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Researching our final RV


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Hello, Oliver owners (Ollies?, Oliverians?). My wife and I are pondering what will probably be our final RV purchase. We're approaching a somewhat early retirement in 2 years and thinking about what retirement RVing will look like for us. We're experienced campers, 22 years in a 26' stick and tin travel trailer, 30' Titanium 5th wheel, and currently 32' triple slide 5th wheel. Now considering the Elite 2. It would be the smallest RV we've ever owned. Anticipated usage would range from midweek jaunts to the local dry camping state park to cross-Rockies trips from our home in the Northeast to the Southwest. We're hoping a fiberglass RV will be superior quality to the typical stick builts we've seen. 

Our retirement RV goals: 

  • Best possible resale value, for when we're ready to settle down and buy a brick and mortar retirement house. 
  • Less time on the roof caulking 100' of seams.
  • Comfortable for my wife to tow. (She did OK with our travel trailer, but wasn't comfortable with either 5th wheel.)
  • Better fit and finish than we've seen in our 5th wheels.
  • Good boondocking performance for 2-3 nights. 
  • Good cold weather performance to extend our camping season.
  • Appropriately sturdy for long haul trips.
  • Better fuel economy/potentiality smaller future tow vehicle. (Current truck is a gas dually pickup.)
  • At least 10 year service life. 

Would love to hear how well current owners would rate your Olivers on those points. 

We do anticipate some challenges: 

  • Far, far less storage space than we're used to, inside and out. Moving from a fifth wheel will open up the truck bed, but we'll be back to storing stuff in bins and loading them into the truck before each trip. 
  • Our current rig has 2 big recliners we really enjoy. I'm 6' tall. Are the dinettes comfortable? 
  • The wet bath seems like a pain. 
  • Will miss the roof ladder. Although I don't enjoy being up there, the built in ladder does make repairs on the road easier. 

What say the experienced on this? 

Finally, a few specifics: 

  • Rear dinette vs twin beds: does the rear dinette convert into a comfortable bed, or is it lumpy with all the separate cushions? What kind of sheets fit that? 
  • Lithium batteries worth it, or AGM adequate? 
  • Street side awning worth it? How do you use a ladder with awnings on both sides? 
  • Does the winterizing inlet simply fill the fresh water tank with pink stuff, or does it feed antifreeze directly to the pump? 

Any other thoughts/suggestions? The Bigfoot 25' rear queen is also in the running. A lot more living/storage space but the quality doesn't seem as good and the boondocking capabilites are less refined. Airstream Bambi has come up as well, but I'm not a big fan of single axle towables. 

We're considering a factory tour next summer, with a possible purchase within the year after that. Nothing like hearing from those who've already been there, done that, though. 

Thanks for any replies. 

 

-Dudley

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT. Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra gas dually. Current RV: Rockwood Signature fifth wheel.

Oliver LE2 on the way in July!

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Here are some quick thoughts…

As far as your RV goals go, the Oliver is a good match to all of them.  As far the 10 year service life, an Oliver would be much more.  Ours is going on 6 years, 60K+ miles and still looks and feels new.

Challenges… you learn to minimize camping stuff.  We can carry enough clothes for a couple months inside the Oliver.  Chairs, grills, Clam, fire pit, etc. go in the truck bed.  The wet bath seems like a pain to the un-initiated but it’s not.  The dinette seats will not be anywhere near as comfortable as recliners.   We sit outside as much as possible, camp chairs are more comfortable.  We do use the dinette when the weather is cold or rainy and don’t have the Clam set up.  Our twin beds serve as good reclining spots for reading as well.  I’ve only been on a ladder to get to the roof once in all of our travels.  I’ve never actually been “on” the roof.  A collapsible ladder works fine, which I use after each trip to clean the roof.  It stows easily in the truck bed.

Specifics…. We have twin beds with mattresses and they are very comfortable.   We had 4 AGM batteries for 5 years and I have no complaints.  When they needed replacing I used two Battle Born 100aH batteries and they are working fine, too.  How much money do you want to spend?  We only have one awning and leaning a ladder against it has not been a problem.  I did cut two pool noodles that wrap around the ladder to protect the trailer finish.  I’ve never winterized or used that outlet to fill the fresh tank (different valve configurations for each operation).

Hope this helps a little.  You’ll get more input in the coming days!  Mike

 

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

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Thanks, Mike. Been learning a ton in the last 24 hours. Got the build sheet, read lots of posts, watched lots of videos. The little details keep surprising us. Truly a remarkable little RV. Put in my name hoping we can see one in real life before winter arrives here in New England.

Dudley

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT. Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra gas dually. Current RV: Rockwood Signature fifth wheel.

Oliver LE2 on the way in July!

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9 hours ago, Steph and Dud B said:

Thanks, Mike. Been learning a ton in the last 24 hours. Got the build sheet, read lots of posts, watched lots of videos. The little details keep surprising us. Truly a remarkable little RV. Put in my name hoping we can see one in real life before winter arrives here in New England.

Dudley

Should be easy to see one, as there are close to 20 in Maine, a few less in each of the other NE states. Just know that most in this area are either winterized or on the road heading south. You know if there are that many around here they must be adapted well to "cool" climates, narrow roads, small older camping areas, and narrow city streets. Those that are winterized are still easy to see. Just turn on the propane, start the furnace, and turn on the lights. Everything except running water will work...

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Welcome to the group and hope this helps!

"Our retirement RV goals": 

  • Best possible resale value, for when we're ready to settle down and buy a brick and mortar retirement house. 

We purchased our 2015 LE2 Ollie used in 2016 and conservatively it has gained 15% in value over our purchase price.

  • Less time on the roof caulking 100' of seams.

Every other year I may spend a day caulking, but when not camping we keep Ollie in an aircraft hangar.

  • Comfortable for my wife to tow. (She did OK with our travel trailer, but wasn't comfortable with either 5th wheel.)

Ollie has Great towing manners, very easy to tow and not too wide

  • Better fit and finish than we've seen in our 5th wheels.

Great quality fit/finish and easy to maintain

  • Good boondocking performance for 2-3 nights. 

We don't have factory solar, but we used a 100W suitcase solar panel with 2000W gen-set and single Battle Born Lithium battery. Does great on 1 week dry camping trips so far.

  • Good cold weather performance to extend our camping season.

Have not camped in Ollie when temps below 30F, do not have as much experience as others here in cold temps

  • Appropriately sturdy for long haul trips.

Our longest tow day so far is 720 miles, but most of the time tow 200 to 300 miles per day. Ollie's structure/frame is very tough and durable

  • Better fuel economy/potentiality smaller future tow vehicle. (Current truck is a gas dually pickup.)

Have towed Ollie with a midsized pickup with V6, but personally prefer towing with a 1/2 ton pickup. Currently looking at the new  V6 twin turbo Tundra as an economic tow vehicle. Ollie is very aerodynamic and economic to tow for a trailer it's size and weight. We keep our LE2 ready to camp weigh at 4950 pounds as per CAT scales

  • At least 10 year service life. 

If properly maintained, believe one of our children will inherit Ollie if they are interested in camping 

We do anticipate some challenges: 

  • Far, far less storage space than we're used to, inside and out. Moving from a fifth wheel will open up the truck bed, but we'll be back to storing stuff in bins and loading them into the truck before each trip. 

For two people (guilty of being minimalist), we have more than enough space and storage in Ollie also using the covered pickup bed and crew cab back seat for storage

  • Our current rig has 2 big recliners we really enjoy. I'm 6' tall. Are the dinettes comfortable? 

Believe the dinette cushions could be more comfortable with a better grade of memory foam

  • The wet bath seems like a pain. 

We use a automotive Chamois to wipe down the shower interior after use to keep it looking good, not an issue for us

  • Will miss the roof ladder. Although I don't enjoy being up there, the built in ladder does make repairs on the road easier. 

Only needed to access the roof once during a camping trip, keep a telescoping ladder in the pickup bed for that

Finally, a few specifics: 

  • Rear dinette vs twin beds: does the rear dinette convert into a comfortable bed, or is it lumpy with all the separate cushions? What kind of sheets fit that? 

Purchased twin custom memory foam mattresses from AB Lifestyles, they also supply some Ollie owners with sheet sets. Our twin beds are just as comfortable as our mattress at home, I'm 6' 195 pounds and Debbie is 5'2" and 110lbs

  • Lithium batteries worth it, or AGM adequate? 

Just installed a single Battle Born Lithium battery this year and really like how fast it charges and performs

  • Street side awning worth it? How do you use a ladder with awnings on both sides? 

Only used ladder on street side without awning so can't answer that question

  • Does the winterizing inlet simply fill the fresh water tank with pink stuff, or does it feed antifreeze directly to the pump? 

We use the rear inlet with onboard 12V pump to winterize the plumbing system except for using a hand pump to winterize the fresh water & city water inlets, and black tank flush inlet. 

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Bill

LE2 #75

 

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To rideandfly:  I like the way you answered... very easy to follow... but of course i have one question :-).   On your " twin custom memory foam mattresses from AB Lifestyles".    Are your mattresses the 11" version?   And are you happy with the way they look, fit and of course feel in your Ollie?   I've spoke with the very nice lady at AB Lifestyles (Janice) and want to purchase from them (waiting on supply chain issues to clear up for them).   My concern is buying them before we actually take delivery of our Ollie... (thinking of the 11" thickness?) but at the same time want to get all the "solid" purchases made and delivered in preparation for our 4/29/22 delivery date. 

    Steph and Dud B- you are asking all the right questions.   For what it's worth, our purchase is coming from the other direction when we found Oliver.   We have traveled extensively in our high-end teardrop camper.   After much time considering what we wanted for creature comforts, what features/amenities would have "fixed"  this problem or that... the Oliver just checked all the boxes.   It's not the biggest camper, but it's enough for us.   We can boondock, moochdock, and every other dock because now we are self sufficient.  We are travelers, more than campers... so it needed to be easy to move around.  We also needed to know that if the weather goes to heck in a hand-basket we can be comfortable till things clear up.  We simply had to have quality because shiny things aren't at all pretty when they break!  On the resale end of it... I know from my own research that they hold their value and someday, if we have to sell it... the only thing we did was tie up some money for a while (most of the other brands you need to know you are going end up taking a real hit!).  Because I'm still waiting on ours... I'm watching, learning, paying attention to how the veteran owners feel about their Oliver experience... I must say I'm quite impressed and seldom have I felt so secure in a decision "to buy".

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Hull # 1000 something

2019 F-150, 3.5L Ecoboost, 3.55 rear end, with Max tow package

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4 hours ago, Dave and Kimberly said:

To rideandfly:  I like the way you answered... very easy to follow... but of course i have one question :-).   On your " twin custom memory foam mattresses from AB Lifestyles".    Are your mattresses the 11" version?   And are you happy with the way they look, fit and of course feel in your Ollie?   I've spoke with the very nice lady at AB Lifestyles (Janice) and want to purchase from them (waiting on supply chain issues to clear up for them).   My concern is buying them before we actually take delivery of our Ollie... (thinking of the 11" thickness?) but at the same time want to get all the "solid" purchases made and delivered in preparation for our 4/29/22 delivery date. 

Dave and Kimberly,

Believe our AB Lifestyles are 11", but will double check and verify later today in this thread. The invoice is in Ollie at the airport. Will take an interior shot with these mattresses in Ollie and post later today in this thread, too. We are very pleased with look, fit, and especially comfort. Ollie is very pleasant to camp in and even better with comfortable mattresses. :classic_smile:

Patriot just purchased new Ollie mattresses, but not sure of the manufacturer. Hopefully he will chime in on his new mattresses and sheet experience, too! 

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Bill

LE2 #75

 

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Since you folks are talking about twins, I have some questions about those, too. That floorplan seems really popular. Bill, you're 6'? I'm 6'1". I assumed based on some other reviews I've seen that a twin would be too small for me. Seems like you don't have any problem? Ditto question for the shower. Couldn't find a measurement of the headroom in there, but it looks tight on the photos/videos I've seen. Any feedback on your experiences would help. Thanks,

 

Dudley

Stephanie and Dudley from CT. Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra gas dually. Current RV: Rockwood Signature fifth wheel.

Oliver LE2 on the way in July!

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I would love to hear thoughts from owners out there that are 6'1" or taller. I am 6'1" and recently got to see one in person. The biggest concern I had was the shower. The owner had a wood floor insert in there (look great but), which reduces the height by 1 inch. When standing in the shower though I was short about 2 inches. My head hit the roof and I had to duck pretty good. Most smaller TT (< 28 feet) I have been look at seem to suffer a similar problem (head room in the shower for people over 6 feet) but not as bad. 

I believe the beds are 72 inches (including the dinette). So right at 6 feet it is a little tight too. However, I don't normally sleep in a totally straight and upright position so it is less of a concern for me then the shower is.  

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1 hour ago, Steph and Dud B said:

Couldn't find a measurement of the headroom in there, but it looks tight on the photos/videos I've seen.

I will try to answer this question, but since I am a short person at 6' even or at least I used to be, old age seems to shorten most of us.  The shower pan is 24" wide X 22" deep. The measurements are 73-1/8" at the door and 67" at the sink.  Say what?  The shower is at the front of the trailer and the curve of the front roof/ceiling accounts for the difference.  Is it tall enough for you?  That’s your decision, but I will say it’s better than a sink bath.  My wife claims to 5' tall and she would like more water pressure and an unlimited supply of water, but it works for both of us.

I know of some tall Oliver owners and their solution is to sit on the toilet while showering.

36 minutes ago, Zodd said:

I believe the beds are 72 inches (including the dinette). So right at 6 feet it is a little tight too.

My twin beds measure 30" wide and 76-3/4” along the aisle and 68” along the wall.  Again the curve of the sidewall to the end of the trailer is curved.  I am a side sleeper so it works for me and we started with the large bed and hated changing the configuration each night.  We tried sleeping on the benches but that didn’t work either as they were not wide enough for me, but worked for my wife.

One last comment about beds, take a look at Southern Mattress.  They are in North Carolina and shipped our beds to Oliver for us.  The have made quite a few beds for other Oliver owners and we are completely satisfied with ours.  They will make a bed with just about any material combination you want.  Our beds are about 9" tall and are quite comfortable.

Sheets?  We use the fitted twins we had.  Can you bounce a quarter on them after making them?  No!  But we just tuck in the extra along the wall.

Some owners for go sheets altogether and use sleeping bags on top of whatever blanket or bed spread they choose.  We cut a king or queen size spread in half to make two twin spreads.

Mossey

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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At the Florida mini-rally I hosted a couple for a tour of my twin bed Ollie.  The male is 6'4" and he laid down on the bed flat on his back and had a bit of room to spare - his head did not touch nor did his feet touch unless he flexed his feet (pointed his toes) towards the wall.  At 6' tall, I can flex my feet and touch the wall with my toes but my head is not touching the wall.

Patriot is in the "tall" range and has the twin bed model.  Perhaps he will chime in here and/or you can always send him a private message (PM) on this Forum to get his input.

Bill

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

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David is 6'3" and finds the twin beds fine. We have the KTT mattresses.    He does have to crouch over a little bit in the bathroom because of the ceiling height so we didn't add a wooden shower insert on the floor.  Since we usually use campground showers if they are available it hasn't been much of an issue. Paula

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David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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We sleep with our heads next to the pantry & stove. It's fine for me at 6' tall. Some folks sleep with their heads at the rear of Ollie, which would be tighter for someone over 6'. 

At 6' tall, I don't have headroom problems in the shower, but we do not have a wooden shower matt on the floor/drain area, I'm sure that affects headroom.

Bill, I was thinking about Patriot, too. 

Checked the invoice today and it is AB Lifestyles 11" RV memory foam mattresses. 

IMG_6480-L.jpg

Here's the pattern AB Lifestyles used for our mattresses in our 2015 LE2:

i-X79gzSh-X2.jpg

 

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Bill

LE2 #75

 

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Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like twins are an option for us after all. Choices, choices! Anybody prefer the standard package? We were considering that with an RV Superbag for the linens. Doesn't seem like it would be that hard to set up/take down? Or just leave as a bed all the time? It would be nice to spread out.

Stephanie and Dudley from CT. Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra gas dually. Current RV: Rockwood Signature fifth wheel.

Oliver LE2 on the way in July!

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We recently fabricated or cut a Queen size Casper “element” memory foam mattress into two twins. We were not comfortable on the Southern mattress with coil spring  twins and sold them to another Oliver owner.
I am 6’3 and a side sleeper and so far am very happy with the Casper mattress. We really like the twin set up as it just works better for us. We did not want to give up the night stand/drawer as we like the storage. 
PM if I can answer any other questions. 
And welcome to the forum! 

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2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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We decided not to get the mattress upgrade for several reasons:

- We live close to the Southern Mattress factory so we could add them later.  It made sense to go ahead and get what was already included in the base price.  

-When I sat in a sample Ollie at the factory that had a mattress, for me it was less comfortable for sitting on during the daytime because my feet were at a different angle on the floor.  Does that make sense?  It was too high, even though I'm a 5'7" female.

--The mattresses are heavy.  If you use the provided cushions, it's easier to lift them up and access under the beds if needed.  We also sometimes remove the cushions and bring them in the house in humid summer NC weather.

 

We are very happy with our decision.  I sleep great on just the cushions and my husband added a foam topper on his side.

 

 

"Creativity is the fun of putting together unexpected ideas."  Hazel Edwards

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8 minutes ago, Nancy K. said:

We are very happy with our decision.  I sleep great on just the cushions and my husband added a foam topper on his side.

My twin bed Ollie is set up as a one bed with the other side being a couch (i.e. it uses the standard cushion on the bottom along with cushions along the wall).  On those occasions when either my wife or my fishing buddy join me - they sleep on the "couch" with the back cushions removed for the night.  All six people that have done this have told me that they slept very well and this was surprisingly comfortable.

Bill 

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

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