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Any Concerns/Warnings About Buying a Used Oliver?


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For cost reasons, I want to buy a used Oliver.  My primary concern, though, is the lack of the lifetime warranty.  I have read where stress fractures have been a problem on the early Ollies.  Should I be concerned about these?  Would this keep you from buying an older Ollie?

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on buying an older (2014-2016), used Ollie.  Specifically, how important/needed is the lifetime warranty, and at what price point would you consider buying used?  Thanks!

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Stress fractures where?

 

I have a 2015 for sale in the classifieds that is better than new.

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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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I have a 2016 Ollie. I am not selling, but I would have no qualms about selling it to my closest friend. Ollies are built to last. I know of no RVs with a lifetime warranty. Even without a lifetime warranty, if you read through this forum you will see that Oliver provides outstanding service to owners even after the warranty period has ended.

 

The 2014-2016 Ollies have a smaller sink than the newer ones, and also a better drawer under the sink. Other than that, not much has changed.

 

With any used RV purchase, the buyer needs to make certain that components (furnace, fridge, etc) all work. Again, Ollies are built to last, and Oliver uses the best components.

 

What stress fractures? I did a search and found no reports of stress fractures.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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I know of one Oliver that has experienced stress cracks on the frame.  It's one of the earliest LE2s owned by a full timer.  Whether that's the only one or not, I don't know, but its the only one that's ever been reported here so I assume that it is.  I saw it when it was in service, and I think that it probably could have been repaired with aluminum plates and huck bolts (which is how some manufacturers make their frames), though Oliver elected to replace the frame.  It's anyone's guess as to the cause of those cracks - bad welds, accident, too much weight on the tongue, etc. - but regardless the cause, I wouldn't let a single failure determine whether or not you buy used.  If it does worry you, Oliver made a change to the front of the frame I think in the early 100 hull numbers (eliminated the extendable tongue) and the newer design appears to be stronger, but I have no idea if that was the purpose of the change.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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[postquote quote=178554][/postquote]

There was one frame failure, and it must be the one you reference.  That frame was replaced by Oliver.  One of the causes was poor welding penetration.  Apparently, all future frames had gussets added at high stress points  and the welding was improved.  There have been three, I think, rear stabilizer jack bracket failures.  These were ones that were installed by mistake, without the welding being completed.  Then the brackets were changed to steel which eliminated that potential mistake.

 

Looking at the general design, the amount and dimensions of the materials used, the general load management strategy and the workmanship, I've never seen a better design.

 

It's interesting too, that the body has it's own structural integrity.  So, an Oliver is more like a boat sitting on a boat trailer, than a frame being the structural backbone of the trailer.    Boats, for instance, are already strong in their shape, and the trailer just supports them and pulls them along.  The Oliver body is already strong in itself.  The frame supports it, pulls it along and has to resist bending near the front of the body, with all of the weight and towing stresses.   That area, near the front of the body, is where the frame is extremely strong.

 

Further, if some kind of failure did occur, Oliver is not the kind of company that would just decide the trailer was out of warrantee and refuse to help.   They want the owners and themselves to have a continuing good relationship.  To be a "family".  They are building their brand and are out in front of the industry with their customer relations.   They are known for going back and retrofitting fixes regardless of the age or current owner of the trailer.   A couple of small examples of this are the electrical ground and the water tank fix. Another was a bike rack failure. Oliver improved the design, came the trailer to replace it free and refunded the cost of the bikes.

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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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If you are talking about the stress fractures in the frame itself being your worry, then I don't know what trailer would be a viable option.  99.9% of the trailers out there are on Lippert frames of varying specifications but none comparing to the Oliver frame I saw.  My visit was with a newer Oliver, but I wanted to cry when looking at the frame - it was that beautiful compared to all the other trailers and even class-a motorhomes.  So you get 5 years on the chassis warranty.  Also of note the Oliver looks like one of the only trailers that could have the body pulled off the frame, repair the frame, and put the body back on if that were necessary.   The body itself has the limited lifetime warranty, which is the part I would most be concerned with.  But even there, fiberglass is repairable.

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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I wouldn't hesitate to look at an Oliver that's over a decade old. Probably, because I own one. For 12 seasons, now.

What to look for?

Water heater will die. It's a cheap replacement, for 6 gallon. We replaced the 6 gallon with a girard instantaneous. Probably a waste, but it's nice.

Possibly, refrigerator. They seem to have variable lives. Ours was toast. Replaced for less than $1000 with 12v danforth/ secop compressor truck fridge. Other friends have had zero issues in 11 years. Go figure.

Then, do the normal tire kicker stuff.

Tread. Age of tires. Brakes. Etc, etc

It's the components that wear out. Not the trailer. We took ours in for maintenance in April, and there was a line out the door. People who worked there really wanted to see a 2008, almost 12 years old, that looked so new...

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Closely inspected our 2015 Ollie's frame several times and have not found any issues with welds or signs of fatigue. Our Ollie has been towed between 30,000 to 40,000 miles miles so far (purchased used).

 

Replaced the Maxx Roof Fan, 3" black tank valve, Furrion AM/FM/DVD player, and power supply (non-solar) so far.

 

We're very happy with Ollie, just returned yesterday from another camping trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Heading back again during July to get out of the heat here at home.  Plenty of interest in Ollie wherever we go and folks want to know if it's new because of the beautiful exterior and interior finish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bill

LE2 #75 Tundra

 

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Welcome to the forum, and please fill out your profile so we know who and where you are.

 

There have been issues now and then with systems, like plumbing or wiring, but they should have long been fixed or updated on an older trailer. If you make a field trip to the factory they can do these upgrades easily. The appliances are generally low end RV junk, meaning built to a low price point and not especially long lived or reliable, but usually easy to fix and cheap to replace. The Truma water heater is an exception, it is a high end unit but I don't know if they have a long enough track record to see how they hold up, and being German they are overcomplicated and expensive to fix, like an Audi....

 

The only concern IMHO is if the trailer was used in winter and towed over deicer covered streets. This will without question cause lots of rust on the steel suspension parts and also corrosion on the aluminum frame and wheels. "The frames don't rust", but don't fall for that line, they can corrode. My trailer gets parked indoors during all winter months when there are caustic chemicals on the roads. If you look at a used trailer and the frame doesn't look close to new, I do not suggest that you not walk away, but I would have it closely inspected and I would pay a lower price for cosmetic and possible hidden damage.

 

Speaking of which, check for rock chips, which can be repaired or covered with a protective coating. Lots of un-repaired stone damage is a warning sign. There are plenty of owners who take great care in keeping their Ollies looking nice, so look for one of those, not a scruffy one, unless you can get the scruffy one really cheap so you can fix or replace things...

 

A trailer located close to TN is more likely to have had good "factory service" done to it, this would be a plus compared to one in Alaska, for example. Owner upgrades are always good, but they may not meet your approval and should not significantly affect the asking price, except for something like disk brakes or a compressor fridge, both of which are major improvements.

 

Like buying a used car, be prepared to walk away if something feels wrong to you. Have a prepurchase inspection performed by a mobile RV tech, unless the seller can show you a printout of a very recent one. Unless recently serviced, all the wheel hubs need to come off for a look inside. You need to know if ALL the systems function as they should, and the suspension, bearings and brakes are in good condition. Buyer Beware. This can be very hard if you drove all day to check one out, but that is what you need to do.

 

https://rvlove.com/2018/09/29/getting-a-professional-rv-inspection-before-buying-plus-our-fix-it-list/

 

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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