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Fed Up With the RV Standard. Oliver Looks Like the Answer


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After camping for a lifetime, and owning a couple pop-up, a hybrid, and three travel trailers (of which the last may be the last straw) we are looking for something with the best build quality, manufacturers good customer service, and will last a long time.

There is nothing in the standard stick and tin or vacuum sealed fiberglass wall market that gives me ANY confidence in buying a new travel trailer after our latest debacle.  The Oliver just looks like once in the driveway, it’s here to stay.

Sitting within 15 years of retirement, I don’t want another rattle trap, falling apart, leaky travel trailer.  I want something to last.  I was so impressed with what I saw on Oliver’s website, I’m just about in.  The way I see it, I could buy one long term trailer easy care low maintenance trailer now, or buy two at  as date trailers for the same cost and a lot more headaches in the same term.  The DW doesn’t see it that way.  Of course I’m the guy dealing with the maintenance, repairs, warranty fights, etc.

Why have you Oliver owners gone this route rather than the industry standard?  What do you tell interested parties when they ask questions about your Ollie?  Yes, I know they are twice the price of a standard-build unit with less room and sleeping areas, but what pushed you over the edge?

We have two adult kids that refuse to give up camping.  The Oliver really doesn’t work for them, but I can figure that out. I also wonder if me, at 6’-5” will handle an Ollie.

Your thoughts are appreciated!  Glad to have joined the forum.  Now, should I REALLY join with an Oliver?

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Kampfirekid, good questions!  I would try to see an Oliver in person, if you look on the website there is a program for owners to show their trailers.  We’ve done it many times.  I’ve got a bunch of reasons why you should be in an Oliver but at 6’5” you’ll need to see if the bath and beds would be comfortable long term.  We have some tall owners and maybe they will chime in.  At 5’11” I’m extremely comfortable with everything.

These are extremely well built trailers.  Issues are quickly addressed by the company.  We have the standard RV appliances, so in that respect we aren’t too much different than normal trailers.  The frame and body make this trailer very different.  Other than bearing repacks, brake adjustments and suspension lubes there isn’t much regular maintenance to do.  In 5+ years, out of the ordinary maintenance or repairs haven’t been an issue.  Mike

 

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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I’m 6’3” and I think the twin bed will be a deal breaker for you.  You really need to spend some time in one. 
 

Full size sleeping across? 

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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I showed my LE2 to a guy who was your height, he really hated the lack of headroom in the bath. You definitely need to See An Ollie, spend at least an hour poking around and just hanging out, to see if it will work. The “Twin Beds” are actually bunk sized (30” wide”) and you won’t like them, The big mattress would work because you can spread out more.

Are you definitely set on a trailer, because there are a couple of $40,000 truck campers that are pretty good. Until you get into the $250,000 and higher range, like the Terranova, anything you buy will have crap propane appliances, with all the headaches those entail. 

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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Kampfirekid,

We searched for six years, hoping to find a quality trailer that was worth the purchase price.  We finally found it, when we saw our first Oliver EliteII in person.  I knew it was the trailer for me with just the tour of the exterior.  Superior build quality!  What a concept in the RV industry.

I am 6'5" and honestly, I just fit.  I would not want anything smaller and made a few modifications to make it work for me.

I replaced the standard interior AC ceiling vent cover with a slim cover, used when the AC is ducted.  I can now walk under the AC without hitting my head.

I also modified the sleeping area to allow me to sleep on my back at a diagonal. (Picture attached)

Andrew

Twin Bed Installation 10.JPG

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Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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We decided on an Oliver because, quite honestly, I am very particular and have high expectations! After spending many hours reading through posts on forums and Facebook, I felt confident that this is one of the best-built products in the RV market. As soon as I saw one in person, I felt even more confident. People seemed to be pleased with their purchases -- sure, there were a few complaints, as with any product, but VERY few. Of course, as already stated, there are the components manufactured by other companies that may leave something to be desired but we have been pretty satisfied so far there as well. Some of the key points for us were the 4-season and boondocking capabilities (we love winter camping), the fact that we could tow with our existing Infiniti QX80 SUV, that we would be able to fit in so many campsites, the dovetailed nicely-built wooden drawers, the latex mattress option, the amount of interior storage, the clean aesthetic, the lack of wood subfloor, and the fact that I could find no accounts of rodents inside (as silly as it sounds, that was a big one for me!)  As newbies to towing, we did NOT want to have to maneuver a huge trailer. It was the right decision for us but definitely find one to look at so you can spend a little time and make sure you are comfortable inside. The ceiling height in the bath will be tight for you when standing and you may prefer the king/standard floorplan for the sleep space. We still have a kiddo at home and every trip has been with at least 3, sometimes 4, people. While small in comparison to many trailers out there, I have not once felt cramped.

Joe and Mindy ▪️ 2019 Legacy Elite II ▪️ Hull 457

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We have a 2008 Elite I. Not as much head height as the II. 

You should really see a II, if you can.

I will say, the longevity you're looking for has been there for us. You just need to be sure you can be comfortable, with your height. Andrewk's solution may work for the bed. The bath may be a sit down shower. Not sure 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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10 minutes ago, jdmmtx said:

the fact that I could find no accounts of rodents inside (as silly as it sounds, that was a big one for me!) 

I don't think that's silly at all. 

Young friends of mine had a beautiful sob camper pretty much destroyed by rodents, in a very short time.

If they can't get in, they can't chew up the wiring.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I would wait a while and see how the new Northern Lite Boreal 27 turns out. They make stellar 4 season truck campers. This may be a winner, and it is a lot larger, the headroom especially. Most likely it will have a steel frame. Guessing….

6B98D08D-0843-486A-B680-A05C94304693.thumb.jpeg.2a171a67ff7afabeda60c489602ade33.jpeg

https://northern-lite.com/boreal-27fb-travel-trailer/

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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Boreal - A very interesting trailer with a good layout for families.

Now...if it had a twin front bed and a rear entry it would have  floor plan like our 1971 Ideal which was a fantastic family floor plan.

The cupboard area above the twin beds folded down to make a bunk, and the twin's could be pulled together to make a KING up front.  
Note the area at the front between the Twins had a fold up extension table that seated  6 kids.

We often had 10 people (4 adults) and 6 kids eating inside on rainy nights.

image.png.3befbe3dc2012b82346d5118406a5eb8.png

The rear dry bath included a "Tub" for washing the kids.

image.png.85d4d586af4976a871bb8f1993c48e3e.png

 

image.thumb.png.763b06e7611d5160a939added4b2c69c.png

2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2021 F350 King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com

 

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I've not heard of the Northern Lite Boreal before, but the potential looks very nice and accommodating.

Regarding the RV industry in general, if the automotive industry built to the same standards as the RV industry the amount of Class Action law suits would be off the charts and rightfully so. Its really shameful. One company that caught my attention a few years ago before being an Oliver is the Lance Travel Trailers. I don't care for their looks but do believe these are a significant cut above the typical travel trailer on the market. While the my look "stick built" they are anything but and like Olivers seem to enjoy a cult following. Something else to consider.

Legacy Elite II #70

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Thank you ALL for responding, and so quickly!  I’m very grateful.

Our latest trailer, a 2020 K-Z we just bought last fall, is in the shop waiting for a prognosis after I found the ceiling insulation saturated and brown water running along the ceiling panel joints.  It’s so discouraging.  This is the third trailer we’ve had with major issues.  I just want quality.  A company that takes pride in what they build.  If it does or doesn’t go back to the factory for the repairs, which will include replacement of delaminating roof decking, I think it’s gone.  I almost am ready to quit camping all together.

We have two kids in college.  Both still want to camp.  I’m thankful, but no Oliver really accommodate four adults, and while I’m 6’-5”, my son is 6’-4”.  I am so fed up with garbage quality I’m considering the Oliver for the DW and I, and finding a good used pop-up for my son to drag along if he wants to camp.  I know the Oliver will last me another 30 years of camping, and my kids will fight over it.

I’m so impressed with the details.  My son and I are engineers.  We agree that the Oliver is close to what we’d design if we were building a trailer… a dream we have, but not a reality.  The fit and finish, the details, the lack of points for water and rodent entry, the ease of maintenance, the materials, etc. all add to the list.  My wife is not taking part in the $65k plus cost, but I told her in the next 30 years, we’ll go through three stick and tin trailers just because of the poor build quality, harsh Midwest weather, and it sitting outside… but only one Oliver.  I’m not winning, but then again, I am the one who deals with the problems.  No one else sees the problems.  They just camp.

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An Ollie can leak like any other trailer that has holes cut into the roof. The difference is, you see clean, clear water dripping onto the bed, or making a pool on the ground under a weep hole, and you say “Darn, look - a leak”. You reseal the offending spot, or repair the plumbing failure, and contine on your way, maybe get in a game of golf. No sodden fiberglass insulation or brown water running onto, and literally destroying, crappy plywood parts, and generating mold and mildew.

We complain about leaks here, but I think that is just so we can hear ourselves talk. They really are a VERY minor concern with these trailers….

There are a few “factory tour” videos, you should watch this one if you haven’t already. …. Oliver Trailers - From the Ground Up ⬆️Factory Tour (181) Dori and Mena

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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I am 6’6” tall and have a LEII (Twin) set for delivery in September.   The bath is not an issue as it will be used while seated (mostly) anyway. Plenty of height to walk around in socks inside. 
 

initially was going for the standard for the bed length but after looking at a few Twins decided to go the twin route and try it. If it does not work there are plenty of options to gain bed length and breadth, including converting to the Standard layout. I have a feeling I will make the Twin work as I am a side and stomach sleeper. Will report back this coming Spring

Most other trailers out there (save for Airstream) would not allow me to stand upright inside so a no-go, regardless of price.   Airstream was out due to hail and, well, Thor.

If you can make it to the sales office do it and spend a lot of time in both twin and standard models. Stretch out, sit on the throne in the bath, walk around back and forth inside, sit at the dinette.  I think you will find you can make it work. 
 

good luck!

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Thanks for the additional replies.

I’m waiting now for a report on our trailer.  That will determine which way we can go.

My wife is of the thought that it’s a lot of money to sleep only three.  I’m thinking “why do I buy to accommodate everyone else?”  If someone else wants to camp, let them fend for themselves.  I keep it up.  It keeps ME up when there’s a leak, bad seal, dead appliance, or some third wrong.  Only me.  I’m done with that. 
 

We’d have to finance it, unfortunately, but at least when it’s paid off, it’s still a trailer in great shape with promise of many years left.  Financing a $65k fifth wheel seems to be a recipe for a falling apart rattle trap a lot sooner than an Oliver.  Plus, I don’t need a 3/4 or 1 ton truck to pull it.  Frankly, I’m pulling 6k now of a flying flat-front brick now.  The Tylenol caplet Oliver should slice through the air behind my 3.0L Powerstroke F-150.  Averaging 15-16mpg now should be closer to 17+ with a well-waxed Ollie.  Even if not, it’s just gotta pull easier.

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I'm large man, 6'4" / 260 lbs. I share the trailer with my wife and an 80lb Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  Bed length is comfortable, ceiling height don't even notice. Bath is a little cozy. I tend to sit on the toilet when showering, this give me ample room.  Have taken 60 day trips and remained comfortable. Oliver trailers are 7' wide resulting in less space than most trailers that are 8' wide. The narrow width is a big plus when doing adventurous boon-docking.  The trailer is very nimble. We have taken it to places i would never consider with a wider trailer. 

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 2016 Legacy Elite II, Twin Beds, Hull #124

Tow Vehicle: 2019 Ford F250 4x4  / Short Bed / Crew Cab / 6.7 Diesel

 

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