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First Impressions


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What we like most:

 

Window treatments. The day/night/combo blinds are wonderful.

 

Back-up camera and monitor. It gives me a great view of what's behind the trailer while driving.

 

Overall trailer quality and design. It's seems great, as everyone said it would be.

 

What we like least:

 

Cell phone amplifier and repeater. Very unreliable so far. I hope to get it working better as I become more familiar with it. May have to relocate the inside antenna to get it to work properly.

 

Beds are too small. Getting used to them, but they are only 2 feet wide and no more than 6 feet long. May ultimately regret getting the twin bed option due to narrowness of the twin beds. The rear bed is awkward to get in and out of, and won't get any easier as one ages.

 

Too many things not working properly when we picked up the trailer. However, they are fixed courteously and promptly when you go back to the factory. Plan to stay nearby for several days, if necessary, to get everything fixed. May be just our poor luck?

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No Doug, it's not just you. I've also had a fair number of things that needed attention - some that were quickly taken care of the next morning, and some that became evident later. It's unfortunate that we're now back in Minnesota (we did not allow time in our schedule for a return trip to Hohenwald), but I have complete confidence that the company will make it right.

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I'm becoming accustomed to the narrow twin bed opposite the dinette. My wife is still having her problems with the rear twin bed, primarily because she can't seem to stay still when she sleeps.

 

Be careful and watch out for the tee-nuts that fit on the bolts on each side of the the retracting step. They can quickly loosen during travel and fall off, eventually damaging the threads on the bolts. I will put Locktite on them when I get home, but I've already lost one nut and have purchased a replacement.

 

The trailer tows like a dream. I got 16.36 MPG towing the trailer with my 2002 Silverado Big Dually Diesel Duramax at speeds primarily between 50 and 60 mph, much of it on the Natchez Trace Parkway, which we traveled up and back between Natchez and Hohenwald.

 

All three parks on the Parkway are free and are very nice. We stayed at both Meriwether Lewis and Rocky Springs. We drove through Jeff Bigsby (sp) and it too is nice.

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Doug,

That's some awesome gas mileage report. We've found that the biggest variance in our gas mileage comes not from speed, terrain, or road surface, but the ethanol in our gas. I guess that's never a problem with diesel. We see often our mileage drop 2-3 miles per gallon when the pump posts 10% ethanol. I'm a big fan of renewable resources, but severely disappointed in the effect of the ethanol mix on our mileage.

 

Safe travels, and a good trip home. Keep us posted on the rest of your trip!

 

Sherry & Paul

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Hi Sherry and Paul,

 

We are now back in Texas, visiting my Birth Mom in Pasadena, just south of Houston. We will head home on Monday, after my Brother has his heart surgery Monday morning.

 

I look forward to getting home and better organizing our trailer. Geneva took far too many clothes for this trip and they made us very crowded in the trailer. We forgot our remote control and couldn't watch any TV during our trip. I'm glad I got the satellite radio because that is what I used to keep up with the news. I wished the news had been better. I'm concerned for our Nation.

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No Doug, it's not just you. I've also had a fair number of things that needed attention - some that were quickly taken care of the next morning, and some that became evident later. It's unfortunate that we're now back in Minnesota (we did not allow time in our schedule for a return trip to Hohenwald), but I have complete confidence that the company will make it right.

 

Herm, congrats on YOUR new trailer. I saw it when I picked up mine. Nice! Sorry I missed meeting you. The folks at Oliver are all very nice and accommodating.

 

Occasionally, one of our window treatments will come undone and fall down on one side or the other, but they are very easy to put back up. I think we have everything on ours working, except the heat strip on the AC. Apparently, they get too hot and automatically trip off, causing them to be worthless.

 

The cell phone signal amplifier and repeater is still unusable. At this point, I would advise anyone to save your money and not get this option. Maybe it can be made to be useful, but so far, no luck. I'm going to contact the seller of this equipment and see if they can offer any suggestions. Maybe Pete and Oscar can help me when I meet up with them at the Matagorda Madness Rally in early December.

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We have found that the Coleman Polar Cub 9,200 BTU air conditioner is very noisy, even when the fan is on low. It sometimes wakes us up at night when the compressor cycles on. The entire trailer hums with minor vibration when the compressor is on. Is this normal, based on other's experience with this A/C?

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My AC is also very noisy, but we were able to get by with our MaxxFan most nights (which we feel was a worthy upgrade). Also, my heat strip worked fine for the brief period of time that I used it.

 

I'm beginning to wonder if I even have the Polar Cub unit I was supposed to get. My unit reads "Duo-Therm by Dometic (Penguin)" and I haven't checked the paperwork to see if it will run on a Honda 2000i generator. As long as it's equivalent in quality and power comsumption, I'm probably not going to make an issue out of this.

 

I'm currently in the process of getting the Oliver and TV all cleaned up, so I should have some photos to share soon. It's certainly drawing a lot of attention around my neighborhood!

 

Herm

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DougI,

 

I've got th Polar Cub 9200 and initially was concerned about the sound. After speaking to other seasoned RV'rs I discovered that it is not much different in sound level from theirs in other small trailers. I guess it'd be hard not to hear a compressor cycling on only 5 feet from your ears, no matter what A/C you had.

 

Anyway . . . after a couple nights, my brain totally tuned it out and I find the gentle hummmmmm to be soothing instead of attention getting. Not concerned with it at all right now as I'm traveling in the greater northwest at this time. I find the propane heater makes a sudden sound when it comes on, but the brain has attenuated to that as well. :lol:

Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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We have found the furnace to be noticeably quieter than the air conditioner and that has been a pleasant surprise. I can't help but think that RV A/C manufacturers could make their units quieter and more energy efficient, if people demanded they do so. My guess is that the vast majority of RV A/C units are sold to RV manufacturers, rather than RVers, and they don't care how noisy they are so long as they are cheap and serve to help keep the cost of their units low.

 

I'll tell you what is quiet and that's the hot water heater. I can't even hear it when it cycles on and starts burning propane. Do you other Oliver owners run your hot water heaters on electricity when connected to shore power? I like to do so in order to save my propane every chance I get. In order to do this, I have to switch the hot water heater on 110 AC outside, and then turn it off when I run my generator to recharge the battery. I think there should be an inside switch for this. All my other RV's had this switch inside the unit.

 

Another surprise was that I found my wall controls for the A/C, the furnace, and the vent fan were all located just to the left of the kitchen sink, where they might get wet. I thought these were going to be mounted on a wall next to one of the beds so they could be operated while we were in bed. I asked about this and was told this is where they always put them. I think they should be placed where they can be operated without getting out of bed, in case you want to change a setting without getting up in the middle of the night.

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I've also wondered about the thermostat location, considering it could be a wet area. However, I can't really think of a better place for them. It's centrally located, not near windows or other vents, and at an appropriate height.

 

Regarding the water heater, we have only used it on propane. Because it heats up very quickly on propane, we are able to switch it on a few minutes before there's a need for hot water. I think the reason for the electric switch being on the outside is that one would typically turn it on and leave it on, as the time to heat/reheat on electicity is much longer. That's my theory anyway.

 

I'm with Bugeye on the AC noise...there's no such thing as a quite AC. But when it's hot, I'll take my loud AC over no AC any day. I can sleep through noise better than through hot, humid air.

 

Herm

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For the AC Noise (especially turning on/off), we typically leave the fan on all of the time as to reduce the noise difference between off and on. It helps a bunch for us.

 

 

We had our first snow storm last night in Fernley, NV and got to put the heater to good use. Using the bathroom in the morning (which stayed pretty cold with the door shut all night) was a real wake up . :D

 

 

As to earlier questions, we too had several things that needed to be fixed at the factory - so Oliver does have some QA issues for delivery. I chalk it up to still getting their consistency up. But, they did handle them quite cheerfully. Unfortunately, we discovered that we have some leaks in the back still last week. We've been very busy since then to deal with keeping on top of getting a solution tho.

 

Our cell phone amplifier - we've had mixed results with it and the various antennas that folks at Powerful Signal gave us when we visited them in Zion National Park (Utah) back in August. When we were in Tahoe National Forest a few weeks ago, it beautifully kept us online and connected when we had otherwise weak signal. But we were caught between two towers the other week in the hills above the San Francisco Bay Area that we kept getting bounced between, and the amplifier wasn't enough to stabilize things. We hope to have the opportunity to test it out further now that we're serving as a mobile staging office for the Obama Campaign in rural Nevada through election day.

 

All our best..

 

- Cherie (and Chris)

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I've also wondered about the thermostat location, considering it could be a wet area. However, I can't really think of a better place for them. It's centrally located, not near windows or other vents, and at an appropriate height.

 

Regarding the water heater, we have only used it on propane. Because it heats up very quickly on propane, we are able to switch it on a few minutes before there's a need for hot water. I think the reason for the electric switch being on the outside is that one would typically turn it on and leave it on, as the time to heat/reheat on electicity is much longer. That's my theory anyway.

 

I'm with Bugeye on the AC noise...there's no such thing as a quite AC. But when it's hot, I'll take my loud AC over no AC any day. I can sleep through noise better than through hot, humid air.

 

Herm

 

We will also take the noise and vibration over the heat but that doesn't keep us from wishing that the A/C manufacturers would build quieter and more energy efficient units. It might cost us a bit more but it would be worth it IMO. I might look into lining the shroud with some sound insulating materials to help absorb the sound waves. Some kind of soft material incorporated where the unit mounts onto the trailer might help with the vibration issue.

 

We camped in a strong rain in Natchez Trace State Park Mississippi and had no leaks that we noticed. That was a blessing for us. Thanks Oliver!

 

As to the hot water 110AC switch, it needs to be switched off every time one uses the generator to recharge the batteries. Otherwise, the hot water heater will cause the generator to needlessly run the hot water heater on electricity, using more fuel in your generator. The lack of an interior 110AC switch is not a big deal but it would be a plus for convenience and be a reminder to turn it off prior to using your generator.

 

Chris and Cherie, if and when you come up with a mounting/orientation improvement for your interior antenna box, please share it with the board. I've noticed that when I remove the antenna from it's mount and point it downward it seems to help to keep the two lights on the amplifier green rather than red.

 

Good luck with your political activities. Nevada is a swing state, and therefore very important to the outcome of the election.

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Thought it would be helpful to add our experience to this topic:

 

The A/C does make some noise, but since it is only a few feet from our heads, we think that is normal. We are happy for the cool air.

 

We, too, had a number of things that had to be fixed when we picked up our Oliver, and I agree that there are QA issues that need to be addressed. In fact, we had to stay two additional days in Hohenwald for appliances to be changed out and other things to be fixed. Following that, on our way back here to California, several other problems came to light. We had to take the trailer to a local repair firm to have these problems taken care of. Through all of this, the Oliver team has been very helpful and eager to get the problems fixed. We still have one intermittent problem: one of the electric jacks sometimes does not work without requiring that we go inside and move the jack back a forth a little manually, using the tool that came with the trailer. I have notified Oliver about this, and I have not yet received any guidance regarding how to deal with it.

 

Our Oliver has not been in any rain since we picked it up, so we do not yet know whether there will be any leaks.

 

I think that it would be useful to many if another thread were to be started to discuss the operation of the water heater on electric power. I have several questions about this since I have not tried it, and others may wish to take part. I'll start the thread right away.

 

Steve

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On our return trip from Oliver to Texas we got 17 MPG towing with our 2002 Silverado Big Dually diesel crew cab truck. I was astounded at that mileage. We drove slow, at between 50 and 60 MPH, mostly at 55 MPH.

 

Now I have set up the portable satellite dish at home and am watching TV on our Jensen 19 inch TV. I assume there is a way to run the TV sound through the Jensen radio and the four speakers located in the trailer? Maybe someone can tell me how to do this?

 

Also, I tried to program the Direct TV remote control to operate the TV but no luck. Does anyone know the correct 5 digit code for these remotes? The ones Direct TV gave me do not work. It's always nice to program the Satellite Remote control to operate both the TV and the satellite receiver. Has anyone done this?

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Doug,

That's some amazing mileage to report. The best we've ever done with our half-ton pickups is 15.5 to 16... and a little less with the Volvo. Congrats!

 

Glad you had a good trip home.

 

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Doug,

 

To make the tv play thru the speakers, turn the Jensen unit on and switch to AUX. This will not work if you have anything plugged into the headphone jack on the front of the unit.

 

I programed the remote that came with the Directv unit to control both the tv and the unit at the same time. I find that this is not necessary as I just leave the directv unit on all the time and turn the tv off when not needed. But anyway, it can be done. I found the directions in the book that came with the directv unit. You will still have to control the volume with the remote from the Jensen unit. Sometimes we just use the speakers from the tv. They're loud enough unless you have the AC going.

 

Steve

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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Doug,

 

You should be able to find an unused set of cables in the overhead storage area near the A/V outlet. You may have to poke around under the rubber matting to find them. These should be wired to one of the auxilary inputs on the Jensen. You'll then need to provide RCA unions and an RCA audio cable to create an extension that reaches your source (TV or SAT receiver). If you don't find the aux. cables, you may need to pull the Jensen and attach a pair yourself.

 

I used this method to pipe over-the-air TV broadcasts to the Jensen speakers, though it was a little annoying having to use the Jensen remote for volume and the Samsung remote for channels. I too only found this method necessary when the AC was running, requiring more volume than my TV speakers could deliver.

 

To add to the discussion about leaks, I am happy to report that I have not seen one hint of water inside my Oliver, despite having driven through a torrential downpour in MS and enduring a thorough washing at home. I don't expect any problems having it sit outside through the winter.

 

Herm

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I'm pretty lame when it comes to hooking up audio and video equipment properly. I'll likely need some help. I did get the Satellite radio to work, after some help from their tech folks. However, when the sat radio is sending its FM signals to the Jensen radio, the Fantastic Vent fan provides a noticeable static, so I turn it off in order to hear the sat radio. Also, when I am recharging some 12V device anywhere in the trailer, it causes the sat radio not to work.

 

I think I need to take the trailer to an audio/video specialist to have them check things out and improve reception and reproduction where possible.

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I'm no A/V specialist, but in my experience using an FM modulator is almost a guaranteed way to get crappy-sounding audio. Does your SAT radio has some sort of hard-wired output options? If so, that would likely eliminate the fan interference as well.

 

Hopefully we can help you get setup, without the need to hire someone. Unless I'm missing something, it shouldn't be terribly complicated.

 

Herm

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The sat radio has a headphones jack. I've thought about just getting a set of head phones and using them to listen to the radio and just forgetting about the Jensen radio and the four nice speakers, one in each corner of the trailer. I suppose that's an option.

 

I also want to use the sat radio in other locations, like outdoors, but I haven't looked into that option. I have to pay for it 24/7 so I need to get more usage from it than just in the Oliver. I would also like to use it in the Silverado while towing. It a convenient way to get the news without having to set up a satellite dish for the tv. AM/FM is a big waste of resources as far as the news goes. I rarely find anything worth listening to on AM/FM, unless I can tune in to a good NPR news program.

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You shouldn't have to use headphones. How about connecting the SAT radio's headphone jack to the aux. AV input on the front of the Jensen? You'll need a cable with 1/8" stereo plugs on each end, but they're readily available (commonly used for connecting iPods too).

 

Herm

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