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Hi everyone 

We just put our deposit down for our Ollie!

Sleepless nights of what we should put on or not for options. We are not boondocking, getting the twin bed floor plan.  Our question is, what options did you get. but never used, and wished you got something else. My husband and I keep going back and forth

Thanks 

Cheri 

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We could not decide either, so we basically got everything on the options list just in case. Honestly though we have yet to utilize a single one...........because we have not picked our trailer up yet haha. Seriously though, we bounced back and forth several times on the solar upgrades, but at the end of the day tax credits will help offset some of that extra cost. We figured even if we don't boondock most of the time, we wanted to keep our options open.  I'm not sure how true this is, but they told us during the factory tour that they glass the fasteners into the structure if you order solar from the factory vs an install afterwards. That was enough to make our decision.  

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10 hours ago, The Shackelfords said:

We could not decide either, so we basically got everything on the options list just in case. Honestly though we have yet to utilize a single one...........because we have not picked our trailer up yet haha. Seriously though, we bounced back and forth several times on the solar upgrades, but at the end of the day tax credits will help offset some of that extra cost. We figured even if we don't boondock most of the time, we wanted to keep our options open.  I'm not sure how true this is, but they told us during the factory tour that they glass the fasteners into the structure if you order solar from the factory vs an install afterwards. That was enough to make our decision.  

Your right. You never know what tomorrow brings . 

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Posted (edited)

I didn't get the cell phone booster because I rarely use a cell phone.  I did get the WiFi booster thinking that I'd use it in commercial campgrounds but their signals are so variable that I really don't rely on it for that purpose.  However, unexpectedly I do use it while on the road in that I can pull into a WalMart or McDonald's or virtually any fast food place and tap into their WiFi without even going into the store.  I didn't get the 30 pound propane tanks because I do not do a bunch of winter camping and the 20 pounders are mush easier to get refilled or swapped/exchanged.  I did get the solar package, inverter, etc. and they are wonderful giving me so many additional camping possibilities and choices.  Finally, I did get the surge protector (now standard?) to protect all that electronic stuff inside.

Bill

p.s.  Didn't get the electric switch for opening the shower backflow slide valve - I'm not so lazy or physically challenged that I can't bend over to open that valve.  Didn't get the external propane quick connects since I do not use a propane stove outside - I prefer old fashion charcoal.  Also didn't get the front basket - I probably regret that one - nor the front electrical connections since I don't use a generator.  Note that the basket can be used for other things and that I why I miss it upon occasion. 

Edited by topgun2
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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Options today are more than they were in 2015.  We got solar, inverter, cell booster, 30lb propane and reading lights.  We use them all.

We camp off the grid more than we thought we would.  We also camp year round in all kinds of weather.  The solar, inverter and larger propane tanks have come in handy for that.  Many of the national parks have campgrounds with no hook ups.  Also, we’ve found some spectacular BLM, COE and FS sites off the grid.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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We just placed our first big deposit this week and went back and forth with many of the options.  The option we struggled with the most was the Nature's Head.  We almost always use the campgrounds facilities when we camp at National & State Parks and I do not enjoy the smell of the black tank additives.  Our kids were shocked we went in that direction but we are giving the compost toilet the thumbs up.  If we find we totally do not like it we can always do a refitting.

I also felt like with the cost of the Ollie, I was spending so much more than any other camper, how much more did it really add in the scheme of things.  The rear hitch and the street side awning were two items I will probably use the least.  I figured the street side I could operate manually when I used it.  We did not get the TV booster because we have found we watch internet tv and almost never network programming.  In 40 years of camping, TV watching while camping was never on our mind but that is a personal thing.

The solar option to me is a no brainer since technology is moving in that direction by leaps and bounds.  The twin beds are a better use of room and flexibility.  

and the final note....the stock markets swings so much in both direction I figured I gained or lost more than the options every day.....

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Erv & Sherry  Hull # 650

2020 Tundra SR5 Crewcab 4X4

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54 minutes ago, gatorewc said:

The option we struggled with the most was the Nature's Head.  We almost always use the campgrounds facilities when we camp at National & State Parks and I do not enjoy the smell of the black tank additives.

The composting toilet wasn’t available for us.  I can see that it would allow us to stay put longer while off the grid and would be an option I would also seriously consider.  We are happy with our traditional set up.  The only thing we add to the black tank is a detergent pod and a splash of Calgon water softener.  No odor at all.  When not in use I add Happy Camper.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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What is your tow vehicle? If it is a light duty pickup or big SUV, consider NOT getting the tongue cargo tray. Keeping extra weight off the front of the trailer really helps in terms of adding payload inside the TV, and in reducing stress on the rear suspension of the TV. The smaller propane bottles also will help, but only a little. If you have a HD truck, never mind, it will be a non-issue. FYI the cargo tray can easily be added in the future in less than an hour.

If you have a HD TV, then forget the Andersen hitch. It is not at all needed.

Get the solar and associated equipment, once you experience the joy of being independent of hookups you will never look back.

Get the Natures Head toilet, there is a learning curve but once past that, enjoy not having to deal with the black tank. You can possibly dump your grey water at your home (depending on codes and your neighbors) but many places prohibit installation of a official RV dump at a residence. I routinely drain my grey tank in the gravel. Some remote camping areas allow watering of shrubs with your grey water. The pee tank is simple to empty just about anywhere, in a toilet or sink.

The cell booster is very important to us, it sometimes means being able to make calls or send emails when otherwise we would be completely cut off. HIGHLY recommended for travel anywhere west of the Mississppi.

Wifi booster - a complete waste, especially in campgrounds where the bandwidth gets overwhelmed by all the users. For pirating a signal at a McDonalds, you can get a little closer and just use your phone.

Microwave - I have mixed feelings, it is really nice sometimes but it is the Killer Of Batteries. It sucks up vast amounts of juice when running off the inverter. My microwave draws 70 amps DC....I would love to pull ours out and throw it very far away, but the wife would not be pleased....

Truma water heater - some folks love it, to me it is a needlessly complicated, expensive, hard to fix nightmare. A standard heater is cheap to fix or replace and doesn’t require any expert technical knowledge.  

Options that are not important to you (now) will be important when you sell, so buying the more labor intensive options makes sense, even if you think you won’t use them. Where do you live and where do you plan to travel? That will have a big effect on what equipment you might find useful.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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We probably ordered the least expensive 2019 Oliver Elite II made, no solar for sure, we are not going boondocking to start with. We ordered three options, Convection Microwave, Extra LP Gas Ports, Bicycle Rack, that's it. We went with the standard White Counter Tops and all standard colors in a gray/black color combination, the inside of the trailer looks like a custom high dollar sailboat, total luxury inside. Don't knock the white till you have seen it, you will be surprised, many are at the rallies. Many of the upscale options are nice, but we have been camping for years and the standard options work well for us and see no need to spend money on things not needed, well were spending elsewhere for sure. 

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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We got:

Solar package: no power in plenty of the best campgrounds (National Parks like yellowstone).

Cheap Battery Upgrade: $$$ saved from more expensive system is going into Lithium batteries

No Inverter: going for a nicer setup, whenever I have time

Extra 30 amp connection: makes life a little easier in some campgrounds.

FM Antenna: we watch movies on local storage or stream

Backup Camera: It's a bit dated in resolution/etc, but having had a camera since pickup is great.

WiFi Booster: we actually upgraded to a newer model of the wifi ranger (this may come standard).  We've barely used it for WiFi boosting (campground wifi is usually slower than our LTE), but have the LTE upgrade installed externally.  So we have an LTE modem mounted on our roof.  I use the external wifi antenna to run Ring Cameras with a little more signal strength.   I do wish they offered a system with more advanced LTE/WiFi capabilities - as 5G is around the corner.  

Cell Booster: we got it, messed with it a little.  I've never been in a spot where we had cell from the booster but not from my phone.  Probably because we use t-mobile that gets some better coverage from bands not supported by the booster.  For remote communications I have an InReach that I use for the "still alive, weather sucks" communications to friends and family.  This is the one option I would leave off if doing again, but you might be different.

Fiber Granite: glad we did it, but now that Foy is doing table tops in gorgeous wood, I might have just purchased one of his.

Convection Microwave: cookies in the woods are awesome, french fries are awesome, brownies are awesome, baked asparagus ... etc.... super happy with this.   Just wish I didn't have to keep resetting the time everytime we lose power or move.

Composting toilet: great option, zero regrets, do wish that we could switch urine to black tank at campgrounds and back to jug when we don't have a sewer line-but never dealing with a gross tank is probably a plus.

Hypervent: I wouldn't describe it as hyper.  Looking for something else under the bed that goes more airflow in case we do run into condensation or seep.   I did use it in the closet to keep clothes off the wall where condensation is a problem

(not get) KTT Mattress: we went with the "king" layout, skipped this.  Put a piece of foam across the cushions and it sleeps well enough for us - and I have back problems.

Shower Curtain Track: got it, don't use it.  We just cover the toilet with a garbage bag to ensure no extra moisture intrudes

Basement passthrough: we mostly go through the hatches to get stuff, but its an easy way to plumb some heat into the basement when it is really cold and you want to make sure all the plumbing gets a little extra heat.

auto backflow valve: we got it, glad we did as it does clean up the bathroom aesthetic a little.  Just wish they also installed one for the gray tank dump, so we wouldn't have to walk outside to dump during full hookup time.

Andersen no sway: it was worth it with our navigator (F150 SUV), on the F250 we rented - we couldn't notice when we had the chains on or not.

Front and rear propane: got it, haven't used it yet.  Maybe someday?  We have a pellet grill/smoker that we use for outside cooking.

30lbs propane tanks: got them, you could probably get 30 lbs propane tanks for less than the upgrade costs from Oliver, but glad we had them from the get-go when we hit unexpected severe weather.

Truma: have it, like it, just wish they installed the "Comfort plus" instead of the comfort.  When boondocking, it wastes too much fresh/gray tank if you wait for warm water.  Regular hot water would do the same as it is the water in the line from the tank near the back to the faucet in the front that is wasted.

Electric anti-freeze: wasn't available when we purchased, but I added it.  Not sure how much of a benefit it is vs just pulling the easy drain before we hit the road.  When we are stopped and actually running water we have propane on and that protects the truma as long as its on at least "eco" mode.

Electric Key Lock: it's nice to not need the keys all the time.  I just hope RVLock integrates with some home automation system at some point.

No Storage basket: the trailer was already a little tongue heavy, so we avoided this to avoid extra weight there.  Plenty of room in TV/trailer for everything we need.  Where it would be useful: a generator or gas cans with an SUV where you don't want to smell fuel vapors.

Bumper receiver: we like/use it for our bikes sometimes, but mostly our bikes end up inside the tow vehicle so they don't get all the road spray from the back of the trailer

Dual power awnings: big fan of this option.  If it's getting windy a quick tap of two buttons and I save the awnings and trailer.  Auto retract worked as advertised when a freak microburst popped up.  Having the awnings on both side is good for keeping mist/rain off the windows/tracks/weep holes and slightly helps keep indoor moisture under control.  Not sure I would want to go out and crank both sides when weather changes late at night in the rain.

Micro-air e-z start: we generally don't run the AC (loud), but we did use this option a couple times to get AC off the generator.

 

Edited by WhatDa
noting that it's not just the Truma the wastes water -- regular hot water does too.
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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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I feel your pain. We put a deposit down as well and keep waffling back and forth on a couple of options. We however plan  on Boondocking. Deciding on the powered awning and Truma water heater is especially difficult as I tend to align with the “keep it simple, stupid” group, LOL. Anyway, I will be closely following this thread. Keep the opinions coming.  

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15 minutes ago, C&MCurrie said:

I feel your pain. We put a deposit down as well and keep waffling back and forth on a couple of options. We however plan  on Boondocking. Deciding on the powered awning and Truma water heater is especially difficult as I tend to align with the “keep it simple, stupid” group, LOL. Anyway, I will be closely following this thread. Keep the opinions coming.  

We got the traditional hot water tank because apparently the Truma wasn’t invented yet 🙄 and we’ve been happy with it.  Works well on propane and on electric when we have hookups.  I clean it out every year or so and have replaced the anode just once.  I did have to replace the on/off switch this year.  It was a $5 item on Amazon that took 5 minutes to replace.

I like the idea of automatic awnings but I think without the support poles they can’t be used when the weather gets breezy.  We use a sun screen that slides into the awning frame and then gets staked down with bungees.  It is able to withstand quite a bit of wind and is easy and quick to drop if it gets too windy.  The hand crank isn’t as exotic as a motor but it has proven to be reliable and durable.

 

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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On 4/29/2020 at 6:52 AM, C&MCurrie said:

I feel your pain. We put a deposit down as well and keep waffling back and forth on a couple of options. We however plan  on Boondocking. Deciding on the powered awning and Truma water heater is especially difficult as I tend to align with the “keep it simple, stupid” group, LOL. Anyway, I will be closely following this thread. Keep the opinions coming.  

We did not get the power awning and regret it.  The awning comes out very easy but it takes some effort and is very slow to retract.  I always think twice before putting it out, as I know I will have to retract it.  Keep in mind, neither the manual nor the powered awning have support arms on new Olivers. 

We did get the Truma and love it!  Heats up super fast (in a few minutes) and is a breeze to drain.  

Andrew

Edited by AndrewK
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Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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Just a note the 2019-2020 Awnings are the same whether powered or not, with no vertical supports/ground supports (ie "Case Awning").  The only difference is the area you would stick the hand crank into has a motor, and the forward lip has a vibration sensor to detect wind and bring the awning in automatically for a save.  So you are in the same boat whether powered or not as far as stability.  If there were a greater difference, I could have been swayed to the crank options for stability or screen room compatibility.  Like most things, I do wish the awnings were able to tie into some sort of home automation, so my actual weather station could bring them in before the wind starts blowing them enough that the sensors bring them in (added level of safety without having to set the sensitivity on the sensors so low that making the bed without the jacks down sets them off).

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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2 hours ago, The Shackelfords said:

Another pro for the standard hot water heater is the extra 6 gallons of fresh water you get while its full. That is why we stuck with it and saved our money. 

??? .... That extra water is not actually usable. If you are connected to an outside water source and sewer, you have limitless fresh water. So that 6 gallons doesn’t matter.

If you are using the onboard fresh water supply, the pump replaces the hot water in the tank with cold water, and it will suck air when the fresh tank is nearly empty. In that case, the last 6 gallons trapped in the water heater are not at all usable. Unless you turn off the heater, let it cool, go outside with your big socket and drain the tank into a bucket. 

If there were an inside valve arrangement that would allow the water pump to be switched to suck water from the (turned off and cold) water heater, then that might be a nifty way to use the extra water, which otherwise is essentially inaccessible. But I think it would be a pretty cumbersome arrangement.... the best way to save fresh water is to use the composting toilet.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

??? .... That extra water is not actually usable. If you are connected to an outside water source and sewer, you have limitless fresh water. So that 6 gallons doesn’t matter.

If you are using the onboard fresh water supply, the pump replaces the hot water in the tank with cold water, and it will suck air when the fresh tank is nearly empty. In that case, the last 6 gallons trapped in the water heater are not at all usable. Unless you turn off the heater, let it cool, go outside with your big socket and drain the tank into a bucket. 

If there were an inside valve arrangement that would allow the water pump to be switched to suck water from the (turned off and cold) water heater, then that might be a nifty way to use the extra water, which otherwise is essentially inaccessible. But I think it would be a pretty cumbersome arrangement.... the best way to save fresh water is to use the composting toilet.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Dang, you are absolutely right. Very solid points that I did not think about.  Instantly regretting the decision, ol sales man got me with that one.  

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17 minutes ago, The Shackelfords said:

Dang, you are absolutely right. Very solid points that I did not think about.  Instantly regretting the decision, ol sales man got me with that one.  

LOL... I am a fan of the regular heater, even tho it is inefficient and a little crude. I don’t think that you made a mistake in your choice. OTH if an Oliver employee/ salesperson told you that you would be able to use those “extra” 6 gallons, then you should complain and ensure that that misinformation is not repeated. If it was an owner who was showing you his trailer, then I suspect it was just a simple error. But you should mention it to him anyway.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"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've had both the dual gas/ electric 6 gallon standard (original), and currently a Girard tankless. We had hoped to have Oliver install a Truma when our original 6 gallon died, but they hadn't quite worked out the final arrangements with Truma. Hence, the gas only Girard. Pretty sure we were the first tankless ever installed by Oliver. The changeover was pretty seamless, as all the tankless models are made to fit in the same space, or usually much less space, than the originals. 

They're both good. Since we almost always camp without services, the 6 gallon was probably a better and cheaper choice, in retrospect. We used to just fire it up long enough to get a decent temperature in the water, and run hot only. The 6 gallon limitation helps remind you to conserve water, as it starts cooling off after you've used a few gallons.

For those who camp with full hookups, the tankless provides those "endless" showers, with the grey valve open to the dump. The advantage to the 6 gallon is that you can switch to electric at full hookup campsites. 

It is true that the 6 gallons in the water heater can only be accessed by draining the water heater into a container. But, that reserve of six gallons is six gallons, if you really need it. It's also about 48 pounds of extra weight to drag around in the trailer. I prefer a five gallon jug in the pickup bed.

Sherry

 

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Also another note on the Truma - with daily showers for two and cooking (also eats some propane) we burn about 4lbs of propane a week (furnace is off).  With 2x 30lbs propane tanks we're set for a while.  When we run the furnace, the consumption jumps a bit more 🙂

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

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8 hours ago, WhatDa said:

Also another note on the Truma - with daily showers for two and cooking (also eats some propane) we burn about 4lbs of propane a week (furnace is off).  With 2x 30lbs propane tanks we're set for a while.  When we run the furnace, the consumption jumps a bit more 🙂

That's helpful, my wife and I were just discussing how long our propane would last on trips winter vs summer. Anyone know how much propane they burn a day with the furnace running. Say a mild winter day in the low 30s upper 20s

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Depends on if you run it 24/7, where you set the thermostat, and how windy it’s outside.  No wind, mid 60’s on the thermostat, and 24/7 with it turned down to 60 at night, I plan on four-five pounds per day.  I’m glad I got the 30# tanks for fall hunting in Minnesota.  

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For my wife, anything below 68 is freezing, even at night.  So we burn more but it is extremely variable.  I haven't weighed the tanks when we snow camped as we generally didn't do it long enough.  I'd say Ken's number is still pretty on the nose.  Where we can (ie electric hookups), we run a small space heater under the bed (King Layout) to stretch our propane tanks in the winter.

Also note that propane (in general) has issues vaporizing with extreme cold and propane furnaces generally have trouble with altitude both from an efficiency and sometimes reliability (safety switches don't register enough airflow).  Our 2019 worked fine at 7,000 feet with the Atwood furnace.

I do wish the Mopeka app would let me plot my propane levels over time.

  

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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