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BoondockingAirstream

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  1. The majority of trailer owners who own a trailer capable of Boondocking off the grid... have no idea how to find or locate a Boondocking Site. Western States were once defined as being west of the 100th Meridian. These States have the majority of 'Public Lands'. These are Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forest System (NFS), State Lands (usually School Section 16 in each 36 Section square miles and of course National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites, etc. Boondockers looking for Public Lands have some very good references available. The most detailed are those sold by the United States Geological Survey as Quadrangles. Some outdoor sporting shops sell them as well for local needs. These are for very detailed maps for small areas. For myself, I find the Delorme Atlas and Gazetteer very handy for States we are exploring. They will indicate in colors various land ownerships. City, town, Indian Reservations, BLM, NFS, School Sections and Private Property within public lands. The scale on most are one inch covers 4.7 miles. Some vary and the scale is printed on each map. Roads are consistent as to Highway Interstate and State, County and all season, improved and unimproved BLM and NFS to jeep trails. After exploring an area, you will understand there are differences from those who mapped New Mexico and those who mapped Wyoming. So... experience is learned by actually doing some unplanned side trips. These 'side trips' are where you set up a Base Camp with your trailer and drive further into a remote area to discover those... hidden Gems that you may visit often over time. Often campsites in public lands are marked on a map. One may be displayed on the map, but ten may be located on the way. It appears to be random, but if marked on the map, the campsite may have a water pump and a pit toilet. Some have a picnic table. Some have... nothing but pullouts with gravel. An Oliver can manage about any of these easily. Once a trailer is longer than 25 feet it becomes more difficult as these older camps are intended for smaller trailers used before 1980... or 1950. Often there are 'hunter camps' that have open areas that the largest trailers can easily move around and find ample room for one to twenty trailers. Experience is 'King'. There are Geological State Maps sold by each State if you are a rockhound. The BLM and NFS sell maps of their area offices and sometimes in the general area with their road marked with a number system. The longer the number, the worse the road... kind of plan. At times the smaller roads no longer have a sign. It fell apart decades ago. But, still the maps are very handy. Always mark your camping spot on the map. We add the elevation, as well. Describe the location and if you liked it... or did not. It can come handy if you want to quickly stop on a trip through the area years later. We use our previous locations, frequently. Some locations we revisit often. What are your map preferences? How does it work for you? Has a map taken you to lakes, rivers and creeks that you would have not visited? Early explorers recorded their travels before roads and maps. They made accurate maps and sold them to those wanting to travel west. Much like the Oregon Trail... many discovered better routes and sold maps. Technology has improved maps. GPS is wonderful... if you recorded the location for future reference. Great for get togethers and reference.
  2. KenB... driven Land Cruisers since 1978. Missed the 'jeep' styles as I could not afford them while at the University... so had a 1967 Bronco 4x4... which today is a 'collector's item'. Wow. Do I feel... old. Still have our 2008 LC and going strong. The straight six LC engines... the heads were prone to crack. Although easy to remove, have it repaired, gave both heads a valve job and sold it with 248,000 miles some time later. A bit under powered for towing, as well. Bill and Bev were towing with a white F-150. They said it pulled the Oliver with ease. Sometimes trailer owners are afraid to discuss the nit picky items that need tweaking. The drawer locks that have the plastic hook attached to the back of the drawer with the snap installed into the cabinet backing... work until the screws become loose from traveling. The locking mechanism get damaged, or is closed when it should be open, or a screw comes loose, falls out and the piece rotates making closing the drawer... difficult. This is my Airstream Experience. The RV shops want more than they are worth for a new one. (Yes... I am tight.) Enjoy Ouray. There is a Boondocking pullout to the south on Highway 550, on the south side about ten miles. You will see a 'lot' of trailers in the woods. Just cruise the lot and find a spot to fit. Great company. Quiet, even with 50 or more camped. Free camping with a Forest Service restroom.
  3. In our two Airstreams... nylon rope to secure drawers, clothes closet, wood dowels set into grooves to keep sliding overhead cabinets from opening and dumping, bathroom sliding doors secured with dowels to prevent toilet paper rolls escaping and unrolling... although the 23 foot Safari had a 'push button' on top to secure the tall and heavy pantry goods cabinet. The majority of trailers have 'house hinges'. The vibrations of the road will 'unscrew' the small threaded hardware and mayhem can be profound. Look at it this way. An earthquake not long ago in SE California was 7.1 magnitude. Massive... damage at the center of the shaking. OK, 7.1 magnitude. Olivers and Airstreams can have 9 magnitude quakes just turning into a service station from the curb! Tow our trailers onto Forest Service and BLM roads... these 'Towing Quakes' need a new scale as 10 is the maximum for a quake in your home. Totally destruction to a home, a town... a city like the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906... a magnitude of, only 7.9 creating natural gas line breaks, fire and misery. None of this is covered by warranty... I suppose. We used: Longer screws from the hardware store. Nuts and bolts to secure cabinets. Piano hinges where possible on larger doors. We installed swivel latches screwed into cabinet drawers as if you have young children wanting to break into the flatware drawer when you are not looking. It did not enhance the appearance of the interior, but why have expensive drawers that fit only this trailer decompose while refueling? IF a travel trailer can be made to handle ANY road without becoming unscrewed... unhinged... it would be the first. Oliver is close from what I have seen. Beauty is only skin deep. Durability is the difficult part to reach once a travel trailer begins to... move. Stationary, like a house trailer... who cares. Once you begin to move down the highway a 'travel trailer' should be able to take a 9.0 earthquake and more. A 'Seismic Test' should be preformed on ALL Brands of travel trailers. Mount ONE from the factory onto a surface that is set on a system that can test the endurance at a range to be determined by some devious testing agency employees. Give it a rating. Sell what is left over of the tested sample for parts. Put a sticker on the side of the door other than meeting current trailer standards... which for most are very... low. I say barely existent. "Built to resist most Earthquakes." What do you 'shakers' say? If houses built to resist earthquakes are shaken apart... why use the same hardware in our trailers? Oliver... ONE real weakness was the overhead cabinet hinges using two small screws into the fiber glass. The rocking and rolling enlarges the holes, the screws fall out and will no longer secure the hinge. Possibly a metal strip needs to be inserted between the hinge and fiber glass to secure the screws... forever. Although, John Davies may have already solved these issues, already. Had the Lunar Landings been built to the standards of our home... it would have never happened. When we sold our last Airstream... the young couple who purchased it... may want to take it to the Moon. It was ready after five years of tinkering.
  4. My words appear to be 'kind', but are the honest opinion of a travel trailer owner. Had my opinion been less than honest about my observations of the Oliver II, I would have mentioned them. But... you and I agree. It is just a matter tweaking an excellent trailer. Time will be the judge. One name that came up in our discussions was John E. Davis. I recall. He is the gadfly that gets Oliver Owners to think. Often, most owners prefer to talk about issues, and few want to step forward and present issues in a way that improvements can and possibly be made. Good to hear that others on the Forum have also brought up the issue of non locking drawers. That was the only issue we found that should have been 'fixed' models ago. Airstream... probably never going to happen. Gee... thanks for adding your response. I was not expecting to find anyone interested. At the moment, the only thing I love better than my looking over the Oliver II is... my wife Nancy.
  5. An interesting thing happened at nearly 10,000 feet elevation, cold, wet and drizzling... I spotted an Elite II Oliver southeast of Ouray, Colorado, just off of Highway 550. (Highway 550 to Ouray and keep going south is the ULTIMATE towing experience. Up the Pass or, down.) Bill and Bev were the perfect hosts when a stranger asked through a window if... 'can I look at the exterior of your Oliver'? A voice within said... "sure". After owning and Boondocking with a 23 foot and a 25 foot Airstream over 13 years, one becomes interested in what other trailers are out there that are comfortable, durable and capable of Off the Grid Boondocking. Nancy and I sold our 25 foot Airstream about six months ago and went back to tent camping. Much like going from tent to a trailer was drastic. Going from trailer to tent camping... well, is even more drastic, but we can manage about anything. Was I... impressed. The physical Oliver is even nicer than any photographs. The sleek fit of interior components. The lighting. The very solid flooring. The counter tops. The thought that designed the exterior, suspension, 16" tires, leaf springs... This was the start. Beverly gave my wife the tour of the interior as Bill and I chatted about how each of us felt about our trailers. Bill had fewer issues with the Oliver. Lets leave it at that. For a couple and a dog or two... the Elite II contained everything one would need for an Off the Grid comfort while Boondocking. The double Solar Panels and four marine batteries were... a big bonus as an option. The one 'glaring' issue for Nancy and I were the sliding drawers. Beautiful durable finish, dove tailed, easy glide self closing BUT, like the Airstreams... no secure way to prevent them from opening when rocking side to side. We had to improvise how to secure the Airstreams hinges and drawers ourselves as nothing exists. Although the Oliver has very few drawers... just a button to push to release and pull out would make the interior perfect and secure. The 'piano hinges' were great for larger doors as standard. There could be some changes, how I do not really know at the present, the shower/stool arrangement. Space is at a premium which makes the Oliver unique. Nancy and I showered... often... with the exterior shower. We also had a small shower tent in areas where more than the bear and the antelope are our only neighbors. Those sliding windows... great and double pane. I would not be surprised that Olivers will come in more than... white. Much like Corvettes and Shelby Cobras. A few days camped in an Oliver would provide us with more to comment... but I am sure Bill and Bev would not enjoy sleeping in our Tent for a couple days! No argument there. A wonderful trailer. Wonderful owners. An impressed experienced trailer owner looking over an Oliver. My comparison. Oliver's are the Pearl of travel trailers. Airstreams's are the Platinum. Both occupy #1 OR #2 in the travel trailer hierarchy. Time will tell from happy owners. If I were in the market for a travel trailer for Off the Grid Boondocking or comfortable RV Park experiences... the Oliver II would be getting that second look, after owning the only other travel trailer able to compete for which is best. One has the edge and Bill and I know which...
  6. Congratulations! I am anxious to hear more about your comparison shopping with an Airstream. After 12 years Off the Grid Boondocking with two Airstreams, a 23 foot and currently a 25 foot, we are waiting to see our first Oliver in the Rocky Mountain West. After eight years we had 'Boondocked' the 23 foot Airstream to handle National Forest and BLM roads and wash board road vibrations with hardware upgrades ourselves. This is currently being done to our 2014- 25 foot Airstream. This time 'piano hinges' to cabinet doors that use hinges that vibrate loose on mountain roads. You have an excellent Tow Vehicle with the 5.7L engine and solid transmission. When near Boulder City, Nevada... I sure would like to get a... peek.
  7. Great Boondocking... sort of... experiences to offer. If everything else fails, a compass and good map can get you started in the right direction. We were a bit disappointed with Canyon de Chelly. After Chaco Canyon... and Mesa Verde it is tough to stand out. Several great 'Indian Sites' in New Mexico worth visiting. Also... so many Pit Houses at some Boondocking locations in New Mexico, you are walking among ruins and may not notice you are in the National Forest and not a National Park! This one photo is a bit tight for an 8 foot wide trailer. An Oliver would have no problem at all.
  8. Overland... great photographs. If this does not convert several RV Campground campers for this Summer... nothing will. Campsite photographs are welcomed. Some additional incentives for those who are on the... edge... of going OTG this year.
  9. Thank you Randy. Raspy. This is exactly why I would like to compare trailers. Mike and Carol. Thank you, also. Sorry to say I do not tow my trailer over boulder fields and up to mountain tops for a view at 14,120 feet. That is more for tent campers, and I have done that in Colorado. Not with a trailer in tow. It is the... length... of a trailer that will get you into trouble. I call it the 'bumper drag queen' driving off a Service Station lot, which is most often mistake made by new trailer owners... or crossing a rut in the road and not understand the possible danger before you 'drag' your... bumper. The plumbing on the 'driver's side' of an Airstream is either behind the rear axle, or in front. Never had an issue. If you drive over brush and ant hills and not on the road... yes, you will have a problem, sooner than later. Newbies have this vision that Off the Grid means losing all Common Sense. There is more danger traveling on concrete and asphalt. Just misjudging the entry and exit to a service station can cost you a bumper, or a tight turn into the protection to the gasoline pumps. This is much more serious an issue than traveling a Forest Service road. It is a bit discouraging to get feedback from those who do not understand. I do not mistreat my wife, our two Blue Heelers, nor my Airstream. In that order. It is the fear of the unknown of those unprepared or not comfortable outside an established camp ground. That is understandable. The Airstream up to 25 feet and the Oliver up to 24 feet can travel safely on the majority of non paved roads. The only dings I have on my trailer are from rocks being tossed up, most likely loose gravel tossed off the paved highway by vehicles, passing me. For those who understand, we are one large family and purchased our trailers to enjoy spending more time away from humanity in comfort. The initial investment will be well worth it, and I wish all who do OTG Boondocking years of enjoying your tent or trailer.
  10. Imagine your Oliver and our Airstream traveling together in... Wyoming, for instance. No National Park campground. No reservations. Leave whenever you want. No commercial camp host. No neighbors, but those you are traveling with. Camp outside a National Park on BLM open space, for a view that only a few have attempted. Or... just imagine YOU and your Oliver doing what, maybe 80% of trailer owners, do not dare to attempt. I know this is true among Airstream owners, a large percentage would never consider dirt, dust, gravel and unpaved travel as a proper way to travel. It takes one special couple, hopefully with a dog that enjoys hiking and exploring, as well. The BLM and Forest Service offices provide us with cold, fresh Spring Water and are happy to see you. ...and I rest my introduction. PM me if you like. Apparently that may be the best alternative. After this 'Adventure', you can post the photographs of yourselves smiling and being among the few. Also, bring a shovel.
  11. The Oliver and Airstream have a lot in common. The Oliver may have an advantage with the straight axles, versus the Airstream torsion suspension. You would be surprised to see where 28 foot and 30 Airstreams camp. After 12 years of OTG towing Airstreams, I just might know what I am talking about. Twenty three foot and 25 foot Airstreams. The Tandem Axles of an Oliver may make OTG towing some extra clearance and flexible on uneven changes from level to double track road to campsites. If you have not watched a 'torsion axle Airstream' cross a stream bed... you may learn a few things. The Oliver II is 7 feet wide and the 25 foot Airstream 8 feet. The Airstream 23 foot is 7 feet six inches wide. If no one is interested. We travel well ourselves with or without company. This is not a Ford versus Dodge versus Toyota towing discussion. I have an interest in an Oliver and this is the best way to discover how each handle at places that we want to go.
  12. No challenge of brands. This is a way for the Airstream and the Oliver to compare how we both do Off the Grid Boondocking. You may want to read WHY only one on one and why someone would have to be qualified. Anyone, towing a nearly 25 foot long trailer on Forest Service and BLM roads, off the beaten path, the other trailer owner had better know what they are doing and be experienced. The kind of places we camp, most trailer owners have not and most likely would not have any experience traveling. This is not to teach nor train another trailer owner. The Oliver is as capable a trailer as an Airstream. This an opportunity for me to see an Elite II, and the owner can experience remote camping locations in areas they have not been. Most Olivers seem to be found East of the Mississippi. I am taking my time, experience and knowledge to make this offer. But not just anyone is interested in exploring the geology, climbing and fly fishing. Those who have no interest. Fine. Those who might. We have something to discuss, but it would be also of interest to those that may be ready in 2019. This is an opportunity for someone. I do this every year. I am an expert. My towing requirement of another is that they have enough experience to enjoy the challenge of camping our trailers where most only wish they were capable and had the opportunity.
  13. Sorry, my mistake. The Elite II is 23 feet 6 inches. I measured our '25 foot' Airstream is 23 feet 4 inches from front aluminum to back aluminum. The 25 foot is front of hitch to rear bumper, which is not 'living space'. I want to see an Elite II and the two of us can compare.
  14. (Airstream 25 foot and the Oliver II 23 feet 6 inches- my mistake) This is my opportunity to meet the proud owners of an Elite II in the Western USA, Off the Grid Boondocking experience. Only two 25 foot trailers. An Airstream and an Oliver. This is Off the Grid trailer camping. No definite camp sites, although areas we have explored. No facilities at most sites. Just myself, my wife and two Blue Heelers and a couple owning an Oliver II in the Wilds of the Western Rocky Mountain, Great Basin areas. There is a very big... caveat. We are very experienced Off the Grid tent and now trailer campers. The Oliver II family need to be comfortable and experienced OTG Boondockers. Otherwise, the experience will be so foreign and a deviation to the RV Park and established campground setting, it will be unsettling to most trailer owners. You must be physically fit. Some casual climbing, no ropes. Fishing opportunities with a fly rod. Forest Service and BLM roads. It depends where the location is of this Rocky Mountain Rendezvous. I am a Geologist and amateur Archaeologist, Paleontologist, Mineralogist and metal detect for meteorites, rock or trash. This is more of an Adventure, than a camping trip to sip wine and dine out at restaurants in town. This has been tried with a group of Airstreams and found difficult, due to a wide range of interests and experience, being away from electrical hookups and flush toilets, lacking hot showers every afternoon. Some managed well. Others needed a personal guide. We found that a ‘one on one’ with similar interests and experience levels were perfect matches. You must have seven to ten days, maybe more if we get into an area of special interest, traveling in an area of common interest to both parties. This would be for the Summer of 2018. We are both retired, so flexible and in July southern Nevada is 110F at 2,500 feet elevation. We would be looking at 5,000 to 8,000 foot elevation camp sites. Warm dry days and cool ‘damp or dry’ evenings. You never know, when at Elevation. If there are any OliverII couples interested, then I will then toss out questions to understand your experience of OTG on this Thread. There is a chance that no one wants to take the offer. That is fine. We understand. Many OTG Boondockers prefer the peace and quiet among solitude, avoiding congestion, loud music and traffic. If there is interest, only ONE Oliver on this true Adventure. Explain your experiences and interests. You must be comfortable in places that I found many... uncomfortable and detached from being camped in places with fresh air, no posted signs, no people and wonderful views. Are there any takers? If so... this will be an open discussion. If this is successful, 2019 may be the next opportunity to meet and greet another Oliver family.
  15. Our plans for Boondocking are by the moment and opportunity. Off the Grid Boondocking experiences are an accident, not a plan! There are open grasslands in the high country in National Forests for those who vacation away from the crowds. Commercial campsites in Wyoming want many multiples of the standard fare for three day minimums and the same with other areas within this band of observation on this arc. We... are going dry camping with our trailer and with luck, we will not miss this celestial event of the... decade, or is it the century? And please... do not wash your Oliver before the eclipse. You know it will rain, profusely on our parade! We will be looking for all of you in our travels. We are all 'Accidental Tourists' and love it! Thank you for giving campsite information. Not everyone has time to get lost in the forest and eat dust with their dogs. Live the Ollie Life while you can. Bring a map. Your Oliver has to go where you take it, not the other way around!
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