Jump to content

First Impressions of our Oliver, and Some Questions (Part One)


GeoffChapman

Recommended Posts

We have had a fast introduction to our new-to-us Elite I (hull 731) since we picked it up over Labor Day weekend in McComb, Ill. We are four years into retirement and felt ready to do some camping and to get out and see more of our country. We thought we could fit camping trips in between our life with our many local grandchildren – and help with visits to our non-local grandchildren. 

 

From our home in Pittsburgh, we’ve now taken 5 trips, visited 7 states (from Illinois to NY to Tennessee), travelled 3400 miles and camped for 13 nights. This has given us a deep dive into the Oliver camping world. I thought we’d share our first impressions and ask some questions. 

 

Overall, it is evident that the Oliver is a complex and capable trailer. We love it!! We are glad for our purchase and our start into some years (God willing) of camping adventures.

 

The Oliver online forums and the Oliver University have been a goldmine of advice. Thanks to you all, more than once!!

 

As we got started, we had to:

·      Upgrade our TV capabilities, adding a class 3 hitch, air bags and a brake controller to our 2022 V6 GMC Canyon. All this was new to me, and I’m glad to say we’ve had no towing difficulties.

·      Learn how to tow. I got my first lessons from our seller at pickup, a *great* guy. Caution and care were important as we started. As of this writing, we’ve been through the Adirondacks and the Smokies at least once. 

·      Learn how to travel with our Cocker. ‘Brecon’ goes with us, almost always. But she does not sleep on our bed, so… the floor by the door proved perfect for her bed, leaving the isle free to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She travels well, and is a sweet companion.

·      Learn the basic systems, including parking, electrical, propane, solar, water, sewage, heat, and solar. We were told at sale that both our previous owners sold after 1500 miles in part because of the complexity of these units. We sympathize!

·      Learn the basics of finding places to camp. We studied up on federal, state and private options, including Harvest Hosts and Hipcamp. We quickly concluded that we love remote camping, so we had to learn how to boondock. Hipcamp has been our favorite. 

·      Learn how to live in tight quarters! We’ve been married for 46 good years, but this is a new season.

 

As soon as we had a week of nights or so under our belt, we began to shape our Ollie to fit us. All these mods are reversable, but to date we have: 

·      Swapped out the Furrion rear view camera (with a dim, small, fuzzy image) for a Haloview BT7 1080p Backup Camera. I used the wiring for the Furrion and relocated the camera below the Oliver light, temp caulking the previous Furrion holes.  The difference was well worth it.

·      Taken the TV and its mount out. We don’t use it.

·      Taken the rail btw the front dinette seat and the rear dinette seat out. The added headroom in sleeping is well worth it.

·      Added 6 Tireminder TPMS transmitters. I may add 2 more to our spare tires.

·      Made solar work for at least two or three night stays offgrid. 8 of our first 13 nights were remote (by choice) with no hookups, so we learned to keep electrical use to a minimum, turned off the inverter when off shore-power, and added a 100 watt portable solar panel to our 230 watt rooftop panels. 

 

As we sit here and think back on our first weeks with the camper, what have we liked, what do we love? 

·      Without exception, we have enjoyed the people we have met. This country has a lot of great people, many of them living out in the country. 

·      The Oliver has made visiting our large family and other friends a cinch! We happily sleep in our trailer!

·      We are pleased with the Oliver itself, with its aesthetics, its evident craftsmanship, and its ‘mod-ability’.  It fits us well. 

·      We love being warm and snug and dry inside when it is cold and windy and wet outside.

·      We love waking up to sunrises streaming in the windows. We love going to sleep with night breezes across our faces. We love the hoots of the owls and the barking of the coyotes in the hills. We’ve loved sitting pondside and watching snapping turtles cruise in the evening, the swallows as they dart, and the fish as they leap. 

·      We love the quiet and the calm of the countryside and the hills. 

·      We love the stars deep into the nights in the countryside. We travel with a small telescope and binoculars. The stars have long been a love.

 

Geoff and Becca Chapman

BeccaGeoffBreconOllie.jpg.82bed9defc19b660197ccef31fc2a08a.jpgCanyonOlliePondside.jpg.5837764c050838b68bd9606423c73d2b.jpgEadsBluffFarm.png.addc8427ca5ef68942503a6c9c974ac8.png

  • Thanks 3
  • Like 9
  • Love 1

Geoff and Becca Chapman * Pittsburgh 

Legacy Elite 1 Hull #731 * TV GMC Sierra 1500 6.2L V8

Link to comment
Share on other sites

travel trailer units for sale
Find Oliver Inventory Travel Trailers for Sale
View Inventory
  • Moderators
13 hours ago, GeoffChapman said:

Learn the basic systems, including parking, electrical, propane, solar, water, sewage, heat, and solar. We were told at sale that both our previous owners sold after 1500 miles in part because of the complexity of these units. We sympathize!

Its a shame that the first owners gave up after such a short period of time - but good for you guys.  There is nothing about RV's and Oliver's that is "rocket science".  And, by now you are really getting a handle on a good understanding of how the various systems work together.  Unfortunately, you are (probably) now entering into an area where you really do need to pay attention.  Its when you think that you know the drill and you get over confident and/or something out of the "normal" routine causes you to deviate from the way you normally do things.  Checklists are good at preventing this trap.

Let us know if there is anything we can do to help make the journey better.

Bill

  • Like 2

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

Near Asheville, NC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Geoff and Becca, 

Sounds like you are off to a great start. Looks like great campsites in your photos.  Enjoy!

Kirk

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement. We feel like we've made some good progress.

 @topgun2 thanks for the reminder;

5 hours ago, topgun2 said:

you are (probably) now entering into an area where you really do need to pay attention.  Its when you think that you know the drill and you get over confident and/or something out of the "normal" routine causes you to deviate from the way you normally do things.  Checklists are good at preventing this trap.

We found @John E Davies' check list, modified it to fit, and use it regularly. I can see how it would be easy to forget an essential sometime!! 

Geoff

  • Like 1

Geoff and Becca Chapman * Pittsburgh 

Legacy Elite 1 Hull #731 * TV GMC Sierra 1500 6.2L V8

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/16/2023 at 6:04 PM, GeoffChapman said:

companion.

·      Learn the basic systems, including parking, electrical, propane, solar, water, sewage, heat, and solar. We were told at sale that both our previous owners sold after 1500 miles in part because of the complexity of these units. We sympathize!

Not only overcomming the “complexity of these units”, but it can be a real chore loading and unloading the TV and Oliver prior to and on return when traveling; as well as setting up and stricking camp, especially after an extended stay. I will share a saying that makes it worth the effort: ‘You work for your pleasure when you RV’! And I will add, as you well know by now, memories are made with each ‘Oliventure’!

  • Love 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...