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Everything posted by donthompson

  1. I can report on a few aspects of traveling in the T3. First, the handoff in Bellefontaine, Ohio was very thorough. I spent two full days with Dave Bates learning about the T3. When I planned my first trip from there, I thought I’d be able to drive south for a day and find warm enough weather to escape freezing temperatures at night. This is my third night out and I’m near Dallas, Texas. It’s been cold and windy with lows in the low 20’s. Last night, the wind was blowing 20 mph with higher gusts. After consulting with Dave, I winterized my drinking water tank and filled the general water tank 3/4 full. The general tank is located near the Elwell Timberline diesel heater that provides both forced air heat and hot water. I’ve been running the Elwell system using the diesel burner (it also has an electric burner) on hot water, not heat mode to concentrate the heat near the general water tank. The T3 has a separate diesel heater under the bed which has kept the cabin very comfortable at night. I have used the Elwell in heating mode to warm the cabin up quickly when I arrive at camp at night. Compared to the Oliver, I don’t have the same level of confidence at 20 degrees as I did in the Oliver. But, the comfort in the cabin is better in the T3 because of the two diesel heat sources. One of the biggest differences towing the T3 is the effectiveness of the disc brakes on all four wheels. They are amazing. Not only do they add a great deal of stopping power, they are also much easier to modulate and control. They feel more like the brakes on a motor vehicle than a travel trailer. I also like the ease of leveling the T3. Rather than power jacks, I have airbags that I control from inside the camper with a key fob. When I arrive at camp, I lower both sides completely and then use the key fob to raise the side that needs to be raised to level the trailer. With the Rhino Hitch on my truck, I can raise the front of the T3 quite a ways without unhooking from the tow vehicle. I’ve done this on 2 of my 3 nights out so far. Nice to be able to level fore/aft without unhooking. I haven’t used the outdoor kitchen yet—way to cold. Hopefully in a few weeks it will be warm enough where I plan to travel to cook outdoors. Don
  2. My plans have changed. I also have plans to attend Expo West in Flagstaff, AZ and recently learned that it will be held in May rather than September. The dates conflict with the Oliver Rally. Kimberley USA wants me to have my T3 there and we’re planning a 4-5 day caravan after the rally. I hate to miss the Oliver Rally—I was looking forward to seeing all of you again.
  3. I just registered for the Rally at Lake Guntersville State Park. I plan to camp at site G21 in my Kimberley T3. Arriving on 5/18 and departing on 5/22.
  4. Paul, I don't consider this to be a true 4-season camper. Kimberley winterizes all plumbing and water tanks for Kruisers shipped to the U.S. and includes tank heaters. They also have a new composite wall material and roof material that adds to the insulation rating. Based on my discussions with David Bates, I don't think I'd tow the T3 that isn't winterized at temperatures below 28 degrees. He suggested that the diesel heater will keep the cabin comfortable for sleeping in the mid-teens, but again, I wouldn't want to try to camp with water on board at these temps. Because I typically leave Iowa in January or February to go south, I'll do what I did in the Oliver. I'll leave with a winterized trailer and wait to add water until I get to a warmer climate.
  5. John, do you have the Stone Stomper? Looks great! SeaDawg, it took me months to come to grips with the amount of money I had to spend on the T3, but like the Oliver, I think it will hold it’s value very well. I don’t consider it a depreciating asset like the tow vehicle. And, I’m 72 years old—no sense in compromising at this stage of my life!
  6. In response to your questions, John, I chose the McHitch on the Kimberley and a Rhino hitch on the tow vehicle. I’ll tow it with a Ram 2500 diesel. Because of the passage of time, I’m sure the price for mine is not the price you’d pay today if you ordered a T3. I paid Kimberley $9500 for shipping from Australia and I think their cost to ship was around $17,000. All in, mine was around $155,000 plus the $9500 shipping charge. A lot of money, but it’s worth that amount of money to me. I think I have some chassis photos—I’ll see if I can dig them up and post them. Thanks for the tip on the Stone Stomper. Warranty claims will be handled by Kimberley USA—David Bates’ company in Ohio. He’s building a dealer network too. The company in Utah that was a big Black Series dealer dropped the Black Series and is all in with Kimberley. I’ve dealt with David Bates before—he sold my Conqueror to me. He is absolutely committed to supporting those of us who purchase Kimberleys. He’s an automotive engineer and a very skilled technician.
  7. Those of you who have owned an Oliver for many years may remember me. I owned an Elite II for 4 years. Replaced it with a Conqueror which was a big mistake. Sold the Conqueror after owning it for less than a year and ordered a Kimberley from Australia. Covid-19, supply chain issues and shipping delays caused me to be without a camper for almost a year and a half. Finally, the T3 arrived and is being checked out and made ready for me by the distributor in Ohio. Here are some photos. It’s a rugged off-road camper with lots of luxury. Technology is amazing: over 900 watts of solar, 600 amp hours of lithium batteries, four wheel disk brakes, indoor and outdoor kitchen, tons of storage inside and out, etc. I plan to pick it up in a couple of weeks and will do a short trip to North Carolina as a shakedown cruise. Leaving mid-January for a lengthy trip West.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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 up pants, shirts, etc. If I still owned my Ollie, I think I'd find a way to install shelves to fill the closet and to make it a great place to store all of my clothing, etc. What do you think? Has anyone done this? Picking up my Conqueror next Monday. Photos below.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 used to zipping around in a VW Golf Sportwagon TDI 6-speed. Nice town car, gets great mileage, easy to park, decent cargo capacity and it has the same size receiver as my truck and Touareg so my bike racks fit.
  14. Short-term lease. Posted a couple of photos. Certified.
  15. 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 above so I can add a basket for a second spare for both the camper and truck if I want. It’s a big truck. Don’t think I’ll drive it around Iowa City very often. Will post photos in 6 weeks or so when I get it completed with topper, etc. Thanks for all of your advice. I’ll see how well I like the Ram and I’ll keep my eyes open for the redesigned Tundra. I wouldn’t buy one the first year, so I’ll probably keep the Ram at least 3-years. Hope I like it well enough to keep it longer.
  16. 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 outdated and has poorer road manners than the Ram? I can't explain it.
  17. 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. Let’s see how it works. The distributor of the Conqueror started me on the search for a full-size pickup—it’s what he recommended. Other 490 owners tow with a variety of vehicles from Power Wagons to Tundras, Tacomas and even 4-Runners. All seem to like their tow vehicles except for lack of power in the Tacomas and 4-Runners.
  18. Thoughts on the new Diesel engine available in the 2020 Rebel?
  19. 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.
  20. 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 topper with spray-on full protective coating and A.R.E.’s CargoGlide that basically allows you to slide out a platform that is almost as long and wide as your cargo bed, load your gear and slide it back in. I plan to do DIY bike mounts bolted to the platform so I can load my bikes and just slide them in and enclose them. With the topper. It’s a pretty cool system. http://www.cargoglide.com/ Watching the video of the Power Wagon v. Rebel convinced me that my off-road travels will be a little tamer than what I saw on the video!
  21. 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’ll buy one with the V-8 or the new 3.0L Eco-Diesel. Can’t decide if I want to spend the extra money for the diesel. I can save a lot of $$ if I buy a new 2019 and the diesel is only available in the 2020 model. John identified the trade-offs I have to make to have the off-road capabilities that the Conqueror offers. I can’t load it up with gear, etc. because of the 1,100 lbs. difference between the dry weight and the GVWR. If I have a full fresh water tank and fill the two Jerry cans with water, I’ll add just under 370 lbs. That leaves approx. 730 lbs. of capacity. I think I’ll add the air bag suspension to the Ram Rebel, and I’ll put the heavy stuff (compressor, tools, etc.) in the truck and keep the load in the camper pretty light. My Ollie usually weighed 5200-5400 lbs. when I towed with a full fresh water tank, so I’m pretty sure I can keep the total load in the Conqueror below 1,000 lbs. I asked David about the tongue weight but failed to write it down. I remember that it was less than the Ollie. I think around 450 lbs. John, there is a lot of canvas, isn’t there? That’s another are where there’s a real compromise. However, the Conqueror 490 is the only off-road camper I found that I liked that actually had a living space enclosed without canvas. When I stop for the night on my way to a destination, I don’t have to deploy any canvas. I can sleep on the bed that doubles as the dining area without raising the roof—sort of a stealth mode. I’ll carry an electric tea kettle and make pour-over coffee inside and then get on the road again. When I find a place I want to camp for more than a night, I’ll have a lot of options. The newest model has a roof that raises straight up and not at an angle (think wedge shape) and there are long rectangular windows on each side. If I use the main bed, I can limit the canvas to the rain fly over the bed. Next option is to deploy the Bundutek awning. It is really pretty simple to deploy—I’ll eventually be able to do it in 5-10 minutes. Then I have two other options—deploying the standard awning on either or both sides with or without sidewalls. I should have plenty of power when off-grid. I’ll have 245 watts of solar panels on the roof and a 160 watt portable panel (one that is much lighter than the Zamp portable I had with the Ollie) and 2 100ah lithium batteries. He typically installs a 1000 watt inverter but I added a 2000 watt inverter. David recommended the propane furnace they supply rather than the diesel heater. He said the diesel heater is noisy and requires a lot of maintenance. I chose not to add air conditioning. I rarely used the A/C in the Ollie and didn’t like it when I did—the noise drove me crazy and I couldn’t sleep with it running. I plan to pick the Conqueror up in January and leave for Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park in February. Hope I run into an Ollie or two en route or in one of the parks.
  22. Mary, maybe you and Terry should head to Big Bend in March. Your Ollie knows the way--it's been there twice!
  23. 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 and then head for Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, etc. for it's inaugural trip. It's not a camper that most Oliver owners would want to own, but I really want to spend more time on gravel and more primitive routes. I'm adapting my Touareg with skid plates, new wheels and all-terrain tires, etc. Purchased the new Garmin Overlander and Garmin's inReach Mini to help with back country navigation and communication. I hope to continue to enjoy my Oliver friends and can't wait to run into some of you while traveling towards my off-road destinations. Here's a Youtube video that David made relating to the 490. There have been a few changes since he made the video, but you'll get the idea.
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