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Newbies taking the plunge - Are we missing anything


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3 hours ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

But I don't know what kind of surge protector to buy or what amperage to connect to or.....

All Olivers come standard with a surge protector.  And all Olivers use a 30 amp electrical connection - not 15/20 amp and not 50 amp.  Of course, you do know that if you have a 30 amp connection to shore power you can still use a lower amperage connection.  However, you can not run all the things in your Oliver (i.e. microwave and air conditioner) at the same time if you are on the lower amperage supply.

With regards to how long a bottle of propane will last (particularly running the air) - that depends.  How hot is it outside, how cool do you want it inside?  what other things are you using propane for - cooking, hot water, fridge?  Perhaps what you are really asking is, "in typical usage, how long does a 20 pound tank last?"?.  Or, should I really get the 20 lb tanks or the 30 pound tanks?  I can run my fridge on one 20 pound tank for about 6 to 7 weeks.  But, during this time I'm usually camped at altitude where the average temps are cooler and I usually camp solo, so, there isn't a bunch of opening and closing the fridge.  I also use a solar shower for heating shower water except for those times when its cloudy and I use a Mr. Heater propane heater for taking the chill off those frosty mornings (this saves both propane and electricity - don't run the furnace blower).

While I agree with the two comments above relative to learning - don't be discouraged!  We all had to start this journey someplace and most of us are still learning.

Bill

edit addition:

I forgot to mention the 20 versus 30 lb tanks.  Obviously if you get the 30's then you will not have to get them refilled as often and you have 33% more with you.  This 33% really matters if you plan to do a bunch of winter camping in cold weather.  However, the downside of the 30lb tanks is that they MUST be refilled at a business that does this sort of thing.  With the 20lb tanks you can "swap" them for other tanks at most grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores, Lowes, Home depot OR you can get them refilled just like you do with the 30's.  In addition, the 20's are lighter than the 30's.  It should be noted that when you "swap" the 20's, they are generally not filled to the same capacity (i.e. they are not really full) and the cost per gallon or pound of propane is generally more expensive than it would be at a refill facility.  But, if you are in an area that simply doesn't have a refill facility, there isn't really much you can do with that empty 30 pound tank.

 

Edited by topgun2
corrected info and additional information
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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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1 hour ago, Steph and Dud B said:

I think each hour used roughly 10% of our total capacity.

That's what I've found on two occasions with our Platinum Pro package. The first time I ran the AC exactly two hours, and the batteries were at 81% after. This was in May, and using solar only, it took 48 hours to recover. This was using the factory 400W panels without my additional 200W portable panel. In August I ran the AC for about six hours (untimed) and the batteries were at I think 38% after. I was at an electric site a couple days later, so didn't check to see how long the solar would take to recover.

So, AC uses about 10% per hour of running time with the Platinum Pro package, and takes about 24 hours per hour of running time to recover using 400W solar only.

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Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 2023 Oliver Elite II Twin Hull #1360 “Curiosity”
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Camped in Curiosity = Green —— Visited with Curiosity = Gray

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On 10/9/2023 at 3:50 AM, Dennis and Melissa said:

Door lock (do I need the electric one?)

We didn't get the electric door lock on our 2022 Elite II, because some folks on this forum noted issues with them.  One poster got locked in the trailer when it malfunctioned and had to crawl out the rear window!

We have not regretted saving $$$$ by going with the standard key lock.  We keep the key in the center console of our truck.

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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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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

I can run my fridge on one 20 pound tank for about 6 to 7 weeks. 

I expect yours is an absorption fridge.  The 2023s come with compressor fridges.  This is another reason to consider solar and lithium:  a compressor fridge requires a fair amount of power, and very few RVers get along without a fridge. 

Also, many campgrounds limit the hours you can use a generator.  If you plan to rely on a generator, I hope we don't end up camping next to you! (with all due respect)

Yes, the lithium upgrade is pricey.   But, unless used nearly full time, Lithionics LiFePO4 batteries should last at least 10 years, likely more like 15.  Wet cell or AGM batteries must be replaced every 3-5 years regardless of use.  Over time, the marginal cost differential between lithiums and lead/acids is not that great.

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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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41 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

I expect yours is an absorption fridge.

Absolutely correct - just giving examples of propane usage.

42 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

Wet cell or AGM batteries must be replaced every 3-5 years regardless of use. 

Yes, these are the "averages" that I've read about also.  However, my current lead acid batteries are still running strong going into their 8th year!

Bill

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

Near Asheville, NC

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1 hour ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

Does anyone opt for the Li batteries and NOT the solar panels?

Can't imagine anyone doing that (?). Lithium batteries and solar are a perfect match because lithium takes a charge so easily. The bulk of the expense is the batteries. You wouldn't save much by deleting the panels and controller.

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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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What truck, if any, do you own now?

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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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4 hours ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

Does anyone opt for the Li batteries and NOT the solar panels?

I think a few have. 

Imo, you'd be better off to get the solar option,  and upgrade batteries if you found the need.

 

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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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10 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

What truck, if any, do you own now?

Ram 1500 Laramie, 5.7L 8 cyl hemi, 4wd, max tow, air shocks, class iv hitch, 9 pin connector, rear video
Approx 1,700 load capacity

2024 OLEII - Hull MDIV, born 3/13/24

Ram 1500  5.7L 8 cyl hemi, 4wd, max tow, air shocks, 6’4” box, crew cab

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20 hours ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

Does anyone opt for the Li batteries and NOT the solar panels?

When we ordered last August, not getting solar was not an option with lithium. They came as a package. As noted previously, changing to lithium/solar later is a very expensive proposition. Much more than getting it from the get go. Almost all of the wiring needs to be replaced with the heavier wire that lithium needs, along with the different controllers, and other components. I'm probably misremembering, but I thought someone checked with Oliver, and it was going to be about $10k more than having it done when built. For us, the choice to add the Platinum Pro package was the most expensive option, and the easiest to swallow.

On some of your other questions, here's my response as first time trailer owners (we had a square-back teardrop prior, so basically dry tent camping.)

Auto Drain: We opted not to get this for two reasons. Keeping things simple (it relies on an electrical switch and a motor), but more importantly, it is out of sight, so something you might forget. With the manual handle, when closing up the trailer, I always fold the steps and look inside to make sure the handle is pressed in. Doing those routinely together ensures I'll never forget (yea, right...) And if like me, you didn't pay attention during the walkthrough, simply remember Drive-In, CampOut. Handle is in when driving, and out while camping (or dumping)

We opted not to get the electric door lock. Just something else to go wrong. The key is smaller than the fob when carrying in a pocket.

The backup camera was the last thing we decided on when ordering. (Actually, much later, because you can change your order up to the point where you pay off the first 50%) I had considered adding my own, but having the wiring and witch already in place saved a lot of headaches. I expected to only use it while backing into a site, but in actuality, I never do. I use it a *lot* on the highway when watching traffic behind me, and especially when changing lanes.

Upgraded mattresses: When we ordered was when Oliver was changing from KTT to whoever makes the current mattresses. When visiting other owners with the KTT mattress, we loved the firmness, and had decided to go that route. When we got to the factory for our tour and to order, they'd switched vendors. Some people love them, but we found them much too soft and flimsy, almost like a cheap motel mattress. So we ordered without the upgrade option, and then ordered a pair of Oliver specific mattresses direct from KTT. Shipped to our home, they were almost the same cost as the Oliver upgrade. A few other owners have done the same.

 

Here's what we ordered:

- Oliver Legacy Elite II Twin Bed
- Standard Mattresses (KTT mattresses after receipt)
- Standard Fabric - Midnight 
- Hypervent
- Omnidirectional Antenna (local weather etc. if we don't have cell service)
- Street Side Awning
- Frosted Cabinet Doors
- Convection Microwave
- 20 Gallon Propane (to keep tongue weight down)
- Front/Rear Propane Quick-Connects
- Standard Toilet (with possible AirHead composting replacement)
- Full Truma Package AC, Furnace, Water Heater and Antifreeze kit
- Lithium Platinum Package
- Backup Camera
- Rear Bumper Receiver (converted to 2" after receipt)
- Anderson Hitch
- Aluminum Storage Basket
- Basement Door
- No Graphics

Over six months after our pickup date and 44 nights of use, there's nothing we'd have changed.

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Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 2023 Oliver Elite II Twin Hull #1360 “Curiosity”
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Camped in Curiosity = Green —— Visited with Curiosity = Gray

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On 10/14/2023 at 12:47 PM, Steve Morris said:

We opted not to get the electric door lock. Just something else to go wrong.

We had an electronic lock on our last trailer and really liked it, so we ordered the RVLock Oliver installs. Don't like it as much as the one we had, which seemed to be better quality. It was made by LatchIt. It's an easy self-install.

 

On 10/14/2023 at 12:47 PM, Steve Morris said:

The backup camera was the last thing we decided on when ordering. I expected to only use it while backing into a site, but in actuality, I never do. I use it a *lot* on the highway when watching traffic behind me, and especially when changing lanes.

Same here. Great on the highway and I also use it if I have to back into a site solo. I put an orange leveling block on the ground as a target where I want the back of the trailer to end up. I'm going to use it backing into the garage, too. (Always better to have a human spotter when you can, though!)

We like our upgraded non-KTT mattresses, so that's a matter of taste. You should go to the factory and try them out if you can.

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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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Does anyone have advice/opinions on tonneau covers and/or bed-liners?

We have a Ram 1500 with 6.5 foot bed.  Brand new, so just raw metal right now.  (My son is screaming at me to get the MOPAR spray in bed liner.)

We're thinking we want something lockable, but not necessarily heavy duty.

There's only 2 of us.  And the back seat space of the truck is quite large.  So, we don't plan on carrying much in the bed besides a few campground niceties and "overflow" luggage.  I can't imagine we would fill even half of it.

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2024 OLEII - Hull MDIV, born 3/13/24

Ram 1500  5.7L 8 cyl hemi, 4wd, max tow, air shocks, 6’4” box, crew cab

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9 hours ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

Does anyone have advice/opinions on tonneau covers and/or bed-liners?

I have had a Bakflip MX4 tonneau cover on each of the Ford F-150's I've owned.  

Assuming that your tailgate can be locked then these covers offer a bit of lockable security and can be closed with the tailgate either open or shut.  The cover also folds towards the cab such that basically the entire bed is available for things like carrying motorcycles, mulch or high items without the need to remove the cover entirely.

I've also always had a spray-in bedliner in my trucks.  This helps with grip, rust and cleaning (simply power wash it). 

However, I have also always then purchased a "bed-rug" for at least the floor and tailgate.  These items reduce noise from the bed but more importantly make kneeling in the bed of the truck much easier on your knees.

Bill

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

Near Asheville, NC

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10 hours ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

Does anyone have advice/opinions on tonneau covers and/or bed-liners?

We have a Ram 1500 with 6.5 foot bed.  Brand new, so just raw metal right now.  (My son is screaming at me to get the MOPAR spray in bed liner.)

We're thinking we want something lockable, but not necessarily heavy duty.

There's only 2 of us.  And the back seat space of the truck is quite large.  So, we don't plan on carrying much in the bed besides a few campground niceties and "overflow" luggage.  I can't imagine we would fill even half of it.

We started with the Bakflip @topgun2 mentioned...also got a spray in liner.  The bed-rug is also a great ideas (ask my knees!).  We ended up with an ARE truck topper which we prefer - but there are loads of pros and cons between toppers and tonneau covers.  We were happy with the quality of the Bakflip,  Need to consider all uses of your two vechicle for a decision that works best for you all.

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SE Texas  | 2021 Elite II  Twin Bed # 927  "Lucy"  |  2019 F250 FX4 6.7

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11 hours ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

Does anyone have advice/opinions on tonneau covers and/or bed-liners?

I too have the BedRug with bottom, sides and tailgate coverage in my 2012 short bed TV, as well as an A.R.E. cap lined with the same carpet material. As some mentioned, easy on the knees, as well as an insulating factor and sound reduction. 11 years and counting with little signs of wear or staining. I have furniture carpet slides on the bottom of a large frig/freezer that work great in handling it. Although a cap will add significant weight, it provides protection and security, as well as added space, especially for bikes and even a loft. I also installed a 200W solar array atop the cap.

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2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt, Hughes Autoformer, dual Lagun tables

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We have a Diamondback cover on our truck. It's secure and you can strap things on top of it (you can walk around up there). We added racks to carry our bikes or whatever (tank tote, firewood, etc.).

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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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On 10/13/2023 at 3:50 PM, Steph and Dud B said:

Can't imagine anyone doing that (?). Lithium batteries and solar are a perfect match because lithium takes a charge so easily.

Not only are lithiums a perfect match for solar - they're also a perfect match for a DC/DC charger...  Your TV's alternator generates a goodly amount of current (probably north of 180Amps) which cannot make it to the lithium bank via the standard 7-pin connection.  The DC/DC charger allows the lithiums to charge with that current produced by your TV while traveling in addition to the solar (if you're pulling during sunny times of the day).

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX

 

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17 hours ago, Steph and Dud B said:

We have a Diamondback cover on our truck. It's secure and you can strap things on top of it

Ditto. There are other threads on tonneau covers. Here's one example. I restricted the cover to one I could unlock and open from the outside. My F250 tailgate does not have a blade key slot, only an electric lock. If that fails while camping and the tailgate has to be open to unlock the tonneau, you could be locked out of your bed. 

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2021 Elite II Twin #850 "Mojo", 2020 F250 Lariat 7.3L FX4 3.55

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2 hours ago, MobileJoy said:

If that fails while camping and the tailgate has to be open to unlock the tonneau, you could be locked out of your bed. 

Assuming that you are talking here about the BakFlip tonneau cover, your statement is not "totally" correct.  These covers can still be opened with fairly simply tools even while the rest of the truck (to include the tailgate) is locked.  Of course, this is good news AND bad news in that any would be thief that knows this can also use this information to get to your stuff.

Bill

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

Near Asheville, NC

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Thanks to all who contributed.  I read and learned from each post.
I have some minor warranty work to do at the dealer next week.  I think I will have them do the spray-in bed liner then.

We will wait on the cover until we've had a chance to study a bit more.

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2024 OLEII - Hull MDIV, born 3/13/24

Ram 1500  5.7L 8 cyl hemi, 4wd, max tow, air shocks, 6’4” box, crew cab

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2 hours ago, topgun2 said:

Assuming that you are talking here about the BakFlip tonneau cover, your statement is not "totally" correct.

Actually I was referring to the Extang Solid Fold 2.0 cover that I had before, and possibly others.

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2021 Elite II Twin #850 "Mojo", 2020 F250 Lariat 7.3L FX4 3.55

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Today I learned that some people have "liked" some of my posts.  (OK, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I guess. 🙂 )
So, I went back and mindlessly, belatedly clicked TY for each of the replies I've received.

Believe me, every word is very much appreciated as we prepare to take this leap.

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2024 OLEII - Hull MDIV, born 3/13/24

Ram 1500  5.7L 8 cyl hemi, 4wd, max tow, air shocks, 6’4” box, crew cab

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I'm trying to get my head around the PRACTICAL difference between LITHIUM PLATINUM and LITHIUM PRO PACKAGE for LE2

Both have 400 Watt Solar Package with Victron Charge Controller and 3000 Watt Pro Inverter

Platinum - 640 AH Lithium Batteries
Pro      - 390 AH Lithium Batteries

So, is it just that simple?  2/3 longer battery life?

Or is there some other important difference?

2024 OLEII - Hull MDIV, born 3/13/24

Ram 1500  5.7L 8 cyl hemi, 4wd, max tow, air shocks, 6’4” box, crew cab

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