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Everything posted by Raspy

  1. Seems like, by the time you get up to about 60 or so, that thing will really be flailing around back there! As a theft deterrent, what would prevent someone from just taking that wheel off, with the boot, and driving away with your trailer on three wheels? I see some of the pictures have a disk over the nuts, but not all of them do and I can't tell if that would prevent taking the nuts off with a box end wrench, or a ratchet and short socket.
  2. Mike, I would argue that your 2" ball is absolutely not putting you in any danger. The ball is rated for the full gross weight of the trailer. The 7,000 lb load rating is a working rating and not a predictor of when it will snap off. The ball wear is not indicative of an overload or impending failure. It's a result from the Bulldog coupler having a rough interior and not being perfectly spherical, while dealing with the severe forward load applied by the Anderson hitch. I suppose, if your trailer was loaded to 7,000 lbs, and the Anderson was cranked up to an extreme force on the ball, and you ran into something at a pretty good speed, you might have a failure. But it might have a 4-1 safety margin and nothing would fail. I just don't know what the margin is. I really don't think it is worthy of your concern. I switched mine to a 2 5/16" just because I like that size, like overkill beef, and have other trailers that use that size. Plus, I got rid of that stupid catch that tripped me every time I stepped over the tongue! Next year, to the rally, bring the new 2 5/16' coupler and the ball. We could change it right there. But we might have to act like we knew what we were doing. ?
  3. I really have no interest in revealing what I sold my Oliver for, or any of the other things I've sold previously. I agree that it is interesting to someone in the market, but the tools are there already to understand the general market conditions and to watch listed items enough to get a good idea of the pricing. It really is nobody's business, beyond the buyer and seller involved in the transaction. And I have no obligation to try to influence any negotiations for anything sold in the future. When my sale is complete, my interest in the market is mostly gone, and future sale prices are not my business. Market trends yes, but not specific deals. Do your own research. Make your own deals. If you are interested in a particular model, watch for them to show up in the classifieds. Look at the year, the equipment list, and general condition. See how long it takes them to sell and how the asking price may change during that period. Take into account how rare they are and where they are located. Balance the benefits and problems associated with buying new vs buying used. This is simple market research that is outside the actual negotiations. Negotiations are not done in public. The final agreed to price is an acceptable compromise to both parties and has factors that often don't fit a simple chart of market values. Such as selling to a friend, selling because of health issues, or financial issues. Sending it to a "good home", or selling it in a hurry. Again, it's nobody's business but the two parties involved, so keep the negotiations between the buyer and seller. Don't share the price with the general public unless both parties agree that it is OK to do so. Another annoyance is the demand by people to know "why are you selling it?". Should I be expected to convince a buyer that it's OK for me to sell something, or reveal personal information, before we can enter into a negotiation? Finally, if someone is interested in buying something from another person, they should attempt to develop a personal connection with that person. This is the best path to getting more information and getting the best price. Be polite. Don't try to low-ball with an insulting offer, take responsibility for your decisions, instead of just scoffing at the price. For example, instead of putting it down as too expensive, suggest that it is beyond your budget. Instead of pointing to every flaw and making a big deal of it, simply say you might keep looking for one that will require less work. Or just share that you prefer a different layout. During communications, especially with texts, always identify yourself and say hi. Don't just go to the cold message and expect everyone to know who you are, or care. I often don't bother to respond to unidentified texts as I think they are rude. Rudeness doesn't make me want to negotiate. But if someone identifies who they are and says Hi, I am glad they got in touch.
  4. The 6 tonne and the 4.5 tonne are significantly different. When I was deciding on which one to get, I didn't see the self aligning 6 tonne. A closer look recently, and your explanation makes the self-aligning design look very convenient. The 6 tonne uses a 10 ton truck U joint that is quite large and it has a much larger shaft going through the bracket. I'm not clear what the rating means, in other words, how much safety margin is there beyond the rating? And how much tongue weight is each one designed for? My HQ weighs about 6,300 lbs dry and is rated at 10,000 GVW. Each tonne is 2,200 lbs, so the 6 tonne is rated for a trailer of 13,200 lbs. More than enough. But the 4.5 tonne is rated at 9,900 lbs. I expect my HQ will never weigh more than 7,500 lbs. A WDH adds another factor. I don't plan to use one and the rated tongue weight of the HQ is lighter than my Oliver's measured tongue weight or 560-570 lbs. I think I'd prefer the 6 tonne hitch with a WDH, but without it, it's a toss-up. Looking at the stock articulating hitch that comes with the HQ, it looks weak compared to the 4.5 tonne and I don't like the design. That is why I'm changing it. Reading the information on the McHitch site revealed that they took the 3.5 tonne model and made it into a 4.5 tonne by using better steel. That's it. No dimensional changes. The plug pieces are all the same across the board, except the shank size jumps from 7/8" to 1 1/4". Both the 4.5 and the 6 have the same bolt pattern on the tongue Bottom line: I'm thinking of using the 6 tonne "drop on" I bought, on another trailer and getting a "self aligning" 6 tonne for the HQ. The basic design and stresses involved, plus the ease of use, favor the self aligning one. Another factor is that the "drop on" might interfere with the tailgate when aligned properly with the very high tongue on the HQ. Initially, I liked the drop on because the towing load was not being applied to the safety pin, as it is in the self aligning design. This seems like a high stress area and a point of wear. But it is rated to handle that and the ease of use is a nice factor. Given all of that, what do you think? Here's a picture:
  5. There are a few things that keep the price of used Olivers up. One is they are very popular. Two, Oliver has a waiting period on the new ones. And three, Oliver keeps raising the price of new ones, so used, at nearly their original price, seems cheap by comparison. Also, they have a great reputation. The new prices seem high at first glance. But compared to other high end trailers, like Airstream, not so much. When you really take a look at all that goes into making an Oliver, and at how they are holding up, they can be looked at as a good deal. In the final analysis, things are only worth what the market will bear. Right now, everything is working in Oliver's favor. At the same time that Oliver is striving to perfect their product and build their reputation, other companies are failing through mismanagement, reduced quality, take-overs, or rolling out new products that are not ready for prime time. Plus, the Oliver LE2 is a trailer that appeals to a wide range of people and not just a trendy few. Finally, Oliver knows how to do fiberglass as good or better than anyone, and it shows. They are not just a startup that buys shells form someone else. They make them and work hard to perfect them. This is abundantly clear to anyone who takes the tour.
  6. John, When I ordered my McHitch, Joe at McHitch was easy to work with, had everything in stock and shipped immediately. The prices shown on the website, mchitch.com.au are Aussie dollars. He shipped to me at the retail price shown on the site, all included. Not sure on your comments about the parking brake. As far as I can tell, the brake shoes are standard on the backing plates with parking brake option. I could be wrong, but the stuff is standard American Dexter style, including the wheel bearings, etc, on my HQ19 with parking brake. The ones with parking brakes, shown on ETrailer seemed standard. If so, this seems like a very nice upgrade to an Ollie, especially if the jockey wheel is to be used. In an emergency, a standard backing plate could be used, and having the parking brakes seems like it way outweighs any possible downside. My HQ19 only has parking brakes on the front wheels. The WDH systems shown being used with the McHitch are the standard type, and not the Anderson. If I did not sell my Oliver, this would be the next upgrade. I've been in situations where I could not have turned around without disconnecting, but then, a wide spot in the road appeared. And disconnecting with the standard front jack, in order to turn the trailer around, is out of the question. Those jockey wheels are really tough. Combining this mod with the axle mods we have been talking about would really transform an Ollie.
  7. Overland, That is a very nice upgrade! I have a new McHitch 6 tonne, with vertical pin, sitting right here waiting for my new HQ19 to arrive so I can install it. The HQ comes with a DO-35 Polyblock hitch, but the McHitch looks much better and I like the truck Ujoint swivel. You probably know, but the McHitch can be had in a "kit" that includes a parking brake lever. Or the levers can be easily sourced. They bolt right up the two rear hitch mounting bolts. Parking brakes are standard equipment in Australia on Caravans. I don't know about other brands, but the HQ, from Australia uses a standard Dexter style electric backing plate, bearings, etc. I looked on ETrailer and found electric backing plates that include the parking brake option. I don't see why this would not bolt right onto an Oliver. Then simply route the cables and have a parking brake! Cool. It would be very nice in a recovery situation, or for getting setup at a camp. It's one of the features I love about the HQ, and one I would have looked into for the Oliver if I knew it existed. I think that is the same jockey wheel that comes standard on the HQ. An excellent tool for recovery or turning around at the end of a one lane road. I really like that you've put it on your Oliver. That could help you tremendously out in the desert sometime. That, the parking brake, and some rope would allow you to turn the trailer around in it's own length with total control of it. I'll post some pix of the tongue area when I get the trailer and get the McHitch installed. About a month from now. Thanks for the write-up and pix. John PS, What is the black coiled wire plugged into the bumper and running back to the trailer?
  8. Jitters, I have never heard of this. Where can I read about it? The main cross bolt on the telescoping tongue is very large and cannot shear off because the tongue telescopes. It only sees stress from braking and acceleration and the bolt seems stronger than the material around it. The smaller 7/16" cross bolts in the bulldog hitch are under a shear load. Mine were beginning to elongate the holes in the coupler because the nuts had bottomed out on the threads before pinching the coupler tight to the tongue. The fix, while installing the 2 5/16" coupler, was to add a couple of grade 8 washers on the bolts I have never heard of any of these bolts shearing off.
  9. Landrover, Bearing Buddies are not the same as EZ Lube. Bearing buddies add grease out near the hub cap area, in a spring loaded chamber that has a zerk on it, to raise the pressure in the hub. This is so water will not intrude during immersion with boat trailers. It is not for lubing the bearings, just to raise the hub pressure and keep water out. EZLube is a special spindle with drilled passages that adds grease between the rear bearing and the rear seal. This forces old grease out of the rear bearing and out through the outer bearing, lubing both bearings in the process. This is done with the dust cap removed. Then excess grease is wiped off and the cap replaced. It's debatable whether EZ Lube is a good idea or not.
  10. David, That looks like a perfect place for us to do a shakedown cruise on the new HQ. Hoping to deliver Ollie in Draper on the 18th of August, and P/U the HQ in Lindon, on the 20th. We'll see, as there are a number of variables. Liye is liking Utah more and more. She is threatening to ditch me and move! Ha!
  11. It seems most trucks are geared too high for my liking. In an attempt to get the absolute best mileage, they are running the engines at a high idle on the highway. And seemingly assuming the truck will be operated with no payload. This is OK for unloaded conditions, but means, when towing, that the truck has to drop 1 0r 2 gears to begin to pull a hill, or a headwind. And the mileage is not noticeably better because of it. The new Cummins 6.7 engines, since 2013, are tuned differently that the older 5.9s and early 6.7s were. The new ones are tuned to avoid smoke under any conditions, and consequently will not pull well below 1600 RPM. The older ones were tuned to reach full torque at 1400 RPM. And with the 3.42 standard gears it means about 1500 RPM is common on the highway. This means it will downshift to do anything. At that point, the theory of "higher gears means better mileage" goes out the window. Don't fall for the idea that mileage will always be better if the engine is running slower. Not so. A certain amount of HP must be produced to do the job at hand. If the engine is running below it's volumetric efficiency RPM (not on the cam), it will be running inefficiently and while still able to get the job done, may be getting worse mileage than it would at a slightly higher RPM. Then there is the issue of how drivable it is. When it has no throttle response and it has to downshift to work, it becomes very annoying. It also means that you will lock out the upper gears. This negates the gearing theory and deprives you of more gears to work with. My Cummins, for instance, came with the standard 3.42 gears. When towing, I had to lock out 6th, and sometimes even 5th, to make it pull well. I've spent a lot of time in 4th, (direct drive) while towing heavy loads. Even while towing my Oliver, I liked being in 5th better than 6th. I changed my gearing to 4.10 and it became a different truck. More useful gearing, less shifting, better throttle response and the mileage is just as good as ever. Also, 1st became even more torquey. It was so worth the change. My Rubicon is the same deal. I wanted the 4.10 gears instead of the standard Wrangler 3.23 gears. The Pentastar has to get over 2000 RPM to get into the fat part of the torque band. This RPM is where it becomes efficient and has useful power. At 60 MPH, it is turning about 2100 RPM and is nice to drive. At 70 it is in the high torque area of the curve, without getting into the V6 buzz zone. I'm also getting about 19-20 MPG with it. With the 3.23 gears, 6th would be a useless gear. So, the higher gears would mean fewer useful gears and bad mileage if I tried to use 6th. It was the same story with my Dakota. The gearing was so high that 6th was useless. So I re-geared the truck and made it much nicer to drive. The mileage was no worse, and maybe better. I've done this with two other trucks too. All with similar results. Your truck needs to run efficiently at the RPM you will be using it at and it needs to be responsive to the throttle, or it becomes annoying as it lugs along, gagging for air. Simply expecting better mileage, by slowing the engine down, is not gonna happen. Then, while driving on secondary roads, or around town, you want lower gears, because you have more useful gears, and lower gearing for repeatedly starting out from stops. Modern computer controlled fuel injection, and variable valve timing have made engines run much better than a few years ago, but they still have to be tuned to pass the EPA emissions tests. Modern gas engines, with variable valve timing, have a wider efficient RPM range. This really helps with mileage and drivability. Diesels must not smoke any more than necessary, in order to not prematurely clog the DPF and cause too many regens. Cummins is a victim of this requirement, as are all diesels. What is an inherently torque heavy design, is detuned at low RPM. They pull like a locomotive at 1800-2200 RPM though. And the new HO has 1000 ft lbs of torque. Yikes! The only tranny that Chrysler has that will hold that much power is the Aisin. It still has about 20% of headroom, even at that. The 68 RFE tranny, used with the lower output Cummins, is a good tranny, but in a different category. Lighter duty. The Aisin will run at full throttle all day and never overheat. It's torque converter is strong enough to pull a dump truck around and be fine. Remember, automatic transmissions are called "automatics" not "smoothies". Being able to feel a shift is desirable. It means it is not slipping and it is getting the shift over with as soon as possible. This means less wear and less heat buildup. There is always a balance with automatics between too smooth, and possible slipping, and too rough for comfort, but no heat buildup. Lockup strategy is now part of each shift, except maybe in first, or in some special conditions. It's not a separate function that occurs at some predetermined vehicle speed or throttle position. The majority of heat in an automatic comes from a slipping torque converter while under power, and that has been eliminated as much as possible. They also must stay locked during engine braking.
  12. I do not see any reason to have two solar receptacles when one at the battery box will allow the panels to work anywhere around the trailer with only 15- 20' of cord. If you put the receptacle at the front or the back, you have to route wires to the electrical area or the battery box. If you go straight into the battery box, that problem goes away. The Furion requires a very large hole. The one I show only requires a 7/8" hole. When installed in the battery door, you can reach both sides to install the nuts and the wiring is very easy. If you want to put the controller in the electrical area, under the port side bunk, you can get to that area from the battery box, so again, the battery door works well for the plug. Use a conventional #12 exterior extension cord and cut it to the length you want, for the solar extension cord. These are fine stranded, weather resistant and resistant to damage from getting stepped on or run over. Plus they are cheap and easy to get.
  13. WhatDa, Don't fool yourself into believing the 6.4 will get the mileage of a 3.2 4-banger, just because it drops out four of the eight. Not gonna happen. Ever. It doesn't do that under load and it still has to make enough power to do the job. That also does nothing to reduce internal friction, so you still have all the pistons sliding up and down in the cylinders, for instance. The 10 speed is not the holy grail either. More marketing hype. Adding more and more gears has a diminishing return. Constant shifting and skipping gears is further evidence of that. So is the fact that while towing, it will not be in 10th gear, as well as the fact that all modern gas engines have variable valve timing, which widens out their efficient torque band and reduces the need for so many gears. Towing an Ollie is significantly more efficient than towing a squarish, 8.5' wide sticky. Huge difference there. I've towed both and saw a 30% difference at least. Ollies are a pleasure to tow. The economics of the diesel don't look very good right now, and if I was to buy a new truck, it would be gas. But I never factor in my later resale to make up the difference. That is a hard number to quantify, and it may never happen anyway. I'm on my third Cummins with over a half million miles on them. For me, I have a hard time figuring how much money saved is worth giving up the superior towing, reliability, ease of maintenance and relaxed low RPM torque of a Cummins. The air suspension doesn't just offer a great ride, it also adjusts to various tongue weighs and weight in the bed. Always levels itself, so the truck drives really nice. Get whatever truck you like, but do it with eyes wide open so you are not surprised with the result. Enjoy the search!
  14. WhatDa, Can you get the 5.7 Hemi in those trucks, or only the 6.4? A Mega with the 6'4" bed is going to present a parking issue. And towing an Ollie, you won't be able to use two end-to-end parking spots. If you decided you wanted the diesel, the standard output one in the 2500 if fine. But the HO has the Aisin trans and that trans is outstanding for towing. Extremely heavy duty, has a very low 1st gear and a tall OD. Trouble is, the trans and the HO are expensive options that add about $12,000. I like the 6.4, but for traveling while towing, it would drive me crazy feeding it. If you are not a diesel fan, and just go by the numbers, probably the gas is for you, as there is more to diesels than price at the pump, but you have to like them to appreciate it.
  15. WhatDa, Excellent! #529. Wheen deciding on the 3/4 or 1 ton Ram, be sure to remember the 3/4 ton has coil rear springs. The 1 tons ride very stiff with their leaf springs and have limited articulation. Are you going with diesel or gas?
  16. Chad, The kit you listed in the post above is the kit I used and the one I recommend. Re-read my earlier post as to why I chose this kit.
  17. The HD suspension kit can be done at home with some jack stands and a floor jack. The bushings can be done, one side at a time, by pushing the new bushings in with a C clamp. This will push the old ones out and into a short piece of pipe or a deep socket on the other side of the spring eye. It can also be done with a piece of threaded rod, some nuts and washers. When ready, install the new pins with the grease holes facing fore or aft. Run the stabilizer jacks down and adjust until the weight is being shared with some jack stands under the frame. Lift the tire off the ground with the floor jack and remove it. Lower the jack until there is no weight being carried by the suspension on that one side only. Pull the shackle pins and the equalizer pins. Push the new bushings into the spring eyes and into the new equalizer. Reassemble the system on that one wheel with the grease holes placed as mentioned and with Locktite on the threads. Then do the second wheel on that side. Two floor jacks or some blocking might help. Torque the nuts to spec with a torque wrench. Make sure the zerk fittings are pointed to where you can get on them with the wheels on. Grease that side. Re-install the wheels and torque the lugnuts to spec. The go to the other side and repeat. Re-torque the lugnuts after a few miles.
  18. taylor, John is absolutely right about the suspension. Get the Heavy Duty Dexter suspension kit with greaseable bushings and better shackles. I don't recommend the EZ Flex, but I don't recommend against it either. I'm not sure it has an advantage over the standard HD kit, and it costs about $100. more. The EZ Flex is designed for trailers with very stiff springs, to absorb some shock loads, but Olivers have soft springs. Either kit has the same greaseable bronze bushings and heavy duty parts. This should have been installed from Oliver from the very beginning. They began installing the EZ Flex, as standard equipment, in early 2018 IIRC. The stock plastic bushings used on the earlier setup, like mine, was barely good enough for a utility trailer and definitely not up to what we expect from Oliver.
  19. taylor, It's possible you have the grounding problem, as it was not completely fixed until after hull 200. It's unlikely, with your factory brake controller, that the ground is causing any handling problems. But you should check this and make sure it's OK. Here is how you do it: 1. Unplug the trailer from any shore tie and let the batteries stabilize at about 12.6 volts or less. Monitor this voltage at your panel inside that reads the battery voltage. 2. Back up to the trailer but don't connect the hitch or chains. Just come up close and plug in the umbilical from your truck. 3. With the truck running, check the trailer voltage again and begin to watch it for a few minutes. It should climb to at least 13.2 and probably 14.1 volts over some time. It should match the truck voltage when running, so if you can check the truck voltage on your dash, that would be good. 4. If the trailer voltage comes up during this test, you have a good ground. If not, you are probably grounding through the trailer ball which is a very poor connection. A bad connection can throw codes in the truck, cause bad brake performance and cause the batteries to not charge while towing. 5. If you decide you have a bad ground, I can help you find the problem. I hope you will just lower your tire pressures and do another test run. This will make a difference. With your factory towing package, you may have very stiff shocks on the back of the truck. My Ram did and it was brutally stiff. I fixed that problem by installing a set of Bilstein shocks on the back. This made a significant difference in both handling and comfort. I did the same thing on my older Ram, but on that one I installed a set of Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. These are even better! If you decide the rear of the truck is too stiff, put on a set of the Rancho 9000 shocks. These are adjustable, velocity sensitive, and they work wonders. You just click the adjusters until you find the perfect balance between stiffness and comfort for your particular load. And they keep the tires planted over rough surfaces. I've played with the tire pressures on my Ollie and it seems 55 is near perfect for all-around use. It gives just a bit of cushion, while not being low enough to run hot. This is a good highway pressure for covering a lot of miles. If you get on gravel roads for a lot of miles you can go down to about 40. For severe rocky and rutted roads, even less is OK if you slow way down. But 70 or 80, as they come from Oliver, is not a good plan because they transfer a lot of shock loads and add more stress to the suspension system and the trailer. Oliver has said that the tires and wheels they order come at the higher pressure and they just install them that way. The tire manufacturer weight vs pressure charts show a minimum pressure for the load to be at about 35 PSI. This is not the recommended pressure, but the minimum allowable. The max on load range E tires is 80 PSI and way overkill for this load. Getting your truck tires down to a sensible pressure is good too. When rock hard they will ride rougher and skip around on rough surfaces. Oliver is not a big load for your truck at only about 560 lbs of tongue weight, and approximately 5,700 lbs total, geared up for camping. Hopefully, your TPMS will allow 60 PSI without giving you a warning. A number of us have said that Oliver's tow so well "you'll forget it's back there". This is fun to say, but it's not really the case, except on absolutely smooth highways. But it is true that they have excellent towing manners and are very stable. I don't know what you expected when you began to tow yours. Once everything is set up approximately right, that will be the best you can do and it will be fine. You'll always feel bumps as the trailer adds shock loads to the hitch. Set up your brake controller such that you can just feel it working when you stop. I like mine to be aggressive enough that the trailer is always trying to pull back just a bit on the truck while stopping, but not so much that it skids on pavement. This gives a constant reminder that it is working and it does it's own stopping without pushing on the truck. The 3500 lb axles and 10" brakes are very likely what you have. These brakes seem to have some character to them. As they wear, they will get weaker and need to be adjusted. So if you find you are going gradually higher on your settings and don't seem to be getting a good aggressive brake action, it's time to adjust them. If you re-pack your bearings, you might find the brakes are weak for a while as they break-in again. If one wheel is more aggressive than the rest, it likely means that grease has gotten onto the shoes. This makes them more aggressive, not less, and it tends to make the trailer steer toward the grabbing brake, which steers the truck in the opposite direction. Initially, when my trailer was new, the brakes had to break-in too, and gradually I reduced the setting to keep them from getting too powerful. Every time I hook up and pull away, I reach down and apply them manually on the controller. This confirms they are working, and I'm good to go. At every fuel stop, out on the highway, while the truck is filling, I walk back and touch each tire and each hub. If I can hold my hand on them, they are fine. The trouble would be if one was way different than the rest. Tires are fine until they are much hotter than we can hold our hands on. I'm looking to see if everything is nearly the same. Warm is normal.
  20. SeaDawg, Thanks for that info. Love the graphs and the real world performance.
  21. Somehow, the advantage of the tracking system has to be demonstrated to the buyer, or there is no advantage at all. It's not about underrating or misrepresenting. It's about describing why the tracker is better on any given system, and how much better. This means numbers must be thrown around. That means there will be a misunderstanding about what the rating means. It has nothing to do with undersizing wires or future buyers possible confusion. This is where the graphing comes in, that shows the performance over a day and the peak achieved. It's not the same as HP numbers with trucks, because with trucks, you don't have a readout with instantaneous numbers of how much power is being delivered at that instant and how much power was delivered over a period of time in the past. We don't care about the average accumulated horsepower hours the engine produced over an entire day, for instance. Everyone has a general idea of what happens when we step on the gas, but not so many people understand watts, battery charging, and 12volt usage. I understand the the numbers are just a starting point for comparison, but at some point, there has to be a comparison between tracking and non tracking values. Oliver would be doing themselves a favor by adding the word "peak" or "maximum" to the 340 watt rating. As it stands, it's not clear how that number relates to power use in the trailer, and it can't be used for calculating purposes. It may be Coy's job to sell the system, but it will presumably be sold and installed, at the retail level, by Oliver and they will profit from it as well, I don't think Anderson, for instance, sells the hitches to the Oliver trailer buyers. Oliver sells them. Truma doesn't go to the Oliver sales office and sell their water heaters directly to the buyers, Oliver presents them as a nice option, and then installs them. And Coy needs to help Oliver demonstrate why the tracker is a viable option in terms of performance gains over what Oliver is now selling. Then Oliver can honestly present them. This involves numbers. Peak numbers, overall amp/hours per day numbers. Why it's better. How much better. The emotional thrill of having a high-tech and practical solar system on their new trailer. And that means that Oliver's numbers have to be clarified. It doesn't mean they are deliberately misrepresenting anything. It means more information is needed to show why there is more to the story than peak watts. There is nothing wrong with what Oliver is doing, but soon, more explanation will be needed. And I wish them all well. As I've said, I was initially skeptical after dealing with this very issue for many years in the solar business. But, the gains the tracker achieves is impressive, the real estate on the roof is limited, and the very intelligent software, that addresses every possible issue, made me a believer. I'm interested in following this along and seeing them go into production and onto trailers. I'm hoping people see it as a real practical upgrade. And to that end, they need to understand what it is doing and how that relates to their available energy.
  22. Rather than expecting the buyer to understand the rating system, and to assure that everyone is on the same page, while avoiding predicting a variable number, Oliver's wording might be a simple as: Roof solar system with a 340 watt rated output. An available automatic tracking system will increase the overall performance, and show you what it is doing, on your smart phone. This method seems like it is what they are doing with the Anderson Hitch. Oliver supplies it as an option and installs it. The decision is made by the buyer about whether they want it or not. Literature can be handed out that graphs the difference in performance between flat and tracking. And a picture of someone smiling, as we look over their shoulder, at the smart phone in their hand, with a nice display of the performance. Then there would be a page that had a generator, gas can and cord with a big red X over them. With the caption "No more noisy, loud and polluting generators!" The picture includes a beautiful woman, very frustrated looking, with her hands over her ears, as the grimacing husband struggles to get the generator out of the truck.
  23. taylor, I see absolutely no reason to be using an Anderson Hitch with your F-250. Why are you using it? Turning off your truck's "anti Sway" seems like a bad idea too. Why are you placing more faith in the Anderson Hitch than in your truck's safety systems? Turning off a safety system to compensate for a hitch problem is not a good idea. Towing with a WDH will probably always make the tow rougher because there is so much force and friction at the hitch area. Ditch the Anderson and try it again. What kind of brake controller are you using? Set up the trailer so it sits level, or as close to level as possible, when hooked up and ready to go. When you are on your next trip, with all gear loaded up, the trailer should be riding level. You also don't need 80 PSI in the truck tires. Try 60 or so to get some cushion from them. Oliver tire pressure should be about 55. Olivers are very stable when towing. There is no special requirement to move weight around to avoid problems. People put bikes on the rear, or generators on the tongue, or run with full or empty water tanks, or a large variation of gear, or full or empty propane tanks. Normal weight distribution differences don't seem to have an affect on the stability. Go on a test drive with these suggestions in place: No Anderson hitch, sensible tire pressures of 60 in the truck and 55 in the Oliver, Oliver level or slightly down in front. Report back your findings. Careful, you may forget the trailer is back there.
  24. Without getting too far out in the weeds here, I want to mention, as I'm sure you know, Oliver offers their solar option as a "340 watt solar package". But with your side-by-side testing comparing tracking panels with flat panels, I think your results were that the tracking panels collect nearly 250% of what flat panels do, per day. If Oliver is representing their system as being a 340 watt system, it must be a theoretical max, and not corrected for angle. When a prospective buyer of your tracking system asks what the advantage is, they need to know the real world difference in performance, in order to justify the cost and see the advantage. It seems to me that Oliver may be misrepresenting their system, as there is a big difference between theoretical max and actual performance when laid flat. That is your advantage and why the tracker makes sense. So, how will you guys work with Oliver to make this advantage obvious, while not entering into a conflict with them about their performance claim? If they say it is a 340 watt system, and it only produces 140 watts, there is going to be a problem at some point, unless they make it clear that those numbers are theoretical and not actual. I think they need to attach a disclaimer that reveals the difference between theoretical and actual performance, based or orientation. Then you can provide actual test data comparing tracking with flat. And you can also point out how your system can be cleaned from the ground, while the stock setup requires a ladder. I think the tracking option is going to be very popular. I hope Oliver will work with you to provide customers with real data, even if it means they have to revise down their implied performance claims. This will keep them out of trouble and provide you with an opportunity. I understand that calling their system a 340 watt system, is not a performance guarantee, but if I didn't know anything about solar, and I bought their "340 watt" system, and then never saw more than 140 watts, I'd be asking them to fix it. If they said up front that their system could be boosted by about 250% with a tracker, and they offered that option, I'd buy it and be very happy. The advantages are, as I see it: Significantly improved solar performance. An easy and safe way to clean the panels (which is part of normal maintenance and must be done). A cool factor that is off the charts and fits with the high end character of the Oliver. I wonder if you will be able to use the same mounting locations as Oliver is using now for their collectors? This would help assure the loads are fairly accounted for and help with retrofits to trailers already out there with solar. I hope you are very successful with this endeavor.
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