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New owners: how is the Quality Control of your rig? Grade it!


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The factory is currently churning out 10 trailers per month. Have you seen a lot of problems that might relate to the faster pace of construction, and by more mistakes being made on the construction line?

 

My trailer has a LOT of issues; most are minor, some are normal teething pains and equipment failures. like the furnace ignitor going out and a dysfunctional light switch, but many are just screw ups that were not caught by an inspector before delivery.

 

Some are serious safety issues that Oliver hasn't addressed yet, like self-loosening solar panel mount knobs!

 

I give the trailer an A+ for hull and chassis design and general build quality. It tows like a dream, and looks luscious inside and out.

 

The electrical wiring I give both a B+ (for the visible areas) and also a D (too many rats nests of unsecured wires in the "hidden" areas behind those round hatches).

 

The interior design a B. There are some really irritating features that just don't make sense to me, like the beyond stupid fixed TV mount, the complete lack of access to the street side part of the rear storage area with the Twin Bed option, and the self opening drawers that mysteriously deposit your stuff on the floor as you drive. "Where did that spatula come from?!"

 

The crappy RV appliances I give a D, and I am being charitable here; there are so many better choices, and I for one would be willing to pay a big premium for high quality and reliable marine appliances, both DC and diesel powered.

 

How is your trailer doing, and have you been having many issues?

 

FYI I am an ex-aircraft mechanic, and anal as can be, so most people would not be nearly as critical of problems found in their RV as I am. OTH, I can speak up for those who are too timid to voice their opinions ;) No harm is intended, in any way. I love the trailer... I just need to get it sorted.

 

Working on it.....

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"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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John, glad you love your Oliver. I suspected you would.

With your background, and camping experience, you'll likely help take Oliver to yet another level. I have a friend who is an aircraft mechanic. You have to be anal. It's critical..for the lives of those onboard.

So, you took your Oliver on the Ouray? On the way home, maiden voyage. Pretty safe bet, no one else has done that. Nor would I recommend it to many. You have the experience. Most don't. I only know two others that have done that road while towing, and that was with the smaller trailer like ours.

I'm sure you'll get the details ironed out. Oliver support has been awesome for us, and these days, I don't even really know most of the people there, personally. But, when I call, it's like we've known them for years.

Congrats on a successful and very challenging route test drive home.

We do hope to cross paths one of these days.

Sherry

 

 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry, thanks for the kind words. The Million Dollar Highway is extremely cool, but not for the faint hearted.

 

http://www.dangerousroads.org/north-america/usa/635-million-dollar-highway-usa.html

 

Ive driven it twice before, but not with a big truck and a long trailer...I was not real concerned due to the narrow width of the Ollie. I intentionally chose to drive it south to north, which keeps you away from the scariest drops. You really have to use your gears on the descents. I have no exhaust brake, but first gear was fine at up to 30 mph and I rarely needed the brakes. I love this part of the Colorado Plateau.

 

IMG_1722.thumb.jpg.0a1a27318190e6c4663f30bea9691782.jpg

 

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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Your comments verify why it may be a good idea to stay close to the factory for more than one night.  Haul the new rig around and visit several campgrounds.  We had a furnace fail during our delivery cycle and it was easy to stop by and have it repaired.  There are several campgrounds within fifty miles of Hohenwald so stay awhile.  Sort of like having the runway in sight when the engine fails.

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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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but many are just screw ups that were not caught by an inspector before delivery.

 

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.

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Ollie owners

 

I'm soooo glad this kinda forum is available to prospective owners.

 

you are the "early adaptors" of this product...and your insight has great value.!

 

I don't have another "choice" in mind for my retirement travel trailer...but

 

please suggest the things that will make it...my best choice.!

 

I plan on making it my home...for 10yrs...please work out the bugs.

 

do well....

 

10-q

 

dan

 

 

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I have a late model 2015, has some 2016 features. Just drove over 2300 miles, without a single issue. No open drawers, no open storage cabinets, all systems working fine. Might be worthwhile for Oliver to evaluate the changes that have taken place since the 2016-2017 model years, especially production staffing and training since they have increased output.

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GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

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... So, you took your Oliver on the Ouray? On the way home, maiden voyage. Pretty safe bet, no one else has done that. Nor would I recommend it to many. You have the experience. Most don’t. I only know two others that have done that road while towing, and that was with the smaller trailer like ours...

 

On our way to lead the Southern Utah Tour a month or so ago, we drove up from Durango to Silverton one afternoon. We had thought about spending the night in Silverton but decided instead to drive on over Red Mountain Pass to Ouray. It is a steep and winding road with sheer drop offs and no guard rails. The pass was at a little over elementary thousand feet. We had been told by the locals in Durango not to do it, but I don't take orders or unsolicited suggestions too well. The drive was beautiful and well worth the time spent. Although Tali says it was a "white knuckle" experience for her and she wasn't driving!

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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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The factory is currently churning out 10 trailers per month. Have you seen a lot of problems that might relate to the faster pace of construction, and by more mistakes being made on the construction line? My trailer has a LOT of issues; most are minor, some are normal teething pains and equipment failures... How is your trailer doing, and have you been having many issues?

 

Thanks. John Davies Spokane WA

 

I've seen a number of miner issues that really shouldn't be happening in a $60,000.00+ trailer. They changed the drawer slides out last year from the side mount to the bottom mount, and we brought that problem to the table and it really still needs to be addressed because the drawers still open even after I readjusted all of their magnets that were doing nothing from the factory and replaced all of the screws with 1" grabbers, then added short screws in the second slot. One of the smallest, yet most annoying problems that we have has has been stripped forward screws. Someone used a screw gun, not set correctly and stripped the heads out on a lot of the screws all over the trailer. This includes some of the drawer screws and 2 of the dinette access pannel screws... Then one of the bolts on the bumper was stripped all the way in from the beginning... So someone took an impact wrench, and instead of stopping and replacing the bolt when he obviously saw it was stripped from the beginning, and he went ahead and hammered that nut all the way down with his impact instead... And these little problems are flat out poor employee workmanship... I ended up having to cut off the bumper bolt and buy a new one, so I could remove the bumper to bend the punch plate down into place because it had been bent up at the factory, which was keeping our gray tank 25% full after dumping on level... I had to remove the dinette access pannel bolts with a pair of pliers because they were so hashed and I don't want to show a trailer with stupidity screws stripped out all over the place.

 

Another big problem is the water tank running dry and starting to gurgle at 44%... Then at 38%, it's empty unless we go out and tilt the trailer back to get the water to drain back to the corner... I actually paid $63,000.00 for what I thought was a usable as advertised trailer with a 32 gallon water tank... But now I have a 19 gallon tank because the other 13 gallons aren't useable unless I tilt the trailer way back... The water tank could be set up to work a lot better, with more tilt and a 90° pick up tube in the newly added low corner... This one is Karen's biggest issue and it gets past on to me because I have to add the water and keep it above the 44% to keep her happy, so I'm transporting water every other day instead of every 4 days give or take. I usually add about 16 gallons each time or 2 - 8gallon wheeled tanks, when I should be able to add 4... Plus, you can't just leave the trailer tilted back for any reason because having the trailer out of level when sitting still will fry the fridge because the freon will start bubbling in the lines when not level instead of flowing freely as per the Dometic Instruction Manual...

 

I ended up adding about a gallon of distilled water to the batteries a couple weeks after we picked up the trailer and this has happened to others also. They should have water on hand and add it with you, when you pick up the trailer, that was way too much water to need to add after just a couple weeks.

 

I saw the problem with the TV stand from the get go and talked with them about it, but we ordered ours with out the TV because their stand was right in the way.

 

Then there's the bathroom mirrored door that broke out of nowhere, the replacement door is really strong and it works great and does not wiggle at all. So we have a better door then normal.

 

Then Karen regrouted the bathroom shower pan because it was holding water in bad spots, the igniter on the stove quit working, one of the 12vdc outlets that we had installed has had issues from day 1, some of the windows are really hard to open, one of the plastic window sliders was put in wrong, two of the window shades had to be adjusted and the screws tightened, the chrome plating is coming off on the bathroom faucet, but... Our green light on the fantastic fan does always stay off :)

 

But even with the few problems that we've had, we love our trailer and have been living full time in it since February 13th. We have put over 9000 miles on it since then and we've put our feet in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean's with our new Oliver in less then 3 months. The problems that we've had, have been all quickly taken care of by Oliver and their performance as a sales and service team have done us right. I mention the things above because they can all be fixed or worked around easily. As far as options go, I think that we hit it perfectly, and we do love our little Goldilocks :)

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Beverly and I will be picking up our Elite II in early July.  I think your idea of sticking around for more than one night is a good idea.

 

Any suggestions of what areas to inspect?  Most folks will just check for function of the appliances, but as a retired field tech, I have no problem pulling access panels and checking for quality issues.  One of my functions working  for Honeywell was to follow up the Project guys to not only to make sure it worked, but that it was installed correctly.

 

However, I'd like to add that I was very impressed with what I saw during the factory tour.  I climbed into tubs and looked carefully at the build quality and it looked great.  So, I'm not expecting to find much, and hopefully nothing at all.

 

Brad - Santa Fe, NM

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Awesome. 2 elite 1, 2 elite 2 that I know of.

I'd, personally, advise the inexperienced to survey the Ouray road carefully, or drive it first with tug alone.

Paul's great, and has done amazing drives in what I'd call goat paths, here and abroad. I'm with Tali... White knuckles, and in prayer.

Our daughter regaled us with a story of one of our vacation drives at dinner tonight, describing how she shifted her weight to inboard on a steep mountain road in Norway, when Paul had to back down a mile and a half or so through changing radius curves, no guard rail????. Single lane to a pullout, to let the larger vehicle we (surprise!), met on that goat path.

Gotta love it....

Proud of all you guys, and your skills.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Just be careful with your quality inspections to make sure you understand what you are looking at.  Deciding that something is not the way you might do it, or not how it's done on an airplane, or at a factory you used to work at, etc, is not finding a problem.    A problem is if it doesn't work, or there are clear signs of poor workmanship, as Reed has found with stripped screws and cross threaded bolts.  Those are real problems, and maddening ones.

 

I have found wiring issues with mine and even posted about them here.  My exterior lights quit working and when I investigated, I found a rats nest of Scotchlok connectors crimped onto a single power wire that was unsecured and had failed.  Very poor workmanship indeed, but it is not a shop floor shortcut so much as a poor design.  I'm sure it wasn't some unskilled workers, but an Oliver design.  My batteries are wired very poorly too, but I'm working on that.  Regular #8 or #6 house wire that is likely to either pinch, or wear and short out, supplying all the power from four T105 batteries.

 

We may tend to think that Oliver is doing everything to some higher standard, but there are areas where they  are sort of winging it and some design demands are leading them into some quality issues.   Fortunately, they seem to be responding to feedback and standing behind their trailers, but some of the stuff seems like it's just common sense and should never happen, like overhead doors that don't latch well enough to stay closed and the television interfering with the blinds and damaging them.

 

Another thing I noticed right away was the suspension.  Oliver uses the cheapest suspension design offered in the industry.  It has simple plastic bushings that are not serviceable and known for failure.  I've had these on other trailers and they are not designed for high mileage.  In a "Legacy" design, I wish they would install greasable links with heavy duty parts instead of charging more if you want them as an option.  I have already upgraded mine.

 

The initial reaction when stepping into an Oliver is that "this is amazing", and it is in many ways, but it's still a travel trailer and it's still in the development stages.

 

As far as the overall shape, fiberglass construction, frame, and towing manners;  excellent.  I'm very pleased with mine in so many ways.  It's so good in some ways that I tend to think it's some kind of a magic thing that has no faults.  Not quite.   I'm still scratching my head as to why they went with a small spare tire and eliminated the ability to go with a tire that matched the others, that is until everyone noticed and began to worry about it, then they fixed it.  Mine is an earlier one and I have to run without the fiberglass cover to mount a standard size spare.  Then I look around and cannot believe humans can make a complicated fiberglass structure this beautifully smooth.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Other than the IPN remote being wired exactly backwards, a support jack weld that failed and a propane detector would not stop its alarm (no fault of Oliver) I have basically had no issues with Twist.  All of these issues were promptly addressed by Oliver and they even upgraded other items that I had not mentioned - battery cable size increased for instance.  Hull # 117 was built just as the production was starting to increase and as a result I would have actually expected more issues.  Is/was it "perfect" - no - was it better than I thought even for the $55,000 that I paid - YES.  And the big yes is mainly due to the people and company that stand behind what they are selling.

 

With regards to the Ouray - how about four 30 year old guys from Saint Louis attending a two week course on International banking in Boulder.  They rented a station wagon and headed out for the "free" weekend between the two weeks.  Probably alcohol was involved, but when someone sees a line on a (paper) map it seemed like a good idea at the time.  What could go wrong?  How about a blinding thunder storm with big hail at the top?  And, the transmission basically failed on the way down?  All four made it out alive, but, the rental car guy was not happy when the wagon was returned with a smoking transmission.

 

Bill

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

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Other than the IPN remote being wired exactly backwards, a support jack weld that failed and a propane detector would not stop its alarm (no fault of Oliver) I have basically had no issues with Twist. All of these issues were promptly addressed by Oliver and they even upgraded other items that I had not mentioned – battery cable size increased for instance. Hull # 117 was built just as the production was starting to increase and as a result I would have actually expected more issues. Is/was it “perfect” – no – was it better than I thought even for the $55,000 that I paid – YES. And the big yes is mainly due to the people and company that stand behind what they are selling. With regards to the Ouray – how about four 30 year old guys from Saint Louis attending a two week course on International banking in Boulder. They rented a station wagon and headed out for the “free” weekend between the two weeks. Probably alcohol was involved, but when someone sees a line on a (paper) map it seemed like a good idea at the time. What could go wrong? How about a blinding thunder storm with big hail at the top? And, the transmission basically failed on the way down? All four made it out alive, but, the rental car guy was not happy when the wagon was returned with a smoking transmission. Bill

So that was your support jack that broke loose and dropped the trailer? That was one thing that Jason told us about when we picked ours up. He told us what had happened and then he personally checked ours with me to make sure that all of the welds were in place before we left the factory :)

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Sometimes this forum format still fights me to the end...

 

Take 3...

 

Other than the IPN remote being wired exactly backwards, a support jack weld that failed and a propane detector would not stop its alarm (no fault of Oliver) I have basically had no issues with Twist. All of these issues were promptly addressed by Oliver and they even upgraded other items that I had not mentioned – battery cable size increased for instance. Hull # 117 was built just as the production was starting to increase and as a result I would have actually expected more issues. Is/was it “perfect” – no – was it better than I thought even for the $55,000 that I paid – YES. And the big yes is mainly due to the people and company that stand behind what they are selling. With regards to the Ouray – how about four 30 year old guys from Saint Louis attending a two week course on International banking in Boulder. They rented a station wagon and headed out for the “free” weekend between the two weeks. Probably alcohol was involved, but when someone sees a line on a (paper) map it seemed like a good idea at the time. What could go wrong? How about a blinding thunder storm with big hail at the top? And, the transmission basically failed on the way down? All four made it out alive, but, the rental car guy was not happy when the wagon was returned with a smoking transmission. Bill

So that was your support jack that broke loose and dropped the trailer? That was one thing that Jason told us about when we picked ours up. He told us what had happened and then he personally checked ours with me to make sure that all of the welds were in place before we left the factory :)

Screenshot_2017-06-02-11-13-21.thumb.png.d72a96dbfdce365bd7efd8c881fb0a2c.png

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Yes, that was me.  You should have seen the faces on the four people inside when that puppy let go.  The "L" bracket that holds the jack to the frame was very easy to replace with the possible exception of the caulk where the jack goes through the outside hull.  It gets a bit tight in one spot.  Really no problem though.

 

Bill

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

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John, we experienced a few of the same issues when we picked up last year.  Had an issue with light switches the first few days but the problem resolved itself after a week or so - I didn't do anything.  Not sure what that was all about.  I never liked the position of the TV and did move it to the center above the nightstand about 6 months ago.  Now,  it folds back flat when not in use and is no longer in the way.  When I moved it and installed an HDMI splitter I discovered the unorganized pile of wiring on either side of the back overhead.  Seems like it would take little effort to bundle and organize wiring during installation.  My cell booster showed two green lights and two red lights for months, indicating feedback.  While we were at the rally, Jason and Justin moved the inside antenna toward the wall and then we put a piece of metal backed insulation in the upper storage under the rubber mat and we haven't had any problems since.  My solar wasn't working because of the way the controller was installed.  I removed the controller and sent it to Blue Sky, they repaired and sent it back with instructions on re-installation.  My black tank vent connection to the black tank was not secure, it was fixed locally a few months ago at Oliver's expense.  I would say these were all minor annoyances and haven't detracted from our travels.  We've got about 20K miles under our belts the last 12 months with well over 100 nights of good sleep.  I've had great cooperation and assistance from Tommy and Jason on anything I contacted them with.

 

There are two other issues that are brewing.  The Dexter EZ flex wasn't available when we ordered so we have the standard suspension.  It's getting pretty creaky and I'm planning on replacing it in the next year.  Also, my Andersen hitch has become noisy as the ball now "ratchets" instead of quietly sliding.  I contacted Sage at Andersen and they are sending me a new lining and some lube.  It seems that they are now using a new lining material that solves the problem.

 

There have been other maintenance issues that have come up that forced me to become more familiar with my Oliver.  I had an issue with one of the back jacks that made me get out the supplied wrench to resolve.  I had a blockage in the black tank knife valve that I removed, cleaned, lubed and reinstalled.  My water pump quit working on a trip last year - the two wires that connect to the pump had worked themselves lose so I crimped the connectors a bit for a tighter fit.

 

As we rack up the miles our Oliver is really becoming our second home.  We've had some issues, but the good news is that they are not things that affect longevity and if Oliver needs to get involved they willingly do so.  Count us a very happy Oliver owners!  Mike

 

 

 

 

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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Mike,

 

I looked very carefully at the E Z Flex suspension setup.   I couldn't see that it was doing anything useful in Dexter's video.  Mainly because the rubber is designed to take up impact and smooth the suspension movement, but the springs are such low mass at their ends that they don't have the inertia to make that work or be needed.  But since the EZ came with greasable bushings, I tried to order one.  I have a long standing relationship with a trailer equipment supplier and he was very hesitant to get me one.  "I'll get you one if you want, but I don't recommend it", was his answer. "Some of them have failed".   So I went with the heavy duty suspension kit that gives you stronger equalizers, much stronger shackles, all new pins and bronze bushings.  All greasable with zerk fittings.    It's a nice kit and about a hundred dollars cheaper than the  E Z Flex, if I remember correctly.   I've had trailers with the nylon bushings before.   They are not long lived and not serviceable. The new kit is very nice and can be installed at home in 2-4 hours with normal tools.  I highly recommend it.

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Mike, I looked very carefully at the E Z Flex suspension setup. I couldn’t see that it was doing anything useful in Dexter’s video. Mainly because the rubber is designed to take up impact and smooth the suspension movement, but the springs are such low mass at their ends that they don’t have the inertia to make that work or be needed. But since the EZ came with greasable bushings, I tried to order one. I have a long standing relationship with a trailer equipment supplier and he was very hesitant to get me one. “I’ll get you one if you want, but I don’t recommend it”, was his answer. “Some of them have failed”. So I went with the heavy duty suspension kit that gives you stronger equalizers, much stronger shackles, all new pins and bronze bushings. All greasable with zerk fittings. It’s a nice kit and about a hundred dollars cheaper than the E Z Flex, if I remember correctly. I’ve had trailers with the nylon bushings before. They are not long lived and not serviceable. The new kit is very nice and can be installed at home in 2-4 hours with normal tools. I highly recommend it. John

You are correct that flex bushings can fail, but I think the EZ Flex is worth getting. I can't do a before and after test, but I can't say enough good things about how smooth and composed the trailer is on choppy freeways with the rubber equalizers.

 

I have had two trailers that came with stock plastic bushings. I upgraded both to the heavy duty setup, without the rubber inserts (but with shocks) and neither was as composed and smooth as my new Ollie.

 

I plan to buy and carry extra suspension parts and will include an equalizer with the other parts, just in case.

 

Did your friend say what kind of failures he was seeing? Timbren has been making rubber suspensions for a loooong time and they are very reliable. How long has Dexter been making these? I think you do need to keep an eye out for deterioration, but the failure mode should be progressive, meaning it won't be catastrophic and cause a wreck. It should be easy enough to see and correct. It's a _highly_ visible part.

 

It wouldn't hurt to coat the rubber parts with 303 Protectant to reduce UV damage and checking.... just like your tires.

 

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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Quality control is an issue throughout the RV industry.  It must be related to the large number of units coming off the lines.  While companies such as Oliver and Airstream rank high in Quality the human element has much to do with the problems.

 

A close friend just bought a 2015 Class C.  The dealer told them they were smart to buy used because there are so many problems with new units that are aggravating for the owners.  After a year or so most of the issues are corrected.

 

Take my advice and stick around Howenwald a few days while you perform some "sea trials".  Use everything in or on the trailer.  Fill and dump the tanks.  Run the fresh water fill system.  Task ALL the systems.  Find some rough roads and hit them hard.  A one night stay at the local CG is just not enough.

 

Happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0787.thumb.jpg.71fc4ad576daae3c0da4fd9852e52e72.jpg

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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IMG_1284.thumb.jpg.b9939e4255965b5d59e5c31c362cc16e.jpg

 

Quality control is an issue throughout the RV industry.  It must be related to the large number of units coming off the lines.  While companies such as Oliver and Airstream rank high in Quality the human element has much to do with the problems.

 

A close friend just bought a 2015 Class C.  The dealer told them they were smart to buy used because there are so many problems with new units that are aggravating for the owners.  After a year or so most of the issues are corrected.

 

Take my advice and stick around Howenwald a few days while you perform some "sea trials".  Use everything in or on the trailer.  Fill and dump the tanks.  Run the fresh water fill system.  Task ALL the systems.  Find some rough roads and hit them hard.  A one night stay at the local CG is just not enough.

 

Happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Mike, I looked very carefully at the E Z Flex suspension setup. I couldn’t see that it was doing anything useful in Dexter’s video. Mainly because the rubber is designed to take up impact and smooth the suspension movement, but the springs are such low mass at their ends that they don’t have the inertia to make that work or be needed. But since the EZ came with greasable bushings, I tried to order one. I have a long standing relationship with a trailer equipment supplier and he was very hesitant to get me one. “I’ll get you one if you want, but I don’t recommend it”, was his answer. “Some of them have failed”. So I went with the heavy duty suspension kit that gives you stronger equalizers, much stronger shackles, all new pins and bronze bushings. All greasable with zerk fittings. It’s a nice kit and about a hundred dollars cheaper than the E Z Flex, if I remember correctly. I’ve had trailers with the nylon bushings before. They are not long lived and not serviceable. The new kit is very nice and can be installed at home in 2-4 hours with normal tools. I highly recommend it. John

You are correct that flex bushings can fail, but I think the EZ Flex is worth getting. I can’t do a before and after test, but I can’t say enough good things about how smooth and composed the trailer is on choppy freeways with the rubber equalizers. I have had two trailers that came with stock plastic bushings. I upgraded both to the heavy duty setup, without the rubber inserts (but with shocks) and neither was as composed and smooth as my new Ollie. I plan to buy and carry extra suspension parts and will include an equalizer with the other parts, just in case. Did your friend say what kind of failures he was seeing? Timbren has been making rubber suspensions for a loooong time and they are very reliable. How long has Dexter been making these? I think you do need to keep an eye out for deterioration, but the failure mode should be progressive, meaning it won’t be catastrophic and cause a wreck. It should be easy enough to see and correct. It’s a _highly_ visible part. It wouldn’t hurt to coat the rubber parts with 303 Protectant to reduce UV damage and checking…. just like your tires. John Davies Spokane WA

 

Not having a before and after comparison makes the evaluation less valuable.  Mine tows very well too.  I'm really impressed.  That means the springs are well matched for the relatively stable load they are carrying.  Plus, they have shocks and radial tires to dampen and smooth shock loads.

 

The company I deal with a lot told me the rubber is known to fail or has failed on previous EZ Flex kits and they recommended not to use it.   But before that, I watched the video.  The mass of the spring ends, or at least the stiffness of the springs, (mass and stiffness, more or less, equal the same pounding load) was not sufficient to flex the rubber bushing enough to make any real difference.   This setup is designed to take the edge off the impacts, but with relatively soft RV springs, the value becomes less.  Stiffer springs, like on utility trailers designed for very heavy loads, would benefit more. The simple equalizer on a tandem axle setup does more than anything for stability and smooth operation over uneven surfaces.   It's not perfect, but it's simple, reliable and affective.

 

Sometimes, a really cool idea is not really as valuable as we might want it to be.  I chose to not spend the extra after being warned and also to not have to keep an eye on them or treat them to prevent deterioration.  But it is a nice idea and might help a little with our rudimentary suspension design.    I tend to be either running at speed on very smooth highways, or idling along on rough desert roads where there are no sudden impacts, but a lot of suspension travel over rocks and washouts.

 

My main concern was with the dry plastic bushings that I know fail.  They gradually get looser and looser and the pins start running metal to metal against the spring eye.  I want to maintain the marvelous stability and tracking character of my Ollie and I don't want to plan on replacing the pins and springs as they wear with the bushings gone and the pins riding dry in the spring eye.  First it becomes loose, then it becomes dangerous.  Now, I can grease it.  It has bronze bushings with heavy duty shackles and equalizers.

 

It is funny how I never got around to fixing my utility trailers, but my Ollie gets the royal treatment early on.

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Brad, we are picking our Elite II on July 5. Maybe we’ll see you guys. Any ideas on which other nearby campgrounds we might stay at. We thought we’d stay local for at least two nights – just in case. It’s a long way to Bryan, Texas where we live. Congrats! Cash’s

 

My wife and I enjoyed this nice boondocking spot. https://freecampsites.net/#!1082&query=sitedetails 

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I think it will be great to meet up.  our schedule is to arrive late on the 4th in Amarillo, Memphis on the 5th, then to the plant at 1pm of the 6th.  I've sent you a chat message with my contact info.  Let me know if you don't receive it.

 

Brad

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