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Ollie: Flaws from the Factory

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Pleasantly surprisingly there were very few. The first one is arguably not a flaw but it sticks out in my mind given the circumstances.

Shower / Faucet

Each time I saw an Oliver interior I was impressed by the bathroom configuration. Not a small part of that for me was the combo faucet shower head that had a hidden hose which could be drawn and mounted on another bracket on the wall, presto, shower! All of the versions I'd seen until mine had a low flow nozzle that switched from flow to spray and included a toggle at the handle that shut the shut flow to a trickle. This saves water, especially when boon docking, and more importantly, in my imagination anyway, prevented you from having to re mix the hot and cold to prevent shock either way when you're all soaped up. Unfortunately for me that particular combo faucet was not delivered in our unit.

Somewhere between the time the Ollies were built that I had been shown, and the delivery of our Ollie, Oliver had a change of supplier apparently due to outages and delays experienced with that impressive fixture. They had switched to, in my mind, a lesser product with a handle that has no cutoff. To reduce water use you have to shut the water down at the mixing valve handle and then when ready (all sudsed up) you have to re mix the hot and cold water, potential ouch. For me this was a flaw, an albeit unintentional, over promise and under deliver.

I did find a more suitable shower head but it would not serve well as a faucet. They did give me the name of the manufacturer (Ambassador/Scandvik?) of the one I'm referring to so I'll be looking at replacing that faucet and mount in the future.

MaxxAir Fan Remote

I saw it work on delivery day, but when I went to use it a couple months later it just would not cooperate. I reached out to the manufacturer, Airxcel, and they sent me a new remote. No luck. I pinged them again and they sent me a newer circuit board. I swapped that out and all was well.

Fresh Water Fill Leak

I had succeeded in filling the fresh water tank once in TN with no issues. On my second attempt though I noticed water dribbling out of the weep holes on either side of the fill valve. I did succeed in filling the tank but the leakage was disconcerting. I reached out to Oliver support and was given some options, to go to them or head to another RV repair shop and they would cover the cost. We were on the road, not near TN, most RV shops were booking several weeks out into late November. Not gonna work. Being handy in most things plumbing, I figured I could fix it given a little direction. I was directed to lift the basement panel in the vicinity of the valve and have a look see. Well I did and found the problem:

A split coupler. A quick run to the home improvement store and I was back in business.

City Water Leak

This one just arrived today 12/3. When returning to the Ollie I heard dripping and then saw to my amazement, water leaking from the same weep holes as the fresh water issue. This time though we were hooked up to city water. I'm going to guess we are looking at a similar flaw as the symptoms are the same. I moved the water supply to the fresh fill and proceeded to top off the fresh tank, waited for the overflow then shut the supply valve.

We'll live off the fresh tank and refill as necessary until I can dig into the basement when driveway surfing at our friend's place. Not a bad idea really as a rule, running from the fresh tank, as our water pump always provides more pressure than the city water supply anyway. Might be the pressure regulator, followed by a .5 micron filter followed by the 1 micron filter, who knows. TBC ...

Replaced this cracked piece with this 1/2" coupler which is smaller and easier to work in the cramped space in the basement.

Replacing the Couplers in our Oliver Travel Trailer Legacy Elite II:

  1. Open the basement door and remove the facia running along the bottom with a prying tool. It is glued into place.

  2. Remove the white panel running the width of the basement on the right. I had two screws along the top and 8 or so running along the bottom.

  3. Remove the lower panel support.

  4. Remove the closest piece of floor mat.

  5. Unscrew the rear basement floor panel that sits over the fresh and city water hook-ups, the panel closest to you and to your right.

  6. I cut the cable tie that held a few PEX tubes together so I could prop the uninvolved tubes out of my way. This tie is to the right and around back a bit.

  7. Unscrew by hand the nylon nut that connects the PEX to the the back flow valve.

  8. Unscrew the back flow valve and coupler from the hook-up valve.

  9. Unscrew the back flow valve from the coupler using two wrenches.

  10. Apply Teflon tape the threads on end of the back flow valve that connects to the coupler. The back flow valve has an arrow on it pointing in the direction of water flow, away from the hook-up and coupler. Don't tape the threads the arrow is pointing towards.

  11. Now screw the backflow valve into the new coupler and tighten using two wrenches.

  12. Now for the fun part. Apply teflon tape to the end of the hook-up valve you unscrewed the old coupler from. I pulled a length of tape off the roll, maybe 8 inches, and worked the tape around the threads with a finger. A little tricky.

  13. Thread the coupler/backflow valve onto the hoop-up by hand then tighten with a wrench. Do not over tighten.

  14. Thread the nylon finger nut and the PEX tube back onto the back flow valve and finger tighten, again do not overnight or use pliers.

  15. Hook up the water supply and test.

  16. Assuming no leaks, reverse steps 1 thru 5 above.

  17. I did not replace the glued in facia strip after the first coupler fail. Now that I have replaced both couplers I can. If you have to do one of these, I suggest you buy two couplers and replace both at the same time. A headlamp is a handy tool for this job.

Bolts Too Long

Both my wife and I have run into the exceedingly long latch bolt inside the closet a few times each. I put a small rip into the backside of a pair of jeans. Simple fix for that one, pull it apart and cut it down to no more than where the locking nut ends. Here is the result:

Furnace Fuse Fuss

It was pretty cold in Massachusetts in late November, dropping below freezing for nights in a row while driveway surfing at my parents place. So, to keep the plumbing from freezing we were running the gas furnace to keep the living space in the 50s and the space between the hulls above freezing. On several days I'd come out and find the interior around 39 degrees and the furnace not running. What?? As I fumbled about with this the first time, I flipped all the AC breakers and pressed all the 12v fuses. The furnace restarted. What? I was not paying close enough attention to know which component reset the furnace. Not to worry, it happened again and at least one more time. It turned out it was the furnace fuse, go figure, that when I rocked it under my finger in its receptacle, the furnace would restart after I heard an electrical click.

At one point I did this and the furnace restarted but then died again shortly thereafter. That time I discovered we had run out of gas in the open propane tank. I switched to the full tank but the furnace would not start. I rocked the fuse again and got the click (spark?) and the furnace started and stayed running. After futzing with this a few times I decided to look closer at the fuse. I pulled it and noticed the two tabs were misaligned, like one tab was making into the receptacle one the other was missing it, instead simply touching the outside of the receptacle which under most circumstances worked fine, until it didn't. Anyway I replaced the fuse and all was well.

This did highlight an issue/question for me. When the gas runs out while the furnace is running, after resolving the gas issue, how are you supposed to reset the thermostat/furnace circuit? I imagine having to pull the fuse is not the right way on a charged circuit.

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