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Everything posted by GAP

  1. Hey JIM I've been towing an Elite II with a gas 2016 Chevy Colorado. Have done so for about a year and have laid down about 6,000 miles. Towed over all the mountain areas (such as they are) on the eastern seaboard. I use an Anderson hitch and have had no problems. Have averaged around 13mpg as long as I don't add my kayaks to the roof of the TV. I never have had to fully stomp the gas to the floor and after tweaking the Anderson set up to match their installation guidelines, replacing my tires with ones rated to do the job and setting the air pressure to a more appropriate level then the amount suggested on the door jam sticker, have had zero issues. That said, I have a brandy new Ford eco boost 3.6L on it's way. My reasoning is simple: I feel there is not enough safety margin for emergency high speed maneuvers or enough power to handle going into the higher mountains found out west. I won't bore you with the tests I've run while on the road but am confidant in this move. The Ford has an 11,000lb tow capacity (can be up to 12.5k depending on other configurations) and plenty of payload capacity for myself, a passenger, couple of composite kayaks, roof rack system, TV bed full with camping gear and my dog. As this is my daily driver too, I am hoping it will be the best combination of decent mileage and more then appropriate capacity.
  2. I think you are talking a bit above my pay grade. My plan was to brail my way through this project. I'd give the furnace a good listen, perhaps deploying John's suggested sound level app. after running the hose to the rear dinette seat and putting a vent in the bathroom, would run the furnace again testing with app and listening for similar sound output. If no additional volume or strain, job's done. If otherwise, my loose plan B is to tap back into the now unused, original 4" vent that is by the return air grate and incrementally open the blades to restore balance. BTW, I assume that Oliver supplying a bladed vent under the sink means that the system can withstand minor changes in pressure. For Plan B, I'd swap this bladed cover to the rear vent. Will report back on progress.
  3. I'm wondering if the addition of a vent through the bathroom wall would negate the potential of this problem. It would allow air to flow more easily through to the bathroom (which had been a dead end), which would, in turn rebalance the air flowing into and out of the furnace. As I pondered above, repositioning the hose and exhaust that is closest to the cold-air return to a round vent under the rear dinette seat. Should help with keeping the balance as well, with the added benefit of sharing some heat with some vulnerable spots such as the battery compartment and exterior shower. I took a quick look and it seems like running the vent hose, under the floor to the street side, under the inverter, past the battery box and into the compartment under the seat would be fairly easy.
  4. I was considering trying to cap the closest vent (to the heater intake) altogether and, in it's place, running a line under the floor to the street side and, if possible, as far forward as the rear dinette seat. Adding a round vent there. This would bring heat past the outside shower, and under the battery compartment, both areas that can use a little love. Venting the bathroom wall and perhaps doing as John suggested with allowing some flow through the closet all seems like it should help minimize the most vulnerable area. Thoughts?
  5. Hey Maniac, As the area you vented is double walled, where did you get the vent? Is it finished on the inside of the bathroom as well?
  6. I ordered the XL which is rated to 10,000 lbs. The powered units (some mentioned above) sure look sweet but are in thew range of $3,500 - $6000 where I spent $600 for the Trailer Valet XL. My needs are super simple with a level driveway and limited space to have to move. Will report back but am hoping that this less expensive option works out. I had considered a front mounted hitch on my truck but there is not the room in my driveway to be able to pull it off.
  7. We bought our E2 last December with a Nature's Head. Love it and have had no problems - mostly because we did our homework, watched the online videos to see what folks did wrong and learned from their mistakes. No smell except similar to potting soil when we actually dump the solid matter. Saves a ton of precious water when boondocking. Super easy to keep the bowl clean. No scrubbing ever - just the occasional wipe with a big "handiwipe". Fantastic for the quick winter time trips we frequently take where we don't wake up the water system. Not having to handle a black water hose is a a huge plus. If we are going to a campground and going to dump our grey water at the same time that we need to change the solids tank, it's easy to dump the solids in the hose hole first and wash the tiny bit of spilled composting material (if any) into the hole with the grey water we are disposing. The solid matter allows for weeks of continuous use and is easy to dispose of. We put ours in our compost box which gets naturally hot enough to break down for use in our perennial garden beds. Dumping in an open compost pile would do the same. If we turn the macerator a dozen times, it breaks down the solids really well and mixes thoroughly with the coir medium. Truly makes for an inoffensive final product. Anyone who has a dog is dealing with much much grosser material in a much more up close and personal way. From what Ive found on line, it is fine to simply put the stuff in a bag and dump legally in the garbage. We've only done this a couple of times but use a recycled bag. The liquid can be safely poured around the base of a tree or shrubs and the nitrogen feeds their roots. We've been doing that for a year and the plants seem to love it. I've never experienced a strong smell when dumping the pee container even indoors into a toilet. We don't allow liquid to stay in the container for more then three days, so that may help. After a trip, we keep the computer fan running for about a week and then unplug it. This allows enough time for the medium to do it's thing enough so there is no smell. As mentioned above, it's best to keep the coir (we prefer the coconut coir over peat moss for environmental and price reasons) on the dry side so, if it's super humid out, we'll run a dehumidifier in the trailer for that week which dries out the trailer in general and material in the solids tanks. No problem even when stored for extended periods. Saves the hassle and intimate contact of having to clean out the bin. Per instructions from manufacturer, we never clean out the solids tank. The minnimal amount of material (a couple of table spoons worth) when we dump it out is the medium to start the next batch. Kinda like sourdough bread. As to toilet paper, we don't put any in the toilet. I KNOW, I KNOW: Sounds gross but, in reality, not so much. We keep a little, lidded, foot operated garbage can near the toilet. Inside is a plastic container that 40oz of mixed nuts came in. No lid. We line that with the plastic bags you get from the deli for meats and cheeses. A rubber band hold the bag in place. Toilet paper goes in there, as does general bathroom trash and it gets tossed every 3 days or so. Even in hot weather, no smell. Using this system prevents the macerator in the toilet from getting clogged. Nothing gross to handle, look at or smell.
  8. I purchased the Oliver bumper, pulled their receiver off and replaced with a modified 2" for the reason mentioned above. The stresses on a hitch bobbing around on a travel trailer was concerning enough that I felt a "travel trailer" approved hitch was prudent. Oliver supplying a 1.25" hitch receiver is crazy making. If I was ordering the trailer again, I'd ask that the supply the bumper without a receiver and no holes drilled. It would be super easy to buy a 2" receiver plate and bolt it down myself.
  9. I am ordering a Trailer Valet for moving my Elite 2 around our driveway. I'm wondering if our trailers have surge brakes that kick on even when the trailer is not plugged in. Couldn't find anything in the owner's manuals. Any help would be appreciated. Gerry
  10. I am starting my fall clean up. Noticed that the weather stripping around the exterior of the windows, has some funk and grey blotching. I did a search here and found that one person was getting modest success by soaking the strips in a bucket of bleach water. I do remember reading in the forum some time past that the was a product that worked well in bringing these strips back to white. Can anyone share what that product is? Gerry
  11. Informative for sure so thanks on that John. The thought of performing these type of plumbing tweaks is a bit intimidating. My situation is pretty unique, I guess, as most folks seem to stay clear of extended length below freezing tripping. For short stretches, bottled/jugged water and a composting toilet works well but anything more then a few days, a shower moves from the "kinda nice" box to "kinda got to do it". I have been told by quite a few winter trailer users that they have no problem with the blow out system in their rigs but those aren't Olivers and I'm a little gun shy about experimenting with mine. Obviously, waking up and re-winterizing with pink, multiple times during the winter, without access to a heated garage, is a dubious situation. I saw that Oliver used to have guidelines for blowing out posted, as a video, on their site. Have reached out to the shop to further explore and am absolutely going to experiment. Will report back with updates as things unfold. Gerry
  12. I do frequent gel coat repairs to kayaks as Im a rough water instructor. There is no difference between the layup of our trailers and my kayaks. A few things to consider: - While your ding goes through the gel coat and exposes the glass matt under, there is no chance that occasional moisture exposure will do any further damage. - Ideally, you would repair the damaged gel coat with an application of gel coat. It's easy enough stuff to work with, the stuff you need can be found at most hardware store or, for more $, at a West Marine and there are plenty of Utube type instructionals. Standard boat repair 101. The downside is that Oliver, from what I've heard, does not use a standardized or even consistent (from unit to unit) white. Nowadays, there are RAL based color options which, in short, means that if Oliver always used a particular white found on a RAL chart, we would be able to order gel coat in that exact color to make a perfect match. Store bought gel coats come in slightly varying array of whites so your repair will be a little off. If you want to try to match, you can experiment with a store bought gel coat and add a little coloration which is usually pricey and comes in primary colors only. - An option may be to contact Oliver to see if they still have or stock gel coat to match your hull number. Could luck out. If so, ask whether their product has wax already mixed in or if you need to add. If the latter, the wax is available from West Marine and includes a formulation of how much to add to a given amount of gel coat. - If you are willing to accept a slight color mismatch, John's suggestion is spot on. Marinetex is a flat, very slightly greyish white which, given the tiny area you have to fill, may be perfectly fine and makes for a super easy repair. If you go this route, I often prep the hole as John suggested, clean out hole and surrounding area with isopropyl alcohol and fill in with the product. Use a tad more then it takes to fill the hole, cover the area with a little piece of rolled plastic clear sheeting like visquene or the stuff you put over windows for the winter and use a spoon or tongue depressor to carefully smooth out the Marinetex which willspread a little beyond the hole - which is good. Peel up the plastic an hour later, let cure entirely, then wet sand with 800 then 1200 sandpaper. Finish with lite rubbing compound then a finberglass polish/wax. Good as new and easier then it sounds. BTW, that process is the same for how I work with gel coat. Best of luck. Gerry
  13. As John rightly points out, I did forget to mention pouring some of the pink down the traps. I do currently store my rig outdoors. Am buying a portable, "hoop house" garage but that will do nothing really to protect the trailer from the cold. Moving the lines as suggested for better heating sounds prudent. - Installing cut offs for the outside shower leaves me wondering how to clear that line once water is introduced for a mid winter trip? I understand that water would not make it to the hot/cold water controls or the shower head but it would fill those lines up to the cut off valves. If using the "blow out method", would re-winterizing the outside shower simply be a matter of opening the shut offs, blowing out the water and resealing the cut off's? - Why John did you suggest placing the three way w/drain close to the furnace? Doesen't the fresh and grey water tanks themselves (I have a composing toilet so nothing in black tank lines) offer the best low point drain opportunities? I do not doubt that winterizing with the pink is more fool proof and easier but given our frequent mid winter usage, doesen't seem like it would really work for us.
  14. My Colorado is the first Chevy I've ever had. Drove Tacomas for 35 years straight and that was a total of just 3 trucks. To my tastes, the Toyotas kept inching up in price and down in value so I thought I'd try something new. Loved the Colorado and had no problems with it aside from routine maintenance. Super comfy and dependable ride. The only reason I went with the Ford 150 instead of a Chevy 1500 is that I am a one vehicle guy so need a semi fuel efficient (for a truck) and capable tow vehicle. The Ford seemed to offer the best combination and has a similar dependability record to the Silverados. Managed to get the build I wanted with all the tow and safety add ons at just under $50k so am pretty happy with the order. Trucks are obscenely and unfairly expensive but, like most of the folks on this forum, there's no getting around it. Even if I never towed, I'm live a very "trucky" lifestyle.
  15. This may start a firestorm but.... I picked up an Elite II last December. Have driven it all over the eastern seaboard including the Adirondacks, Whites, Blue Ridge and Green Mountains. About 7.5k miles so far, all with a 2016 Chevy Colorado. I use the Anderson weight distro/anti wobble hitch and aside from the trailer brake system the only modification I did was adding Sumo springs (easy install). The truck is rated to tow 7,000lbs and my loaded trailer is running about 6,000 with a full fresh water tank. Pros: Great daily driver, gets 13mpg while towing, owned before I got the trailer. It handles fine, don't really feel fast passing semis, no sway or porpoising. Gets up to speed on highway on ramps without my ever having to stomp on the peddle. Cons: On hot days and extended mountain climbs the transmission can run up to 225 degrees which is fine but close to the edge. With a passenger, kayaks on the roof and a bed full of toys, I am pushing right up against my payload limit. Hits 5.5k rpms when passing on a hill which is acceptable according to manufacturer but I can feel and hear the strain. Takeaways: I feel the Colorado can safely get the job done in rolling terrain but there is little room for safety margin. The braking, drive train and suspension are rated to do the work (read up on SAE rating requirements). That said, is it really prudent to run against the capacities on a frequent basis? Will certainly effect the longevity of the tow vehicle and I worry about ability to handle an emergency avoidance maneuver. If I were limiting my towing to modestly hilly terrain and staying out of the mountains and willing to compromise on my payload options, I'd consider sticking with the Colorado. My new F150 (tow capacity is 11k lbs and the payload more then doubled) is due for delivery in December. Side note: I bought the Colorado with 18,000 on it for $30,000 and can sell it now, with 80,000 miles for $25,000. Even at the obscene price of the new Ford, considering the 0% financing and a more sensible match for towing, it's a no brainer. Gerry
  16. I have seen this touched on in other threads but am wishing to drill down on specifics here. My question is to whether CAREFULLY blowing out the lines is a safe way of winterizing for below freezing temps. By careful, I include (in no particular order) 1) using an oil free compressor set to around 45lbs psi, 2) blowing both hot and cold lines with nose up and down and repeating, allowing enough pressurized time so no water runs out of faucets 3) turning the hot water cut off switch to "off", 4) emptying the tanks, 5) cleaning and drying out the bulb containing the water pump filter. I use the trailer frequently and intermittently all winter long and am mostly boondocking so winterizing with the pink stuff is problematical. I know the Oliver does not suggest blow outs and have discussed with the shop but get the sense they don't like that technique as it is not idiot proof . Do any of you have direct experience with doing this? Gerrt
  17. I spoke to the good folks at Anderson yesterday after submitting my posting here. They shared that for late model trucks (2016 or newer) they no longer suggest to disengage the Ford Anti Sway feature. Turns out that they had her incidentally and through the experience of a couple of employees with older trucks that the Anti Sway and Anderson ended up working against each other. Described the problem as jerky sway and attributed it to the two features being out of sink in their approach to preventing sway. They have not heard of this problem happening on newer trucks with anti sway. My personal experience lines up with what others have said. Till my new 150 arrives, I am still towing with a Chevy Colorado. No sway issues at all - a tiny bit of porpoising when running over big highway cracks. We've driven about 7500 miles with the Colorado which tows the weight well but can feel a little overwhelmed. It's in no hurry to get up to speed and, on very long hills in very hot weather, can run up against the comfy range for transmission temps. Otherwise, has been pretty solid. Has done fine on our east coast mountains, including the Whites in New Hampshire but we have eyes on trips in the Rockys so have ordered up. I don't believe bigger is always better but am looking forward to having a bit more safety margin in towing (11,500 lb vs 7,000lb) and a lot more payload capacity. Gerry
  18. This chain does bring up questions I've been wrestling with. I have a Ford 150 on order. 3.6 eco boost with lots of fancy safety stuff including their electronic anti sway feature. According to Ford suggestions, any trailer over 5000lbs should use a mechanical anti sway device with the 150 - as opposed to their bigger trucks. I have an Elite II with the anderson anti sway/weight distribution unit which I love. Questions: - I've read but am wondering if anyone has experienced a situation where the TV anti sway electronic works against the mechanical device, actually causing sway? - The Ford anti sway feature can be disabled but must be reset each time the truck is turned on. Do any of you experimented with doing so? Gerry
  19. The problem is that all bike racks (I've found) that are "RV approved" require a 2" receiver. If you use an adapter for a 1.25" receiver, it voids the RV delineation. I was told by service at Oliver that the chocking down of their receiver was a result of some dummy using the older 2" receiver to tow a car behind the trailer. I understand their concern but the stickers they currently attach to the receiver area clearly states the weight and usage limitations. By supplying a 1.25" receiver, Oliver is charging $800 for a unit that should not be used for what it is intended to do. Safe or not, they are minimizing their liability by maximizing ours
  20. We live in the northeast and have a 2021 Elite II. For the first year of ownership, we've been storing our trailer naked, out in the elements. Have washed and waxed a couple of times and am appreciative of how durable and weather resistant gel coat is but, here comes winter and we fell it's best for the trailer to be somehow under cover. Am looking for suggestions as to a cost effective option to keep out of the sun, snow and rain. We have a paved area of the driveway that is free to dedicate and are considering some sort of fabric hoop house. This may be a good fit for us as we will probably be moving next year (to Vermont = colder and more snow) so could disassemble a hoop house and bring it along with us. Do any of you have experience with this type of structure and, if so, any ideas how to set it up for stable but temporary use so as to avoid having to place permanent anchors into the driveway?
  21. That stealth Olli could have been me but I was spending the weekend coaching at a rough water kayak symposium along the mid coast area. Was wrapping up Monday after a three day event and was headed back to Connecticut.
  22. I do have the Honda 2200i. Great generator but... Were I to do it all over again, I'd get one like the Yamaha shown above. The Honda will run the air conditioning all day long with no problem but it was a pricey unit and requires a pricey conversion kit to run off propane. Carrying a small gas can and that generator takes up as much space and probably weighs not much less then the Yamaha dual fuel. That unit can run off propane when appropriate (lower altitudes) without the stink of the gas can.
  23. Late to respond here but to answer your question directly - yes, the 2200 does require a "neutral ground plug". I use a cube tap (available at any hardware store and in attached file through Amazon) into one of the 20amp plugs, where I can plug in both the 20a to 30a cord adapter to the trailer and the neutral ground plug
  24. What about ti8re pressure for E2s? I have the stock tires which are Cooper Discover HT3s, LT 225 75R16. I looked on line and at the card both stating max PSI is 80lbs which is what it was when picked up from Oliver. The on line chart suggested PSI by weight which seemed to infer that these tires should be inflated to 40psi if used on a dual axle with each tire carrying 1500lbs which is both accurate and unnecessarily complicated. I had found that the 80lbs inflation ride was stiff and bouncy so had already decreased to 60lbs which seemed to track better and was less stiff. The recommended 40psi seems too low to me but I may give it a go as an experiment. Any of you folks have thoughts on this?
  25. We've had a composting toilet since pick up in December. Love it. Watched the you tube videos before and learned from other's mistakes so has been issue free. We bought a spare blower from the company just in case of a potential break down and it would be super easy to instal while on travel. If you follow the recommendations on their site, there is no smell at all. The fan actually serves to lear the air "live" so no need to put warning tape across the bathroom door after usage. Our medium has not been changed in a few months now even though it's seen a lot of use. We usually go a couple of weeks between trips and, once home, unplug the fan after a couple of days so the medium does not dry out. The organic matter digests over those two weeks and it is all ready for further usage. Truthfully, we can't tell how long we can continue with this cycle as, so far, there is no increased smell. That said, we don't put toilet paper or wipes in the container. Keep a tiny, lidded, foot operated garbage pale between the toilet and sink and use our old deli meat zip locks for that material. throwing the bag out every 2-3 day and, no smell even in how weather. We also carry a spare pee bottle with cap. Never had a reason but if we needed to store a full bottle (mabey to wait out bad weather?) we could leave a full bottle with cap waiting outside till it was convenient to empty. Even while emptying the bottle, I've noticed very little smell. Certainly not as much as you would expect to encounter in a bathouse or, for that matter, in many RV bathrooms with flushers. I agree with using a bucket being a good solution for vomit. Would probably do the same if we had a flush toilet. Concerning diarrhea, I've been down that road and it was no problem at all. The inside of the bowl is super slick so we never clean with anything other then a wipe. Any over spray, were it to occur, could be spritzed off using the same spray bottle of vinegar mix used after peeing.
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