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hobo

Which generator?

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We're picking up our Ollie next spring and am in the mode of purchasing items to have ready at time of delivery.

 

I plan on having a standby generator for boondocking and have noted the gold standard appears to the Honda 2200i.  I have however also noted very favorable comments about the Yamaha SC2000i which is about half the cost (at Costco) and what appears to be very comparable specifications.  In fact, I could purchase two of the Yamahas for about the cost of a single Honda 2200i.

 

My questions are:  Within reason, will I ever need to link two gens together?  If "yes" is there a reason I should still consider the Honda over the Yamaha even when the  cost would be almost two fold higher?  If a single generator is all that I'd ever need, is there a reason to choose the Honda over the Yamaha?

 

Again, camper RVing is new to us so I need an education.  It's OK to talk to me like a third-grader as in this arena, that's about where I'm at.  I won't be offended, I promise.

 

Thanks,

 

 


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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Where do you live and camp?

 

Do you want to be able to stay in one spot more than three days?

 

Will you camp often under heavy tree cover or clouds?

 

Did you order factory solar? Battery type?

 

How would you transport the generator(s)? Extra gas?

 

Did you order the large propane tanks?

 

Do you care about using it as a backup at home?

 

How strong are you physically (how much are you comfortable lifting)?

 

Answer these and we can quickly narrow in on what would be a good choice for your needs.

 

Please fill out your profile, that really helps us understand your basic situation.

 

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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Where do you live and camp? We live in the Shenandoah Valley of VA and expect to camp in various areas but primarily west of the Mississippi

 

Do you want to be able to stay in one spot more than three days? Yes, I anticipate we will stay in some areas more than three days while we're doing some remote ATV trails.

 

Will you camp often under heavy tree cover or clouds? Probably at times.

 

Did you order factory solar? Battery type? Yes, we ordered the factory solar and the 4 AGM batteries.

 

How would you transport the generator(s)? Extra gas? I will be towing with a Dodge 3500 p/u with a hard, lockable lid on the bed that can also carry items on the top so transporting won't be an issue.

 

Did you order the large propane tanks? Yes.

 

Do you care about using it as a backup at home? No.

 

How strong are you physically (how much are you comfortable lifting)?  I can easily lift 60-80 lbs which I do frequently (bags of Sakrete) but have to consider the instances where my wife might be taking the trailer without me.

 

I will work on our profile.  Thanks,


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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We own a Yamaha 3000 Watt EF3000iSEB. It has traveled on the tongue of our two Oliver’s for about 100K miles.

 

We rarely use it but, unlike the problems currently being discussed on another thread about the smaller wattage generators not consistently powering their air conditioners, this one has powered anything and everything we’ve ever thrown at it and has done so flawlessly for over ten years.

 

With a fuel capacity of over 3 gallons it will run for days. We generally just top off the tank when we stop for diesel for the truck. If we need extra gasoline we have 20L Scepter military fuel cans.

 

I don’t have a dog in this race, but I’m a great believer in overkill. If you want complete confidence that you’ll always have all the power you need, consider something larger than 2200 watts.

 

 

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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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I have very positive experiences with the Honda 2000 watt inverter generators.  They are the top of the line series.  But I share your thoughts about the much lower cost of the Yamaha line.

 

For my Oliver Elite II, I do not have the solar option.  I carry the Honda new version, the EU2200I.  With the OTT option for the soft start kit on the A/C, the a 2,000 watt generator will run the A/C.  I prefer the Honda EU2200I as it easily handles the A/C and has some excess capacity.  If you don't mind "actively managing" your loads (Microwave and battery charger being the two main ones) the EU2200 is a perfect match.  If cost is an issue, then the competing 2000 watt inverter generators such as the Yamaha is a good choice, but you will have to really manage the other loads if running the A/C.

 

What do I mean by "actively managing" your loads?  When you arrive at your camp site, often our batteries are not at full charge, the trailer is hot, and use of the microwave is in order, hot water is needed, and the refrigerator is activated.  Before starting the generator, you would want to make sure that your hot water and refrigerator are both running on gas.  Then you must make a choice between A/C or other loads (Battery charging or cooking).  I open up windows, turn off the A/C and turn on the battery charger and power up the microwave and MaxFan.  After some time, the battery charger ramps down.  This would allow use of the microwave.  When the microwave is not needed, I can then fire off the A/C.  With solar panels, the above generally would be modified as your batteries likely will be at charge.  If so, you can modify the above "active management" routine, but I still doubt that you could run the A/C and main battery charger at the same time even with the larger EU2200i and solar panels.  (I am sure that this thought will be clarified by OTT solar owners.)

 

I know from experience that the Honda 3000i is a fantastic unit as well.  But it is very expensive, heavy, and uses more fuel than the smaller Honda's.  For several reasons, I would not recommend mounting it on the tongue of your Ollie though.  It should reside in your truck bed for several reasons.  Just be smart and ensure that it's height will fit under your locking cover.  If you do not want to be actively managing loads, then this beast is the one to go with.  One more thought on this generator is that it takes two strong guys to lift it into or off your truck bed.  So using your truck while not towing Ollie puts the camp in a solar system off grid mode.  Which many owners do every trip by  "actively manage" their power supply and loads.

 

Even though I have strong bias in favor of the tried and true Honda inverter generators, if I had your OTT solar system and the soft start on the A/C, I would actively manage my loads and get the half price Yamaha and only use it when A/C is needed.  Save the $500 and buy a tire pressure monitoring system and a back-up camera from Amazon!

 

Welcome to the  Oliver family!

 

JPRussell

 

 

 

 

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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"Please fill out your profile, that really helps us understand your basic situation.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA"

 

John,  For the life of me, I can't find a link or option for filling out a "profile".  We did introduce ourselves in the introduction thread many months ago but beyond that, I can't find the appropriate place to provide additional info.  Can you advise if I'm missing something?  Thanks,

 

 

 

 


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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At the top of the page where the Blue Bar is located, on the right side select Forums.  The drop down tab "My Profile".  Select and update.


Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

ALAZARCACOIDKSKYLAMSNENVNMNCOKORTNTXUTVA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm in the same quandary (with a OE2 gestating for March)...my current plan is a metal generatorbox over a Honda EU2020--trifuel and extended exhaust.  If, for some reason, the drop in power with propane is a problem, I can haul gas. Probably the propane would be enough to dry out the cabin.  My reasoning for the bolt-on box is security for the pricy generator and slight noise reduction (the company says 10%, but doesn't include the exhaust hose)...which will redirect the sound and exhaust away from the trailer. Running the hose 6-10 feet away from the AC air intake would meet what few recommendations I could find.  It would be easy to attach the exhaust to the wall of the trailer with suction cups a la Gen-Turi--for festival/mass boondocking.   Should charge my Battle-Born LiFePO4 batteries in no time.  Altogether a lot cheaper than the roofmounted solar set-up, and you get to run the AC off grid.

 

 


Tow with 2018 Chevy Colorado baby Duramax, plug-in solar--dual awnings.  

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I think if you look a little closer you will see that the Costco SC2000i is not a Yamaha generator.  It is powered by a Yamaha motor but that does not make it a Yamaha generator.  Honda and Yamaha generators will always be pretty close in price, with the Yamaha’s a little less.  If something is half the price of “the gold standard”, there is usually a good reason.

 

Seadog brought the Costco generator up in a post earlier this year.


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

 

 

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I think if you look a little closer you will see that the Costco SC2000i is not a Yamaha generator. It is powered by a Yamaha motor but that does not make it a Yamaha generator. Honda and Yamaha generators will always be pretty close in price, with the Yamaha’s a little less. If something is half the price of “the gold standard”, there is usually a good reason.

 

Seadog brought the Costco generator up in a post earlier this year.

 

Thanks for the heads-up on that.  I will run by there and take a closer look.  If it's not a full blown Yamaha, then it's no contest;  HONDA.


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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I think if you look a little closer you will see that the Costco SC2000i is not a Yamaha generator. It is powered by a Yamaha motor but that does not make it a Yamaha generator. Honda and Yamaha generators will always be pretty close in price, with the Yamaha’s a little less. If something is half the price of “the gold standard”, there is usually a good reason.

 

Seadog brought the Costco generator up in a post earlier this year.

Thanks for the heads-up on that. I will run by there and take a closer look. If it’s not a full blown Yamaha, then it’s no contest; HONDA.

 

OK, Couldn't find SeaDogs' earlier comments but did do some research on the subject and found that the Costco product is actually an "iPower" unit which is powered by a Yamaha engine but in fact, as you stated, not an actual Yamaha product.  The major difference between the iPower unit and the Yamaha unit is that the iPower unit is several decibels louder than the Yammy which is a huge issue in my mind.  Beyond that, since the Costco version has a four year warranty and Costco is very easy to deal with on anything you return, it appears to be a good unit based on what I've been reading.  Having said all that however; I'll personally defer to a Honda.  Thanks for the heads up.


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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My sister bought the Costco  Yamaha powered 2000 generator for her rpod. It won't run the ac, ( no eady start on hers), but does a nice job charging their single battery.  Last summer, it was on sale for $499.

 

We've run our 11 year old Honda 1000 at the same time as they ran the Costco 2000, and there is a difference,  but it's not terrible.  We could still carry on a normal  conversation,  probably  15 feet away from both gensets, and no issue.

 

We also have a Yamaha 3000, but it is only used for power outages at home, never camping. It weighs too much to lug it around, at 150 lbs plus. Great generator,  ran a few lights, a few fans, and refrigerator for both us and our next door neighbors on an extension cord after Hurricane Irma last year.

 

The Costco gen comes with a set of the parallel connectors included.  My sister decided if they ever needed to run ac, they'd probably buy another Costco unit, and connect the two.  Since we tend to follow the cooler weather,  the Honda 1000 has served us well as the rainy days supplement to solar.

 

I'd personally rather carry two small 50 lb sets than one huge 150 lb generator, or get a Yamaha 2400 at 75 lbs . That's about max weight for me.... and available for about $1300 to 1500.

 

For just charging batteries,  our Honda 1000 under 30 lbs with gas, is perfect for us.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Jeesh.

 

I am so undecided. I eventually need a "travel" generator, as my home gen set  is much to big to deal with the unloading and loading. I'm leaning towards a Honda - if I go the 3000i route, I'd sell my other unit. If I go 2000, not sell.- probably should go with the larger Honda, and simplify my life.

 

Or just not camp in the heat - as I've done for most of my life. Then - I don't need to do anything.

 

Choices, choices.....


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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I have a Yamaha 2400 and I think it is a perfect size. It is heavier than the suitcase units (about 85 pounds), but I leave it locked with a heavy cable in the back of my Land Cruiser and just open the hatch and tailgate and run it there. I use a 25 foot 10 gauge 15A extra heavy duty cord which never shows any sign of overheating. the dual outlet is rated at 20A. It will handle an 18 or 19 amp load for hours, and will surge to well over 30A without a problem. It starts my AC just fine, but I have the small Air Command unit and it does not need an easy start capacitor. It is very quiet, reliable, easier to start than my Honda 1000, and is built just as well. Running inside my rear cargo area makes it inaudible unless you are near the truck.

 

Be aware that your microwave and inverter is NOT your friend when boon docking. My inverter draws 75 AMPS with just the microwave running, and if you plan to cook a couple of 6-minute tv dinners, it will have an impact on even the biggest battery bank. If you are parked in the direct sun, in summer, you can cook those meals at 4:00 pm and your batteries will be charged back up pretty quickly. Try this in October, in a northern latitude, running your furnace all day, with overcast skies or heavy tree cover, and your batteries will go flat in a hurry.

 

The generator is not just for the air conditioning, it is to allow a quick 1 hour recharge if the weather won't let your panels do their job. Or if you want to park in the shade. Of course, you can charge off the gennie at dinner time and run the microwave of the generator's 110VAC current, no worries. The onboard converter will charge at up to 45A when running off a generator. Your panels or truck cannot match that. But if there is some sun, the panels will add to the generator's charge rate.

 

I don't think it is wise to buy a barely adequate sized generator, always have some reserve power. That way when the lights go out at home you can run more stuff off it.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 2

"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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Curious to know if anyone has tried either of these:

 

the Sportsman 2200i dual fuel generator. Lighter weight, gas or lp, claims 1800 watts running... that's on gasoline, less on lp. Photo is from campingworld, but available online from Walmart for under $520, including shipping.

 

Screenshot_20181107-122946_Chrome.thumb.jpg.18ba0ea6844447799eca517b5deb744e.jpg

 

Or, the Atima 3000i Yamaha powered gasoline generator from Costco? Weighs in at 94 pounds dry, so still quite heavy to haul around, but great reviews on Costco and Amazon. Less than $1000 at Costco,  shipping included.

 

Screenshot_20181107-124842_Costco.thumb.jpg.cdad9418dc29229b978d4e307d1df7dc.jpg

 

Sherry

 

 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Just our experience - I am not very technical about all the details. We bought the Honda 2200i in the summer and we were very glad to have it along on our three week fall trip. We had 5 days that it did not rain and only three that really were clear. So the solar was of minimal value. I used the generator 9 times. Camping at Acadia NP for five days (no services) we would have been well out of power. We ran it for about an hour or hour and a half and that was sufficient. We also used the microwave easily but we made certain the hot water and fridge were on gas. It also ran my wife's hairdryer and our coffee brewer. Anyway, it starts well, runs fairly quiet and did exactly what we needed. I carry it locked with a cable under the locked cover on our truck.

 

www.twolanetouring.com


Dave & Cindy #076


Photographer * Traveler


www.twolanetouring.com


Posting Daily - National Parks, Camping and more.

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From Yamaha:

 

NOTE: The EF2400iSHC will NOT run most Air Conditioner units and does NOT have a 30 amp electrical receptacle. Yamahagenerators.com does not recommend purchasing this model to run your Air Conditioner. Please contact Customer Service to help you find the correct size generator for your need.

 

 

 

I suspect this is realistically the case with any 2000-2400 watt generators trying to deal with our 13,500 btu air conditioners. Even with the addition of Easy Start technologies, any excecessive altitude or conversion to propane will render these units marginal at best.


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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hobo's question was Which Generator? There have been a lot of good advice in this thread about the trade off between generator power and generator weight, and what you need to run the AC. There is another long thread on generators HERE.

 

But there is another question I want to address. Gasoline vs propane as generator fuel.

 

My story. We got our Ollie with solar and AGM batteries, and I did not think we needed a generator. In 2017 we spent ten days camping in Olympic National Park, which was lovely. However, we were camping in a rain forest. Our solar panels were not working well camping under trees, and at one point after 5 days in the forest our batteries were getting to the danger point. This forced us to change our plans and find a campground with electricity. So we decided a generator was needed as part of our gear, at least on some trips.

 

Based on my research I bought the highly recommended Honda EU 2000i model. I got it new for under $700, in part because Honda had introduced the new EU 2200i model, and the dealer wanted to trim his inventory of the older 2000i models. I wanted propane, and I did not want one of these unsightly conversion kits where the propane components hang out from the generator. I really liked the reviews of the GenConneX Honda EU2000i Propane conversion kit. You remove the gasoline tank from the inside of the generator, and the propane components fit in the available space. The GenConneX propane conversion kit is an impressive example of engineering. At the time they did not have a conversion kit for the 2200i model, but it appears from the web site that that is now available.

 

Why propane? Two reasons. One is the hazard of carrying gasoline in your vehicle in either a gas can or the generator. For me, the major negative of a gasoline generator is that the gasoline goes bad over time, whereas propane does not. This is not a problem if you are using the generator regularly. However, I anticipated taking the generator only as a potential backup on trips where we were without electricity.

 

For us the generator has been a magical insurance policy. In the past year we have not once needed the generator. Our solar panels have provided all the electricity we needed on these trips. I call it magical because I am convinced that had we not brought the generator we would have had clouds or trees that would have hindered solar panel efficiency. If we had a gasoline generator, the gasoline would have gone bad. And we always have plenty of propane.

 

One negative for propane is that power output from a generator drops when you are using propane instead of gasoline.

 

If your generator is only for occasional use, propane may be a better option.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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@Davids, another great post

 

We also bought our generator ( Honda 1000), after a string of bad days. Almost 11 years ago. Just that little  bitty genset charges the batteries,  with very little gas. Like you, we hardly ever use it, but it's nice to know we can....

 

I think the propane / dual fuel gensets are really great for those of you who tow with SUVs. I dont think I would love gasoline in the back of my suv...  but, the propane conversion robs at least ten per cent of the gens power output,  so that has to be remembered... thanks for that reminder, too

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Fuel storage becomes a non-issue, or at least is greatly minimized, by using a good stabilizer and if possible, ethynol free gas. If you are not aggressive about treating your gas, yes it will go bad.

 

You should also drain the carb on the generator at least semi-annually, if not after every period of use (ie: at the end of a trip, not every day). Otherwise the fuel there evaporates and leaves varnish in the bowl and jets.

 

Nobody said these are low maintenance... ;( OTH it isn’t hard. On my Yamaha 2400 I remove two screws from the back cover zip zip, pop it off, drain the bowl, pop it on, reinstall the screws. Less than two minutes. If I drilled an access hole for a long screwdriver to access the drain screw, it would take maybe ten seconds. But I like to look around in there to make sure there are no problems, so I pull the cover.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"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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We just purchased the Yamaha 2400 and could not be happier.   Looking forward to many years of service and knowing a/c is always available when dry camping. Duke


Chris & Duke Chadwell
🐾Maddie & Baxter🐾
Elite II Hull 292
2017 F-150 Lariat 3.5 EB 4x4 Lakeland, FL 

 

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Good choice.  Retirement and Alaska are getting closer everyday???

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

 

 

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Juat a recommendation, install an hour meter to keep track of run time for the recommended 50 hour oil changes. I added a combination digital hour meter/ tachometer that also shows engine rpm when the generator is operating. Rpm is good to know, if not exactly essential like the hours run. The OEM Yamaha meter is excellent but you can use a generic version for a fraction of the cost. Installation is super easy.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FOOAXY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"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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