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Decor / Style Issue: does it look like a tub surround?


alex k
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I am being torn between the practicality and light weight of an Oliver and the undeniable beauty of an Airstream (16 - 19 foot range). I have the money burning a hole in my pocket and a yearning for the open road.

 

There are no dealers and no showings anywhere near me anytime soon, so all I have to judge by are the pictures posted by Oliver and Oliver users. Compared with having actually having been in an Airstream.

 

I really do like the exterior look of the Oliver... it makes me think of low-maintenance in a good way. But.... the interior.... makes me think of low maintenance in a bad way.

 

I don't know if it's true, but all the molded fiberglass makes me think of the inside of a large tub-surround, or worse yet, one of those Japanese public restrooms. I especially really don't like the way the seats and cabinets look like they are molded right up from the floor, without a toehole.

 

Is that really the case?

 

If your toes can't be in front of your center of gravity when you are standing at a counter, there goes the back (and mine doesn't need any help in that direction). If your heels can't be a bit behind your center of gravity when you stand up, there go your knees (and the old guy's knees are heading the same direction as his back).

 

PLEASE correct me if my impressions are wrong, but all that white gel gloss looks... institutional. I am trying hard not to think of the interior of one of those cheesy stretch 1970's limos, or a Japanese public rest room. Or a tub-surround... and I really don't like fiberglass tub surrounds. (By the way, all that gel gloss must eventually see it's share of dulling, crazing and scratching, no?) To be fair, the interior of most of those Airstreams could be said to look like the interior of a cheesy 2000's stretch limo or a stainless-steel version of a public rest room. But in the Oliver, the impression is heightened by the "stripper pole" (yes, I read a lot of the posts here before asking my question), and by the smoked acrylic and chrome accent strips here and there. Not to mention the stuck-on looking smoke detector.

 

My heart is telling me that the Airstream is something I'd buy for my own personal use, but the Oliver is something that would be great to rent out. The Airstream is something I'd like to live in, and the Oliver is something I wouldn't mind camping in. The Airstream is something I'd take on a road trip, but the Oliver is something I'd take on a hunting trip. The Airstream is something I wouldn't mind parking on my driveway, the Oliver is something I'd put in the pole barn.

 

It's the story of my life: Motel 6, or the Sheraton? The pickup, or the Mercedes? The pound-dog or the pedigree?

 

For you lucky few who already own an Oliver: can you help me find the middle? Is the style really as bad as my impressions? Can anything be done to make it look less plastic-y and institutional? Should I be so concerned about the esthetic and the style issues? Are the seats and cabinets really without toe holes?

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Buddy, I wish I could help you, but I ain't equipped for it. All my life I have been a motel six, pickup driving, pound puppy kind of a guy. Actually, I maybe puttin' on airs there a bit. I have been known to pick polk salad greens, out in a paper company clear cut, for supper.

My suggestion would be to search deep into your soul and determine if you want it to look good in the front yard, or if you want to actually use it.

Now I hope you don't misunderstand what this ill equipped redneck is trying to tell you. But, it is about what you actually are going to do with a travel trailer. Personaly, I havn't much use for built up areas to camp in, so our Oliver has a high lift axle to better access rural areas. Please see the quote in my signature line, by a great american visionary.

Your Oliver would likely suit your use beter if it had the lower to the ground axle. And I guess there in lies the answer. Since the Oliver factory custom builds to each customer's specifications, you just need to call Robert. He will ask a few simple questions and start specking( sp? ) out your very own Oliver that meets your needs.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Both trailers would be hard to beat in my books.

 

Actually the seamless nature of the Oliver interior (easy to clean and maintain) is one of the things that attracted me to order one, but the primary factor was the light weight, due primarily to the aluminum frame upon which the Oliver sits. No rust, and no repainting the frame every four years, knowing there are places you can't get paint on and they will continue to rust.

 

You did not mention your tow vehicle, but a tow vehicle that is suitable for an Airstream will need to be beefier and will consume more fuel than a vehicle that can tow the Oliver because the Airstream is going to be heavier than the Oliver. Try to get an Airstream built out with just the features you want and don't want. Good luck.

 

I could not afford an Airstream, so I was not burdened with the choice you have to make. I could have bought an Airstream Base Camp but that was my limit when shopping for an Airstream because I am going to tow my Oliver with my V6 RAV4 Toyota, which gets almost 30 mpg when not towing. That was a deal maker for us.

 

I wonder how much extra a 12V simi automatic leveling system and an extendable tongue (if they are available, and if you wanted these great features) is going to cost you in the Airstream. I wonder if you like to use your cell phones and access the internet in beautiful out of the way places where reception is very weak.

 

I don't think you could go wrong with either trailer, IF it serve your needs. One's a classic and one's a newbie.

 

Good luck,

 

Doug

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For us.. our choice came down between the Casita Spirit Deluxe and the Oliver Legacy Elite. The Casita having a definite more 'cheesy' 70s feel (I much prefer the shiny gel coat to carpeting on the walls, and chrome 'stripper pole' to a wood wall). The Oliver feels downright modern, open and luxurious in comparison. And actually, the bit of an industrial feel was absolutely appealing to us. Honestly, with getting to choose your own fabrics and floor tiling to make it look however you want, it doesn't feel all that much like a bathtub to us. It feels more like being in a very nicely equipped yacht/boat.

 

We also looked at the Airstream Bambi - and quickly ruled it out for our needs. Sure, it's looks nice, but the newer models have lost a lot of their quality that Airstream was once known for (and still charging for), their features were rather low on practicality and the extra weight just didn't merit the increased cost of ownership we'd incur (ie. needing to also upgrade our tow vehicle and thus losing fuel economy). So for us, we weren't comparing to an Airstream.

 

Oliver made the best sense for us given their willingness to custom spec things to exactly how we wanted them, the more modern feel and the higher quality build (as compared to Casita). Also, Oliver's attention to functional detail is just outstanding. Since we full time, we probably look at things a bit differently that someone looking for an excursion camper - such as storage space, window coverings, privacy, high-tech, etc.

 

 

But everyone has their own style needs and their own economic abilities. What suits me, isn't going to suit everyone.

 

- Cherie

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Oh.. and by the way. Since you can customize - it's my impression that you can leave out the stripper pole if you don't like it. And you can order the cabinet colors in a variety of colors. When we were at the factory last week, they sent off the first Oliver with cabinet covers (and fridge finish) done mirror - which looked *really* sweet. Apparently, it is likely to become a standard option. So if you want something other than smoked black plexiglass.. they can likely work with you to come up with something more of your liking.

 

- Cherie

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Alex,

 

As I approached retirement and yearned for the open road, I too seriously explored the wonders of the Airstream Bambi. Then I discovered the Oliver and my comparative studies between the two began in earnest. What I discerned was a legacy company riding along on its former glory which was not responsive to its customers unique requests vs the Oliver family which has been in business for decades and was beginning to produce a new product line with superior quality and extreme customer satisfaction as a central theme.

 

One company who's quality control was loosing its luster and another company wanting to put out a product that would meet or exceed expectations at every turn.

 

Airstream would not even dream of wiring my trailer for solar, putting in a cell phone signal amplifier, moving the license plate to accommodate a "smiley face" of make a custom mural for the front, and wiring the trailer for ham radio, whereas Oliver had only one response to each and every request . . . "Why SURE, Pete!"

 

I don't have a pole barn but I do live in a gated community across from the country club and I park the Wonder Egg proudly on my property, for all to see, and have given many tours for my interested neighbors who are very impressed with the Oliver quality and customer requested modifications.

 

I find time working at the galley with the stove or sink is minimal. If I get into a complex meal requiring lots of chopping or mixing, I use the dinette table and a "toe hold' space is not required.

 

I have no doubt if you'd like to change up some of the interior wall or ceiling "feel" it would be simple enough to put on a quality accent application of your choosing similar to how they made the mural for the front of my trailer.

 

Good luck on the quest for your trailer. Whatever decision you make, may it give you many years of joy!

Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Alex,

 

Maybe I have a little different perspective on the whole situation. When I first saw the Oliver I was not in the market for a travel trailer. I was driving thru the Wal-Mart parking lot when I saw one sitting there. Apparently Meanderthal and Company were traveling South on the Natchez Trace and stopped for supplies when I happened upon their rig. After an internet search and a couple of trips to the factory, I was sold on the quality of the Oliver and became in the market. But first, I decided to consult someone that I consider to be an expert on the matter. I have a relative that currently owns not one, but four Airstreams. He looked at the info from the factory and listened to my speel about what the company would do for someone in the way of customizing. A group of his Airstream club buddies were present to hear about the Oliver. Their singular response was "I wish Airstream would be willing do that..." I've seen his trailers. They are all nice. Anyone would be proud to own any of them. They do take a rather large tow vehicle (even the two Bambi's) but with his extra 90 gallon diesel tank in the bed of his heavy duty pickup, he can get from here to just about anywhere without having to stop for fuel. When he saw our trailer the day we got home with it, he was blown away. He didn't have enough good things to say. Bottom line is everyone has to make up their own mind. With money not too much an issue I'd say it comes down to personal preference. I'm sure you would be satisfied with either trailer as both are examples of fine craftmanship.

 

Any one of us would be happy to share any info you might need. Just let us know...

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 #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Though it sounds like you're mind is already made up, I'd be happy to share my opinion since I've had the chance to see both an Airstream and the Oliver.

 

I was specifically looking for a trailer in the +/- 7' wide category. The Airstream Safari Sport models did not impress me (carpet walls, few windows), and the Bambi's are the typical 8' wide which makes rearward visiblity tough with a midsize SUV. On the other hand, that extra width does make for a nice floorplan, and the aluminum interior looks sharp. However, the biggest problem for me was justifying the high price.

 

In my opinion, the Oliver delivers a lot more bang for the buck...but if you don't like the look of fiberglass, maybe it's not for you. Personally, I think it gives it a modern 'marine feel' and it is a material that will age more gracefully over time. Combined with the aluminum frame, it is a trailer that should never rot or rust. I truly believe that this will be the last trailer I buy, and I'm no where near retirement (unless I get lucky).

 

I hope this helps...if not, keeping asking questions.

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Dear Alex,

Though I have yet to own a smaller travel trailer, I have done a lot of comparison shopping.

You would be amazed at what a little interior decorating can do! You can change the inserts on the cupboards, the table tops, add window decor if you prefer the more conventional look. The quality equals, if not surpasses that of the Airstream. Additionally, the personalization more than tips the scale in favor of the Oliver for me. Additionally, the design area around the floor area adds more storage space and to the ease of cleaning. If you needed something to project outward from the countertop for food prep, I'm sure with the Oliver creativity (or your own) you could come up with a satisfactory solution.

Happy choosing!

Peace and Sunshine

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Everyone has made very valid points. I think it comes down to what I would actually use a travel trailer for.

 

What I won't be using it for:

- Parking on a movie set between shots

- Parking in a retirement community in Palm Springs

- Entertaining Donald Trump, any celebrity, politician, or even my boss.

- Lawn art

- To impress the girls

- To impress coworkers

- As a "labor of love", polishing, washing, buffing

 

What I would be using it for:

- Exploring the 50 or so Washington State parks, the zillions of USFS campgrounds, nearby national parks

- Weekend trips to the beach

- Weekend tours through the Washington and Oregon wine countries

- Maybe a trip to Alaska?

 

Given all of that, is what I really want a snazzy but sensitive Airstream, or a practical, well built Oliver?

 

So, I'm calling Oliver to discuss prices now.

 

Thanks everyone.

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SaWeeeeet ! Dude, U da" Man ! ;) Yep, you are right, it is about how you are going to use it, and having it built accordingly.

Good luck ! You are going to love your new Oliver and you will fit in here well, with all the rest of us "sold out" Oliver fanatics !

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Alex K,

 

If you do decide to go with the Oliver, I am certain you will be very pleased. There's not a day that goes by that I don't find some other little thing about the that I've not noticed before or some little touch that amazes me. It truly is an amazingly well built trailer.

 

Good luck,

 

Steve

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 #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Anybody up for desert travel? Check out http://www.tiretracks.org/mogforsale. I have searched for years for which travel trailer, camper, rv, tent!!! etc. would be the best, even wondered about the MOG. Oliver won hands down from the moment I saw it online. I knew I finally found what I was searching for. I have not had the good fortune of even seeing a real Oliver but through the wonderful help of Robert I got my Oliver just the way I wanted it. I sent my order to Robert today for delivery in December. I can't get off work before then to go to Tennessee to pick it up. Anyway, back to the MOG - students used the tiretracks.org website and followed the owners with their MOG while they traveled across Africa. Now if the students would just log in the the Oliver forums - what an education they would receive about this great nation of ours through the many educational posts. P.S. I am counting hours til December!

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Hi, jam49 and welcome to the Oliver forum.... and family of owners! We're glad to have you as part of our group. December will be here before you know it, and you'll be out on the "open road" with the rest of us. You're going to love it!

 

Sherry

 

PS I just looked at the MOG photos... that's a rugged looking camper. thanks for sharing.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Congratulations on your decision to get an Oliver. Mine will be delivered around September 20 something. I'm just about to finalize the invoice, with everything I wanted on the trailer, except a catalytic heater. They say it won't fit in the trailer unless you use a floor standing heater, and I did not want something setting on the floor in our way, to trip over. I hope the furnace is not too loud.

 

Doug

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jam49,

 

Now all you have to do is figure out how to survive between now and the time you pick up your wonderful new Ollie! Hang in there, you'll make it! I am sure it will be well worth waiting for and you will be soooooo happy!

 

DougI,

 

The furnace does have a "bit" of noise when it comes on . . . nothing you would not become attuned to over time though. If you will not be in the deep low temps for a long time, you may do well with a small electric heater plugged into your A/C near the closet and pointing towards the bed area. It worked great for me the first two nights on the Natchez Trace at 25 degrees each night. Not a sauna, but nice & cozy under the covers.

Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Hello Everybody,

I was just reading this tread when I realized Alex K lives in Washington. I have units there right now and have tried to PM Alex K and arrange a showing. I just thought I would post this in case someone else out there is looking to see one in the area.

 

Give me a call…931-306-9523

 

Thanks,

Robert

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Hi Alex K!

We have a southwest theme to our Oliver so have put some white outline type pictographs on the sliding cupboard doors. We have a southwest type fabric and granite patterned floor to go with the theme. All kinds of stuff can be hung on the walls with good suction hooks! Not boring at all!!!

The Oliver is narrower than the Airstream but with the extra and larger windows seems much larger!

Regards, Chuck on Geris computer 'cause mines toast!!

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  • 7 years later...

I am mentally configuring my new Ollie since I discovered the website just a few days ago. I have happy childhood memories of family vacations in a 60's 28-foot Airstream. And I live in a cabin, so I am used to a lot of wood around me. My first impression of the Ollie interior was the same as yours. I didn't think of a tub surround but that is apt. I didn't really like the institutional, sterile look of the interior. Still don't. But my plan is to get some nice small Navajo rugs or something and stick them around on the white white walls with suction cups and try for a Southwestern theme in the cushion covers. Considering the other advantages of the Ollie, I think I can adjust to living in a test tube with a few lightweight wall or window treatments.

Jaque

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I love the cleanbility of the Oliver. Left NC this morning. Ten minutes with windex, a rag, and0 the walls and floor are clean.

 

My allergies make camping an adventure. Thecleanability of the Oliver interiot really helps.

 

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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