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Chixter

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Chixter last won the day on June 3 2017

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My RV or Travel Trailer

  • Do you own an Oliver Travel Trailer, other travel trailer or none?
    I don't own a RV or Travel Trailer
  1. I know TG the folks interested in the Ollies are as unique as the product. We are not 100% sold on AS yet. We did some analysis using the current pricing I got from Anita vs a 2017 25 FC FB Twin. We configured both as we would want them as you know AS doesn't offer a plethora of options as Oliver does. An Oliver equipped as we would like it comes in at a tad under 67k. And this is with a Dexter EZ flex not the good HD suspension some talk about here. By the time we're done with NJ transfer registration etc we are at about 70. The AS as equipped (solar, AGM, convection micro, awning pkg) has MSRP of 87,350. I've broken the ice on pricing off MSRP and realistically with taxes and tags we are about 75/76. They don't know it yet but I'm not financing I may be able to do a little better. It's not an even money comparison, but not by much. So it comes down to 1: Camping style/Intended use. We are not avid boondockers, or should I say my wife isn't. A day and overnite in a remote outpost is about her limit. Most of the time we will be fully or at least partially hooked up. We do not need the obvious biggest talent of the Ollie, full 4 season capabilities. Our winter time use will consist of waiting for a couple of clear days, hooking up our winterized TT and hauling ass south...like the Keys. We would activate our TT at the first stop in Dixie. Reverse the order when returning. 2. The advantage of having a very good dealership/service center within an hours travel has weight. 3. Just some personal observances, 1 being room. While visiting owners Stan and Linda, all 4 of us inside the trailer, 2 standing 2 sitting. Felt kind of snug. In the AS 4 adults sitting at the dinette with room for 2 more. Makes a difference especially in periods of crappy weather. There are other pros/cons to weigh and time will tell. Which is why I will most likely be on this forum for a while. We would make a decision very soon but for the time being we have to stick around. Care of my elderly father in law prohibits us from travelling much right now anyway and we are still working f/t. All things in time. I like not being in a rush
  2. We looked at and test drove a Renegade Vienna out at Fretz the day we saw the Ollie. Seemed like a nice coach, good finish 1 slide. There was another mfr there with real nice interior no slides. The name gets by me....a family run line Duncan or something. We decided that + toad = 2 much yen.
  3. I apologize in advance for the wordiness of this post. This has a chance of being my swan song here on this forum so I'll just let it go. This is a good thread and I'm glad John, a new owner started it. It seems Reed and Karen do have a serious problem that seems related to their build, but also from reading through this forum a good chance exists that Oliver will figure it out and help them correct it. I don't believe this thread or ones similar should "scare" a prospective buyer even a newbie to the scene such as myself. What should scare anyone is the thought of of purchasing any RV and believing (or being told) like most modern automobiles or trucks, they are pretty much trouble free and require little to no maintenance or repair. Nonsense. I have been diligently researching this lifestyle for the last 2 years. Reading, going to shows, renting Cruise Americas and talking to owners in campgrounds and at events. They ALL have issues. Every bleepin one of them. It is common in the industry. Cars and trucks don't have complex electrical, plumbing, water heaters, inverters, solar controllers. Neither do most smaller boats (under 26') Has anyone priced new boats as of late? 20' Boston Whaler over 100K! As toys go, and these things are toys although some folks want them to perform like homes, there is a lot of stuff crammed into them. That plus the fact that they are hand built, are pulled or driven all over creation lends itself to problems that all brands experience, albeit some more than others. My brother paid almost $2 million for a custom Prevost Luxury Coach conversion. It had problems/issues, 1 of them 12 grand worth on a major component just out of warranty. My neighbors 2 doors down downsized from an older Tiffany MH to a new Jayco TT that they paid under 15k for. Guess what? It has issues and has been to the dealer 3x and most is worked out with some other things fixed by him. Oliver is no different. What sets them apart from the consumer grade pack is cabin/body/frame design, and their commitment to customer satisfaction. But even they can lay the occasional bad egg. It is a chance any of us take buying any RV. Being connected to a company and/or dealership that takes into course of their business warranty work and a strong willingness to satisfy the costumer goes a lot longer in this RV world that waiting for the perfect unit to hit the streets. We are leaning towards the Airstream FC 25FB Twin over the Oliver not because we think one is better built than the other but for our needs, camping plans and style, and preference. Also right in our backyard, 40 minutes up the GSP (although they plan to relocate to a new facility 20 minutes further west within 2 years) is one of the largest AS dealerships in North America. This is a family owned and operated dealership for over 15 years maintaining very large selections of AS trailers. We have visited them twice, have researched their reputation 6 ways to Sunday, and almost everyone who has done business with them, raves about their commitment to customer satisfaction. I know personally 4 owners who have bought and service their trailers there 2 of them second time buyers 1 of them 3 times! Our last trip there we met a couple from VA. that were originally from NJ. They are on their 2nd AS in almost 12 years and have traversed the continent. They were getting tires changed and we spoke for a good time and they have nothing but great things to say about this dealership, Airsrteams they have owned, and the problems that come up. Their experience taught them that it takes a full season of good use, to get the bugs worked out. They are glad to be only 5 hrs away and always have there rig serviced here bypassing several closer dealerships. I like the idea of having a responsive dealership close to where I live. Although Oliver has a record of getting repair work done for customers at general RV dealerships nationwide, what happens if you encounter an issue unique to Oliver's design that a general facility cannot or will not handle? A trip to TN to get it fixed is what I can see. In summation I believe that one first finds something that truly fits their own style and preference. Out of the 2 or more 'brands' for lack of a better word, make the decision based on economics and other less tangible but very important aspects like service/repair availability and manufacturer/dealer reputation. Because all TT's, Fivers, and MH's will need it now and then. Familiarize yourself with your specific unit, be attentive to maintenance especially PM, and go forth and have fun.
  4. I'm currently a Building Official but from the time I was in High School, for the next 30 years I was in manufacturing. I ran a plant that made flight control systems for military and civilian aircraft. This equipment was mostly actuators that controlled flight surfaces like flaps, tail rudder, pitch and yaw, for Black Hawk helicopters, F-16 Falcon, YF-22, F-14, Boeing and Airbus. Most of the components were manufactured in house, but we also had a substantial vendor list. In that high volume and high precision environment I learned one thing: You cannot INSPECT quality into your finished product. On paper, a thorough inspection process at intervals of manufacturing a product looks good. In reality however, the inspection process becomes the proverbial 'Chinese fire drill'...feedback from units in service in the field identifies problems, engineering isolates cause, manufacturing may (or may not) change methods or materials. That fire gets extinguished, but in the months of tunnel vision type focus, other fires ignite. This is inevitable as the production must continue to meet customer demand. Minor problems related to the manufacturing process appear in different settings or sub systems, and the chasing of the tail continues. Granted, a huge issue like axles failing or something catching fire may 'stop the presses' until the issue is resolved. That does not seem to be the case here with Oliver Trailers. From what I can glean, the 'problems' are related to the manufacturing process and vendor issues. In the type of environment where the product is a travel trailer, the standard of each task is very difficult to illustrate much less define. This is because it is imprecise work done mostly by hand. The main issue here would be the training of the operator or performer of that task. Let's look at a totally hypothetical 'problem'...rats nest type unsecured wiring behind the round hatches. In a plant like Oliver's one or two personnel may be the key components of this operation. Joe and Bill are meticulous in their wiring methods, everything tied, secured, shrink wrapped, etc. Bill took a position in the whirlpool manufacturing line, Joe is on leave as his wife just delivered their second baby. Does the wiring process stop because these two experts are not available? No. The foreman assigns the next 2 capable people but they aren't nearly as fluent in electrical workmanship as Bill and Joe. But the job gets done albeit with the possibility of future failure. And this potential human fault is at every step, from molding to chassis welding, to systems installation. The key to quality in an environment like this is to develop standards, high standards, and provide training and cross training to employees to ensure these standards are met. It does not eliminate inspection but instead shifts the concept of quality from inspection into the manufacturing process itself. Focus on the process. This began with Demmings and ended up with ISO-9000 and beyond. This I believe, is where Oliver should put forth great effort. Oliver has an opportunity here. The RV industry as a whole is experiencing a surge in demand that it hasn't seen in 25 years. Oliver makes a unique product. They are also by industry measures, the most expensive/ sq.ft. of anything out there. They must step up as the innovative producer they are and garnish that innovation with a reputation of unparalleled quality. I don't believe they are far off from it. What they do or fail to do within the next 2-3 years will affect the future of their trailer business.
  5. It is not good. 2x to figure out how to log on! Bad interface for droid users. Have not checked iPad or pc yet.
  6. I was wondering about that. He seems like an analytical type, like a few of us on here. Was looking forward to his impressions.
  7. OK I went over the build sheet to price what I believe we would want. There may be a couple of small gotchas that are not listed like extra hatch(s) or if I can talk them in to my lower plate mod for sewer access....that aside, the big take away is: What is "Twin Bed Riser Package"? (+ $1,000) I have not seen this or read about it on anyone's build. I guess it is raising the height of the beds for deeper storage?? but aren't these bed platforms molded in? Secondly, I am on the fence (but slightly leaning towards) Solar capabilities. The main reason is "know thyself" and while I may be up for a week long excursion into beautiful remote nothingness, (hey I lived in Alaska wilds for over a year), I verily doubt that Carole would enjoy that. We chase the action, that action being antique buying runs, large scale events like Brimsfield, Elephants Trunk, etc. Also scouring the back country like the pickers we are. There are generally plenty of full hookup places around during the spring, summer and fall. I mapped the places where we have been and campgrounds abound. In some of these places though, hotels were 25+ miles away and depending on the season, $150 or more / night. So our "camping" is really more of bringing our lodging with us and allowing us more room to explore. The trailer also gives us the capabilities to be on the selling side of the equation, renting a space and a table to start unloading the 2 roomfuls of Roseville pottery and such she (we) have accumulated. This infrequent trip would entail "boondocking" for 2-3 days max and most I've seen are on generators. I plan on having a generator Honda/Yamaha 2000i. I would have that genny whether I opt for the Solar or not, in case of needing AC in the summer (Atwood Air Command or Dometic with Soft Start). I have also suggested short duration trips into the outback for like 2 days and she says....'then get the solar, and take Boston' (my dog). I would just hate to not be utilizing the most expensive option, is all.
  8. Looks like a great resource to owners and prospects. Kudos to all involved.
  9. Didn't have to. The responsive sales force (Anita) caught my post here and sent me one. Thanx. :)
  10. Does anyone have or can lead me to current prices on offered options? I've asked their sales but they just emailed me the options without pricing.
  11. It may be. Stan & Lindas unit we looked at had a macerator installed, seemed to have lots of room in the bumper storage. The hose for the macerator is only about 1" or so in diameter. That makes a huge difference. I do not like macerator systems. I have 2 friends who use them and both say never again. The pumps/grinders can and do fail and after that unless equipped for repair, what do you do with a full tank and no way to empty it? One friend who camps frequently carries a re-build kit in his on-board tool supply. Nasty work, or so I'm told.
  12. This was a great thread. Thanx to all who provided information and links to informative articles. I learned a bunch in about an hour of reading. I can draw from this that since our boondocking will be limited to 3 days or so at most, and I will have a genset the zamp controller seems the way to go for us.
  13. This stuff is a good bet. Close to original size and will probably outlast the shades....https://www.ebay.com/p/?iid=351988397092&lpid=82&&&ul_noapp=true&chn=ps
  14. We're going to look at a FC25 FB Twin. There is a big AS dealer just 20 miles from me. Thats all they sell, although they take and sell trade ins of various types. I figure we have to get a close inspection of this also. I wouldn't want anything larger. I asked about thermal windows the FC does not offer them, IDK if other models do. We are not extreme weather campers, on very hot days Id rather be out on the water but we do like our AC for those muggy nights and Fla trips. In a way I'm fortunate to have some time to compare, right now our travel times are extremely limited due to care of my 84 yr old father in law. We are lucky if we can get away for 3 days. But this too shall pass and we want to make the best decision for our needs when the time comes. Time = education right now.
  15. Yea tooling up for that, huge investment. Grady White boats went to the tune of 7million on new molds and such for the SeaV2 hull. A 30' Ollie would probably be very heavy as well. After reflecting I agree, a lot of the charm is in the size. And Carole and I are not the sit in the camper types. And there is the ease of towing and maneuvering. It's good to have forums like this on all venues, so much information can be obtained from owners, without sales hype. Thanks to all.
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