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I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere.  Just point, I'm happy to read up.

But, 2 questions:

1) why have solar attached to the roof - seems like a driving negative, a structural negative, and difficult to upgrade as new tech arrives.  why not just carry external solar?

2) how difficult/pricey is it to add solar later if you decide you want it?

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Regarding  the microwave - we have a simple little one in our  camper van and have used  it a fair  bit - especially on long travel days or big outdoor adventure  days  when it is SUPER  handy  to be able to just quickly nuke leftovers for dinner or a hot lunch while on a break during  long drives. We of course are sparing in our use of it given the battery drain  but even  that  limited use has been well worth the space it takes up for us. Could we live without it? Of course but it doesn't seem worth the tradeoff for us.

Given  that, we are opting not to delete the  oven from the trailer we have currently being built. I assume if our habits and needs change and we decide the space would be more valuable than  the oven, we could remove it and get a door and shelving for  the  space it will occupy. 

Edited by Jim_Oker

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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23 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

. I assume if our habits and needs change and we decide the space would be more valuable than  the oven, we could remove it and get a door and shelving for  the  space it will occup

We did exactly that. When our microwave died from lack of use, we removed it, and built a cabinet.

If you use a microwave now, while camping, you know you'll want one again. Everyone has different styles and needs.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

Everyone has different styles and needs.

Indeed. I just figured I'd share my style here for the folks who haven't yet done enough vehicle based camping to determine theirs.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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2 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

Regarding  the microwave - we have a simple little one in our  camper van and have used  it a fair  bit - especially on long travel days or big outdoor adventure  days  when it is SUPER  handy  to be able to just quickly nuke leftovers for dinner or a hot lunch while on a break during  long drives. We of course are sparing in our use of it given the battery drain  but even  that  limited use has been well worth the space it takes up for us. Could we live without it? Of course but it doesn't seem worth the tradeoff for us.

Given  that, we are opting not to delete the  oven from the trailer we have currently being built. I assume if our habits and needs change and we decide the space would be more valuable than  the oven, we could remove it and get a door and shelving for  the  space it will occupy. 

We are deleting the microwave. We could carry a small one, if we decide we need it.  If it's just for warming things, a small, low wattage oven would do fine.  As it is, we plan to use the space to store our small toaster oven which, to me, is more useful than a microwave.  In addition, microwave ovens sold for RV use are mediocre, at best.

Regarding the microwave/convection upgrade: For those considering the upgraded microwave, we had one in our camper van.  I used it as a convection oven once, just to make sure it worked.  For one, it heats up the inside of the RV.  And, in our installation, there were reports of the oven overheating and shutting down with prolonged cooking times.

Bottom line is, which microwave option you choose depends on how you will use the Oliver.  Part-time vs full-time' shore power vs boondocking, do you want to fire up the generator just to warm up leftovers?, and the type of on the road cooking you do are all considerations.  The answer, as any accountant will tell you, is - "it depends".

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

States map oliver.jpg

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Yes, for our van  I found a  very simple and relatively small and moderate (1000W, yes I know there are  even  lower wattage ovens out there) wattage oven with no spinning  platter, and just a time setting knob as the only  front panel control - one power level and that's  it.  I  believe it was  a product aimed at the convenience store market. It cost a little more than similar wattage/size consumer units (which also had more involved front panels etc.) but has continued working for 16 years  of often hard travel on very bumpy unpaved roads etc. And to my amazement it looks like at least  someone still  has inventory in case  anyone reading this might want to get one (and at a pretty nice  price). BTW we have  no solar nor a generator for  our van (but it does recharge the house batteries via the alternator under the hood) and have found that our level of microwave use has not been a battery-fatal issue. We do consciously ration  it as well as any other  use  of inverted power.

In perhaps a to be regretted twitch I opted  for  the  convection upgrade  in  our being-built-now trailer. I realize we'll probably  only ever use the convection  option when on  shore  power which  to-date has been a relatively  small percent of our nights camping. But we also love  to  cook  and  I was  seduced by the notion  of having an additional form  of cooking available - a slightly  expensive gamble on our unknown future. 

Edited by Jim_Oker

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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On 8/26/2020 at 2:21 PM, Dwainkitchens said:

I know these questions are very subjective, but I am torn between a class B and a small TT like the Oliver Elite.


1. I like the idea of a TT because it provides a vehicle to go places, visit sites, stores, etc... But some say unhooking with a class B is not that difficult, only takes a few minutes, and can use it to go most places.
2. When we purchase, we will be about 70, good health, but I don't know how difficult setting up and tearing down, hooking up TT, etc.... will be as we age. Perhaps its no big deal as I know many seniors travel with a TT. But it seems that maybe just driving a class B and not worrying about hooking up to hitch etc. would be better for seniors. Also, things like making sure brakes or ok on TT ok etc...  Is towing difficult for seniors etc.?
3. I have never owned an RV and this is why I am seeking opinions from those who have experience.
4. I also know purchasing a nice Class B is a big investment, so I am not sure I can justify the cost compared to a small TT since I don't think I will use it more than 8 weeks per year. Of course, we may love traveling and find it is worthy the investment and travel several weeks throughout the year!
5. My plans following retirement at the present would be the first year to rent cabins etc... and see if we like traveling 8 weeks a year before purchasing an RV; or buy a small TT like the Oliver Elite. It appears that even if we concluded that we are not RVer's that we could sell it without losing to much of the investment.


Anyway, I know lots of points, but would appreciate any of your thoughts.
Dwain

We just sold our class B+ Leisure Travel Van mainly because it restricted our ability to explore the areas around the campground. And, if you do choose to drive around to see the sights, you have to secure everything in the cab first.  

Not having to hook-up and unhook were two things we thought would be nice, but in reality, parking a small trailer with no slides, etc isn't that much bother and, IMO, a small travel trailer is easier to level than a 25' long chassis RV.

A huge downside to a motorized RV is that it is another vehicle to maintain, license and insure.  In our case, my husband's vehicle is our tow vehicle so having a TT doesn't require another vehicle for towing.   When we had the camper van, it cost around $1,000 per year to insure plus licensing fees, which can be over $1,000, depending on your state of residence.  If you only plan to use your RV a couple of months out of the year, that's a lot to pay for it to sit idle.

Every type of RV has pros and cons.  You would be smart to rent one of each type to see what fits you best.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

States map oliver.jpg

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On 8/26/2020 at 6:33 PM, TexasGuy said:

So renting a class B this summer confirmed my decision to go with a TT.   It was very easy to drive, park and hookup.  It was so loud in the van while driving due to items shaking.  I also didn’t care for layout limitations with cab in the living area.  Personal preference but renting helped to solidify direction I wanted to go.  
 

Good luck.  

Noise is a point I hadn't thought of, maybe because I spent most of a day figuring out ways to secure our gear in the camper van so we could hear the radio in the cab.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

States map oliver.jpg

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5 minutes ago, dennis said:

Does anyone rent their Ollie (like or rvshare or outdoorsy...)?

We don’t.  It’s a personal space like our home with our personal belongings.  I’m not aware of anyone that rents out their Oliver but there might be!  Mike

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Different perspective on the convection oven... when we have shore power, we use the oven all-the-time!

It does a great job baking - bread, cookies, cake, pie etc.

We don't use the microwave function much, but it IS handy for a quick warm-up once in a while.

Overall, it's much more valuable to us than extra storage. 🙂

EDIT: it ALSO functions as extra storage. We keep pots, pans, tortillas, bread etc. in the oven when not in use.

Edited by thirddoor

2019 Legacy Elite II #488 - Delivery July 24, 2019
2018 F150 Platinum SC SB EB - Leer canopy

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Dennis, I can’t imagine any Ollie owner who would be willing to rent it out. It is an expensive, premium quality product with a unusually high resale value (hardly any depreciation). A stranger will simply not care a lot about physically damaging it. “The insurance will cover it” does not apply. Once damaged, a repair to the aluminum frame or hull may be difficult and costly, and a patched gelcoat may not match. I am pretty laid back about taking mine off pavement or even into tight situations like busy parking lots, but I do take extreme care to protect it from collisions and especially rock damage . 

A stranger also will not care about destroying the batteries by running them flat. An abused battery bank might not be obvious to the owner immediately, it usually shows itself as a greatly reduced life span. Replacing up to four damaged/ worn out batteries is costly, especially lithium ones (up to $4500, depending on capacity and brand)!

If I screwed something up myself, I would mutter a few bad words and deal with it. If somebody else did it, I would be dangerously furious.🤬 Do NOT mess with my baby!!!!

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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I figured as much. 😁
As the next best alternative, my wife and I are planning on a week or so in an Airstream.  They park it some place pretty, and we live out of it.
Hopefully that teaches us what we need to know about ourselves and RVing.

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dennis:

Yes, your plan will give you a bit of a taste of what its like living in a camped spot with an RV.  However, it will not give you anywhere near a full experience.  Hopefully you have "towed" something of size before - a good sized boat or (even better) an RV about the size of the Oliver or bigger.  I find that my driving experience is way different when towing as compared to when I'm simply on the road.  I slow down, I enjoy the scenery much more, I stop more often when towing and this is all part of the experience.  I believe that it would be much more preferable for you to rent a towable RV, travel at least a couple of hours, set up camp, camp, break down camp, and , return the RV.  That would give you a better "taste" of the overall experience.  

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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3 hours ago, topgun2 said:

rent a towable RV, travel at least a couple of hours, set up camp, camp, break down camp, and , return the RV.

Good suggestion - this is  doable via Outdoorsy for sure. Another option that  at least  gives  some  sense of towing is to  rent a utility trailer  from U-haul or another local rental  place. That at least gives some sense of things like connecting to  the trailer, backing up, swinging wide on turns, dealing with traffic, etc. 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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5 hours ago, dennis said:

I figured as much. 😁
As the next best alternative, my wife and I are planning on a week or so in an Airstream.  They park it some place pretty, and we live out of it.
Hopefully that teaches us what we need to know about ourselves and RVing.

That's what we did. We rented Airstream 20' Flying Cloud during Thanksgiving from Outdoorsy and ended up ordering Oliver from inside the Airstream 😁 The experience was much better than I expected. We thought flushing black tank was going to be super yucky but it wasn't at all. Towing is easier than I thought but I still need to learn to take it easy while backing up. Got too excited every single time 😆. It was freezing a couple of nights during our stay and we learned so much about condensation, especially around single pane windows, heating, cooking, etc. I think the most important thing we learned was that our original plan to get Legacy Elite wouldn't work for us four (mom, dad, a highschooler, and 1st grader) and we ended up ordering LE II which will give us bigger beds. Even if you are not towing, I think you could learn a ton from the experience. Do it! 😃

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I think it's quite smart to rent and try out camping. See if you really like it.

Renting the airstream set up in a nice park is a start. Gets your toe in the water without spending all your time learning a bunch of new skill sets.

Work your way up, though, and rent a towable camper, later too, if you have or can borrow a suitable tow vehicle. Even better if you can camp with friends or relatives who are experienced campers.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I will also say, none of this is rocket science. Hundreds  of thousands of people rent or buy rvs and towables every year, and they figure it out .

I  do remember my mother-in-law telling me about the adventure of picking up their Dolphin camper in Southern  California in the 70s. No initiation. No walk thru. Handed them the keys, and off they went to western NY. No camping experience,  beyond cabin camping in Canada. (No cell phones or Google, then, either.)

They learned a lot from fellow campers ar rv parks. They made it. And loved that crazy little camper for over a decade.

Even when the gulls stole a steak from their grill at ft. Desoto....

Theirs looked a lot like this one. 

Btw, I  really miss my in-laws.  They were super people.. but,, this memory makes me smile. 

 

Screenshot_20201216-155242_Samsung capture.jpg

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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