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John E Davies

New forum section "Factory options and mods" ?

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Hi,

 

I would love to see a new section devoted solely to discussions of available factory options, and requests for new ones. I understand from reading other threads that Oliver is able and willing to go the extra mile to add extra stuff. It would be very helpful for future buyers to have a section devoted to this.

 

For example,

 

Can I get a cassette toilet installed, and replace the black tank with an extra fresh tank?

 

Can I get disc brakes? I just asked that in another section.....

 

How much is a rear receiver?

 

How much for gravel protection (bed liner and mudflaps)?

 

Can I get an offroad coupler in place of the Bulldog?

 

How much is the lifted suspension and what exactly is it? Spring over conversion or longer shackles? How many inches over stock?

 

Can I get a removable doorway step, so I can unbolt it when venturing onto rough forest roads?

 

It would be really cool if owners could describe all their FACTORY mods and options in a new section. Please include the cost if known! Also describe whether you feel that option was worth getting, or if you have second thoughts or a suggestion for a better alternative. As always, post pictures!

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

Spokane WA USA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Welcome John,

 

If you haven't already I would suggest you invest in a factory tour of the Oliver plant in TN. I think once you have gone there many if not all of these concerns might be put to rest. In the meantime I'll throw my two ¢ worth in on what I know.

 

Rear receiver? Not sure that would work and still allow for the fold down bumper to access gray and black water tank flushes and its aluminum not heavy duty steel so the tongue weight depending upon what you want to tow behind the Oliver might push the envelop of safety.

 

Gravel protection: Not sure how a truck bedliner would help to prevent gravel issues, but perhaps mud flaps on the tow vehicle might help to some degree. On the other hand you could take your Oliver to one of the companies that apply bedliners to truck beds and have them do the same to the lower quadrants of the Oliver front. So far it has not been an issue for us.

 

Off road coupler: I agree here with Pete, the Bulldog hitch/coupler is about as heavy duty and easy to use as anything on the planet. I can't imagine an off road coupler being any better.

 

Lifted suspension: I'm not aware of any options for lifted suspension but not sure you need it with 18" of ground clearance on the stock trailer.

 

Removable doorstep: I've been over BLM and forest service roads, gravel roads, jeep trails already and with some fairly steep descents or ascents and never felt the need to remove the doorstep.

 

In summary let me say the Oliver as a stock unit is about as well thought out and heavy duty as anything on the market that I am aware and I've looked at a lot of campers over the last decade. Living in MT and traveling around the Rocky Mountains I feel your concerns about taking it into the backcountry. As long as there is room to maneuver, i.e. backing in and out of places, I've yet to see too many places where I wouldn't take our Oliver, including but not limited to UT red rock country where things can get real dicey quickly.

 

Hopefully this helps.

 

Hi,

 

For example,

 

Can I get a cassette toilet installed, and replace the black tank with an extra fresh tank?

 

Can I get disc brakes? I just asked that in another section.....

 

How much is a rear receiver?

 

How much for gravel protection (bed liner and mudflaps)?

 

Can I get an offroad coupler in place of the Bulldog?

 

How much is the lifted suspension and what exactly is it? Spring over conversion or longer shackles? How many inches over stock?

 

Can I get a removable doorway step, so I can unbolt it when venturing onto rough forest roads?

 

It would be really cool if owners could describe all their FACTORY mods and options in a new section. Please include the cost if known! Also describe whether you feel that option was worth getting, or if you have second thoughts or a suggestion for a better alternative. As always, post pictures!

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

Spokane WA USA

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"Can I get a removable doorway step, so I can unbolt it when venturing onto rough forest roads?"

 

The standard twin step is a bolt on unit so it would work as is.

 

"Can I get a cassette toilet installed, and replace the black tank with an extra fresh tank?"

 

As with most RV toilets, the potty sits on top of the black tank and it is custom molded to fit only that area. Not sure, but I it could be used as an additional 18 gallons of fresh water with the addition of some extra plumbing.

 

"Can I get disc brakes? I just asked that in another section....."

 

I responded to that thread there.

 

"How much is a rear receiver?"

 

The use of a rear receiver would be dependent on what your intended use of said receiver is.

 

"How much for gravel protection (bed liner and mudflaps)?"

 

I would go with the spray on bed liner on the front and behind the wheels (down low)

 

"Can I get an offroad coupler in place of the Bulldog?"

 

I assume by this you mean something like the Lock N' Roll hitches. After looking at their web site, I don't see any problems. That's a pretty cool hitch. https://locknroll.com/

 

Hope this helps...

 

Steve


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Is gravel protection/chipping an issue? We were visiting with Pete this week and the Wonder Egg (hull #18) looks shiny and new. I didn't see any significant chipping. Wouldn't normal truck mud flaps do the trick?

 

If it is an issue, has anyone tried the clear bra film they use on cars? I had a clear bra on my last car and it did a pretty good job of protecting the paint.

 

Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Mike, I'd put a film on my trailer any day before I opted for bedliner sprayed on my shiny white, eight year old Oliver trailer. Maybe I'd do the film if we took it to Alaska and drove the Denali highway both ways... We've driven that 100 miles of gravel twice in rentals, without incident, but we were in rvs, not towing trailers.

We don't have quite as many miles as Pete, but way over 70k, and a lot of gravel roads in our rearview mirror. We slow down on gravel. We also have the big RockTamer mudflaps on the hitch, and they're pretty great.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Mike, I enjoyed visiting with you and Carol as I was getting ready for my camping trip (BTW greetings from Brozos Bend SP)

 

Like SeaDawg, I use the RockTamer mud flap system, which is in addition to my Tacoma mud flaps. Stop by again after I get back next year (Saturday) and I'll show them to you.

 

ps The Wonder Egg is Hull # 14 . . . . way older than that youngster # 18 . . . Bwahahahahahahaaaaa


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Thanks for the comments. A plant tour is not in the cards, it is just too far away. I grew up in TN And left there in 1981, and have no desire to revisit.....except for picking up a trailer.

 

I had a Bulldog coupler on my little utility trailer and it is a fine unit, but like any ball coupler it has very limited rotational and vertical movement. There are situations where you can exceed those limits and that is very bad for the coupler and the ball mount. An example would be encountering a deep washout that angles across a forest road. I have an Australian Treg offroad coupler that is marvelous and very popular with the caravaners there. It has unlimited rotational travel and 70 degrees vertical travel.

 

I saw pics of Ollies with lifts, were they done by the customers? I need more than stock clearance, and the entry step in particular bothers me. If nobody has ripped one off yet, that is good news, but it is extremely vulnerable to whacking on a rock or roadside obstruction.....

 

As I said, I will be looking at an Elite II in mid January and will know more then.

 

I think a truck camper is going to suit our needs better, but the Ollies have my interest, because no truck camper approaches their build quality until you get to the uber expensive XP Campers, the largest one starting at US$75K plus another US$10K for the ute tray it mounts on.

 

Thanks again.

 

John Davies

Spokane WA USA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Pete, Sherry, sage advice from the old timers! Rock Tamers are on my list.

 

Pete, not sure where I got Hull #18..... Enjoy your camping New Year's Eve and I hope the Ham came out as expected!

 

Happy New Year - Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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John, thanks for the picture. I see where a fully articulated coupler would come in handy on a road like that. About tearing off the double step . . . On my single axle Elite, while it does descend lower than the single step, it does not extend any lower than my 5200 lb axle. My spring over axle setup was done by the factory. Any obstacle my axle can clear with the 16 inch wheels and tires will should clear the steps. While I don't use my high lift trailer for off roading activities, it has come in handy to back into the perfect campsite settings occasionally where a log or a large rock may be residing. I also appreciate the high lift for the rare campsite on a rather steep incline. It permits me to lower the front of the trailer enough for leveling the unit. (with good wheel chocks in place) and I never worry about steep dips in the road for low water crossings in the Texas Hill Country.

 

I think the tandem axle Elite II normally comes with two 3500 lb axles and 15" wheels unless you specify otherwise. (I believe Steve & Tali may have two 5000 lb capacity axles and larger wheels) Ask the factory to check the ground clearance on those axle, wheel setups with the double step.

 

Mike, the ham with orange marmalade and toasted pecan glaze was very well received last evening. It shall be revisited during our leftover meal in a few hours as it turns into ham sliders . . . mmmmm, mmmmm, goooooood.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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I was told at the factory that they would not flip the axles. I suspect this has to do with the certifications they now have, which may prevent them from being as open to modifications as they have been in the past.

 

Bugeydriver, did they do anything different with your suspension other than mount the axle under the springs? Did they beef up anything? Did they add a sway bar to compensate for the higher center of gravity, or do you feel you'd benefit from one?

 

On the steps, is it true that they're bolted? From the photos I took at the factory, they appeared to be both bolted and welded. I suspect my comment on that issue over on expedition portal is why John is asking. As well built as the steps are, I too wish they were protected in some way - I'd be a bit worried about the steps bending the frame if I whacked them hard on a rock or log.

 

I'm new here also, by the way. Hi.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland,

 

The spring over axle setup came that way from the factory. I did make one mod, myself, which was to add one more leaf to the curbside spring. This was accomplished at a spring specialty shop here in San Antonio. The reason was to beef up that side's suspension to compensate for the extra weight right of centerline. Somewhere around 65,000 miles I noticed a minor lean to that side, so I replaced all four shock absorbers (it was time) and had that leaf spring strengthened.

 

Realizing the center of gravity (CG) is raised a bit with this setup, especially with my 16" wheels and Michelin light truck tires (personal preference) I always travel with my water tank full. The 32.5 gallon fresh water tank is shallow, wide, long and located within the frame, right of centerline. The extra 260 lbs of weight at that low point lowers the CG somewhat, and the CG shifts slightly left as I consume water and it goes to the gray and black tanks which are left of centerline. I may take a hit on gas mileage, but I prefer it this way.

 

My hitch has the perfect rise and my Tacoma has a Timbren suspension enhancement system. The trailer and truck ride perfectly level without a weight distribution hitch and I've never felt the need for a sway bar. The Wonder Egg tracks very well, and the couple of times rapid maneuvering was needed, there was no discernible problem. Eighteen wheelers passing and strong wind from all directions do not result in swaying.

 

My double step is bolted on with 4 strong bolts. No welding. And you're right, the step is a "beast". It has impressed several engineers with its stoutness. It is much stronger than the Airstream's "erector-set" looking steps.

 

Pete


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Thanks, bugeyedriver.

 

Just curious, since I see you're from San Antonio and so I assume you're familiar with Big Bend NP - if you do know the park well, can you tell me if you'd be comfortable taking your Oliver on any of Big Bend's unimproved roads? We just got back this week from spending a week there, and had camped about a mile off the main road, in Pine Canyon just off Glen Spring Road. That's about the level of off-road worthiness we'd need out of a trailer.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland,

 

The Big Bend is not to be missed. I've been on a few unimproved roads there with no problem. However, a gullywasher of a rainstorm can wreck havoc on them, so I'd go with caution. Check out the Chisos Basin boondocking campsite up inside the volcano cauldron of the National Park! No unimproved roads, but great vistas and hiking is to be found.

 

Pete


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Overland,

 

I'll be in Big Bend over the next few weeks and plan to camp in some of the more remote sites this time. My setup is similar to Pete's, 16" wheels and LT tires. I'll probably try Pine Canyon 1 or 2 nites while there and will let you know how it goes. Do you remember which site in particular you used?

 

I've done a fair amount of off road camping (Tetons, Mt. Rainier, Mexico) with my Ollie and have had no problems. I spent last winter with it in Mexico/Belize and being off road there is sometimes better than being on road. :) Other than a few interior trim pieces getting rattled loose, the worst I've encountered is having to replace bent/leaking shocks a few times.

 

Aubrey


Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

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Sure, we lucked up and got into Pine Canyon 1 for five nights straight on one of their busiest weeks. That site is one of the larger ones along pine canyon. PC4 looked to be a better site, farther off the road, but beggars can't be choosers. The other 3 looked to be fairly small sites and too close to the road for my liking. You might also try the Nugent Mountain site, which is larger and has easier access, or drive further down to Chilicotal or Rice Tank. Both of those looked like good spots. I didn't think it was too bad getting in and out of our site, with only one incline that made me wonder about the departure angle on an Ollie, with that deep rear bumper.

 

The suspension and shocks are what worry me most about getting an Oliver and taking it down miles of washboard roads. Our other option is getting a Kimberley from Australia, and the difference in the suspensions is night and day.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Wow, the Kimberly Cruiser single axle looks like you could take it beyond places I'd want to take The Wonder Egg. Quite impressive off road suspension system for sure. What sort of tow vehicle do you have?


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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The front runner at the moment is a Ford Raptor, which won't be available until late this year, which in turn is why we're taking our time weighing our options. Our plan, if we get an Ollie, is to outfit the Raptor with a rack and rooftop tent over the bed - then we'd use the Ollie as a base camp and the Raptor by itself for more adventurous excursions. The Kimberley, on the other hand would be more of a go anywhere option.

 

There are drawbacks to the Kimberley though, for sure - the main one being that we'd be mostly on our own when it comes to problems or repairs. Oliver is a whopping three hours from home, so that's obviously a huge difference in their favor. The other issue is that we'd be dependent on the exchange rate to make the Kimberley competitive with an Oliver. Even if the Australian dollar drops to 0.60 to the dollar, like some are projecting, the Cruiser would still be $5k more than a nicely optioned Elite II. And then there are smaller issues like the door and awning being on the wrong side, which might make for some awkward maneuvering at some campsites.

 

A lot of this will be a matter of negotiations with my wife - I started all this with the idea of getting a jeep and a little tent trailer and now it's sort of ballooned.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I believe the Cruiser models are heavier than the Olivers - I have written down 4500 for the single axle and 5500 for the tandem, or the Battle Cruiser, as I call it. Their gross weights, however, are the same as the Olivers' - 5000 & 7000.

 

The pop-up caravan is similar to the 18' Ollie, maybe a few hundred pounds more. That's a neat trailer, and without my wife's input, would be my choice. It folds up really compactly but unfolded gives you as much space as the small Ollie, if not a bit more. It would be super easy to tow, I'd think.

 

As to which trailer we're leaning towards, well I think if you asked my wife she'd say the Elite II. She feels really comfortable about it and doesn't really buy into why we should pay almost as much for a smaller trailer.

 

No specs yet on the coming Raptor, but the current one has an 8000lb limit. That's a lot less than a standard F150, but it's all down to the softer suspension. The truck will have way more power than I'd need for any of these trailers, and if necessary, I can add airbags. I doubt that will be needed, though.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland said:

 

" . . . The pop-up caravan is similar to the 18' Ollie, maybe a few hundred pounds more. That's a neat trailer, and without my wife's input, would be my choice."

 

What? Are you CRAZY?!?! Didn't you ever hear the old Happy Marriage Secret? "Happy wife, happy life." Move with caution, buddy. It sounds like an Elite II pulled by a shiny new Raptor sporting an on top pop-up tent camper would be the best of both worlds. You'd have the happy wife thing covered and your Raptor could whisk the two of you away to places even a Kimberly could'nt go.

 

My two cents,

 

Pete.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Sage advice. I could certainly be happy with an Oliver.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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