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GO FOR IT! TALK ME OUT OF A COMPARABLE AIRSTREAM. ūüėČ


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Greetings, All!

Let me start by saying that I'm absolutely new to Ollie's, and I'll admit that I'm duly impressed at some of the features, but I remain a bit puzzled about overall value, relative to (say), a comparable Airstream.

I won't belabor the discussion here with a bunch of tedious, line-item comparisons of features, but, I'm hoping that one or more current or former Ollie owners can tell me just what benefits there are in choosing a 'new', fully-featured 23-ft. Legacy Elite II (for about $70,000), over a comparably (or even superiorly) equipped, 1-2 year old, 23-ft. Airstream Globetrotter at that same price?

Other than potential damage to the aluminum shell from hail storms with an Airstream, what am I missing here?

Anybody?

Thank you!

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I just finished reading all these posts. All I have to say in response is that I am so very, very happy we made our $2,500 down payment back in September! Our LE II is scheduled for delivery on Ma

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Take a look at a few of the topics below - I think they'll give you a good idea of the pros and cons.  You'll find that most Oliver owners appreciate Airstreams and will give you honest opinions of what they like and dislike about each.  For me, I think that the differences are pretty cut and dry (you'll see a few of my posts in the links), and since they're both great trailers, any preference for one over the other will ultimately come down to personal taste and priorities.

 

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Snowball ‚ÄĘ The world's only spherical Ollie

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And/or try THIS.

Bill

edit - if your new to the Forum simply left click on the underlined word in the sentence above.  Good luck with your research and (if you can) be sure to take a look at each model you're considering in person before you make your final decision.

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Oliver needs to update that comparison page now that Airstream has given up on the Nest.  

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Snowball ‚ÄĘ The world's only spherical Ollie

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We began our search for a quality trailer with Airstream as it seemed the logical place to start.  As I began researching, we were quickly dissuaded by owner reports of poor workmanship with many repairs being necessary right off the lot.  I could understand some of these, were we talking about a $15-20K entry level trailer, but not a $75K+ icon.  After I reached beyond the beauty of the Airstream interior, I decided one big problem was getting in the way:  We weren't willing to pay a premium price for poor quality control and an obvious lack of care for the ultimate owner.  My final judgment is that Airstream, after being bought out by Thor, is simply another mass produced trailer sold by a company that is leveraging the longstanding reputation of what was once the ultimate luxury trailer, looking to profit off the buyers thinking they are getting the same product that earned the Airstream it's reputation.  In addition, there is the dealer "middleman" who, many times, only cares about making the sale, after which all concern for the satisfaction of the buyer is lost.  

As luck would have it, we discovered the unknown-to-us Oliver Travel Trailer.  Though not for everyone, we feel our Oliver Elite II is hands above any Airstream of comparable (or even higher) cost in regards to beauty, quality, attention to detail, customer satisfaction, service, and resale value.

One thing, in particular, that attracted us, was the ability to customize your trailer, adding only options you want and are willing to pay for.  Airstream comes standard with many features that we weren't interested in, but had no choice of; thus we would pay for features we didn't particularly want.

I think the most amazing difference, however, is doing business with a family that is passionate about the product they build and caring toward their customers.  There aren't many places in the commercial world of RV marketing where you will get this kind of treatment.

 

 

Edited by Ray and Susan Huff
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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

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Thanks also to Ray and Susan, and to everyone else here for their contributions.

My wife and I are retired, and we live in remote northwest Montana, wherein hail storms occur, the roads are rough, ground clearance matters, and boondocking is the rule, so the truth is, we've been leaning heavily towards the Oliver LE-II Twin side of things for some weeks now.

Do I particularly like the bathroom and shower on the Oliver? Nope. Is the overall comfort factor higher on the Airstream? Yup. But there is little doubt that the Ollie is the best and 'right' decision for us.

Now, it's just a matter of identifying the most critical options to be included in the order, and waiting patiently for ten-months until delivery.

Thanks again to all. ūüĎć

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Since I'm originally from tornado and hail country, Oliver was a natural choice. 

A number of years ago, our Ollie sat through a big hail storm in North Carolina.  We were at dinner at a friend's home, came back to hailstones the size of steely marbles. Deep. Not a ding or dent.

I look at Airstreams every year at the Tampa rv supershow. The outfitting and decor is lovely. I remember the George Nelson clock in one a few years ago. (I'm a big fan of George Nelson, Isamu Naguchi, Jens Risom,  and honestly most  things and designers mcm. You'd certainly know if you walked into my home...lol.)

But, in my trailer, and my home, my concern is less about replaceable decor than durability and sustainability.  For me, the Ollie is a big win on both.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 √ó 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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31 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

"Since I'm originally from tornado and hail country, Oliver was a natural choice. 

A number of years ago, our Ollie sat through a big hail storm in North Carolina.  We were at dinner at a friend's home, came back to hailstones the size of steely marbles. Deep. Not a ding or dent.

. . . . . 

But, in my trailer, and my home, my concern is less about replaceable decor than durability and sustainability.  For me, the Ollie is a big win on both."

Thanks SeaDawg, and yes, as far as durability goes, I'm with ya there! I'd liked to have had a bigger shower, with better separation from the commode, but then, I'd sooner have an everyday 'beater', that can handle the trails, than a foo-foo luxury liner, that's gonna rattle and come apart. So it's all good! 

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We started our RV journey thinking we’d be owning an Airstream, particularly a 23FB.  Looked at a number of them at dealers here in Texas and at RV shows.  I spent a lot of time on AirForums (still do).  While we liked the feel of the Airstream, the room inside of the Airstream and the look of the Airstream, there were too many quality complaints from owners.  Owners defending Airstream quality were basically saying to buy it and spend a year or so fixing things and then you’re good to go.  Someone on AirForums mentioned Oliver and that started the end of my Airstream plans.

After a tour of the Oliver factory, meeting and talking with Oliver folks, we made the decision to go with Oliver.  No regrets five years later.  It is sturdy, tows well, has good storage for its size and has been easy to maintain.  It’s cooler than an Airstream in the summer and warmer in the winter.  The wet bath has not been an issue at all.  Possibly, if you bought a used 23’ AS the previous owner may have all the kinks worked out.  More likely, they are selling because they don’t. They still look cool.  Mike

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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel

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1 hour ago, Voyager said:

Thanks SeaDawg, and yes, as far as durability goes, I'm with ya there! I'd liked to have had a bigger shower, with better separation from the commode, but then, I'd sooner have an everyday 'beater', that can handle the trails, than a foo-foo luxury liner, that's gonna rattle and come apart. So it's all good! 

It's pretty difficult to build a dry bath in the narrowed footprint of the Oliver. The tradeoff is for a solid reason,  though. 

I'm good, with the trailer readily following the truck tires, on narrow roads. We can easily live with the relative confines of the smaller bath. The bath is minutes a day. The towing path is every trip, and especially helpful on narrow roads and steep dropoffs, so common for us. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 √ó 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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So my Oliver gets delivered in May.  I am ready to pick it up and go camping!

 For me it came down to the quality of construction and the hardiness of exterior.  I live in DFW and the threat of hail was a big negative for Airstream. Like others I was surprised by the quality issues new owners encountered with Airstream.  I will say Airstream has a lot more interior options and the Oliver wet bath is a concession but how much time are you actually in the bathroom.   I think with small kids a wet bath would be a pain.  With mainly just me no concerns really.  

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4 hours ago, Voyager said:

Thanks SeaDawg, and yes, as far as durability goes, I'm with ya there! I'd liked to have had a bigger shower, with better separation from the commode, but then, I'd sooner have an everyday 'beater', that can handle the trails, than a foo-foo luxury liner, that's gonna rattle and come apart. So it's all good! 

My reaction to the Oliver wet bath was surprising; it is a much larger bathroom than we had in our Leisure Travel Van Twin Bed model, which was a split layout with an enclosed shower on one side of the hall and the toilet/lavatory on the other; both of them very small. With the Oliver bathroom, almost full width of the trailer, you have a lot of elbow room for showering.  If you use the shower head in your hand, as opposed to hanging in the wall bracket, the toilet rarely gets wet.  The only downside is, with the bathroom at the front, you have the sloping ceiling; combined with the raised shower pan, there's not a lot of headroom for taller people, although it's fine for my 5'7" height. 

Another thing - and this was my reaction when I first stepped into an Elite II Twin: the interior is so open.  This is partly due to the fact that the bathroom is in the front and not amidships where it would break up the living space into two smaller areas. 

Give the Oliver bathroom a chance, I think you'll like it!

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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3 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

It's pretty difficult to build a dry bath in the narrowed footprint of the Oliver. The tradeoff is for a solid reason,  though. 

I'm good, with the trailer readily following the truck tires, on narrow roads. We can easily live with the relative confines of the smaller bath. The bath is minutes a day. The towing path is every trip, and especially helpful on narrow roads and steep dropoffs, so common for us. 

It took me a couple of days to get used to the bathroom feeling like a compartment and not a room . . . . but I'm ok with it . . . . actually, I love it!  It's easy to clean and not situated right next to the bed, as the bathrooms are in some trailers.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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I've gotta be honest, the overall 'spatial' issues with the Oliver are a real concern to me. I agree that the wet bath thing can be tolerated, if need be, but if it's designed 'wet' solely to allow for more space elsewhere, then why is the shower barely 6-foot tall, and why is the fridge a paltry 3.8 cubic feet? Where is all of this purported extra space? In other words, if it's all for added space, then why does the same length (23-foot) Airstream have a larger dry bath and twice the fridge space than the LE-II? Something just doesn't seem to jive?

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3 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I'm good, with the trailer readily following the truck tires, on narrow roads.

I kind of abstractly understood this but now that I've  towed  hull #709 (Elite II) a little bit I'm quite happy with  this too. I can see how it will be beneficial in many situations. I've not towed much but the prior  trailers  I *have* towed were out much wider at the  wheels and it took a lot more attention to what  was going on behind me while going forward.

I'm OK with the bathroom being a very space  efficient boat style  design. All other things  being equal I'd prefer the design aesthetic  of the  AS but all other  things  aren't equal. Dirt-road-worthiness (including not having cabinets  fall  off  the wall going over potholes) and 4(ish) season ability were more important to  me. It's all tradeoffs, eh? 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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I thought maybe a used AS was the way to go. Some of the ads said the floors had been repaired, or maybe only one or two soft spots. Whoa. Started looking at the floors. All exposed to the elements was particle board. Yuck! Then somebody said what they were charged to polish. Eight hours a foot, times how much an hour? 

Then an Oliver was mentioned. We researched, visited the factory, ordered new. Only seven foot wide, so can see down both sides with standard mirrors. None of that shaking from extended mirrors. High ground clearance. Can wash and wax with spray on Maquires. 

Only real downside? People will follow you for miles to get a look at your Oliver!

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7 hours ago, Voyager said:

I've gotta be honest, the overall 'spatial' issues with the Oliver are a real concern to me. I agree that the wet bath thing can be tolerated, if need be, but if it's designed 'wet' solely to allow for more space elsewhere, then why is the shower barely 6-foot tall, and why is the fridge a paltry 3.8 cubic feet? Where is all of this purported extra space? In other words, if it's all for added space, then why does the same length (23-foot) Airstream have a larger dry bath and twice the fridge space than the LE-II? Something just doesn't seem to jive?

The Elite II is 23.5’ bumper to hitch.  The living space is about 18’ long (someone correct me if I’m wrong) and 7’ wide.  The 23’ Airstream is a foot wider and I believe the cabin space is longer.

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel

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Wider? Yes you will need extension mirrors to help with the added blind spot. Lower? Very low  don’t hit speed bumps damage to metal enclosure for black tank. You have to be selective with fuel stops will scrape the under carriage entering some fuel stops. Will bottom out entering most state parks with any type of ruts, longer? Maybe you’ll never notice the difference.  Some it up buy an airstream park it an enjoy.

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12 hours ago, Voyager said:

Where is all of this purported extra space?

Well, there isn’t any. The extra foot in width and slightly longer length gives the Airstream about 20 extra square feet of space. 20 square feet is literally 10 feet of counter space.

So the real question is maybe what has Airstream done with all that extra square footage? ¬†And I think¬†the answer is that generally they put it into amenities that, IMO, make the trailer more attractive and¬†‚Äėlivable‚Äô than functional. More seating, more windows, etc. If you want to sit in your trailer and feel like you‚Äôre in a living room, then absolutely¬†buy an airstream. ¬†But if functionality and practicality are your priorities, then the smaller size and added storage of the Oliver will suit you better.

Fridge size is kind of debatable. I mean, Oliver could put in a full height fridge and move the microwave into the cabinets under the stove, but that’s obviously a trade off that many people, including us, wouldn’t like. For me, I’ve found that a 12 volt freezer in the truck negates the need for more fridge space, and is infinitely more useful.

Also, looking at the 23‚Äô Airstream, the bath arrangement is pretty odd. It looks like to use the toilet you have to refold the doors to make the room bigger, and it seems redundant to have the bath vanity¬†open to the cabin just a few steps from the kitchen sink. Plus like Susan said, the toilet is like 24‚ÄĚ from the bed - convenient maybe, but...awkward.¬†

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Snowball ‚ÄĘ The world's only spherical Ollie

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Not to sidetrack the topic into all toilet talk, but can those who don't like the wet bath explain to me exactly what it is that bothers people?  It's a genuine question - not trying to be snarky or anything.  It's just not something that even crossed my or my wife's mind when we were looking, so I don't really get why it seems to be a big sticking point for other buyers.  Is it that you feel like you'll have to dry off the toilet to use it, or you don't want to look at it, or does it just make the bath feel institutional?  

I'm wondering if the shower curtain that we installed makes the difference for us.  Functionally, it does keep the toilet dry and hidden.  And it also makes the space just nicer feeling, which I do understand and appreciate.  I'm curious if Oliver made a shower curtain standard, and photographed it that way, if people would still feel as strongly about it.

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Snowball ‚ÄĘ The world's only spherical Ollie

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18 hours ago, Voyager said:

Greetings, All!

Let me start by saying that I'm absolutely new to Ollie's, and I'll admit that I'm duly impressed at some of the features, but I remain a bit puzzled about overall value, relative to (say), a comparable Airstream.

I won't belabor the discussion here with a bunch of tedious, line-item comparisons of features, but, I'm hoping that one or more current or former Ollie owners can tell me just what benefits there are in choosing a 'new', fully-featured 23-ft. Legacy Elite II (for about $70,000), over a comparably (or even superiorly) equipped, 1-2 year old, 23-ft. Airstream Globetrotter at that same price?

Other than potential damage to the aluminum shell from hail storms with an Airstream, what am I missing here?

Anybody?

Thank you!

As always - Oliver owners have great advice - from real world experience.

I have always thought the Airstream interiors were attractive and well laid out - livable. But in the end - depending on your intended usage - merely lipstick on a pig. 

My advice - and expensive - go purchase the Airstream of your choice - live with it - use as you will. You may end up loving it and happy with the purchase.

But - Don't spend a year- pulling it - the Airstream - all over the country- trying to boondock in places that are really cool and off the beaten path, only to  eventually cozy up to an Oliver in the next site over. And certainly don't ask the occupant about the solar and battery system, the ease of use, towing, and overall satisfaction. Stay in the Airstream - slipstream. you don't need the second guessing.

But honestly, I don't care what you purchase. I have enough aggravation with those who keep chasing me down along the road, waiting for me to pull over - so they can look at the Oliver. Airstream owners are the worst - I just feel so bad when they leave muttering to themselves.

Happy trails.

 

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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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10 minutes ago, Overland said:

Not to sidetrack the topic into all toilet talk, but can those who don't like the wet bath explain to me exactly what it is that bothers people?  It's a genuine question - not trying to be snarky or anything.  It's just not something that even crossed my or my wife's mind when we were looking, so I don't really get why it seems to be a big sticking point for other buyers.  Is it that you feel like you'll have to dry off the toilet to use it, or you don't want to look at it, or does it just make the bath feel institutional?  

I'm wondering if the shower curtain that we installed makes the difference for us.  Functionally, it does keep the toilet dry and hidden.  And it also makes the space just nicer feeling, which I do understand and appreciate.  I'm curious if Oliver made a shower curtain standard, and photographed it that way, if people would still feel as strongly about it.

And I always thought it was just me. Not really a big issue for us - ever. 

You are correct - a really well thought out shower curtain system- makes the difference. I use the KISS principle - a few well placed suction cup thingies, along with the factory rail - keep the dry half dry, and the wet half wet. When done, it is relocated to the front port side cubby corner - and held to dry in place with the bungie suction cup thingies... takes little effort. One of these days I will custom cut the shower curtain and hem it - you know the professional look. Na- just gonna keep enjoying the day.

 

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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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11 hours ago, Voyager said:

I've gotta be honest, the overall 'spatial' issues with the Oliver are a real concern to me. I agree that the wet bath thing can be tolerated, if need be, but if it's designed 'wet' solely to allow for more space elsewhere, then why is the shower barely 6-foot tall, and why is the fridge a paltry 3.8 cubic feet? Where is all of this purported extra space? In other words, if it's all for added space, then why does the same length (23-foot) Airstream have a larger dry bath and twice the fridge space than the LE-II? Something just doesn't seem to jive?

The Airstream has 12" of additional width . . . .

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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3 hours ago, Landrover said:

Wider? Yes you will need extension mirrors to help with the added blind spot. Lower? Very low  don’t hit speed bumps damage to metal enclosure for black tank. You have to be selective with fuel stops will scrape the under carriage entering some fuel stops. Will bottom out entering most state parks with any type of ruts, longer? Maybe you’ll never notice the difference.  Some it up buy an airstream park it an enjoy.

Great analogy . . . . most Airstreams are more suited to RV resort camping . . . . but, you miss out on a lot by avoiding the other end of the camping spectrum - boondocking, public lands, etc . . . .  not to say you can't experience these in an Airstream . . . . but the Basecamp is more suitable, and the closest comparison to an Oliver.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

States map oliver.jpg

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