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astrocaster

Newbie Questions

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Hi, Everyone,

 

My wife and I are planning to purchase a travel trailer and are seriously considering the Oliver Legacy Elite. We are very experienced car and tent campers, and I have done some extended backpack camping. However, neither of us has every owned, operated, or even stayed in a travel trailer or RV, nor have we towed a trailer with our vehicles.  Therefore, we know very little about what to expect in the electrical system or other systems in the Oliver.  Some things that may be common knowledge to most of the folks on this forum are probably a mystery to us.  So, I will post our "newbie" questions, in hopes of getting lots of help and advice from the good folks here on the Oliver Forums. Some of you have already responded to a couple of questions I posted recently. Thank you. So here goes:

 

Electrical:

 

(1) We understand from the Oliver brochure that we received at an RV show that the Oliver comes with three 110-volt outlets and one 12-volt outlet. Is 110-volt current supplied to the 110-volt outlets at all times or just when the trailer is hooked up to shore power or to a generator? From what I understand, this would require a built-in current inverter to provide 110-volt AC from the 12-volt DC of the batteries. Does the Oliver come with an inverter? If not, have you added one, in order to use the 110-volt outlets?

 

(2) Does the Sound and Video package (LCD TV, DVD/CD player, AM/FM radio, etc.) run on 110-volt AC or on 12-volt DC?

 

(3) Additional 12-volt outlets are available as an option. Would you find that useful?

 

(4) Does the "convection oven/microwave" described in the Oliver brochure require shore power or generator power? If so, how many watts does it draw? Does convection operation require more power than microwave itself? If so, how much?

 

(5) Similarly, the 13.5 KBTU A/C unit would seem to require quite a lot of power to start. Have you run it with a generator? In particular, have you used the Yamaha EF2400iS successfully?

 

(6) I understand that a "generator quick connect" may be available for the Oliver as an option. Can you tell me what that is and what the advantage would be in having one?

 

LP Gas System:

 

(7) I understand that 30-pound LP tanks and regulators are available as an upgrade. That sounds like it would allow one to go for quite a while longer without having to get a refill. Would there be any downside? The reason I ask that is that sometimes I have found that something that seems like it could only be for the better may present problems that would not be considered until they actually show up.

 

(8) I understand that there is a "gas line quick connect" available as an option. Can you tell me what this is and what the advantage would be in having one?

 

Towing:

 

(10) Have you found the use of a weight-distributing hitch necessary or helpful? Sway control devices? Our tow vehicle will be a 2002 Suburban with the factory tow package.

 

(11) The description of the trailer on the Olivertraveltrailer website says that "The axle also contains a powered braking system. The installation of an electronic brake control is necessary for use." Does that mean that one needs to purchase an outboard electronic brake control box (I have searched the Web and see them advertized for $60 to $200 or so) and have it installed in your tow vehicle's cabin, so that it can be accessed by the driver? As part of the tow package for our Suburban, we received a "brake controller pigtail." It seems that this would be what we would use to connect the electronic brake controller to our vehicle's electrical system. Would you agree?

 

Again, we would really appreciate your help with these newbie questions.

 

Thanks,

Steve

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Astrocaster, I will give it a try, but i'll bet that Pete has already given quality replies by telephone.

>

(1) We understand from the Oliver brochure that we received at an RV show that the Oliver comes with three 110-volt outlets and one 12-volt outlet. Is 110-volt current supplied to the 110-volt outlets at all times or just when the trailer is hooked up to shore power or to a generator? From what I understand, this would require a built-in current inverter to provide 110-volt AC from the 12-volt DC of the batteries. Does the Oliver come with an inverter? If not, have you added one, in order to use the 110-volt outlets?

>

With shore power or Genset. We use an inverter, one that we added later, but it doesn't power the same three outlets. It has it's own outlets. The outlets need to be seperate.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(2) Does the Sound and Video package (LCD TV, DVD/CD player, AM/FM radio, etc.) run on 110-volt AC or on 12-volt DC?

They run on 12 Volts, but are supported by the converter when plugged into shore power, or genset.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(4) Does the "convection oven/microwave" described in the Oliver brochure require shore power or generator power? If so, how many watts does it draw? Does convection operation require more power than microwave itself? If so, how much?

>

Tough question, because some models may run both the microwave and the convection function seperately or at the same time.

>

Power consumption is a critical issue for those that boondock, for it determines how long they can stay in their favorite place. We use a model P4400 KILL A WATT meter to measure current draw and other things such as voltage, cycles and power factor.

Now that seems a bit complicated, so to boil it down:

It isn't important when on shore power or genset, unless you try to run the Air conditioning and the microwave at the same time.

That all changes however, if you use a inverter to run the microwave on batterys, and it's not really practical.

Here is a photo of our Kill A Watt meter:

>

04-14-08_0751.jpg

>

You plug it into an outlet then plug your appliance into it. Various push buttons give you the different data you need.

The meter sells on eBay for $20/25.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(5) Similarly, the 13.5 KBTU A/C unit would seem to require quite a lot of power to start. Have you run it with a generator? In particular, have you used the Yamaha EF2400iS successfully?

>

The 2400 Yamaha will run the A/C quite well, however the Oliver is insulated to the point that some owners are putting the smaller 9.5 KBTU unit on their trailer, making it easily ran by a 2000 watt genset. ;)


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(6) I understand that a "generator quick connect" may be available for the Oliver as an option. Can you tell me what that is and what the advantage would be in having one?

>

Ease of hooking up to the genset when mounted on the tongue, some owners with this option leave the genset connected all of the time , letting the automatic transfer switch decide if it is getting shore power of genset power. It is a seperate cable that doesn't require pulling out the shore power cable. ;) A boondocker's friend !


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Whistle !!!! TIME OUT !! Upon official review, it has been determined that I inadvertently bypassed question #3. Here it is:

>

(3) Additional 12-volt outlets are available as an option. Would you find that useful?

>

Yes, particularly if using a 12 Volt appliance such as a laptop, ect.. We do, we have them, they're great.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(7) I understand that 30-pound LP tanks and regulators are available as an upgrade. That sounds like it would allow one to go for quite a while longer without having to get a refill. Would there be any downside? The reason I ask that is that sometimes I have found that something that seems like it could only be for the better may present problems that would not be considered until they actually show up.

>

This is a upgrade that we have thought about several times. It is a good option for those that boondock a lot. However, the regular 20 lb. tanks leave room to store small items such as two water hoses, water filter and generator cord.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(8) I understand that there is a "gas line quick connect" available as an option. Can you tell me what this is and what the advantage would be in having one?

>

The ability to connect a barbeQue grill or other appliance quickly to your propane supply line.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(10) Have you found the use of a weight-distributing hitch necessary or helpful? Sway control devices? Our tow vehicle will be a 2002 Suburban with the factory tow package.

>

Don't own either device. Have never needed either device. We tow with a Jeep Wrangler that is shorter, lighter and has less weight than a suburban. We tow at freeway speeds to stay with the flow of traffic. For us it is a safety issue to be at the same speed as those vehicles around us.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(11) The description of the trailer on the Olivertraveltrailer website says that "The axle also contains a powered braking system. The installation of an electronic brake control is necessary for use." Does that mean that one needs to purchase an outboard electronic brake control box (I have searched the Web and see them advertized for $60 to $200 or so) and have it installed in your tow vehicle's cabin, so that it can be accessed by the driver? As part of the tow package for our Suburban, we received a "brake controller pigtail." It seems that this would be what we would use to connect the electronic brake controller to our vehicle's electrical system. Would you agree?

>

Yes. We use a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller because it gives us a readout of any problems that we may have with braking, such as a shorted wire not allowing power to get to the brakes on the trailer. It also does a system check upon start up and sends a code that lets us know that the system check was ok, or not, before we release the parking brake on the tow vehicle.

The Tekonsha Prodigy comes with a pigtail that will match your tow vehicle if you order it that way. Insuring a quick and accurate install.

Most trailer supply places can install the brake controller , and charging circuit wire to the trailer so that the trailer battery charges while driving.


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Personal note to Pete:

Thanks. We found a smiley face "tap light" that reminded us of your wonderegg:

04-14-08_0902.jpg

>

Please PM your mailing address and we will send it to you. Butcherknife says, "turn it a bit sideways so it looks like it is looking at you !" :D


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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(1) We understand from the Oliver brochure that we received at an RV show that the Oliver comes with three 110-volt outlets and one 12-volt outlet. Is 110-volt current supplied to the 110-volt outlets at all times or just when the trailer is hooked up to shore power or to a generator? From what I understand, this would require a built-in current inverter to provide 110-volt AC from the 12-volt DC of the batteries. Does the Oliver come with an inverter? If not, have you added one, in order to use the 110-volt outlets?

 

If you desire additional points for power, Oliver will accommodate. I have five 110v ac outlets (4 inside, 1 outside) and five 12v dc outlets (4 inside, 1 outside)

 

Without shore power connected to the trailer you will only have dc power available from the battery(s) unless you opted for the add-on inverter, which will then power up your 110 outlets. I use the Coleman 2000w Power Inverter which turns battery 12v into 120v ac. Just because you have ac available, don’t think it’s an endless pit of power . . . the percentage of the drain on the batteries depends on the overall energy storage capacity of the battery selection you made. Also, initial start load may be higher than running load and you inverter will shut off if you exceed its capabilities. Multiply: AMPS X 120 (AC voltage) = WATTS

 

Your battery pack can be replenished through solar power, from your TV’s alternator as you move along down the road, from a portable generator, or from plugging into shore power.

 

 

 

(2) Does the Sound and Video package (LCD TV, DVD/CD player, AM/FM radio, etc.) run on 110-volt AC or on 12-volt DC?

 

12v dc

 

(3) Additional 12-volt outlets are available as an option. Would you find that useful?

 

I added one near the galley for my coffee maker, one under the small dinette, and one in the main walkway just before the full sized bed on the passenger side. They are not that expensive an add-on and the convenience factor is well worth it.

 

(4) Does the "convection oven/microwave" described in the Oliver brochure require shore power or generator power? If so, how many watts does it draw? Does convection operation require more power than microwave itself? If so, how much?

 

An correctly sized generator or shore power will be required unless you've got one heckuva humongous battery/inverter setup.

 

They call it a Microwave Oven & Grill – It will brown your food as you microwave it, or you can grill thinner slices of meat such as steaks, chops, kebabs, sausage, pieces of chicken or sandwiches. (Not useful for a whole chicken or the Thanksgiving Turkey!)

 

Manual says Microwave/Grill output power is 1000w. Doesn’t show consumption – you may not be able to simultaneously run you’re a/C and this at the same time without shore power or one very stout generator.

 

(5) Similarly, the 13.5 KBTU A/C unit would seem to require quite a lot of power to start. Have you run it with a generator? In particular, have you used the Yamaha EF2400iS successfully?

 

Don’t know, I downsized my A/C unit to the Coleman 9200 btu unit. I uses 900-1100 watts for cooling and max cooling draws 8.0 amps. I run it easily with my Honda 2000w generator. Given the insulation of the Oliver and the relatively small cubic feet to cool I believe it will be up to the task.

 

“Doing the numbers” I will not try the A/C and microwave at the same time without shore power. If I need to use the microwave, I’ll power down the A/C for those few minutes . . .

 

(6) I understand that a "generator quick connect" may be available for the Oliver as an option. Can you tell me what that is and what the advantage would be in having one?

 

The quick connect is a connection on the tongue where you can keep a power cord going from your generator . . . it is pre-wired into the trailers electrical system with all of the safety bells & whistles in place. If shore power quits, simply hit the start button on your generator and your powered up without the having to move cables in the rain or the middle of the night.

 

 

LP Gas System:

 

(7) I understand that 30-pound LP tanks and regulators are available as an upgrade. That sounds like it would allow one to go for quite a while longer without having to get a refill. Would there be any downside? The reason I ask that is that sometimes I have found that something that seems like it could only be for the better may present problems that would not be considered until they actually show up.

 

Downside – heavier to lift to take for refilling / more weight on the tongue (mine is still very respectable for my TV) / you lose a small bit of empty space you might have used to place hoses & such.

 

Upside – more flexibility for boondocking - the equivalent of adding a third 20 lb bottle! more time between refills to work on you upper body strength to get ready for the refill lift . . . ;)

 

(8) I understand that there is a "gas line quick connect" available as an option. Can you tell me what this is and what the advantage would be in having one?

 

It runs from the trailer’s propane tanks to the rear bumper and is accessible on the street side by folding down the bumper. With the right hose connection from your grill you can connect directly to your on board propane source . . . gives you lotsa gas and precludes you from having to purchase and lug extra propane tanks for grilling.

 

Phew! I see Mountainborn just posted his answers. I'll send this one anyway and let his response do the last two about towing . . .

 

Steve, feel free to call me tonight if this has spurred on additional questions.

 

CarolAnn . . . As I was getting ready to enter this new world of Rving, I went to the local big-box book store and picked up “Rving Basics” by Bill & Jan Moeller ISBN 0-07-042779-8. I have found it most useful – it covers systems / towing / campsites & hookups / and a myriad of other things. I take it with me for reference.


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


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


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Well done Pete ! I tend to be a bit brief and sometimes even cryptic. Your response filled in quite a few voids in my response. Again, thanks.

By the way, Astrocaster, those were pretty insightful questions. You are going to be doing alright with your new Oliver. :D


I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Many thanks to Mountainborn and Pete for your very informative answers! That really helps. And special thanks to Pete for returning my call this evening and generously taking the time to go over some of this and additional information in more detail. I really appreciate it!

 

Steve

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