Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by LongStride

  1. I would like to think so SeaDawg.   Haven't seen much indication yet that high quality is beginning to drive the market.  Perhaps it will.  I hope so.  We live the next county over from Elkhart.  They are pumping out SOB's like there is no tomorrow and are offering $20 an hour to anyone who can use a nail gun.  Lived here all my life except when I was in the service, and I've never seen them advertise for help via television commercials before.  

    Hop on any highway in northern Indiana and you will see them in packs heading out for delivery.  They are all over the place.  As long as they are selling a high volume of their product at a profit, there is nothing to incite them to improve their quality.  Their business model is working for them.

    Now that I have finished my rant, let me add...  Although the quality of stickies is not comparable to an Oliver, they cost considerably less.  I for one, consider myself fortunate that I can afford an Oliver.  Not everyone can.  If all I could afford was something pumped out for the masses, I would have one; and I would be camping rather than sitting in my living room wishing I was out exploring.  We all have to live within our means.  


    • Like 1
  2. Changes and improvements will come with increased costs.  I think that they should start with the "weakest link" when it comes to improvements.  Have those increased costs go toward better outsourced components.  Oliver is kind of at the mercy of what is available to them for windows, doors, and other common components.  Being a relatively small player in the market, they have to settle with what is "good enough for Thor" because that is what is available and they don't have the influence to get them to improve their products.  I would like them to explore the possibility of getting better products from Europe or Australia.  They have some pretty good stuff.  Australia builds some pretty impressive caravans.

    If you want to improve a finely built watch who's weakness is a polycarbonate crystal, change it to sapphire.  Not rocket science.

    • Like 2
  3. Of all the options available to you, the two that I consider essential to boondocking are the Solar Pro Package with the 6V AGM's and the Micro Air Easy Start.  

    The AGM batteries will easily run your lighting, cabin fan, toilet fan, water pump, awning, charge your phones, etc.  They will even run your TV if you have a signal.  With direct sun the solar will keep up the charge during the day and provide the essential electricity needed after sunset.  If your charge drops after a few cloudy days you can recharge the batteries with your generator.  It won't always be sunny and you will certainly need a generator at some point (or wish that you had one).

    Air conditioning is sure nice to have on those hot humid nights when you can't get to sleep because you feel like you are being broiled alive.  The Micro Air Easy Start will allow you to use a portable generator to run your air conditioning off of a small genset.   It takes a lot of oomph to start the compressor on an AC unit.  Once it is running the demand is not as high.  The easy start feature allows you to use a smaller (lighter/less noise) generator than what would otherwise be required to start the compressor.  We use a Honda EU2200i as do many others on this forum.  I recommend that you figure that into your budget at around $1,100 and get the Easy Start option for the AC.  

    The Elite has a 3-way refrigerator that runs wonderfully off of LP gas.  No worries there.

    Food for thought...  We have endured several power outages over the years that were caused by severe weather.  We live at the foot of Lake Michigan.  Thunderstorms tossing trees on power lines is not an uncommon occurrence.  After the recent cyberattacks on our infrastructure, we considered getting a Generac nat. gas fired whole house generator to combat yet another potential cause of a power outage.  I am glad that we did not go through the unnecessary expense.  Keep the LP tanks full and a couple gallons of gas for the generator and we can just move into the Ollie if the power grid fails.

    In closing let me add one more suggestion.  Don't upgrade the standard cushions to the KTT mattress yet.  We have the standard foam cushions with Ultrafabric and find them to be very comfortable to sleep on.  Far better than we expected.  Try them first and see if you like them.  

    We loaded up on options when we put down our initial deposit so that we could get in the queue for the build, and then trimmed them back on the final build sheet.  That got things in motion and gave us time to educate ourselves and carefully consider each option.

    Good luck, and have fun with this!

    • Thanks 3
    • Like 2
  4. It simply comes down to what appeals to the majority of the market.  The current design trends in the USA seem to lean toward the "bigger, badder, better" theory.  It is not for me but it appeals to plenty of other folks out there.  Many of them seldom even use trucks (especially off-road models) for what they were designed for.  They just want a truck that looks tough, even if it is  just to pick up a bag of potting soil from Lowes.  That is who Toyota is trying to appeal to, and in fact it may be just what they have to do to compete.  

    In addition to my 2020 Tundra, I also own a 2013 Nissan Xterra Pro 4X.  It is my "toy" and has less than 30,000 miles on it.  It is a highly capable off-roader and will go anywhere a stock Jeep Wrangler will yet it is still comfortable zipping along at highway speeds.  Auto critics said the same crap about my X that they have said about my Tundra.  "Outdated", "Hasn't changed in years", "Rides like a truck" (are you kidding me? it IS a truck), hard plastic on the interior (which cleans up nicely when dirty/muddy), outdated infotainment system etc.  Rather than slap on fender flares, tow hooks, removable doors, and the like; they just discontinued the model.  Not a big enough market.  Didn't look badass enough.  Didn't have what the majority of the market was looking for.  Sad.

    Looks like I have two dinosaurs in my fleet now.  I love them both.  


    • Love 1
  5. Thanks for the photos from the classifieds.  Sure looks like the belly band is cut out at the tray slot on that Elite also.  I have no problem with it as long as it is a manufacturing change and not a goof!  It appears as if they had to make the change to accommodate the larger egress window. Not much available room between the top of the frame and the attic (see pic below).

     Like you, we intend to leave the back set up as a bed.  The tray is a nice place to set your glasses, flashlight, and a water bottle.  A mini nightstand if you will.  Perfect for us.  


    • Like 2
  6. They may have changed windows due to availability issues, or it could be poor craftsmanship.  That is why I am reaching out to see if the condition exists in all of the new Elite l units.  If it is a manufacturing change then it “is what it is”.  If it is poor craftsmanship then it should be remedied.  If it is a quality issue then I have complete faith that Oliver will make it right.  I just need to know one way or another.  

  7. Hi Dave.  The “exit” sticker on mine is on top of the window.  The frame that holds the shades/blinds is not centered on the rear window.  Looks like they dropped it down a bit to clear the exit sticker above the window then struggled for room to install the chrome band.  The band(s) slopes down a bit toward the slot on both the curb side and street side.  I don’t believe this ever should have passed QC.  


    • Thanks 1
  8. Hi all,

    We picked up Hull #820 on 6/10.  Delivery was a bit overwhelming for a number of reasons.  We were actually supposed to pick it up on the 9th but had to leave it overnight with the service department to trace down an electrical short (yes, it is true that even the service department can't get wiring diagrams from engineering).  With all that was going on we never really paid attention to the big gap in the chrome band where it meets the slot that the little tray/shelf slips into at the back of the tabletop.  Every brochure and every owner photo that I can find of that area shows a continuous uninterrupted chrome band.  Mine is just cut out where the slot is.  The left thumbscrew bracket is not right either.  You can see it with the naked eye (no spirit level required).  Why would you even screw it down like that?  

    Any others out there like this?  


  9. I heard back from Girard customer service regarding replacement fabric for the GG750.  This is what they had to say:

    First, I guess it is possible to make a Sunbrella fabric for a GG750 awning but we don’t have part numbers and  pricing for it. Second, I would need to know the case size to give you a price but you are looking around $800 to $1000. Third, you wouldn’t receive a 10 year warranty from us.  You would receive a replacement fabric warranty which is a one year warranty.

    This was from their customer service manager.  Pretty disappointing.

  10. JD, I think that if you got ahold of a spare window shade assembly you could modify it to hold a filter, and then just snap it on as required.  Might need to add some type of gasket material at the edges and use some sheet styrene and a hot air plastic welder to build a filter rack.  If you have access to a 3D printer and the talent to use it (I have not) you could create a custom assembly that the filter could slide into that snaps into the clips that hold the window blinds.

    I have been following your mods and you look like you have the patience and creativity to come up with something far more suitable than duct tape.  I am anxious to see what you come up with.

    I can almost hear the wheels turning in your head...😉

    • Like 2
  11. I personally do not care for the looks at all.  Not for me.  Glad that I bought a 2020 before they started making big changes.  I wouldn't mind getting better mileage but not at the cost of doing away with the proven 5.7 V8.  

    • Like 1
  12. According to Girard's website the GG750 is offered with a vinyl coated fabric or with a woven polyester made by O'Bravia.  I have inquired Girard to see if Sunbrella is available as a replacement fabric for the GG750 since they list it in their homepage dropdown menu under fabrics.  I will post their response after they get back to me.

    The wrinkles and creases when retracted in the hot sun do not detract from the awnings performance as a sunshade, and I don't think that it should be of concern to someone looking to purchase an Oliver.  However, it would be nice if the O'Bravia fabric were an option on the build list.  Although not quite the caliber of Sunbrella or Recacril, I would imagine that it performs much better than the vinyl. 

    If the vinyl causes a functional issue or begins to look unsightly I will replace it with 100% acrylic.  Until then, I will continue to enjoy my awning (wrinkles and all) now that I know that it is not an isolated issue specific to my awning alone.



  13. georgelewisray, thanks for the detailed info on the GG750.  I think the problem is with the fabric.  It was partly sunny with scattered clouds on delivery day when we deployed our awning.  Did not notice any wrinkles or creases then.  The issue appeared yesterday under hot blistering sun.  The fabric is black and I believe it sagged from the heat causing slack when rolling it back up.  Cool out this morning with cloud cover (thunderstorms last night).  I deployed the awning and now that the fabric is cool, when I retracted it the creasing was minimal.  Much much better than when it was hot.

    Given that the primary function of the product is a sunshade, it seems that a fabric that does not sag under its own weight when it get hot may have been a better choice.  Minor annoyance that is of no urgency, but I will investigate fabric options. 

    • Like 1
  14. Overland, thanks for the helpful tips on attaching photos.  You were spot on with your assumptions about my phone and laptop (iPhone and MacBook).  I think I will check and see if Recaril is available for my model of awning.  Sounds like good stuff.

    • Like 1
  15. Thank you for your response.  I have the new Girard and the fabric is relatively thin and very flexible.  When fully extended the wrinkles disappear.  I am just curious to know if other new owners are experiencing the same thing.

  16. These are what the pros use to extend chain lengths.  Do a web search for "tow chain repair links" and you will find them.  They can't come apart unless you take out the cotter pins.  You should use one that has (or exceeds) the rating of your chain.  The quick links typically used to extend the chains on the Anderson system are simply the wrong item for the application.


    • Thanks 1
    • Like 2
  17. We will be picking up our Elite in two weeks.  I am prepared to do battle with the Vizio and accept eventual defeat. 

    I have one at home and it is a pain in the rear.  When it was new it worked fine for a few months, then there started to be a delay of a few minutes for the tv to respond to the remote when using Amazon, Netflix, etc.  That was just the beginning.  After a while the delay of the programming functions that required entry of any alphanumeric information was such that it would take me ten minutes to enter five letters.  The picture quality is fine and the sound is not bad, but the remote and the programming functions are just AWFUL.  I would get rid of it but I need a 32" set to fit into our cherry tv hutch that we bought long before the advent of big flat screen televisions.  The Vizio was the only tv I was able to find of that size that had both a good picture and "smart" tv capability.  There is just no market anymore for what used to be considered a "normal" sized tv.  I guess that I am just showing my age, but I really have no use for a JUMBOTRON in my living room.  Just my personal preference, others may like them.

    Anyway, if I can find something suitable I will be replacing the Vizio I have in the house and the one that comes with my Ollie as soon as I can.  


  18. Yesterday I ordered two 2" AISI 52100 chrome steel ball bearings from Amazon for $22.00.  They showed up this afternoon.  I will be using a ball bearing with an Abus 24/70 Diskus padlock and "The Collar".  It would require power tools (side grinder) and a bit of time to defeat this setup.  I opted for the ball bearing over a Blaylock style because I don't want to deal with two padlocks.  I would imagine that in most cases, thieves driving by would see the disc lock/collar combination and look for an easier target; unless they planned on dropping the coupler on a smaller ball.  The ball bearing would then foil that plan.  

    • Thanks 1
  • Create New...