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JaquelynK

Elite vs Elite II - Too long for boondocking?

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I am a recent Ollie convert and am planning to order one this year. As it happens, I already have the perfect rig to tow it, a 2006 low-mileage Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel with the Allison 6-speed. Problem is, it was the longest one they made at the time, extended cab with the full 8-foot bed. It rocks on the highway but isn't exactly a maneuvering machine in tight spaces. I was considering the Elite II since I am considering living in the thing for extended periods, say three months or maybe more. But I am just one person and the Silverado will provide for plenty of storage (it has a topper and a bed slider). My question is, will the Silverado and the 23' Ollie make some back roads or campsites inaccessible to me because the whole rig is just too long? I will be camping almost entirely in the West where there tends to be a lot of room. But if I get too hot and work my way up into the mountains, I might want something I could thread into the trees a little better. Backup camera or not, I will be mostly traveling alone, and 23' plus feet and the Silverado might just be over the top. Any opinions on my first major Ollie decision would be appreciated. The little egg or the big egg?

 

Jaque

 

Idaho-based Ollie of the Future (probably a 2017)

 

Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel with Allison 6 Speed

 

 


Jaque

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Jaquelyn, first welcome to the group.

 

I can't answer your question exactly but will offer some relevant info. We have a F150 with Eco Boost engine and with the 6.5 long bed. Wheel base is 157" if memory serves me correct. Don't know how much longer your WB is but would guess it to be approximately 12 inches ± a few. For the most part we don't have too many issues getting in and out of places but much of this will depend on where you camp of course. Tight boon docking could get iffy but I've also seen some very small and cramped spaces in the USFS, BLM and NP campgrounds too. The long and short of it is for 98% of your camping most likely you will not have too many issues.

 

That said personally I might prefer a slightly smaller TV but if you're attached to the one you have use it and enjoy it.

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Jaque,

 

You've made the right decision about getting an Ollie in lieu of a bunch of condos all over the place.  With your Ollie, you'll be able to experience an infinitely large number of vistas throughout this beautiful land.  A long bed Silverado 2500HD attached to an Elite will be just over 37' in length and if you attach it to an Elite II, you'll be over 42' in length.

 

As far as living in the smaller Elite for and extended period of time, my pup, Oscar, an I spent 6 1/2 months straight in The Wonder Egg last year and never felt constrained by space.  From the inside, the numerous windows, polished fiberglass interior that gives a sense of "depth" when you look into it, and the full length mirror on the bathroom door add a mental sense of space that makes it feel much bigger on the inside than would otherwise appear from the outside.  Besides,  the outside sitting room is absolutely huge!

 

Owning a heavy duty work truck, I take it you have experience maneuvering trailers around into spaces.  An Elite II with your truck might preclude you from parking in line within a smaller camping site, but you could simply disconnect and park the truck sideways, like many do. I believe the main difference would be maneuvering the entire 42+ feet around a parking lot whenever you fetched the groceries, etc. but you could always park on the fringes and enjoy the exercise as you hiked into the store.

 

Perhaps some Elite II owners can chime in on any issues of maneuvering in campgrounds with a large truck.

 

Pete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Well that's encouraging. Sounds like the extra 5 feet woukd increase the degree of difficulty for some campgrounds, but not be too rediculous. I am planning a fairly elaborate porch setup, outdoor kitchen, hammock and so on, so I expect to be living out there a good bit. I saw some people pull up in beautiful campground in Arches years ago. They leveled the rig, twirled the satellite dish around, fired up the generator and went inside to watch TV. Never even came out for the sunset, and it was a good one. If I Ever turn into those guys, just kill me.

 

I had the truck to run around with my geology stuff to drilling rigs, so I didn't pull a trailer. I have pulled moving trailers and utility trailers with river trip gear. My backing skills are so-so, but I will get one or more cameras, choose my spots wisely, and back slowly. I already park at the outer reaches of big parking lots to avoid door dings, so that will be nothing new.  Thanks for the encouragement.

 

Jaque

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jaque

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That is helpful and encouraging information. The Silverado is a bit over the top I admit, but it is low mileage, paid for, and already tricked out perfectly for me. So I'm kind of locked in to that monster. I'll be careful at first to head for more wide open places and work up to threading the trees when I see what the rig will do. Maybe a hitch in the front would help? I have seen those, but I think they were for boats.

 

Jaque


Jaque

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Good suggestion. I could only found one pic of the truck last night, a side view I took up near Banff somewhere. The image was too big I guess, so the site cropped it to just the cab. I'll try for some better pictures so I will have at least half of my rig posted. The bed slider is the bomb! And I love the expanded metal side steps. They let a few rocks through, but they never iced up and were great for scraping mud off my steel-toes. I'll work on new pics.

 

Future Ollie Owner (a 2017 perhaps)

 

2006 Chevy Silverado Duramad Diesel with Allison transmission and tow package

 

 


Jaque

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Do you know what the wheel base length of your truck is, as well as the overall body length?

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The wheelbase in 167". From the bullrail to the bumper is 22'. I gues is is actually a crew cab, the 4 door, even bigger than the extended cab, with the 8-foot bed.

 

Jaque

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Jaque

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I think you will be fine, as long as you don't need to turn on a dime. Our overall length on the F150 is right around 22' also, but with a shorter wheel base by 10". There have been some tight spots but we usually manage. We also have what ford calls the Super Crew cab 4 door affair, about the size of a basketball court in the back… eh, maybe not but its large and roomy.

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Thanks. That makes me feel better. It will be a pretty long rig, and maybe some places I will have to give a pass. But that would still leave about a million places I can get into. And that truck is a dream on the highway. If I am pulling a trailer I have to be careful not to forget it is there. I will get at least one backup camera and maybe find a big parking lot to do some practice maneuvers so I will know what the rig will and will not do.

 

Jaque

 

 


Jaque

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Good idea regarding practicing on large empty parking lots, it will definitely help to gain some confidence.

 

Regarding backup or rather rearview cameras.  The backup camera we have on our TV is invaluable and makes it so easy that I can do this by myself, love it. We also opted for the rear view camera on our Oliver and my enthusiasm for it is not so positive, though it is still helpful to some degree. This might be the one and only complaint I have about our  Oliver. Image quality on this thing is abysmal especially when compared to the factory installed Ford backup camera. Perusing the manufacturers website one would think this thing has crystal clear vision and image quality, nothing could be further from the truth. Worse yet is there are no guides to tell you how close things are and given the very wide angle lens you can't depend reliably on your own judgement. And the monitor is a technological cruel joke that only a troubled mind could have invented. After this last trip I came home and started shopping for an alternative that can be used with our iPhone, turns out there are quiet a few options available. Haven't purchased one yet but probably will.

 

I hope the good folks at Oliver read this and make plans to change to another more capable rear view camera for future customers.

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We tow with a 2014 Sierra crew cab.  It has custom heavy duty bumpers on each end with a front receiver hitch making the total length 21 feet.  The Outlaw Oliver's frame was extended during construction by 18 inches making her length 25 feet.  So we are a total of 46 feet point down the road.

 

It would appear that the length of your set up with an Oliver Elite II and your current tow vehicle would be about the same as we are.  Realistically I would not expect you to have any difficulties in getting into places that you desire.

 

We have camped in many tight spaces  from the East Coast to the West Coast but have never been unable to get into a place we really wanted.

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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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That is just what I was hoping to hear. I am considering an Elite II and possibly a tongue extension as well to accommodate a generator basket. It's good to hear that someone else has had good success with such a rig. Thanks so much!

 

Jaque


Jaque

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I had read some similar posts about the camera. Many owners seem to be opting for having Ollie run the wiring and then provide their own camera of choice. The technology on that sort of thing changes so fast that I am reluctant to build something in that will be obsolete before I take delivery. Since I will usually to always be backing the thing by myself, I was even considering a two-camera setup with one at each corner. And I will shop around for my own camera system. I am also toying with the idea of a front bumper hitch so I can push it around looking forward. Lots of options still on the table (except buying the Ollie camera system I think). Thanks again.

 

Jaque


Jaque

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My cameraless, solo parking method requires no camera at all to position The Wonder Egg on a new site.

 

1-  Walk the site first to note obstacles (to include overhead branches) and location of any hookups.

 

2- Use side mirrors to line up trailer and back about 3/4 of the way into the site.

 

3- Get out and physically step off distance from the back of the trailer to where I want it to finally end up.

 

4- Step off that same distance from my driver's seat, towards the rear and set down a marker (rock, twig, leaf, etc)

 

5- Back up trailer until my shoulder is abeam my marker.

 

Camera, Schmamera!  I find this simple method works best for me.

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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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Pete, thats a really good method, but… the back up camera as its referred to is much more than that. Think of it as a rear view camera, its on full time and what this allows is theoretically is an almost 360º view of your travel surroundings, i.e. whats behind you, whats coming around you on the blind side and so. In this regard I have found it as much if not more beneficial than its backup vision. In fact on more than one occasion I've backed into a spot while forgetting to look at the rear view monitor. So in essence I think it offers an additional level of safety while traveling and some help while backing up if needed.

 

But I do like your parking method assuming you have plenty of time to accomplish this. It would never work getting the Oliver into our driveway which is  located in the historical area of town with a narrow and fairly busy street. Suffice it to say I have to have my ducks in a row when doing this, and it usually needs to be expedient. The camera does come in handy in this situation.

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That is a good trick with the marker rock. But since I have more money than skill at his point, I'm still going for a camera system with probably at least 3 cameras for driving and backing. The Tandi Brothers site is proving very helpful for figuring that out. For hitching up, I think I might be able to rig something up with my GoPro camera. I can mount it near the ball and watch it on my iPhone or iPad. I'm going to test that theory out on my utility trailer. I might also add a backup camera to help with backing the truck. That thing sorely needs one anyway. So I'll do all that AND use the marker rock trick. I like that,  thanks.

 

Jaque

 

Ollie Elite II of the Future A 2017?) with a Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax diesel, Allison six speed with tow package


Jaque

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We have camped with Pete a number of times, and he is a true master of singlehanded backing. I need to find a photo of one of his sites... Threaded the trailer between palms, with inches on each side. He and my husband are unusually gifted backers.(another photo somewhere of Paul with two inches on each side of pines in Canada in our assigned spot...)

Technology is great. When it fails, the rock is awesome. And knowing what to do without a camera,

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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With a front receiver the maneuvering will be vastly improved, especially for a long wheel base truck.

 

 

I wouldn't get rid of a truck I really liked until I knew for certain that it just wasn't going to work. There are a number of front receivers available; my favorite is the excellent and very strong Warn Trans4mer (original model) grill guard, which is a modular system with an available 2inch receiver bar. This one fits your truck....

 

http://www.amazon.com/WARN-68162-Trans4mer-Grille-Guard/dp/B000BQN20S

 

The latest version for the newer trucks does not offer a receiver, which is a shame. I am going to get one of these for my 2006 Ram.

 

This is another great choice, lots cheaper and it is more stealthy ....

 

Whatever brand you pick, make sure it does not hang really low and destroy your approach angle. Many like the Curt are a disaster in this respect.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"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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There appears to be no way to edit a post (?), so I will add a new one.

 

An offset hole on a front receiver, as far as possible to the right, will help you to see around one side of the trailer while maneuvering. The Ollie is narrow enough at 7 feet to not be a huge blind spot.  I would still use a backup camera on the trailer! Bodiak will not add an extra receiver bracket - I asked - but I think a local experienced welding shop could do this for less than $75 for almost any stock unit. It will however void the receiver warranty and ruin the factory powder coating.

 

Please note that I haven't yet ordered an Elite II but have decades of trailer towing experience. Don't sell that low miles diesel, but if it does turn out to be too long and awkward, keep the longer trailer and trade the truck for a short bed model like a Ram Eco Diesel Crew Cab (not the Mega Cab). Don't get a gas truck or you will hate yourself every time you go up a long high altitude grade. Fuel prices will not stay cheap much longer.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"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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Don’t sell that low miles diesel, but if it does turn out to be too long and awkward, keep the longer trailer and trade the truck for a short bed model like a Ram Eco Diesel Crew Cab (not the Mega Cab). Don’t get a gas truck or you will hate yourself every time you go up a long high altitude grade. Fuel prices will not stay cheap much longer. John Davies Spokane WA

 

Hmm… I really like the Ram Truck too, our son in law owns one, very nice rig! But, gas trucks on long uphill hauls being hated. Lets take a look at this video and see if it that holds up to scrutiny, albeit the sideline whoop di la is a bit over the top.

 

http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/gallery/videos-and-demos/all/uphill-towing-battle/FMFS8536000/

 

FWIW, I've never, not once suffered the upload slug with our gas truck (3.5 Eco Boost), in fact we tend to pass quite a few other rigs on the long grades in high altitude. Just finished a two week trip in the SW for the second time with mesa grades from 5-10%, nary a problem. Its a zippity do da affair over the hill. Regardless Jaquelyn for sure should hang onto her existing rig, it will  be more than adequate for the task.

 

Hope this helps.

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I'll talk to the local Ranch Hand dealer and see if I can add a receiver hitch to the Ranch Hand bull bar I already have without welding. Somebody must make a bolt-on. And I am definitely getting cameras. A lot of cameras.

 

I will hang on to that truck if I can. At 50K miles it is just barely broken in for a diesel. It has been very reliable and is a dream to drive if not park.

 

I sure hope fuel prices go up pretty soon. I work on a drilling rig on the North Slope of Alaska, and I need to work about another five years to pay off my Ollie and set me up for retirement. So a return to $100/barrel would make me a little more confident. At $50/barrel, I'm holding off on placing my Ollie order. Times are too uncertain in the oil business right now.


Jaque

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Jaquelyn,

 

My experience in parking has been that the width of the road and what is on the other side of the road is more an issue than the size of the campsite.  Given enough room to maneuver I can get into just about any size site, with numerous obstacles.  So keep this in mind as you drive through the campground looking for a perfect site.  We arrived at Mount Pisgah campground last year in the dead of night.  Pitch black.  Our assigned site was a right angle to the road and someone had parked their car directly across from us making it all but impossible to get into the site...but I did it with many small adjustments.  That's the key...slow and don't try to do everything in one pass.  I look for sites that are slanted to the access road so my trailer doesn't almost jack knife.  Please don't over analyze the parking thing.  You seem like a lady who will figure it out.  I like your idea of camping outdoors.  That's what we do.  Set up the Clam tent, deploy some rocking chairs and rugs, and uncork a good red.  Carpe momento!

 

 

 

 

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Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Jaquelyn,

 

There is no absolute answer to your question about length and you have already factored in all the possible problems.  Just get out there and see how it goes in the type of places you like to visit.  But one thing I'd suggest is, don't buy an Elite to compensate for the truck's length, if you really want the Elite ll.

 

We were at the Grand Canyon recently and wanted a campsite for our toy hauler.  The only question they asked was "how long is your trailer", no mention of the truck.  They had a 22 foot limit and we were 20  (I told them the body length not including tongue).

 

Both there and in the Bristlecone Pines in the Eastern Sierra, my standard cab pickup was a bit big at times, I'm sure yours will be too, but it's not a deal breaker considering all the flexibility it offers.

 

Another advantage of Oliver trailers is their narrow width of 7'.  Perfect for following you through tight places.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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After 8 years in the legacy I, it would be impossible to ignore the advantages for a solo traveler.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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