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Everything posted by tallmandan

  1. Another vote for Custer SP. We stayed at Sylvan Lake Campground which was great. Agree with SeaDawg about the wildlife loop either eary or late in the day.
  2. Just joining in to say welcome! Your decision and your wait will most definitely be worth it! In the Summer of 2020, my wife and I were barely enduring a Colorado hailstorm in our pop-up trailer and decided it was time to upgrade. As I researched RV options, I found reports and stories of problems after problems. One of the guys I talked to said he wished he had just paid the money and waited for an Oliver. I said "what's an Oliver" and that was the begining for us. In a near-miracle, a 1-year old Oliver showed-up for sale in Denver. We bought it and have enjoyed it very much even though we only have time for shorter trips each season (still working full time). For us, the size is just right because it can fit in the National Park and National Forest campgrounds for boondocking, yet we have all the comforts in amazing, remote places without ever needing hookups. We've taken it to Canyonlands, Arches, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Custer SP, Badlands, Gunnison Gorge, Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mt National Parks in addition to numerous tucked-away, awesome national forest campgrounds. Absolutely no regrets in buying it and look forward to adventures with it for years to come. Maybe use the wait time to research and plan cool new places to take your Ollie 🙂
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. @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.
  11. 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
  12. 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)
  13. Not sure why the photo is not visible. I attached again. The max payload is 1543
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. @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.
  18. With towing MPG certainly a bigger consideration these days, I thought I would share the fuel economy numbers from my last two trips up into the Colorado mountains and back while towing my LEII. (Water tank full outbound and empty on return) This is a stock 2021 Silverado 1500 with the 3.0L diesel in-line 6 cylinder. If you are considering a new tow vehicle, this truck has been solid and comfortable. Power and control towing both up and down the mountain passes in Colorado. The only shortcoming is limited payload in the truck and use of WD hitch, as has been discussed here for all half ton trucks - but these haven’t been a problem for me so far. Almost 17k miles and zero problems.
  19. Great Sand Dunes NP in Colorado. Wind storm makes for a sand storm with 50 mph gusts and yes, that is the sun in the photo! Next morning we could actually see the dunes!
  20. @geO Thank you. Guess I will add a new remote panel to my Amazon cart. @Liana Agree! So great to have all the great experience and resouorces on this forum!
  21. @geO I have also tried everything Bill suggested in addition to a hard-reset by disconnecting the battery power for 30 minutes - and still no luck. So did you have the exact same problem (remote working as designed except for non-functioning power button) ? Thanks
  22. I tried to search for this and couldn't find anything. The power on/off button on the remote display panel for the 2000w Xantrex inverter in my LEII does not work. Whether the main power button on the inverter unit under the bed is in the on or off postion, the remote power button does nothing. Everything else is working as designed. I called Xantrex tech support and was told that the remote power button should turn the unit on when the main unit button is "off". He suggested a hard reset by disconnecting the batteries and then firmware updates. I thought I would ask this group of experts if there is something simple I am missing before I start monkeying around with it...? Anybody had the same issue? Suggestion? Thanks!
  23. I thought I would follow-up on this after my install. Might be helpful if anyone else has a 2020-2022 GM vehicle with the advanced trailering feature and is considering this accessory... Everything went well and it was easier than expected. The "transparent trailer" view feature requires that the camera be placed within a certain zone at the back of the trailer and on the Oliver, the only plausible location is to mount on top of the spare tire cover. @Cameron shared a photo above of the camera installation that Oliver did for him, and it looks great. I decided I didn't want to drill holes in the spare tire cover as the camera is not compatable with non-GM trucks and I might move to another TV someday even though I love my Silverado 3.0L deisel. The other challenge is that you must still be able to remove the spare tire cover if needed, so I needed a plan for either easy removal of the camera or lots of slack cable inside. As it turns out, I have both. There is plenty of room to run the cable in the channel between the aluminum crossbars and the fiberglass under the trailer on the curb-side. This is where the propane line is located and runs all the way from front to back. The cable is well protected and tied in with several zipties along the way. The plug-end of the cable that plugs into the truck bumper port can be unscrewed to make it smaller and now it fits easily through the gap at the back of the diamondplate bumper and fiberglass to route the cable into the storage area in the bumper. Then it is easily routed into the chanel where the propane line is to run all the way to the front. To scure the camera, I elected to use this high-strength plastic Alfa-Lock Velcro product that utilizes 3M tape. This allows me to remove the camera if needed and replace it easily yet it has a very secure hold. I will only need to remove it if I need to access the spare or, alternatively, I can leave the camera secured and pull the excess cable up through from the bumper storage space. Since the camera is mounted on a horizontal surface, this seems plenty adequate. Finally, I used a few stick-on plastic retainer clips to hold the cable around the outside of the spare tire cover. The look is not as clean and good looking as Cameron's install from Oliver but I'm happy with it and it seems plenty secure. I will see how this it goes this travel season. If the Alfa-lock Velcro fails then I will try 3M automotive tape and rely on pulling through the extra cable from the storage space when I need to remove the cover. Hope this is helpful for anybody else considering this accessory install. Dan
  24. I just took my LEII to Discount Tire to have them take off the wheels and install the GM TPMS sensors. I pointed out the jack points on the trailer. The trolly jacks they wheeled out did not lift the trailer high enough to fully get the wheels off the ground. The guys wanted to lift it by putting the trolly jacks under the axles. I was uncomfortable with this and they went and brought the tech mananger out and he told me they would not put anything under the trolly jacks or use anything else due to their safety protocol. He assured me they would use 4 trolly jacks and lift the entire trailer evenly from both axles and there would be no problem. I finally agreed and everything went just fine. No problems. TMPS works great. Just sharing this if anyone else goes to a tire shop. Discount Tire was was great to work with by the way. Very professional and they had 5 guys all working on my trailer at one time to do it right. They only charged me $10 per wheel to remove, install TPMS sensors and then reinstall. Highly recommend Discount Tire as I've always had good service there.
  25. 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
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