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technomadia

Oliver and the down economy...

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You may have heard some of the buzz (posted on the Oliver front page, and mentioned a few other places) about how Oliver has pushed back production of new trailers until probably January.

 

This was certainly troubling news to us, but hardly surprising considering how many of even the biggest RV manufacturers have gone under recently.

 

When we visited the factory a few weeks ago, we asked a lot of questions, and we managed to get a look at how Oliver is managing to survive the economic downturn without laying people off or shutting the doors.

 

Rather than shut their doors, they have instead managed to repurpose a lot of their equipment and skilled people towards building some rather amazing high-end handicap accessible bathtubs - an apparently booming market for aging boomers.

 

Oliver may not be building many new trailers right now, but we are really impressed with how they are managing to keep the expertise and equipment in house and ready to ramp up again once the market for RV's turns around.

 

We think this is a highly innovative and responsible way of handling the down economy and its effects on the recreational vehicle industry. Oliver has demonstrated their commitment to taking care of both their existing customers and their employees, and we fully expect that they have a bright future once the market picks up again.

 

We also very much appreciate how open they have been about the tough times they are going through. A lot of other companies would pretend everything was great right up until the doors shut, and we salute Oliver for embracing a more open and honest path.

 

We just published a blog post on this topic, including a video interview with Jim Oliver, and a look at the tub.

 

Check it out and let us know what you think:

 

http://www.technomadia.com/2009/06/oliv ... -adapting/

 

- Chris & Cherie

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We just returned from a 3300 mile round trip from Arizona to Hohenwald to have some modifications made to the trailer. We downsized the air conditioning unit to enable us to us a 2000 watt generator, added a generator basket and had the external t.v. antenna removed and the holes glassed over. When we arrived there was some confusion because of a mix up in dates. Robert came to the rescue and said everything would be taken care of. We went off to Nashville to spend tourist dollars. Later that week we returned to a finished trailer. Not only had they done the asked for changes but had went through the trailer and did several upgrades and a full safety inspection. This type of dedication to their customers and product is why we felt justified in making the trip to the factory. We also toured the factory and are happy that they have found a way to keep these dedicated employees working while waiting for the economy to pick up. A big thanks to Robert and all the others who worked on our trailer. Jerry and Shirley

P.S. They even washed the trailer before they would let us hook up. Brings back memories of when service stations would wash the windshield and check the water and oil.

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Cherie and Chris,

 

Thanks for "the rest of the story" on the current hiatus in the Oliver production. Your absolutely right, this fine family run company is not going away . . . they are being wise during these economic times and loyal to their employees and current owners. A winning combination IMHO.

 

The 45 or so of us who currently share the joy of "Olivering" can rest assured they are there to help at the drop of a hat. I experienced that just this week as I contacted Vince Oliver to ask for technical data to help with a mod I'm having done to the Wonder Egg. He not only helped out, but after a while he even called back with additional ideas!

 

I am quite confident that in coming years there will be many, many Happy Campers out there "Olivering" around with a big smile on their face.

 

Thanks again for the update and great linked article. :D


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


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Jerry43,

We've experienced the same wonderful treatment by the Oliver team, as have many others. We got much more than a trailer when we bought an Oliver.

Happy camping!

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I'm happy to hear so many of you have had such great sevice on your trips to Hohenwald. I'm tempted to make a trip down there for a pre-one-year inspection, though it would have to conincide with other travel plans to be feasible/practical. We'll see how the rest of the summer goes.

 

Jerry, I'm curious why you removed the roof antenna, as we have had decent results with ours (Windgard RS-1500). Are you using something else now?

 

Herm

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Herm: In answer to your question; I just never got it to work correctly. It was the same antenna as yours. It could have been operator error but a few times I could get one station but never get it to work as I had expected. I decided that T.V. was not important on our outings. I like the new sleek look I now have.

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