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Mike and Carol

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Everything posted by Mike and Carol

  1. We spent a day in Bar Harbor, got there early and did a lot of walking. Had a nice lunch. There were a lot of people, but finding a good parking spot early and spending the day on foot worked well. Weather was perfect! We will be back, hopefully to make it in to Canada… Mike
  2. Good to know. Fall is our favorite time to travel. We just drove through central Maine through NH and are at Grand Isle State Park on Lake Champlain in Vermont. It was a great drive through beautiful country. We’ll be back. Mike
  3. Question for our Maine folks - I know summer is short in Maine and probably northern NH and VT but when is the shoulder season, if any? As we discuss returning during a less crowded time could we plan end of May or early September? When do things thaw out and when does the snow start? Mike
  4. Camping in Vermont this weekend. We’re at Grand Isle State Park at Grand Island on Lake Champlain about 20 miles south of the US-Canadian border. Glad we brough sweatshirts, it didn’t get out of the 60s today. This is a nice park, well maintained. No hook ups, but large sites and lots of privacy.
  5. Raspy doesn’t monitor this forum as frequently as when he had an Oliver. I’ll PM him and let him know he has a question! Mike
  6. We also have the 30lb propane tanks. The quick connects are regulated. If you hood a grill or fire pit to the quick connects they should not have their own regulator. We usually use our Outlander in the Clam which is a little distance from the trailer so we use a separate 20lb tank for that. I have yet to connect it directly to the Oliver quick connect. I haven’t tried removing the propane hose from the Outlander, if it comes off all you need is a hose with a quick connect to attach to the Oliver and to the fire pit. I took the regulator off the Weber Q and use a non-regulated hose for it. But, I also have a regulated hose so I can move the Weber away from the trailer and use the 20lb tank. Some campsites are better with that arrangement. Same with the Blackstone. Check Amazon, if they don’t have what you’re looking for then Propane Guys will have it. Mike
  7. Hammers are good. I got this short sledge at Home Depot. Works great for pounding stakes for the awning and Clam. Very short, easy to store.
  8. Agree 100%. Get solar. If you go with the AGMs you’ll be good - we were for our first 5 years. I had to replace them because they were starting to leak (hold down brackets wearing a hole in the case). I opted for lithium’s, half as many aH, 25% of the weight and we’ve been very happy with them, too. You can always upgrade later…. Mike
  9. We also have a 20a 200v plug at our storage. With AGMs I kept the trailer plugged in all the time when being stored and they stayed charged. Now that we have lithium batteries I just disconnect (put in a battery disconnect switch) and don’t plug in. The Battle Born rep told me that lithium’s don’t like a constant charge. A few weeks maybe, but storing longer than that he recommended disconnecting them. Not sure what other manufacturers recommend. Mike
  10. As I get close to 70 this is sounding good to me. Washing and waxing is the maintenance I don’t like to do! I’ve looked at buying some portable scaffolding. Right now I climb the ladder, clean, climb down, move the ladder, start again.
  11. Good to know! Thanks for taking the time to educate us all. Mike
  12. Mike and Christy, welcome! You’ll enjoy the extra space and not having to pop anything up. December will get here before you know it. Mike
  13. I should probably use a torque wrench too but I just use one of those extendable lug nut tools. Usually they are tight, but occasionally a few need some tightening. I don’t carry my torque wrench when camping. I’ll get it out when we get home and see if my brute force method is close to the standard. The important thing is to check them before each trip and occasionally during long trips.
  14. There’s been a lot of previous discussion about this and several have trackers installed. Mike
  15. Ron, thanks for the suggestions. We were in NH last week for some family events, stayed just south of Portsmouth in North Hampton, nice little park and convenient for our activities. This area is a definite for a return visit and I’ve noted your recommendations. We’re currently camped in Ellsworth, not far from Bar Harbor and Acadia. Spent the day in the park yesterday, will return today and also visit Bar Harbor. Beautiful area. We will also return here and points north as well. We’re on a bit of a schedule this trip and will be leaving tomorrow to start the long trek home. We’re already talking about a return trip when we can plan and have more time. We’ll miss this weather 50s/70s! Mike
  16. I understand that the manual said it would not light at high altitude. Did it not light? Our Dometic has been reliable at elevations up to 10,000 feet even though there are those that say it shouldn’t be. Just curious…. Mike
  17. Yes. When I ordered the batteries from Battle Born they also sent the upgraded Progressive Dynamics charger that handles lithium and jumper cables. Mike
  18. Pretty thorough. Made my head hurt a little reading through everything. I think you’ll be able to whittle these steps down after a while. We don’t use checklists when setting up, tearing down or dumping, it’s pretty much second nature. We both do specific things and then we double check what each has done. We do use checklists for packing, too easy to forget to bring something. A few comments on your list: - I am not aware of any stove vent that needs opening. - We travel with propane on. The fridge switches to 110v automatically if we’re hooked up. - We generally turn the water pump on when we need to use water, we don‘t leave it on 24/7 when boondocking. - If you have the suburban hot water tank and the outside switch is on it will automatically use 110v. If dry camping we turn the hot water gas on before we need hot water. Once hot, it will stay pretty hot for a while without the gas cycling on and off. - When we arrive at a site the first thing we do before backing or pulling in is to walk the site and verify where utilities are (if any) so we know where best to park. - Not sure why you need to hook your electrical cable to the trailer first. Just ensure the breaker in the box is off before hooking up electrical. We don’t have the on board surge protector, so we plug one into the pole that checks the electricity. It usually has about a 45 second delay before it passes electricity. I think the newer trailers have built in surge protection. You’ll use 30a most of the time, only twice have I had to use 50a, once because that’s all there was and once because the 30a was bad. - Your “gray water sewage” is really black water sewage. Black and gray go down the same hole. I flush the black tank a couple of times before pulling the gray handle. - Trip prep: I always check trailer lug nuts before a trip. - We travel with a full fresh tank. There are times you may not be able to fill once you arrive. - “white water” is normally referred to as fresh water. Gray and black have the colors! - if you are at a dump station, you’ll learn to be pretty efficient especially if folks are waiting. We’ve never had anyone get impatient but we try to be ready so we don’t have to do a lot of unloading to get what we need to dump. Like I said, some of this will get to be second nature, just enjoy the process! Mike
  19. If you are going to stop in Moab to do Arches, you should at least take a day and do Canyonlands. We actually like it better than Arches, less crowded. Outside of Bryce is a very nice FS campground, Red Canyon. No hookups but nice paved sites and is very well maintained. Scenic too. Goblin State Park is good, make reservations early because it fills up fast. Mike Red Canyon Campground just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park.
  20. My AGMs worked well for 5 years. Never worried about running them too low when dry camping. We’re getting used to our new lithium’s, they are working well too. I replaced the 4 AGMs (about 280 lbs and 400aH) with two Lithium’s (about 75 lbs and 200aH). So far we’ve never been below 80% in the morning after running stuff all night. The Oliver package is more than double what we have so it should work well. Mike
  21. This is true. On one side you see a modern US and on the other you see shacks going up the hills. It is stark. I-10 through El Paso is nothing like going through DFW. They have been doing a lot of construction but you get through it pretty quick. You can go around to the north through the Franklin mountains, very scenic just a bit longer. Mike
  22. At the upper right of the screen click on your name. The menu will drop down and click on account settings. Then click on Signature and let your creative self take over. Mike
  23. When replacing my AGM batteries with Lithium’s I also put in a battery cut off switch. THen, in storage I shut off the batteries entirely. Even with everything off you will have some small power draws that add up over time. Also, I wouldn’t store at only 35%. The Battle Born tech told me to be at least at 50% before storing. I’m usually at 90% or higher when I park the trailer in our storage area. Then I shut off the batteries. If you don’t have a shut off switch, disconnect one of the ground cables on you batteries. Mike
  24. I think you might feel cramped in an Oliver based on your stated mission. My son has a Forest River No Boundaries that has bunks for his 8 and 5 year olds. It gives each kid a space of their own plus a dinette table they all can sit at and a queen bed for mom and dad. As I sit in my Ollie tonight writing this and imagining two young children in here as well, I’m not sure I could do it. Not the quality of an Oliver, but probably more practical for a family. We spend as much time outside as possible either under the awning or in the Clam, but sometimes the weather has us inside and cabin fever sets in after a couple of days with just two people. I recommend finding an Oliver that you can see and be in before you make a decision. Mike
  25. I-10 west of Houston is a good road without a lot of traffic except when you go through San Antonio, El Paso and Phoenix. You can make good time through west Texas, NM and AZ. It will be hot but efficient time and distance-wise. Mike
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