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Everything posted by donthompson

  1. I owned an Oliver Elite II for four years and loved it. Like Raspy, I wanted better off-road performance. I stubbed my toe by purchasing a Ram Rebel and a Conqueror 490. The combo was incredibly capable off-road, but the Rebel's range was too limited and the 490 was way to much work and lacked the creature comforts I was accustomed to. So, I now have a Ram 2500 diesel and a Kimberley S3 should be in a container headed my way in early January. I'm pretty confident I've found the right combination for the type of travel and camping I love.
  2. I'm a former Oliver owner. Replaced it with a Conqueror and now have a Kimberley Kruiser almost ready to ship to the U.S. from Australia. I learned about using the Andersen Plug and wiring to charge my lithium batteries in my Conqueror. I responded to a question today from an Oliver owner about charging with a 7-pin connector. The Andersen plug/wiring will charge your lithium batteries at a much, much higher rate. I've attached a document that provides info on how to install. Vehicle Prep for Conqueror Trailer.pdf
  3. I traveled solo in my Elite II and was always a bit disappointed in the amount of storage inside the Oliver. I've sold my Elite II and purchased a Conqueror 490. Here's a YouTube video of the camper (its a much earlier model--mine is different in a number of ways). Take a look at the amount of inside storage in very small camper. BTW, the woman giving the tour is a little ?? You be the judge. When I watched it, I thought about how much space the closet in the Elite II takes up and how unnecessary it was for me to have a place to hang clothing. I'd much rather have space to store rolled u
  4. I have a 2016 VW Touareg TDI (diesel) for sale. I towed my Elite II with it. Search for Touareg on the forum and you’ll find more info. Also on Autotrader—located in North Liberty, IA. The Touareg is more luxurious, handles and rides better than the Highlander and has a towing capacity of 7700 lbs. You’ll also get significantly higher mpg towing your Oliver. Message me if you’re interested. Approx. 31,000 miles.
  5. I recently purchased a lightly used 2019 Ram Rebel to tow my soon to be delivered Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme. I used the tool on the RAM website using my VIN to obtain the towing and cargo capacities. 11,470 lbs. towing and 1,970 payload. The sticker for the tires says 1,682 lbs. payload with E rated tires. Not sure which payload number is correct, but either way, I’ll have plenty of capacity for my travels—almost always solo and I travel light.
  6. Payload is 1,970 lbs. Towing capacity is 11,470 lbs. I don’t think I’ll come close to either limit. My cargo slide will have a 1,000 lb. limit, so that’s the maximum amount I can carry in the pickup bed under the topper. First trip will have about 340 lbs. in driver and passenger, less than 100 lbs. from three bikes. I don’t think I’ll have more than another couple of hundred pounds in the cab/bed combination. I don’t know what the Conqueror will weigh when it’s ready to travel, but I hope to keep it below 4300 lbs. I don’ t see a problem using the truck as a daily driver, but I’m
  7. Short-term lease. Posted a couple of photos. Certified.
  8. Bought a truck! Used 2019 Ram Rebel Quad Cab with the long bed. All the off-road stuff (including crawl, locking diff., etc.) and none of the luxury (leather, nav, heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, etc.). Ordered an A.R.E. Topper and a full-length steel cargo slide. Will install through-axle mounts for my bikes on the cargo slide so it will be really easy to get the bikes in and out and they will travel out of the weather. No windows in the topper and heavily tinted rear window so the value of the cargo won’t be obvious. What will I do with all this storage! Also Yakima bars a
  9. This process is driving me nuts! I almost purchased a Ram Rebel yesterday, but I couldn't pull the trigger. Even with significant discounts, rebates, etc., the Rebel will cost $8k more than a Tundra SR5 TRD and about the same as a Tundra TRD Pro (although I haven't gotten a firm price on the Pro). The Rebel is much more pleasant to drive on the highway and I drove it about 15 miles on gravel roads yesterday and it handled the washboard sections beautifully. Who knows what I'll think on Monday. I seem to change my mind hourly! Why am I drawn to the Tundra despite my knowledge that it is o
  10. Boy, I really opened up a can of worms! I guess it isn’t so much that I want a full-size pickup, but I want to have a capable off-road vehicle and have room to carry two mountain bikes out of the elements. If I could find a way to modify it to get more clearance and store a full-size spare, I’d keep the Touareg. I have looked at and considered a used Land Cruiser, but I haven’t found one that I’d buy. I also am concerned about the reliability of a Land Rover but agree that a Defender would be perfect for my purposes but for the reliability issues. So, I’m very close to purchasing a Rebel.
  11. Thoughts on the new Diesel engine available in the 2020 Rebel?
  12. Mike and John, I really appreciate your comments and help. Mike, the fact that you’ve had good luck with your Ram is very encouraging. The discounts on the new 2019 Rebels and Power Wagons are attractive. I don’t think there’s significant changes in the 2020 models. The Iowa City dealer doesn’t have a Power Wagon in stock. I’ll try to drive one in Cedar Rapids tomorrow. Is there a Ford alternative other than the Raptor which seems a bit over the top to me? I have ignored Chevy completely and just I did some cursory research on Ford trucks.
  13. Well, I wavered on the Ram Rebel. I love the truck and John, you’re right, the Power Wagon is even more capable. But I’ve talked to a number of people who have owned Ram trucks and I’m concerned about dependability. So, I’m leaning toward the Toyota Tundra. I know it’s an old design. The dependability is really important to me. I haven’t made a final decision, but I think that’s where I’ll end up. I drove one about 100 miles today just to see how I felt about it with more time behind the wheel. I felt better about it when I finished the drive. I’m looking to add an A.R.E. TW Classic to
  14. I appreciate the insightful comments and questions—just what I’ve come to expect from knowledgeable Oliver owners. I’ve been working hard trying to find the right components to make the Touareg an adequate partner for this 490 and I’ve given up. Two things can’t be fixed in any reasonable way: 1) 7.9” of ground clearance which is inadequate; and 2) the difficulty of finding a place to carry a full-size spare. So, I’ve been driving pickups! After driving all the full-size pickups that can be optioned for off-road use, I’m about ready to buy a Ram Rebel. I haven’t decided on the engine—I’l
  15. Mary, maybe you and Terry should head to Big Bend in March. Your Ollie knows the way--it's been there twice!
  16. I sold my Elite II after almost 4 years of great experiences camping in my Oliver. Many of you know that I was close to replacing it with a ZoneRV EXP-12. I got cold feet. Buying a camper from an Australian company with no presence in the U.S. was just too risky. So, last week, after much research, i drove to Ohio and spent a day with David Bates, a mechanical engineer who worked for years for Honda. He's the U.S. distributor for Conqueror, a South African off-road camper. I spec'd and purchased a UEV 490 Extreme Platinum. It will arrive in Ohio this month and I'll pick it up in January
  17. John, I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend the rally. I may be picking up the EXP-12 in Flagstaff at that time. But, if I pick it up in March, the rally is a possibility
  18. Sherry, there’s no perfect solution. I’ll miss sitting at the dinette working on the computer, drinking coffee, eating dinner, etc. But, I’ll have a much more comfortable sleeping space with a true queen bed with a latex mattress of the same quality as the one I sleep on at home. I like cooking outside, but having to go outside to brew a morning cup of coffee will require some adjustment. There is a wet bath in the EXP 12, but I don’t anticipate using the inside shower much. In four years, I don’t think I’ve used the indoor shower in the Ollie more than 15-20 times. I usually shower at a
  19. I've been away from this discussion because I've been focused on selling Hull #126 and finalizing the build on my Zone EXP 12.0. My Australian camper would not suit many Oliver owners. I considered buying a Zone RV Off-Road 17.0. It would be amazing--true off-road capabilities combined with a level of luxury that exceeds the Oliver's, Airstream's etc. The options are unbeatable--tons of solar, lithium batteries, an air-conditioner that will run off the inverter, a washing machine!, etc., but I decided that I just don't need that level of luxury. I also didn't want to spend the kind of money
  20. John, see my reply to Sherry about picking up the caravan in Australia. After two hours of FaceTime, many emails, and lots of research, Zone RV has answered many questions, but there are still open issues. They have to figure out how to deal with warranty issues. If I buy from them, my caravan will probably be shipped with two others late this winter or early in the Spring. They are working through the warranty and service issues but obviously they'll have to have people like Jason who can be responsive to owners by telephone and can work with repair facilities in the U.S. Jason has done th
  21. Sherry, I spend 2 hours this afternoon on a FaceTime conversation with a couple of people at Zone RV. They are building 2 caravans now that are going to be shipped to the US. They are "bespoke" for our market--no issues with doors on the wrong side, etc. Unfortunately that means that the caravans won't be certified for travel in Australia. So, I can't fly there to travel with a new camper before shipping it to the U.S. More info coming in a reply to John's comments above.
  22. I'm completely engaged in a search for an Australian caravan to replace my Elite II. Other than getting out on my mountain bike for a couple of hours today to hit the trails, I've been researching Australian caravan manufacturers who are or will soon begin shipping their caravans to the United States. I've found a camper that I think I like better than the MDC XT-15. It's the largest of the Expedition Series by Zone RV. Here's the brochure: https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/6066089/SERIES%20brochures/SERIES%20Specs%20and%20Upgrades/ZRVExpeditionSpec&UpgradeAUG2019.pdf?utm_source=hs_a
  23. I joined the MDC Owners Group on FB and posted a question about insulation/cold-weather camping. Almost immediately received a response from a fellow who started a conversation on FB messenger. Here's the conversation: Hi mate, we’re working on getting product to you guys just ramping up the factory with some new technology to increase production Steve, you must be an MDC representative. Looking forward to the arrival of MDC caravans on our shores! Yes I do all the media, set up and tuition videos etc Great to make contact with you. I won't barrage you with questio
  24. Lots of helpful comments! I’ve asked to join the FB owners’ group as well. I also like the outdoor kitchen. When I travel with my Ollie, I prefer to cook outside when the weather permits but I have to carry a Partner Steel propane stove, table, Cobb Grill, etc., and run in and out of the camper for utensils, etc. I’d use the outside kitchen frequently if I owned the MDC. Regarding the Black Series, the Iowa dealer I’m talking to sold the Black Series campers for awhile and can still order one, but he said the company is having growing pains and he isn’t satisfied with the quality of the produ
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