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Just looked at the Oliver Website and still has the notice that was posted last May concerning the production suspension until Jan 2010. Has anyone heard anything to indicate they are going to start making travel trailers again? Or is it like I've suspected ever since that was posted that Oliver Travel Trailers are a thing of the past.

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I spoke with Vince Oliver just last month. He said they are still intending to open the production line in January. I asked if they were only going to be doing occasional "batches" and he said that they were planning on keeping the line open full time.

 

It is my understanding that they were waiting for some of their non-trailer production lines to become fully staffed prior to reopening the Oliver Travel Trailer operation.

 

It will be nice to see them up and running again . . .

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


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Thanks - but I'll believe it when I see it. Very strange that there is nothing on their website in mid December if they're planning resuming production in January. You'd think they would be trying to stir up some orders so they'd start with something of a backlog. But maybe they have a fair number of orders already......... Come January guess we'll see!

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Following is a letter from Oliver posted today 12/15 (dated December 4) on the front page of the website...following is the actual text, for those who don't have Microsoft Word.

 

Based on general economic conditions, and specifically the substantial decrease in product demand throughout the RV Industry, Oliver Travel Trailers has decided to further postpone the manufacturing of its trailer products. Going forward, we will monitor market conditions for improvement and will return to production when we determine that demand is sufficient to warrant that move.

 

In the meantime, our Company will continue its research and development of additional travel trailer models and designs to be prepared for the onset of better market conditions.

 

As you would expect, we will continue to provide warranty service to our existing customers and are available to answer any questions they might have.

 

We appreciate your interest and support. As always, we look forward to working with you.

 

Bummer for those of us thinking of placing orders soon(ish), but hey, I'm not going to knock smart business decisions! I hope that their move to produce fiberglass therapeutic tubs during this rough time in the RV industry helps get them through with enough gravy to continue with the level of service and creativity for which they've become known.

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While I'm not encouraged by their lack of interest in MY interest, it's too soon to start "banking" on anything. Where did you hear about horse trailers, by the way?

 

It's easy to jump to conclusions about the end of Oliver trailers, seeing as how so many other fiberglass trailer producers are "no more", but it's not like their plant is not productive. They've simply re-commissioned their lines to accommodate a more stable market. New, custom travel trailers are a and the economy is in the toilet...while there's a lot of interest in these trailers and RV living, there are a of good deals now on nearly-new used trailers...or new inventory being dumped by troubled factories and brokers. That's eating up a lot of Oliver's customer base, regardless of how specialized their products may be.

 

One would imagine a line of customers pounding on the factory doors to get an Oliver trailer NOW, but we don't know how many confirmed orders they'd need to justify shifting back into RV production. That interest has probably built up over the past 7 months, but after that, what? Another slump? I admit that even if they WERE actively taking (or soliciting) orders, as a buyer I wouldn't be ready to commit until after the first quarter of 2010...too much financial uncertainty right now in my own world.

 

I'd imagine that it would take a lot of $ to set up a factory from one production line to another. I wouldn't be surprised if it was another year or two before Oliver moved back to trailers. But I also think that there is a growing market for these unique RVs, so I wouldn't be too quick to write this company off.

 

Having said that, I'll re-state that the signs I've witnessed firsthand are discouraging. But as long as current Oliver owners are out there on the road, giving tours and crowing about how much they love their trailers...and as long as Oliver continues building upon their exemplary customer service reputation, they've got a good placeholder for them in the market when it improves. But that's just my opinion.

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Rocinante have you ever been to the Oliver factory? They have a large building that was mostly empty where they built trailers - and as far as I know nothing else. The other parts of their business are in a different location.

 

Last time I was at Oliver in June I was told by Robert that Jim Oliver had him doing research on fiberglass horse trailers. From what Robert told me they've become popular in Europe. As to whether this was a passing fancy or is being followed up on I have no idea.

 

Now let me give you a quick rundown of my Oliver experience - hopefully this time it will not be deleted. Last April I spent several hours with Robert at Oliver taking the factory tour and ordering a 22' trailer. At that time I gave them a check for I believe 15% of the cost as a deposit. In late May I was told that they were ready to start building my trailer and needed the additional 35% of the cost - they require 50% up front before they start. I went to the factory and hand delivered the check to Robert - they then had $22,785.00 of my money. While I was there I had the opportunity to see a 22' that was in the process of being built - I'd seen the original at Quartzsite last Jan. Also while I was there I saw a frame for a new 22' that was to be built for Jim Oliver. At the time I tried to pin Robert down to a reasonable time frame to expect my trailer to be finished in and he was very vague and hesitant to commit himself to anything. Understand all I wanted was a "ballpark" figure - not a specific time and date. He finally told me that while my trailer was scheduled to be the next one built that Jim Oliver was putting pressure on him to build his new one next and that as far as he was concerned then mine would be the next one built, but............... This was the best info I had when I left. Less than a week later I got e-mail from Robert telling me my trailer had been canceled as Oliver was not going to build anymore trailers "for sale" - which translated means that he was told that Jim Oliver's trailer was to be built next and the hell with the paying customers. I did get a full and prompt refund.

 

So I've had considerable experience with trying to deal with Oliver. It won't be repeated even if somewhere down the line they start building travel trailers again. Have more I'd like to say - but won't.

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noneoftheabove - I am still disappointed in the way Oliver handled canceling you order. In my humble opinion, they should have never had you make the trip to the factory unless they were committed to building your trailer. I also know that was a decision well out of Robert's control, and I'm sure he did his very best to keep you in the loop.

 

As far as the factory - even when the factory was cranking out trailers, it was just about as nearly empty as it was in the May/June time frame of this year. The 7 acre building is simply way overkill in size for the line - they got a good deal on the building, which gave them the option to run multiple lines if they needed to scale up. We've been there three times (and camped overnight twice in the factory building, having full access to explore it with a golf cart on our own) - twice when there were several trailers being build, and once when the last sold 22' was being completed and the focus was on the tub line. There really aren't many differences, other than the absence of about half a dozen partially built trailers.

 

To the best of my understanding, Oliver will not switch focus to building trailers until they feel confident they can get into and keep full production. It does cost quite a bit to get the lines started up and switch their manpower there. And additionally, it is substantially better for build quality to be building several at a time, instead of a couple here and there. I totally respect Oliver for their focus on being able to build a top quality trailer even if it means building none until the time is right, and am glad they have the tub line continuing to keep their craftsman employed and productive.

 

 

Oliver is also a large family, with a lot of individual interests and innovation brought to the table. They've used their facility to build showers, tubs, deer stands, stepcases and more. It wouldn't surprise me at all that folks within Oliver have explored dozens of interesting ideas, including horse trailers (actually, I think I remember that conversation when we were there in May).

 

- Cherie

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Let me make one thing very clear - I do not blame Robert for any of the things that happened. He was caught in the middle and did the very best he could under the circumstances. Also the visit to the factory to hand deliver the check was my choice - I could have mailed it just as well. At the time I was very pleased that I went because I got to see the 22' during construction and got some questions answered. Unfortunately things went downhill from there.

 

Given the price they charge Oliver will never have a big backlog of trailers. It is always going to be a 'Limited Edition" product. There simply are not that many people around who are going to pay that much for a 17' fiberglass trailer. The Casita is roughly half the price and while I'm not suggesting overall that Casita is in the same league with Oliver when it comes to quality is the Oliver really worth twice as much? I had a Casita for 6 1/2 years and it served me very well. Beyond eating tires every time I turned around there were almost no problems. In fact I had far fewer problems with the Casita than I've had with the two Airstreams I've had since I got rid of it - and they are supposed to be high quality products.

 

The 22' could be a real winner - but not when the price is pushing 50 grand. People for years tried to talk Casita into building a larger dual axle trailer and I was told at one point that they had made the molds - but due to the fact they were selling everything they were making and had no way to expand their current factory it never came to be.

 

So I believe Oliver is finished as far as travel trailers go unless they can come up with a much lower priced product than they offer now. Given the treatment I got I won't be sorry to see them go.

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Open discussion is cool. Personal attacks are not. Vindictiveness is unacceptable. ( re: Given the treatment I got I won't be sorry to see them go. )

This thread is teetering on the edge of self destruction.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Just getting back to this site after a long absence...I'm sorry to learn that the Oliver production is slowing down... I think very highly of them. I ended up with an Escape, because of weight concerns. They are a quasi-custom production product as well. However, they are really busy despite the economy, perhaps because they are priced and made differently. Nonetheless I think those that have such a quality fiberglass unit as the Olivers and the Escapes will be better off than with most "stickies". Happy Holidays to you all. ;)

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