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Hi everyone. I would like to introduce myself.


Kim Smith

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My name is Kim.  I am a newbie to camping and the whole enchilada! 😬 But I have a passion!   And very confident that I can learn this!  🤓   I have been researching all RV’s, travel trailer’s, 5th wheels, class A, B and C’s for a little while now and I am convinced that the Oliver E II is the one for me.  I completed the build list and have my quote.  Before I send in my deposit I would like to discuss my plans and hear from others that may have similar plans as myself.  This Forum is wonderfully filled with so much experience and knowledge on the art and science of camping and traveling.  It’s always been my dream to travel and experience this beautiful country of ours!  
i’m wondering if there are any traveling nurses out there that work and live and travel in their Oliver elite two that would like to share what they’ve learned their knowledge experience and not just the traveling nurses but anyone.  I don’t even have a tow vehicle yet but have been doing my homework.   I am open to learn.   I don’t know if I need the list of options that I’ve chosen. Maybe I can dwindle it down with the help of all of you out in Oli land.  🤩 I am so looking forward to hearing from all of you.  And please be patient with me as I don’t do social media and this is all new to me.  
Thank you very kindly,

Kim Smith

 

 

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Hi Kim, welcome!  You’ll be able to find help and answers to some of your questions here.  As someone new to the RV life have you given thought to how you think you’ll camp?  If you stay in commercial campgrounds with FHU (Full Hook Ups - electric, water, sewer) you might not need solar, a lot of batteries or a composting toilet.  If you think you might be a bit more adventurous and go to national and state parks or public lands that don’t have those amenities then you’ll want to go with solar, a decent amount of battery and maybe a composting toilet.

We were new when we ordered our trailer almost 7 years ago and really didn’t know how we would camp except we knew we wanted to visit as many national parks as possible. We got what was available then as far as solar and batteries.  We’ve ended up spending almost half our camping time dry camping or boondocking (no hook ups).  We’ve found some of the most scenic campgrounds are primitive.  So, advice will depend on what you think you might do.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

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Kim - 

Welcome to the Oliver Forum!

A number of years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to share a few beers and a couple of hot dogs with a traveling nurse in the little town of Meeteetse, WY.   At that time I had never heard of traveling nurses but thought that it was a wonderful idea.

Given that you state that you are very new to the RV world and perhaps even new to camping in general, have you considered renting an RV first?  This would give you a chance to really get a better view of what is involved without making the full commitment and spending a bunch of money.  Yes, renting is rather expensive, but, buying an RV and the equipment that goes along with it only to find out that its not really the thing you had in mind is a bunch more expensive - both in time, frustration and money.

We are here to help!

Good luck!

Bill 

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Hi Kim! 

I would love to do what you are considering. I have thoughts about locums work and traveling around. I have known a few people totally happy with that approach to work/life.

My wife, Carrie, and I have a 3 and a half decade of camping experience.  We have evolved of the years.  A lot of the considerations have to do with your stage of life. In our 20s all we did was backpack to remote areas in Northern Georgia and then in Colorado.  After we had kids we started mostly car camping with a tent,  still frequently in remote areas. In our 40s we gad 2 different camping vans . Now, in our 50s, we have a Black Series trailer which we are selling for our Ollie E2, due early September. We plan on the Ollie being our last camper.  

Like stated before,  if you only want to plug in, the order for your Oliver is more straightforward.  We have alway been pulled to the road less traveled.  We are getting the solar setup with high storage lithium batteries and an additional 800 watts of portable panels. Also a compost toilet and we have an additional 30 gallons of water in our tow vehicle to supplement our fresh water storage in our future Ollie. We like to head out in the wilderness.  Two very different approaches to camping and owning an Ollie.  Depending on your financial situation,  lithium batteries and solar are relatively easy to add later, if you plan on dispersed camping. I would recommend the 30 gallon propane tanks up front, if you feel drawn toward boondocking. We never liked dealing with the black tank and look forward to having a composting toilet. We save a bit on electronics.  No TV or reception aids for us.  

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, with overland conversion: Rooftop tent, water, stove, Battle Born batteries, lockers, onboard air, raised air intake, Warn winch. 

2023 Elite 2, twin beds, delivered December 5, 2022 Truma package, lithium platinum package.
Hull #1305

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There's a couple on YouTube that does traveling nursing from a travel trailer. Might have some good insights for you.  https://youtube.com/c/NoOrdinaryPath 

 
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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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Hello and welcome to the forum!  Since you stated you are totally new to camping, you really should rent or borrow a camper/tow vehicle to try out the experience, at full hookup campgrounds and at boondocking/dispersed camping locations, before making a financial commitment of over $100,000 for an Elite II and a suitable tow vehicle.   This forum has a few ex-members who had the dream of life on the open road and jumped right into the big purchase, only to sell everything a short time later when they found out all that is involved for the normal towing and camping experience plus the routine maintenance and the occasional problems that crop up on the road.     

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I’m not sure but I hope I’m responding to Mike and Carol and Bill.  I will be working a little as a travel RN.  On my time off I would like to visit as many National Parks as I can.  I’m only interested in dry camping.  The options I chose The twin bed floor plan, Twin bed KTT mattresses and hyper fan for twin bed floor plan, convection Microwave, front and rear propane quick connects, composting toilet, lithium pro package, and the standard 6 gallon gas electric water heater as I like to keep things simple.  My sales rep said that I’d be able to get the new quieter AC , but he is not sure of the price today but will let me know soon.  Not sure I need an AC.  Not sure I need the mattresses.  I love to cook, and bake.  I love cooking outside as well!  Always used wood.   What do you all think?  I have no interest in ever being in an RV park or renting an RV.  Thirty pound propane tanks might be a problem when trying to refill them.   I plan on carrying my drinking H20 separate.  I’m a minimalist and know how to conserve.  I think it would be wonderful to live a simple life for a while!  I will plug into shore power for approximately 6 months a year and have H20 and electric. I have 2 sons who have homes in California.  One in Southern and the other in northern.  This is when I will also be traveling to national parks.  The other 6 months I will be on the road working.  Looking forward to your response’s and hearing your stories.  
Kindly, 

Kim

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That's good advice, @FrankC.

When my sister and her husband first started looking at trailers, they had their hearts set on a tab. I found one for rent near our camping property in Asheville,  they rented it for a long weekend,  and discovered that they loved camping, but not the tab. Two goals accomplished, in long weekend, dry camping with us in WNC .

I have a friend whose sister is a travel nurse. One of my cousins is a travel nurse. Bless you all for moving to the area of greatest need.

My friend's sister and her husband full time in a travel trailer. it works for them. But, Frank's idea of renting a few times would help you see if the small quarters could work for you.

Do you have a place you can use as a home base, with storage? Or, are you keeping a home elsewhere?

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Kim Smith said:

My sales rep said that I’d be able to get the new quieter AC , but he is not sure of the price today but will let me know soon.  

Interesting, I’m glad they’re pushing the upgrade through. Please report back with the price!

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Kim:

Hopefully you have received from your Oliver sales person the locations of existing Oliver owners of both the Elite and Elite II near you. I really suggest that you visit both size trailers and talk to the owners so you can make an informed decision on the purchase of an Oliver and the options you want. Also if available in the trailers lay down on the cushions and also the KTT mattresses. You might prefer the mattresses option if you are living in the trailer for those 6 months (i prefer my mattresses as I had the cushions in the past).

Just a couple more of my thoughts and opinions to share with you. From what you have stated it looks like you will actually be doing 2 types of camping. (1) Boondocking when you are not working and (2) when working staying in the Oliver.

(1) During boondocking your ideas for options seem reasonable.

(2) When you are working, you stated that you would be staying in the Oliver for up to 6 months. In that case you might want more of the comfort of being at a campground with electric and water. With electric hookup, you will not need to use a much propane for keeping your refrigerator cold and keeping your domestic hot water hot. Also, if you like cooking and baking having electricity will allow the use of the convection microwave without drawing down the battery capacity. While working in the summer and after a days work, you might want to have the AC unit option so that you are as cool as when you are working in the AC'ed facility. 

Also, I suggest you read on this forum the maintenance of the lithium batteries. They do not like temperatures that are too hot or too cold (below freezing) and need to be charged and discharged to specific levels.

As far as what options you purchase, you might want to consider resale value of the Oliver (when and if that time comes) so you might want to include the AC unit to be installed. If it is the newer quieter unit that would be better. In that regard, let us know what price you are quoted on this new quieter AC as a lot of Oliver owner's may switch out their existing units. 

Good luck in your process and welcome to the Oliver family.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

Maine 

 

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I agree that you need air conditioning (and a way to power it, meaning a 2000+ watt generator) even if you never “intend” to use it. There will quickly come a day when you are forced to park in 100 degree direct sun with no breeze, and you will REALLY need the cooling. The Ollie heats up slowly, because it is insulated so well, but the flip side of the coin is that it cools off slowly after the sun sets. A lot of people do not fully understand the fact that the air inside the trailer is not the only thing that gets hot, but every surface, every pan, the water in the tanks, your groceries, your undies, all those parts are at that same temperature and it takes a really long time for all that mass to cool down. And the unventilated compartments, pantry and closet, and even the air gaps between the twin hulls, trap it.

I think you will soon discover that in mid-summer you need to run the AC from an hour or two after lunch until the sun sets or goes behind trees. Then as the outside environment cools down below about 80 degrees you can open windows and the entry door for natural ventilation.

I can tolerate 85 degrees inside the trailer if I strip down, with a fan blowing on my skin, but anything over that means the AC is running. When you are hooked to shore power, that is a painless no-brainer. If you have to fire up your generator, that adds layers of complexity….. but you get used to that. It is part of boondocking. The biggest lithium battery package will run the AC, for a few hours, but that is not long enough IMHO if it is blistering hot outside, and then you need to recharge those batteries…. with a generator.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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Regarding the a/c or no a/c question:

In addition to the above discussion regarding resale and comfort - add - 

you can probably delete the a/c from your build, BUT, you probably will get no monetary credit from Oliver for doing so.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Get the air conditioner, you will eventually regret any other decision. Since the air conditioner is standard equipment you may end up with one in a box and, as Bill says, you're most likely not going to get any credit for it not being installed.

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Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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Thanks everyone!  John, I do plan on getting the new AC.  My sales rep Josh said to plan approximately 1 to 1.5 thousand.  Oliver connected me with owner Andrew who was very gracious, patient and kind having me over to see their Oliver Elite II.  I visited twice.  He was great….. answered so many of my questions.  Great showing…Interior and exterior.   I’m in San Diego.  I’m a New England girl.  My plan is to find and purchase a tow vehicle somewhere near Tennessee, then drive to pick up the Oliver, get aquatinted, then drive to the Cape to visit my family then drive back to San Diego.  This will be from October to November.   I’m certainly going to get to know my TV and my Olie.    
Dewdev I am going with the upgrade mattresses.  Not sure if I should do 30 lb propane tanks d/t stores to purchase them are few and far between.  Also I read that it is dangerous and in Some states against the law to travel with your propane open to run the frig.  How do you all do it?  
Any advice on a tow vehicle will be appreciated.   Can I get by with a half ton pick up and be safe, to tow up to 10,000 pounds….. gently used with low mileage.  and…Yay or nay on the back up camera for the Oliver?  And lastly…for tonight anyway, has anyone had any issues with the composting toilet?  😬 again, I appreciate all of your responses, feedback and advice.  

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1 - if you plan on doing a bunch of cold weather camping then the 30 pound propane tanks should be seriously considered.  If not then normally the 20 pound tank are a bit easier to deal with.

2 - for places where you are not allowed to run your fridge on propane either simply turn it off for a short period of time or place it on DC mode.  If using the DC mode be very careful to make sure that you turn it back to propane (or 120 volt) so that you do not run your batteries down.

3 - yes, you can use a 1/2 ton pickup as long as its tow rating is high enough - some can tow up to 14,000 pounds when equipped properly.  And, be mindful of your payload capacity.  This is important since you will be full-timing and probably will want to carry a bunch of stuff.

4 - since you are normally traveling alone (I think) a rear camera is very helpful.  I still get out of my tow vehicle to look at where I'm backing into, but, for things from traffic to animals to kids to that tree or rock to ..... etc. a backup camera is extremely helpful.

5 - you didn't ask but a tire pressure monitoring system - TPMS - is another thing that you should strongly consider.

6 - I don't have a composting toilet.  Before buying one be sure to understand BOTH the pluses and minuses of them.  That's a bunch of money to handle poop in a different way.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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30lb propane tanks are nice to have but they are heavy.  I have to stand on a step to lift a full one over the lip of the trailer enclosure.  A 30lb tank has about 7 gallons of propane.  A 20lb tank has about 5 gallons.  An option would be to carry an extra 20lb tank that you could swap out if one on the trailer runs out.   I carry an extra 20lb tank for our fire pit and grill (if I don’t use the trailer quick connect).

Like BIll says, an important but often overlooked feature on any potential half ton truck is payload capacity.  You’ll need to add your tongue weight (around 500-600lbs), people weight, tonneau cover weight and anything you carry in the truck cab and bed.

We always run our fridge on propane while traveling.  Once we had to pull over to turn it off for a tunnel, there was a pull off space to do that.  Most tunnels don’t seem to require that.

Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

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7 hours ago, Kim Smith said:

 My plan is to find and purchase a tow vehicle somewhere near Tennessee, then drive to pick up the Oliver, get aquatinted, then drive to the Cape to visit my family then drive back to San Diego.  

Have you ever towed anything before? Driven a full sized truck? I would like to repeat and emphasize what FrankC said: Without a doubt, it would be prudent for you to learn to tow a trailer in both directions - backing while maneuvering especially is VERY tricky - long before you arrive in TN. Rent a U-haul or travel trailer, borrow a truck. Practice practice! We have had more than one new Ollie owner who discovered that RV life and handling a truck and trailer is NOT as simple and personally rewarding as you imagine it to be! It did not turn out well in some cases…. Much emotional heartache, wailing and gnashing of  teeth,  appeals for help and financial loss was the end result. It does not have to end this way.
 

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/1978-nature039s-head-composting-toilet-installation-in-an-oliver-big-thread/

John Davies

Spokane WA
 

 

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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6 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

borrow a truck. Practice practice

This is what I've been doing -- practicing with a friend's truck and his medium sized  landscape maintenance trailer. Practice practice practice. 

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Oliver Elite II Twin (delivered 3/28/2022)   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD diesel "Estrella"

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Have you ever towed anything before? Driven a full sized truck? I would like to repeat and emphasize what FrankC said: Without a doubt, it would be prudent for you to learn to tow a trailer in both directions - backing while maneuvering especially is VERY tricky - long before you arrive in TN. Rent a U-haul or travel trailer, borrow a truck. Practice practice! We have had more than one new Ollie owner who discovered that RV life and handling a truck and trailer is NOT as simple and personally rewarding as you imagine it to be! I

As one who takes delivery of an Elite II in September, I add my voice to the chorus quoted above.  I have been driving a full-sized SUV or pickup towing my raft trailer for decades.  Backing a trailer took me a long time to "get."   And, backing looking over your shoulder is very different than backing using side mirrors.  There are blind spots in most tow vehicles that make it impossible to see your trailer at certain angles.   A rear view camera mounted on the back of your trailer is extremely useful for backing, but that, too, is a somewhat different skill set that takes time to develop.

I recommend you review, several times,  Oliver's excellent video showing how to hook up a tow vehicle.  As shown in the video, be sure to cross the safety chains.  This creates a "cradle" for the trailer tongue to drop onto (instead of the road) should the coupler come loose from the hitch ball.  How do I know?  Well..........

Towing an Oliver presents new issues even for me, as I have never owned a trailer with its own brakes.  Those brakes should be burnished right after delivery, and before you have to make an emergency stop.  And, your tow vehicle must have an installed trailer brake controller with 7-pin connector to communicate with the electric brakes on the Oliver.  The "gain" on the trailer brake controller should be adjusted once you take delivery on your Ollie, and before you hit the road.

This is not a comprehensive list of things you must learn and skills you must develop to safely tow an Oliver trailer.  Which is why I concur that it is wise to work up the "trailering" learning curve long before you pick up a tow vehicle "somewhere near Tennessee" on your way to take delivery of your Ollie.

 

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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You might want to purchase your used tow vehicle soon after you put your deposit down. Put 5-10k on it to get used to how it rides, blind spots, and take care of any squawks it might have before you hook up to the Oliver.  

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21 minutes ago, ChrisMI said:

You might want to purchase your used tow vehicle soon after you put your deposit down. Put 5-10k on it to get used to how it rides, blind spots, and take care of any squawks it might have before you hook up to the Oliver.  

I understand that used truck inventory is limited and the prices are higher.   Not sure if this is still a problem,  but it's been mentioned before that there's a shortage of trucks and vehicles in general. 

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 3.5 liter Ecoboost, with heavy duty tow package. Hull #1290, twin bed with Truma package (a/c, furnace, hot water heater with electric antifreeze option), lithium pro package, picked up November 7, 2022

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1 hour ago, Boudicca908 said:

This is what I've been doing -- practicing with a friend's truck and his medium sized  landscape maintenance trailer. Practice practice practice. 

We have had a tent trailer for 19 years that's 18 feet long.   I found that backing that was much easier than our neighbor's 8 foot landscape trailer.   I once rented a small trailer with a rototiller that was maybe 5 feet long that was very hard to back up.   I am anticipating an easier time with the Ollie that we will get in November due to its size.   Anyone else have similar experiences with shorter trailers and find them harder to back up? 

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 3.5 liter Ecoboost, with heavy duty tow package. Hull #1290, twin bed with Truma package (a/c, furnace, hot water heater with electric antifreeze option), lithium pro package, picked up November 7, 2022

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9 minutes ago, John Welte said:

Anyone else have similar experiences with shorter trailers and find them harder to back up? 

Yes, shorter trailers react to steering input faster and are easier to jackknife than longer trailers. I find our FD's 27' command trailer easier to back than our little boat trailer. 

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.b96241bad6752dec89d25af6ffbc8d99.jpg

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