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Two months until delivery


John Welte
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I have been reading the forum for the last year, looking at videos and the Oliver University.  There's a lot to learn.  I have read most of the manual.  I don't feel confident that I will be ready.  Have you all felt ready by delivery day?  Any tips on what I should be doing to be more ready.  I am more a hands on learner so I think that I will learn more on the walk through.  Just feeling overwhelmed.

John

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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hi john,

i took delivery 14 months ago and i thought i was prepared. i'd read the forums and made lists of things to check. i thought i was taking my time and asking questions and being very careful. of course, there were a bunch of things i missed. it's so true that the excitement really affects your ability to look at the trailer with a critical eye. like most new owners, i've had a number of issues pop up, and they're still popping. however, the service department is really incredible about answering questions, problem solving, and resolving any issues with the trailer. i've opened plenty of tickets in the short period since i've had the trailer.

i recommend that after picking up your trailer, stay in the general area for a few days. try all the components. try them while connected to shore power, and not connected to shore power. look at all the forums and then check your own trailer. for example, if there's a post about someone finding a loose nut or bolt somewhere, check your trailer to see if you have that same problem. open up all the interior hatch doors (under the beds and dinette seats) and try to familiarize yourself with what you find in there so that you at least know what the inverter looks like and where it is. 

sounds like you're doing everything right so far, so i don't think there's anything else you can do before delivery. i think the immediate days and weeks after delivery is when you'll really get up to speed.

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2021 Elite II #841, 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, 3.0 diesel

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I felt (nervously) ready at delivery time. The only towing experience I had was of an OEII that Phil allowed me to tow on our factory tour day (I came prepared for that). Make sure you take that tour if you can.

I notice that you did not mention the Facebook owner page (I have not used this hardly at all because I generally do not use Facebook, perhaps others can comment on this?).

I hope you will plan on at least a few days near Hohenwald at delivery time so you can test all of the systems before you leave the area.

Our first RV was the OEII delivered in 7/21. Before that I spent about 2 years looking at it. Much of that time was spent doing the things you are already doing. Having lived in the OEII for about 13 weeks total, I have experienced several problems (nothing major), some of which required cases, some of which I was able to figure out on my own, and a few of which were user error. I also spent a great deal of time evaluating my tow vehicle needs, studying the technical aspects of towing such as cargo weight needs, hitching mechanisms, etc. This is important and can save you legal trouble should you get in an accident (you want to be sure you are within all weight specs and are otherwise towing safely). You will need the Andersen weight distribution hitch with your Expedition.

Your background will at least partially determine the ease with which you handle problems. I am a (retired) software engineer and homeowner, and have acquired experience with carpentry, electrical, and plumbing along the way. Your ability for problem solving and your determination will contribute greatly.

The most likely problems are going to be electrical first. Your option list will determine what you have to learn. You will very likely have an Energy Management System (EMS) from Progressive Industries. I strongly recommend a thorough reading of that manual. In our case, we have the Lithium Pro package, so a thorough read of the Lithionics, Xantrex, and Zamp materials was critical. These readings (plus the owners manual) helped me understand how the base electrical system was connected and how the various components behave together. BTW, get a meter so you can diagnose problems as they come up. At campgrounds, you will want to test power on the pole. A 30A to 15A adapter plus a 15A circuit tester (a cheap device that plugs in and lights up with a combination that tells you whether or not the outlet is properly wired)  is a great way to sanity check the outlet. If you notice strange behavior like the Xantrex flipping back and forth between shore power and inverter mode, you may want to monitor the voltage at the pole.

For plumbing leaks, learn about the PEX fittings. Many can be hand-tightened to stop leaks. Also learn about Sharkbite fittings which can be purchased at a big box hardware store and can be used to make tool-less repairs.

Ultimately, you should read all of your appliance manuals as well. We had an issue with the Norcold not cooling. It was cause by bagged food blocking a sensor on the fins in the upper right rear of the refrigerator compartment, causing ice to form there. A Facebook thread found by Sue pointed to that.

For trailer leveling, I use the LevelMate Pro by LogicBlue. I purchased it and had Oliver install it for me on delivery day in the closet because I was not confident that the attaching screws would be too long and pierce the visible side of the fiberglass. This system works like a charm, and I have verified its accuracy using a 4' level. I also use the Andersen leveling wedges, the Andersen trailer jack blocks, and heavy rubber wheel chocks I purchased at Northern Tool.

We felt the increased excitement as our delivery time drew nearer, which I'm sure you are feeling as well. OEII is a quality product, and you will probably have at most minor issues. Happy camping!

Mike

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2021 Elite II Twin #850 "Mojo", 2020 F250 Lariat 7.3L

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John, have you ever towed and slept in any trailer beside your Coleman? If not you should consider renting a travel trailer for at least a long weekend. Pick one with full amenities including black tank. This will give you plenty of learning time including how to dump 😳 

You can poke around inside all the cubbies and compartments and identify parts. You most likely will see lots of raw plywood and junk cabinets held together with a few screws and lots of staples. You will also see poor quality windows and little to no insulation, cheap weak steel frame (most likely rusty) and poor tires and suspension. All this will make you appreciate the fine build quality of your new Ollie, and you will have a head start figuring out the basic plumbing, heating and electrical systems.

If you run into something confusing while camping in it, you can always take some pics and post here in the forums. Just remember to be where your phone works well…

https://rvshare.com/rv-rental/beaverton/or?location=Beaverton%2C OR&lat=45.4887993&lng=-122.8013332&cancellation_policy=Flexible&from_year=2016&max_length=26&min_length=18&rv_class=Travel Trailer&towing_weight=9200

If you don’t rent one, visit a few dealers and ask to just look around on your own to see their details. Or go here in a little over a week:

2022 Portland RV Show

The main thing is to not stress too much. My sister is just a few miles from you. She bought a 5x7 teardrop a few years ago and she is still pretty much completely  clueless about, well, everything. But she does enjoy it a lot, even though she and her husband have to push it back into campsites by hand…😳 Just last month they were doing that, blocking the access road, and two husky young men jumped out of their truck and took over😬. They had it nicely positioned in a few seconds.

There are some jerks here and there, but also lots of helpful folks; on the whole everybody you meet will be interested in your Ollie. Don’t feel alone!

If your Expedition is not completely up to date on maintenance, get that done in the next month. Change drive train fluids, make sure the tires and brakes are fresh and good, have a load test done on the battery. A five year old battery and tires are “aged out” and more likely to fail. It is best to change them rather than have to deal with a failure in the middle of nowhere. Have the entire vehicle looked over before your momentous looong road trip.

Buy a TPMS for the trailer and install it promptly, and make sure your Ollie tires are set to around 50 psi at most.

John Davies

Spokane WA
 

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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, Safari snorkel.

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John, you’ll be ready, you won’t know everything but it sounds like you are like me, I learn best hands on.  There wasn’t much on line when we ordered, I watched YouTube videos on towing, dumping, electrical and so one, not Oliver specific but just RVs in general.  I tried to pay attention at pick up.  Carol had her iPhone videoing a lot of it.  I retained less than 50% of what I was told and had to review what she captured.  Our two week return trip was at full hook up sites because I wanted to practice dumping without holding up other campers.  We used the return trip to learn and try out as many features as we could.  It’s a good idea to stay in Hohenwald more than one night in case you find something wrong.

Fellow owners are a great resource.  We initially had a solar issue and a black tank issue that were difficult to diagnose and caused me to do deep dives into both, learning a lot.  We met some other Oliver owners before pickup.  They’ve remained friends of ours and always answered their phone when I called with a question.  I’m amazed at how the knowledge base on the forum has increased over the years, there are a lot more smart owners here these days able to help and mentor.

Don’t sweat the things you may not know yet, a little camping time will fill in the blanks.  You’ll be ready!  Mike

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

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5 hours ago, Cameron said:

hi john,

i took delivery 14 months ago and i thought i was prepared. i'd read the forums and made lists of things to check. i thought i was taking my time and asking questions and being very careful. of course, there were a bunch of things i missed. it's so true that the excitement really affects your ability to look at the trailer with a critical eye. like most new owners, i've had a number of issues pop up, and they're still popping. however, the service department is really incredible about answering questions, problem solving, and resolving any issues with the trailer. i've opened plenty of tickets in the short period since i've had the trailer.

i recommend that after picking up your trailer, stay in the general area for a few days. try all the components. try them while connected to shore power, and not connected to shore power. look at all the forums and then check your own trailer. for example, if there's a post about someone finding a loose nut or bolt somewhere, check your trailer to see if you have that same problem. open up all the interior hatch doors (under the beds and dinette seats) and try to familiarize yourself with what you find in there so that you at least know what the inverter looks like and where it is. 

sounds like you're doing everything right so far, so i don't think there's anything else you can do before delivery. i think the immediate days and weeks after delivery is when you'll really get up to speed.

"i recommend that after picking up your trailer, stay in the general area for a few days. try all the components. try them while connected to shore power, and not connected to shore power."

Our pick up day is a Monday and we plan to stay in the area until about Friday.  One night at OTT, then close by at Davey Crockett.  If all goes well we will leave on Friday or Saturday.  I imagine we will meet others that are picking up then also and we can share thoughts.  Thanks very much for your comments.

John

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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I think no matter how much you read and videos you watch you will best learn hands on. It’s good to get a rough idea by watching/reading all the tutorials/manuals etc but it’s hard to retain so much without actually seeing and doing everything with your camper. We felt so overwhelmed and “not ready” but you learn as go. With time it will become second nature.
Don’t overthink it. 

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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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6 hours ago, MobileJoy said:

I felt (nervously) ready at delivery time. The only towing experience I had was of an OEII that Phil allowed me to tow on our factory tour day (I came prepared for that). Make sure you take that tour if you can.

I notice that you did not mention the Facebook owner page (I have not used this hardly at all because I generally do not use Facebook, perhaps others can comment on this?).

I hope you will plan on at least a few days near Hohenwald at delivery time so you can test all of the systems before you leave the area.

Our first RV was the OEII delivered in 7/21. Before that I spent about 2 years looking at it. Much of that time was spent doing the things you are already doing. Having lived in the OEII for about 13 weeks total, I have experienced several problems (nothing major), some of which required cases, some of which I was able to figure out on my own, and a few of which were user error. I also spent a great deal of time evaluating my tow vehicle needs, studying the technical aspects of towing such as cargo weight needs, hitching mechanisms, etc. This is important and can save you legal trouble should you get in an accident (you want to be sure you are within all weight specs and are otherwise towing safely). You will need the Andersen weight distribution hitch with your Expedition.

Your background will at least partially determine the ease with which you handle problems. I am a (retired) software engineer and homeowner, and have acquired experience with carpentry, electrical, and plumbing along the way. Your ability for problem solving and your determination will contribute greatly.

The most likely problems are going to be electrical first. Your option list will determine what you have to learn. You will very likely have an Energy Management System (EMS) from Progressive Industries. I strongly recommend a thorough reading of that manual. In our case, we have the Lithium Pro package, so a thorough read of the Lithionics, Xantrex, and Zamp materials was critical. These readings (plus the owners manual) helped me understand how the base electrical system was connected and how the various components behave together. BTW, get a meter so you can diagnose problems as they come up. At campgrounds, you will want to test power on the pole. A 30A to 15A adapter plus a 15A circuit tester (a cheap device that plugs in and lights up with a combination that tells you whether or not the outlet is properly wired)  is a great way to sanity check the outlet. If you notice strange behavior like the Xantrex flipping back and forth between shore power and inverter mode, you may want to monitor the voltage at the pole.

For plumbing leaks, learn about the PEX fittings. Many can be hand-tightened to stop leaks. Also learn about Sharkbite fittings which can be purchased at a big box hardware store and can be used to make tool-less repairs.

Ultimately, you should read all of your appliance manuals as well. We had an issue with the Norcold not cooling. It was cause by bagged food blocking a sensor on the fins in the upper right rear of the refrigerator compartment, causing ice to form there. A Facebook thread found by Sue pointed to that.

For trailer leveling, I use the LevelMate Pro by LogicBlue. I purchased it and had Oliver install it for me on delivery day in the closet because I was not confident that the attaching screws would be too long and pierce the visible side of the fiberglass. This system works like a charm, and I have verified its accuracy using a 4' level. I also use the Andersen leveling wedges, the Andersen trailer jack blocks, and heavy rubber wheel chocks I purchased at Northern Tool.

We felt the increased excitement as our delivery time drew nearer, which I'm sure you are feeling as well. OEII is a quality product, and you will probably have at most minor issues. Happy camping!

Mike

"For trailer leveling, I use the LevelMate Pro by LogicBlue. I purchased it and had Oliver install it for me on delivery day in the closet because I was not confident that the attaching screws would be too long and pierce the visible side of the fiberglass. This system works like a charm, and I have verified its accuracy using a 4' level. I also use the Andersen leveling wedges, the Andersen trailer jack blocks, and heavy rubber wheel chocks I purchased at Northern Tool."

I have the same leveling tool in the box still.  Good to know that they can install it on delivery day.  I am a member of the Facebook Oliver owners page and that's been helpful.  Thanks for your comments.  The forum members have been very helpful since my first post saying my wife is hesitant to buy because of the cost.  I have the TST tpms.  I will get the other items you mentioned.  Thanks again.

John

John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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29 minutes ago, Katjo said:

I think no matter how much you read and videos you watch you will best learn hands on. It’s good to get a rough idea by watching/reading all the tutorials/manuals etc but it’s hard to retain so much without actually seeing and doing everything with your camper. We felt so overwhelmed and “not ready” but you learn as go. With time it will become second nature.
Don’t overthink it. 

I am more hands on too.  I will try to ratchet down the overthinking part.  Thanks for reassuring me.

John

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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3 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

John, you’ll be ready, you won’t know everything but it sounds like you are like me, I learn best hands on.  There wasn’t much on line when we ordered, I watched YouTube videos on towing, dumping, electrical and so one, not Oliver specific but just RVs in general.  I tried to pay attention at pick up.  Carol had her iPhone videoing a lot of it.  I retained less than 50% of what I was told and had to review what she captured.  Our two week return trip was at full hook up sites because I wanted to practice dumping without holding up other campers.  We used the return trip to learn and try out as many features as we could.  It’s a good idea to stay in Hohenwald more than one night in case you find something wrong.

Fellow owners are a great resource.  We initially had a solar issue and a black tank issue that were difficult to diagnose and caused me to do deep dives into both, learning a lot.  We met some other Oliver owners before pickup.  They’ve remained friends of ours and always answered their phone when I called with a question.  I’m amazed at how the knowledge base on the forum has increased over the years, there are a lot more smart owners here these days able to help and mentor.

Don’t sweat the things you may not know yet, a little camping time will fill in the blanks.  You’ll be ready!  Mike

" Carol had her iPhone videoing a lot of it.  I retained less than 50% of what I was told and had to review what she captured.  "

That's a good idea.  Thanks Mike

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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6 hours ago, John E Davies said:

John, have you ever towed and slept in any trailer beside your Coleman? If not you should consider renting a travel trailer for at least a long weekend. Pick one with full amenities including black tank. This will give you plenty of learning time including how to dump 😳 

You can poke around inside all the cubbies and compartments and identify parts. You most likely will see lots of raw plywood and junk cabinets held together with a few screws and lots of staples. You will also see poor quality windows and little to no insulation, cheap weak steel frame (most likely rusty) and poor tires and suspension. All this will make you appreciate the fine build quality of your new Ollie, and you will have a head start figuring out the basic plumbing, heating and electrical systems.

If you run into something confusing while camping in it, you can always take some pics and post here in the forums. Just remember to be where your phone works well…

https://rvshare.com/rv-rental/beaverton/or?location=Beaverton%2C OR&lat=45.4887993&lng=-122.8013332&cancellation_policy=Flexible&from_year=2016&max_length=26&min_length=18&rv_class=Travel Trailer&towing_weight=9200

If you don’t rent one, visit a few dealers and ask to just look around on your own to see their details. Or go here in a little over a week:

2022 Portland RV Show

The main thing is to not stress too much. My sister is just a few miles from you. She bought a 5x7 teardrop a few years ago and she is still pretty much completely  clueless about, well, everything. But she does enjoy it a lot, even though she and her husband have to push it back into campsites by hand…😳 Just last month they were doing that, blocking the access road, and two husky young men jumped out of their truck and took over😬. They had it nicely positioned in a few seconds.

There are some jerks here and there, but also lots of helpful folks; on the whole everybody you meet will be interested in your Ollie. Don’t feel alone!

If your Expedition is not completely up to date on maintenance, get that done in the next month. Change drive train fluids, make sure the tires and brakes are fresh and good, have a load test done on the battery. A five year old battery and tires are “aged out” and more likely to fail. It is best to change them rather than have to deal with a failure in the middle of nowhere. Have the entire vehicle looked over before your momentous looong road trip.

Buy a TPMS for the trailer and install it promptly, and make sure your Ollie tires are set to around 50 psi at most.

John Davies

Spokane WA
 

"If your Expedition is not completely up to date on maintenance, get that done in the next month. Change drive train fluids, make sure the tires and brakes are fresh and good, have a load test done on the battery. A five year old battery and tires are “aged out” and more likely to fail. It is best to change them rather than have to deal with a failure in the middle of nowhere. Have the entire vehicle looked over before your momentous looong road trip.

Buy a TPMS for the trailer and install it promptly, and make sure your Ollie tires are set to around 50 psi at most."

The tires are new, maintenance up to date.  Battery is new.  Good advice to have the Expedition looked at as you suggested.  I do have a tpms.  I think that's a must have.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  Thanks also for making your enclosed storage area big enough for two Olivers.  That was great foresight!  Glad we don't live that far from you.  😂🤣

John

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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We dove in head first two years ago as new RV and Oliver owners just a couple of months after deciding to purchase an RV. The closest we had come to towing anything was me watching my dad with our boats and travel trailer as a child! I devoured as much information as I could from the forum, Facebook, Oliver University and youtube prior to picking up our LEII and we've just dealt with things as they've occurred by searching those resources, posting with questions or contacting Oliver Service. So far, all is well and we have enjoyed 2 great years of travel. The owner network is a tremendously valuable resource and it was reassuring to know there was a go-to group that was both knowledgeable and responsive if needed.

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Joe and Mindy ▪️ 2019 Legacy Elite II ▪️ Hull 457

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This thread is very timely as we wait for our Oliver to be ready March 28th. I’ve been reading every thing I can, watched videos, asked questions, etc. but, having only camped in a 5x8 squaredrop with zero systems in it, I’m sure I’ll still be overwhelmed come delivery day. I already have a Dropbox folder with PDF files of brochures, manuals, diagrams, mods from the forums DIY folder and more.

This forum and the Facebook group have been amazingly supportive and a wealth of experience and knowledge. A few of you have contacted me directly, and we’ve had wonderful phone conversations. I’m sure when the day arrives, we’ll be fine! 

Thank you all!

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-----
Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin on order - due March 28, 2023

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Stay calm, go slow and don't over think things. Follow your check lists and enjoy the experience. There's nothing like stepping out of your comfort zone and finding that it isn't that big of a deal. Just say to yourself... I've got this coach. 😉

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David & Kim | 2017 Ram 2500 Laramie 4x4, Hemi 6.4 | Legacy Elite II, Hull# 1213

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