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Posts posted by BeauDog

  1. On 7/29/2022 at 2:00 PM, John E Davies said:

    I would simply bolt on this unit to the top of the factory cross bar, with an insulating pad between the two parts. It would probably be cheaper than having a shop fabricate one from raw steel. And this has a pretty powder coating, the shop would just spray it with some rattle can enamel without bothering to prime it. So you would end up redoing it yourself in a year.  😀


    John, I like this idea.  I wonder how the spacing of the holes would be relative to the existing 1 1/4" receiver holes?  Too close could be problematic, right? 

  2. The exhaust pipe on our GMC 2500 gasser came with a dealer-installed tip, which added about an 10" extension to the exhaust pipe.  The exhaust pipe vents to the rear and extends almost as far back as the bumper.  

    I have been looking at both the Rocktamer and the Rockstar hitch-mounted mud flap systems, but am having a difficult time deciding which would work best with my exhaust being so near the bumper due to the exhaust heat generated. 

    I contacted the manufacturer of Rockstar and sent their representative some photos of my exhaust.  He was non-commital as to whether their system would work with my truck and didn't even try to come up with a solution.  The Rockstar system comes with precut exhaust holes, but I don't know how well they would line up with my exhaust and the rep was of no help.

    With the Rocktamer system, I could either buy a heat shield accessory or an exhaust outlet accessory to try to deal with the heat from the exhaust.

    I suppose I could also remove the exhaust tip, which would shorten the tailpipe by about 10". 

    Please share your thoughts and suggestions as to which system you think would work the best with my setup.








    • Like 3
  3. 1 hour ago, Kirk Peterson said:

    I totally agree. OTT needs to put a good 2 inch receiver on and then tell the trailer buyers the limitations. A 1.25 hitch is ridiculous. 

    Yes, couldn't agree more with this sentiment.  Oliver apparently had an issue in the past with some fool doing something stupid with the original 2" factory receiver, so now they are making it very difficult for all subsequent customers to figure out how to carry their bikes.  Seems to me a clear disclosure by Oliver as to the limitations of a factory-installed 2" receiver would save many good customers some misery.   

    • Like 2
  4. 3 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

    I would say our rock tamers have been good on slow speed gravel roads. Sometimes,  especially in Canada, we've found ourselves on gravel roads at 35 to 50 mph. Not quite as good, some chips, but better than nothing, for sure.

    If you're only doing slow speed gravel, fine. If you're going to Alaska,  dealing with summer road construction mess, find another way in addition,  to protect the front of the trailer. 

    Thanks for that information, SeaDawg.  We do plan on taking our Oliver to Alaska, most likely in 2023.  We also want to spend some time exploring Canada, and of course many remote areas of the great lower 48.


  5. 7 hours ago, Patriot said:

    I had the Livelymachine shop fabricate these “Rock Stoppers” for our F 350 and have been extremely pleased with the design and performance and most of all a clean Ollie. Constructed of powder coated aluminum tubing and all stainless fasteners these are high quality. 
    They are also custom fit to the F Super Duty trucks for a clean install on the side openings of rear hitch and can be easily removed if not towing. The aluminum face plate In front of the rubber flap deflects debris and stones as and also facilitates rubber flap anit sail. I have zero sailing issues with this product.

    If anyone is interested or you have questions about pricing contact Lively machine @Livelymachine.com.



    After a recent camping trip - a clean front and XPEL 10 mil PPF did its job a long with Rock Stoppers performed great.




    Patriot, I really like the look of your Rock Stopper.  I also like the idea of the XPEL 10 mil PPF.  Do you mostly stay on paved roads or do you also travel and boondock on gravel and dirt roads?  Would your Rock Stopper work well on gravel and dirt surfaces?  

    Although the majority of our miles will be on paved surfaces getting to and from, we expect to do a fair amount of remote traveling and boondocking on gravel and dirt surfaces, so I am trying to figure out which anti-rock system would work best with those multiple surfaces. 

    FrankC said he travels mostly on paved roads and his Rock Tamers work well on those surfaces.  I wonder if they would also work "well enough" on rock and dirt surfaces?

    John Davies uses a Stone Stomper that he modified and it apparently works well on all surfaces.  I love the functionality of the Stone Stomper for that reason.  However, I re-read John's excellent posts regarding his purchase, modifications, and installation of his Stone Stomper and I was exhausted just reading about the time and effort it would take for me to replicate that process, even with the detail that John provided.  I decided I must try to find a simpler, if less effective, solution.

    A Rock Stopper or Rock Tamer type system would certainly be a simpler solution.  I just need to determine how effective they would be on gravel and dirt surfaces.

    Thanks to all for lending the benefit of your experiences.




    • Like 2
  6. I have read several threads on this forum regarding various measures current Ollie owners have taken to protect their trailers while towing.  Those include installing mud flaps on TV and TT;  installing Stone Stompers, Rock Tamers, Bow Buddies, etc.  

    Some of you have the ability and creativity to develop some pretty cool custom products and/or make modifications to existing products.  I have neither the ability or the creativity, so out-of-the-box solutions are what I seek.

    We are scheduled to pick up our Legacy Elite II on August 22, 2022.  Between now and then we will be out of the country for about five weeks.  We need to get on the stick and get some stuff ordered so that we have it with us when we get to Hohenwald.  

    We are not new to camping, but we are new to trailer camping.  So, my questions are: 

    1. Do Stone Stompers work well right out of the box on the Legacy Elite II, or do they need to be modified (like John and others have done) to be effective?   

    2. If one has a Stone Stomper installed, is it still important to have mud flaps on the TV?  If so, can any of you recommend an especially effective out-of-the-box mudflap that you are happy with that would work in conjunction with a Stone Stomper (we have a 2021 GMC 2500 crew cab)? 

    3. Am I right in assuming a Rock Tamer type of mud flap would not work with a Stone Stomper because there wouldn't be enough real estate on the stinger of a typical trailer hitch ball mount?

    4. I take it from past threads that the only way to mud-flap an Oliver is to individually fabricate the product.  Is that right?  Are any of you making them for sale to others?  

    5. What other exterior protective measures should we be prioritizing for the maiden voyage?  The maiden voyage will be several weeks, and a few thousand miles, long.




  7. 2 hours ago, Liana said:

    We have the Honda.  I can lift it and move it around myself.  We'd need the companion one to run our AC, but lifting two lighter ones separately is a lot easier than 100 pounds of anything.  Plus the Honda is so so so very quiet.

    Liana, does your AC have a soft start feature?   We have a Honda EU2200i and I was hoping it would be capable of running the AC on our Ellite II when we pick it up in late August.  Our air conditioner will have the soft start option.  If the Honda alone won't be capable of running the AC, then I need to start shopping for a Honda companion generator.

    • Like 1
  8. 2 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

    There was no Truma A/C option for our 2022 with a June delivery date.

    Yes, the Truma on-demand water heater is listed as an option for 2022 builds, but the Truma A/C is not.  I believe you have to have the Truma on-demand water heater If you want to upgrade to the quieter Truma A/C in the future.  Given all of the complaints about the noise of the Dometic A/C, that could influence one's decision about which water heater system to go with.

    • Like 3
  9. On 1/28/2022 at 5:05 PM, Caddymv said:

    Hi All. Paid my deposit. Can’t wait till September  Question 

    is Truma instant H20. Worth the extra dough. Thank you. Richard


    Hi Richard, we are in the same boat.  I appreciate the responses to your question, because the differing opinions help us think through the pros and cons of that decision. 

    One more thing to consider;  I seem to recall reading or hearing that if you want to upgrade to the quieter Truma air conditioner you would need to have the Truma on-demand hot water heater installed.  Hopefully, someone that is better informed can weigh-in on whether that is accurate.


    • Like 2
  10. 4 hours ago, tallmandan said:

    Ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 different answers.  I’ll second the comments by Jim on considering the GM 1/2 ton with the 3.0L Duramax diesel and 10 speed transmission. So far I’ve put 13k trouble free miles on my 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L and about 4k towing our Oliver.  That’s not much but I’ve been very pleased.  No doubt a 3/4 ton has more power and payload - if you need it.  When you consider cost (3.0 diesel is only $950 upgrade over gasser) and amazing fuel economy in a full size 4x4 pickup, there is a lot to like.  It’s a new, from-the-ground-up designed engine and I worry a bit about reliability but so far it’s flawless.  Smooth and lots of torque at lower Rpm.  Tech and towing package are great

    Thank you for your comments, Tallmandan.  I have enjoyed reading about the various experiences and opinions in response to my question.  They have given me much food for thought, and this is exactly what I was hoping for.  


    • Like 1
  11. 1 hour ago, Rivernerd said:

    I reported the performance of our Tundra on downhill grades with a trailer in response to your reference to engine braking and hill-assist features.  We bought our 2019 Tundra before we decided to buy a travel trailer.  Since we own it, we plan to use it to tow the Elite II, but with an Andersen WD hitch because the Tundra doesn't weight much more than the Elite II.

    If we were now in the market for a tow vehicle for the Elite II, we would likely swallow hard (knowing we are giving up some reliability), and go for a 3/4 ton GMC 2500 or 3500 with the 6.6L gas engine and trailer package.  Why?  (1) Toyota does not offer a 3/4 ton pickup, yet a 3/4 ton provides a larger safety margin towing an Elite II; (2) our local mechanic has a low opinion of the reliability of Dodge pickups; (3) diesel fumes nauseate my wife and (4) Ford does not offer a Double Cab, which we prefer over either an extended cab or crew cab. 

    So, we concur with your leaning:  get a 3/4 ton for safety, even though it will not be a Toyota.

    Thanks - I appreciate your thoughts.  Theoretically, If you were to buy a 3/4 ton or one ton GMC with the 6.6L gas engine would the accompanying 6 speed transmission be of concern to you, particularly during mountainous travels?


  12. 17 hours ago, Mattnan said:

    We still have a 2008 Tundra set up like Rivernerd's with 110,000 miles.   We have been on the road for almost 4 months.  We get about 12 mpg on the flat roads in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.  We average 9 to 11 in the mountains going up and down.  The old Tundras are notoriously gas hogs and I only get 14 mpg in daily use.  I would suggest investigating the new Tundra but based on gas mileage on TFL, they are not getting much if any better towing.  They are in daily use.  Our Mountain experience is primarily in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.  I operated the truck and transmission exactly as Rivernerd described.  We did have one instance of a 6 mile 6 percent down grade where I had to use the brakes on the truck and manually engaged the trailer brakes too.  This was the only time I felt the need to really use the breaks.  I am very conservative and most of the traffic passes me.  We seldom exceed 65 mph.  The Tundra has plenty of power up hill.  Up hill has not been an issue.  I think with the exception of a couple of times when I needed to accelerate to merge or pass going up a hill the engine seldom exceeded 3200 rpm.  All this said, if I were going to tow in the mountains the majority of the time, personally I would go for the diesel because of the exhaust brake.  I am leary of the increased purchase and operating cost of the diesel.  I would purchase a 1 ton as the price difference is minimal.  There may be one other solution.  I believe there are some half ton diesels.  I am not sure of the payload or capabilities.  Our boat builder, who is in his mid 70s purchased a new Ram 1500 in 2019 with diesel and he has been very happy indicating over 20 mpg.  Good luck in your search and decision


    Thank you for your thoughts.  It is a goofy time to be on the hunt for a TV, but that is where we find ourselves.  Have you ever felt like your trailer pushed your Tundra around?  I am leaning toward a heavier TV for safety, but those half ton diesels are intriguing.


    16 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

    Payload aside it’s important to realize that the curb weight of a heavy duty pickup is at least 30% higher than a half ton. That weight increase comes predominantly from stronger structures (frame, axles, brakes, etc) and drivetrain.  The extra strength of these components really does make a difference when towing a trailer. 


    Thank you for your comments.  I am leaning toward a 3/4 or one ton for safety reasons.  I would have somewhat less concern about the GMC 2500 Denali 6.6L gas if it came with an 8 or 10 speed tranny instead of a 6 speed.  Any thoughts from any of you regarding the suitability of a 6 speed transmission in a gas 3/4 ton TV?

  13. 15 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

    Did you actually lay eyes on the sticker that stated “3,760 lbs payload?” That seems awfully high for a fully tricked out (Denali) 2500. 

    Thanks for the question.  I did not see the sticker when I posted that it had 3,760 lbs payload.  I got that number off of a GMC webpage.  After you asked the question I contacted the seller and asked him to send me a photo of the door sticker, which he did.  The door sticker shows the max payload is 3,339 lbs.  

  14. 16 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

    I have owned a Tundra with 5.7L V8, 6-speed auto transmission and trailer package since 2008.  First a 2008, and now a 2019.  They both have the "Select Shift" feature ("S" on the gear display below the "D") which allows you to manually control the transmission with a thumb wheel on the gearshift lever.  I have towed several different trailers ranging from 3K lbs. to 6K lbs., sometimes with passengers and a loaded pickup bed, up and down the mountains of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana during those 14 years.  I have been able to sufficiently control my speed with the thumb wheel going down steep hills, being pushed by the trailer, that I rarely have had to engage the brakes.

    One of the reasons we bought the 2019 Tundra when the 2008 got old (in addition to our love of Toyota reliability) is this feature.  I find it remarkably useful when towing in the mountains.

    Thanks for that info.  That would indeed be a valuable feature.


    • Like 1
  15. 50 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

    Hill Descent is used at a walking pace, it uses the ABS as a sort of low speed cruise control, for going down really steep hills. It won’t work at highway speeds. I much prefer to just engage 4 Low and shift manually, it is much less chaotic for the passengers  that way.

    I suggest that you research the Ford HD trucks with the 7.3 liter “Godzilla” gas motor. It has almost diesel power characteristics, is super simple and cheap to maintain, and will pull either Ollie easily.



    John Davies

    Spokane WA


    Thank you, John.  Interesting option should I decide to go the big gas truck route.



    45 minutes ago, jim sroka said:

    HI Marv

       Not to say I have all the answers so I will tell you my last twenty years of towing. First i just sold my 2008 Airstream 25 (5600 lbs dry and 960 in hitch weight), my wife and 

    I put 65,000 miles on it towing with a 2014 Silverado 1500 with a 5.3 and 6 speed trans. The truck had a max tow PKG and a 373 axle . The mpg around home  19/20, towing if i stayed in the 65/70 range was 11to 12 mpg . The last trip in TX and AZ running 75 to 80+ milage was 10 to 11.  I never use cruise unless it flat with no wind.  With all that said I am waiting for my Elite 2 in June  and my new 2022 chevy 1500 with the 3.0 and 10 speed. For the last 20 years at work I have towed boat all over Michigan and other parts of the country. I have used GMC 1500 ,2500,and 3500 both gas diesel, tow from 5000 lbs to 19,000 lbs.  When I grab a truck to tow I always when i could a truck that was rated for twice trailer as the load i was moving. By doing that it was a lot nice drive, and it also gave me the best tow milage. On the 5.3 i had it ran down the highway towing @ 2200 to 2450 rpm in 5 gear and would up shift in to 6 on fall roads or with a tail wind. The Oliver weights less then my own boat by 1000 lbs a nd the hitch will be about the same. i tow the boat all over MI with out a weight equalizing hitch ,but with Sumo Springs installed. Boats do not tow near as good as Airstreams or Olivers. So with all that said I have a 2022 chevy 1500 with a 3.0 max 4 wheel drive  with a 10 speed . 12900 lbs tow rating and a 2100 lbs payload I my add Sumo Spring ( 1000 lbs units)  mostly to stop the bounce when towing the boat , they create a lot more bounce than travel trailers.  The GM 6.6 gasser are testing a 10 speed for 2023  to help them get some milage ( family works for GM trans) lots of power for heavy loads around town but I wouldn't buy one for la daily drive or long hauling.



    Thanks, Jim.  I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.



    • Like 1
  16. 6 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

    Virtually any late model 1/2 ton will do the job if properly equipped with towing package.  However, you will need to watch the 1/2 ton's payload capacity very closely and you should use the Andersen weight distribution hitch.  The 3/4 ton will generally not be a sensitive to the payload issue.  The Ford you mention will get you between 11 and 12 mpg towing the Elite II while getting over 20 mpg when not towing at interstate speeds (65mph).  The 1/2 ton is generally easier to live with when you are not towing (i.e. it is smaller).  The 3/4 ton is easier to tow with particularly if you get a diesel since you will have an engine brake.

    I can't speak for the diesel since I've never owned one.

    Good luck with your decision!


    Thanks Bill. 

    I like the idea of an engine brake since we plan on a fair amount of mountain driving.  I am hoping/assuming that the hill-decent assist feature found on many of the newer gas trucks will help greatly with decending, but I have never owned a vehicle with that feature.


    • Like 1
  17. I have hesitated to ask this question and beat the tow vehicle dead horse yet again, but I really could use some advise from those of you with towing experience.  I have very limited towing experience.  I have never owned a diesel truck.  I have only owned a half ton truck - never a 3/4 or one ton.

    Our 2022 Elite II delivery will be the end of October of this year.  Our 1998 Dodge half ton gas truck is too old and too tired for the job of towing the Oliver.

    We are retired and we plan on spending several months a year traveling with the Oliver and exploring.  We intend to primarily boondock, mostly in the mountainous west of the U.S, explore Canada a bit, and hopefully a trip or two to Alaska.

    I have located a 2021 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 4x4, with a 6.6L V8 Gas engine.  It has a 6-speed automatic transmission.  401HP, 464 torque, 3.73 rear axle ratio.  It has the max trailoring package and is rated at 14,500 lbs towing capacity and 3,760 lbs payload.  The truck has very low miles and the asking price seems pretty reasonable in this crazy market.  The Carfax history looks good and I found no recalls.

    According to Fuelly.com, real world users of similar GMC 3/4 ton gas trucks get an average of 11.6 mpg.  It doesn't specify whether that is towing or not towing, so I am guessing it is a blended average of both, with the majority of the data coming while not towing.  This is a big, gas-gusseling rig.

    I am debating whether to buy this rig, or be patient and wait for something like a Ford F150 3.5L EcoBoost 4x4 SuperCrew to come along.  If I'm going to own a gasser, I certainly like the idea of driving a 1/2 ton around while not towing, provided it has adequate payload capacity.  Or, if I am going to own a 3/4 ton rig, would I be wise to wait for a good diesel to come along for the benefits it would provide, including better demand on resale?  As I stated above, I have never owned a diesel so I only know what I read and hear.

    I don't know what I don't know, and in the realm of towing that is plenty.  I would appreciate the thoughts of the experienced people on this forum regarding the pros and cons of using the GMC 2500 6.6L gasser as a tow vehicle for our Elite II.

    Thank you - I appreciate all thoughts, comments, and opinions from this group.



  18. 14 hours ago, connor77 said:

    We have a new Calmark cover and as Topgun mentioned, it is very light considering it's overall size.  They are well made but expensive.  Any and all sharp edges must be protected.  We also use pool noodles on the top of the trailer and old, neutral colored bath towels for the corners on the bottom rear of the trailer.  The better it is secured, the less it moves.  Movement creates abrasion and wear. 

    I have been interested in this topic for some time, because we are considering purchasing a Calmark cover for our 2022 Oliver Legacy Elite II which will be delivered in late fall of this year. 

    Movement does create abrasion and wear - on both the cover and the TT finish.  In a windy area, even a well-secured cover will flap against the TT to some extent.  Have any of you who store your TT outside noticed abrasion and wear on the finish of your Oliver caused by movement of the Calmark cover?   

  19. On 1/12/2022 at 2:51 PM, Mike and Carol said:

    Maybe Coy ( @hardrock ) will give us an update.  

    This solar tracker system was/is such a great concept. 

    It appears the company may now be defunct, but Happy Camper Solar is listed as a rally sponsor on the 2022 Oliver Travel Trailer Owners' Rally page.  Coy said in one of his posts above, " I am good friends with Scott Oliver and others in the Oliver family and staff."

    I suppose there could be many explanations as to why Coy has not communicated futher with this group, but if he is not in ill health it would sure be nice to receive an update from him.

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