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Outlaw


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Well, The Outlaw Oliver is no more. She has been sold to a very nice couple in Virginia and re-christened The Virginia Oliver. Work has started on our new 22 foot Outlaw Oliver in Hohenwald. Hopefully we will be camping again before the first of the year.

 

We lost our big boy, Storm several months ago. He had dilated cardiomyopathy. As you all know, we loved him very much. He was a little over nine years old. We have a new puppy in our lives now. He is a red and tan Doberman. His is a little over 12 weeks old and already over 30 pounds. He's gonna be a biggun. We named him Reacher.

 

Tali and I hope everyone is doing fine and enjoying the summer.

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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  • 4 years later...
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Really sorry to hear about Storm.

 

Yes, I saw Outlaw in service also, getting it's frame replacement surgery. Was wondering if you were going to post about what happened - that looked like it could have been a real disaster. The breaks looked like textbook metal fatigue to me.

 

Also, don't let Oliver cheat you out of that extra 18". You want the full 23'-6" version.

❄️

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Yes, I saw Outlaw in service also, getting it’s frame replacement surgery. Was wondering if you were going to post about what happened – that looked like it could have been a real disaster. The breaks looked like textbook metal fatigue to me.

 

Looked at the picture before I read this, guess it answers my question about all the steel plating...

 

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I am getting back into the swing of things after dealing with some family issues of late. I think that there may be some confusion on what may be going on with our trailer.

 

Please notice that my first (and, at that time, only) post in this thread was made back on 08/28/2013!

 

Well, The Outlaw Oliver is no more. She has been sold to a very nice couple in Virginia and re-christened The Virginia Oliver. Work has started on our new 22 foot Outlaw Oliver in Hohenwald. Hopefully we will be camping again before the first of the year.

We lost our big boy, Storm several months ago. He had dilated cardiomyopathy. As you all know, we loved him very much. He was a little over nine years old. We have a new puppy in our lives now. He is a red and tan Doberman. His is a little over 12 weeks old and already over 30 pounds. He’s gonna be a biggun. We named him Reacher.

Tali and I hope everyone is doing fine and enjoying the summer.

 

So, just to bring everybody up to speed, that Outlaw Oliver was our Hull # 026 and one of the original ones built back in 2008. We were selling it in anticipation of getting our current Outlaw Oliver (Hull # 050) in early 2014.

 

Thanks, Overland for your comment about Storm, we do miss him. Reacher, on the other hand, is now almost 5 years old and weighs nearly 100 pounds. And don't worry, the extra 18 inches is still there, the nomenclature just changed.

 

As to what is currently happening to Hull # 050, a little history is in order so please bear with me....

 

After building 49 trailers between late 2007 and early 2009, the production line at Oliver Travel Trailers was shut down due to the down turn in the economy. These 49 units included 46 of the seventeen (now 18.5) foot trailers and 3 of the larger twenty two (now 23.5) foot trailers. All during this hiatus, Oliver kept saying that there would be future trailers built. And although it took almost five years, true to their word, I got a call on 03/03/2013 from then sales manager Robert Partee. He asked me if I would like to own one of their “big” trailers. At that point in time, we felt we had outgrown our smaller Elite (traveling with two adults and three dogs) and were actually considering selling the Oliver and getting (horrors) some other brand. After speaking with Robert for less than 5 minutes I stated, “I’ll take the first one you build.” and then quickly enquired as to when I might expect delivery. As it turned out it would be over a year.

 

For anyone who does not know, this trailer is one of the first three that were in production at the same time during late 2013 and early 2014. It became the first of the Elite II’s that was sold to a customer. During the build I was at the factory at least every other week “overseeing” the work being done on our unit. During these visits I made several requests for non-standard accessories, most of which Oliver graciously agreed to. The biggest (and in retrospect, the least wise) request that I made was for the frame to be constructed with a longer than standard tongue to accommodate the generator basket that I planned to mount there. Twenty three inches was added and the Outlaw Oliver II became the first and only unit with an “extended, extendable” tongue.

 

Fast forward to 2018. We had been on our annual winter pilgrimage to Quartzsite, AZ accompanied by mountainoliver and hardrock. On the return trip we were stopped at the Walmart in Winslow, AZ for the night and positioning our trailers with their butts into the wind in anticipation of 40-50 mph gusts that were predicted for the night. While jockeying mine into position, mountainoliver noticed something he didn’t like and when I stopped, quickly scooted up under our trailer. Coming out he grimly stated that “we have a problem.” The “problem” turned out to be cracks in both outboard A-frame members that were causing the trailer to flex at that point. The only thing holding the body of the trailer to the truck was the tongue.

 

Progression of events since that point:

 

I immediately called Scott Oliver and then Jim Oliver for advice.

Jim Oliver drove from Lake Havasu City spending a night with us to see the damage and assist in any way.

A plan of action was made that included temporary repairs locally and replacement with a new frame at the factory.

We found a metal fabricator in Winslow that agreed to make the temporary repairs so we could safely get the trailer back to Hohenwald.

Three days later we are on I-40 headed East.

Two weeks later, after unloading at home (who carries that much stuff) we take the trailer to Hohenwald and leave it.

A new frame and sub frame are built to the new standard.

I go to the factory to observe the body switch.

The entire trailer and old frame is lifted and placed on multiple jacks under the frame.

The old running gear (Axles, Wheels and Tires) is removed from the old frame and installed on the new frame.

Support blocks are placed under the body of the trailer which has been completely unattached from the frame.

The old frame is lowered away from the body and rolled out.

The new frame is rolled under the body and lifted into place and attached.

 

So what happened to cause all this? Our best guess is that my longer tongue with its additional weight (200 lbs worth of generator and basket) bouncing up and down during about 50,000 miles of travel simply had too much leverage and caused additional stress at the failure points on the frame.

 

I want everyone to understand that Oliver has handled this matter in an exemplary fashion. Although this is the normal standard to which they always hold themselves, I could not have asked for greater service. The whole team has been wonderful. This trailer will truly be better than the day it rolled off the assembly line.

 

I understand everyone’s curiosity and I appreciate everyone’s concern but please be aware that no other trailer Oliver has ever built has a front end set up like mine. As this is obviously a unique event, there is no cause for concern with your units.

 

PICT5076.thumb.jpg.2b2e8c00a51af5ae26abf6a8317e6293.jpg

 

PICT5094.thumb.jpg.0bbd09379038d85fadac049aaee863b1.jpg

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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We should have it back in a few more days. We WILL be at the rally WITH the Outlaw Oliver. I am looking forward to seeing all our old friends and meeting lots of new ones. This event will turn out to be the best one yet.

 

Thanks! Steve

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Steve, I am also glad to hear that everything will work out for you on this.

 

While I understand and agree with your belief and faith in the Oliver company and people, I am saddened to see that someone felt it was necessary to remove the photo that had accompanied someone else's post. I understand the desire to defend and almost protect those that we close to, but doing so almost makes such an action look like a cover-up where there is someone to hide. All one needs to do is read the post about Goodyear tires on this very forum.

 

The A frame area on an Oliver has two angle sections and the straight sections, the center of which is the tongue, which runs from the coupler to the main body frame, the other two straight sections are welded into the middleish area of the angle pieces. Judging by the single photo, that had been posted here, that appears to where your failure occurred, the outer steel plates were centered over this section and backer plates were used to completely encase the "V" junction where the straights are welded in. The reinforcements were done exceptionally well, after seeing some of your other creations for your trailer, I imagine your were very closely involved the actual creation of it.

 

You'll notice that I seem to have payed pretty close attention to what could be gleaned from that one photo, before it was removed (I admit, I recognized what it represented and what would happen and saved a full resolution copy as soon as I saw it, for reference) for good reason.

 

We purchased our 2015 used in the spring of 2016, never having owned a trailer before, I was all over it, around the same timeframe Buzzy purchased his trailer and was posting all his photos and videos, one of his photos caught my eye as being quite different than what I remembered from it trailer so I went out to compare, somewhere between hull 069 (ours) and Buzzy's trailer, the Oliver company decided that the welds on the earlier model must have been inadequate, the method on our trailer had been direct welds of the straight section to the angle, on Buzzy's trailer they had started to place corner braces into the angles and fully welded then in to strengthen the joints. When I crawled under the trailer and checked the differences, I noticed that the street side weld on the angle joint had in fact actually started to crack, while it had my attention I was not overly concerned, in my planned trip cross country I was already scheduled to stop at the factory, for a fiberglass repair. I mentioned the difference to them when I got there and they welded in after-the-fact bracing to match what was now being done. This can be seen in my XO photo mentioned in the off-road recovery post.

 

While I understand your thinking, that with your trailer differences, that might be the cause, I would tend to disagree, what appear to be the failure point do not line up with either an extended tongue or what extra weight might cause, it is the center of a long section where everything is mainly supported by those long sections.

 

While I do not normally subscribe to the the-sky-is-falling mentality, I do believe that Oliver should contact all known owners, that have trailers built before the reinforcements, to alert them to check the areas mentioned proactively, before someone, who doesn't have six pairs of eyes watching their trailer being maneuvered, has a catastrophic failure that would be a lot worse representation of company.

 

Hopefully, this post survives too.

 

 

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Thanks. I also have seen entire posts that have been removed. Maybe an over zealous moderator, who doesn't fully understand the subject or value of constructive criticism? It was talk on here and discussions that improved the kitchen drawers, full size spares, and other improvements that are now standard. It is almost as if they (the moderator..not the company) are self imposing a book burning mentality. A suppression of 1rst Amendment type thoughts? Removed without discussion or comments? Maybe someone just pushed a wrong button.

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Thanks. I also have seen entire posts that have been removed. Maybe an over zealous moderator, who doesn’t fully understand the subject or value of constructive criticism? It was talk on here and discussions that improved the kitchen drawers, full size spares, and other improvements that are now standard. It is almost as if they (the moderator..not the company) are self imposing a book burning mentality. A suppression of 1rst Amendment type thoughts? Removed without discussion or comments? Maybe someone just pushed a wrong button.

 

This is nonsense. There are five active moderators, all owners just like you. There is no censorship going on except in extreme cases (remember bugbite?). None of us are zealous. If there is a questionable post or photo we consult with each other. I have had photos disappear from my own posts - my Television move thread had a number of photos disappear. Let’s not point fingers with no facts. Mike

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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A big thank you to Steve and Tali for the detailed explanation. Sounds like the failure is about what I expected.

 

As I posted earlier, I saw and immediately recognized Outlaw when I went to pick my own trailer up from service. The steel braces were pretty obvious so naturally I had to inspect. I wasn't going to post about it on my own, for the reasons above and because I thought it was Steve and Tali's business to bring it up if they wanted. But once the photo was posted, I figured the cat was out of the bag, and so I asked.

 

Having seen the damage in person, I'm in full agreement with Steve and Tali on the cause and the no call for alarm. It was clear to me that the problem was unique to their trailer, or perhaps to the first batch of early trailers, if they have similar frames. Being able to stand there and see both frames side by side, you immediately recognize that they're two different animals. Steve mentioned the longer tongue, but also the aluminum tubing is sized differently and the joints lack the same gusseting that our frames have. And the steel subframe is larger as well. Even the welds were different. With a longer beam (tongue) you get more deflection for a given load, and more deflection means more stress on the beam over time which, especially in aluminum, can lead to eventual metal fatigue and failure. But that's only if you exceed the limits of the material. DeHaviland Comets would break apart in mid air, but we still fly around in aluminum framed jets because they learned how do design out the weaknesses. I think the current frame is far more robust than the original and I'm personally not worried that mine's going to snap anytime soon, if ever.

 

I didn't post the photo that was removed, but I did take a bunch for myself, simply because the repair job was so excellently done that I wanted photos to be able to show a repairman, should anything similar ever happen to us.

 

Which I don't expect to happen. However, I am glad that this did become public, because it is potentially a catastrophic failure, and unlikely as it may be, I think people should add a frame check to their list of annual, or pre-trip maintenance checks. In the unlikely even that this should happen, you want to catch it early. I guess there's no way of knowing how quickly those cracks propagated through the frame, but since there was no evidence of any bending, like you'd see if it happened suddenly, I suspect it took some time. Had it been detected earlier, perhaps some less comprehensive repair could have been done.

 

Anyway, you guys all know by now that if I have a problem with Oliver or the quality of any part of their trailers, that I am immediately here voicing my concern. This obviously was a big failure, but it didn't make me concerned.

 

My take aways were this:

 

1) Inspect the bottom of the A-Frame at least once a year and probably before every major trip to check for possible cracks. They'll start at the bottom and work their way up, and would probably be located near one of the welded joints.

 

2) Think twice about placing a really heavy load permanently on the tongue. This is subjective, but I personally don't know if that's a good spot for heavy generators, water, fuel, etc. It may be perfectly fine, but that's my take. Especially if you also have the larger propane tanks.

 

3) Be wary of any modifications that would require drilling into the frame in that area.

 

4) in the very unlikely case that your frame does develop a crack, Oliver will take care of you.

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Goodness! Kudos to MountainOliver for saving Steve & Tali's glass.

 

I'm curious, what did he see happening that caused him to check under the trailer?

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Chris & Duke Chadwell
🐾Maddie & Baxter🐾
Elite II Hull 292
2017 F-150 Lariat 3.5 EB 4x4 Lakeland, FL 

 

 

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