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Posts posted by KarenLukens

  1. Yes! And, that inlet really does work (in conjunction with the water pump). This past summer on two separate occasions I had several people watch in amazement as I used this inlet to transfer water from an eight gallon water container into the fresh water tank. All I had to do was stand there and watch the water disappear from the eight gallon carrier. I know this sounds silly, but, if you have ever tried pouring fresh water into the non-pressurized water inlet of a “normal” camper, you will certainly appreciate the magic of this Oliver inlet. Note the blue container at the back of Twist. Bill


    Thanks Bill, again :)

    Looks like we have the same tank. Have you tried putting the tank up on the bumper and just siphoning it into the tank? This is what I have now that I used with the Casita, fast forward to 6 minutes to see the siphon. Sounds like I don't need it but I have my set up still. You only have to pump it 3 times to get it going, it was new when I did the video and I should have spent some more time with it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y7hZ-UU8CI&t=40s&list=PLcAJzGCJ3Q7yOUukK6J90g1oq9dK7Bqq0&index=5


    I think that the aluminum blocks under the tanks are probably set at different heights to tilt the tanks for draining, etc. And because you want as much storage as possible, the L shape of the gray water tank is simply adding more storage area :)

  2. Thanks Bill :) Then that means the valve at the back is for the gray water out of that black colored gray water tank I marked in the picture. And that also means that you want to drain the tanks separately. First drain and completely rinse the black tank line with the gray tank valve closed. Then close the black tank clean out valve, let the remaining water in that part of the line finish draining; and then open your gray water drain valve after making sure that the black tank is shut off so that there can be no contamination resulting from the black tank line being plumbed in line and before the gray and then both drains plumbed together to dump out the back. Different trailers drain differently but this is the first trailer where I have seen the 2 lines plumbed together and obviously this is to keep it between the shells where they can't freeze. So the only draw back is that toilet paper, etc... could get caught up and forced down the gray tee towards the gray water valve if the drain line or drain hose gets backed up, which is unlikely. Then you could run the black tank rinse again to clean out anything that back-flowed up that 8' space between the valves if there ever was a clog. The only draw back is the possible cross contamination that could happen if someone opened the gray tank valve while the black tank valve was open. In other trailers like the Casita, we are told to leave the black tank valve opened so that the water coming out of the gray will help clean the bottom section around the valves. But in this case with the Oliver, you don't want to have the black tank valve open at the same time.


    One other question, totally unrelated is when looking at the back of Olli, to the right of the trunk, is what looks like another water inlet connection. What is this connection for?



  3. I marked the water tank as wtr and I am making a guess that this white tank on the left is water correct? It would make sense to have the gray water outlet as close to the bathroom as possible to help flush the line but it looks like the connection must be at the back end of the black tank where I marked it in the picture. The valve is marked with an arrow, and I am assuming that this is the gray water tank? Then the black tank itself, not shown, would be under the toilet and in the front of the trailer? I looked but couldn't find a picture with all of the tanks in place on the Elite II, so I am asking because I really want to know where the tanks, elbows and valves are sitting  below the inner liner. It looks like the front valve must go to the black tank and the back one must go to the gray, but if it is what it is, then I can see why a rinse line is needed. We have heard that the tanks drain slow but do you elevate the front end to make it drain faster usually, or not? Seems like elevating it as much as possible without unhooking from the tv would work a lot faster then just letting it drain level. Is there a ¼" per foot drop in the drain line? Or is it just level under the trailer?


    Thanks, Reed :)


    I'm a retired Industrial Plumber/ Boiler Engineer/ and I'm still a Gold Miner only on a smaller scale, so I have a clue with plumbing and water. It would be nice to see a colorized trailer schematic of the plumbing if you have one available and another of the electric. I've watched Buzzy's movies, thanks Buzzy - but I want even more technical info, hehe







  4. I think gravitate is a good word for it. I started out sleeping on the ground and then a few years later, putting a piece of clear plastic draped over a rope to form a tent to keep dry when it was raining as a young Boy Scout. Then we bought and used a Cab Over Camper for a lot of years when deer hunting out of state and that was fun. My dad had an old canvas army tent that we would put a wood stove into during the winter when hunting in Washington or Idaho as a teenager and as I grew up and moved out I ended up back in a pup tent for years and had camped in that tent until I eventually needed a bigger tent for the wife and kids. So I've had many tents and this last summer even though I had a Casita,I stayed in tents again, the Coleman Signature Instant Tent and the Browning Big Horn for the second year. I camp most of the summer down at my Gold Mine here in California as I make a living in the most wonderful of ways while creating new money that sees light for the first time when I pull it out of the ground.  Here's a link to what I use during the summer at our camp - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HeVukH6Qdk&t=279s&list=PLcAJzGCJ3Q7zOmNdX_oYMqNUAMDGhQpMO&index=1


    I've had 4 trailers and a Motor home on my own also. 2 of the trailers and the motor home are in these pics - [attachment file=DSCF0023.JPG]

    [attachment file=Dredge Trip 057.jpg] I used the green camo trailer as year round storage and for sleeping in 2005. Then in 2006 I brought in the Pace Arrow 32' Motor Home and our family used it to stay in until 2010. The other trailer we used basically for friends and it was given to me by a friend who stayed down at my claim for a few weeks that summer. Actually all of them were given to me or I inherited them from friends for different reasons. I still have the frame from the green trailer here but it's a flat bed trailer for my trommel these days and the other trailer I gave to my sister and she and her family still use it today. I'm basically a tent person but my wife and I were in a car accident in 2013 and found that putting up a tent was really painful, so we did a bunch of research and ended up buying a 2010 Casita Liberty Deluxe in February of last year and we traveled all over the west coast with it. We ended up setting up a permanent bed in it and we just sold it last month because when it was raining, the choice was to sit on the bed or put a chair up in the isle in front of the bathroom and we needed more room. Plus we camp all seasons and need and all season trailer so last month we ordered our Olli and it will be ready for us next February. So as much as I prefer tent camping to trailer camping in the summer, during the winter, trailer camping works the best for us. I have a bunch of Casita Videos, camping gear videos and some campground reviews on our YouTube channel and we will be incorporating what we need into our Olli. Our camp stove and griddle will still play a big part when we are camping with groups because our griddle and pizza oven make for some wonderful days and nights when we are staying far from any city. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4jSha8P7UI&t=409s&index=12&list=PLcAJzGCJ3Q7zOmNdX_oYMqNUAMDGhQpMO



    Anyway, we love camping and spend all summer out camping here and there most every year rain or shine and we have gravitated to the Olli because we really like having a trailer to stay in when we are on the road. We are still feeling our car accident from 3 years ago and putting up a tent a dealing with the pains has become a problem for Karen and I to do all of the time, so we have the trailer that we can just park and go without the trouble of packing the gear all back up onto the luggage racks on top of the car.  Before the accident -  [attachment file=March 2014.jpg]


    Before Olli :) - [attachment file=Casita in Albion.jpg]


    A few of our tents - [attachment file=Some of our tents.jpg]

    We do love camping on the coast - Emma-Wood-State-Beach.thumb.jpg.958e0f8279a52de8e2bf454e56d401e8.jpg

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  5. California has the agricultural inspection stations at all of the crossings coming in and they are mostly looking for Oranges and apples bought outside the state that seem to usually come from Mexico from what we have seen. So as long as there is no Mexican fruits or vegetables, your ok here. But every other state that we have been in including cities that cross into California, the Mexican Oranges are common and tasty :)  You can either toss them before you get to the station or just hand them to the guard at the crossing is what we do if we have some in the trailer. This link has a list for other crossings as well -



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  6. 30 days must depend on your Post Office, we were gone for 3 months with no problem but we live in a small town that only has P.O. boxes, no delivery and everyone know's everyone.  Stopping mail to a house may be different.

  7. Instead of using the pink rv antifreeze people also use vodka in place of it inside the lines and have been doing this for decades. Back in the day when we had the old copper lines in our rv's and boats, the rv antifreeze would corrode and react with the copper, so people started using the vodka instead. You won't get a bad after taste with vodka and old sailors would even add green food coloring to it so that you could see when the now green vodka was finished coming out of the lines and the fresh water started. This was all done in the Spring time and thus the green food coloring would add to the fun on Saint Patrick's day when the sailors would line up to flush the water lines in the boats and they would all drink the green vodka until it ran out :)


    You still want to use the rv antifreeze or coconut oil down the drains and toilet to keep the seals fluid. Our Olli will be finished in February and we will be picking it up shortly after it's ready, so I don't have any hands on experience with an Olli yet but I never had a problem using vodka in my old 1989 Pace Arrow motor home and I didn't need it in the Casita because it drained perfectly on its own. Living in California, we don't get the sub zero temps but it does get down to 10°f at least once or twice sometime during the winter, so the Casita was easy because the lines are straight. I simply drained everything, then lowered the front jack down a few inches and let it set for 4 minutes, then raised it up past level and left it open for the winter with no problems in the 2 winters we owned it. You can probably do the same with Olli but I won't know until I have seen it and tested it in person. You most definitely want to straighten out the shower hoses both inside and out and leave them open to drain. It was removable on the Casita and I just left it off for when we weren't using it. I realize that I'm chiming in really late to this thread but hopefully it will help keep some of that bad taste out of our mouths :)

  8. We have everything on auto-pay also but we just let the post office know that we will be gone and they throw it all into a box for us that we just pick up when we get home. If you let them know, they will hold it all for you

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  9. As a California gold miner, camping is second nature to me. For years I didn't even use a tent because this is how I was taught. We'd take the bed roll off of the back of the horse at night and sit around the campfire just like in the old westerns, then roll over and sleep on the ground. It was a great way to be brought up and I did the same with my children when we went camping as they were growing up. I've had a bear try too push me off of my foam pad at night as he was snuggling up to me to stay warm... True story... Then when I was a boy scout, I woke up to another bear sniffing my face and we both smiled at each other, the bear and I. It was second nature for me to be in nature all of the time. Then in 2005 I inherited my first motorhome, a 32' Pace Arrow and it stayed down at the mining claim for the next 5 years. It was nice having an RV and always having to fix something but I gave it to a friend because just having it sit down at the mining claim wasn't doing it any good. Plus, I still love tent camping and I have a lot of great camping movies on YouTube about them and some of our mining adventures. So I'm used to staying in the woods and not paying for anything other then food. Today at 57, I spent last summer tent camping again and this is where I will be for the rest of my life, tent camping when possible anyway. My wife and I were in a car accident in 2013 and for a couple years it was really hard to put up a tent and then take it down when we were moving to a new area, so we bought a Casita and used it for a couple of years. Our Olli went on to the assembley line last week and being retired now we wanted a trailer that we can depend on year round. Here it is 1am and tonight I am sitting in another $150.00 a night hotel room because tomorrow I am towing another friends trailer home for her because her car blew up... As far as paying the most for a camping spot for the trailer, at Carpentaria State Beach in California, the 25' space was $80.00 a night for healthy people but with our disabled tag that we earned in the accident, it cost us $20 for the 1st two nights and then $40 for the next a week later. But we were on the beach at the Pacific Ocean and it was a great place. Being on the beach was great but being next to the water was even better at Emma Wood State Beach a campground just down the road. Having a trailer makes it easy to keep a home away from home. Now that retirement has set in we have started touring and so far have hit 13 States and many great places that we could call home even if it was for just a few days. Spending all of my days camping at the river while gold mining is a thing of the past now with all of the new laws here against mining anything in our country and my way of making a living ended in 2009 with California's ban on Gold Dredging, but my mining from days gone by has set me well enough that we can make ends meet and still do what we love to do - Travel. I still miss those days as a child just camping on the ground and sleeping with the bears but these days the real reason for having a trailer is to sleep in comfort, in your own bed at night, nice and warm. We've traded out the wood burning campfire these days for a propane campfire and it has honestly become a great piece of equipment in our arsenal. It's nice not having to find a place to stack half a cord of wood in the back of the truck with all of our gear, so today we have 2 auxiliary ports on the Olli just for that.


    Typing on a tablet is OK but tomorrow is a new day and we will be making the 7 hour drive home while towing our friends trailer for her, so I will check back and add some more next time ;)



    • Thanks 2
  10. We love your graphics :) We ordered ours without and also plan on doing our own as Karen is an artist :) We will be adding a few more, thanks to you guys. The names on the side give you that personal touch... We pick ours up in March :)


    Thanks for all of the great details :)


    Reed Lukens

    • Thanks 1
  11. Hi everyone,


    We are so excited to have just ordered our new Ollie after recently selling our Casita. Decided to upgrade to the best! Our construction phase starts November 24th, 2016. I love Facebook and I loved being a part of the Casita Owner group so I decided to start a Oliver Owner Facebook group. I'm hoping it will grow with Ollie owners who want to share their adventures, photos, mods and become friends!  Here is the link https://www.facebook.com/groups/OliverOwners/ if you would like to join my husband Reed and me.

  12. We recently, thoroughly researched the Airstream line. I have wanted one since I was a kid. Went and viewed them, talked to the sales reps even. Decided that they are cheaper for a reason.


    1. They are not four season, huge for us


    2. In every forum on Airstream's people complained about water damage, lot's of it!


    3. People complained about mice getting into the trailers


    4. Very low ground clearance. I got down on the floor and looked under there. No way would that work for us towing a trailer into our claim.


    5. Dents, dents and more dents


    We have had to save longer to be able to afford the Oliver, but I feel it's worth it!

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