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Mmoren

Under the Spell!

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Yes, I did a factory tour, yes, I thought and thought and thought, yes, I've crunched numbers til I can't crunch any longer and YES, I paid my deposit last week and locked in a production date!

 

Now....Decision time.  Solar or no? AGM batteries or no?  I am a life long camper, retired school counselor and do not have unlimited financial resources.  BUT, I do want to do this Ollie right.

 

Thoughts, opinions, guidance sought?!??

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2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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Hi Mary, welcome!  A lot of us struggled somewhat with what options we should get.  As a life long Camper you probably know your camping style and what you might use or not use. I’m sure you will get some advice and also some questions.

 

Are you getting the Elite or Elite II?

 

We did get the solar not knowing how much we would use it. As it turns out we are glad we did. We have been visiting national parks and they have great campgrounds but usually without any hook ups. The solar allows us to have electricity as long as we’ve got some sun. We use the inverter quite a bit too. Since we use our phones as hot spots, the cell booster gets quite a bit of use. We did not get the WiFi booster and haven’t missed having one.

 

Big options not available when we ordered are the Truma on demand hot water and the composting toilet. Folks seem to like both. We’re happy with what we’ve got.

 

Don't hesitate to ask your questions, you’ll get plenty of advice and recommendations!  Mike

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

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Yes, I did a factory tour, yes, I thought and thought and thought, yes, I’ve crunched numbers til I can’t crunch any longer and YES, I paid my deposit last week and locked in a production date! Now….Decision time. Solar or no? AGM batteries or no? I am a life long camper, retired school counselor and do not have unlimited financial resources. BUT, I do want to do this Ollie right. Thoughts, opinions, guidance sought?!??

Welcome to the club!! Your question on solar is a hotly debated subject on this forum, not so much its use or function but the particular model that oliver installs. I for one like the system that they install, but I'm sure you'll get other opinions! On the question on wether to go with solar is going to depend how you intend to use your camper, we have the solar and the agm batteries and boondock almost exclusively, the combination works very well for us.

 

 


STEVEnBETTY

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I am getting the Elite since the vast majority of the time, I camp solo.  I haven't done much boondocking, but don't know that I won't start.  I did a cross country trip in August and loved it.  My plan is to be gone alot and hopefully do some seasonal work, preferably in the West.

 

Just starting a new chapter in my life's journey!


2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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My wife and I recently ordered a Legacy Elite. Many decisions had to be made during the process, but we read everything we could on this forum and the other FG forum "out there", made some decisions and then changed our minds some, but have now finally settled on the package we want for us. Two members here on this forum were especially helpful as they both own the Legacy Elite model too. Our Ollie will be ready to pick up this coming March 6. Read every pertinent topic here, do searches by relevant terms, and I believe you will have all your questions answered. Good luck.


roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

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We come to the Oliver clan. Now the wait begins. When is your start and 'birth' dates? The solar package is something we are constantly amazed with. It so extends where we can stop. Sandi needs a C-pap device and it can run all night without a hook up.  You can pull in to State Parks, National Parks, truck stops, rest areas, Corps of Engineers, BLM, and even a relatives or friends driveway and not need a hook up. You can watch the weather, a movie, have lights and heat, and enjoy so much more. The better the battery, the better number of spectacular sunsets without a generator running. Almost like going to recess without all those kids. Enjoy...

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Yeah, I have read and read almost everything I can find.  I also know there seem to be very few Legacy Elite's out there.  Most are the Elite II.  I'd be curious if you are willing to share, which options you went with.  Mine is scheduled to go into production Feb 14.


2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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We limited the adds to what we really needed to go off-road and boondocking. The added-cost options are never cheap but we selected:

 

Brown Leather Grain Vinyl Upholstery

 

Standard Dometic Penguin II w/ Micro-Air Easy Start A/C System

 

2 Lifeline GPL-4CT AGM Batteries (needed for solar package)

 

Fiber Granite countertops, accents, and tables

 

Composting toilet

 

Solar package

 

Xantrex 2000W Inverter Package

 

30 AMP Convenience Connection

 

Aluminum Storage Basket

 

 

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roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

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Thank you!


2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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After looking at the options for the Elite and being on a limited budget, I would not order any options that you can not put in yourself at a later date.

 

I would definitely not waste my time with a 200watt Solar system because you will get more out of a 100watt Renogy Solar Suitcase that you can point directly at the sun. I have the Zamp 320watt system in my Elite II and still I always use the Renogy Solar Suitcase to charge my batteries. Especially this time of year when the sun is low on the horizon. The Zamp solar panels just point up and have basically no adjustment. You can do so much better getting Solar on your own or just by pointing the 100watt Renogy System at the sun that it blows the Elite 200watt system totally out of the running. You can get a way better 200watt system for under $1000.00, so be sure to ask Oliver how much they are going to charge you to put in their Zamp system... Zamp has partnered with other RV companies as well and are known by consumers to be good, reliable, and way over priced...

 

If it's just going to be you... do you need an inverter? Regardless, if your getting it with the microwave then, yes get the inverter but if not, then you can put your own inverter in later. Karen uses ours daily with an induction cook top and the microwave, but that's 2 of us. If you want to get the inverter, then get the Lifeline Battery Upgrade. No microwave, no induction cooktop, no inverter = no need for extra batteries that you can put in later. Personally, I would get both the inverter and the batteries.

 

The only other option that I would consider is the Truma water heater because in the long run, it saves water and propane. Honestly, none of the rest matter to me because I can put in my own options, exactly where I want them and when I can afford them.

 

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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With Oliver's new and now standard "plug and play" port for solar I wanted to just use a Renogy Solar Suitcase for more flexibility but was told the port would not work without our trailer equipped with Oliver's solar package (plus it says so on the upgrade page). In other words, none of controls or wiring inside the trailer would even exist without Oliver installing them when they built my hull. Some of us are not gifted in every area of expertise needed to maintain or modify a trailer. Some of us do know how to do many things, but not all. I opted to have Oliver install what we needed beforehand so I would have more flexibility down the road and not have to drill more holes in my hull, and on. I can always get the solar suitcase if this roof-mount gizmo fails to do the job for us. But as others have advised, the Zamp works fine and I should be pleased with its performance. We shall see.


roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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The Renogy Solar Suitcase doesn't need a port... It has its own controller built in and only costs a few hundred dollars. I have mine clipped right on to the battery and the wire runs safely out the battery door, no need for drilling, no need for any Zamp port or any different wiring. Having a fixed system that can't be pointed at the sun isn't getting the most bang for your buck :)

 

IMG_20170628_113803.thumb.jpg.e25beab9da32c73acc7b7cb6dab10592.jpg

 

I will take some better pictures after the sun comes up here in a couple hours. I simply clipped on the battery clips, then closed the door and locked it. Then I have a safety cable padlocking it to the trailer so it won't walk off. I'm in a safe place, but I bought the cable and it's part of the system.

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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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Interesting. I  would like to see those pics and learn more about this. My trailer goes into production December 21. What are the new Oliver (now-standard) solar ports for? One of my complaints with the sales force of Oliver is the lack and reluctance to provide adequate info for us to make good decisions. It is learn as we go. We are all faced with doing as much research on our own as possible as well as talking to as many Oliver owners we can. I get it that the sales force is in the business of selling trailers and options, but it would be helpful if they provided more information.


roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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From the pic, it looks as if you still have the solar on top of your unit....Or am I looking at that wrong? So for someone like myself that knows NOTHING about the whole notion of solar, are you saying to leave the $2300.00 Oliver solar option off, get the solar suitcase (that I can clip directly onto the battery) and I will be just as well or better off?  I do like shady sites if I can get them, just to keep my trailer cooler...(I travel with my sheltie, and like to keep things cooler for him...And me)


2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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Mmoren - The Oliver solar package works well for most people that have it.  It will charge your batteries even in the shade - just not as much as it charges them while in full sun.  It will also charge while you are rolling down the road and while stopped for lunch and while sitting in your drive and while being in a place where either you can't or don't want to put out "portable" panels and you don't have to store them, move them or (for the most part) worry about them.

 

The bottom line is dependent on just how you plan to use you camper.  There is a reason that the solar package is one of the more demanded items on Olivers, but, again, it depends on how you intend to use the camper.

 

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. I think I am sticking with my ordered solar package for the main reason that while I am traveling from one destination to another and having to boondock in a Walmart or rest stop I do not want to have to get a solar suitcase out to charge my batteries. The only times I think I may need a portable solar suitcase is when I am in a lot of shade for days, but I can always buy a little Zamp suitcase and plug it into my (now-standard) solar ports. Correct?

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roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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Bill.  Thank you.  That all makes sense.


2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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Just to be clear - your batteries should charge as you are traveling down the road from your tow vehicle as well as from your solar panels (depending on just how much charge your batteries actually need).  But, you are correct with regards to boondocking and parking lots, rest areas, etc.  I've been in fairly heavy shade with it raining for four days straight and have not had my batteries go below 85% of full!.  Now, I've got an Elite II with four batteries, but, unless you plan on spending a bunch of time in conditions not suitable for solar I would not worry about it.  There are a number of fellow owners with the Elite that spend a bunch of time on the road and/or in the Oliver without additional solar help (I'm thinking of Bugeyedriver and Seadawg here).

 

On the other hand, if you are planning on being in conditions that require air conditioning, you do know that your batteries and solar will not take care of that for you.  In most, cases the only practical solution to that problem is the use of a generator.

 

With regards to your last question - I would assume that you are correct, but, since my Oliver does not have this "now standard" solar port I really do not know.  Certainly someone at Oliver knows the answer - try Jason Essary (931-295-6654.

 

Bill


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

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From the pic, it looks as if you still have the solar on top of your unit….Or am I looking at that wrong? So for someone like myself that knows NOTHING about the whole notion of solar, are you saying to leave the $2300.00 Oliver solar option off, get the solar suitcase (that I can clip directly onto the battery) and I will be just as well or better off? I do like shady sites if I can get them, just to keep my trailer cooler…(I travel with my sheltie, and like to keep things cooler for him…And me)

 

Yup, I still have the solar on top of my unit but look at the difference in the angle that I can get with the Suitcase and also look at the shadow being cast behind it. Enlarge the pic to see it clearly. The wire just comes out the battery door while being protected by the rubber seal.

 

IMG_20171213_075727.thumb.jpg.6a8afd300af88eb65aacb605fe628181.jpg

 

This time of year, the sun doesn't go up over your head, it just comes up and follows the horizon around a bit, then goes back down; so having a flat panel on the roof like you see in my pic has no chance of pointing at the sun at all - all day... So I'm getting more amps and full charging capability out of the Solar Suitcase that I have pointed directly at the sun. Being that the Elite has a has a marginal 200watt system in the first place, you would be better off just not buying it because you will get more watts out of the Suitcase being pointed at the sun. Why is Oliver charging $2300 for a 200watt system that doesn't even tell you how many amps it's putting out? The Suitcase here is only $260.00, it tells you the amps, volts, etc... Pretty much a no brainier...

 

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-Monocrystalline-Foldable-Suitcase/dp/B00HR8YNK6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1513178363&sr=8-3&keywords=Renogy+100+watt+solar+suitcase

 

Or here's another one - $200.00

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XWL79L7/ref=sxr_sxwds-rbp_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=3346373122&pd_rd_wg=ZEz1m&pf_rd_r=9XM21JF7CEREGERK1ZZK&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhs-carousels&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_i=B06XWL79L7&pd_rd_w=85Epv&pf_rd_i=Renogy+100+watt+solar+suitcase&pd_rd_r=bf159435-2b1d-41c2-98ca-7e4598213709&ie=UTF8&qid=1513178363&sr=1

 

Personally, after doing my research, I can honestly say that I got ripped off on the Zamp Solar... I was told by the Oliver Sales team that The Blue Sky 320watt MPPT system was what was being installed on my trailer and to me, that was a high price, but worth it because Blue Sky is top of the line. I didn't find out about the bait and switch until I picked up my trailer, and then I'd never heard of Zamp and didn't know their reputation of selling their systems for way more then they're worth...

 

Learn the difference between an old school PWM Solar System and the new state of the art MPPT systems. Take the time and make your own decisions. Anyone offering advice that has a trailer made before this year (2017), has the Blue Sky System, which is a really good system and unfortunately you will hear them say how great their system is, but the reality is that Oliver doesn't put this great system into their trailers anymore... So they can say all of the great things they want too about theirs and it's all true, but your Zamp system isn't even in the same ball park... Save yourself a THOUSAND dollars or more and put in your own 200watt system. There are many great systems to choose from, here's one -

 

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Monocrystalline-Solar-Starter-Wanderer/dp/B00BCRG22A/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1513178363&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=Renogy+100+watt+solar+suitcase&psc=1

 

[attachment file=IMG_20171213_075727_1.jpg]

 

Reed

 

 


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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Basically I'm saying, do your research! I did...

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015DEY2TM/ref=psdc_2236628011_t2_B06VY9DVY9

 

My other pic didn't stay in the post above, so here it is, pointed right at the sun. I took both pics at 8am here in Sedona, Az.

 

IMG_20171213_075727_1.thumb.jpg.b8b33062230814bd3fce558bd32986e4.jpg


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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Bill- Thank you. I think I am sticking with my ordered solar package for the main reason that while I am traveling from one destination to another and having to boondock in a Walmart or rest stop I do not want to have to get a solar suitcase out to charge my batteries. The only times I think I may need a portable solar suitcase is when I am in a lot of shade for days, but I can always buy a little Zamp suitcase and plug it into my (now-standard) solar ports. Correct?

Remember that when driving, the trailer gets fully charged by your tow vehicle, so if your stopping for the night at Walmart, Solar doesn't work at night anyway and when you drive off in the morning, your car will charge the trailer right back up to full... There's no need to use Solar in a temporary stop because your trailer will be fully charged already from your tow vehicle.

 

Reed


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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Reed.  So it looks like one of the systems to mentioned mounts to the roof and the one you have is portable and you place it where the sun is.  For someone like me who is somewhat mechanical but knows nothing about solar, what if anything special to do you to make this work?  Just clip it to the battery or do you somehow have it hardwired?  Also i typically sightsee a fair amount when camping.... National Parks, etc....do you worry about theft?


2017 Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost


2018 Oliver Elite (production start date, Feb 14)


Traveling with my Sheltie, Tucker


 

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If all I was relying on for my power was a portable solar suitcase I would definitely worry about theft. For now, I have decided even to forego a generator for the same reason. If it turns out my inferior factory-installed Zamp Solar package does not do the trick I will eventually purchase a Honda 2000 generator, buy more security cable and another lock, which all will add more weight to my rig.

 

Reed: Good to know the batteries get fully recharged via the truck while traveling. I did not know that. Makes sense.


roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

ALARCOFLINKYLAMIMSMONMOKTNTXsm.jpg

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Reed. So it looks like one of the systems to mentioned mounts to the roof and the one you have is portable and you place it where the sun is. For someone like me who is somewhat mechanical but knows nothing about solar, what if anything special to do you to make this work? Just clip it to the battery or do you somehow have it hardwired? Also i typically sightsee a fair amount when camping…. National Parks, etc….do you worry about theft?

 

I have the 3/8 cable and padlock around it securing it to the trailer that you see in the last pic in the above post.

 

The Amazon page with the Solar System is a link for you to start with and to see the prices. That page has both MPPT & PWM systems listed and you can follow the other links in there to start yourself down the path. Basically the kits just need to be mounted and wired into the battery. Where the Solar Suitcase just has the standard battery cable clips that you connect straight to the battery and it comes complete as a plug and play basically.

 

IMG_20171213_132503.thumb.jpg.ac9299b170d4384720e688df71586cec.jpg

IMG_20171213_132446_1.thumb.jpg.794d38864e851bb958c2aa471ac8bc0a.jpg

[attachment file=IMG_20171213_132446.jpg]

 

IMG_20171213_132446_1.thumb.jpg.794d38864e851bb958c2aa471ac8bc0a.jpg

 

The Suitcase gives me the option of being able to tilt it for full sun contact and being able to charge the batteries in the winter when the sun is never overhead. Plus it's $2000.00 cheaper then the Zamp and is a great starting system. I've had mine for over 3 years and if I didn't need it with the 320watt Zamp system that I have... you wouldn't be seeing it.

 

One more thing is that you really need to take into consideration as far as peoples recommendations here goes are... Are the people commenting actually using their trailer right now, or are they giving you Solar info based on how well it worked in the summer time, while their trailers are sitting somewhere in storage right now... Because it really makes a difference. All Solar will work great in the sun, when it's full summer and right overhead. I'm in Arizona today, in my trailer, and the sun peaked out here at close to 45° off of the horizon started going back down. The suitcase is pointing right at it and it is my main set of panels right now. One of the reasons that I am here is to learn about upgrading my Solar on the roof. In this pic, you see Marks Bigfoot and our Oliver. Mark put in the Bogart Tri-metrics 2030-RV - 400 watt system and total cost was around $1400 and it beats the Zamp hands down. He also is using his Renogy Solar Suitcase, just like I am on the front of his trailer.

 

Screenshot_2017-12-13-12-02-36.thumb.png.0d8bcb336b5e4db6b37a7057408232a9.png

 

Screenshot_2017-12-13-12-02-36.thumb.png.0d8bcb336b5e4db6b37a7057408232a9.png

 

 

We have circled the wagons and are ready for anything.

 

Reed


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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