technomadia Posted May 21, 2009 Share Posted May 21, 2009 It hasn't quite been a year yet, but Cherie and I are back where it all started last July -- camped inside (yes - inside!) the Oliver factory in Hohenwald, TN. Even though a year has passed, we are still in love with our Oliver and we don't regret our decision to get one in the slightest. I couldn't imagine going back to a Tab like we had the year before, and I am SO glad that we didn't settle on a Casita. Our little 17' Oliver is the perfect trailer for us - anything less (or more) would have felt like a compromise. Even though we have had our share of issues (some even serious), the overall quality of the Oliver design, and especially of the Oliver people, has continued to blow us away. The folks at the factory have always come through for us, even when we are on the opposite side of the country. Today we are back revisiting the factory to get our uneven tire wear resolved and a few other minor things handled. They have been great in handling all of our issues, and they even threw in brand new tires to go along with the replacement for the defective axle! The folks here really do make us feel like family. After a year living in our Oliver, we do have a few design suggestions on ways that future models can be improved. This is a long list, but most of the issues are extremely minor: Cabinet Doors: The sliding cabinet doors are the one area of the trailer that doesn't feel up to the quality standards of the rest. Ours do occasionally jam or fall off the tracks. The new cabinet design in the 22' Oliver model is a VAST improvement, and it would be great to make these sort of cabinet doors standard on the 17'. Water Pump: There are too many water-related switches! There should be only one pump switch inside, and (maybe) one outside. The switch under the sink isn't really necessary when the master switch is just a few feet away. Hot Water Switch Location: The hot water switch should be located adjacent to the water pump switch, not hidden away under the bed. Ours occasionally gets knocked on in the current location, and it can too easily go unnoticed when it does. SeeLevel with Switches: The otherwise identical SeeLevel 709-PH tank monitor incorporates both a water pump and a hot water switch. Combining these functions into the tank monitor would make for a much cleaner and clearer setup than the current separate switches. Propane Gauge: It would be nice if the Oliver offered propane tanks that can display their status on the SeeLevel display. I have found a 30lb tank that should be compatible. (I just posted in the propane thread with details...) Grey Water: There should be a way to leave the grey water drain open while leaving the battery bay closed. This would be nice for when semi-permanently hooked up to a sewer system. Battery Chamber Size: We rarely use the outside shower, but we would often appreciate having space for four batteries. Offering an option to forgo the shower for an extended battery compartment would be nice. Battery Chamber Lock: It would be nice if there was a way to lock the battery chamber, and perhaps even the tongue propane storage area. (This may potentially not be allowed by law??) Bumper Storage Chamber Height: The back bumper storage area does not have enough clearance to store a typical sewer adaptor, meaning that it can not be stored along with the hose. One inch more clearance would make a huge difference here. Excessive Thermostats: Three thermostats on the wall next to the sink is overkill. It looks as if it is possible to wire the furnace and AC to a single thermostat - that would make for a cleaner design. (The third thermostat is for the remote control for the FanTastic Roof Fan.) Interior / Exterior Master Switches: It would be nice to have separate cut-off switches near the door for interior and exterior lights. Often when leaving the trailer you will want to leave the outside lights on, but shut off all the inside lights. Dusk-till-Dawn Lighting: I would love to be able to set the outside ground lights to be dusk-till-dawn... (And I have an idea of how to do this using some features in the solar charge controller!) Clear Door Slider: Using clear plastic for the screen door slider lets in a lot more light when using the screen door... We bought a clear plastic slider at Camping World - it is a great simple upgrade that should be standard... Door Window Curtain: There really needs to be a standard way to block the door window for privacy, particularly since all the other windows offer such great privacy with the blackout blinds. We have used some of our extra seat fabric to make a velcro attached curtain... Perhaps this should be standard for all Oliver's? Spring-Loaded Tow Hooks: When we picked up our Oliver, it came with locking D-rings to attach the tow chains. We immediately replaced these with heavy-duty spring-loaded hooks, which making hitching up MUCH easier. These sort of hooks should be standard. A Better Manual: Like every other RV I have ever seen, the Oliver documentation leaves a lot to be desired. I would love there to be a clear and simple owner's manual with maintenance guidelines very clearly stated. Advanced documentation like plumbing diagrams and electrical system schematics should also be available. I wonder what other long-term owners think of this list. Do you have any other suggestions or ideas - major or minor, to add? Overall though, there is very little that we would change. Having looked at a LOT of RV designs out on the road, I remain convinced that the Oliver is the best thought out general purpose travel trailer design to be found. I am very much looking forward to our next year on the road in ours! - Chris Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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