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tallmandan last won the day on October 31 2021

tallmandan had the most liked content!

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My RV or Travel Trailer

  • Do you own an Oliver Travel Trailer, other travel trailer or none?
    I own an Oliver Travel Trailer
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    Legacy Elite II
  • Floor Plan
    Twin Bed Floor Plan

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  1. I've commented in a few different threads about my experience towing with my 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 3.0L diesel. In 2.5 years, it now has 32K miles and about 5k towing my LEII. I thought I would post a follow-up that may be helpful for anyone considering the GM half-ton diesel as a tow vehicle. After owning Toyotas for almost 20 years, I have to say I was hesitant about the reliability of a GM product -- but it's been great so far. PROS: Power/torque more than adequate for towing an LEII. I just returned from a trip that took me over Loveland Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass and Berthoud Pass in Colorado. The diesel engine has absolutely no problem and no stress getting up and over. No noticable loss of power at high altitude and no high-RPM downshift that can happen with a gasoline engine. Fuel economy has been very good. I average 17 mpg while towing and the truck gets around 30 mpg in highway driving when not towing. In Colorado, diesel is now a little less expensive than regular again (yay!) but a year ago it was more per gallon so that wiped out any significant savings. 10 speed transmission is super smooth Automatic engine brake is fantastic on the long downhill runs. It's very reassuring to have it kick-in automatically and only touch the brakes a few times. I've always felt stable and in-control - even rolling all the way down Loveland pass at speed with traffic! GM trailer tow package and 360 degree camera package is excellent. It recognizes and remembers my trailer. It checks and notifies me of a wiring fault (I still check my lights/brakes manually). I purchased and self-installed the GM accessory trailer rear-view camera and it works extremely well. The live-motion back-up guidelines are super helpful (see photos). The truck monitors the TPMS sensors in my Oliver tires (had the GM sensors installed) and it displays on the dashboard screen. Comfortable and quiet ride both while towing and when being used as my daily-driver. You can barely tell its a diesel engine as there is almost no "clack" sound No problems in 32k miles so far CONS: Payload is around 1500 lbs (like all half-ton trucks) and that could be limiting for longer trips and taking more "stuff" Have to use the WD hitch (like all half-ton trucks). I find the Anderson WD hitch to be a hassle - but one that I can live with to be safe and legal. Squat from trailer tounge weight was not bad but a little more than I liked. I added Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) and this reduced squat by about an inch without any noticible effect on ride quality. Have to mess with adding DEF fluid. When towing, it uses a lot of DEF and the guage is not very accurate. Best to top off before leaving and/or put an extra 2.5g of DEF in the bed to minimize anxiety about it. Maintenance may be a little more expensive. I only trust the dealer to do the work as independent shops may not be familiar with the 3.0L Duramax. Oil changes cost $120 every 6K to 7K miles. Overall, I'm very pleased with my decision to buy the truck as my TV and as my daily-driver. I would buy this truck again and defintely get the 3.0 diesel over the 5.3 or 6.2 gas engines. If I were more of a full-timer in towing, I would consider spending the extra for a 3/4-ton. This would be primarily so that I had more payload and to avoid the WD hitch. Hope this may be helpful for anyone considering the GM half-ton diesel truck.
  2. Agree with @Rivernerd. Lots of folks tow an LEII with a half ton truck and it works just fine with tow package and WD hitch. Most would also agree that a 3/4 ton truck is ideal for towing and gives you more payload if you need it. Consider your use overall - in my case, I use my truck as my daily-driver and for frequent day trips into the mountains for skiing, fishing and mountain biking. I tow my Oliver on several trips each year but it's not the "primary" use for my truck. I have a 2021 Silverado 1500 with the 3.0L diesel and I've been very satisfied both towing and not towing. If I were a full-timer with my trailer or using it frequently year-around, I would go for a 3/4 ton diesel.
  3. I have the GM accessory rear-view trailer camera. I'm assuming the Ford would be very similar but I don't know. I ordered it from a Chevy Dealer online to save a few bucks and installed it myself which turned out to be pretty easy. I've copied the link to that post below. Anyway - my favorite feature, by far, is that the "guidelines" that appear on the screen when backing up the trailer move when the steering wheel is turned to "forecast" where the trailer will go in reverse. It's been super helpful when backing into tight camping spots at angles. I doubt any aftermarket cameras can do this but I bet the Ford version can. Also - at first I was dissapointed that the rear camera was not wireless. However, the crystal clarity and zero latency of the view on the screen is due to the hardwire and I appreciate it. It seems GM and Ford make hardly any info available about these trailer cameras and that makes it hard know much before install. My local GM dealer knew almost nothing about them and was no help. I'm really glad I went with the manufacturer system on my Silverado.
  4. Bill, thanks for sharing this. I made the original post and never followed up here. I purchased a new remote panel from Amazon and installed. It did not fix the problem. Like the original panel, it displayed correctly but the power button was inoperative. I also tried using the new cable (like a phone/cat5 connector) and that didn't change anything either. I called xantrex and they had me do another reset by removing battery power for a few hours and still nothing. Finally they want me to pull out the inverter and send it to them. Im second owner and it's over 2 yrs old so I don't think I have any warranty. I have been just getting on my knees and turning the inverter on/off at the main unit through the portal. Reading your post, I'm going to, yet again, poke around with the cables and see if I can get anything to happen - so thanks.
  5. Agree with John - soaked, wet bugs come off a lot easier. I usually give our Ollie a hand wash in the driveway after a trip. I soak the bugs with water/carwash soap solution then wash the whole trailer leaving the bug-covered front for last. While washing and rinsing, I will hit the bugs with a stream of water and more soap from the soft car wash brush I use. Finally, use the soft brush or microfiber cloth and they come off pretty easy after soaking. Keeping the front polished with a good coat of wax twice a year helps too.
  6. We use a cover in the off-season at a storage lot. I wrote about it here... I leave the Renogy solar suitcase panel to keep the batteries charged. Just covered it again for the winter.
  7. Ok, I'll chime in here on my experience with a lower-end, less expensive electric cooler. After reading through the reviews, I bought a Massimo CX40 cooler from Costco in April. I paid only $270 for it with and $80 off promo. I knew it wasn't the build quality of a Dometic or Iceco but it's like one-third of the cost and the reviews were good. I've used it on 4 trips and it's been great. It plugs in to the 120v outlet in the bed of my truck during travel. It has bluetooth and I can monitor and control the temps with the app on my phone. It cools down very quickly. It's just the right size for fitting under my tonau cover in the truck bed and I can then move it to the dinette seat in my LEII and transfer food back and forth to the refrigerator. I've also plugged it into the 12V in the trailer and found that it's pretty efficient (especially if it's already been running in my truck and fully cold inside). I've kept it running set to 36 degrees on 12V in the trailer while having good sun exposure for the solar and it's been no sweat at all over a 3 day trip. It's kinda cheap looking compared to the $800-$1000 units and may not have the same quality of insulation - but honestly it's worked really well so far. I figure that if something goes wrong I can easily retrun it to Costco. It appears Costco is out of stock on the CX40 and only has the larger CX50 right now at their regular price. If you want to go electric but spend less, it's worth a look when it comes back in stock especially when Costco adds an $80 promo discount every few months. https://massimoelectric.com/e-koolers/cx40/ https://www.costco.com/massimo-cx50-12v-portable-e-kooler.product.100566509.html
  8. @Katjo I see you have a 2021 Ram. With a quick Google search I see 2021 Rams can come equipped with the built in TMPS system for trailer tires. Do you know if you have this feature on your truck…? I have it with my 2021 Silverado tow package. I had Discount Tire install the sensors in my LEII and program them to the truck. It works great and I monitor them on the dash LCD screen without having another gadget to deal with.
  9. I prefer to think we are still (always) in pursuit of our “favorite” boondocks camp spot 😊 So far I’d say it’s Devil’s Garden in Arches NP. Incredible views, rock formations and hiking trails right in the campground. Sunrise and sunsets were amazing
  10. I own a 2021 Silverado 1500 4x4 with the 3.0L deisel. I tow our Elite II with it and it works well for our needs. Been very pleased with the 3.0L engine and 10 speed transmission. We make mostly boondocking trips of 3 or 4 nights and don't bring very much "stuff." It sound like you will be served better with a Chevy/GMC 2500. The payload on my truck is around 1500lbs and if there are two people + 500# hitch weight + 250# generator you are already running out safe load capacity. I really woudn't want a Colorado/Canyon. The smaller wheelbase and weight would make me nervous on the mountain roads I travel and the truck bed is smaller capacity (unless you are considering an Ellite I)
  11. Not sure why the photo is not visible. I attached again. The max payload is 1543
  12. Here you go @DavePhelps. I have the crew cab, short-bed, Z71 off-road package, LTZ trim-level 2021 model Silverado 1500 with 3.0L Duramax
  13. Thanks for sharing the links john. I value your knowledge and experience as an engineer (which I am not) and I really appreciate all the contributions you make on this forum! I'm simply sharing my experience - in which I have been very impressed. I am also a member of the 3.0L Duramax facebook forum. I don't really do social media but you can get a lot of info and guage the "pulse" from the groups function of Facebook (including Oliver). It's true that many owners have experienced the crank/no start problem. It's also true that a great many of owners have not. In a year and 7 months of ownership, I have never had it happen. I don't know what the percentage of units sold have reported this issue but I'm going to guess it's a significant minority. Also, if you read about the problem, it doesn't leave anybody stranded as the truck starts on the second try. I haven't had a single problem with the truck. Now, it's early at 18k miles - and I do wonder - because I come from a bias of extremely good reliability experience from my trust old 2007 Toyota Sequoia. I strongly considered a Tundra (2020 or 2021 model at the time) becuase of the demonstrated reliability but they suck gas, a lot of gas, and the towing package and tech on the GM was way ahead. The LM2 engine was built from the ground-up for light duty trucks in joint collaboration with Issuzu Heavy Industries. My understanding is that Issuzu has an excellent reputation for durable small deisels in Europe and Asia. I bought it because the technology and efficiency are remarkable. The author of the two articles you cited says so himself - quote - "the LM2 is inherently balanced and provides a very smooth and powerful driving experience. It is one of my top five favorite engines on the market." As for why they are replacing it, I'm going to guess it has to do with it's size. It doesn't fit into new vehicle models as the author states. It requires significant height in the engine compartment at a time when manufacturers are designing vehicles with more and more emphasis on aerodynamics. If you look at the Chevy Silverado /GMC Sierra, they have a very tall front hood and square profile. The 3.0 deisel takes every inch of space and I think the Silverado even requries a different hood with slightly higher profile than the gas engine models. I will report back if I have any problems with my truck as this form is a helpful resource for Oliver owners. Right now, my experience (n of 1) is that a 3.0L deisel mated to the 10 speed transmission are excellent to pull an Oliver Elite II.
  14. I have the GM 1/2 ton with 3.0L diesel. It definitely uses a lot more DEF fluid when towing but I haven't attempted to measure it. Would say that it's for sure at least double usage, but it hasn't been a problem. If I'm on a longer trip and the DEF tank is not topped off then I put a 2.5 Gal container in the bed just as convenience. I haven't had trouble finding it and have picked it up at Costco, Walmart, Lowes, etc. It's a bit of an inconvenience compared to a gasser but I'll gladly deal with it to get 18 MPG towing my LEII and 30 MPG on the highway not towing -- plus the low end torque, much less power loss at altitude (compared to gas) and the automatic engine brake is great on mountain descents.
  15. @Allen Lee Rohner Yep. Always tow my Oliver in Tow/Haul Mode. As @Cameron said above, Tow/Haul mode enables the whole GM towing tech system including the trailer mileage tracker, TMPS (I have the GM sensors in the Oliver wheels), trailer circuit detection, engine braking, camera views, trans temp on the cluster, etc. I've been very happy with it. Just returned from my 3rd weekend boondocking trip in a row (Yay!) up in the mountains of Colorado. This trip I again got 18 MPG towing on 360 miles round trip so that's been consistent. DEF is more expensive now along with diesel as @Cameron said but I still feel like I made the best choice for me...deisel engines perform well at high altitude and I've towed up to and over 9-10k feet the last three weekends. It jams right up the long inclines and then the automatic engine braking is fantastic when coming back down.
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