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JaquelynK

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Everything posted by JaquelynK

  1. I am camped about 20 miles south on Seligman Arizona with Hull 519, delivered in September. From the beginning it seemed like I lost voltage too fast or the solar didn’t charge much. But it is much worse now. I ran the generator last night and got it to 12.1, dropped to 11.5 off of the generator. This morning I was at 9.1 volts running almost nothing but the heater (40 degrees at night). So I fired up the generator again at 4AM so we could go hunting. Got it to 12.5 and left it with nothing running in full Arizona sun all day. Came back to 10 volts at 2PM. My sister had 13.5 in her Forest River. I find nothing loose or obviously wrong in the battery tray, under the couch or at the panel under the dinette. The panel indicates charging on solar but voltage never gets very high and drops like a rock with no input. Seems to be getting worse, like something is drawing a lot of juice. I am running almost nothing. Is there anything at all that I can check or fix or work around? I can’t stay on the hunt like this.
  2. Greetings 517! Sometimes I wish I had a travel partner to share the freak outs. But today I get to Flagstaff for a comping trip with my sister. She had a trailer will help me get sorted out better. So far I have just been driving and driving. The actual camping begins today. Whew! Enjoy your Travels. We chose wisely.
  3. Stayed two nights at David Crockett and flew the cool. All the way in Gallup now. Having some issues with solar charging and the fridge that are probably operator error. Should be at my destination tomorrow and can start learning about my new toy for real and using it as intended.
  4. Shellback delivery day 20 Sept 2019. 80% excited and 20% terrified.
  5. Thanks for all the great advice as always. I'm going to go with the standard 20# tanks so I can lift them out of there until I am 90. I'll carry spares in the truck if I think I'll need a lot. I can use the composite tank I have now for portable things like the gas grille, a lantern, or a propane generator if I go that way. And I'll fill my own tanks whenever possible, exchanging only when desperate. One more thing checked off the list. Almost there.
  6. I am zeroing in on my Oliver order and wondering about the propane cylinders. I would kind of like to have the big cylinders, but the standard ones are pretty heavy for me. It would probably be easier to just carry more small ones and swap them out. Even easier if I could use the Viking composite cylinders. The larger ones might even be manageable for me so I could have the big tanks without the weight. Is anybody using those. When I did my plant tour it looked like they would not fit exactly in the standard mount, so some modification might be required to make sure they are secure and not rubbing. I would love to hear with anyone who is using those cylinders of any size. I have some at home that I love for the gas grill, and I would love to have a set of them for the Oliver. On a similar topic, I'm thinking it would be better and maybe safer to refill my own cylinders versus using an exchange program. I read some unsettling stories online about those tanks that you get with an exchange program being leaky and maybe not even filled up correctly. While the convenience of an exchange is tempting, I don't want to have a leaky half full tank if I am boondocking in the winter somewhere.
  7. Thanks to all for the good answers. I am now leaning toward the composting toilet, which initially I thought I didn't want. It's just one less thing to deal with when I have to pass through town repositioning or resupplying. It does seem like a lot of money for what you get, but it should minimize town time waiting in the dump line and maximize boondocking time, so maybe money well spent. And it looks like I will be saving on the Truma hot water heater which I was originally pretty sure I wanted. If I don't think I need 6 gallons of hot water, I certainly don't need endless hot water. I will embrace the idea of just heating it up to the temperature I want to save propane and not let anything go down the sink unused. I hadn't thought about it heating the hull. And of course it carries another six gallons of drinking water, which I expect will be my main limiting factor for boondocking. I'm still researching the cameras but when I talked to them at the factory it did sound like they would work with me on giving me a "factory install" on a higher end system if I want. So thanks to all for your help. As always, the Oliver forum is a tremendous resource and part of the reason that convinced me to buy one in the first place. If I have trouble, there is an apparently endless supply of knowledge generously shared by Oliver owners. I'm looking forward to becoming an expert myself in time so I can be on the other end of these discussions.
  8. I did my plant tour at the end of October and am almost ready to put in my order, planning on taking delivery in September of 2019. I am on the fence about a number of critical decisions. 1. That darn composting toilet. I'm not in love with the idea of having to climb up on that thing. I'm only 5' 4" and apparently for a guy of 6' 1" it is "a stretch." And I don't believe it is going to magically separate pee and poop without a lot of wiping around in there afterwards. I will be just one person almost always, so I would think a black water tank would last me for weeks and weeks if I am careful. I'm not particularly bothered by the idea of gloving up and dealing with the black water dump business now and then. I used to be a river guide and the way we dealt with poop was 100 times worse than that. Heather also told me that some people use Sani-bags that they get on Amazon. The composting thing sounds kind of heavy to deal with, and the fan will use electricity all the time. Plus the fairly high up-front cost for a relatively simple thing doesn't seem worth it to me. For a solo boondocker, I'm thinking to go with the regular toilet. But any thoughts would be appreciated. I am also undecided on the camera system. As a solo traveler and only a moderately experienced trailer-backer, I would actually like to have a LOT of cameras. And a BIG monitor. It seems that I read in an older post that the Voyager camera system just wasn't that good a deal. It is only a 4.3" screen, which isn't very big. I think I would rather have Tadi Brothers put a system together for me. But then again, I don't want just anybody drilling holes in my Olie. And I wouldn't have cameras when I take delivery. It sounds like I might be able to buy a system and make a service appointment to have it installed the day before I take delivery. So I want a "factory" system, just a better one than they currently offer. Has anyone had experience with making a deal like that? Recommendations? I am also on the fence on the hot water heater. It seems wasteful to heat a full six gallons of water when I can never, ever imaging using that much at once when I am boondocking. I'm pretty sure I can take a more than adequate shower with less than a gallon of water. And dishwashing doesn't take much for one person. The wasteful part of either system would be whatever water you had to let run before you got hot water to the shower or tap. I think fresh water is going to be my main limitation for boondocking, so I can't just let it run down the drain while I wait for it to get hot. The demand heater appears to be simpler to winterize, but it has the potential to be more complex if anything goes wrong as many have noted. But in general I am leaning toward the Truma since it makes no sense to me to heat six gallons of water when I only need a gallon or so at a time. I am set on the idea of a propane generator, so I will be carrying extra propane bottles anyway. But it seems more cost effective to just heat what I will use. Thoughts? And last for the moment, I am seriously considering the Champion propane generator. Anybody have one? Like it? Is it quiet enough? Thanks to all in advance.
  9. I'll talk to the local Ranch Hand dealer and see if I can add a receiver hitch to the Ranch Hand bull bar I already have without welding. Somebody must make a bolt-on. And I am definitely getting cameras. A lot of cameras. I will hang on to that truck if I can. At 50K miles it is just barely broken in for a diesel. It has been very reliable and is a dream to drive if not park. I sure hope fuel prices go up pretty soon. I work on a drilling rig on the North Slope of Alaska, and I need to work about another five years to pay off my Ollie and set me up for retirement. So a return to $100/barrel would make me a little more confident. At $50/barrel, I'm holding off on placing my Ollie order. Times are too uncertain in the oil business right now.
  10. I loved the Airstream trips I did as a kid, but even a brand new one doesn't really measure up to the boon docking capabilities of the Ollie. So I'm not tempted to go over to the Aluminum side. I'm such fun tricking out my imaginary Ollie! Jaque Ollie Elite II of the Future A 2017?) with a Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax diesel, Allison six speed with tow package
  11. That is a good trick with the marker rock. But since I have more money than skill at his point, I'm still going for a camera system with probably at least 3 cameras for driving and backing. The Tandi Brothers site is proving very helpful for figuring that out. For hitching up, I think I might be able to rig something up with my GoPro camera. I can mount it near the ball and watch it on my iPhone or iPad. I'm going to test that theory out on my utility trailer. I might also add a backup camera to help with backing the truck. That thing sorely needs one anyway. So I'll do all that AND use the marker rock trick. I like that, thanks. Jaque Ollie Elite II of the Future A 2017?) with a Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax diesel, Allison six speed with tow package
  12. I had read some similar posts about the camera. Many owners seem to be opting for having Ollie run the wiring and then provide their own camera of choice. The technology on that sort of thing changes so fast that I am reluctant to build something in that will be obsolete before I take delivery. Since I will usually to always be backing the thing by myself, I was even considering a two-camera setup with one at each corner. And I will shop around for my own camera system. I am also toying with the idea of a front bumper hitch so I can push it around looking forward. Lots of options still on the table (except buying the Ollie camera system I think). Thanks again. Jaque
  13. That is just what I was hoping to hear. I am considering an Elite II and possibly a tongue extension as well to accommodate a generator basket. It's good to hear that someone else has had good success with such a rig. Thanks so much! Jaque
  14. Thanks. That makes me feel better. It will be a pretty long rig, and maybe some places I will have to give a pass. But that would still leave about a million places I can get into. And that truck is a dream on the highway. If I am pulling a trailer I have to be careful not to forget it is there. I will get at least one backup camera and maybe find a big parking lot to do some practice maneuvers so I will know what the rig will and will not do. Jaque
  15. Excellent! I am consumed with envy. Nice photo. Might have to speed up my egg order. Jaque Elite (TBD) Ollie of the Future with 2006 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel, Alluson transmission and tow package
  16. I think an inverted is available as a built in option so I will be getting that. And I expect to manage temperature by geography as much as possible. But clearly I need to study up on kW this and amperage that. Inverter changes 12V to 120 for my laptop, right. So much to learn. And almost more information coming in than I can take in. The forum is amazing. I appreciate the offer to peek at your Ollie. I assume you are the one near Bozeman. I had thought to just go to the factory to see them. If I stand in an Elite and then in an Elite II, I think I will know if the Elite will do. I hope it will because my truck is so darn long. But looking at a real one would be helpful as well. I have a big Caribbean trip coming up and work in Alaska. But I might be in touch come July. Jaque Future Ollie Owner (a 2017 perhaps) 2006 Chevy Silverado Duramad Diesel with Allison transmission and tow package
  17. The wheelbase in 167". From the bullrail to the bumper is 22'. I gues is is actually a crew cab, the 4 door, even bigger than the extended cab, with the 8-foot bed. Jaque
  18. Good suggestion. I could only found one pic of the truck last night, a side view I took up near Banff somewhere. The image was too big I guess, so the site cropped it to just the cab. I'll try for some better pictures so I will have at least half of my rig posted. The bed slider is the bomb! And I love the expanded metal side steps. They let a few rocks through, but they never iced up and were great for scraping mud off my steel-toes. I'll work on new pics. Future Ollie Owner (a 2017 perhaps) 2006 Chevy Silverado Duramad Diesel with Allison transmission and tow package
  19. I agree. The forum is a fantastic source of information and quite fun to read. The generosity in sharing information and welcoming me as a prospective new owner is impressive and rather touching. I will feel so much more confident when I make my final decisions with all the advice from the forum backing me up. Are Airstreams really that much? If so, my Ollie-of-the-Future will feel a little less extravagant. My Grandfather bought a 28-foot Airstream in about 1965 for (I think) about $5000, a fair bit of money at the time. Some of my best childhood memories are of vacations we took in that trailer. He hauled it down to Mexico once with a Wally Byam caravan and was gone for three months. I guess they don't have those any more, but it was quite a thing with several hundred Airstreams. I'm not sure about going to Mexico on my own in my Ollie, but I will be returning to my childhood in a way, touring the West in my Nest Egg. I can't wait. Jaque Future Ollie Owner (a 2017 perhaps) 2006 Chevy Silverado Duramad Diesel with Allison transmission and toe package
  20. That is helpful and encouraging information. The Silverado is a bit over the top I admit, but it is low mileage, paid for, and already tricked out perfectly for me. So I'm kind of locked in to that monster. I'll be careful at first to head for more wide open places and work up to threading the trees when I see what the rig will do. Maybe a hitch in the front would help? I have seen those, but I think they were for boats. Jaque
  21. Well that's encouraging. Sounds like the extra 5 feet woukd increase the degree of difficulty for some campgrounds, but not be too rediculous. I am planning a fairly elaborate porch setup, outdoor kitchen, hammock and so on, so I expect to be living out there a good bit. I saw some people pull up in beautiful campground in Arches years ago. They leveled the rig, twirled the satellite dish around, fired up the generator and went inside to watch TV. Never even came out for the sunset, and it was a good one. If I Ever turn into those guys, just kill me. I had the truck to run around with my geology stuff to drilling rigs, so I didn't pull a trailer. I have pulled moving trailers and utility trailers with river trip gear. My backing skills are so-so, but I will get one or more cameras, choose my spots wisely, and back slowly. I already park at the outer reaches of big parking lots to avoid door dings, so that will be nothing new. Thanks for the encouragement. Jaque
  22. I was afraid that 75 dab was going to be over the top unless I am by myself somewhere (which I expect to be as often as possible). I guess I just wanted to be able to maybe run the A/C for a little while to quick-cool it off in the evening. I sleep poorly if I am too hot. And the idea of an endless fuel supply on non-volatile fuel in the truck is alluring. I did read something about a adding a second alternator to the truck. I will certainly look into that. That thing will idle for about two years on a tank of fuel I think. And it's pretty darn quiet. I will of course order the max package for batteries, solar, inverter and so on. Lithium batteries is an idea I hadn't heard, so I will be exploring that idea. I am an ex backpacker and river guide, so I can conserve water. With just one person, it would take me a long darn time to empty the water or fill the black water. I used to be able to wash my hair with less than a quart of water, and it was long then. If the solar works as described I could probably sit out in the wide open BLM lands around Canyonlands for a month easy and be in significant luxury. I will look into better battery options and modifying the truck that I already own. All good stuff guys. Thanks so much! Idaho-based Ollie of the Future (a 2017?) 2006 Silverado Duramax Diesel with Allison transmission and tow package
  23. I guess I was trying to keep my options open. If I just get too hot and can't take it any more, I would like the option to run the AC for a little bit. Mainly I would try to cool with geography. But if I miscalculate, just more options without the gasoline component. All possibilities are still on the table at this point including the traditional Honda/Yamaha or a dual fuel that will run on propane. Still in my very early learning curve here. Thanks for the inverter tip. I will be mindful of that when I order. Jaque Idaho-based Ollie of the Future (a 2017?) 2006 Silverado Duramax Diesel with Allison transmission and tow package
  24. I am trying to find the perfect generator for my yet-to-be-ordered Ollie. I will mostly be traveling alone I expect, so there is a limit to how much generator I can dead-lift in and out of my truck or a storage compartment. I'm pretty strong for a woman I think, but still, I'm not going to be slamming around anything much over 50 or maybe 60 pounds. I would like to get away from gasoline because of the general mess and fire danger. And my truck is a diesel, so I have a virtually unlimited supply of that relatively unvolatile fuel if I want to suck it out of the truck. Problem is finding a reasonably lightweight, relatively quiet diesel generator. I found one supposedly made by in Canada by Advanced Engine Technology Ltd., but I am not finding a way to actually buy one. Their website shows one called the Flex-Lite 2.5kW AC/DC that sounds like it might be just the thing. It weights 108 pounds (without fuel I assume). But my plan would be to have it securely locked into a generator basket on the tongue so I don't have to lift it ever. The truck will handle the extra tongue weight fine I am sure. I am wondering if anyone has ever seen or used one of these generators or know where to buy one? Failing in that, any recommendations for an equivalent diesel that doesn't weight 400 lbs and cost more than the Ollie would be helpful. Also, the thing is rated at 75 db at 7 m, which is about 15 db more than similar kW-rated gasoline Hondas and Yamahas. But 75 db is supposed to be about like a hair dryer, which doesn't sound so awful. I might be able to get a cover with good sound insulation that I could run on it to minimize the noise and still let the engine cool (it is air-cooled so it will need air). This is the website where I found the Flex-Lite, but it seems to exist nowhere else, other than a picture on the web http://www.aet.ca/index.php?section=50 Any comments on how much of a jerk I would be at 75 db and advice on diesel generators in general. I'm not so concerned with the extra cost, since I would expect to get many more hours out of a diesel engine to offset the initial expense. But the perfect model so far eludes all search. Jaque Idaho Ollie Owner of the Future (ordering a 2017?) 2006 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel with Allison 6-speed and tow package, Ext cab, long bed with topper
  25. I am a recent Ollie convert and am planning to order one this year. As it happens, I already have the perfect rig to tow it, a 2006 low-mileage Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel with the Allison 6-speed. Problem is, it was the longest one they made at the time, extended cab with the full 8-foot bed. It rocks on the highway but isn't exactly a maneuvering machine in tight spaces. I was considering the Elite II since I am considering living in the thing for extended periods, say three months or maybe more. But I am just one person and the Silverado will provide for plenty of storage (it has a topper and a bed slider). My question is, will the Silverado and the 23' Ollie make some back roads or campsites inaccessible to me because the whole rig is just too long? I will be camping almost entirely in the West where there tends to be a lot of room. But if I get too hot and work my way up into the mountains, I might want something I could thread into the trees a little better. Backup camera or not, I will be mostly traveling alone, and 23' plus feet and the Silverado might just be over the top. Any opinions on my first major Ollie decision would be appreciated. The little egg or the big egg? Jaque Idaho-based Ollie of the Future (probably a 2017) Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel with Allison 6 Speed
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