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Compare an Oliver Legacy Elite II to Northwood's small Arctic Fox 27-5L


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Could anyone attempt this?  Pros & Cons, benefits, reasons for and against, likes/dislikes, or really anything whatsoever.  For ease of comparison, let's say they both would be pulled by the same 5 yr old 3/4 ton RAM Cummins diesel with usual necessary tow items/packages.  Price wise they are in same ballpark I believe.

 

http://northwoodmfg.com/arctic-fox-2/arctic-fox-27-5l/

 

 

If you ever see me, simply pretend I am not there.

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Pro - more living space inside. BUT!  You are outdoors . . . IN NATURE . . . and should be maximizing your time outside, so what does the extra space matter except being able to sleep 1 more person? Not much.

 

Cons -  Significant increase in weight, wear on TV, limitations on maneuvering into parking or many campsites, lessor quality of build inside and out, factory support?, all the problems inherent with slide outs (leaks & mechanical failures), huge hit in mpg, how well will the interior hold up after 100,000+ miles of towing?  (the Ollie will still be like new).  Multiple exterior seams which will leak over time, delamitation, as opposed to a solid fiberglass mold . . . yada yada yada.

 

Hey, this is an Ollie forum, what did you expect?

 

 

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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


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The Northwood is everything Oliver has improved upon.  The Northwood is cookie-cutter, RV industry standard wide, tall, heavy, high maintenance, stick built, 5 year life span for 40% less cost but 90% less quality.    This is the kind of run-of-the-mill RV that Oliver owners are running away from.

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2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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These two options are in completely different classes.

 

Arctic Fox: higher maintenance (orders of magnitude higher) but more comfortable.  Easily accommodates a family of four.  Built in genny, 2.5x the fresh water capacity, at least 3x the interior space, etc.  More of a residential experience.  Too big for a decent number of public campsites (National Forest/National Park/State Park)

 

Ollie: half the weight, half the frontal profile, more maneuverable.  Will fit in almost all public campsites.  Comfortable for a couple.  More of a minimalist / "real camping" experience (it's still not real camping though ;) )

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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Before you start comparing these two you need to decide if you want a fifth wheel or a regular trailer. These two are so far apart that they are not even close. That Arctic Fox is a huge heavy monster of a trailer that in all probability will be moldy, water stained, slide-sagging junk in a few years. The only fiver that I can think of that is in the same category as an Ollie is the Escape 5.0 TA. We could talk about that, tho I expect none of us have seen one of these in person.

 

https://escapetrailer.com/trailers/the-5-0-escape/

 

The huge problem with a little fiver is that it destroys your ability to carry a bunch of cargo in the truck bed and there just isn't enough cargo volume in a small trailer otherwise...

 

Welcome to the forum, sorry if we seem a little harsh. Too many of us have owned "stick and staple" RVs in the past and we do not like to recall them... It appears that you are not an experienced RVer..., I suggest that you rent a couple of trailers over the summer, see what you like and then come back and ask specific questions about Olivers. A couple of week-long trips in two different mass produced cheap trailers will be very educational for you. ... https://rvshare.com/rv-rental/san-diego/ca?location=San%20Diego%2C%20CA&lat=32.715738&lng=-117.1610838&rv_class=Travel%20Trailer

 

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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I never heard of Northwood trailers until now, I think I will look them up and see why you are comparing them to the Oliver which really doesn't compare to any other trailer out there.

 

 

 

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Some casual reading....

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/recreational-vehicle-standards-and-why-is-the-average-build-quality-so-low/

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/video-what-your-non-oliver-rv-salesman-cant-tell-you/

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/rv-industry-death-spiral-articles/

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/this-is-why-we-buy-olivers-owner-wrecks-new-trailer-20-minutes-after-buying/

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/litigtion-forces-boat-rv-manufacturers-to-produce-safer-products/

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/lack-of-safety-in-design-rvs-and-boats-oh-my/

 

As you can tell, this is a personal hot topic. I swore a decade ago to never ever own another RV but when I discovered Ollies I changed my mind. No regrets here.... A trip to the Howenwald production line would convert you in less than half an hour I think.

 

OTH have you thought about a truck camper? In your shoes I would be looking hard at a Northern Lite which would work great on your truck. For a solo traveller truck campers have a lot going for them.

 

https://northern-lite.com

 

Good luck in your search.

 

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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Landrover:  I would not doubt a rolled over Oliver would remain somewhat "roadable".

 

John D:  Please don't sugar coat your replies.....;-)   But you hit the nail on the head, one gives up a lot of truck space with the 5er, and gain little in return.

 

I looked at the Northern Fox stuff, didn't see much different than the normal RV.  Oliver stands apart from the norm.

 

RB

 

 

 

 

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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The only fiver that I can think of that is in the same category as an Ollie is the Escape 5.0 TA.

 

I have seen one of these Escapes from the outside and thought that they might be somewhat comparable to an Ollie. One glance at the interior (in the photos provided by the link) ends that thought.

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Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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Must be a Canadian thing for awful, dated interiors; BigFoot is the same way.

 

Plenty of American travel trailers have uninspired or cheap looking interiors, but the Escape and BigFoot seem to have their own brand of "1980's cabin" look to them.

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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Molded FG Trailer’s interior walls fall basically into four categories.

 

Cheap looking wood or cheaper looking faux wood (cardboard) paneling.

 

Carpet or faux carpet (aka “rat fur”)

 

Bare inside of the fiberglass shell.

 

Smooth gel-coat fiberglass.

 

What’s in your trailer...

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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 

 

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We chose Oliver because of quality of build and solid construction; you won't get that anywhere in the RV industry but, Oliver. Simple. We wanted our RV to last our lifetime and considered it an investment rather than a liability. Liability and a money pit is the norm in the RV industry outside of Howenwald. Oliver is a TRUE 4 season RV.

 

The Oliver is a small family owned business that sticks to old fashioned quality and customer service AND they listen to their customers. Some say the Oliver is over engineered. So. Many great features of the Oliver were ideas stemmed from its customers. The Oliver family is also a camping family...what more can you say?

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Cash - AKA Sitting Bull


http://www.shot-in-texas.com

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OTH have you thought about a truck camper? In your shoes I would be looking hard at a Northern Lite which would work great on your truck. For a solo traveller truck campers have a lot going for them.

 

https://northern-lite.com

 

Good luck in your search.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

Well John boy, now you've done it.  I have spent the last month reading and watching videos on these truck campers and have become open to them to some degree.  I have put aside the idea of a 5th wheel for now.  With the tc  (truck camper), not having to pull something behind and be so limited in parking it when on the go, it sure gets me back to my original thought of simplicity like having a small motorhome.

 

I had never given tcs any thought, for my only experience was seeing those ugly tilted or slanted ones being driven by some old codger out in the desert or country/boondocks somewhere.  Visually seeing the inside of a N.L. camper via youtube, they very much appeal to me.  A small touch of luxury does appeal to me also.  Being able to remove it when needed and still use it as your home makes it even more practical.   My main concerns or fears at present would be how really secure and stable are they when mounted and continually remounted on your truck, how much might they shift while driving, and especially how would wind gusts affect them compared to pulling a trailer or a big/tall motorhome.  At times, being old and alone makes me realize how important it is to have the simplest, least worrisome moving-home I can buy.  Some weeks the way to go with the least amount of care, hassle, and concerns appears to be a new or slightly used 25-35' motorhome of better than average quality like a Mercedes, dodge, or ford diesel Dynamax, ie:  https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2018-Dynamax-Corp-ISATA-5-SERIES-36DS-5007199261

 

I may very well be debating these in my mind right up to the moment before they begin cutting me up on some cold damp slab in front of a dozen new med students who are arguing over the meaning of my final last words "I think I've finally got it!".

If you ever see me, simply pretend I am not there.

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So SBF, do you already own a one ton truck or will you need to purchase that too?

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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So SBF, do you already own a one ton truck or will you need to purchase that too?

 

 

Not yet, but have a couple nice used ones picked out if I decide to go the Oliver or NL tc way, a 2012 2500 Ram Laramie diesel w/ 48k miles, and a 2012 Ford F350 Lariat diesel dually w/ 39k miles.

If you ever see me, simply pretend I am not there.

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So I arrived here after seriously looking at the Northwood products.  The Northwoods are much better than your average travel trailer, but still not at the level of an Oliver.  Northwood's frames are better than the Lippert trash on 90% of the market's trailers.  Oliver's frames are even better being made of aluminum with beautiful welds. A house is only as good as its foundation.

 

While Northwood does build and insulate better than most, the only trailer of theirs that I would buy is the 22G travel trailer - no slides to break/leak your heat/let dust in.

 

PROs for the 22G: fully featured kitchen with microwave, range, oven, double sink, and big fridge with freezer.  Dry bath.

 

CONs: if anything on the outside leaks, there is a lot of wood to rot. The space comes from being 8'6" wide and 11'2" tall vs Oliver's 7' wide and 8'6" tall (9'7" to AC). Lower carrying capacity (even the fifth wheel 5L has only 2945 - but it will be easy to fill it with clutter that takes you over gross. Two tiny windows on the street side.

 

PROs for the 5L: pretty much all of those for the 22g plus: fifth wheel is more maneuverable for the length, all the comforts of home and then some. More fresh, gray, and black water.

 

CONs: 13'3" height is now pushing it for overpass and tree clearance - especially on the East Coast. You now need to plan your routes in advance. 95 square feet of frontal area. Slides to keep working, keep sealed, not break (I could feel drafts in a new trailer). Now your setup and teardown has to involve moving them (and clearing anything out of their way). Because of slides, you now have carpet. How long is cleaning that vs a wipe down of all the fiberglass/linoleum in an Oliver going to take? Hitching up to a fifth wheel is a little more involved than a receiver (gate down, hitch, gate up).  Fifth wheel means you can only pull with longer bed trucks or risk RV/cab interference on turns, or you need to get a sliding hitch (more $$$, more maintenance). Because of length, you are now barely under some of the best parks' limits, but will over many others. Crosswinds? no thanks. Also it has heat registers in the middle of the floor, nice thing to step on barefoot or stub your toe on...

 

Oliver PROs: fairly seamless interior and exterior means easy to keep clean and sealed. Small size is maneuverable and easier to tow (even the standard f150 mirrors are wider than the trailer). 60 sq ft of frontal area should translate into 30-40% less drag than the Northwoods. Well insulated and fairly simple. Excellent resale thus far. Quiet inside. Can be towed with some SUVs and full-size vans.

 

CONs: less featured, less space, more expensive, wet bath, floorplans might not be what you want.

 

 

 

I have neighbors with a big fifth wheel, they might take them out for a long weekend a couple times a year, but the mostly sit parked. The logistics of moving something that big doesn't seem relaxing to me. Plus the decor of the Northwoods (and their friendly neighbors Outdoors RV) and most of the stick builds reminds me of my grandparents house 30 years ago.

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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Not yet, but have a couple nice used ones picked out if I decide to go the Oliver or NL tc way, a 2012 2500 Ram Laramie diesel w/ 48k miles, and a 2012 Ford F350 Lariat diesel dually w/ 39k miles.

 

If you decide to get a trailer, the SRW trucks are fine. If you want a heavy truck camper, the F350 dually would be perfect with its much higher payload. The additional rear tires provide significantly better stability with a heavy constant load. The only downsides are they are much wider, which might be a pain at times,, and they are not as good off pavement. They will beat you up more driving around empty.... but it is just a matter of degrees, most 1 ton trucks ride pretty rough when they are not loaded.

 

I bet you already have been here, but just in case you haven’t.... https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/ .... Beware, they have never reviewed a product that they did not like or love.... nice pictures though.

 

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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Not yet, but have a couple nice used ones picked out if I decide to go the Oliver or NL tc way, a
Ram Laramie diesel w/ 48k miles, and a 2012 Ford F350 Lariat diesel dually w/ 39k miles.

If you decide to get a trailer, the SRW trucks are fine. If you want a heavy truck camper, the F350 dually would be perfect with its much higher payload. The additional rear tires provide significantly better stability with a heavy constant load. The only downsides are they are much wider, which might be a pain at times,, and they are not as good off pavement. They will beat you up more driving around empty…. but it is just a matter of degrees, most 1 ton trucks ride pretty rough when they are not loaded.

 

I bet you already have been here, but just in case you haven’t…. https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/ …. Beware, they have never reviewed a product that they did not like or love…. nice pictures though.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

Thx John.  Yes, I have been reading their reviews over the last few weeks.  That is a good site.

 

Both of those trucks I mentioned were 2012s.  was told that that was the last year of diesels that did not require DEF which I thought would be less to bother with and save some money.

If you ever see me, simply pretend I am not there.

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