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Researching before making a purchase. Interest is boondocking......


TomW
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in NM, CO, UY, AZ, WY, MT and maybe Canada.  Is the Elite II a good boondocking choice?  I and concerned about the water leaks I read about on this site. Also concerned about how nimble and maneuverable the trailer is.  Condensation between the two shells???   Oops.  That does not inspire me.  Can anyone offer insight?

Thanx. TomW 

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TomW - 

I would urge you to start reading a bit more.  Not only about the Oliver - but - about other campers.  Yes, ANY structure that has holes in the roof can develop leaks but with the solid fiberglass construction of the Oliver, the number of holes are generally less, the ability to relatively easily fix those holes is generally much easier and potential of damage beyond the leak itself (i.e. rotted wood, rusted frame and even mold) is virtually non-existent.  Olivers have vent holes at the bottom of the camper that allow for air circulation and drainage (in the event of a leak and/or condensation).  This combined with the use of materials that are mold and rot resistant further mitigate issues associated with water leaks.

As a general statement - once an Oliver is properly sealed (i.e. caulked along with the use of gaskets) and maintained the likelihood of leaks is extremely small.

With regards to nimbleness and maneuverability - just compare its size to other campers.  Note the Oliver's width.  Note comments about the Oliver's stable tracking and look at its aerodynamic shape.  

Bill

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1 hour ago, TomW said:

I am concerned about the water leaks I read about on this site.

Any travel trailer is going to leak at some point, because roof penetrations are unavoidable.  The more critical question is:  "What will get damaged when a leak occurs?" 

We have an Elite II on order precisely because we are concerned about water damage inside the trailer.  My wife and I were persuaded by the Oliver double-hull design, complete with scupper holes in the bottom hull to allow any water that gets between the two hulls to drain out.  We also like that there is little wood inside the trailer (just the galley cabinet) to be water damaged.

We considered an Airstream, but were not interested in the plywood subfloors still used on many models, along with the much more extensive use of wood inside the trailer.  Like all trailers, Airstreams have roof penetrations for AC, fan, vents, etc., so leaks will eventually develop.  Once wood products behind walls get wet, they will develop mold and rot.  Google "replacing an Airstream subfloor" to find out how many Airstream owners have gotten to deal with mold and rot in their subfloors.  No thanks.

Check out forums for other travel trailers, and you will find hundreds of horror stories about water damage resulting in rot and mold in the mass-produced "stick and staple" trailers.  You will also learn that post-sale customer service from those companies falls far below the high standard set by Oliver's outstanding Customer Service Department.

The results of our research persuaded us that if potential water damage, including avoidance of mold and rot, is a top priority the Oliver is an excellent choice.

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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TomW - a personal tour, or better yet, a factory tour, will show you how fine these Ollies are. Water leaks happen, but on a scale of 1-10 they  are a 2 at most. More a minor annoyance, to be fixed when you get back home, rather than a “OMG a leak, the walls are going to rot, we have to stop this right now!” Which is a 10, and very common to 99% of the other trailers in the market. Even the glass egg trailers like Casita have major worries, because they use SO much wood for the interior.

Do read other brand forums for  a true perspective !!! There are so few truly big problems with our trailers that we have to talk about the little stuff to stay busy…. Do keep in mind that most appliances in all trailers will not be remotely up to the standard you expect from your home units. Which is a shame, but to be expected for their cost, and the fact that the whole trailer gets rattled and shaken over tens of thousands of miles. Your home furnace could not withstand that.

BTW there are a few Ollies with way more than 100,000 towing miles. Stick and staple trailers fall apart long before that. Often on the first trip.

Google this term: “travel trailer broken frame tongue” or “Airstream popped rivets” or “Airstream hail damage” and weep.

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, Safari snorkel.

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Hello TomW,

We have owned a Host truck camper with aluminum frame and an Black Series HQ15. On both we had issues of water damage, even though both are thought of as a higher end product. The truck camper, even the the frame was made of aluminum, the majority of the interior was wood. A leak under the floor in the bathroom, and we had to rebuild part of the floor. Some roof damage also secondary to some leaking around one of the structures mounted on the roof. The HQ15 had a sink link in the galley. Everything still felt solid, so not sure if there was much damage. The double hulled fiberglass construction is light years away from these other construction methods. Even other fiberglass trailers, like the Escape Trailers, are only single hull and are finished with a lot of wood on the inside. Oliver Travel Trailers are the only one I know of construction like a boat with dual fiberglass hulls and minimal wood. 

As far as boondocking, the Olivers have great potential, depending how you have them built. We have our trailer on order intending to mostly boondock. We are going to max out the battery storage and add 800 to 1000 watts of portable solar panels. With the efficiency of modern solar panels charging potential has improved, even on cloudy days. I believe the Olivers are great boondocking trailer!

Good luck!

Kirk

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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Many of us just call boondocking "camping". We've rarely had hookups in 14 seasons. The  Olivers are great off grid trailers, properly equipped and maintained.  As you can guess, we're very happy with ours. 

However, if you're thinking about rock crawling, or extremely rough overlanding, you may want to look elsewhere. A couple folks on here moved on from Ollies to more expensive Aussie built Overland trailers. (Actually, they're each on the second Aussie trailer, so you'd  definitely get some brand comparisons. ) You could look at posts from Raspy and DonThompson to see their reasons, and if they line up with yours. However, both are still members here, and I  suspect would tell you what they loved about their Olivers, if you reached out to them.

As far as leaks, pretty much every camper of every brand will leak, someday, somewhere. The difference is in the resulting damage 

Good luck with your decision. 

 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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1 minute ago, SeaDawg said:

A couple folks on here moved on from Ollies to more expensive Aussie built Overland trailers.

If you consider this option, don't forget to see if the trailers are 4 season or not. The only Australian trailers that I am aware of, that are 4 season, are VERY expensive. Most, like the Black Series, the plastic water hoses running exposed underneath the frame. Some people have tried to add heating pads to the water tanks and glue them in place under the trailer and then add a circulating water pump to continuously circulate the water in an attempt to make it fully functional in the winter. I was skeptical of these efforts, sold our HQ15, and ordered on E2.  

Kirk

 

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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2 minutes ago, Kirk Peterson said:

. Most, like the Black Series, the plastic water hoses running exposed underneath the frame

Now, isn't that just crazy in what's supposed to be an overlanding trailer? And they're definitely $$$$.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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There have been some posts about leaks.  When you consider the number of Olivers out there it’s a minor problem that can be fixed with a little diligence. As has been stated, water leaks in an Oliver are not a major deal in that there is little to no resulting damage.  Our Oliver is 6 years old, 80K miles and we’ve never had a leak.  At some point I’m sure a leak will appear, but I know it’s an issue that can be dealt with effectively.

If you are talking about camping with no hook ups, whether in a National Park campground or out on BLM land somewhere, the Oliver is a great place to be in those situations.  I am careful about pulling my trailer where the terrain is rugged, it’s not really a serious off road/rock crawling trailer but does well on most unimproved roads and flat desert.  Mike

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

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What Mike and Carol said! They are easy to tow and maneuver as well as anything else out there and far better than most. We just returned from a 10ish day trip to the Utah deserts with no hookups except one night and could have gone without that but it was there and we paid for it in a state park so why not use it. I agree with others if your'e looking for a hard core overland camper the Ollie is not the best choice but it does well enough on USFS, BLM backcountry roads as long as they are not extremely rocky and rough. 

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Legacy Elite II #70

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Oliver is upping their game as far as off grid / boondocking ability are concerned.  Mostly due to improvements in solar / battery / components etc.  I think they can nibble around the edges of the overland market.  Not the hard core expedition guys...   who will go the 4x4 van, Earthroamer, jeep with rooftop tents, and the like.  But the folks who want to get out into BLM land away from the crowded campgrounds.  And still have the creature comforts that the Oliver brings to the table.   Serious off grid / road capability puts you into a whole new category of vehicle, with a whole new price tag.    Any choice you make will involve compromise as to capability, components and price.   Do your research.  Read and consider everything.  I think you'll find yourself coming back to Oliver.  

 

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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We "boondock" in our E2.  The hitch, ground clearance, tire size and suspension system make our Ollie very maneuverable in the rolling desert hills.  Amen.

Charlie   

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Arizona | 2020 Oliver Elite II Twin bed Hull #617 | 2021 Ram 1500 e-Hemi 4x4

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Dry Camping vs. Boon-docking are maybe two different things....which are you planning?

DEFINITION:

Boon-docking -  No Hookups, no designated campsite, go off road to find a spot in a desert/forest/mountains with some ruts etc to get to the chosen site.
                             The road may be a fire service road that is pretty bumpy, rutted, not maintained.

Dry Camping - No Hookups , paved or maintained gravel road  getting to and even at the campsite.  
May or may not have water near by, pit toilets.
Site has a designated number or space  with markers (rocks/boulders/posts) for where to park the trailer.
Maybe a fire pit and table.

Considerations:

For Boon-docking:  In an Oliver

Size & Ground Clearance:

  • The Oliver is perfect fit as it's width and length make it very agile even in older small campgrounds.
  • Ground clearance is very good with no plumbing hanging down below the trailer to snag
  • You still need to be careful for rocks and steep slope changes mostly for the back bumper
  • The suspension for the Oliver is pretty good for moderate off road use. *(There are better suspensions on other types of trailers)

Water & Sewer: 

  • Water tank and Grey Tank are both limited to 30Gal, but has a standard boondocking port to suck in water from a bladder or tank.
  • Black Tank is 18gal which is about 5 days for 2 ppl
  • Option of a Composting Toilet for an Oliver to make off Boon-Docking a much longer experience.
     

Electrical & Solar: 

  • With our Dual Lithionics 315 Batteries  (630AH Total) and Solar we've gone 8 days without any sun and still had power.
  • New Trailers are shipping with more solar wattage and use new Victron control systems

 

Hope your search is useful and let us know what you decide.

Our Blog is here if you are interested in use cases, pictures etc.

https://4-ever-hitched.com

 

Craig Short

 


 

 

 

 

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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
Batteries Upgrade: Dual 315GTX Lithionics Lithiums - 630AH Total
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1 hour ago, Galway Girl said:

New Trailers are shipping with more solar wattage and use new Victron control systems

They are? 2022s, or just new orders for 2023s? Would be a treat to find those bigger panels on our 2022 this summer!

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

LE2 Hull #1150, Eggcelsior, on the way in July August June.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

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Liked others have said, all RVs leak. We are buying an LE2 for that exact reason. With our previous RVs there was always fear of the dreaded delamination of the walls because of a leak somewhere. That's not possible with an Oliver.

As my wife keeps telling me, "no RV is perfect." I don't care for the sliding windows on the Olivers, would prefer swing-out. I wish the LE2 was 8' wide instead of 7'. I wish the black tank was a little bigger. But overall, the Oliver scores more points for us than it misses, and number 1 of those is the general water resistant nature of its construction.

As others suggested, browse some of the other manufacturer's forums and owner YouTube videos. So much water damage and so many cracked frames, even on the supposed "full-timer" rigs. No wonder they lose value so quickly!

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

LE2 Hull #1150, Eggcelsior, on the way in July August June.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

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4 hours ago, CnC said:

We "boondock" in our E2.  The hitch, ground clearance, tire size and suspension system make our Ollie very maneuverable in the rolling desert hills.  Amen.

Charlie   

Ollie Sunrise.jpg

Charlie, awesome photo. Calendar quality. Please forward to @MDuncan

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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Use my Elite II almost exclusively for Boondocking, even when at campgrounds I prefer the undeveloped sites because of the Oliver capabilities (composting toilet, solar, batteries(6V AGM) and boondock port..

Re: leaks?  I have been on the site now for several years and have read most if not all of the forum posts about leaks you reference.  My take is that many posts incorrectly conflate a potential leak with condensation due to lack of ventilation.  Have not had any issues with leaks and don't anticipate any as I will maintain the caulking and roof openings.  Ventilation is your friend.  

Good luck with your research and potential purchase.

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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Understand the concerns about water leaks but it seems most here have provided answers.  Given where you intend to camp, especially in spring and fall, I would be looking for a trailer capable of handling cold temperatures.  The Oliver does this well and from experience I would consider it a 3 and a half season trailer.  We have been down to 5 degrees in New Mexico.  In those temps you will need to plan for condensation!!! 

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Wow!  Thank you, each and every one.  Very good comments and ideas.  I have spent a few years researching and finally came to the same conclusions you have.  I had not factored in the double shell.  That is the magic in this Oliver design.  Did not know about the weep holes in the bottom.  I assume that the roof is sturdy enough to crawl around while fixing any leak that does occur.  Right??

I ran away from wood as fast as I could.  And the aluminum skin has some issues for me; hail and tearing/ripping on tree branches. 

Not a rock crawler, just getting down some forest roads and the road less traveled.  Had decided that solar & lithium, truma water heater and A/C, etc is best for my needs,  Must have a compressor refrigerator/freezer.  That is a deal-breaker for  me.  I understand from Oliver that they now have one.  Yes, swing out windows would be my first choice.  So the composting toilet is a good idea?  I know nothing about it.  What mfg./Brand is it?    

We are two old retired adults and the family dog; boss dog to be certain.  Towing with my F350, diesel, 4x4,crewcab and an A.R.E. truck cap.  I do like the design of the trailer with respect to the width and the tracking.  Should serve me well down some of those narrow forest roads. 

No plans to get off any kind a track I am on.  I suspect Chaco Canyon will be a bit rough; about 40 miles of washboard road from what I understand.  Maybe even Monument Valley in Utah.  Want to get up to Ashley National Forest in Utah, over to Gunnison in the Montrose area.  Want to see the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming.  And of course hang out in New Mexico and Southern Colorado.   And the list just keeps on growing...... 

We are going to see our first Oliver this coming Friday down in Odessa.  I am told it is an Elite II,  twin bed.  That seems to be most practical arrangement.  

Again.  Thank you so much.

God bless and be safe.

TomW in Lubbock, Tx

Go Tech!

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Yes, you can get on the roof - but - it is very slick.  Most things can be done without actually crawling around up there.

Natures head is the brand of composting toilet.

Don't miss the drive from Ten Sleep over to Buffalo when you get to the Big Horns in Wyoming.  Crazy Woman Creek road is another I would not miss but probably it is best done without the Ollie in tow.  This is where the Hole-in-the Wall Gang hung out and at the upper end of it you can see why.

Let us know what you think about that Ollie down in Odessa!

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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Agree with Bill, the roof is sturdy but you’ll have no reason to get on it.  I’ve removed my vent a couple of times without getting on the roof.  You can reach anything from a ladder on the side.

We’ve been all around Utah in all four seasons, the Oliver does well.  We like our twin bed arrangement.  Enjoy your trip to Odessa.  Mike

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

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The roof is slick and it should be kept that way, just like the hull of a boat, so it will still look that way 30 years from now.  A senior should not spend lots of time up there! If you do have to go up, you can lay down strips of high density foam for padding and slip protection. A blue Coleman “egg crate” sleeping pad split lengthwise works great.

This are not like a flat roof with rubber membrane on top on a stick and staple trailer, with a ladder in back. With that type, the owner is expected climb up often to walk around and clean and reseal everything. OFTEN.

Ollies are different, expect to spend very minimal time up there, most stuff can be done by a regular ladder or telescoping one when traveling, if storage space is tight. 

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, Safari snorkel.

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10 hours ago, TomW said:

. I suspect Chaco Canyon will be a bit rough; about 40 miles of washboard road from what I understand.  Maybe even Monument Valley in Utah.  Want to get up to Ashley National Forest in Utah, over to Gunnison in the Montrose area.  Want to see the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming.  And of course hang out in New Mexico and Southern Colorado.   

Chaco is 5 miles of “very rough” road followed by 13 miles of “rough” road. Heed the warnings on websites like this, with a big grain of salt.

https://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/directions.htm

Government websites are hyper cautious when it comes to road descriptions, usually the roads are not nearly as bad as they say. BUT if it rains, they can be completely impassable for a day or two. It depends on the type of dirt. An Ollie is fine for dry conditions, on most maintained two lane access roads, but you have to proceed at a jogging pace over bad washboard. You can’t go fast or it just beats up the trailer and the TV. So ten miles of washboard takes me an hour or more, it is frustrating! Airing down all tires helps a lot. 80 psi is no good at all….

I keep pushing for a better suspension design, there are much better choices than the Dexter Ez-Flex/ drum brakes for where you and I want to take the trailer. Tell your sales person you want better!

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/4265-timbren-independent-rubber-suspension/

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, Safari snorkel.

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Rough roads mean you need to get everything inside the trailer battened down as much as possible.  Oliver has improved the drawer / cabinet locks over the years but don't forget the microwave glass plate inside the oven.  

As everyone else has said... the roof is accessible with a good ladder.   I have a 6' platform ladder that does the job well.  Keep in mind that if you are doing a LOT of roof work in one day... going up and down and moving the ladder can be a workout. 

Good Luck

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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1 hour ago, ScottyGS said:

Rough roads mean you need to get everything inside the trailer battened down as much as possible.  Oliver has improved the drawer / cabinet locks over the years but don't forget the microwave glass plate inside the oven.  

The microwave plate is one of our departure chores - it goes in a drawer with hot pads/towels.  It doesn’t even take a rough road to dislodge it from the microwave!  Mike

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

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