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Reflections on Equipment after shakedown

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We got home a couple of days ago with our new Ollie and I thought I'd share some thoughts that may be useful to other prospective / waiting buyers.

 

On factory options:

 

■  Solar is hands-down the easiest choice.  Keeps batteries topped off all the time.  Allows you to run the fridge on DC while driving and not run down the batteries.  Yes it charges off the tow vehicle wiring, but I doubt this would be enough to keep the batteries charged when also running the fridge.

 

■  The Lagun table was the worst choice for us.  I liked the idea, but in practice the table is too bulky in storage (a 3" pipe sticks out from the bottom of the table, plus the arm is not small either) and we're too worried about scratching the surface.  We don't like leaving it up while sleeping, and since we're already converting the side dinette to a bed every night for our son, we don't need yet another daily stow/deploy operation.

 

Also now that Overland has pioneered a better mounting method, I would never order this from the factory; do it yourself and get a cleaner solution.

 

■  The KTT Latex Mattress upgrade was definitely worth it for us.  Very comfortable and slept cool in the warm weather we experienced.  Yes we had the AC on but we turned it down (raised the thermostat) for bedtime.  Man that thing is loud!  Anyway we also bought the plastic looped mat to enhance air flow after following this thread.  We ended up buying Hypervent from Defender since it was cheaper and looked to be the same material as Aire-Flow.

 

■  The WeBoost cell booster was a win.  We camped mostly in state parks on the way back, many were far off the interstates.  It gave us a functioning connection in several places where we otherwise had none.  Sometimes it didn't give us a functioning data connection, but even being able to make/receive calls and text messages was great.  However having to hold your phone close to the antenna mounted over the dinette is not ideal.  I want to plug the output from the WeBoost into a mobile router to enable our devices to connect anywhere in/around the trailer.  One day.

 

■  We ordered the shower track but haven't purchased a shower curtain yet.  Wiping down the toilet seat and area around the toilet is not fun.  Plus a lot of water seems to collect there so it really saturated our towel (that we keep only for that purpose).  So the jury is still out on the shower track but I don't think that having a curtain will be useless.

 

■  Truma tankless water heater was great.  When on full hookups all three of us took nice long showers and never had to worry about running out.  Maybe not "needed" but neither is a $65K camper.  We got it for the performance but also the ease of use and maintenance.  I found Reed's posts on this topic influential (which of course I cannot find right now).

 

 

 

Other noteworthy stuff we bought:

 

■  18" milk crates.  Overland mentioned this in his Snowball thread.  I was excited to essentially have the basement packed before we left home to pick up the trailer.  I bought these because I wanted to organize my stuff logically: blocks chocks and jacks went in red, water hoses and filters in blue, electric and gas in green.  Black stays in the garage and is where I put the hitch, tow mirrors, etc.  Perfect.  Except that when we picked up the trailer, there was this white plastic sheeting material closing off part of the basement area so the milk crates wouldn't fit in width-wise.  I had to crawl in the basement and unscrew the sheeting from a stringer and then the stringer from the floor of the basement.  I re-installed the plastic sheet all the way against the rear of the trailer with duct tape to protect the wires and hoses back there but now the milk crates fit.  I can get all three in plus my toolbox and Viair compressor, and everything is so easy to pull out and find what I need.  Suh-weet!

 

■  Water filter.  Thanks to DavePhelps in this thread for turning me on to RVWaterFilterStore.com.  We bought the two-canister Essential system because it seemed like the best compromise between cost, effectiveness, and convenience.  We were very pleased with the results.  Always had great tasting and feeling (for showers) water even when the campground water was kinda harsh.  When we got home and my wife showered in our house she remarked "Meh, unfiltered water...."  Also the build quality is very nice.

 

■  Bed sheets.  After much consternation we ordered custom sheets from CustomLinensDirect.  They were very soft, well-made, and fit perfectly.  We supplied the measurements 75"L x 29"W x 8"D (this is for the KTT Latex mattress upgrade).  We bought the 300TC sheets but they also have 500 if that floats your boat.

 

We also bought a few sets of sheets from two different sellers on Amazon as backups and for our son's bed on the side dinette.  They were allegedly 300TC Egyptian cotton but after washing just once (and dried on delicate) they were very rough feeling.

 

■  Plates.  We found Corelle knock-offs called Oftast at Ikea.  These don't shatter into a billion little shards like Corelle but are still tempered glass so you can use them in the microwave unlike melamine or acrylic.  They're also super cheap: less than $1 each.  We switched our 4-year-old to these dishes after we discovered them in February and none have broken yet, other than the two I broke for testing purposes.

 

I also want to thank Reed and Karen Lukens for compiling their Amazon Wish List.  We didn't buy close to everything on the list, and sometimes we bought different items than what they recommended, but it was a great resource to see things we might have forgotten or not thought about.

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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I'm curious what that plastic sheet was in the basement. Doesn't sound like anything we had on ours.  Glad the milk crates worked out for you.  They really do pack in there just right.

 

On the table, have you considered replacing the top with one of the foldable teak ones? We had planned on storing ours at night, and had bought a fabric case for it from here. But we quickly learned that the folded table isn't in the way for sleeping, and in fact is pretty convenient to have up all the time. Plus, even folded it was still a bit of a pain to take down and store.

 

When we were at Glacier last month, I saw that the camp host had the WeBoost attached to a mast on the back of his trailer.  He said that it really improved the signal being able to raise it up - I'd say he had it five or six feet above his trailer.  I'm thinking that might be a project for the future.  As much as I like our Cradlepoint router for other reasons, it's antenna doesn't really get much better of a signal than we get on our phones.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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When we were at Glacier last month, I saw that the camp host had the WeBoost attached to a mast on the back of his trailer. He said that it really improved the signal being able to raise it up – I’d say he had it five or six feet above his trailer. I’m thinking that might be a project for the future. As much as I like our Cradlepoint router for other reasons, it’s antenna doesn’t really get much better of a signal than we get on our phones.

 

Did the camp host have the WeBoost external antenna mounted to a mast? Are you referring to the Cradlepoint router’s twin rubber antennas? Is your router connected to a WeBoost?

 


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Yes, he had the external antenna on the mast. He was just using a length of PVC and running the cable through a window but I’m thinking I could use the cable port that Oliver installs and then find an extendable pole of some kind. The idea was brought up here before but this was the first I’d seen it done.

 

The antenna for my cradle point is the 5 in 1 half dome. I don’t have a WeBoost right now. I’m not sure if I could connect the WeBoost antenna directly to the Cradlepoint or if I’d have to just place the internal WeBoost antenna near the cradlepoint antenna.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Welcome home Rumline! I’m going to have to crawl into the garage space to see if we have the same issue. I also bought crates as Overland suggested, and could only fit two vertically plus a small toolbox. Definitely can’t fit three width-wise, but maybe we have the same issue. Will do some investigative work tomorrow.


Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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I turn one crate lengthwise and shove it toward the back, flush with the front corner, which leaves enough room in the back for a small toolbox or something similar - maybe 10”. I have some small plastic storage boxes shoved back there. Then I place two crates side by side in the front.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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PSX_20180627_161311.thumb.jpg.0fb85d69ae3c2b25785f4d58a2ed1c0a.jpg

Here's a photo that shows my basement as it is now. I didn't take one that shows the plastic sheet as it was from the factory. It's the white thing on the right. You can see there's a notch cut out of the top where it used to sit around one of the cross members and in front of that long horizontal (athwart-ship) beam. Near the bottom right corner of the blue crate you can see what looks like a white arced scuff mark. That's where the bottom of the white plastic sheet used to sit.

 

So in the current configuration I can fit two crates in width-wise (oriented with their long dimension fore/aft with respect to the trailer) and be even with the electric compartment wall. In the photo there's two in there, the green one behind the blue. Then in front of those I can fit one more crate plus my toolbag and compressor on top and I still have about 3"x18" next to the crate. I can't quite fit two of my crates lengthwise next to each other in the "front" space like Overland can. Maybe my crates are just a tad wider.

 

 

 

 

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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Yes, he had the external antenna on the mast. He was just using a length of PVC and running the cable through a window but I’m thinking I could use the cable port that Oliver installs and then find an extendable pole of some kind. The idea was brought up here before but this was the first I’d seen it done.

The antenna for my cradle point is the 5 in 1 half dome. I don’t have a WeBoost right now. I’m not sure if I could connect the WeBoost antenna directly to the Cradlepoint or if I’d have to just place the internal WeBoost antenna near the cradlepoint antenna.

ScubaRx has a flag pole mount on the back of hull #50 and someone else has a suction cup flag pole mount. Either would work for a temporary cellular antenna mount.

 

 


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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On the table, have you considered replacing the top with one of the foldable teak ones? We had planned on storing ours at night, and had bought a fabric case for it from here. But we quickly learned that the folded table isn’t in the way for sleeping, and in fact is pretty convenient to have up all the time. Plus, even folded it was still a bit of a pain to take down and store.

I'm not sure that I would go for the folding table top but what I liked about rideadeuce's solution is having the vertical bar long enough to be able to rotate the table around over the top of the nightstand. That would be really nice. But there's still the problem of it blocking the nightstand drawer.

 

What I'd really like to do is rip out the Oliver-installed bracket, cut my own basement access door, and implement your mounting solution. But that's a lot of effort so I'm going to wait and see if we miss having the table at all.

 

Welcome home Rumline! I’m going to have to crawl into the garage space to see if we have the same issue. I also bought crates as Overland suggested, and could only fit two vertically plus a small toolbox. Definitely can’t fit three width-wise, but maybe we have the same issue. Will do some investigative work tomorrow.

Thanks! Please do let me know what your basement looks like.


2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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If possible, would you mind identifying which crate you have that fits so nicely. When I look on Amazon, I see two sized a square and a rectangular, yours look rectangular but before I order I'd like to confirm. Thank you,

 

John


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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If you are talking to me, the crates I use are linked in my first post, but here it is again a little more clearly: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007IUPR0I According to an answered question they are 11H x 18-5/8W X 13D. I have not measured mine.

 

Overland linked these in his Snowball thread: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XGBDJMD/ According to an answered question they are 11H x 18-3/4W x 13D

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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A trick we used on a sailboat for storage, tie a line (rope) to the crate before sliding it all the way in. Leave the lines by the door. Makes it a lot easier to retrieve the crates...

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Getting use to our new Ollie hull #444.  The switch in the bathroom is supposed to turn the onboard pump on and off?  It only does so if the main switch on the tank monitor panel is in the on position (green light on).  Seems to defeat the purpose of being in the bathroom, forgetting to turn on the main pump switch, to use the bathroom switch to power up the pump.  Am I confused (likely).  The bathroom switch will turn the pump on and off as long as the primary switch is in the "On" position (green light on).


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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KWR

 

Unless they have changed something those switches should be a 3 way and you should be able to turn the pump on and off from either location. I would check the wiring on the back of the switches to make sure there is no loose wiring.


ABNBNSPEALARCOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMSMOMTNENHNMNYNCOHOKPARISCSDTNTXUTVTVAWVWYmed.jpg

 

Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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The bathroom switch should turn on the pump independent of the main switch.  Something isn’t wired correctly.  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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you guys are spot on.  Spoke with Jason (Service) and he suggested the purple hot wire on the back of one of the 3-way switches needs to be on the center post.  Sure enough, the hot wire was incorrectly placed on an outer post.  Simple fix. pump switch in bathroom now working independently from main pump switch.

 

Another question - during pickup, I recall Blake mentioning the Dexter (Axle) has 8 grease points on each side to be greased every 3000 miles. He mentioned the type grease Oliver uses, but I did not write it down.   Recommendations?  Also, I need to purchase a grease gun with a flexible hose to reach these fittings.  Recommendations?

 

 


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Thanks KountyKamper for the grease advice.  Now, does anyone have a favorite grease gun recommendation for those Oliver axle fittings?  I have a cheap gun, short metal pipe, not flexible for reaching all the 8 grease fittings on each side of the axles.  Looking on Amazon, can go for $25 manual pump grease gun with flex hose, or what appears to be a battery power gun ($200).  Clearly, I have not performed much greasing in the past.  Oliver owners are excellent at maintenance - grease is certainly an important responsibility.  Should I invest in a hassle-free easy to use tool?  Or, is the recommended 3000 mile maintenance too infrequent to warrant the expense (I probably should be greasing some of my other items around here more often).


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Think you can get a flex hose atTractor Supply, and a tube of Red grease, to fit you existing gun. No shipping.

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No need for a $200 grease gun. Use the money you save for latex gloves, rags and knee cushions because it's a messy job regardless of what gun you have.

 

I have found that this 90 degree fitting on the end of the hose makes it easier to get on and off the fittings.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Plews-05-050-Degree-Swivel-Coupler/dp/B000GKU0D6/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_tab_ap_asin_title


ABNBNSPEALARCOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMSMOMTNENHNMNYNCOHOKPARISCSDTNTXUTVTVAWVWYmed.jpg

 

Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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I use a grease gun I got on Amazon, nothing fancy or expensive but it did come with a flexible hose.  A couple of the fittings are a little tricky to reach and it is a bit of a mess!  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Most WalMart's also have an inexpensive grease gun that has a flexible hose.  And they have the grease too.

 

Bill

 

p.s.  while you're at it - pick up a shoebox sized container in order to store the grease gun, extra tube of grease, gloves and some paper towels.  In addition, you might want to pick up some zerk covers in order to keep those a bit cleaner between services - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040CWX7C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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

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