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John E Davies

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John E Davies last won the day on September 14 2019

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  1. You can clean and dry the inside of the connector and the wire attach points with alcohol and a soft brush (or use spray contact cleaner). Then seal up the cables where they enter the back of the cover with silicone sealer. If you keep the plug dangling down when not in use, it will stay relatively dry inside. John Davies Spokane WA
  2. Thanks for the comments, we are in Helena and have decided to bail on theMissouri Breaks this trip, due to the heavy rains. I do not want gumbo, no thanks. It is supposed to clear Wednesday evening so we are going to shoot up Thursday morning to Glacier and hopefully see some really big mountains. The only other time we have driven Going to the Sun Road, they were completely socked in with dense clouds.... Last night we stayed ay Georgetown Lake between Philipsburg and Anaconda. This is Piney Campground, NFS and $7.50 with the Geezer Pass. It is a huge campground but there were only three other trailers there. Plus black and cinnamon bears. It was 34 degrees by morning. What a beautiful spot, but it is very hard to take good pics when the clouds are thick. John Davies Spokane WA
  3. Coy, it all sounds great and I wish your company the best of luck. I hope you include a manual failsafe stow mechanism, in case the electronics or a motor fails, so the owner can park the panel drive unit back in the stowed position for travel. John Davies Spokane WA
  4. 1 - It will beat you up and wreck your kidneys on washboard. 2 - It will not fit on many secondary forest roads. 3 - It will not fit on all jeep trails (Moab). 4 - Driver visibility is very poor. 5 - Approach and departure angles suck. 6 - The odds of getting hopelessly stuck are much higher - the weight is double. 7 - Suspension design is inadequate - horrible articulation. If a diesel, there may be almost no front suspension travel. 8 - If a diesel, there is way too much weight on the front end, which ruins handling and destroys the ball joints. There are probably half a dozen more reasons. I sold my Ram 3500 and use a Land Cruiser 200. It can tow OK and is simply stellar for exploring the back country and for driving forest and ranch roads. A Power Wagon will work, except for the sheer size.... it is too monstrous for narrower tracks. John Davies Spokane WA
  5. From an engineering standpoint, adding tight fitting heavy steel beams inside the aluminum frame rails is a very poor approach.... the huge difference in coefficients of expansion alone make this a non-starter. Plus the dissimilar metal corrosion hazard. I would be really interested to see pics of the failed rack and the cargo it was carrying. When you design stuff that will inevitably be involved in a collision, a rear-ender for example, you need to build in failure points, just like the car manufacturers do with front and rear crumple zones. You need to figure out the most likely direction of impact, and where the individual parts will give way, and where the major mass of the unit will end up. GM can afford to smash cars to see what happens, a home fabricator can only do research and use a SWAG - Scientific Wild Assed Guess. When I built my rear rack I did so with the hope that, when hit, it and the cargo would fold upwards and forwards, into the (uncovered) rear spare tire. Which wouldn’t stop the hull from getting damaged, but it might provide a cushion of sorts for a minor crash. I intentionally mounted the rack fairly high, so it would be lifted upward (in addition to not affecting departure angle). And I epoxied additional heavy aluminum reinforcing plates inside the frame where the support arms attach, so the arms would tear out, and - fingers crossed! - not wreck the main frame beams. Finally I used a lot of much smaller fasteners on the basket so they would rip out of the crossbeam. So I would really like to see pictures of failed Oliver racks. Do you suppose there is any chance they would send me some? It could be very educational. I really really don’t want to crash test mine.... John Davies Spokane WA
  6. I don't know the exact specs for your heat strip, but I bet it is 15 amps or more. HOWEVER, there is not a large initial overload like with your air conditioner motor, it will stay right at that amount all the time. What generator do you have? Your battery converter (charger) can draw a fair amount of AC current if your batteries are low. Try turning off the circuit breaker and see if the heat strip will stay on. Make sure your other major appliances are truly off - the electric heating elements in the water heater and the fridge especially. The heat strip is really intended for use with a good shore power connection. A small electric box heater with a low setting of around 500 watts would be handy to have, and it will run off a generator with no problems. Do you have the onboard surge suppressor? If so, look at the remote display and see what amp draw it shows when you switch on the heat strip. The display is buried in a really handy place (in the left rear electronics compartment).... https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/how-to-relocate-the-surge-suppressor-remote-display/ John Davies Spokane WA
  7. I think it is probably a bad board.... welcome to the newly founded Suburban Bad Board Club. https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/suburban-hot-water-heater-failed-a-dealer-repair-story-and-lesson/ John Davies Spokane WA
  8. It helps for the passenger to visually scope out the approach and departure “lanes” for obstacles like a disabled car or a blocking fuel truck or police car (!!!). Old urban stations are by far the worst offenders, with tight spacing and often a serious lack of concern for oversized vehicles. Long ago I got blocked by a beater pickup truck that broke down and was completely in the way. I had to back out onto a busy road, not fun at all. This was before cell phones, but a pair of walkie talkies saved the day. My wife walked out into the road and stopped traffic so I could get out. I highly recommend a pair of them for those times your cell doesn’t work. Do not hesitate to skip a station if it just feels wrong. You also have to worry about too-tight parking lots, again they are usually in urban areas. Sometimes it is physically impossible to make the turns. ALWAY check them out ahead of time, either on foot or by using Google Earth if you have a strong signal and a good data plan. Every now and then even a big Walmart parking lot will have challenging turns with clueless shoppers not helping at all. If you don’t swear now, you will quickly learn how to. Good luck and have fun. John Davies Spokane WA
  9. I am not sure if this is still possible, but it used to be when you ordered a trailer you could delete the swooshes, but they don’t refund any money. I do think having the trailer name on the side looks good and it stops constant questions about “what kind of Casita is that?” John Davies Spokane WA
  10. I am not so sure about departure angle issues with the Elite, but my rack in no way affects it on my Elite II. I have to worry about the extra length when backing, but the rear view camera takes care of that. https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/how-to-move-the-factory-cargo-tray-to-a-rear-rack/ I too think putting cargo on the roof is a poor idea in general, regardless of how well it is built. Tongue is best, if your TV can deal with the weight, rear is next, in moderation, followed a distant last by stuff ten feet off the ground. Remember that these are narrow trailers, so they would be more susceptible to problems when adding a bunch of mass up high. The factory experimented with spring over axle raised suspension on this trailer and did not like the results. John Davies Spokane WA
  11. Thanks for the comments. I knew little about the APR, but now I know more and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I prefer to not support them in any way. We are more interested in open camping under big skies. NFS campgrounds are fine tho, I appreciate your advice. I am prepared for bears, mentally and have the right tools. My wife, not so much, but hard sided camping has made her at least accepting of them.... she would sleep better if we had a 50,000 volt wire mesh all around us. How is it that in 40 years you haven’t made it to that part of the state? John Davies Spokane WA
  12. We are headed out in a week and hope to get some input from anybody who know this area. The plan is to zoom out from Spokane on the Interstate, and then poke around there and work our way back slowly to Helena, Browning, Glacier and Kalispel via secondary roads and highways. Then home by US2. We have about two weeks. We want to visit the Charles M Russell WLA, Fort Peck Lake, look at migratory birds and elk, and just enjoy the remote solitude and dark skies. We are not interested in touristy stuff, except for Helena and ghost towns. And no RV parks, except perhaps for quiet small town or county ones (not located next to race tracks or active railroads...) If it is dry we might drive this 4wd route WITHOUT the Ollie.... https://www.bigskyfishing.com/scenic-drives/missouri-breaks.php Or this easier one up near Canada. It is OK for trailers but the land is mostly private ranches so I don’t think we could camp along it. .... https://www.bigskyfishing.com/scenic-drives/sweetgrass-hills.php For either of those trips we would need a good base camp to leave the trailer. Can anyone recommend especially good free or low cost boondocking sites in this area and also around Helena and the east side of Glacier? We stayed at a horrible run down Helena RV park once in mid-summer - yikes. I know the western part of the state pretty well but not the other half. Thanks for any input. John Davies Spokane WA
  13. Landrover, stay safe. I hope it isn’t too bad. Is your Ollie out in the open? Do you use a tank inside your tubs? If not, do you seal the drains somehow so the water cannot seep out? https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Emergency-Container-Drinking-Hurricane/dp/B001AXLUX2 Thanks, John Davies Spokane WA
  14. Now is probably a good time to buy. This is not the current model which I don’t know the differences. https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Monocrystalline-Portable-Foldable-Kickstand/dp/B00LXG4AXS?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAJ7T5BOVUVRD2EFYQ&tag=camelproducts-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00LXG4AXS John Davies Spokane WA
  15. Bill, do you have any kind of cable lock on the panel? It would be so easy for any passerby to unplug it, fold it and stroll away..... Thanks, John Davies Spokane WA
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