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Snowball

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We're scheduled for a Feb start and early May delivery for our Elite II.

 

Finally.

 

Hopefully, we'll have a tow vehicle by then.  We've ordered a Ford Raptor, so the delivery date is a mystery, but mid-April is my best guess.

 

Snowball is her working title, chosen mainly because this whole project began with wanting a Jeep and a little tent trailer, but kept/keeps growing and growing.  Also, I believe it will be white.  In the end, we'll call it "The Trailer", which is perhaps less interesting but we've never been into naming vehicles.

 

Twin bed model, but we'll use their sofa-type cushions rather than mattresses, and we've asked Oliver to create a small version of the dining table that will work in combination with the nightstand.  Hopefully that will make for the best of both worlds for us.  We're talking with Oliver about options for the electrical system and solar, suspension modifications, and a healthy handful of smaller modifications that I'm sure are driving them nuts.

 

We're still working on the final specs and pricing, so the construction dates could slip, depending on how it all comes together - but if we can tie it all together before the first week of February, we'll at least get started on schedule.

 

I'll try to make some more detailed posts about what we're doing, once we figure out exactly what that is.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland,

 

I found this part to be the most difficult.  Picking fabrics (hated doing that), deciding how many and where to put hooks, location of the surge protector readout, what about a light dimmer, 20 pound or 30 pound tanks, hatch in the propane cover or not, etc., etc.  However, it will not be long now until your baby goes into production and you start receiving pictures from Anita.  Exciting, exciting!

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I think an Oliver being pulled by a Raptor will be a sight to see.  It's a nice truck!  Mike


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

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Power certainly won't be a problem, though I'm a little nervous about how the weight will sit on the soft shocks.

 

Our plan is to use the Ollie as a basecamp and then take the truck out on more adventurous day trips, or even overnighters with our tent.  We'll see how it goes.

 

Bill, I know what you mean.  I have a tendency to be a perfectionist on those details, and overthink everything until my head spins.  Worse, I've been collecting ideas for over a year now, so figuring out what we want to do and not do is driving us nuts.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Just a few suggestions that might help:

 

30 lb propane tanks with a port in front of them to reach tank valves.  A port or two in the bath cabinet and/or closet to access the sink faucet and flex hose without having to cut any caulking.  Cell phone booster.  TV antenna.  Center mount TV if they have decided they can do that modification and still meet code.  Xantrex 2000 watt inverter. This will run the microwave, or run other tools,without firing up a generator.   Four Trojan 6 volt batteries.  Extra plugs, if needed, near the night stand, under the table, above sink counter, between entry door and bath door, in bath either in upper cabinet or near sink.  Extra hooks are probably not worth it, they are not very strong.  Install your own later in the bath or on the closet door /bath wall yourself.  Add reading lights above both beds and probably near the pantry and stove end of the beds.  Look at the upper cabinet doors and decide if you want mirrored or flat finish.  Decide if the granite counter tops are really worth the cost or not.  In my case, I'll be installing a stainless steel counter over the standard kitchen counter.  Either the heavy duty shackle and greaseable bushing kit or the Easy Flex.  I prefer the heavy duty shackle kit.   Be sure you get the 12" brakes.  Ask them about mounting the license plate and its light next to the spare instead of on the spare tire cover.  This avoids dealing with wires and moves the light to a safer place.   I don't recommend the Anderson hitch with a full sized truck.   Considering the way the hitch mounts, the hookup hassles and the possible interference with the truck stability system, I think it's a waste of money, but decide for yourself after an honest look.  Ollies tow so well you'll forget yours is there.   Be sure you have a high quality brake controller already to go when you pick up your new trailer. Best to order this on your new pickup if available.  Decide if the roof mounted solar actually makes sense.  You will have to clean it regularly.  You will have to park in full sun to make it work.  It will never be at an efficient angle so it's rated output will never be seen.  I'm only suggesting you go into the decision with a realistic view.  I've decided that portable ones are best for me and I don't have to have that large array on the roof.  The cleaner the streamlining the better.

 

It was really fun getting our Ollie.    I doing a number of modifications and we are having a lot of fun with it.  For once we have a trailer we want to keep forever.  Ours is parked in the garage for now,  but we still go out and have movie nights in it.

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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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We picked some real nice suction hooks from Amazon. If we don't like where they are, we can move them. (courtesy of Try2relax). We are going to put in our own hatch in the 30lb. propane compartment. We just want to be sure exactly where we want them.

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I really like seeing the circuit before I plug the trailer in, so I went with a regular plug in style surge protector. There's a bunch of brands but you can't beat the price on this one - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JGJH8QU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=DVETVI1ZF5E8&coliid=IEQRWJQ65XFVP

 

but many of the hook ups have doors on them and the ones with a short hog leg allow you to close the door in the rain. This puts the connection outside but it keeps the water from getting into the main circuit - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015G2YYN0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=DVETVI1ZF5E8&coliid=I93WIN41CDMPD&psc=1

 

Another thing I really like that they give out on the Casita's are these Multi Clamps-

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BUQOAY/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=DVETVI1ZF5E8&coliid=I3O4GK5QN3L5SH    they insure that your 7 pin connector stays connected because it clamps the lid to the connector so that there's no way for it to bounce out on the road. I always like carrying a few of these because it's such an easy thing to store and you can instantly use it for lots of things.

 

If you're going to be boondocking a lot, then a couple 12vdc plugs mounted above where your head is going to be makes it easy to plug in tablet's CPAP's, etc... We had them add both ac and dc outlets above both heads of the bed for each of us. Best Wishes and have Fun!! :)

 

Reed

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Thanks for all the advice!

 

Some comments & thoughts...

We found that the new latches on the LP box are super easy to use, so we don't know if the porthole is really necessary any more.

Agree on the hooks.  We are going to install a few of these hooks, which are very low profile.  We'll put 3 of them below the pantry for kitchen towels (rather than a towel bar), and 2 in the kitchen to the left of the sink.  We're also going to get a handful of these suction hooks, which have the twist knob and stick really well.  They have a number of accessories for them like soap dishes, shower caddies, etc.

We're doing the rooftop solar, 3 panels for 480W, but have asked Oliver to give us a port on each side of the trailer to plug in some portable panels.  What I'd really like to do is move the AC off the roof and put 620W up there, but I don't have high hopes on that one.  The thing about portable panels is that they can be attractive to thieves - expensive and easy to grab.

We've asked Oliver if we can install this sink and faucet.  The sink should fit, from the measurements I took.  They have some nice accessories for it, like a colander insert, rinsing tub, cutting board, etc.  The faucet is similar to the one Oliver uses now, but we thought that the pull out spray on that one was bulky and hard to maneuver.  The IKEA sprayer is tiny in comparison.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I love the new the Raptor, but I would go with the Power Wagon for its better load bearing, solid front axle and OEM winch. I think it is a tougher truck overall. Are they discounting the Raptor yet? You can usually find a really nicely specced PW for up to 13K off MSRP, depending on the time of year. There is a Ram dealer near Boise that does this.

 

I sure hope you get Oliver to lift your trailer. They refused me... ;( I guess I will get it done locally.

 

I forget - are you getting the Nature's Head and are you going to do something with that empty tank?

 

How about gravel protection, have you decided? If you are going to order a Stone Stomper maybe you could publish the required dimensions here.

 

Are you going to stick with the ball coupler or go to an off-road one?

 

We are set for mid May delivery, and plan to hang out in TN for a week, maybe we will run across each other.

 

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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Sorry, but Rams are out of the question.  IMO, they're a generation behind in pretty much every respect, and FCA's record on quality and their plans for the future are questionable.  The only FCA vehicle I'd buy right now would be a Wrangler.  We did debate getting one of the new Super Duties but the Raptor fit our needs much better.  Plus driving a 250/2500 series truck around town every day is a pain.  With the Raptor, you get a 250 strength frame in a 150 sized package.  A little wider, but not much, and you can get a super short wheelbase for a full size, though we're going with the crew cab for the storage.  The towing features on the new SD are awesome though - very tempting.

 

Yes, we're doing the composting toilet but to date Oliver hasn't relented on pulling any of the black tank stuff.  Ridiculous - they're going to run a vent pipe and cut a hole in the roof for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

 

I gave my spiel on the axle flip, so we'll see.  I've officially requested that plus disk brakes and electric over hydraulic.  2" of compression travel would be a joke for us, especially when our truck will have 14".  We'd knock a big dent in the frame without even realizing that we're on a rough road.  And with only 18.5" to the weeps, the smallest water crossing will flood the hull space and probably short out the brakes.

 

Nothing on gravel protection.  I'm mostly worried about dust intrusion, minimizing vents, making sure I can put filters or caps on the ones that are left, etc.  One good piece of advice is that if you go with an Isotherm fridge, the compressor is at the top right rear, so you can eliminate the bottom fridge vent entirely, and I think even place a vent toward the kitchen and eliminate both exterior vents.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Basically, we looked at our past trips, and the types of roads that we end up on, and we're trying to make a trailer that can handle that level of abuse for it's entire life.  So, we're not looking to climb up rocky mountain passes, but we will end up on washboard gravel and often for hours at a time.

 

We took these examples from our recent trips:

Backcountry camping at Big Bend

The drives in and out of Chaco Canyon

Backcountry camping at Land Between the Lakes

Making a poor route choice in Kaibab NF (I do that a lot)

That's pretty mild stuff from an offload standpoint.  But it's abusive over time, especially in the wrong vehicle.  All of the items in the list were done in our aging BMW X5 with the only upgrade being all terrain tires.  The X5 never skipped a beat, but it wouldn't do 10 years of that and we want both a trailer and truck that can.  We want a trailer that can do 50 years of it.

 

So from that list, we came up with these obstacles that we encountered multiple times:

Washboard roads, sometimes for hours and sometimes severe

Ruts of roughly 12"

Whoops - not the big whoops that desert racers talk about - what we call whoops are bits of the road that take you by surprise; i.e., that one big bump or hole in an otherwise smooth gravel road that makes you wonder if you broke something, and makes your wife remind you that she told you not to drive so fast.

Short water crossings up to 24"

Dust

Mud and Sand

So that's what we're trying to get Oliver to help us with.  The biggest ask is the suspension.  We think that it can be upgraded regardless, but we don't want to pay Oliver to give us one suspension and then go pay someone else to take it off and replace it.  If we have to do it ourselves, we'll probably live with the stock suspension for a while to get a feel for exactly what we'd want to change, and there's an argument to be made for that being the better choice anyway.  The water and dust issues are tricky, but I feel like we have some workable solutions.

 

Our other Big Ask that's related to remote camping is that I want what I call a 'modern' electrical system, meaning a hybrid inverter/charger, lithium batteries, and ample enough solar to match.  Basically, a Victron MultiPlus and the related gear.

 

So, we'll see.  I'm trying to be realistic about what Oliver will be willing to do, but I've always followed the philosophy that if you don't ask for something, you aren't likely to get it.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I've found that no matter how easy the new propane cover latches might be, the porthole is super easy and doesn't require lifting off that big cover to get to the valves.  I mounted a quick disconnect propane fitting inside where I can reach it through that porthole too.  Then I can run our outside stove without the moving the big cover as the hose comes out of the port.  For me, that was the best place for the quick disconnect and did not require running any pipe to another location.

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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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Great idea about the propane quick connect at the tank. Where did you get the fittings? We thought we would pop the cover, disconnect the tank and screw on a hose to the stove. Your idea so much simpler and quicker.  We are thinking about moving the tanks as far forward as possible and putting a rectangular hatch in on the side. Would be a great place to store chocks and blocking. We saw that idea in this forum, but can't find who or where again. We will have to wait until we get our unit home to see what exactly is involved.

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Canoe12,

 

Steve and Tali of ScubaRX are the ones that did the propane tank forward and hatch doors thing.  I'm sure that Steve would be more than happy to give you all the details.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill, thank you for that.

 

Steve, could you tell me how much space you gained doing this? I'm looking for how much space there is at the closest point to the hull, if possible. Thanks


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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While you're at it, you might consider some options for the tanks themselves, since there's more out there than just the 20 and 30's.  There is a 33 lb aluminum tank, which should fit - somehow it's slightly shorter than the 30lb but the same diameter.  I've thought about doing just one of those, and having the extra space for storage.  Or maybe one big tank and one small 10lb reserve tank. Or a skinny little 6lb tank.

 

Anyone know the dimensions of the nosecone or the maximum height cylinder you could use?

 

Also, I believe that the bottom of the nosecone is completely open, so if you want to use it for storage, you might ask Oliver if they would weld some open mesh to the bottom of the frame there.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks, we have looked for the pictures, but get sidetracked. We are going to wait until we have a few miles on her, and know

 

what size blocks we use and what side I approach from. That said I think it is a super idea. Lots of marine hatches available, especially here along the coast

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Canoe,

 

I'll post a picture of the quick disconnect later today.  I found a kit at an RV place with the quick disconnect  and an 8' hose with the male fitting.  I also put on a ball valve to isolate it.  I have a Harbor Freight welding table that folds up and an outdoor stove.

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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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Thanks, we have looked for the pictures, but get sidetracked. We are going to wait until we have a few miles on her, and knowwhat size blocks we use and what side I approach from. That said I think it is a super idea. Lots of marine hatches available, especially here along the coast.

 

With a longer hose on the quick connect, with a shut off, I would only need one rectangular hatch. Question I think has been answered.

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Yes, when Scubarx did his mod he did put mesh for a "floor" and he did move the tanks forward as far as they would go.  I'm sure he has the details - just PM him.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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20161023_173123-1.thumb.jpg.e9bd201f76a29ed209d68514ec621211.jpg

 

Canoe, I’ll post a picture of the quick disconnect later today. I found a kit at an RV place with the quick disconnect and an 8′ hose with the male fitting. I also put on a ball valve to isolate it. I have a Harbor Freight welding table that folds up and an outdoor stove.

 

 

20161023_172721.thumb.jpg.412d7643558cd8e5da0d0797458ce4cb.jpg

20161023_172942.thumb.jpg.9a638d109411ed2b8a2cded996486e2e.jpg

20161023_173123.thumb.jpg.716376c81799df27447e53d2666b2433.jpg

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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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Thanks to those who have asked about the extra storage space that I created under the nose cone and behind the propane tanks. For anyone interested please see a new post I created in my Mods of the Outlaw Oliver thread here.

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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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Thought I'd update this since I haven't been around much.  Our trailer still isn't in production, and in fact we still don't have a price back from Oliver.  I got tired of pushing it some time ago so the ball's in their court.  They know that since they missed our spring deadline that our next trip wouldn't be until October or so, but it seems like they took that as license to stop working on our project entirely.  I'm just curious if Oliver has forgotten that we're customers.

 

The tow vehicle story isn't much better.  I found out the end of February that the truck I ordered was finally in production, but that the dealership had screwed up their orders and mine got built the wrong color.  I told them I'd take a look and see when it came in, which was today, but the truck really isn't my style.  And since the trailer is so delayed, it made no sense to take it.  In fact, in 6 weeks, I can order a 2018 model, so we'll wait for that.  All in all, probably a four to five month delay.

 

Still hoping to have both before the fall, but if Oliver doesn't get serious shortly, I suspect we'll cut our loses and move on.  We're patient, though, so we'll see.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Knowing that it is their 'busy' season, Heather is out getting married, and the sales office was remodeled maybe return calls are being missed. I know we had to make a couple of calls to be sure they knew we were alive. It was a customer picking up their unit that sent me pictures of our unit and tell me they only had graphics left to finish mine.

Think they have a new Sales Manager named Kelly. Maybe you need to call and speak with her?

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Overland,

 

For what it is worth, I can share a few of my experiences during the order cycle up to the delivery day.

 

It might be important to remember the sales office and factory are physically separated and may appear at times to be separated in their lines of communication as well.

 

For any prospective owner, obtaining an accurate invoice which lists all your options is an important first step.  In my case, Anita did a superb job in that regard.  At the time, the invoice was an Excel document with two separate tabs.  One tab showed the owner what they agreed to buy and the other tab showed the factory what they would need to build.  It would be important to verify both for accuracy.  During my purchase cycle, the Excel document “evolved” into three separate parts.  The third tab contained a “QA” document for the quality control process once the trailer was built.  Keep in mind, the sales staff may not educate the potential owner regarding the Excel tab concept nor regarding their obligation to verify the accuracy of the documents.

 

Please keep in mind, my observations may not reflect current process.  However, any build requires a process and it would be to your advantage to determine the process currently in place.

 

One other important observation I would like to share.  During my purchase cycle, I felt the sales office was very well versed in both verbal and electronic communication.  At the time, I was unable to determine if the lines of communication between the sales office and the factory were as clear.  That feeling of uncertainty continued until I arrived on delivery day.  I will add the communication did appear to have taken place.  As a result, my delivery day was excellent and my trailer was delivered as requested.

 

Buzzy

 

PS - So....will you be buying a 2018 Raptor?  What color?

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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