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donthompson last won the day on August 24 2018

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  1. I've finally given up on the Atwood Propane Alarm installed below the dinette. My Ollie is a 2016 and the alarm has gone off multiple times on every camping trip I've taken since picking up my camper in March 2016. On my first night out on my current trip a couple of days ago, it went off and I decided to remove it. I talked to Jason who confirmed that it is extremely sensitive and many slight odors tend to set it off. He told me that even odors from the batteries may set it off. So, here's my question: has any forum member found an alternative alarm that does the job of detecting a propane leak without interrupting your sleep frequently when no propane leak exists? I've reached the conclusion that the Atwood alarm is worthless. Because it goes off so frequently and is triggered by non-propane odors, it serves no real purpose. The only way I could use it to stay safe is to pull into an RV repair shop every time it goes off to check for a propane leak. If I did that, I would spend all of my travel time at RV shops. Jason mentioned that he will ask Oliver to identify, research and test an alternative, but he isn't sure they will. He also mentioned that the location of the alarm may be part of the problem. I love my Ollie, but it's frustrating that Oliver hasn't solved this long-standing issue with one of its third-party componen ts (and perhaps the design issue resulting in the location of the alarm in the camper).
  2. Sully Creek Park has a nicer campground than Cottonwood Campground at Roosevelt NP and it's very close to the NP. You didn't mention Grand Teton NP. Don't miss it. I love a boondocking spot there. Upper Teton View Dispersed. * Campground Address, Directions, and GPS: Forest Rd 30310, south of 191, Moose WY 83013 GPS: 43.762492, -110.553995 * Forest road 30310 is about 12.5 miles north of Moose, WY. It’s about 5.6 miles south of Moran, WY. You take highway 191 from either Moose or Moran to get to the forest road. The road is a bit rough as you drive from the valley up to the ridge, but once you arrive, you have a great view over the valley and of the mountain peaks. Wonderful spot. After visiting the Canadian Rockies, Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP last fall, I've decided to avoid fall trips to these mountains. The fire season usually starts in July and can continue well into October. The fires and smoke make this an unattractive place to visit. Last September is was so smokey in the Canadian Rockies that I only spent one night there. Fires drove me out of Glacier after a couple of days. Grand Teton was ok when I was there, but still smokey. I don't know if fires have been an issue so far this summer, but I'd advise you to keep an eye on fires in British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, etc.
  3. Overland: I sent a private message to you about this. Please let me know if my effort to message you was or wasn’t successful. “I would suggest that you upgrade your battery monitor at the same time, since it’s more difficult to judge an LFP’s state of charge from voltage alone. A few of us have the Victron BMV, which are highly rated. If you get their Bluetooth version, then you won’t have to mount anything in the trailer. Simply secure the monitor in the hull and use their phone app.”
  4. Overland, are you referring to the Victron BMV-712 Smart? Don
  5. I've spent some time on the phone with Battle Born. They tell me that their batteries are compatible with the Xantrex inverter and Blue Sky controller in my 2016 Elite II. Among the advantages they promote are: 1) you can draw the batteries down to 0% without damaging the batteries or reducing the lifespan of the batteries; 2) 3,000 to 5,000 discharge/charge cycles compared to 300-500 for my batteries; 3) a 10-year warranty: 8-year full replacement and last 2-years pro rated; and 4) they produce full power no matter what the discharge rate is. I don't know how many usable amp hours I have with my 4 Trojan T-105 deep cycle batteries. Battle Born says 2 of their 12v batteries would give me 200 usable amp hours, 3 would give me 300 and 4 would produce 400 usable amp hours. My camping style is to boondock as much as possible and to avoid times/places where I need to run my A/C. So, I don't use a generator (I don't own one) and I take full advantage of the factory installed solar panels and have a 120-watt Zamp portable panel as a backup. I've been very happy with my set up but I've had to leave great boondocking spots when the weather changes and a couple of days of rain set in. The Battle Born batteries weigh less than 1/2 of the weight of my Trojan batteries. 30 lbs. v. 62 lbs. The dimensions are 12.75L, 6.8W, and 9H--all in inches. The Trojans are 10.3L, 7.11W and 11.07H. I haven't tried to figure out whether I can fit 4 in my battery compartment, but I'm thinking of starting with 2 and upgrading if I need more amp hours. So, I'm interested in finding out if any of you on the forum have made the switch to Battle Born and if so, the pros and cons based on your experiences. Also, I welcome any comments by knowledgeable forum members who have not made the switch. I'm also curious about how many usable amp hours my 4 6V Trojan batteries povide. Cost is obviously a factor. The Battle Born batteries are "on sale" now for $949 per battery with free shipping and no sales tax.
  6. A couple of questions. I found the Precision 1/2" torque wrench many of you have purchased. I assume you needed to purchase an extender that you attach the socket to in order to use this torque wrench on the lug nuts on the wheels on the Olliver. Which one specifically did you buy? Also, I don't think I have 1/2" sockets. Any idea on the size of the sockets for the lug nuts, the Bulldog coupler and any bolts/nuts on the Dexter EZ Flex?
  7. Question: I run 55 psi in my tires. I have a TPMS system that monitors pressure and temperature. On my drive to Hohenwald and back, the two tires closest to the tow vehicle consistently ran 15 to 20 degrees higher temperatures versus the two tires towards the rear of the camper. The temps were never too high, just different. I assume there is a logical explanation for this. Any opinions?
  8. I had my Ollie serviced when Lanham did and we camped together at the winery the first night out. I have a TPMS system and I was carrying 55 psi in all four tires (cold pressure) when I dropped the camper off for service in Hohenwald and the tire pressure was the same when I picked it up. I think they used to put 80 psi in the tires, but that may have just been when they delivered a new Oliver.
  9. I agree with John. Fall has always been my favorite time to travel to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, etc., but with the wildfires we've been plagued with, my habits have changed. The best time to travel to the Rocky Mountains is in May and June, but that won't work if we want to plan a western rally at a different time than the current Oliver Owners' Rally. What about the Southwestern United States? Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern Utah, or even Death Valley in California. When I was at Big Bend National Park in late-February and early-March this year, I picked up a new Official Guide to Texas State Parks published by the University of Texas Press. There are a lot of them! Choosing a place where the weather would be mild and with some early Spring foliage would be great.
  10. I use the Dill TPMS system. It uses the same type of “in tire” sensors that my Touareg has and the monitor is small and unobtrusive. Monitors tire pressure and temperature. I towed without a TPMS system for a couple of years without any problems, but I think its a good investment.
  11. I’m often away from home for 5-6 weeks with my Elite II. Both the tow vehicle and camper get pretty dirty because of dirt/gravel roads, rain, bugs, etc. Car washes are ok, but I haven’t found them very effective. My preferred method is to find a good truck wash. It’s not inexpensive—you may pay as much as $50-$60 to get the tow vehicle and camper washed, but often they do an excellent job. One of the best I’ve found was Exit 96 Truck and RV Wash in Missoula, Montana. A new truck wash opened near my home and I now stop there before putting my Oliver in storage. They only charge $30 and that makes it an easy decision for me. It usually takes me at least 90 minutes to hand wash my camper after a trip. One caveat: you may have to wait at a truck and RV wash. At the one in Missoula, I waited about 45 minutes and the wash took about 30 minutes.
  12. I have never owned a generator for a number of reasons. My solar panels on the roof of my Elite II plus a portable Zamp 125 watt panel have kept my batteries charged for years until the past couple of days. I was camped at Chinati Hot Springs in Texas for a couple of days and it was cloudy the last day I was there and also on the day I traveled to Las Cruces. Camped yesterday at a beautiful BLM campsite, but again, little or no sun. The forecast is for continued cloudy weather and rain tomorrow. So, I'm at an RV park connected to shore power. I would like to buy a generator that I'll use only to supplement my solar panels to keep my batteries charged and happy. I don't want a generator to run my A/C, so no need for a 3000-watt generator or a 2000- watt plus EZ Start. So, the first question: will a 1,000-watt generator do what I need it to do? Second, can I buy a generator that runs on propane that I can hook up to the propane quick-connect that I purchased as an option and have never used? Third, do I need a generator or a generator with an inverter? Fourth, Honda or Yamaha? Fifth, does the power cord that I use for shore power plug directly into the generator and then into the receptacle on the Ollie where you connect it when using shore power? As you can see, I know nothing about generators. Sixth, have I forgotten to ask an important question? Keep your responses simple recognizing that you are communicating with someone with very little understanding of the topic!
  13. Do not support your Ollie by placing jack stands under the axles. Do not support the Ollie in storage using the built-in jacks. When I picked up my camper in March 2017, I was warnedagainst using the electric jacks for this purpose. I used jack stands for about 3 weeks before I found info on the Dexter website warning against it. In that short period of time, supporting the weight of the camper on the jack stands deformed the axles! I store my camper indoors, on a concrete floor. The unit is unheated. I have never had any issues with flat-spotting tires.
  14. My monitor for the backup camera quit working. I've taken one long trip without the monitor and I'm leaving on another on Saturday. I miss it when backing into a tight camping spot. But, I just jump out of the Touareg and look to see where the trees and obstacles are. (I'm a solo traveler) Today I backed up into our narrow, ice-covered driveway with snow drifts on both sides of the entrance to the driveway in Iowa to get the Ollie packed and ready to leave on Saturday morning for Big Bend National Park. While I've backed trailers for over 50 years, I've learned to be more proficient owning and towing the Ollie. It's really simple if you follow a few basic rules: 1) Place your hands on the bottom of your steering wheel. If you want the rear of the camper to go to the left, move your hands to the left. If you want the camper to go right, move your hands to the right; 2) Drive very, very slowly; 3) Use small and gradual steering inputs to avoid having to overcorrect.
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