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  1. Just got back home with the Ollie and may post some of our thoughts on the ollie later but initial thoughts on the navigator was that it worked like a champ. Towing the ollie from Hohenwald, TH, to Greenville ,SC ( 450ish miles with some stops over three days to test out the Ollie) it did very well even across the mountains. For the most part it was hard to remember it was back there it was so smooth. I think that is helped by the anderson hitch as I do not think it was tightened enough for one short leg of the trip and I had a bit of bounce but once I got the hang of setting it up it was very smooth. Ascending hills was barely an inconvenience as the tow haul mode did its job fantastically, on the last leg we had an issue with the tow/haul mode indicator not lighting so I am not 100% sure it was engaged and I had to do a little manual downshifting on a 2-3 mile long 6% grade with one brake push as well but that was it. So I am very happy with the navigator as a tow vehicle so far. I had it on the adaptive cruise control for 90% of the trip and I got about 20ish MPG on the way out and about 14.5 on the way back with the ollie. It was better then I had expected given the hilly terrain and at that MPG you have about a 350 mile range with the 26 Gallon take ours has. I expect it would be a bit more through say nebraska. Comfort wise I think the Navigator is also top notch and I think the vehicle weight is a big plus for feeling safe while towing and heck just driving in general it hugs the road wonderfully. So far the 20 inch tires have been very good, but I think if we were going to do more boondocking we may swap them out for something smaller and more aggressive but so far I have never felt like the tire have slipped no matter what we have done with or without the Ollie. So that my initial impressions on the Lincoln navigator as a tow vehicle
  2. Thanks for the advice, it made me feel a bit better about some of the stretches on the way back and in general. Now I have to think up something else to worry about :)
  3. We are picking up our Ollie next week and planning out our drive home. Ideally a pilot or Flying J with RV fueling lanes is in the ideal spot to fuel up but I am wondering if in general most "normal" gas stations have enough room to pull through and gas up (note we do not have diesel engine)? or if we have to use end pumps and a lot of google sat map/street view investigation to make sure we can get in and out while towing the ollie. If so are corner gas stations better then ones set parallel to a street? are there any red flags that would make you keep going if you saw at a gas station? This will be our first towing experience so what the combined turning radius will be, rear end visibility end swing are all theoretical right now :) Towing Vehicle: 2019 Lincoln Navigator so we are about 41' from the front of the lincoln to the back of the elite II.
  4. Thanks for the thoughts. Since we only a few weeks out i guess I will wait and see what we think of the included monitor. We won't be doing any serious boondocking right off the bat so it should be good to start with.
  5. Has anyone found a universal remote that will work for all three of these items to reduce the clutter of several remotes? I am pretty sure a harmony will work for the TV and Stereo but I can't determine what type of remote the MAXXfan is IR or RF? We don't pick ours up for another 2 weeks, so I dont have one in hand to test. Thanks for any suggestions
  6. I was looking at this one at amazon "AiLi DC Battery Monitor 300V 200A Voltmeter Ammeter Voltage Amp Meter Gauge with Hall Effect Sensor Transformer" for $35 to give me a little bit better feel for the the battery health/usage. We are not picking up our Ollie for another 2 weeks so I was holding off until I can see what the monitor they give you can do but the manual makes it look a little primitive though even compared to this cheap monitor. Not sure if anyone has a thought on this vs the more expensive monitors listed above?
  7. I've lived from Massachusetts to South Carolina, and my folks live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but I've never camped to see the leaves. The biggest piece of advice I have is to keep your eye on the fall color forecast. I know this may sound a little crazy, but there are actually people who give forecasts based on the year's weather, current color, and forecast weather, guessing when "peak" color will be. Some also just give you forecasts based on historical record...those can be WAY off the actual, so look for someone who is using current year data. These historical ones can be helpful during your planning stages so that you get an idea of the progression through the area. For instance: https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/ You can often enjoy an area even if it is before or after "peak" (and note that different species of trees change at different times, so its really hard to define "peak" in mixed forests). However, if your destinations are somewhat flexible, you can try to move toward the places where there is better color. I would also recommend that if you're in an area that is past peak, consider going towards the coast if you don't want to head south. The coastal areas are warmer, so they peak later and some are quite stunning. I highly recommend Acadia National Park if you've never been there. I couldn't agree more with GraniteState about trying to do your driving/peeping during the week, and save laundry and down time for the weekend when the hordes are out on the roads! I also concur on the Kancamagus highway (make sure you have fuel - there are limited services on it and if there's lots of traffic, you don't want to run out!) In fact, I recommend fueling up any time you leave a highway because some of these areas are surprisingly rural and you burn a lot of fuel going up and down and up and down as you pass through ranges. It doesn't help that the only East-West interstate is the Massachusetts Turnpike. Be especially aware of traffic conditions if you want to pass through North Conway, NH, just north of the east end of the Kancamagus, as the congestion through town can be brutal. Assuming you already visited the Finger Lakes region on your way to Cooperstown (Watkins Glen, Ithaca and the lakes themselves), you'll be relatively near Saratoga Springs, which is a lovely college/spa/horse town. One other thought I had...while Olivers generally don't have to worry so much about height restrictions, New England has some VERY old roads, bridges and trestles. It would probably be worth running any routes through a trip router that takes height into account just to make sure you won't have a problem. I'm sorry I don't have more camping info, but we're total newbies and don't pick up our Oliver for a few weeks! Hope this added a little more food for thought. -Kathryn
  8. We're definitely one part excited to two parts nervous about our first time towing/RVing. We have an entire room upstairs devoted to bins full of stuff for the Ollie. As for where we're staying, I actually found a B&B/house rental in downtown Hohenwald called Meriwether's Retreat for the night before. I spoke with the owner extensively about fragrance and chemical issues and she was great! They were already trying to make sure the place was chemical free, and I was able to recommend some additional products she might want to try. So, I'm hopeful we'll have a good, trigger-free night before we pick up our trailer. I'll post more to the forum if it's a nice place, because being right in town the night before seems to be the easiest approach. Jason, our sales person who replaced Heather, happened to call last week and let me know that he saw our trailer in quality control, so it should have a number of weeks to off-gas, and hopefully I'll be able to handle it without resorting to steroids. I'm very jealous of Hobo's Hideout, because the best we were able to find was a grassy field at a storage place, though the owner though she might be able to stick us up in a paved portion because we'll be smaller than most. We've been on a waiting list for months for an indoor RV storage place, but that costs $300+ per month. If you ever need to justify the costs of the Hideout, use that as your comparison figure, and then factor in the convenience, as that place is a good 20-30 minutes from us. At least the grassy field is less than 10 minutes away. Congrats on the new grandson! Sounds like you've got a full travel agenda for the fall. We certainly hope it all goes smoothly, and maybe we'll even see you out there, as we were looking at some South Carolina low-country places ourselves for the fall. -Kathryn (& Chad)
  9. Hey Paul, we haven't gotten into a good routine of checking the forum, so I just stumbled across this post from June and wanted to say how lovely the Hideout looks! Hopefully the rest of the construction has progressed well (or has been put on hold while you're enjoying HOBO!). We've been scrambling to make sure we have everything in order for our September pickup (reservations, tools and supplies, checklists, etc., etc.). We keep adding things to our never-ending packing list. Give our best to Donna as well! -Kathryn & Chad
  10. Ken/Judy, May I ask how much they offered the package of fuses for? I have several fuses in my amazon wish list but if Oliver has a package of just what I need for less, that would be a better option depending on $.
  11. Thank you so much for your feedback. I may go for a more low tech solution to start with and see where we spend more time camping , in nice flat RV resorts or in lumpier State/Fed/local parks.
  12. As Coy mentioned, there are plenty of places to stay right in the park if you don't have your Oliver for one reason or another. I wanted to let you know of one option that is offered from one of the park's concessionaires: Camper Cabins. These are rather pricey, and they won't give a group discount as you would get booking a Lodge Room or Chalet with Sandy when you book for the rally, BUT, these are right down in the camping area where everyone else will be. They look somewhat newer, and you bring your own towels and linens, but they provide kitchen items and even have a screened porch. We thought it would be a great way to get our first taste of trailer camping even though we won't have our Oliver until September. (We'll be watching and learning as everyone does their set-up and tear-down routines!) Just make sure to call Sandy to pay for your rally participation as well. https://camprrm.com/parks/lake-guntersville/ Looking forward to meeting everyone! -Kathryn (& Chad)
  13. Thanks! I found some dimensions of all the drawers, but your insight on actual fit is very helpful. I think Chad may try to construct this himself from scrap wood. He was thinking of just one divider down the middle (his/hers), and has some plastic pieces left over from something that may make great slides. It'll give him a reason to play with all his shiny power tools.
  14. I'm in total agreement with y'all on the wheel size...I haven't convinced Chad yet. I too was wondering if I could swap these out somehow when it arrived, but it's not like the dealer is ordering anything with the smaller rims right now that they'd be willing to swap them with. I did consider the idea that we could even go down to the Expedition's 18" rims, and I think we'd have a bigger tire selection too, including all-terrain. I think, we'll likely drive with these for the first year or so, since initially we're going to be sticking closer to home as we learn the ropes. If we feel they are an issue at parks, then we'll definitely need to address them before heading west. About the spare...I finally got the dealer to confirm that it was a full size spare. I asked was it a smaller rim, but same total diameter, to save weight, and they said it was full sized. And gosh darn it, I just looked at a pic that Chad snapped of the inside door stickers, and wouldn't you know it, the spare is an 18 and isn't even the same total diameter - a full centimeter smaller, with a lower load rating. I specifically asked, because I wanted to know if the space was big enough to even hold a full size spare, since I think we should have one. ARGH. And yes, John, I think that is the color, though honestly it is really chameleon-like depending on the lighting. Doesn't look so monstrous next to a large rockwall. And yeah, it does look like that Land Rover, and is prettier....okay, now you've got me liking it more! Russell - Break-in is 500 miles in general, 1000 miles before towing. We will be getting it dirty, guaranteed! -Kathryn
  15. I think these are the equivalent fuses on ebay? https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-LOT-Qty-5-Fuse-MDL-30A-250V-30A250V-Slow-Blow-Glass-Fuse-30-Amp-size-6X30-mm/142868147224?hash=item21439aec18:g:SHYAAOSwhkRWevOQ:sc:USPSFirstClass!30303!US!-1:rk:2:pf:0 acn anyone better versed in reading fuses confirm? 5 for $5.25 with free shipping. Thanks
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