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bugeyedriver

A living design. How mods become standards . . .

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Oliver Travel Trailers initially designed a wonderful trailer including unique manufacturing processes and innovations that really allow us to get out there and have fun right off the "git-go" without having to tinker with it to make it great.  As good as it is,  another thing the Ollie has going for it is the company is continuously listening to owners and buyers who may have new ideas.  After thinking about it, they have been known to  accommodate these new ideas, or modifications, if they are safe ideas that don't interfere with the production line too much, and we are willing to pay the extra price for the mod.

 

By being willing to think outside of the box, Oliver may start to offer new buyers some of these modifications as optional add-ons.  If they think it makes sense, a new mod may even become part of the basic design. Over the years, this willingness has rocketed Oliver Travel Trailers to be known for its innovation in the industry.

 

I can think of a few modifications that started with owners or buyers, that went from concept, to modification, to add-on option, and even standard item:

 

Spring over axle lift . . . Solar panels . . . Cell phone signal amplifier . . . Front basket . . . Safety grab handle on exit . . . 16"wheels with Michelin truck tires . . . total control of exterior lights from inside the Ollie . . .  double step . . .

 

There are surely other items as well.  What ones are you aware of?

 

 


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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Dave here. I like your idea. Other than a larger coach we find our unit quite comfortable and well thought out. One very big mod I would suggest to Oliver is a larger fridge. It is fairly obvious they just followed the Casita model when laying out the floor plan. At prices pushing 50k a trailer should have at least a 6 CF fridge. The Escape certainly does, as do the larger Bigfoots. That and the fact one must get on their knees to access the fridge have been problematic for us. I did speak to Tommy at Oliver about a mod but the space is too tight and would require a lot of re-configuring.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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At $800 bucks, I don't think so. We got a small cooler that plugs in to the cigarette lighter outlet and use that to supplement the frig. It would be nice to have a little more freezer space.

 

As far as innovations, I would still like to have a small window behind the sink.

 

 

 

Stan


Stan and Carol


Blacksburg, VA


2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi


2014 Legacy Elite II Standard  Hull 63

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I use one of these and it is amazingly efficient, plus no power input needed, not cheap but very useful, and yes I think it is better than a Yeti:

 

Its a Pelican 45 quart cooler.   http://www.amazon.com/Pelican-Quart-45Q-OC-Elite-Cooler/dp/B009QB0LVC/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1463672065&sr=1-1&keywords=pelican+cooler

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Coolers, we just do it the old fashion way. We bring along an ice chest and keep that in the back of our truck. Nice to have a cold drink after a long day of hiking or cycling or what ever we are up to for the day. Even in hot weather we can go a 2-3 days without replenishing the ice. Thus far we haven't felt the need for a larger fridge per se, but if we had it no doubt it would get used. Things do get tossed around quite a bit though. Regarding pre-cooling the fridge, really its no big deal, one can always use AC for the initial phase but the fridge from what I can tell doesn't eat up too much propane so this is not something I worry about. And it will take lots more energy in the summer months to get it down to temp than if you had done it before leaving.

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A window in the galley area could enhance visibility and awareness of the outside environment and increase natural light inside.  A few years back, Escape started to offer this option and it has been well received in their community.  The fridge may be a bit smaller than some, but thankfully, I find hunting for food in grocery stores an easy task.  (then again, I travel alone, so it makes a difference) Figuring out how to elevate it a bit would surely be a nice touch.

 

We must remember as we dream about changes, that there are costs involved to both the manufacturer and the customers. The fiberglass molds are very expensive items to "tinker" with and any major change in a mold would involve a capital investment by Oliver.   So it is important to be patient and understanding.

 

Some other things are easy to do, but expensive to accomplish.  For instance, all of the fiberglass is white in color.  The exceptions have been two unique Elite models produced "in the early times" -  one bright red and the other pure black.  I understand the hoses and nozzles used for some of the spraying involved are super expensive to buy and the process of cleaning them perfectly to produce another color return to the normal white is very labor intensive, incurring significant labor costs.

 

And we must also be aware of the disruption on the production lines.  Anytime a new process is interjected it will involve technical training and expertise and if incorporated, retraining of other technicians . . . to say nothing about the extra time involved as they figure out how to do it correctly and efficiently.

 

I'm looking forward to the vertical takeoff, hovercraft mod that will enable me to get to campsites only backpackers can find. Do you think I am expecting too much?

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 2

Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Oliver has told me that they will not install a spring-over axle conversion on an Elite II, which is a great disappointment since I would have to get it done locally and at much extra cost and wasted time.  Plus no warranty.  I may just install this bolt-on Lippart alignment kit which will give an extra 2 inches of lift plus the ability to adjust the axle angles for reduced tire wear and better stability.

 

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/double-axle-alignment/57763

 

I asked for a cassette toilet system and was also politely and firmly rebuffed.

 

Rats.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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We had Dometic C-5 windows on our previous camper. Never had leak issues and can be opened while raining without water getting into camper.

 

Would also be interested in replacing existing Kinro windows with Dometic, if sizes available for older Ollie Campers.

 

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Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Very informative vid.  I wonder how acrylic compares to glass in regards to being more easily scratched?

 

Speaking of 2017 models, which month are those usually announced and able to be preordered?

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Great video. I would not be surprised if Oliver decides to include something like this as either standard or optional in the 2017 model year. I am hoping for an induction cook top down the road. Buzzy

 

Would be happy to let Oliver retrofit our Ollie, if they start using Dometic windows!  We purchased an induction hot plate to try out.


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Very informative vid. I wonder how acrylic compares to glass in regards to being more easily scratched? Speaking of 2017 models, which month are those usually announced and able to be preordered?

 

Cleaned Dometic windows with Microfiber cloth and Plexus plastic cleaner.  Also use Plexus cleaner on aircraft windows and motorcycle windscreens. Easy to scratch if care is not taken while cleaning.

 

http://www.plexusplasticcleaner.com/about.html

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Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Those are some awesome windows. I would be paranoid about scratching them though while cleaning, especially with all the dust and grit that gets on them traveling gravel roads.

 

One thing I would like to add to the list of improvements that would hardly cost Oliver anything is improving their fresh water tank outlet design. As I posted earlier, it is a bit of a disappointment to have to tip up the front end of the trailer to get at the last 10 gallons of water in the tank. I have been slowly moving towards a solution for this but access down there is very tight. Hoping to have a plumber friend of mine look at it to see if inserting a small suction tube into the tank is doable. This would be much easier to do with the tank out of the trailer at the factory and would be a big help for us boondockers who need full access to our water supply. Other than this, we just love this trailer!

 

Dave

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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As good as it is, another thing the Ollie has going for it is the company is continuously listening to owners and buyers who may have new ideas. After thinking about it, they have been known to accommodate these new ideas, or modifications, if they are safe ideas that don’t interfere with the production line too much, and we are willing to pay the extra price for the mod. By being willing to think outside of the box, Oliver may start to offer new buyers some of these modifications as optional add-ons. If they think it makes sense, a new mod may even become part of the basic design.  

 

In many of the older posts, I've seen Oliver employees take a very visible and active role in the forums.  (I think Robert is a former Oliver employee who did a fair amount of posting years ago).  While I realize times have changed, I'm curious to know how often someone from Oliver reads, responds, or participates in this forum?

 

There's some GREAT suggestions in many of these newer threads!

 

Thanks as always.


Happiness is seeing Atlanta in your rearview mirror. :-)

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I was told that they were considering the flush awning windows for the 2017's - it's one of the reasons we don't mind waiting a bit before ordering.

 

I agree on the fridge - it would be nice to have options, but as mentioned, the fiberglass mould is a big limitation.  I was told that we could use whatever fridge we wanted, so long as it fit, so we'll see.  I'm not a fan of the absorption fridges, and what we'd like to have is an Isotherm INOX unit.  Ideally we wanted the side by side 200 series, but obviously that won't fit.  We're considering a drawer unit, but the ultimate solution might be the 2nd fridge in the truck.

 

I also agree on the portable induction - we're thinking about asking Ollie to just eliminate the cooktop and instead get a couple of single burner induction units plus carry our current butane stoves for emergency backup. We're going to set up our truck with a rooftop tent over the bed, for camping excursions beyond where we'd be comfortable taking the Ollie, so having duplicates of things like the fridge, burners, etc. isn't an issue for us.

 

I'm all for the window over the galley.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Quick question on the fridge.  Just how small is the fridge?  Is it the same size in the Elite and Elite II?  This made me start looking around and for the life of me I cant find any mention of the fridge size.  I think I found one spot that a person said it was 4cuft.  Is this the case?

 

If anyone can locate the official Fridge size on the website that would be great.  Im just not seeing it.

 

 

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Robert,

 

In the 2016 Elite II the fridge is the Dometic RM2554 - 5 cubic feet volume.  I got this from the Oliver Owner's manual as I don't think that the size is ever mentioned on the website or in the pamphlets.  Not sure about the size of the fridge in the smaller Oliver.

 

Bill

  • Thanks 1

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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The fridge is the same in both models.

 

 


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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I recently attended a fiberglass rally in Georgia with app. 40 fiberglass trailer owners.  Across the way was a family of 4, Dad, Mom and two teenage sons in a small Boler fiberglass trailer.  I was curious about sleeping arrangements and they showed me the twin bunk beds with everyone having their own bed.  I have a 2015 Elite, larger than the 2-twin bed Boler.  A twin bed option, even one,  would maximize sleeping capacity and that would be great.  I purposely ordered the smaller Elite because it is easier to pull, lighter and I can get it into smaller places and I store it in my garage during the winter- no winterization...  Maximized sleeping capacity with the top bed folding up to increase headroom would be a huge plus.  I have played with the idea of retro fitting mine

 

Coy

 

 

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Coy - As you may already know, over on the FGRV Forum a number of people have posted pictures of either total re-do's and/or mods for adding additional sleeping areas.  Given that we have a double hull a mod of this type is certainly doable without having to worry about water leaks as long as one is careful to not drill too far.  Good luck and please keep us advised (with pictures) as to how you are progressing.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill

 

I have a few additional holes in my hull, but all are "Oliver - made".  An example is the Satalite radio antenna I had Oliver to install.  It works great !

 

My luck does not run on the good side when doing self installation of that magnitude, especially considering all things electrical, water and mechanical that lie just beyond eyesight.  My point is, if Oliver were to offer such a feature or someone was able to master this task, I would be in-line to have mine retrofitted.

 

Coy

 

 

 

Very

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