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Mirna

Split: Oliver or Lance?

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Greetings, my name is Mirna.  We are in the midst of discerning between two trailers:  Oliver Elite II and the Lance 1685. Anyone out there has recommendations?  We will be doing a lot of boondocking.  We do have the option of composting toilet in both trailers. We are buying a pickup most likely a Ford 250 gasoline. We will appreciate other's input. Thank you.


R2W

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Mirna, for its type that Lance isn’t too bad, you could probably get a well optioned one for $40,000, well below the base price of the bigger Ollie. But they are really apples and oranges, the build quality, materials, warranty, resale value and above all customer service are nowhere as good. It does have big tanks, which is good, but that means extra weight to tow. The slideout is a very bad thing for a number of reasons, the optional solar package is too small and the twin batteries are only adequate. The rubber axles and tires are budget items,

 

For boondocking you need ample solar and battery capacity, a composting toilet, enclosed tanks and waste systems, rugged suspension, and ample ground clearance. The Ollie excels at this sort of camping. The Lance could work, but it isn’t really meant for this.

 

No offense, but nobody here is going to recommend a conventional mass produced low quality trailer over a high quality hand built Oliver legacy trailer, which is intended to last decades and be passed onto future generations. I would be surprised if that Lance lasted five years of moderate use.

 

Have you looked at an Ollie in person? That is the first thing you should do at this stage, a half hour of poking around will answer so many of your questions.

 

A F250 will pull either trailer without working hard, no worries. If buying a new one, consider waiting for the brand new 7.3 liter gas engine, it sounds as if it will be great.

 

Welcome to the forum. Fill out your personal details, and tell us where you want to boondock.

 

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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Thank you for your response.  I was not able to figure out how to introduce myself. Could you send me the link or a picture of the area where newbies introduce themselves.  Your comments are very helpful.

 

Tow vehicle:  Ford F250 with two package.  We are trying to figure out if we buy the diesel or gas.  There are positives and negatives for each option. Diesel:  expense of upkeep, initial cost, and not getting our money back for what we put in.  Gas:  less expensive all around. The F250 will have a canopy for the medium size dog.

 

Type of camping:  boonducking, two adults, and 4-dogs (one medium and three small)

 

Travel Plans:  Initially 3-7 day trips then eventually the ALCAN and cross country both US and Canada.

 

Thank you!

 

 


R2W

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[postquote quote=179913][/postquote]

 

Hi Mirna,  Welcome aboard!

 

As John mentioned, please fill out your profile so we can see where you are and more about what you will be doing, or what your interests are.

 

Probably everyone here is biased toward fiberglass, and for good reasons.  One very obvious weak link with the Lance is the rubber roof.  These are very vulnerable to mechanical damage, will fail over time from the sun, and can cause very serious water damage to the structure when they do fail.  Having a slide-out gives a lot of interior room, but can be drafty and make the trailer hard to heat.  They also seriously reduce the useful interior space when in.  So if you stop on the road for the night, you may have to deploy it just too get from one end to the other.  When traveling, that would become a problem.  I had one in an "Extreme Edition" Fleetwood and we went through a lot of propane trying to overcome the drafts and stay warm.

 

Olivers are streamlined, the roofs can not fail, they have good insulation.   Look where the jack is on the front of the Lance and compare that to the Oliver jack location.  You can open the tailgate of your truck, while connected, with an Oliver.  Not so much with so many other common designs that use the same jack location, right next to the coupler.

 

Be sure to check the cabinet material. Is is just stapled together pressboard with a friction catch?  Or do they have a positive latch?  How many batteries are included?  Olivers have (4) batteries located over the axle.  Look at the plumbing for the black and gray tank drain.  Is it hanging down where it can get knocked off on a curb or a rock?  Oliver plumbing is all up inside in a closed compartment at the rear bumper.

 

If the cost is helping to drive the decision, look in the classifieds for a used Oliver.  I know of at least one in there that is a very good deal.  They hold their value much better than a Lance, because they can be used for generations if desired.

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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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Hi Mirna, I split your post so it’s a new thread. If you would prefer a different title let me know.

 

I agree with what’s been said. You are really comparing apples and oranges, these are two very different types of trailers. We looked at Lance before we decided to buy our Oliver, for all the reasons mentioned above.

 

Thanks for posting here, you’ll get some good facts and, of course, some Oliver leaning advice!  Mike

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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For boondocking you need ample solar and battery capacity, a composting toilet, enclosed tanks and waste systems, rugged suspension, and ample ground clearance.

John, I gotta disagree. We do not have a composting toilet, and we have done a lot of boondocking on BLM land in Southern Utah without any hookups or camping in state and national parks without a sewer connection. We can go 4-5 days without needing to empty our black tank.

 

I agree that if you want an extended boondocking adventure of several weeks, then yes, the composting toilet would be needed. But you would still need to get fresh water!

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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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Looking at the Lance, certainly you can boondock in it, just not well imo.  Of course, everyone has differing ideas of what boondocking means.  Is it summertime camping for a weekend at a national park campground that doesn't have hookups, or are you going to bang the trailer into the middle of nowhere down long gravel roads to spend a week in a snowstorm?

 

I think with the Lance, you're limiting yourself to 1) warm weather camping, 2) a generator, and 3) paved roads.  That's going to be due to 1) external tanks and uninsulated plumbing, 2) inadequate solar, propane and battery capacity, 4) fragile slide out and cabinetry.

 

But if you're O.K. with those limitations, then the Lance will certainly save you some money and give you more interior room.  I think then it becomes largely a question of how long you want to own it.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Oliver has one unique feature that makes it exceptional for boondocking, and that is the ability to use the rear water port (on the web site they call it the EZ Winterizing port) and the water pump to add water to your fresh water tank. It works quickly and easily. I don't know of any other trailer that has this feature!

 

Hey Oliver, you ought to make a video on how this feature works and put it on the web site! It is a great sales feature!

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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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Dear Team:

 

Thank you for all the great feedback!  It is much appreciated and it is being taken to heart. Recently, we were welcomed by George and Gretchen who own an Ollie and it was a wonderful experience at two levels:  met two wonderful people and got to see an Ollie in person.  We are strongly leaning towards an Ollie!

 

Best to all and joyful camping!

 

Mirna and the gang (that includes the two and four leggeds!)


R2W

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Lance, ORV, and north wood are the closest to Oliver in a laminate construction trailer. I cross shopped them and the bigfoot fiberglass etc. They all feature better frames than the rest of the industry  and better overall construction than most of the rest of the industry. But once water gets in to any of them, there will be issues.

 

I also wrote off slides after looking at used trailers and even class a’s like the the Allegro bus. None of them have a perfect seal and let in dust and drafts. If your budget sends you to one of those products, I would strongly suggest considering their floor plans that don’t have slides.  Looking at used Olivers compared to just about everything else led to to place my order - they hold together much better.

 

 

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2019 LE2 #529.   

2018 Navigator L 

 

 

 

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We looked at the Lance too.  We were very interested and they were in the running, but we saw the Oliver the very next month and once we saw the factory tour and joined the forum, we were sold.  We put our order in before we left TN.  We attended the rally in Alabama this year even though we had just put our first deposit down and we are even more convinced after visiting with folks and hearing their experiences, good and bad, and realizing the strength of the Oliver Family.  We can't wait to pick up our unit in September.

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David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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As to slides, I'm not a fan. Especially bedroom slides. Drafts, dust, and then when the weather warms up in the Alaska prolonged summer nights... mosquitos follow your breath in, and can make the nights miserable..

Sherry

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Thank you! We appreciate this comment. I think we have made the decision to buy an Oliver; however, we are now buying our towing vehicle. We had one long day of shopping and are leaning towards an F250 or F350 diesel. I am curious, what is your towing vehicle? Best, Mirna.


R2W

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Keeping in mind that we haven't actually towed our Ollie, yet, we ended up deciding on a 2019 Ram 1500 4x4 with 5.7 Hemi gasoline engine, 3.92 differential, and air suspension.  It is a Crew Cab, so we will have just the 5.7 foot cargo space.  We toyed with getting a diesel too.  The 3.92 was the accommodation to give us more low end torque and the e-torque option is on our Ram.  There are many folks who have been towing the LEII with diesels.  The towing section of the forum is very helpful. We were really concerned about insuring that we had at least 1000 lbs of payload over and above the tongue weight of the Ollie and passengers.  We looked at all the vehicles that met the bill, and just preferred the Ram 1500.


David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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[postquote quote=180063][/postquote]

The Black series 15 and 19 have the same ability and provide a 1.5 inch hose.

 

 

 

Greg

 

 


Greg


USN Retired


ARS AB7R


 

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Granite,

 

That is a very good choice.  Nobody "needs" a one ton to tow an Ollie.  Plus the one ton's ride is very stiff, and they are more expensive.  Diesels used to be more fun than they are today.  And their reliability should always be looked at carefully before buying one.  Plus, that is a very expensive option and the fuel is more expensive.  If I was to get a new truck, it would be a Ram 1500 Rebel with the 5.7 Hemi.

 

The air suspension is wonderful for towing because it self levels with added tongue weight.  They have had some problems with it, but mainly that was in cold weather where the system was freezing up.  The E-Torque is mainly designed to help with mileage around town in stop and go traffic.  It doesn't help on the highway. We live in the country and never get into traffic, so I had decided to not go for that expensive option.

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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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[postquote quote=181377][/postquote]

Greg,

 

I didn't know that.   Thanks.


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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"Oliver has one unique feature that makes it exceptional for boondocking, and that is the ability to use the rear water port (on the web site they call it the EZ Winterizing port) and the water pump to add water to your fresh water tank. It works quickly and easily. I don’t know of any other trailer that has this feature!

 

The Black series 15 and 19 have the same ability and provide a 1.5 inch hose."

 

This is, indeed, an uncommon feature in the US market. Oliver is a leader here, imo. We've had that feature since 2008, when no one else had it. SAVED our trips, a number of times.

 

The black series came from Australia, where many features are different. And, oh, so much variety in camping trailers that we'll never see here, I'm sure.

 

Part of the fun of our two camping trips downunder was checking out the wide variety of rigs in our campgrounds.

Paul and I discussed one last night. Two women and three kids in a tiny car pulled in next to us, with what looked like a tiny cargo trailer in tow in southern Australia. That little 4 x 6 ? Maybe trailer folded out to a huge tent, and equipment coming out like clowns out of a car.

The Aussies have it down, for sure.

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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