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What to watch for in buying a used trailer


SeaDawg
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This topic has popped up from time to time on other forums,  so I invite current owners of pre-loved ollies to add comments here. 

What should buyers look for, and watch out for? What do you wish you'd known?

Many owners keep service records. Many don't. Probably 50/50., or less .

 

  

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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Need to act quickly when finding the right Oliver.

Ask for a lot of pictures.

Wire a deposit on the right trailer to hold it.

Visit the trailer if you can before signing a purchase contact.

Find out how much mileage is on the Oliver.

Use a purchase contact.

Try all the componet equipment.

Check out tires and all outside componets.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi, 3.92 gear ratio

Maine

 

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There was great interest on the 2020 I bought in April of 2021. Trailer had 2000 miles on it and was delivered from factory in May 2020. Trailer was 1000 miles away. This is the process I went through in case it's useful.   

I did a quick email query, then talked on the phone with the owner and discussed price and market demand and basically said I'll take it and pay asking price, but didn't want to get in a bidding war.  He was great with photos, noted a couple of things that needed to be corrected, but not showstoppers.

The great thing for me was the way he drafted the agreement. It locked in my deposit, gave me the option to review the trailer and if I didn't get it, I got the deposit back, but if I didn't show, I forfeited the deposit.  Mutual trust, all via email.

Here's the text if others might find it useful... the key is doing a bit of due diligence on the Internet and talking to the buyer. 

We did the deal on Thursday, I drove up Sat/Sun, picked up Trailer Monday and headed home.

I took a Cashiers check made out to owner and provided photos of it and bank contact info prior to leaving, just to keep them at ease. They called and validated the check while I was there.

***************************************
Moving forward:
 
If you're happy and want to put down a deposit, go ahead and send $1000 to my Venmo account: email XXXXX/ phone XXXXXXX / user name XXXXX. Please send by Thursday, 12pm Eastern to hold the trailer.
 
IMPORTANT: 
- The deposit holds the Oliver for the sale price of $XXXXX  (deposit will be applied to final sale). I'll send the (HOME) address for the Oliver upon receipt of deposit.
- The deposit holds the trailer until 6pm Monday/DATE. 
 
- If you visit the Oliver in HOME LOCATION by 6pm Monday/DATE and decide NOT to purchase, I'll refund your deposit in full via Venmo.
- You can cancel your visit and receive your deposit back in full ONLY IF you notify me by email BEFORE 12:01am Friday, DATE. Please understand, there is high interest for purchase and many have asked to see the trailer this weekend.
- If you decide to cancel your visit after 12:01am Friday, DATE OR don't show up to visit the Oliver on Monday, then you revoke your deposit in full.
 
**************************************************

I spent way too much time getting the Andersen hitch installed, but other than that it was pretty painless.

 

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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that arrangement made sense for both of you. 

Good seller, and, of course,  we know you were a good buyer .

Did you have a checklist to watch out for in various items?

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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37 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

that arrangement made sense for both of you. 

Good seller, and, of course,  we know you were a good buyer .

Did you have a checklist to watch out for in various items?

You know, not really. I'd been on the forum for just a bit.  We turned on stuff, I looked underneath, but it truly was immaculate and he was more OCD than I am. 😉

Stuff I discovered, like the missing battery box bolts, isn't something I would have known enough to look for.  They pretty much just did a shake down trip the year they owned it, since they took ownership at the peak of Covid, factory was shutting down after they picked it up.  So I blissful assumed it was like new...which so far has been.  All options, plus full Foy product line, except wet batteries and no microwave.  BUT, it has the paper manuals, priceless. 😉 

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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Thank you for starting this thread.

I've been lurking for a while and getting ever closer to the day I will have the time to hit the road.  This topic is of very practical interest to me.

Very good ideas already.

 

What about inspections?  I take it there's not a popular mechanism to "drop it off in Hohenwald with a few hundred bucks"  and see what a pro thinks before purchase?

:classic_sad:

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23 hours ago, dennis said:

 

 

What about inspections?  I take it there's not a popular mechanism to "drop it off in Hohenwald with a few hundred bucks"  and see what a pro thinks before purchase?

:classic_sad:

They sell so fast, it's hard to put many contingencies in your agreement.  

I think to some extent being an Oliver owner is somewhat self-selecting, i.e., high price point, analytical buyers, a healthy dose of OCD, all of which suggest most late model trailers are pretty well cared for.  Like cars, I'd lean toward late model, covered storage, west/southwest if road salt is a concern.   From what I've seen most rigs pop up within 24 months when life circumstances change.  I've definitely seen more 2017-2021s for sale than anything prior, but also many more built in the last few years.

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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There are independent companies in every state out there that can do RV inspections for a fee, but that takes time that may not be acceptable to the seller if they have many potential buyers which has been the case the last few years. I would not be overally concerned unless the Oliver RV is really old or has a lot of miles on it. Even so, I think most people take care of their expensive investment.

If you have the hull #, the Oliver company would have records of past owner's, the original build sheet of options and any work that they (Oliver) did on the trailer.

In my case, I contacted the owner within 1 hour of his posting on the forum, and we talked on the phone for a couple of hours discussing everything regarding his Oliver, its equipment and condition and where he traveled with the Oliver. I was the first person he talked to and we agreed to the purchase during that first phone call. He had a number of other inquiries after mine but I had closed the deal quickly. (Quick actions was my lesson learned after I lost out on the purchase of 2 other Olivers due to my delays.)   

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi, 3.92 gear ratio

Maine

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a question related to this topic.  We were in discussion with an Ollie owner to purchase their trailer.  The sale price of the Ollie was 30% financed. We were going to pay cash. We and the owner talked about us doing a split payment - direct payment to the bank to pay off the lien, and the remaining amount paid to the owner.  We talked to our credit union about how best to handle this and they recommended the owner pay off the lien so that they would have a title of ownership to hand over to us when we paid cash.  The credit union had dire stories about how the transaction could not go well without having the title in our hands after payment.  The Ollie owner was not comfortable doing this, as you might imagine, (guessing) because of the time involved to process their pay-off before receiving the title to hand over to us.  There were others lined up behind us interested in the trailer too.

Any recommendations on how we might have handled this differently?  I know there are plenty of people who finance their trailers and plenty of people who pay cash.  And we are likely to run into similar scenario on our next fishing expedition.  Thanks much!

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Alberta & Randy

2015 LE II / 2018 F150 3.5L XLT EcoBoost

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I started out looking for a used LE2. Dec 2020 we drove 2 hrs away to look at a 2016 LE2. The owner was honest enough to say he had never performed bearing service or other annual maintenance. The shocks, springs, axle, etc showed a surprising amount of wear/rust. The general appearance was just ok...needed wash/wax. All systems/appliances were said to be operating. The owner's price was within 15% of a new 2021 trailer. He had a second buyer lined up sight unseen.

We visited the factory...and bought a new LE2 delivered May 2021.

So, be careful not to overpay for a used one and end up surprised with considerable "maintenance catch up" cost.

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9 hours ago, SteveCr said:

I started out looking for a used LE2. Dec 2020 we drove 2 hrs away to look at a 2016 LE2. The owner was honest enough to say he had never performed bearing service or other annual maintenance. The shocks, springs, axle, etc showed a surprising amount of wear/rust. The general appearance was just ok...needed wash/wax. All systems/appliances were said to be operating. The owner's price was within 15% of a new 2021 trailer. He had a second buyer lined up sight unseen.

We visited the factory...and bought a new LE2 delivered May 2021.

So, be careful not to overpay for a used one and end up surprised with considerable "maintenance catch up" cost.

Good point.  Not all owners maintain their trailers like they should.  I would think twice if I was considering a trailer that was not clean and had rust, hadn’t had bearings or brakes serviced and was still had the pre-Dexter suspension.  Not all used Oliver trailers merit the normal high resale price we are used to seeing.  Mike

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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Having sold an EII this year - once we decided to put it up for sale - I notified potential buyers on this forum and on the FB pages. We were actually on our annual summer western drive-about. Emails, phone calls, texts, and inquiry from the forums inundated our morning "email" review.   I expected a little interest - the tire kickers - were abundant.  We told folks - the serious ones - we would show the Ollie - at a mutual convenience - on our way home - if appropriate. 

For potential buyers I wanted them to be satisfied with their purchase. We ended up showing Ollie to a couple who met us on our return trip home. In a parking lot -off an interstate in the Mid-west - we spent an hour or so showing the couple Ollie.  I have been considered a little OCD - but really just preventative natured in my maintenance practices. Of course, I had detailed records of maintenance and milage, and a selection of replacement parts, along with a variety of camping gear that went with the unit. The couple committed to the purchase, and we made plans for delivery. One showing - one purchase commitment. A small down payment - and the potential Oliver owners were given all the time needed to complete their pick-up. 

Upon delivery - they came to our place - I went out of my way to ensure the new owners fully understood every feature of the unit, we went through Oliver front to back, top to bottom review, with as much hands on experience as possible.  Certainly, information overload. Video was also used to capture the walkthrough. My time was part of the purchase price - in my mind - anyways.

My point - I had expectations for the potential Oliver purchaser - I would be wasting my time if the folks had not done any prior investigation on the Oliver and the many features and systems available. I think one needs to deserve an Oliver - elitist I know. 

To answer the OP question:

1. Educate yourself on the Oliver features, systems, and options. Join the forum, the FB pages, and read everything available on Olivers - and the competition. Ask questions.

2.Understand what type of camping/RVing you intend to do and select the Oliver features that support your style - and plan your search accordingly. Patience is key here.

3. If you follow #1 - you will know - when the right Ollie comes up for sale - you need to be ready to act quickly - have your $$ lined up and be available to do your due diligence.

4. I would never purchase sight unseen - some are ok with pics, etc., I'm a touch, feel, see - kind of guy. 

5. Insist on a thorough inspection, test every system, visually put an eyeball on every aspect of the unit. Make a checklist if needed. Ask for maintenance records - review them - ask questions, try to elicit information on where the unit has been, type of camping the owner usually did, and any issue that may have arisen with the unit.  Very few Olivers are perfect - or do all Oliver owners understand all systems - we all have made some mistakes - user error... About 5 minutes in - you will know if the unit fits your needs and is the condition you expect.

6. Plan your TV (Tow vehicle) appropriately. What? you asked about Oliver purchasing tips? The TV is at least 25% of the experience. A sub-par tow, a miserable day or two on the road, or just underperformance over that mountain pass, a slow slog down the big roads, and on, will adversely weigh on the experiences of first time RV'ers - Oliver or not. 

7. Expect to pay up - barter all you want - at your expense. A good, well cared for, maintained and trouble-free used Oliver will sell before you can say -let me think on it. And communicate - communicate - be truthful and upfront.  Selling things these days will try the patience of the best of us. 

8. Payment details - whatever you do - protect yourself from scammers - and be reasonable in meeting the seller's needs. The transaction needs to satisfy both parties. Again communicate, communicate, communicate. 

This is my take - good luck 

RB

 

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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I looked at a lightly used 2020 Elite II last Winter.  Didn't have a specific checklist, but made sure to check operation of all of the systems that I could.  While the unit appeared to be in good shape, it had been Winterized.  Asking the individual who performed the Winterization how he went about it left me with the feeling the trailer had not been properly Winterized.  Temps had been in the teens for a few weeks and it was being stored outdoors.

While the unit was a good price and had many of the options I wanted, I walked.  Largely due to the seemingly inadequate Winterization and a few other things, I quickly determined that the prior custodianship of the unit was not up to par to what I would want to assume.  Plus, warranty does not transfer so I could be on the hook even for manufacturing defects which might surface within the next 6 months of my ownership.

As soon as I got home from looking at the used Ollie, I placed a order for a new Ollie.  The new Ollie cost about $7k more than the asking price of the used one, but now I could get exactly what I wanted, have a year newer trailer and have the Oliver warranty.  Seemed like a good way to go.  Never looked back, very happy with the new Ollie.

My point is that sometimes you just gotta trust your gut.  I don't know if the fears I had were realized by the next owner or not (hoping not), but it wasn't a risk I wanted to take.

The used Ollie I looked at had a title free of liens.  Not sure how comfortable I would have been buying it if it had a secured interest which needed to be paid off. 

 

Good luck.

 

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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25 minutes ago, Sputnik said:

Please delete my ad in classifieds for my 2019 Oliver as is has sold.

I've updated your Classified ad to mark your Ollie as SOLD.

Congratulations to both you and its new owner!

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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