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All Aluminum and All Fiberglass: Sisters

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Oliver Elite and Oliver Elite II are the young Boondocking Trailers that are affordable for young families and designed for more than casual camping at a RV Park in a city environment.

 

The Oliver has grabbed the attention of some fellow Airstream owners, who spend more time Off the Grid and Base Camping, than RV Parks with full hookups.  Myself, included.  It just that seeing is believing.  I have attempted to have the two local Denver, Colorado owners to contact me through the Sales Staff, but no response.

 

Being able to compare how each are assembled, ease of towing, interior cabinets and appliances being able to resist the rougher roads that come with traveling Forest Service and BLM roads is a sure test of any trailer.

 

Being able to either Boondock with a Elite II, as I had a 23 foot Airstream and currently a 25 foot... these two trailers are Sisters.  Some Airstream owners suggested that Airstream should have looked closer at Oliver for the younger adventurer who depends of quality of construction with modern amenities to support Off the Grid camping.

 

Please, if you are in the Denver, Colorado or Las Vegas, Nevada area... contact me at boondockingairstream@gmail.com.

 

I see a permanent friendship of two Sisters of Boondocking.

 

(The one photo in forest is near Lander, Wyoming on the August 2016 Wyoming Adventure.  There had BETTER BE some Oliver Trailers parked with us if there is a future Adventure.  There is nothing better than having two brands of classy trailers to compare and talk about how one can improve the other.)

 

(Second photo is group stopped near Medicine Bow, Wyoming at the Dinosaur Cabin near Como Bluffs on the first day of the August 2016 Wyoming Adventure.  Yes... some day Airstreams will catch up with Oliver technology!  But, I am not holding my breath.)

 

 

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Thank you Buzzy-

 

Comparing the EliteII to the 23 foot Airstream is a great comparison.

 

The 23 foot Airstream is 8 feet wide and 5.5 inches narrower than my current 25 foot.  The 23 foot Safari with 8 feet in width was nice for tighter Off the Grid sites.  The Oliver EliteII is 7 feet wide.  Even more flexible.

 

Several features the EliteII has are the double axle with leaf springs.  THIS is something I want to see and speak with someone about how the interior handles gravel and irregular surfaced roads.  I would consider this important.

 

The standard 16" wheels with 16" Michelin M/S2 tires has been sorely needed on Airstreams, until 2017.  Many, as myself, purchased 16" wheels and 16" Michelin M/S2 tires to replace the 15" Goodyear Marathon tires that had been standard.

 

Airstream and Oliver, also the Casita trailers all have positive resale demand.  The Airstream would have a steep drop in resale price numerically than the other brands.  The price of the Oliver and Casita would have a larger market for resale.

 

Eventually I will be able to compare other trailers when opportunity presents itself.

 

Simple things like drawer slides and door hinges are a chronic problem in my Airstream.  They tend to vibrate loose and I have currently upgraded wood screws, piano hinges for some hinges that could be swapped out.  With the fiber glass molded interior the number of cabinet issues are drastically reduced!

 

The EliteII has a higher GVWR and Dry Weight, but fiber glass for the length is heavier than aluminum.

 

Aluminum dents easier.  Scratches from light scruffs to dry tree branches are more obvious.  Fiber glass is easier to repair, does not corrode... so seeing how much can be packed into 18 feet x 7 feet is worth waiting for the opportunity.

 

Some serious Airstream owners thought that Oliver would have been perfect for a take over by Thor / Airstream to produce fiber glass trailers and stick the Oliver Airstreams or  Airstream Oliver logo onto the trailer.  From what I have heard, another company was purchased to compete with Oliver 'like' trailers.  Airstream is obviously concerned about losing the younger customer and for good reasons.

 

Thank you for stepping forward.  You have a wonderful trailer from what I have heard.  Since I am more of a guy who likes to get in and under a truck, car or trailer... I can then begin to see what Airstream Inc. is missing...

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Welcome aboard Ray, glad to see you made it over. While being in New Hampshire isn't really conducive to showing you my trailer, until you manage to see one in person, as I offered earlier, if you would like in depth photos of any part just let me know and I or someone else would be happy to oblige. You can also check out Buzzy's various threads where he's been doing videos of each of the trailers areas.

 

Good luck with your research, one day I would love to go out on one of your excursions, just reading them is great I can't imagine how being on the would be.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Welcome Ray,

 

Here's some Oliver factory tour photos taken earlier this year.  Hopefully this will help seeing Oliver construction until you see one in person. We purchased our used Ollie in Missouri last April and very happy Ollie campers:

 

 


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Welcome to the forum, Ray.  You'll find quite a few of us here who became interested in the Ollies primarily because they seem like they can take some offroad abuse.  The double fiberglass shell means that all the cabinetry and such is moulded into the structure and so there's very little inside that can be rattled apart on a rough road.  It also makes the interior incredibly easy to keep clean.

 

If you have a chance to tour the factory, you'll see how solidly the shells are constructed compared to other fiberglass trailers.  Oliver doesn't advertise that the tubs themselves are structural but it's clear that they provide a ton of torsional support to the frame.  From appearance, it feels like you could just bolt an axle to the fiberglass and head out - they seem that solid.  The frame itself is very beefy, the welds are nice and clean and all the connections are gusseted.

 

One of the things you will notice on the Ollies is that the suspension is a fairly simple setup that can be easily removed/repaired/modified/replaced.  There are three or four of us who are looking at suspension options to help soak up the bumps and maybe give a bit more clearance.  Almost anything seems possible, from simply flipping the axles under the springs to gain a bit more travel and clearance to swapping springs or mounts, to building your own suspension and bolting it on.  That's not to say that the stock suspension is insufficient (in fact the trailer has a good deal of clearance), but it's naturally designed primarily for highway travel.

 

If you want to see some photos of the frame and suspension, you might take a look at this thread I started over on Expedition Portal... http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/151791-Oliver-Factory-Tour-Photos


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The spirit of innovation will tweak each Oliver and Airstream owner's trailer for the uses they want theirs to travel.

 

At the Airstream factory at Jackson Center, Ohio the smell of Aluminum is not apparent.

 

The curing of Fiber Glass I am familiar, when repairing damage on older Corvettes when no body shop in the State of Wyoming understood fiber glass... other than bondo.  Several cars in an alley in Cheyenne, Wyoming and lots of advice how to approach the repair.

 

The majority of Airstream owners and Oliver owners are NOT those who push the limits of their trailer's tires and suspension.  When comparing my Airstream to an Oliver... we both share Michelin 16" M/S tires, but the Oliver has leaf springs on their Dexter Axles.  I am very curious as to the benefits of the leaf springs setup.

 

For those who own an Oliver... the seven foot width, leaf spring suspension and 16 inch Michelin tires are your Personal Ticket to the western USA Rocky Mountains.  The campsites beyond the paved roads await your presence.  Do not be intimidated by the all season Forest Service roads... they have been used by wagon and trailer traffic for generations without failure.

 

I only know the Rocky Mountains and the millions of acres of public lands.  For the cost of a National Forest map... you have your ticket of admission, paid in advance of your arrival to explore with your trailer which is fully capable to travel anywhere a tow vehicle can travel.

 

After years of towing our Airstreams into the depths of the deserts and forests... I await the time when your Oliver is camped even further up the road that I dared not to attempt.

 

Be the first one of the Oliver family to test the possibilities.  I have with our Airstreams and have been considered... using our Airstream for what it was not intended.  Well, sir... let me decide what my current trailer is capable.  Paying $35 or $75 at a RV Park of a view of fifth wheelers and traffic is not why we have our 'Sisters in Tow'.

 

Do it.  Post it on this thread.  Give others the encouragement that Off the Grid camping is not only possible, it is an investment of the money wasted at a campsite with a flushing toilet and three trees as your view...

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Welcome Ray.  Airstream makes an attention grabbing trailer!  We were looking at a 23FB and learned about Oliver over on AirForums.  Looking forward to the boondocking discussions.  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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