John E Davies Posted December 27, 2016 Share Posted December 27, 2016 Anybody who has owned a mass produced RV of any brand and price will understand that in general, the quality is pretty much non-existent compared to say the auto industry. Oliver is a very notable exception, and a little reading about the standards of the rest of the industry is enlightening. RVIA certification: http://www.rvia.org/?ESID=about The group lobbies heavily in Washington DC to benefit its members and spends large amounts of cash promoting the RV lifestyle. It does enforce compliance of its (marginal) codes, primarily to ensure occupant safety. If you look at the standards under which they operate, you will see that their concerns are focused on plumbing, electrical and fire. http://www.rvia.org/?ESID=standards They pretty much ignore other factors such as structural design, product longevity, ease of maintenance, and production line quality control. An RV manufacturer can build any pile of rolling debris and sell it as RVIA Certified as long as the systems meet their very minimum specs. Not addressed are: "Stick and staple" walls that will fail after a few weekends of bumpy back roads. Virtually no waterproofing other than hastily applied lap sealants and poorly selected strip seals that are guaranteed to fail and allow moisture to intrude and destroy the cheap interior wood panels and plywood flooring, and to start a happy colony of mold and mildew. Horrible design flaws like (mandatory) slide outs that by design will break and leak. Tacky interior features like flickering electric fireplaces surrounded by flimsy faux stone trim. Interior cabinets crudely built and so weak that they fall off the walls they are barely screwed to. Primitive and weak leaf spring suspensions that wear out and break in a few thousand miles. Inadequate payloads, so the owner will not be able to carry his stuff and full fluids without being dangerously heavy. I'll stop here. Sure, there are exceptions - companies that build higher than average quality trailers, but they are still rolling disasters. I long ago vowed to never again own a mass produced RV. Here is an interesting article from the other side of the fence ... http://rockymountaintinyhouses.com/not-rvia-certification/ Oliver Trailers seems to occupy a curious niche in the market. They build extremely high quality "legacy" trailers that far exceed the minimum RV standards. I suspect that they could drop out of RVIA entirely and successfully continue to sell trailers, but they would lose those customers who must finance and whose lenders insist on certification. I find it very interesting that a few people are willing to pay so darned much for such a small travel trailer. It indicates that they want a superior product and the comfort and long term security it offers. There are VERY few other RV manufacturers here in the USA who are as good or better, and none of them build trailers. To get the superior build quality, you have to go to EarthCruiser, Earth Roamer, XP Camper or one of the custom expedition vehicle builders - and the common thread among them is that their customers REQUIRE a fully self sufficient camper that can travel the world without breaking down, and the cost is very high. Some of the Australian off-road trailers fall in this category but none are sold in the USA. Very few of these high end rigs have regular junk RV appliances - they instead use very high quality marine units, often diesel fired. Here is one area that I wish Oliver would change..... it would raise the price substantially but I think many buyers would like the choice. I am baffled about the continued success of the mainstream RV industry here ... are buyers stupid or do they just not care that they are buying crap, pardon my language? I will be sending an order to Oliver before the New Year. I am still working on the financing part... Please discuss. John Davies Spokane WA 1 "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, Safari snorkel. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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