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DavePhelps

Propane Line Abrasion

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While messing with the water pump and learning how to siphon water through the winterizing inlet, I noticed that the copper propane line to my water heater had been noticeably abraded by the drop in bin that it sits next to. The bin had worn a slight flat spot on the tube, it's the dark spot in the photo. This is not a desirable situation!

 

I'm not sure why Oliver routed the copper propane line where they did, but I plan on moving it over closer to the heater housing and wrapping it with friction tape. This bit of abrasion happened in just the 2500 mile return trip from Hohenwald. I have the Elite and don't know about how the Elite2 is plumbed, but I would highly recommend that everyone check their propane line in this area, or in any area where it may come in contact with the bins or anything else that could rub on it. Those bins in particular are very abrasive on the unfinished side.

 

Dave

 

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Here's our Elite II, the LP copper plumbing is different compared to the Elite. Checked between the copper lines and black sleeve around wires contacting copper lines and did not find any issues.

 

Water heater:

 

Furnace:

 

 


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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I plan on moving it over closer to the heater housing and wrapping it with friction tape.  

 

May I suggest plastic split loom, like you see over your wires? It is more durable and will also allow moisture (condensation) to dry. You can buy it by the foot at NAPA.

 

John Davies

 

Spokanes


"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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Another spot to check.

 

This photo is taken from behind the water pump towards the sink. While doing some work on the plumbing, found that the propane line going to the stove routing was less than desirable, with the cabinet frame. This can be addressed by removing all three left side drawers.

 

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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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Can someone explain to me how these lines are run?  I'm guessing from these photos that there is an exterior pipe that runs the length of the trailer and then two lines T off from that to supply the water heater/furnace and cooktop.  So two penetrations to the hull for gas, which sounds reasonable.  Is the exterior pipe cast iron or copper or something else?  Is there any reason that these interior lines are solid copper and not flexible, either braided hose or a flexible stainless connector like you'd have in your house?

 

Also, what's up with the bottom of those cabinets in that photo?  Do we need to donate a new saw blade to Oliver?  As nicely finished as these trailers are on the outside, some of the stuff I see between the hulls looks pretty janky.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Also, what’s up with the bottom of those cabinets in that photo? Do we need to donate a new saw blade to Oliver? As nicely finished as these trailers are on the outside, some of the stuff I see between the hulls looks pretty janky.

LOL, I don't have a clue what janky means, but I agree anyway.... I would have used the word disgusting. There is no reason to leave frayed and nasty edges anywhere in a nice trailer of this apparent quality.

 

Running soft plastic and copper hard up against a sharp, abrasive, janky edge like that is a serious engineering mistake that will give nothing but trouble for the owner in the years to come! While the situation in the area pictured can probably be fixed without too much trouble, what about the truly hidden areas that cannot be seen or worked on?

 

Also, the construction dust and debris should have been removed before delivery.

 

I think Oliver needs to spend some extra time adding clamps and wire ties to their plumbing and electrical bundles. So I don't have to ....

 

Come on Oliver! Sweat the details! Owners do NOT want to see this stuff. However, it is educational.

 

**** My suggestion to owners taking delivery .... Look in all the dark and narrow spaces using a strong flashlight and a mechanic's inspection mirror for janky stuff like this and insist that Oliver correct any problems, before you tow it away!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Tools-11185-Telescoping-Inspection/dp/B00TO7NHBY

 

overland, have you every crawled around in an XP Camper ver 1? You won't see ugly shortcuts like this in one, they are truly stunning. And way more $$$ than an Ollie. Maybe that partly explains their extra cost, I dunno.

 

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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I'm not super familiar with XP.  We looked at their stuff at overland expo last year and it all looked nice - very similar to Earth Cruisers in style and finish I thought.  But we weren't looking at slide ins so didn't spend too much time looking at them.

 

On the quality of the workmanship between the hulls, I admit that I'm picky about that stuff.  I do residential architecture, and the difference between a sub who runs everything nice and neat, and pays attention to all those details vs. the ones who don't is night and day to me.  But those guys are rare - and outside of the city, just plain nonexistent.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I can assure you the owners wouldn't find these issues acceptable. I will be passing the info on. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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Matt Duncan

Director of Marketing, Oliver Travel Trailers

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I can assure you the owners wouldn’t find these issues acceptable. I will be passing the info on. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Matt,

 

Does Oliver have a standarized quality control program in place? Regular inspections would catch stuff like this long before the trailer goes out the door. If not, then the owners need to rethink their production line procedures.

 

These unfortunate problems may be a result of too rapid growth. Have there been a lot of new hires recently? It is never smart to rely solely on the floor worker to do a job correctly without oversight.

 

I think everyone would like to hear an official comment.

 

Thanks.

 

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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Well I talked to Tommy and I will be moving that copper line on the other side of the water lines and next to the water heater. Further protecting it with split loom is a great idea John, and that same thought came to me as well. I do feel that Oliver is trying to build the best units they can for a certain price point. These issues that do come up along the way are a good opportunity for them to up their game and refine their construction process. And in this particular case, the change would not cost Oliver a penny, just move the line over.  I'm glad that no one else seemed to have this issue. It seems like most Oliver owners are pretty detailed oriented folks so I hope Oliver takes advantage of our combined input, as it is positively given.

 

Overland, as far as I can tell, from the propane regulator there is a short length of rubber(?) gas line to the underside of the trailer. From there, it converts to copper covered with split loom and runs down the center of the trailer above the top of the aluminum, cross bars. It T's here and there to the various appliances off the main trunk line. As to the best material for the line I can't say, except that copper has been used for years and has a well established safety record. And... that really is a pretty yanky pic of that cabinet back! Being a retired carpenter, I could only shake my head when I saw that picture! LOL. Oh well, not only are dull blades unsafe and create a rough end product, they take more time to cut as well!  So there is no reason to use them. No doubt after reading this they will be getting some new blades, or sharpen their old ones.... I'd also probably put a 1/4" roundover on that bottom edge as well with that copper running under there. If you have room, you may want to slide some split loom over that section of tube.

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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I have another comment on this pic. The plumbing routing could be greatly improved with just a little forethought. In this pic the red line starts out on top then dives down under the blue, for no reason other than to put the blue one in a bind and make it impossible to service the red elbow without disturbing the blue connection. Plus it looks very unprofessional. Correct routing would eliminate the awkward bind in both the hoses going under that section of 'glass panel.

 

Water, gas and electrical runs should be straight and parallel wherever possible, and not have wierd routing as illustrated here...

 

It generally takes no more time or expense on the production line; it just takes a worker who cares about doing a better than adequate job.

 

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,

 

One of the things I've noticed is the over-use of crimped on 90 degree fittings and plastic fittings instead of brass.   Many of the "90s" should be done simply by bending the PEX.  When using PEX, one should think in PEX.  Plastic PEX fittings were discredited many years ago and generally replaced with brass.  I'm hoping I don't have trouble with them.

 

I really like the general Oliver design, but behind the curtain there are some quirks or "less than perfect" methods.


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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John, One of the things I’ve noticed is the over-use of crimped on 90 degree fittings and plastic fittings instead of brass. Many of the “90s” should be done simply by bending the PEX. When using PEX, one should think in PEX. Plastic PEX fittings were discredited many years ago and generally replaced with brass.

That is interesting, thanks. I personally do like elbows since they keep the piping close to walls and floors (they save space), but using wider sweeping curves instead would probably be smart in areas that are hard to access after the build.

 

You can safely make a 5 inch radius bend with a half inch PEX tube, and use a "bend support" bracket. You risk crimping  though, if you are not careful. I have never tried tight bends with his stuff before. I think it is a little risky in an RV application where equipment and appliances get moved around during the build, and later during repairs. A sweeping bend might collapse and not be noticed. I think for houses they would be great.

 

"Minimum recommended bending radius is 8 times the outside diameter of PEX (8 x OD). For 1/2" PEX with OD of 5/8", minimum bending radius is 8 x 5/8" = 5".

Over-bending the PEX pipe, deforms its’ round shape, restricts flow and over-stresses the pipe."

 

http://www.pexuniverse.com/pex-tubing-technical-specs

 

I agree that copper fittings would be more welcome than plastic.... however, I am more worried about easy access for repairs, years from now, than I am about the material choice.

 

While we are dreaming, let's imagine these trailers have a manifold design with NO buried fittings other than at the appliances/ taps/ service valves (and notice the bend braces):

 

Manifolds

 

I don't see that happening any time.

 

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, don't look.5fovjtbm67gx7p5iiql07b6i97yqao45.jpg.0b34b8f3aed5182a5a865cb6c27d370a.jpg

And actually when I took it in for fiberglass repair, in June, they were intrigued by it and asked questions about the setup.

 

You are correct with your numbers, the in to the out parallel distance is 9.5" I prefer to use the premade guides so I don't kink them.

 

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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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Randy, I hope the Oliver head honchos copy your workmanship. That is just what I was talking about.

 

Have you re-done any other areas of the plumbing? I think we all would like to see some more pictures. Perhaps start a new thread?

 

Thanks,

 

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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I took it back to Oliver, while I am the second owner and it was beyond its one year warranty period, they are stand up enough that they repaired it under warranty. In the earlier models the mount configuration for the rear power jacks had some issues and allowed movement, that cracked the fiberglass around the hole it goes through in the hull. They realized that there was the potential for an issue and reconfigured how the mounting is done sometime spring 2015.

 

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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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The pre-made guides are a good method instead of crimped in 90s.  There is almost always room for them and no chance of a fitting failure.  If the bend radius is not so critical just bend it around and snake it through as needed.  The 1/2" PEX (5/8" OD) can be reliably bent into a 9" O.C. return bend with no kink.  Once bent it will not relax into a kink.  Also, if doing the guides, you don't have to get the crimp tool into place and use it.  The flow characteristics are also a lot better with bends instead of crimped 90s.

 

Pex is surprisingly nice to work with.  When working with PEX, think in PEX instead of copper.

 

Another trick is to slide the PEX through conduit 90s.  1/2" PEX (5/8" OD) slides nicely through 3/4" electrical conduit 90s. 3/4 PEX through 1" conduit 90s and 3/8" PEX through 1/2" 90s.  Steel or PVC conduit works fine for this and seriously protect the PEX.    Always use brass fittings and copper crimp rings.  Always.

 

 

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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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Always use brass fittings and copper crimp rings. Always.

 

Do the others types crack/ fail/ rust or what? If so, why are they even approved and used? Cheaper?

 

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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The older plastic crimp fittings would either crack from the strain or relax when too hot.  Then leak.  I have no experience with the new black plastic ones in the Olivers, only with the brass ones.  I have never had a brass one fail and I've used hundreds over many years.   I also use a minimum of them and try to bend the PEX wherever possible.

 

We probably won't have any trouble with them considering the relatively low pressures and temperatures in the Ollie.

 

John


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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