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Intro and "Things I Wish I Had Known"

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Hello, everyone.

 

My name is Nathan. I live near Santa Cruz, CA and my Elite II pick up date is end of April. I'll be doing the inaugural trip from TN back West at the end of May in a wagon train with relatives who also have a travel trailer. We have to make a stop near Austin, TX and then beyond Austin our plan is simply "Roswell, Grand Canyon, and all points Utah." Could be as much as 2 months. Once out West again I'll be full-timing it up and down the coast depending on where the best motorcycling happens to be for the season. This trip will not only be my first with the trailer it will be the first time I've ventured beyond hitchiking, backpacking, and traveling by motorcyle into the world of RVing. So while much of this will be new to me the level of comfort will also be quite new. No more sleeping in the saddle or being stuck outside in the weather. ;)

 

I'm an admitted over-prepare-er as Phil @ Oliver can probably attest to given the number of emails he's had to handle from me in the last few months. ;) Beyond just introducing myself, I also have a question for y'all:

 

What do you wish you had known about RVing and Olivers before you set out for the first time?

 

I've read through the forum archives here (and elsewhere) and one of the things I've built into the plan is to live out of the trailer near the Oliver factory for a bit as a smoketest. Better to get to know the trailer and shake things out while nearby than to uncover a surprise for the first time in, say, Roswell, NM. ;)

 

Looking forward to seeing what advice y'all might have and maybe seeing some folks at one of the rallies. :D

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the family!

 

I can't think of any one thing. Experience will be the best teacher, and it sounds like you have a good plan. The delivery walk through is a perfect time to learn about your Oliver, but it will be later, when your alone and doing it by your lonesome when you really figure it out.

 

No worries though, Oliver owners are here to help, and we are not shy!

 

Good luck Nathan, hope to meet you soon.

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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"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the forum.  How do you plan to transport the mc and what is it? What is your tow vehicle?  Bastrop State Park east of Austin is a nice park if you are looking for a recommendation.  I ride a dual sport and live in the Puget Sound area of Wa., good riding here, also some nice state parks and others for your Oliver.

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George and Gretchen


Gig Harbor, Wa.


Hull Number 178

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Nathan, add a signature so we can see what you drive. Are you planning to boondock and did you get the solar and Natures Head?

 

There are so many cool things in Utah, but by mid May there will be a bunch of places you cannot reach yet because of snow, like the north rim of the GC and much of the National Forest high country. OTH the lower stuff will still be comfortable, Moab is worth a week at least. If you ride a dirt bike, being your gear and rent an ATV and go exploring. The White Rim Trail is stupendous but unfortunately you need a street legal motorcycle or 4wd truck and you can’t drag Ollie along. So if you want to do that drive, rent a Wrangler and be sure to make a reservation if you want to camp there, otherwise you just need a back country permit from the ranger station. The very best campsite is White Crack about half way along the 100 mile route.

 

I love Moab, Canyonlands and Arches....  it is one of my favoritist areas ever.

 

White Rim area pics:

 

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If you get there in June expect blistering 100 degree+ day time temps, you must either plug-in or bring a generator big enough to run your AC. Or head up high above 10,000 ft where it is cooler and there is some shade.

 

If you like Overland style adventures, you could visit the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff starting May 17 .... https://www.overlandexpo.com/west/

 

but unfortunately they no longer allow “regular” travel trailers to camp there, just small offroad ones.

 

Take lots of pics and please post them here!

 

Finally, if you can borrow or rent a small travel trailer for at least a few days there in California, it will teach you an awful lot, and it will also make you appreciate how much better your Ollie is put together. It will also highlight accessories or equipment that you don’t have and can acquire before you head east. Like electrical adaptors, water filters, chairs, tools etc.

 

https://rvshare.com/rv-rental/santa-cruz/ca

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"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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Last week I was a short commuter flight away from picking up a well-customized 7.3L Powerstroke extended passenger E-350. The seller pulled out on me when I mentioned quickly taking it to a shop I know in SoCal (15 minutes away) to have them spend an hour going through the suspension and power train. Guess I dodged a bullet on that one. That spec for an E-350 is really hard to come by and I don't yet trust the Transits (I trust Sprinters even less) so its looking like I'm probably going to pick up a 6.0L gasser Express 3500 extended passenger. I have 3 lined up locally and cash-in-hand so that's looking like that will happen this week/next week.

 

Yes, these are unusual choices for TV. I have unusual list of requirements. It's a long story but it'll make sense if you see me at a rally. ;)

 

As to UT, I was in Moab a few months ago and have a buddy who lives in Park City. So, yes, I'll be spending a fair amount of time in UT. For this first x-country trip its enough to see South Rim and easier parts of UT. It's a long day's drive back to the area from SCZ when the TN fam is not in tow and I'm in full "expedition" mode.

 

As to bikes, I'll be moving, at various times, a number of Yamaha dirt bikes and/or a Tiger 800XC.

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Good news!  Instead of buying 4 or 5 stick built campers like I did and putting up with the horrid depreciation, leaking rubber roofs, lack of cargo capacity, lack of insulation, lack of towing stability, lack of ground clearance, lack of ….. you chose wisely.

 

A week or so around Hohenwald after delivery will serve you well.  However, even Olivers (more importantly it is the stuff in Olivers that this happens to) break.  Being a first time RV owner it will serve you well to get as much knowledge about RV systems as you can prior to taking delivery.  John's suggestion is a good one, but, it is even better if you can simply borrow a camper for a long weekend or two so that you have time to "poke around" getting a bit of hands-on with these systems.  Like "BackofBeyond" says - experience is the best teacher.  Heck, after more than 20 years of owning various RV's I'm still learning.

 

Good luck - don't over stress about this - it is not brain surgery.  Stay calm, think about how systems should work and explore the reasons as to why they are not working.  Usually you can figure it out on your own.  But, certainly do not be afraid to ask for help!

 

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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Nathan,

 

A quick reply on your van comments. I put 60K miles on a Sprinter, loved it, towed a few times with it, but finding a Sprinter service center when your "back of beyond" is a no go. I know, wasn't going to happen twice.  I then purchased a Transit XL350 passenger with 3.5 ecobost. Great van, great powertrain, but not tow rated to pull an EII Oliver. (Unibody) So it went, and a new GMC 2500 truck replaced it, happy now.

 

If your not any a big hurry, you can find some really cool 4x4 E250/350, hard to locate, but they are out there. Probably like the one you didn't pick up. I had one in my sights years back, should have grabbed it, would have saved me on the next two!

 

RB

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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"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Last week I was a short commuter flight away from picking up a well-customized 7.3L Powerstroke extended passenger E-350. The seller pulled out on me when I mentioned quickly taking it to a shop I know in SoCal (15 minutes away) to have them spend an hour going through the suspension and power train. Guess I dodged a bullet on that one. That spec for an E-350 is really hard to come by and I don’t yet trust the Transits (I trust Sprinters even less) so its looking like I’m probably going to pick up a 6.0L gasser Express 3500 extended passenger. I have 3 lined up locally and cash-in-hand so that’s looking like that will happen this week/next week.

 

Yes, these are unusual choices for TV. I have unusual list of requirements. It’s a long story but it’ll make sense if you see me at a rally. ?

 

As to UT, I was in Moab a few months ago and have a buddy who lives in Park City. So, yes, I’ll be spending a fair amount of time in UT. For this first x-country trip its enough to see South Rim and easier parts of UT. It’s a long day’s drive back to the area from SCZ when the TN fam is not in tow and I’m in full “expedition” mode.

 

As to bikes, I’ll be moving, at various times, a number of Yamaha dirt bikes and/or a Tiger 800XC.

 

I had a similar experience with a Quincy 4wd E3500 RV with the 6.0 diesel. I took it to a shop for a checkup and after 20 minutes I said "Stop, that is enough". It was pretty worn out in front, the engine had multiple injector issues, some leaks and some other codes. I took it back to the seller and he then told me that he did not even have a title for it!!!??? I was really pissed and I slammed the door on the way out. You did right to walk on that 7.3 van. Not letting you inspect it was a huge danger signal.

 

Tell me about the 200 picture, is that yours and where was that taken? That looks like the Green River down below. The Green is actually brown, and the Colorado River where it joins up is green - talk about weird...

 

You should know that a 200 will pull an Elite II with minimal problems, it just needs rear airbags and the Anderson hitch. It would be really hard to carry all your bikes inside though...

 

Are you going to be bringing the Tiger on this trip? It would be a great tool for exploring the desert, especially the White Rim. Bring a bag and sleep under the stars one or two nights. There is a fair amount of traffic along that route, so if you get broken down or hurt it is not too isolated.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"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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Nathan,

 

A quick reply on your van comments. I put 60K miles on a Sprinter, loved it, towed a few times with it, but finding a Sprinter service center when your “back of beyond” is a no go. I know, wasn’t going to happen twice. I then purchased a Transit XL350 passenger with 3.5 ecobost. Great van, great powertrain, but not tow rated to pull an EII Oliver. (Unibody) So it went, and a new GMC 2500 truck replaced it, happy now.

 

If your not any a big hurry, you can find some really cool 4×4 E250/350, hard to locate, but they are out there. Probably like the one you didn’t pick up. I had one in my sights years back, should have grabbed it, would have saved me on the next two!

 

RB

 

 

There are a couple of Transit specs which come in at just a little bit above the 80% safety margin for a wet EII and, by all accounts of the folks with whom I've spoken, they are under-rated for towing but the Transit no-go's for me have been:

 

1. At full tow weight there's very GCVW little left over for payload even with a cargo and, well, motorcycles + trailer will happen for me. Not often but it will happen.

 

2. I don't trust a twin-turbo anything for longevity so the EB is out and the 3.2L Powerstroke is a real oddball. I don't think its used by any other domestic Ford. Plus it has all of the usual concerns with "modern" diesels.

 

The Express 35000 makes a lot of sense for me. I have a lot of experience with 5.3L Express (6.0L is same engine with different bore and stroke) and the extended doesn't the huge overhang of the E-350 extended. But I also sort of have a crush on the 7.3L E-series. ;) Maybe at some point I'll pick one up as backed for the 3500. ;)

 

Glad to hear you're happy with your 2500. Very similar platform underneath.

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Tell me about the 200 picture, is that yours and where was that taken? That looks like the Green River down below. The Green is actually brown, and the Colorado River where it joins up is green – talk about weird…

 

You should know that a 200 will pull an Elite II with minimal problems, it just needs rear airbags and the Anderson hitch. It would be really hard to carry all your bikes inside though…

 

Are you going to be bringing the Tiger on this trip? It would be a great tool for exploring the desert, especially the White Rim. Bring a bag and sleep under the stars one or two nights. There is a fair amount of traffic along that route, so if you get broken down or hurt it is not too isolated.

 

That's not me or my vehicle in the picture. I tend to avoid posting pictures of myself on the Internet. lol It's my buddy and his rig. He's done a lot to it since then actually. He has a friend who owns the shop that did the diesel Landcruiser restomod that was at SEMA this year and I think they've been coaching him on mods. He's super interested in crawling whereas I'm more go-fast. When we rent UTVs it works out well because I'm railing and jumping everything and then when we get back to rock he takes the wheel. ;)

 

For the initial x-country/pickup trip there won't be any motorcycling. Just old people + kids vacationing. Once I get back to SCZ that's when the moto stuff starts. Very likely the Tiger will be seeing some Moab stuff but I'm lazy and like to ride small bikes offroad and treat the Tiger like an over-grown supermoto on B/C roads and fire roads.

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John, (or anyone else):

 

How do you add a signature?  I have looked on my profile but don't see that option.

 

Thanks, Hobo


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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Go to your profile, click the gear to the right and scroll to the bottom.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Pick up complete. Stationary in TN until the last week of May and then the trip back to CA -- via various points -- starts. See y'all out there.

KIMG0869.thumb.jpg.e69e9f10ea07ad381ebbfd84adfc9d93.jpg

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Congratulations, that van should make for a lot of smooth and relaxed highway towing. Do you mind telling us why you picked that passenger model over a cargo van, which offers better security for the contents? Are your back windows blacked out?

 

Have fun and post some pics along the way.

 

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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Hey, John.

 

I honestly think I spent more time thinking through TV choice than I did the trailer. That van is a 6.0L extended passenger w/ 10spd and tow rating of 10k and after-market Eaton Trutrac limited slip. Actually a lot of folks said go cargo because of the rear AC unit and the problems removing seat rails but I had rather unique needs where both of those things are plusses.

 

I don't yet have pictures but I removed all but the first row of passenger seats and everything behind that will spend most of its time as a moto garage. We welded up brackets onto a 4x4 ranch gate and then attached a plate of Lexan and that is a removable partition between the "garage" and the passengers. Further reinforcement of the gate via straps that attach into eye bolts in the OEM seat belt mounts. The partition connects into the OEM seat rails in two different positions. So this gives me a big garage when moving bikes and moto gear and also a small garage when not moving those things and then frees up the seat rails to again take 2 rows of passenger seats.

 

I'm planning to replace all of the plastic internal body kit in the garage area with custom insulation and sound proofing. Additionally, I'm going to cover the windows in the garage area with insulation and sound proofing as the garage may well double as a rain shelter when on a moto adventure and weather necessitates. In good weather it will keep snoopers from looking in the windows of the garage and getting any ideas. I'm keeping the rear AC because it will be nice to have it back there for a number of reasons (I'll be riding out West : CA, NV, UT, AZ, etc). In the process of cutting 2" rubber horse mat into strips as removable "soft" flooring to go between the seat rails. Removable because certain bikes (Tiger 800) likely won't have roof clearance with the flooring in but most of my dirt bikes will.

 

Down the road I may well add 2-5" lift. Maybe a bubble top from Fiberene. Maybe maybe a 4x4 conversion at some point though I don't expect it will be necessary. It does well enough on the fire roads and muddy stuff I've been through (without the trailer) with just the LSD and the K02 knobbies.

 

 

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Pick up complete. Stationary in TN until the last week of May and then the trip back to CA.

 

 

Are you going to have time to visit the Oliver Owners Rally at Guntersville State Park while you are in Tennessee?  It’s a great time to exchange information.


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

 

 

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Are you going to have time to visit the Oliver Owners Rally at Guntersville State Park while you are in Tennessee? It’s a great time to exchange information.

 

Unfortunately, no. The trailer is going to be stationary but I will be flying all over the country for work until the end of May when we head x-country via Austin, TX. I'm hoping there will be a mini-rally out West some time this year and I may try to make that one.

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Paula and I were in Bastrop this spring for a wedding and we really liked the North, access to the water, but not too many sites.  We liked the South too.  One negative is that all campers pay a day use fee in addition too the campsite fee.  We were checking out a few campgrounds near Austin and San Antonio because we have family in both cities and expect to visit there after we pick up our Ollie in August/September.


David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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Neat, I am a big fan of cargo barriers. I am very uncomfortable hauling stuff in the back of any vehicle if it can fly forward in a crash or rollover and decapitate you. I use to have a Series 80 Land Cruiser and I mounted a steel Milford barrier from Oz behind the second row, very nifty. I am using nets in my 200 and they are functional but they don’t give you warm fuzzy feelings like a steel cage does. I would like to see a pic of the inside of your van please.

 

Happy trails.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I would like to see a pic of the inside of your van please.

 

For sure. I'll post once we've painted the partition and the floor is finished. Probably before I insulate and cover the sides. It'll take a little imagination to see where we are going but not much.

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Hey, all.

 

On the maiden voyage x-country. Just thought I would check in with some pictures for anyone who is stuck at home right now. ;) Been a good trip so far and the Oliver has been flawless.

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Nice - where were these pictures taken?


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

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I'm near White Sands National Monument. WS was crazy windy this evening and that made it even more amazing.

 

 

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Looks like Oliver Lee state park.


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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