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Deciding what trailer?


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On 09-20-2017, 08:14 AM I posted “We put a deposit on a 2018 Sport 16 and will be taking delivery around November 1. After months of research and looking firsthand at many brands including the LGMax, T@B 320's, T@B400, Eggcamper, and the Armadillo, the final decision came down between the Oliver Elite 18.5 and this Airstream Sport 16. More to come later as we actually use it and can add something other than fantasy and hope.”


Surprise development!!! In my joy and need for sharing good news with my friend in the neighborhood, I was informed that I would not legally be allowed to park my Sport 16 in the driveway when not traveling. Seems it is a violation of a Melbourne city ordinance. Because of all the Florida native trees we had planted on our property there would be no way around this predicament. That bit of news changed everything so I quickly cancelled my order for the new Sport 16 as I was not ready to make such a drastic life change, if at all possible, that I was not prepared for.  Considering we would have to move if we wanted a trailer as much as we thought we did I began to research again the differences between the remaining two trailers on our list. Because I had previously rejected the Sport 16 I decided to go back over the reasons why and all the posts I had read and saved regarding it. The last thing I wanted was to spend my valuable time returning again and again to the dealership to have my Airstream repaired or critical items replaced. The quality control issues became again a major problem for me and the disagreeable price of the Oliver Elite 18.5 became more justified. The fact that I would have to spend a great deal of time boon docking the Ollie appeared to be the better choice due to its more durable construction and ground clearance. Knowing the Ollie was first designed by serious hunters and fishermen desiring a more robust life of sport in Canada and Alaska made me believe again that the Ollie was the one. The fact that we would have to leave our home and basically start over insisted we have a trailer we could live with, and, in.  As much as we preferred the comfort and design of the interior of the Airstream Sport 16 we came to believe it was more a cosmetic thing like lipstick, and the AS Sport 16 certainly had to be minimally constructed due to its price being $15,000 less than the Ollie, not to mention it being sold through dealerships who also need to make a profit. It became a scary proposition to own this Airstream and rely on its performance to keep us on the road.


I contacted Oliver again and had my quote updated to a 2018 model. My wife and I looked over everything and made the changes we felt were necessary on the Ollie to basically become full-time RV’rs, at least for the time being.  We decided we would put our home up for sale this coming January and hope to close on it as near to the delivery date as possible.  The Ollie we ordered is supposed to be ready sometime in late February or early March.  In the meantime we are pursuing plans to build a climate-controlled storage garage and driveway on one of our vacant lots in Apalachicola. This would provide us a place to store our belongings safely and give us a place to park our rig when we required a needed break from the road or maybe take a trip by air somewhere.  Won't need sewer as we are installing a composting toilet in the Oliver. Electric and water hookups for sure. Driveway will be for Ollie and the storage/garage for our personal belongings as well as a den for a work desk, computer, printer, books, and a 42" TV if we need to watch something we believe we are missing. Trying to make life simple enough to make wiser decisions regarding where to eventually live, so no additional setups will be required in other states. We also added a small 1100 sf home on the plat plan for planning and zoning approval just in case. The construction quote has not come in as yet, but we are confident it will all work out. If not, I suppose we would have to temporarily put our stuff in a commercial storage facility until a better plan can be made.  Regardless, it looks like we will become the nomads we have always felt we really are.  Next summer we plan on traveling with our new Ollie up to our cabin in northern Michigan and finally selling this sacred and beloved sanctuary as the Ollie takes its place as our cabin on wheels.


The weather here on the east coast of Florida has become a hindrance. I had no idea my new trees would become such a problem of stewardship. It is disconcerting and defeating to have to keep staking up my babies due to two years of enormous amounts of rain and wildly erratic winds. It was a mistake to have created this latest sanctuary, and again we put too much money and time into it.  But that is what we do and it is doubtful we will ever change. The buildings and infrastructure proposed for our lot in Apalachicola will most likely result in the same act of foolishness, but we hate cheap and refuse to partake in it, especially if we know beforehand the truth about the product.  The Ollie should give us a reliable home to travel in for what remains of our lives.  Adventure awaits, and we shall attempt again to charge the fire.

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In the meantime we are pursuing plans to build a climate-controlled storage garage and driveway on one of our vacant lots in Apalachicola.

Our lives are somewhat parallel. We live in Lakeland & will not be allowed to store our Ollie at home when we get it, which is also February or March of 2018. We've gone back & forth on selling our home & moving north, closer to family & four seasons - and to not have to spend two days of any trip out of the state leaving & coming home - but we both have such deep roots here ...  I hope you continue to share how your adventure goes!





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Chris & Duke Chadwell
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