forward dinette seat so the warm air could be drawn from the cabin. You are spot on about opening the internal dead ends. There are walls between basement and garage under streetside bed and another behind the furnace which prevent warm air from getting to the rearmost water lines. It's a shame otherwise to heat the garage but those lines (that feed the external shower) are the most vulnerable in the trailer.
  25. GJ, you've offered up some great suggestions on this topic on both this chain and the 3.75 Season Trailer forum. That said, this one really hits home. Even though we travel with 3 30lb tanks, for both cost and convenience, I was dreading heating the belly at temps north of mid 20s where it is not necessary. I'll switch out the 8x10 existing return air vent for one with a louvre and plan to do the same for a couple of the others vents I've cut between dead ends in the garage and basement so I can tune the system 1) to the need to share heat between the hulls and 2) adjust flow to send the most air where it is most needed. Very helpful. Thanks on that. Question: My trailer has the "rumpled" accordion, lightweight 4" foil ducts. I notice this is super delicate and have already needed to repair with foil tape in a few spots. You mention "smooth bore" duct. Can you be more specific as to the type of product and why it is more efficient? Unlike the "semi rigid" duct I've added to the streetside, I have not noticed the rumpled duct exterior heating up.
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