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Everything posted by Raspy

  1. Another issue related to this is how to correctly hook up the breakaway switch cord. I think the proper way for this to be setup, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is to have it connected to the frame of the tow vehicle in such a way that if there is a disconnect, the switch is activated before the chains get tight. Or, shorter than the chains. But it is a coiled stretch cord and it's unclear how to get that length just right. Mine is not set up properly. My safety hooks are through links in the chains at about 6" from the end of the chain. Then that 6" tail is connected to the break-away cable clip. I think it would activate before the chains got tight, but I haven't tested it to see for sure. And it is not connected directly to the frame, but to the chain, near the hook. It would be better to have a hook on the switch cord, that attached to the hitch frame separately from the safety chains
  2. Greg, The accumulator can be mounted in any position. Put it as close to the pump as is practical. No hoses are required, but are fine. These can be faucet pigtails that are available in various lengths from Home Depot or Lowes. Adjust the accumulator pressure to where it is a little lower than the cut-in pressure of the water pump. This is a bit tricky. You need to put a gauge on your water system and determine the on and off pressure of your pump. Then set the accumulator pressure a little below the "on" pressure. This mod is more important than many realize, even with the Truma instant water heater. But especially with the 6 gallon tank water heater. It becomes even more important when adding a shore water pressure regulator.
  3. And you are right to do so. Nobody should suggest using weak safety chains. The question was how to make a hook with only a 3/8" opening fit the truck. The Quick links do that. Since each of those links is rated at 3,600 lbs working load, 7,200 lbs combined, and since the trailer has a max gross weight of 7,000 lbs, it seems reasonable that they would be sufficient, assuming they carried equal load during a disconnect. My factory installed Oliver safety chains, I'm assuming they are Gr 70 transport chains, are only rated for a working load of 3,150 lbs. That is less than half the gross weight of the trailer. So, the Quick Links are stronger than the factory safety chains. It seems highly unlikely that some authority would demand proof that those links were rated at or above the gross weight of the trailer. But to be prepared, documentation could be carried. Remember, the ball and hitch are only rated for 7,000 lbs, IIRC. You can't stop people from blaming you or trying to sue you. And there is no reason to run your life around trying to achieve that impossible goal. It might be more practical to worry about the 2" ball snapping off, or the Bulldog coupler mounting bolts shearing off. Can you prove those bolts will not shear off? I caught mine in the act of elongating the holes they were in. The other solution to the hook problem would be to get a different shaped hook where the safety catch would not interfere with getting it onto the hitch hole. PS. In looking through the chart you provided, I see no requirement that each chain handle the gross weight of the trailer, unless only one chain is required, and then it must. If more than one chain is required, or used, "they" must be that strong. Oliver has two chains, but in my case, they seem to be only rated for a gross of 6,300 lbs. At least that is their working load. Not sure what their breaking strength is. Either way, the working load of the chain is less than the working load of the Quick Links. And Oliver supposedly meets all requirement in 50 states and RVIA.
  4. I have a 100 watt suitcase too. I let it go with my Oliver, so I had to get another one to supplement the 300 watt, flat mounted system on my HQ.
  5. Just an update here: I was in the thermal solar business for 40 years or so. I've been a solar advocate for a long time. My house is heated with thermal solar and I love the results. I made a couple of comments on this thread before the rally, then I went to the rally and studied the prototype tracker, and the data. I am impressed with the improvement that tracking makes. Over 200% improvement over a full day. For every issue I brought up, there was a very good answer that had already been thought of and worked out with the software. Solar seems are a very popular option and I'm sure this will be popular too. One thing though. The systems are all sold with the stated output at it's theoretical maximum, and it needs to be pointed out to potential buyers, that those numbers are only obtainable with a tracking system. It seems the current systems are being sold with misleading performance numbers, that were never achievable. Now they will be, But were customers informed of this? Any thoughts on this? I wasn't very interested in a permanent solar system on the roof, but now I'm coming around. Even if it does less than I wish, it does something. I don't want to always park in the sun, but I spend a lot of time in the sun anyway. My new HQ19 comes with solar and I've already ordered a telescoping ladder so I can clean the collectors. I won't be retrofitting a tracking system, but if purchased new, with the trailer, it should very well prove to be quite practical if the electronics and the mechanisms are reliable.
  6. That is a very nice clock. I had the wind up version in a 24 hour, 8 bells format, in my boat. Having a permanently mounted clock in Ollie, is nice. Interesting thing about the barometer is that you have to correct for elevation wherever you go. By the time you look up the barometric pressure and correct it for your altitude, you already know the answer. And usually, the adjustment is on the back. Every time you move, it's wrong again.
  7. Cedar, Another solution is to add a couple of 3/8" stainless Quick Links to the truck safety chain eyes, and then attach your chains to them. These are rated for a working load of 3,600 lbs and won't rust. Or you could remove the safety hooks and add the Quick Links to the safety chains. 3/8" shackles can also be used. Get the biggest links or shackles that will fit the chain. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-8-in-Stainless-Steel-Quick-Link-42794/205883033
  8. I tow with a Ram 3500 SRW. I have tires that are 2" taller than stock, that lift the truck about 1". My actual measured tongue weight is 570 lbs. I use a 3" drop hitch and it is perfect. This allows for an approximately 1 1/2" sag when connecting. I probably have about 800 lbs of total gear, tools, etc, in the bed of the truck when traveling. Ollie rides as close to level as possible set up like this, and the truck is slightly down in the back from the weight of the gear and the tongue weight combined. It also seems like too many people buy the Anderson hitch out of fear, rather than because they actually have reason to think they need it. Remember, Oliver trailers are extremely stable. I have an Anderson hitch that came with my Oliver and I have never put it on. It has never been even slightly needed. Of course, nobody is qualified to tell someone else that they don't need a piece of safety gear. But, does it make sense to buy out of fear? Or with no data suggesting you really need it? Or to buy it for sway, when all you need is weight distributing? If you want to tow your LE2 with a Corolla, you'll need it. If you want to tow your LE2 with a deuce and a half military truck, you won't need it. How about a 1 ton Ram? No. How about a Ranger? Yes. Where exactly is the line? Do you want one so that a lawyer can't possibly sue you? Good luck with that. We have friends that have towed their LE2 all over the country with an F-150, with no WDH. Not the slightest problem ever. Even though Ford says they need one with a tongue weight over 500 lbs. Anderson hitches have been known to cause problems with Ford stability control systems. In that situation, Anderson recommended turning off the Ford stability control system in the truck! Yikes! Never do that! So, if you don't need it for stability, and it can cause instability when installed, and you're afraid to go without it, and Ford says you need one, but the truck drives fine without it, and Olivers are known for their inherent stability, what do you do? And how can anyone tell you what to do? My solution was to not use one, even though an Anderson came with my Ollie. Your mileage may vary. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.
  9. [postquote quote=181377][/postquote] Greg, I didn't know that. Thanks.
  10. Granite, That is a very good choice. Nobody "needs" a one ton to tow an Ollie. Plus the one ton's ride is very stiff, and they are more expensive. Diesels used to be more fun than they are today. And their reliability should always be looked at carefully before buying one. Plus, that is a very expensive option and the fuel is more expensive. If I was to get a new truck, it would be a Ram 1500 Rebel with the 5.7 Hemi. The air suspension is wonderful for towing because it self levels with added tongue weight. They have had some problems with it, but mainly that was in cold weather where the system was freezing up. The E-Torque is mainly designed to help with mileage around town in stop and go traffic. It doesn't help on the highway. We live in the country and never get into traffic, so I had decided to not go for that expensive option.
  11. I haven't looked to see how practical it would be, but maybe we could re-plumb the sink drains to go to the black tank, and then add a valve at the dump fitting in the rear bumper area, then leave the grey and black dump valves open. The gray water would flow to the black tank and on to the gray tank. When the gray tank was full, you'd shut off the gray dump valve and continue using water until the black was full. It would not matter that it was higher than the gray. Then dump them both by dumping the black first and then the gray. Then start the process over. This wouldn't give us any more fresh, but it would increase the gray significantly. The problem might be that there would not be any slope in the drain lines leading to the black tank. This might cause solids to settle and possibly build up in the smaller 2" lines. Also, the shower would not drain to the black tank, because the shower floor is so low. This would mean we'd have to manages the shower gate valve and only shower when the gray was not full.
  12. Hi Monica. Looks like you are off to a good start, and now you only have 4,266 questions left! That won't take long. I'm bringing you one of the reading lights, so you'll have at least one and can match it with an order from Oliver to get the second one. There is power available in the cabinets above where the lights are normally mounted. It should be an easy installation. For now though, look at the pix I sent and see the LED reading light mounted on the port side against the pantry. We'll see you in Salt Lake next month! Ollie is all charged up and standing by. He is facing out the driveway like he has some place to go. Hmmm. I hope you add a logo, as many of us have, and as I did of our coyote, "Sandy", howling at the moon. These vinyl decals can be had from ebay based on your personal design. Opus. Good name! Keep posting pix of your adventures and we'll see you out on the trail. John
  13. My Anderson came with the trailer. I never used it, and finally removed the frame brackets. There was no alteration done to any fiberglass during the original installation. During installation, the important part is getting frame brackets set right, slanted in the right direction, and the set screws installed correctly. Installing a new one, I'd not drill in the setscrews and see if it worked without them. It seems many people buy these hitches as insurance, if they are concerned about possible sway, rather than because they actually know they need them. Olivers are extremely stable trailers, but the tongue weight may require you to use a weight distributing hitch.
  14. As far as the awnings go, I guess you are talking about the legless, electric model, I think form Dometic. Be sure that is what you want. They cannot be out in the wind or in the rain as they are "sun"awnings and not strong enough for anything else. They cannot be set lower of tilted to one side. Not sure how they back them up inside the structure to take the extreme loading at the mounts. Hopefully, you can look closely at one at Hohenwald.
  15. The peak voltage of the suitcase panels is 18 volts each. Can a normal MPPT controller handle 36 volts input? Wouldn't one have to have a closely matching peak voltage from the roof array to then tie the two systems together in parallel at the controller? John
  16. Dave, It does seem tempting to connect the ground collectors to the roof controller, but I don't know if it's a good idea or not. If the roof panels are shaded and they shut off, will some power be lost from the ground system? I haven't done any testing, but an 8 amp max charging current run through #12 stranded wire doesn't seem like a problem. The wire is rated for 20 amp continuous. More of a problem might be routing the suitcase system wires in a convoluted way with lots of connections, in order to get to the batteries, instead of just hooking directly to the batteries. It does seem that a 20' lead is rather long, but I haven't tested for voltage drop to prove it. Somehow, it seems kind of silly to split hairs on the wires, when the real efficiency drop comes from having roof collectors laid flat on the roof. That seriously reduces their output. It's all part of the fun with solar. Lots of experimenting, searching for the most practical design, and getting free electricity form the sun. I love it.
  17. Bill, Connecting to the seven pin seems like a simple solution. While Reed and I were tracing down his grounding problem, we discovered his pigtail went in below the bottles and disappeared into where we could not trace it out very well. Mine had the problem too, but was wired much differently than his. Hull 92 vs. Hull 200. I ended up putting the solar plug where shown, and then connecting more of the #12 cable directly to the batteries. The wire doesn't seem like it will get into trouble and the battery tray can still roll out as needed. I noticed at the rally, on the night of the drawings and prizes, that the suitcase system they gave away was a 140 watt system with slightly larger panels. I looked on-line when ordering my new set, but did not see that model. I would only have bought it if it would stand up on the left side of the closet, as the 100 does. At Yellowstone, I needed to charge, but we were in the trees and mostly shaded. I didn't bring the generator, and the charging police came by to tell me not to charge from the truck! My profligate energy use came to a screeching halt. I needed one of those little chipmonk exercise wheels hooked to a generator.
  18. I have no evidence that my drawers have ever opened while driving, but some have had disasters. The cord looks like a good solution. The nightstand drawer seems like the obvious problem waiting to happen. It probably has opened and closed a number of times as I blissfully gazed out at the scenery. Fortunately, I've never found it up by the bathroom, but I've had a number of other things end up there.
  19. Here's my 20 amp solar plug. It could not be simpler and requires only a small hole. The cap is absolutely weather tight and the plug "twist locks" on, so it cannot fall off. An easy way to make a very good cord is to take a #12 outside extension cord and cut it to length. These have heavy stranded wire in a durable and very flexible PVC jacket. The length just has to be enough to allow you to set the panels anywhere necessary to get unobstructed sun. I cut mine at 20', but it is probably longer than needed. When done, just roll it up and put it between the panels in their carrying case. Another way to go is to install an Anderson plug near the front of the trailer, on a larger cable that runs back to the batteries. The collectors can plug into that and it can also be used to charge the batteries from the tow vehicle.
  20. I have the Renogy 100 watt suitcase and it is very nice. Nice durable canvas cover, mechanical latch and strong carrying handle. It stands in the closet and takes up almost no room. The controller and chord store between the collectors when folded. And it really does put out some useable power. Mine is going with my Oliver when it sells, so I already ordered another one to replace it. From actual testing results, comparing a tracking system with a flat roof system, the tracking system puts out about 250 % of what the same size flat system will do. So, a suitcase system that can be adjusted during the day, gives a lot of bang for the buck. Plus, you can park in the shade and you don't have to climb up to the roof to clean the panels. The 20 amp controller is big enough to handle two more panels too.
  21. [postquote quote=179913][/postquote] Hi Mirna, Welcome aboard! As John mentioned, please fill out your profile so we can see where you are and more about what you will be doing, or what your interests are. Probably everyone here is biased toward fiberglass, and for good reasons. One very obvious weak link with the Lance is the rubber roof. These are very vulnerable to mechanical damage, will fail over time from the sun, and can cause very serious water damage to the structure when they do fail. Having a slide-out gives a lot of interior room, but can be drafty and make the trailer hard to heat. They also seriously reduce the useful interior space when in. So if you stop on the road for the night, you may have to deploy it just too get from one end to the other. When traveling, that would become a problem. I had one in an "Extreme Edition" Fleetwood and we went through a lot of propane trying to overcome the drafts and stay warm. Olivers are streamlined, the roofs can not fail, they have good insulation. Look where the jack is on the front of the Lance and compare that to the Oliver jack location. You can open the tailgate of your truck, while connected, with an Oliver. Not so much with so many other common designs that use the same jack location, right next to the coupler. Be sure to check the cabinet material. Is is just stapled together pressboard with a friction catch? Or do they have a positive latch? How many batteries are included? Olivers have (4) batteries located over the axle. Look at the plumbing for the black and gray tank drain. Is it hanging down where it can get knocked off on a curb or a rock? Oliver plumbing is all up inside in a closed compartment at the rear bumper. If the cost is helping to drive the decision, look in the classifieds for a used Oliver. I know of at least one in there that is a very good deal. They hold their value much better than a Lance, because they can be used for generations if desired.
  22. You may find it better to run just one generator and leave the "Eco" off, if running the AC. The AC cycles occasionally and the generator will be happier if it is already up to speed for a high amp starting load like the AC. But you can't be running the Microwave at the same time if you do this. Also, generators lose about 3% 0f their capacity per 1,000 ft of elevation, so if you are at a higher elevation, you'll have to run both generators. Eco is nice, but if you are in the trailer with the AC running, you probably won't hear the generator, so it won't need to idle down during the normal cycling of the AC. And the fuel savings will be minimal with Eco in that situation, so I don't know why you would be interested in using Eco mode. The Easy start went through a "learn" cycle when it was installed. This gave it a chance to understand your generator, at the elevation you were at, and with the generator you'd be using. If there is some abnormality, you might have to do that again. I don't know why you'd want to run both generators if they are not needed. And they should not be if you manage your loads or are at a lower elevation. Don't run the microwave with the AC on, try to have your batteries mostly charged before using the AC, etc. I find it hard to understand how a place could be fun to visit if I had to sit inside a closed up trailer all day, with two generators running and the AC blasting. And I would not want to leave the trailer and go do something with all of that going on. Pets left inside, for instance, could be in trouble if there was a generator problem while you were gone. And then there are the other campers in the area that get to listen to your generators. I would do whatever it took to get away from dual generators at full throttle from a nearby camp.
  23. As Dave pointed out, make sure you have the full rated 2" ball with the 1 1/4" shank. Don't let the ball be the weak link. I went to the 2 5/16" coupler because I wanted more safety margin and because I already use 2 5/16" couplers on some other trailers. I can use the same drawbar with a number of trailers. The real world difference between the two couplers is not much because of the way they are made and the way they are mounted to the Oliver tongue. On mine, the mounting bolts had bottomed on the threads before they had fully pinched the coupler onto the tongue. This meant the bolts were in shear only and were beginning to elongate the mounting holes. The fix was simply to add some washers. The excessive ball wear that John mentioned my be unavoidable because the coupler pocket is not a machined surface, but simply cast or forged to approximately round. The closing gate piece doesn't make it exactly spherical either. A small benefit is that the catch lever on the top of the 2" mechanism goes away with the larger one. That thing always tripped me when stepping over the tongue.
  24. Simply look at the marine industry for colors, techniques and products related to painting gel-coat fiberglass. There are lots of standard colors and they they can be duplicated later if needed. Fiberglass boats get painted all the time and it's not rocket science. A trailer would be much easier to paint than a boat and the new urethane paints are extremely UV resistant. Brandi's lovely red Elite really stands out and is beautiful. It was fun to see it and meet them at the rally in 2018. The black Elite lives a couple miles from me and was the first Oliver I ever saw. It was the one that made me want an Oliver. BTW, I would not be surprised to see it put up for sale soon.
  25. [postquote quote=174037][/postquote] Good Choice.
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