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Trailer Length vs "pretty" campsite


dennis
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My wife and I recently toured the LE2 near in Tampa.  We are a year out from retirement and getting serious about purchasing something for multiple extended trips of a month or so per year.  We loved the trailer and the Oliver staff.  Except for the dry bath. (I know...That is another topic all to itself...)  We have convinced ourselves the we "need" the next size up from LE2 to get what we want.  Which leaves me with a puzzle.

I'm convinced that where we are going (mostly national parks or similar) the bigger our footprint, the more limited our options when picking a park, a campground or the individual site within.  But I think it's a smooth curve.  Backpack is best.  Car with a tent is next.  Then teardrop.  Etcetera, all the way up.  Each step eliminates some options the previous setup offered.

But my son thinks I'm naïve.  He has trailering friends who advise that 25' is a magic number.  South of it, most of the National Park System is your oyster.  Anything bigger and you are suddenly limited to the Walmart-parking-lot in the largest and most sterile campgrounds (assuming they let you in the park at all).

From all I've read, I'm pretty confident I'm right.  But I was wondering if anyone here had an "expert" opinion.

Thanks for your time.  This is a great forum.  (I've been "lurking" for quite some time 🙂 )

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It depends where you are. Out west a lot of the forested national park campgrounds were built when trailers were small and 25 feet is probably a pretty good top number. Above that your choices will be limited. Different for dry camping in the desert and commercial campgrounds. 

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

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

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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We camp mostly in public campgrounds.  National Parks are generally the most restrictive, size wise.  Most have some sites that accommodate big rigs but an Elite II size camper can fit in most any site.  State Parks vary but usually have larger sites.  COE and USFS campgrounds also vary, the newer ones can fit about anything, but some of the older or more remote campgrounds can be restrictive.  It’s not just the size of the campsite to consider but also maneuvering truck and trailer during the back in.  There have been a number of times that the site was just long enough for our Oliver, but backing it in proved to be challenging due to the narrow road or obstacles.  I watched a guy trying to back in a trailer, probably 28’ or so, into a spot at a Tennessee State Park and it took him a couple of hours.  He tried everything, to include going around the loop several times to change his angle and also going the wrong way to see if that would work.  His frustration was evident.  Mike

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

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After 4 years of camping and towing with our Elite II, I wouldn’t want to be towing anything any longer than 25’.  The Oliver size gives a lot more freedom for travel overall and is still very well equipped and comfortable.  And it’s not just about campground site choices, although that is a big factor, both for site options and cost at campgrounds.  Longer/bigger spaces cost more at most campgrounds.  It’s also taking into consideration things like getting in and out of gas stations, parking spaces at restaurants and other roadside stops and attractions, very narrow construction zones, etc.   We have even encountered roads with length limits because of tight corner switchbacks on steep climbs.   The Elite II is a nice comfortable compact trailer that is short enough, narrow enough and low enough to avoid most of the common obstacles you will encounter on the road like low clearance bridges, tunnels, etc.   The Zion Mt. Carmel Tunnel in Utah is one example that we drove through.  There is a 7’ 10” width limit and a 11’ 4” height limit.  Anything over a combined length limit of 50’ for tow vehicle/trailer combinations is completely prohibited in the tunnel.  Anything much bigger than towing an Elite II and you have to arrange (and pay for) the park rangers to allow special access with traffic temporarily changed to one direction only instead of two way traffic so larger vehicles can fit through the tunnel.  My wife and I are both retired and we do extended trips of 4 to 5 weeks on the road and we are very comfortable in the Ollie.  And we added a shower curtain with 3M command hooks so it gives us a “dry bath” setup.   The shower curtain can be easily removed to take outside to dry. 

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicle: 2019 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4, 6.2L Flex-Fuel engine  

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dennis - 

I too thought that the wet bath in the Oliver would be a show stopper for me.  But, for the first time in recent memory 😁, I was completely wrong.  Given the amount of time I spend in the bath versus the value of that same square footage used elsewhere for the rest of the day and the alternatives that are available for bathing, it really is a no-brainer (for me).  It is amazing just how simple it is to "dry" the wet bath after showering and then I've got a "clean" shower too.

If your travel plans include the western US then anything over that 25 foot mark becomes reasonably restrictive.  Even here in the eastern US I believe that you will find both camping and traveling (towing) an RV over 25 feet to be much more taxing and generally less enjoyable.

But, only you can make this decision.  And, it depends on how and where you like to travel and camp.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Hi Dennis,

We were also on the attack concerning a wet bath but actually don't mind it at all now.  It does add to the moisture content inside the trailer, especially on rainy days, and drying the towels outside when you can helps a great deal.  We were in a Casita for 2 years (full timers) and really, really appreciate the added room inside of our Elite II.  We don't do the National Parks much ( crowds) but for the most part it has been very rare to find a spot too small.  As Mike mentioned, maneuverability is important and we also have been in spots and had to disconnect to park alongside or in front of the trailer.  So, going from the Casita to the Oliver leads us to believe we're inside a mansion every time we go inside.  FWIW, IMO, if you think it's a little small and you really don't want the wet bath, you'll probably be unsatisfied with the Oliver.  For us it the Cadillac of fiberglass and the service from Oliver is the best there is so we're as happy as we can be.  You might consider renting a bigger rig and see how you like it before making a costly mistake.  Another point is resale of a "stickie" vs fiberglass.

Best of luck with your decision and retired life,

John

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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@dennis

Glad you got to tour an LEll!
In the summer of 2021 we traveled from our home in Western NC to Gulf Shores Alabama, then back home to restock. We then left on a trip to New England and camped in NY, NH, Vt, and Me reserving campgrounds along our route. In total we visited 16 states and 22 CG’s and were never turned away do to the size/length of our Oliver. So it really depends on what your travel and camping needs are going to be. We are totally fine with the wet bath vs a dry bath. 

Based on our experience and we are not experts by any stretch, the Oliver LEll works great for our needs. And as @johnwen mentioned the resale of an Oliver vs a stick built is worthy of consideration. 

All the best in your decision,

Patriot 🇺🇸

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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Don’t overlook the issue of maneuverability and width when visiting National Park campgrounds. I speak from experience of having gone into some campgrounds where the 8.5’ width and length of the other trailer I was considering (Bigfoot 25b25T) would have been a burden. The fact that the Ollie is 7’ wide and the wheels track close to that of the Tow Vehicle make for a very “sneaky” approach (as well as retreat if the need arises to back out of a twisty and narrow campground road). Sure, there are times I wish I had more room inside but ONLY when I am sitting inside the trailer. When towing down the road and finding a campsite I have never regretted the Oliver. 
 

I have camped in areas where I am certain I would not have been able to visit in the bigfoot. 
 

The right trailer for you is the one that gets you out camping. 
 

Best wishes in your decision

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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We also toiled over this topic for several years. We struggled with the "need" of more room inside and also the "need" to bring toys along. We were seriously considering a 25' ATC toy hauler to serve all those needs. Well long story short we concluded with time that where we really wanted to camp was more important than both the need to bring too much stuff along and also the need for extra living space. I'm not necessarily concerned with the smallish interior because we are traveling to enjoy the outside that we are traveling to. We will mostly just sleep in the camper and clean up. But the rest is outside or away from the camper and that's our priority. I don't have to worry about if we'll fit or can we get their with the rig. So to boil it down, where do you want to spend your time camping? Make sure your choice serves that primary purpose first. For our plans the Ollie is by far the best choice. 

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Chris and Stacie Neuhaus Greenfield, Indiana

2021 Ford F350 7.3L Tremor (Redzilla)

LE2 #1373 - Ordered 10/21/22 - Deliver est. 04/18/23

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1 hour ago, Frank C said:

And we added a shower curtain with 3M command hooks so it gives us a “dry bath” setup.   The shower curtain can be easily removed to take outside to dry. 

We purchased the shower curtain upgrade from Oliver.  It works fine, although the curtain supplied is thin vinyl, which started to tear before we got home to Idaho from Tennessee.  It can be replaced with a fabric curtain at some point.

Yes, the bath is small.  I am 6'0" and have grazed my head on the overhead bath fan when showering, as the bathroom floor is higher than the floor in the main cabin, limiting bath headroom.  That is one of the tradeoffs.  Yet, we remain pleased with our choice of the Elite II based, in part, on the size being "just right" for us, for the same reasons detailed by other posters above, including ease of towing, parking, fitting into some campsites, storage, etc.

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

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

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It really depends on your camping style.
 We love the size of the Oliver, especially the width which allows us to keep in at our house, we have a narrow driveway so the width was something we really wanted to stay 7’ or less. We spend most of our time outside and also have a pop up screen room which gives us added space even if it’s raining (it has side panels that can be attached). As for the wet bath, its actually quite large for a wet bath and with the curtain you can keep the half with the toilet area dry when showering. 

I do think if you are contemplating size and already feel that the Oliver may be too small and you are uncertain about a wet bath then I suggest renting a 25ft camper and a smaller camper and see how you feel in it. Try a wet and dry bath. 
It’s a big purchase and you certainly don’t want buyers remorse. 

If you are set on a dry bath and still want fiberglass look at the Bigfoots and Escape is coming out with a new 23 that has twin bed option and a dry bath. 
We love our Oliver and I don’t believe you can beat the quality and customer service but everyone’s likes/needs/wants are different, it’s just finding what’s is the right fit for you. 
Good luck with whatever you decide.

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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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15 minutes ago, Katjo said:

and Escape is coming out with a new 23 that has twin bed option and a dry bath.

That's where I thought we'd end up, having friends with both 17 and 21 Escape trailers. Which reminds me; we're still on the list to reserve one of the 23s! They're just now only making the second prototype, with at least one more to go before making 10 field trial units. Then production. Early last year I was expecting production in late '22, but now I'd bet late '23 might be even optimistic. And then there are the hundreds of people already on the wait list to place orders.

Seeing what they're doing with the shower makes it not only tiny, but awkward to get to the bed, and for a 23, it seems like it will be crowded inside. Until I saw the Oliver, I didn't realize how open it makes a trailer feel having the bathroom across one end of the trailer!

I'm so glad we ended up ordering the Oliver!

Good luck in whatever you choose, @dennis

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-----
Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin Hull #1360 on order - due March 29, 2023

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As for the wet bath, it was a big concern of mine as well. I won't lie, I miss the big shower and dry bath in our last fifth wheel. Luxury. Being 6' myself, washing my hair in the Ollie requires bending over, which I don't love. However, so far the other Ollie advantages - including its compact size, quality, and solar/lithium - have outweighed the shower drawbacks. Last summer we got the last available site in a COE campground. It was designated as a tent/pop-up site but we fit just fine. This year we're staying in a state park we couldn't fit in before, even with our 27' travel trailer.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

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

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.e6391b9064a3f8f0951751f985664135.jpg

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2 hours ago, Steve and Deb said:

I'm so glad we ended up ordering the Oliver!

Good luck in whatever you choose

We had an Escape owner stop and look at our Oiver on his way home to Canada. Back then there was a concern about  importing to Canada ( since solved). He asked if I would like to see his. After the Oliver it felt claustrophobic to me, but what really got me was the table. It was as shaky as my mother's old wooden ironing board. If the first thing you saw was that quality??

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In these days of shrinking campsite availability,  it's really nice to know that our Ollies fit in spaces that others have to reject.

We've been given, and found,  some really awesome campsites, over the years,  in small but beautiful sites.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.

 

 

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2 hours ago, dennis said:

How do the wives vote?

This is our fourth, and smallest, trailer.  My wife wanted the Oliver more than I did and she still likes it better than I do. She'll tow this trailer, too. 

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

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

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.e6391b9064a3f8f0951751f985664135.jpg

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34 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

This is our fourth, and smallest, trailer.  My wife wanted the Oliver more than I did and she still likes it better than I do. She'll tow this trailer, too. 

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Dud,

Like the looks of your blog, think I'll check into "Blogger".  We have Weebly and it's ok but I'm always looking for something easier and better.

John

Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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3 hours ago, dennis said:

How do the wives vote?

My wife is the one who insisted on an Oliver once we got inside one.  She is about 5'4", so the bath seems plenty big to her.  She likes how easy it is to clean. 

She also loves the fact that it is hypoallergenic.  She has a significant mold allergy.  With almost no wood inside, Olivers are much less likely to develop mold and mildew than most trailers.

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

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

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On 1/25/2023 at 7:04 AM, Frank C said:

It’s also taking into consideration things like getting in and out of gas stations, parking spaces at restaurants and other roadside stops and attractions, very narrow construction zones, etc.  

When exploring new territory, particularly off the interstate system, you can't always find a truck stop with big lanes when you need to refuel. 

Getting into, and then out of, a tight, busy gas station in Cuba, New Mexico made me glad our Elite II is no larger than it is.  We had not adequately planned ahead for fuel, and that gas station was apparently the last one for many miles.  We wanted to leave Cuba with a full tank, so we pulled in.  It took some nerve-wracking maneuvering in cramped spaces to get our rig safely back out to the road.

We don't want or need anything bigger.

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

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

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Originally, my wife thought the wet bath might be an issue. After 5 months of owning an Elite II, we both agree the wet bath is a non-issue. I'm 6ft tall and I don't have any trouble taking a shower. So as other mentioned, it depends on what type of camping you want to do. For us it came down to Oliver's reputation for high quality construction and taking care of their customers. No shady RV dealers to contend with. Easy to tow, hitch, setup and tear down. We can tow the trailer just about anywhere my truck can go. I wouldn't say the Oliver is an overlander per se but it's boondocking friendly and you can choose to add solar, lithium batteries, composting toilet, etc... I know some folks just want the basic package as they frequent campsites with shore power, water, etc...It has great resale value if for some reason you have to sell it. Also, there is a wonderful community of Oliver owners that take great pride in their campers and support each other. There is a sense of calm when I'm in our Oliver. Perhaps other owners can relate. It feels very clean inside and the molded fiberglass is very easy to wipe down. So far we have been very pleased with our Oliver, no regrets!     

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Martin & Annie, Austin, TX

2022 LE2, Hull#1240: MightyMo 

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We had a Jayco Eagle with a single super-slide. The room inside with slide out made it feel very home like as I remember and we really liked that. Conversely, the super-slide was our biggest headache and worry. It was quite finicky opening and closing, was a source of constant water leaks, needed constant attention regarding debris on top when camping in areas with overhead trees, and added a lot of weight to the camper for it's relative size. The camper pulled okay but you had to be very mindful of it going down the road, as in very reactive to side wind and passing trucks. At 34' it was a bear to get in and out of a lot of camp sites. And the last thing I remember was that it was built so flimsy. The walls and partitions of paper thin plywood and staples just felt like they could fall apart at any time with the next big bump. No insulation to speak of and the windows were just cheap. We got rid of it after a few years just to cut our losses before it was impossible to sell. It was a feeling of total relief when the buyer handed us the payment in full. Knowing the history and quality of the Oliver products and the customer service reputation has me very much at ease with this substantial purchase. Can't wait for delivery day!

Oh and to answer your wife's interest in the ladies feelings, my wife pushed hard for us to go this route instead of the larger toy hauler. She is most excited to explore the "unknown" to us, in our quaint little camper. She chose the name Ollie-Haus because it will be our home much of the next several years. 😍

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What's today?............. the most frequently asked question as a retiree 🙄

Chris and Stacie Neuhaus Greenfield, Indiana

2021 Ford F350 7.3L Tremor (Redzilla)

LE2 #1373 - Ordered 10/21/22 - Deliver est. 04/18/23

States Visited Map

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