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Mike and Carol

Went camping - Have questions!

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We are just back from 4 days in Kerrville, TX.  Hot weather, great time!  We have some random questions and would be interested in everyone's thoughts and opinions.

 

1. Brake Controller - On my new Ram, the brake controller has settings for "light electric" and "heavy electric" trailers.  I have tried both settings and on maximum boost on either one I'm not sure I'm getting enough.  To test, I get up to about 20mph, take foot off the gas and manually engage the brake controller.  The trailer brakes engage and slow the truck to a stop, but it takes a good distance, about the length of the truck and trailer.  Is this what I should expect?

 

2.  Water leak? - This morning when I raised the front jack to hook up some water drained out of the white tube at the back of the trailer on the drivers side.  Not a lot, enough to make about a 12" puddle on the concrete.  It did this once before when I was stopped on an incline with the front higher than the back.  Is this normal?  I haven't looked under the bed yet, if it is a leak what could it be?

 

3.  Bathroom fan -  I always pull it closed before we tow, when I stop it is always open.  I can't see that there is any way to secure it other than friction.  Am I missing something?

 

4.  AC drip - We get an occasional drip from the AC that drips down between the twin beds.  Not a lot, maybe a drip every 10 or 15 minutes.  Just condensation?

 

5.  Gray tank - We try to keep food particles out of the gray tank, wiping dishes before washing.  We were talking about draining canned beans, doesn't seem like that liquid would be an issue.  What kind of things does everyone keep out of the gray tank?  Are we over thinking things?

 

6.  Braking while going downhill - The Ram has a Tow/Haul mode.  65mph is what we usually do.  Coming home today on I-10, I used cruise control set at 65 in Tow/Haul.  On downhills the truck downshifted to maintain 65.  I didn't need to brake.  On one long 7% grade it downshifted a couple times and we still got up to 70 at which point I started to brake for short periods to stay under 70.  Is it preferable to use brakes or the engine to maintain downhill speed?  I assume the trailer brakes are not activated when the engine is used.  Seems like a big load back there pushing.

 

We learn something new every time we go out.  We had a bunch of compliments this weekend.  One guy said he had never heard of Oliver and was going back to his rig to do some googling!   Mike


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

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Hi Mike and Carol,

 

This being our first trailer, I am still figuring a lot of this stuff out myself but I can offer a few comments.

 

1. Brake controller. I can't comment on this critical adjustment. Ours is an aftermarket Tekensha. I have it adjusted about the same as you have and so far it seems to work well. But I would be very interested to hear what more experienced haulers would have to say.

 

2. I am guessing the white tube is the condensate line for your AC. Buzzy will know! So no worries if water is coming out there.

 

3. Bathroom fan. It is easy to just pull down one side of the fan housing when closing, leaving the other half of the housing sticking up to catch the wind. When opening or closing, make sure to have the pull/push bar parallel to the fan and not at an angle. Hopefully that will fix it for you.

 

4. Water should not be dripping out your AC into the trailer. Best call Oliver on that one. Maybe there is a kink in the condensate line somewhere...?

 

5. I don't worry about liquids in the gray water myself. I do add a little Happy Camper additive and water softener to the tank when starting out. My main worry for the GT is hair. So, when showering inside, I unscrew the floor drain stop (easy) and lay over a flat store bought sink screen that keeps any hair from going down the drain.

 

6. Your RAM has 8 speeds and I would use them on steep descents! Going 70 mph down a 7% grade would scare the heck out of me. Definitely downshift that excellent transmission of yours and let it work for you. Save your brakes for when you really need them. Personally, when cruising in the mountains, I look less at the speedometer and instead listen more to the engine to make sure it's happy and not straining too much. When it's not straining, I'm not stressing!

 

Hope this helps.

 

Dave

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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6. Your RAM has 8 speeds and I would use them on steep descents! Going 70 mph down a 7% grade would scare the heck out of me. Definitely downshift that excellent transmission of yours and let it work for you. Save your brakes for when you really need them. Personally, when cruising in the mountains, I look less at the speedometer and instead listen more to the engine to make sure it’s happy and not straining too much. When it’s not straining, I’m not stressing!

 

Dave, agree 100%.  Normally I slow down as I reach the peak of a hill so I start the down hill slower and keep it slower.  I know this particular stretch of I-10 and wanted to see what happened on this long downhill with the cruise control on.  Based on what happened today, I think I will use a combination of the manual shifting and brakes with cruise control OFF to keep my speed down.

 

Think I'll check with the factory on the AC.  It's only and occasional drip, but a little worrisome.

 

Thanks.  Mike


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

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Mike,

 

Welcome back to Fair Oaks Ranch after your trip to Kerrville.  About the brake system, it is not only necessary to have a functioning brake controller, but your brakes, themselves, need to be properly adjusted.  Once, I thought my brakes were a bit anemic, so When I took took The Wonder Egg to The Brake Company, in the north end of Boerne, to check and lube the bearings, I asked them to check my brake adjustment.  They were both way out!  After getting the proper attention by someone who knows how it makes all the difference in the world.  The Brake Company is a nice, small, local run family business.

 

About the condensation drain tube.  Mine had a bit of difficulty initially, but after giving it a bit of a tug, the existing kink in the line straightened out and it drains normally since then.  BTW, beware if you go camping out in the BIg Bend area at Ft Davis campgoround.  They have an abundance of wild boar who enjoy munching on the condensation drain tube to get a sip of water.  I'm considering aputing a short piece of pvc pipe over mine before I visit there again.


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


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Mike,

 

Welcome back to Fair Oaks Ranch after your trip to Kerrville.  About the brake system, it is not only necessary to have a functioning brake controller, but your brakes, themselves, need to be properly adjusted.  Once, I thought my brakes were a bit anemic, so When I took took The Wonder Egg to The Brake Company, in the north end of Boerne, to check and lube the bearings, I asked them to check my brake adjustment.  They were both way out!  After getting the proper attention by someone who knows how it makes all the difference in the world.  The Brake Company is a nice, small, local run family business.

 

About the condensation drain tube.  Mine had a bit of difficulty initially, but after giving it a bit of a tug, the existing kink in the line straightened out and it drains normally since then.  BTW, beware if you go camping out in the BIg Bend area at Ft Davis campgoround.  They have an abundance of wild boar who enjoy munching on the condensation drain tube to get a sip of water.  I'm considering puting a short piece of pvc pipe over mine before I visit there again.


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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Mike, Welcome back to Fair Oaks Ranch after your trip to Kerrville. About the brake system, it is not only necessary to have a functioning brake controller, but your brakes, themselves, need to be properly adjusted. Once, I thought my brakes were a bit anemic, so When I took took The Wonder Egg to The Brake Company, in the north end of Boerne, to check and lube the bearings, I asked them to check my brake adjustment. They were both way out! After getting the proper attention by someone who knows how it makes all the difference in the world. The Brake Company is a nice, small, local run family business. About the condensation drain tube. Mine had a bit of difficulty initially, but after giving it a bit of a tug, the existing kink in the line straightened out and it drains normally since then. BTW, beware if you go camping out in the BIg Bend area at Ft Davis campgoround. They have an abundance of wild boar who enjoy munching on the condensation drain tube to get a sip of water. I’m considering puting a short piece of pvc pipe over mine before I visit there again.

 

Pete, I will take the Lone Star Oliver over to The Brake Company.  My trailer brakes do feel a little anemic.  Seems like with my brake controller at max boost I should feel some kind of abrupt braking.  The water draining out of the tube at the back of the trailer was the same today as you saw when we were at Fair Oaks Automotive getting our inspection.  If it's condensation from the AC, no problem.  I need to look under the bed and see what's going on.  We'll do Big Bend during the cool weather so we don't have to contend with thirsty boar!


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

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Glad to hear your week end trip went well.  Every trip raises new questions, does it not?  It seems like there's else something I have to figure out each time.

 

There are two white tubes sticking out under your trailer.  The one at the rear on the driver's side is the drain for the A/C.  The one on the passenger side is the drain for the fresh water tank.

 

Condensate will collect in the A/C drain and will run out at weird times.  As you found out, when you raise the front of the trailer and when you first start the A/C it will sometimes dump water from the previous time.

 

Probably nothing wrong with the A/C dripping on the inside occasionally.  With the heat and the high humidity like it is currently here in the South, I would not be surprised to see a drip every once in a while from the Air Distribution Box.

 

Hope this help relieve some of your worries.  As far as helping with the wild boar problem, I bought this.

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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 

 

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Glad to hear your week end trip went well. Every trip raises new questions, does it not? It seems like there’s else something I have to figure out each time.

We keep taking weekend trips to learn and figure out our camping "style", all in preparation for our month long October trip to the east coast.

 

It's good to know that tube is to the AC, it was hot and humid this past weekend and we ran the AC during the day.  Two things I still haven't done/figured out - the solar and all the data, and draining the fresh tank.

 

We have learned that the tank level readings are relative.  Especially with our gray tank, 80% is pretty much full!

 

Your wild boar solution plus a big crock pot would yield enough pulled pork to feed the entire campsite!


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

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When you say East Coast how far are you going.  We will camping all along the Blue Ridge Parkway August and into September.  I know the Seadogs spend time around Asheville in Summer.  Maybe we can meet up for a rally.


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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When you say East Coast how far are you going. We will camping all along the Blue Ridge Parkway August and into September. I know the Seadogs spend time around Asheville in Summer. Maybe we can meet up for a rally.

"East coast" is a bit general!  We're heading east from San Antonio the beginning of October and will spend a few days in Nashville (we like going to the Opry), then Gatlinburg for a week.  Then we head to Washington DC for a week followed by 5 days at West Point, NY (it's my 40 class reunion).  After that, weather dependent we will either go up to Nashua to visit my cousin or to Watkins Glen, NY to visit friends.  We have no set plans for the return trip.

 

We've heard great things about Asheville and won't be far from there while in Gatlinburg.  We want to do the Blue Ridge Parkway but thought it would be a separate trip so we can take our time.  A rally/meet up is a great idea.


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

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Here is the look of the Coleman Mach 8 with the inside cover off, the drain tube runs upper right to left to drain pex, this might be what you want to check for your inside drip. You can disconnect the clear tube and blow out the line. To get here, remove filters (clean while off) remove 4 spring tension screws holding white cover on, then remove 2 SHORT screws holding black blower cowling on and then the third and final short screw is on the front of the black cowling under the tape area, which is probably gapped from when they installed it. Hope this helps

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Brakes: The newer Ollies come with 12 inch Dexter Nev-R-Adjust brakes. Assuming there are no installation issues, they _should_ never need to be manually adjusted. However, it is possible that they were not installed correctly. There are left and right brakes and if they were swapped at the factory then they won't self-adjust. This has some info:

 

https://www.etrailer.com/question-13954.html

 

You can check and adjust yours very easily, and you should know how to adjust them in case one day the self adjusting part of one ...  doesn't.

 

__________________________

 

"Brake Adjustment

 

Dexter electric brakes that have a self adjusting feature require no manual adjustment. Brakes not equipped with this feature can be adjusted by using the following procedure:

 

Brakes should be adjusted (1) after the first 200 miles of operation when the brake shoes and drums have “seated,” (2) at 3,000 mile intervals, (3) or as use and performance requires. The brakes should be adjusted in the following manner:

 

Jack up trailer and secure on adequate capacity jack stands. Follow trailer manufacturer’s recommendations for lifting and supporting the unit. Make sure the wheel and drum rotates freely.

 

If equipped, remove the adjusting hole cover, if present, from the adjusting slot on the bottom of the brake backing plate.

With a screwdriver or standard adjusting tool, rotate the star wheel of the adjuster assembly to expand the brake shoes. Adjust the brake shoes out until the pressure of the linings against the drum makes the wheel very difficult to turn.

Then rotate the star wheel in the opposite direction until the wheel turns freely with a slight lining drag.

Replace the adjusting hole cover, if available, and lower the wheel to the ground.

Repeat the above procedure on all brakes. For best results, the brakes should all be set at the same clearance."

 

_______________________________

 

Lots of info here: ....

 

All drum brakes are a royal PITA, long term. They overheat and glaze the linings, rust, get coated with bearing grease, work poorly in rain and generally are not what you want with a modern, costly, high quality vehicle. When they wear out you can install a higher quality aftermarket disc brake kit and never have to worry again. I really wish Oliver offered a factory disc brake option....

 

The trailer controller should be adjusted so that the trailer becomes "transparent" during stops, as much as possible. You should not feel the weight when braking. You don't want the trailer brakes to be too aggressive or they will be stopping your truck as well as the trailer (they will jerk backwards on the hitch). OTH if they are too weak the truck brakes will be overworked and your stopping distances will be greatly increased - the trailer will try to push the truck.

 

There is a "just right" setting that will give you balanced braking, short stopping distances and happy (cool) brakes. You need to experiment to find what works best, and then write down that setting. You will always need to tweak it a bit in inclement or slippery conditions, but you should be able to come up with a standard value. However, you must make sure the brakes are adjusted properly and working correctly!

 

If you don't have an infrared temp gun (thermometer) buy one right now. It is invaluable for checking the performance of your brakes. It is much better to know that all four are at, say, 160 degrees F at the bottom of a grade, than to be clueless and never see that one is running at 200 and one is at 60. The temperatures will tell you if the brakes are working equally. It will also immediately reveal if a hub bearing is dry and overheating, if a tire has a slow leak (running warm), and you can even check your kids temperature with it (don't shine the laser in his eye)..... It's a great diagnostic tool. I keep mine in my center console when traveling and I use it daily. My wife was amused for many years, but she now realizes that it is a great preventive maintenance tool that can prevent roadside breakdowns. Those are never good.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=infrared+thermometer

 

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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John, which one of those temp gauges did you get, all different price ranges.

 

 

 

Stan


Stan and Carol


Blacksburg, VA


2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi


2014 Legacy Elite II Standard  Hull 63

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John, great information - thanks!  I want to get to the point where I can adjust brakes and repack bearings.  I've done it before, it's just been a few decades.  Looking forward to retirement the end of next month so I have more time to get my hands dirty....

 

There sure is a wealth of information, knowledge and experience in the Oliver community!


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

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John, which one of those temp gauges did you get, all different price ranges. Stan

I can't recall the brand, it is pretty old and there are a ton of new brands with screwy names I have never heard of, all from the Orient. I would not recommend any unit less than $30, on principle. I suggest one with common inexpensive batteries, 9v or AA. Look for a decent warranty from a name brand. Look for robust construction (hard to do unless you can handle one), since it will get dropped once in a while. This might help.

 

http://www.galttech.com/research/household-diy-tools/infrared-thermometer.php

 

I'm sorry I can't recommend a particular unit, but you cannot go wrong with any instrument made by Fluke. If you work on cars or other vehicles, buy a good one, since you will find lots of uses for it there....

 

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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“East coast” is a bit general! We’re heading east from San Antonio the beginning of October and will spend a few days in Nashville (we like going to the Opry), then Gatlinburg for a week. Then we head to Washington DC for a week

I don't know what your plans are for  DC, but my wife and I will be there the last weekend and I have found this campground just on the edge of the city and will be parking there, it's first come and is $16 a night, just checked and now they do reservations, research indicates they are usually pretty empty that time of year.

Maybe we'll see you on the road.

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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John, which one of those temp gauges did you get, all different price ranges. Stan

 

Stan, I picked up the Fluke 62 before going cross country, worked flawlessly and provided great piece of mind.

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I don’t know what your plans are for DC, but my wife and I will be there the last weekend and I have found this campground just on the edge of the city and will be parking there, it’s first come and is $16 a night, just checked and now they do reservations, research indicates they are usually pretty empty that time of year.

 

Randy, thanks.  We plan on being in DC 14-19 Oct, then north to NY.  I will check out the link to the campground - hope to see you on the road sometime.  Mike


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

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We used to go to DC every other year in October, til the Solar Decathlon was moved from the capital mall to the wet coast. Greenbelt cg is very convenient to the greenbelt/university metro station, as well as shoppi g and dining. The College Park IKEA is a great source for storage and kitchen items. I have skubb containers, hanging rack, and dish drainer among other items from there in our trailer. It is a long walk from the station to the campground, and take a flashlight if you decide to walk. You can park at the station for a reasonable fee, and be at the capital in 30 or 40 minutes. No hookups that i remember, which was fine. Plenty of choices for spots in October.

 

We also camped at Pohick Bay Regional park in Virginia. Deer in our site every night, but still only 45 minutes by metro to the capital mall, Smithsonian, etc. We drove 10 minutes to the Springfield mall, parked in the designated floors of the Macys lot, and took the shuttle to the metro. Shuttle was 25 cents then. There is a waterpark at Pohick, but it is closed by October. Not crowded. Facilities were newer and nicer at Pohick, and electricity available, but twice tbe price of Greenbelt. right off 95, it is quite convenient if comi g in from the south.

 

I recommend both.

sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I finally made my reservation at Greenbelt and found that with a National Park pass it was only $8 a night. Just an FYI


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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