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Looking at LE2 for Fulltime - which of my concerns are valid?


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Hi all,

 

We've been dreaming of RV living for a while, but came to the conclusion that none of the stick builts do what we need. The bigfoot trailers look like they might be a better match from a floorplan standpoint, but having grown up on boats I like the fiberglass inner hull of the oliver as well.  The frame construction is also far ahead of anything else I have seen.

 

We're in our 30s with a 35lbs dog.  My job lets me travel throughout most of the year and commute by plane, but in the winter -- I'll probably have to hunker down in Philadelphia-Newark-Long Island area. So not nearly as cold as some places - generally not consecutive days where no above freezing temperatures are seen - but still subject to cold snaps and plenty of snow.  Ideally, we'd pull into a winter hole up site in December and skirt the outside and maybe tape off the windows with insulation.  Then come March, we'd leave and start seeking new places to visit across the country until the next December. Several of the areas of land and campsites I've looked at for winter time have flat rate 50A hookups available.

 

So that leads to to my list of issues that keep the LE2 from being perfect:

I'd like to be able to use more of the 50A offering 3x the power of the 30A service. I will be much cheaper and we won't be as reliant on the gas guy to top off our external tank.

Ideally I would be able to use more electricity for heat than the heatstrip offers, IE a mini-split, Truma Combi Plus, Alde Hydronic (floor heat anyone?), or Aquahot. These are all combined heaters that can run off propane or shore electric, so would free one of the existing cubbies for heaters. mini split would also free up the roof for another solar panel meaning generator-less is probably more likely/freeing up the tongue for storage box.

I could use a free standing electric heater to supplement the furnace, but need to ensure enough heat makes it to the basement to keep the plumbing running.

Also would like to ditch the propane range for cooking and go induction to a: cut down on moisture and b: speed up the cooking process.

Probably would like a bigger freezer.

I work weird schedules - not a huge fan of the pleated drapes so something with more blackout during the day like the MCD or even shutters would be nice.  The exterior flap that bigfoot uses for the front of their trailer would actually be pretty awesome for the side windows to seal them off in winter.

We aren't ready to sleep in separate beds, but the King bed is also way oversized for us.  My wife's about tiny and I am about 160 pounds and she generally leaches off my heat, so rather than 80" width, we could do with probably 50" width twin is just a shade too small for both of us - but it has been done in the past -- I'll still get trapped in the corner but less wasted space.  Ideally that could be used for another wardrobe and/or a washer/dryer combo.

My wife is not a fan of our dog joining us in bed during tick season -- we'd have to come up with a way to keep the dog out and a place for the dog to be happy elsewhere.

Lastly, as hinted earlier, storage is a concern. I could fit my stuff and tools in about 35% of the space, just not sure the remaining 65% will be enough for my fashion-forward dearest wife.  Might look at a van tow vehicle for her extended walk-in closet.  But mostly in the logistics of where trash/dirty clothes/etc go before going to the dump/laundromat/etc...

So what's just plain naive or easily workable?

 

 

 

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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I personally can't imagine two people AND a 35lb dog full-timing in a 23 foot Ollie. I think it would be bordering on an endurance contest.

 

One person, small dog, maybe.

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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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Chris and Cherie, Technomadia, spent several years fulltime in the smaller Elite. It can be done. You can still find posts on their site, technomadia.com.

They wintered out west or in Florida. Not New Jersey. And, since they moved up from a Tab, they already had a feel for (very) small space living. They now split their time between a vintage bus, and a boat.

Another couple I know also fulltimed a few years in the smaller Elite. They now live in a fifth wheel.

We've lived happily, traveling, in our small Elite for 90 days or so. Then, frankly, I'm ready to go home. I miss our daughter, my neighbors and friends, etc. But, I'm a lot older, and very settled in my neighborhood... We've still seen a lot in our travels.

I'd invest in connectivity before a washer dryer combo, personally. Laundromats are everywhere, and campground laundries are usually very clean, and inexpensive.

Do you have to winter over in snow country? Snow, and the appropriate clothing and footgear, is a pita, imo. But, that's why i live in Florida.

Sherry

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Do you have to winter over in snow country? Snow, and the appropriate clothing and footgear, is a pita, imo. But, that’s why i live in Florida.

 

 

Yes, unfortunately.  The only thing worse than living in snow is trying to fly into the NYC area when it snows - especially Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have an idea of small living as I lived on a 32' sailboat which got old pretty fast due to: no iPads, TVs, or electricity, and you can't even go out for a walk unless we anchored, buoyed, or the rare treat of docking someplace. Our goal is to live in it a few years, then park it on a pad someplace (my vote is Poconos) and live in it while we build our forever home.  Once that is up, we'll use it for travel/vacation.  My wife is (un)lucky in that I am gone for work a lot -- so it is often just her and the dog.

 

Steven

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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True. Flying into Nyc can be a mess. I was thinking maybe Virginia, south of DC, and take the train... Still some snow, but usually less. And more likelihood of open sspaces.

As I said before, all things are possible. But, dealing with snowy gear almost requires a vestibule, for full timing, or a shed. You do have more space in a II, than our Elite. Certainly as much room as many tiny homes, with much more portability. But, it does require a flexible attitude.

You have the experience of the 32' boat. As sailboaters, I'd say that's really good experience in small space living. But, easier to get out and about from a campsite, than on the hook. The tow vehicle opens up lots of opportunities.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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...dealing with snowy gear almost requires a vestibule, for full timing, or a shed. You do have more space in a II, than our Elite. Certainly as much room as many tiny homes, with much more portability...

 

For the first few winters we will probably just have the trailer and our hookups - which is still a world away from being 4 days from your next boat stop and running out of milk, or breaking your glasses (and the eye place at that next stop is now closed). After a 2-3 years we'll probably start by building a little shed/house for laundry and some of my bigger tools and probably a trailer port/garage for the RV to help keep it nice and comfortable.

 

Winters in the area aren't as bad as the "true" northeast, it's IECC zone 4 like DC.  Here's a good comparison of averages between Philly (LI is about the same), Albany, DC, and Springfield Mass:

 

https://weatherspark.com/compare/y/22721~24883~20957~25632/Comparison-of-the-Average-Weather-in-Philadelphia;-Albany;-Washington-D.C.;-and-Springfield

 

Any thoughts on any of the other items listed in the original post?

 

 

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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With a few exceptions, I think your list is possible.  Much of what you're looking to do has either been discussed to some degree here, or has already been done on other trailers.  Primarily, it will be a question of money, time, and your ability to do the work yourself.  Also money, and in addition to that, some more money.

 

Electrical - fairly easy, so long as you're familiar with 12 volt electrical.  You'll have to replace the charger obviously - the existing one is easy to bypass.  I don't know if you'll have to replace the breaker panel or not, but that shouldn't be difficult.  If you're running that much electrical, then you'll probably want to install your own 3,000w or higher inverter, and possibly look at upgrading the batteries to lithium.  Look here to see how I swapped out mine, which I left at 30A, but which is only a swapped connector away from being 50A.  I need to update that info since I've remounted everything and added a few bits - what you see in the photos has a few sketchy things going on.

 

FWIW, 30A generally allows you to run two things at once: microwave/heater, toaster oven/hair dryer, etc.  We've never found that we needed more, but of course everyone's needs are different.

 

A/C and heat - this is more difficult.  A few of us have looked at mini splits, but no one has come up with a place to mount either the condenser or air handler.  Of course there are 12 volt systems out there but not much here in the US.  Most of us have found that a small Vornado portable heater is sufficient to keep the interior warm, at least once you take the chill off with the furnace.  For heating between the hulls, a 12 volt marine compartment heater like this is probably the way to go.  I believe at least one owner has installed one of these, and it's on my list as well.  Running the furnace fan while using the electric heater will draw air into the rear curbside compartment to help keep the plumbing there warm.  The heat strip on the A/C is mostly useless, IMO, and only works with the A/C fan on, which is silly loud.  Having said all that, I think the last time this was discussed here was two years ago, so no doubt there are newer and different products out there.

 

You can get as much as 640w of solar on the roof without losing the A/C or fan.  Doing it post construction will be more difficult, but surely possible.  Also, we were given a preview at the recent rally of a new solar tracking product that would increase the efficiency of the existing panels considerably.  It will be made specifically for the Oliver and should be on the market by the time you could get your trailer.  Then there's also portable solar that you can use to supplement - some owners prefer that to having more (or any) panels on the roof.

 

Replacing the range would be no problem, so long as you can get a circuit for it on the existing panel.  Alternatively, you can get an inexpensive portable induction burner and use that when power is plentiful or you want to boil water quickly.

 

A few of us have portable freezers in our trucks - they work well and with ours we can carry 3 weeks of food between the truck and trailer.  Of course, if you're going to do that for an extended period, then you'll have to consider a house battery for the truck and possibly solar to charge it.

 

As for bed, dog, storage, etc., your only real limits are imagination and skill.  I've heard rumors that Oliver is working on a new arrangement for the bed area that will allow more versatility, but who knows how far off that may actually be or if it will happen.  Many owners travel with dogs, really big dogs, multiple dogs.  I think the usual solution is to make a sofa out of the dinette area and let the dog sleep on or under that.  For dogs, I'd consider doing the upholstery in a waterproof marine vinyl like Morbern rather than using any of Oliver's stock offerings.

 

Personally, I think the van idea would work the best for storage, but they aren't the best tow vehicles.  Otherwise, you'd be surprised how much you can fit in a crew cab truck with a large topper over the bed.  Some owners have some pretty impressive slide outs that make for super efficient and accessible storage in the truck bed.

 

I think the W/D is probably too difficult to happen, but it would be interesting to see what you could come up with.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks for the detailed reply - somehow missed your solar post in my searches.  I got to check out an LE2 in person today.  Actually bigger inside than I expected.  Fit and finish up top were good and some beautiful welds on the frame for sure. The fridge freezer compartment was impressive as it seemed better built than the ones I saw in stick build RVs - but its been a few months since I looked at them.

 

 

 

I think the marine heater for the basement and a space heater would probably meet 100% of my needs and 90% of my wants.

 

How much of the stuff you wanted did Oliver do vs you had to do yourself?  I got the vibe that they seem to want to stick to the given menu.

 

How well insulated is the LE2 - anyone have propane burn info for winter?

 

I would be interested about more info on the bed situation, as the rear area is the part that still has me a little perplexed.  We need to sleep together, but only need about half the space. We'd probably keep it as a full-time bed as I don't see the need to feed 4-6 inside my trailer that often - but who knows when we'd need to convert it back. Also interested in maybe a curb to street side lay and adding an additional wardrobe between the windows and the pantry/stove on each side.  I've also toyed with a sofa bed or Murphy where the smaller table is, with a taper to allow access to the bathroom - as ideally the back of the trailer should have some good views at some of the spots we've scouted.

 

50A service would help with heating as well as cooktops - the nicer inductions require 2-phase power.  But that would limit our options for cooking away from 50A service without a split phase inverter as well. I'm kind of at a tossup between portable induction and trying to get a square cooktop into the round hole that's there. I could probably leave things be and just be fine -- but I certainly would prefer 50A service and heating on electricity - if I have to do it myself and replace already purchased components it's probably cheaper and easier to do a 200lbs tank for the winter.

 

Those freezers look perfect - hopefully between them and the one on the Ollie we can keep ice cream cold enough.

 

Finally the shades in the unit I saw in person looked like they worked better than the ones in the videos on youtube - might still look at some hatches to help with winter and sunlight for day sleeping.

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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Your request seems like a big order to fill for a 23’ trailer of any kind.  The nice thing about the Oliver is the versatility to be able to modify as you please,  my suggestion if your are set on a Oliver is to look into used completely strip it out and try to put in every thing you desire. Buying new, then making all  those changes would be a waste of extra money and I’m sure would void any warranty . Good luck

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I'm on the opposite track. I'd load up on solar, cost effectively. But, you seem to think you will be primarily in rv parks.. so, solar there is no big deal.

My issues would be storage. Even in a 32 ft sailboat, you'll have more storage. Empty bunks. Etc.

You've seen one, now. I would likely not do the van. Go for a truck. With a topper. I loved my van, but, compare towing capacities carefully. Extra fashion forward clothes can always be kept in bins, imo.

Honestly, I always envy the younger folks who can arrange their lives to get out on the road, and see the country while young.

I'll look forward to your blog.

Sherry

Ps

The truma combi looks great. If I had a II, I'd look at it. Freezer in the truck, great. Think about deleting the microwave, get a toaster oven, and look at our huge kitchen storage space after removing our microwave.

 

Our dog sleeps on the dinette seat.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Buying new, then making all those changes would be a waste of extra money and I’m sure would void any warranty . Good luck

 

It is something I am considering.  Paying for a bunch of brand new components that I would have to try to sell at a reduced cost doesn't seem efficient.  But then again I don't see used Olivers being sold for major discounts that often.

 

I’m on the opposite track. I’d load up on solar, cost effectively. But, you seem to think you will be primarily in rv parks.. so, solar there is no big deal.

 

My issues would be storage. Even in a 32 ft sailboat, you’ll have more storage. Empty bunks. Etc.

 

You’ve seen one, now. I would likely not do the van. Go for a truck. With a topper. I loved my van, but, compare towing capacities carefully. Extra fashion forward clothes can always be kept in bins, imo.

 

Honestly, I always envy the younger folks who can arrange their lives to get out on the road, and see the country while young.

 

I’ll look forward to your blog.

 

Sherry

 

Ps

 

The truma combi looks great. If I had a II, I’d look at it. Freezer in the truck, great. Think about deleting the microwave, get a toaster oven, and look at our huge kitchen storage space after removing our microwave.

 

Our dog sleeps on the dinette seat.

 

 

I want the best of both worlds. 30A would probably work out fine, but the idea of using as much free/cheap electricity as possible would be great to make it through winters. With a 50A plug, I could run a space heater, the hull heater (which would effectively be semi-heated floors too), and heat strip and have the other phase available for all the normal things already in the LE2.

 

I'd rather have an oven than a microwave in general, thus looking at the convection option.

 

I figured our dog should sleep in the same place - but I don't know if she will figure the same. If she can get to us in the middle of the night and park her butt in front of my face - she will.

 

 

 

Steven

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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How much of the stuff you wanted did Oliver do vs you had to do yourself? I got the vibe that they seem to want to stick to the given menu.

Your vibe detector is correct.  Oliver is no longer doing custom builds.  Though if you're nice to the guys in service, you might be able to talk them into doing some things afterwards.  But there's a lot that Oliver did for me that I probably should have done myself.  Not that they did a bad job, but fitting out the trailer slowly would have saved some money and headaches in the long run.  It was just too big of a project for me to wrap my brain around at the time, so Oliver getting me 80% there helped tremendously.

 

The furnace is definitely the propane hog of the trailer. We've been out in December and gone through a tank and a half of propane in a week.  (Also using the propane campfire, which is a hog as well).  In contrast, last month in Utah with only a few mornings' use of the furnace, we only used half a tank in three weeks.

 

We gave a good bit of thought to induction, but I'm glad that we didn't do it.  It would have been a big power drain and we've seen no drawbacks from the propane stove.  If you're set on it though, take a look at a Volrath portable induction burner.  It's expensive, but it's a restaurant quality unit that has a true simmer setting rather than phasing power like the cheap ones do.  But if you're just going to boil water, get a cheapy one or use a Jet Boil - those things work better than any cooktop.

 

One note about the electrical, since you've mentioned two phase a few times on the 50a service: RV 50a isn't like your home 240v dryer outlet - it's 3-prong 120v, just with bigger wiring and a different plug.  Also, most of the trailer stuff, including those marine heaters, will run off the 12v system; i.e., they won't impact your 120v.

 

I doubt if those hull heaters will give you much in the way of floor heat.  Potentially in a small spot by the beds, but most of the floor sits directly on top of the fresh and grey water tanks, so there's no room for air circulation.

 

The shades do a good job of blocking light, but you'll want to address both the MaxxFan and front door window if you really want it dark in there.  There are solutions for both, so not a big deal.

 

For the bed area, Southern Mattress will make pretty much anything you want, custom fit to the curves in the Oliver (what they make is better than anything Oliver offers anyway).  If I were you, I'd do the king bed model, but get whatever size mattress you need from Southern, and fill in the remaining seat area with custom cushions.  Then live in it a while and to what your storage situation is like.  You can always swap out cushions for storage once you've settled on what exactly you need.

 

Another thought would be to do a 4" deep mattress and build a platform storage area underneath. You might also consider fold down counters on both sides, which would give you some much needed counter space.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The furnace is definitely the propane hog of the trailer. We’ve been out in December and gone through a tank and a half of propane in a week. (Also using the propane campfire, which is a hog as well). In contrast, last month in Utah with only a few mornings’ use of the furnace, we only used half a tank in three weeks.

 

That's not a bad burn rate compared to keeping a stick build warm in Utah...

 

One note about the electrical, since you’ve mentioned two phase a few times on the 50a service: RV 50a isn’t like your home 240v dryer outlet – it’s 3-prong 120v, just with bigger wiring and a different plug. Also, most of the trailer stuff, including those marine heaters, will run off the 12v system; i.e., they won’t impact your 120v.

 

I was under the impression that the 50A plug was four prong: 2x 50A 110V legs, neutral, and ground?  That's how a 4-pin dryer is except only 30A for the two legs. Dad's an EE and friend's an electrician so maybe they can help.

 

I doubt if those hull heaters will give you much in the way of floor heat. Potentially in a small spot by the beds, but most of the floor sits directly on top of the fresh and grey water tanks, so there’s no room for air circulation.

 

I am not expecting the floors to be toasty warm, but at least the area around the bed shouldn't be as cold/develop as much condensation.

 

I missed Jason's call today - so I'll send him an email and try to talk to him tomorrow about options.  Priorities are 50A service, Solar, and maybe some solution for the rear bed.

 

Thanks again for the help!

 

 

 

Steven

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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I sketched a few options for turning the front bed into a day couch/night bed.  This would allow us to keep the rear area, which should have the best view, for hanging out.  As a bonus, we could sleep 4-5 fairly comfortably.  Obviously I'd need to design bed supports for the part that overhangs the aisle.

 

iFL8f3i.png

 

This would be split into two portions with a wedge shape cushion to fill in during the day.

 

 

 

POzhaYT.png

 

Two split beds, but for us the wife would be even with me if she sleeps in the aisle.

 

 

 

gOK1jTi.png

 

This is probably my favorite as of now: the foot cushion (or two cushions) can be folded up or removed for bathroom access.

 

 

 

eFWjP60.png

 

Perspective view of the third option

 

 

 

i1N32qL.png

 

Day mode view of the couch.  Middle area could be used for additional storage, or as shown here with a pedestal washer.

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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There are some good size people who actually do that..w/ a dog. I don't, but everyone has their own space needs.  For example, I could only do it, if  I played 2 or 3 rounds of golf a week..:)

 

Everybody is different brother.

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2016 Oliver Legacy Elite II, "Campie"


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Steve, I like your ideas, though personally I think assembling and disassembling the bed up front would be as much if not more trouble than doing the same in the rear.  The only advantage is the possibility of sleeping one more, but you'd have to weigh that against the downside of pretty lousy bath access.

 

Have you looked at using the Lagun table option in the back?  I'm thinking that you could mount it to the side, far enough forward to set up a double bed in the rear.  Then all you have to do at night is push the table over and rearrange the cushions into a bed.

 

If you're set on the front bed, a few people have made the front dinette area into a sofa/daybed like this - making it into a double would just be a matter of designing a support, as you said (sorry, I don't know whose trailer this is):

 

Ollie245.thumb.jpg.5dd57fba9c05a1148b6f46ea7caf9c76.jpg

 

Here's how the king bed setup normally works on the Ollie.  Imagine that with a double bed and a Lagun table mounted just forward of the edge of the bed.  I think it would work well for you:

 

[attachment file=Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 2.58.34 PM.jpg]

[attachment file=Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 2.58.18 PM.jpg]

 

If in your drawing you're showing the washer where the pantry normally is, you won't be able to do that.  The pantry top and bottom are moulded into the inner shell, and even if you were brave enough to cut it all out (you'd have to be quite a craftsman to make that work), behind that is the battery box and wheel well, the latter of which certainly isn't going anywhere.

 

 

 

 

Screen-Shot-2016-12-19-at-2_58.34-PM.thumb.jpg.6bcd5dd3f19e1ec71a41c76dede8abd8.jpg

Screen-Shot-2016-12-19-at-2_58.18-PM.thumb.jpg.5463fc456d722c453b38fad6ae3f54ed.jpg

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I have always thought of an Oliver as a two person trailer for all types of camping on a limited basis, for us it would be too small for full-timing, sure I could do 30 days at a time, but I still want a home base place to recover from time to time. Full-timing just doesn't suit my life style at this point in my life, as far as modifying an Oliver I would pass on that thought, it's too nice as built to ruin it.

 

 

 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Steve, I like your ideas, though personally I think assembling and disassembling the bed up front would be as much if not more trouble than doing the same in the rear. The only advantage is the possibility of sleeping one more, but you’d have to weigh that against the downside of pretty lousy bath access.

 

It will really depend on how well I am able to make the supports fold/unfold. The other upside is not sleeping cross cushion seams, at least from head to hips. Luckily I still make it through the night without going to the bathroom, and the fold up cushion is on the wife's side so she can do as she pleases. The only issue would be when our schedules are out of sync.

 

Have you looked at using the Lagun table option in the back? I’m thinking that you could mount it to the side, far enough forward to set up a double bed in the rear. Then all you have to do at night is push the table over and rearrange the cushions into a bed.

 

I looked at a similar setup in the rear, either as a permanent double which would allow either a small seating area for two, or a pedestal washer + wardrobe on one side and drawer dish washer on the kitchen side.

 

EcjSFYA.png

 

jjKXZHB.png

 

Or the bed could fold up and allow seating for four at a table - this is assuming an 8" mattress folded over at 16".  I could increase the seating area height with thicker cushions or another storage box with cushion on top.

 

eyHmbvZ.png

 

Thank you for the pictures of the rear bed setup - not too many good pictures of that!  The twin up front looks good too.

 

If in your drawing you’re showing the washer where the pantry normally is, you won’t be able to do that.

 

The washer is actually the drawer looking thing between the front dinette seats. The pantry is modeled as a solid block in my sketches with no cuts into it.

 

zqhFGWr.png

 

 

 

Full-timing just doesn’t suit my life style at this point in my life, as far as modifying an Oliver I would pass on that thought, it’s too nice as built to ruin it.

 

Luckily my work gives me the "opportunity" to sleep in hotels 10-15 nights a month. When I am not gone with work, our goal is to travel around with the trailer and spend a lot of time outside of it.  So I'll probably sleep 10-15 nights a month in the trailer. Plus we do a fair amount of leisure air travel, so wife will get reprieves in addition to her time she "gets" to spend in an office all day.  Also the plan is for little/no modification to the fiberglass hull, so everything should be near 100% reversible.

 

Steven

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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I think that if you can dream it and make it work then go for it. Everyone has their own idea of what’s best for themselves. What works for me might seem ridiculous to another, and that’s OK.

 

The Oliver is a wonderfully built trailer and the perfect palate for your whatever you can make out of it.

 

Go for it...

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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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Well here's the latest iteration of the brainstorm trying to keep it simple, allowing us to use the rear area without being in bed.

 

Day mode:

 

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The rear cushion is the bed, folded over.  The exposed fabric could look more like upholstery but it is not the surface that is slept on, sheets would be between the two halves. This overhangs the middle U area by 2" to give a 54" width when unfolded.  Lagun table or normal pedestal could go in the middle.

 

 

 

Converting to night time is as simple as folding up side cushions and unfolding bed and adding comforter.

 

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This would give a 54" bed, it could be even bigger if I put the side cushions elsewhere. Side cushions could be used as part of the wall to (try to) keep doggo off of bed.

 

Biggest plus for this is the support structure for everything is already there, so it's just a fairly simple custom mattress/cushions.

 

Still not sure if I would keep the front dinette or turn it into something else -- two eating places seems redundant in an 18'x7' living space.

 

Steven

 

 

 

 

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

So after some more research and thinking, the rear bed design is probably going to work best.  If the bathroom door were a pocket door, that would make a front bed more workable, but still less than ideal.  The biggest upgrade that would my rear bed work better is a faster way to move the table from bed support to table mode - so still doing a little research around that.

 

As far as major issues I want to work out they are probably:

50A service for basement heater, the ability to shutoff propane in the winter and heat the inside (whether through mini-splits or resistive heaters) as well as not having to get the wife to power manage as much.  Even with 50A service, hot water will be an issue as only some of the biggest diesel heaters actually use both phases for 50A service - but I'd still like to be able to run the Ollie in an enclosed space like a hangar or garage on shore power alone.  Ideally, at a minimum I could get a custom harness that doesn't have all the outlets daisy chained and maybe some help with the plug on the outside and sizing the fiberglass around the inside breaker panel.

Increased solar - while Zamp isn't ideal, I'd probably be happy with an extra 3-port up top and two ports on the side and make it work.  Even better if I can do something for the side ports that can handle more current.

Lithium batteries - still looking at how I'd like to do this in terms of pack voltage and which components, but in the end I think I am going with unmanaged batteries, and getting rid of the Zamp controllers, but using the "plumbing" that Zamp provides.  Might just stick with the AGMs for the immediate future.

I'd like to ditch as many of the interior control panels as possible. Thermostat, water heater control, and light switches excepted, I would prefer everything else to be mounted under the dinette seats or inside the cabinets (charge controller display, radio, inverter display, tank monitor, etc..). Speaker grills in white at least and maybe even just gone.

From there I am looking to add a Raspberry Pi or something to consolidate sensor info from Victron, Seelevel, and Mopeka into one app - looking at HomeBridge to make it work with the Apple Home app.  Might even add some remote control (lights off, awnings closed, etc...).  Maybe a single tap turns everything off, shuts the bathroom drain, retracts the awnings, and gets us ready to roll.  Power cost of about 2-5W.  Most of the RV industry stuff in this space is hot garbage so will have to roll my own solution.  The only thing I would need from Oliver here is making sure the Seelevels are RVC compliant or the new bluetooth versions if those ever come out.

Where I've relaxed a little:

We'll go with the recommended portable induction - maybe not as high power as a 240V top, but being able to cook while Boondocking will be a plus, as will being able to take the portable cooktop outside when wanted.

Storage - I think a service body truck or nice SUV would probably be ideal.

Things that are still a moonshot:

Some sort of LE3 option -- I don't know that I even would need much size growth as a different use of space.  This would gain maybe a tiny washer and another wardrobe or something.

Exterior window hatches for extreme cold/heat/rain.

Other stuff that is going to be easy, but still needs figuring out:

What all I buy from Victron

To Truma or not to Truma

Convection

How to plumb in a 200lb propane tank

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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The 200lbs tank will be external for home base/winter time camping - something the gas company delivers.  Not something I am going to tote around.

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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[postquote quote=175827]Ya gonna need a bigger Ollie!![/postquote]

 

For the propane? It will be a larger tank off the trailer that the gas company comes and fills.

 

For the inside? I kind of agree, a few extra feet and more efficient use of space would work well for me.  The dual dinettes still bother me - so the front one may still be repurposed.

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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