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Thinking of buying Elite 2


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Hi.  DH (Charlie) and I (Martha) have been thinking about a larger trailer for a few years.  We have owned our Casita for 10 years and love it.  However, the statement always comes up that we wish it was just a little bit bigger.  I have not found the perfect trailer yet.  We have looked at Airstream 19' Bambi and were supposed to look at the 20" flying cloud yesterday but DH came down with a stomach virus.  I have been to the Oliver factory twice and really like them but I still have many questions or concerns.  I hope you can help me with these.


1.  I posted in another topic about the bed size.  I do not want my extra space taken up with a king bed.  We are very happy with the full size and I think laying out width wise we would gain 5 inches over what we have in the Casita.  I'm 5'5" and DH 5'10".  I'm wondering if it would be difficult to put a full mattress there and replace table with plywood that would only be width of bed and then use the extra space between bed and pantry/stove to place a storage bin or seating.  We always keep that bed in permanent sleeping position so I have no desire to ever use the table.


2.  Do I need to get a weight distribution hitch?  We have Toyota Sequoia.  For Airstream we would have to purchase and have installed - another $1,000.


3.  Windows.  One of the cons about the Airstream was I had a difficult time opening the windows.  My Casita windows slide like the Oliver.  However I have not found any posts about rain guards.  When it rains we have to close the windows, except the rear one which can be left open about 4" because we installed a rain shield.  What do you do?  I do not leave my awning out because most of the time rain always means wind and I've lost an awning on a pop-up.


4.  Issues.  I have read where a lot of people have problems with brand new Airstreams.  How has your Oliver experience been?  I know we have had almost no issues with the Casita.


We just completed a 4700 mile trip to Big Bend National Park in February.  Last September we drove 4800 miles to Theodore Roosevelt NP and Custer and Badlands.  We will spend the month of April as campground host at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park.  Since grandbaby #7 is due in late August we will not get to do another big trip this year.  We will do smaller trips along the Appalachian mountains from Maine to Tennessee and maybe more campground hosting.


Thanks for your help.  This is a huge investment and hopefully whatever we choose we will keep for a long time.



The Roundabouts

2008 Casita Freedom Deluxe

2012 Toyota Sequoia

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Roundabout -


1.  I don't think that there would be a problem with what you are proposing.  However, since I have the twin bed model, hopefully those that actually have the king bed setup will come forward to answer this question.


2.  With the Elite II your hitch weight will normally be between 500 and 600 pounds.  Most (if not all) vehicles other than heavy duty trucks require a weight distribution hitch if that weight is at or over 500 pounds.  Therefore, it is my guess that, yes, you will need one.  However, you should look at specifically what is required for your vehicle.


3.  There have been a number of discussions on this Forum about gutter guards.  This is what is most commonly used:






However, take a close look at the picture of the Elite II that is shown here on the Forum just as you log in.  It shows an awning over the dinette window that was adapted by Little House Customs from a design that is used on the Casita.


4.  I suggest that you just read through the Forum to get some idea of what owners have to say about problems they have had with their Olivers.  I think that you will find that most problems are associated with products that are not specifically made by Oliver (i.e. fridges, heaters, etc.).  In any case, all new Olivers come with a five year warranty on the frame, lifetime on the shells, and, bumper to bumper for one year on the whole thing.  Of course this is in addition to any warranty that a component manufacturer has on their product.  Plus, just this past week you probably saw this Forum post:





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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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On the bed, it shouldn't be a problem, but you'd have to get a custom mattress made to accommodate both curves in the corners.  Southern Mattress could probably make one for you and since they know the corner radius already, you'd just have to give them the width and length.  Then you could use the space between the mattress and kitchen/pantry for whatever you like, whether it be a seat or storage.  I doubt if Oliver would make anything special for that space so you might be on your own there.  You might be able to talk them into something like this , or for cabinet storage you might think about getting the twin bed model with the twin bed riser option, then just build out the support for the mattress between.  You might be able to talk Oliver into modifying that for you with different doors and no lip so that it could easier accommodate a twin mattress.


My windows slide easily, but I think there was a thread here about some being difficult.  You'd have to search for it, but I believe the problem was a bit of rubber trim that wasn't installed correctly.  Some people do install flexible gutter strips over their windows and it seems to help.  We ordered dual awnings and I just roll them both out about a foot and they do the same job.  We routinely leave the windows open in rain and it's never gotten in.  And the awnings are pretty much storm proof in that position.


I'd say that overall, initial quality on the Ollies is surely above average for the industry, but I don't know enough about airstream to compare directly.  Certainly for long term quality, I think Oliver is far ahead of their competition.  If you're looking back at old posts for quality issues, keep in mind that Oliver seemed to hit a bit of a bump around the 200 numbered models when they added a second line and perhaps tried to grow a bit too quickly.  That would have been about two years ago.  IMO, they responded well to that and since then, I'd say that we don't really see a lot of quality related threads - sure they pop up but nothing that to me would set off a red flag or anything.  And Oliver truly is fantastic about getting things fixed if anything does break.



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