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donthompson

Report on Service Visit

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I called Ritchie Carroll a couple of months ago to schedule service for my Oliver Elite II. I made the appointment for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17. When I arrived, I sat down with Richie and reviewed the work order that he had prepared based on a couple of telephone conversations and a few email exchanges. Oliver is using a new system to create and update work orders. I was able to view the work order on Richie's monitor and approved what he had prepared. Service included installing a composting toilet, installing the new bike rack (mount only--I plan to rig it with Thule components that will work with my fat tire bike), a new cable for the basement door, repair the chain to cap connection on the fresh water inlet, fixing a leak in the hot water heater at the anode, installation of the water accumulator, the fresh water tank fix to allow it to be filled completely, and installation of the new window blind clips (they now use 6 clips per blind). The work was completed by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The work was done professionally and the camper was thoroughly cleaned inside after they completed the work. While in Hohenwald, I spent quite a bit of time at the sales office. Highlights included meeting and talking to both new Oliver owners picking up and owners in town for service. It's so nice to actually meet and get to know people you've communicated with on the forum. Oliver owners are the best. I also can report that Anita and Heather are as sweet and welcoming as they have been since I met them. Anita even brought food to the office and offered lunch to all of the office employees and the customers who were there for service and pickup. The food was delicious!

 

I met and spend quite a bit of time talking to Brent Robinson, the new Business Development Director and Kelly Robinson, the new Sales Manager. They have significant experience in the industry and I believe they were great hires by the Oliver family. Brent gave me a factory tour yesterday. I toured the factory in October 2015 when I ordered my Elite II, but I learned much more during the tour Brent gave. He has dug deep into the manufacturing process and shared so much knowledge. For any current owner or prospective purchaser who wants to know more about how these campers are built and why they cost as much as they do, a tour led by Brent is a must. These campers are built on a philosophy that is the opposite of what drives most of the rest of the industry. Decisions are made on what components/processes will create the best, long-lasting product, not on what will be the least expensive. Kudos to Oliver for being committed to building by far the highest quality camper in the U.S.

 

As most of the forum members know, Oliver has grown substantially in terms of the number of campers sold. They are having growing pains, but my two days at the office and plant convinced me that they are working very hard to ramp up and to provide the same high-quality sales and service that marks the quality of their product. I don't think the people at Oliver would argue that they are there yet, but rather than making excuses, the comments I heard from employees focused on their high goals and efforts to reach them.

 

For those of you who have asked for a higher degree of customization as your Oliver is being built, it's clear that Oliver is moving away from offering the degree of customization that characterized their approach in the early days. They've made the most popular options standard equipment and avoid customization to keep the campers moving down the line more efficiently. I think the result will be an increase in the already high build quality and an ability to deliver more campers to more customers on a timely basis.

 

So, my service visit was positive, productive and very educational. It reinforced my opinion that purchasing my Oliver was a great decision!

  • Thanks 18

Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

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States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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Don, thanks for the report. I’ve got a service appointment for Nov 7 and 8 with a list of things to be done. Our last tour was 3 years ago, so it’s probably time for another!  Mike


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

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Service included installing a composting toilet, installing the new bike rack (mount only–I plan to rig it with Thule components that will work with my fat tire bike), a new cable for the basement door, repair the chain to cap connection on the fresh water inlet, fixing a leak in the hot water heater at the anode, installation of the water accumulator, the fresh water tank fix to allow it to be filled completely, and installation of the new window blind clips (they now use 6 clips per blind)

Don, thanks for the post, can you add comments to the big Natures Head thread in the future when you have used it a while? What did it cost for the retrofit, and did they cap off the fresh water line?

 

A minor correction, the fresh water tank fix does not allow it to be filled completely, but rather emptied completely. How did that work out?

 

Got pictures of the factory? Those are always welcome.

 

Thanks again,

 

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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John, they charged $1560.83 with tax for the composting toilet. $400 of that amount was labor. Sorry, I didn't take photos of the factory tour. Oliver should produce a video of the kind of tour I experienced. I'll follow up on the composting toilet after I've used it for awhile. So far, I love it. I believe they capped off the water supply to the toilet, but I'll confirm with Richie.]

 

I really appreciate the information you posted on the forum about the composting toilet. Having that information made it easy for me to make the decision to add this.

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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Don, that cost seems a little steep to me, I wonder why the labor was so high...? Last year the Natures Head was an $800 option, has that price gone up for the new units? It would be helpful if you could eventually post a full descriptin of what the refit job involved, if the invoice describes it in detail ... which it ought to.

 

I’m glad you are liking the toilet, you will feel even better when you start passing all those stupid dump stations. What are your plans for gray water disposal? Mine usually goes onto my gravel driveway if I am at home. I told my neighbors that it was just slightly soapy water, actually less concentrated than my car wash water, so they would not freak out if they saw me dumping. It has no odor....

 

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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John,

 

They charged $1,000 for the composting toilet and $400 for labor. The rest was sales tax. I'll post photos of the installation at some point. I'm very happy with the installation. I plan to dump my grey water using a garden hose. The stinky slinky is going into the garbage can. I can run the hose from my driveway into the woods at home. I anticipate using the hose in dump stations sometimes when I can't dump the grey tank using the hose at a campsite. I think I'll be able to do this while boondocking and maybe at some BLM campsites in the west.

 

I won't go into detail, but Jason and Richie treated me very well during the service. They did a number of things at no charge and treated me very well on a large issue that could have cost me $500-$600. I don't feel free to share details, but I left Hohenwald feeling very satisfied with the fairness of the overall experience.

 

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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John, I had the sales office send me an updated build sheet and the Natures Head is now listed at $1099.00. Natures Head sells them for $965.00 on their site.

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Thank you Don for the positive post!  It adds to the anticipation of our factory tour this Wednesday.


Chris & Duke Chadwell
🐾Maddie & Baxter🐾
Elite II Hull 292
2017 F-150 Lariat 3.5 EB 4x4 Lakeland, FL 

 

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John, I had the sales office send me an updated build sheet and the Natures Head is now listed at $1099.00. Natures Head sells them for $965.00 on their site.

 

Hmmm... The Zamp Solar sells for $1100 online, it would be nice to know what price Oliver has on it before installation being that it's a $2800.00 option.

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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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I encourage anyone visiting the factory to arrange a factory tour with Brent. I can't pass on all of the new things I learned about how an Oliver is built, but a few of things stand out. The first is the material they use to reinforce the fiberglass where it needs extra strength. I don't recall what the material is called, but it has a tight honeycomb construction and is relatively thin and very strong. Oliver uses it where other manufacturers of fiberglass products (especially boats) use wood. Brent showed me an area where pieces of this material cut in various sizes and shapes are stored. The second thing is that Oliver employees use small rollers to hand roll the fiberglass to remove air from the fiberglass. The rollers are very small and I watched two employees use these rollers going over a small area of fiberglass many, many times to remove the air. Brent said it is very unusual to do this by hand, but it's very important to make the fiberglass strong. A third thing I was struck by is the fact that Oliver makes all of the wiring harnesses in the campers in-house rather than having them made overseas with cheap labor. They think it's really important to ensure quality. These are expensive campers, but I'm convinced that Oliver is driven to employ methods and materials to endure high quality, longevity and low maintenance rather than finding less expensive alternatives. You get what you pay for!

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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I believe the honeycomb core material is  Nidacore. Very expensive, lightweight and very strong.

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GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

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I believe the honeycomb core material is Nidacore. Very expensive, lightweight and very strong.

 

 

That sounds right. Thanks for filling in the blanks on that.

 

NIDA-CORE STRUCTURAL HONEYCOMB FIBERGLASS LAMINATED PANEL – The Nida-Core honeycombs are cellular structures with an 8 mm mesh made of polypropylene, which are used to form the core of structural sandwich panels. Their surface coating (non-woven polyester) can be laminated or glued to practically any type of material, for applications in many domains: construction, transport, yachting, industrial equipment, sports, recreation, etc. Specially made for contact and spray lamination. The polyester non-woven material present on the Nida-Core has a surface that is perfectly suited to impregnation with thermosetting resins (polyester, epoxy, etc.) The heat sealing method used to stick this non-woven material to the cellular structure provides a perfect bond. Finally, the plastic film placed under the non-woven material seals the cells and reduces resin consumption. Naval authorization certificate issued by DNV. Germanischer Lloyd certificate.

 

Nida-Core’s Pre-Laminated Panels are made from their H8PP panels and have 1 layer of 1810 fiberglass laminated on each side with Polyester Resin. Nida-Core’s H8PP offers a density of 5 lbs/ft3. Product is sold by the individual sheet. Sheets are 4′ x 8′ (32 sq.ft).

 

 

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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Ann and I overlaped with Don for our Service visit and had very much the same experience. Great Hospitality, good service, and a feeling afterward that we had made the right decision in purchasing our Oliver Trailer. Our second Factory Tour was enlightening  and educational, thanks Brent.

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Grayson and Ann Cook


Northwest CT and Mid Coast Maine


2016 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed FP


Toyota Tundra, Extra Cab, Long bed, 5.7 V8


Yippee-i-o-ki-yah

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Just over a week ago I had solar panels installed by the service department and once again they did a great job, thank you! I had been in contact with Ritchie and Jason a few weeks earlier to set up an appointment for the work. The week before the appointment ScubaRx and I installed the Blue Sky controls. After the complete install, I programmed the IPN Pro for the four T105 batteries. I have not stressed the system by boondocking yet but it does seem to be working great. We’ll get an opportunity for a real test this winter with a two month dry camping trip.  Thank you ScubaRx and Oliver Service!!


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I’d like to talk to you about your approach to dry camping. My camper is winterized and I plan to leave for a 5-6 week trip in late January. I camped last winter but didn’t dry camp so I had to repeat the winterization process when I returned home in late February.

 

 

If you’re willing to discuss how you approach dry camping, please send me a message on the forum with our phone number and I’ll call you.

 

Thanks,

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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I’d like to talk to you about your approach to dry camping. My camper is winterized and I plan to leave for a 5-6 week trip in late January. I camped last winter but didn’t dry camp so I had to repeat the winterization process when I returned home in late February.  

I think he means not using hookups, not leaving the trailer winterized while in use.

 

If you are going to use your plumbing systems in winter, you will have to re-winterize when you get back. There is no getting around that requirement unless you leave heaters running or store it indoors.

 

I just did a partial winterization - I bypassed and emptied the hot water heater, injected antifreeze into all four outside water ports and shower - but left the fresh water tank full so I can use it if needed. It cannot freeze where it is parked, but I might want to take it out in freezing weather or use it if there is a severe power outage.

 

If the weather is truly bitter (it gets to -20 sometimes here) I would feel really uncomfortable leaving water in those outside parts, regardless of how hot I kept the trailer inside..... in milder weather they are not a big concern.

 

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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John,

 

You're right--he was really talking about boondocking. I think I'll leave Iowa with the camper winterized.  I'll have 3 20-liter and 1 10-liter Sceptre water cans.  I'll keep the 10- liter can in the Ollie and the larger ones in the cargo area of the Touareg. I'll see how adaptable I am to using the Ollie without the fresh water tank, faucets and shower.  As you know, I have the composting toilet.  If I am ok with this style of winter camping, I think all I'll have to do when I return the camper to my unheated storage facility is to pour 2 cups of antifreeze in the two sinks and that's it.  I'll heat water on the stove for dishwashing and personal hygiene.

 

If anyone reads this post who has camped this way, please respond and let me know what your experience has been like.

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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Maybe we should start a winter camping thread? What do you think? Good questions.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I did it in my Casita once, but it doesn't get that cold here, maybe mid 20°s for a week some years. It's not that hard to rewinterize, go camp in style, use the Suburban floor heater to keep the pipes from freezing if you're in that low of temps. You can save the antifreeze and re-use it if needed. We are not winterizing, we're going South :)

 

Reed

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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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Sherry, I think a winter camping thread is a great idea!

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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