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Is the New Oliver Elite II a Four Season Camper?


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There has been a lot of discussion on various thread about how the new Oliver performs in the cold. Since this has been the coldest weather any one of them has experienced so far, I decided to do a little testing.


First some parameters and disclosures:


I am in Tupelo, MS usually not one of the coldest spots in North America especially in mid November. However, as I am writing this, it is 28̊ outside with tonight’s predicted low of 18̊. As a comparison, on this day last year we had a high of 72̊ with a low of 64̊.


Our trailer is inside a metal building. The building is unheated and completely open on one end. It does stay about 3̊ or 4̊ warmer than the ambient temperature inside probably due to the heated trailer sitting there.


Although I do “winterize” our trailer, (I drain the water and blow out the lines, no antifreeze) I keep it heated with a small heater I got at Wal-Mart. It sits on the floor about half way down the center aisle pointing toward the rear. I like to keep the interior around 60̊. Sometimes I like to go out there and take a nap or read and I want it to be comfy.


We have two digital thermometers inside mounted more or less at either end of the trailer. One is simply the remote for the http://www.amazon.com/Maxxair-0007000K- ... ds=maxxfan which has an onboard digital readout, the other is a http://www.walmart.com/ip/La-Crosse-Tec ... k/17378668 that you can easily deduce from whence it came. There was one remote transmitter supplied that we mounted under the propane cover outside and it sends the information on the exterior temps. We added another remote transmitter that is mounted inside the refrigerator to monitor the temps there.


cpaharley2008 had tweaked my curiosity about the possibility of being cold sleeping right next to my windows. Since I had purposely designed our beds to top out right at the level of the windows, I wondered if maybe I’d not thought that through.


We have double pane windows throughout the trailer.


I used a http://www.harborfreight.com/non-contac ... 60725.html to measure the interior and exterior temps. This was all done within about a 20 minute period so there was little to no temperature fluctuation.




The two digital thermometers both read 61̊ for the interior temperature.


All interior walls were within 1̊ of the above interior temperature.

All exterior walls were at 31̊ (just barely warmer that the ambient outside temperature).


All interior window panes were about 59̊

All exterior window panes were about 37̊


The interior of the door was 54̊

The exterior of the door was 31̊


The interior of the door glass pane was 54̊

The exterior of the door glass pane was 44̊


The floor was about 56̊

The ceiling was about 66̊


In the basement and between the shells (where all the plumbing and tanks are) the temps varied from 45̊ to 50̊ as measured on the foil surface of the reflectix insulation glued to the inside of the exterior shell.




There was a 30̊ difference in the temperature of the inside and outside shells.

There was a 22̊ difference in the temperature of the inside and outside window panes.

There was about a 2̊ difference between the interior wall and the interior window pane.

The door is purchased as a standard RV model with a dual pane window and is not manufactured by Oliver. It is obviously not as well insulated as the rest of the coach, but it is at least as good as the coach windows.

There was a 23̊ difference in the temperature of the inside and outside of the door.

There was a 10̊ difference in the temperature of the inside and outside door glass panes.

There was a 10̊ difference in the temperature of the floor and ceiling (heat rises).

The reflectix insulation affords about a 15̊ temperature difference on either side of a single shell. Since each shell has its own layer of reflectix, this accounts for the 30̊ difference in the temperature of the inside and outside shells.


Does all this qualify the new Oliver Elite II as having 4 season capabilities? I couldn’t tell you. But I do know that it’s below freezing out there right now and not even using the furnace I could easily get the temperature up to about 80̊inside with nothing more than that little cube heater. That’s way hotter than I want to sleep.

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Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all 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 SRW Diesel 4x4 





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Wow, that was quite a study, ought to answer a lot of questions, but I still have one more.

Not having any antifreeze in the traps does not have the possibility of the gaskets drying out? I don't know,just asking.



Stan and Carol

Blacksburg, VA

2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi

2014 Legacy Elite II Standard  Hull 63

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Steve, that's a lot of research. Thanks for the detailed measurements and posts.


Did you open up the access to the basement while running the cube heater? Just curious. When we're camped in temps falling to twenties or teens, I usually open a drawer or two to send some warm air into the spaces between the hulls, and prop the bathroom door open in our 17. (The older 17s don't have the basement furnace) I only do this in really cold weather, as the furnace runs more often, and the surface mounted furnace fan wakes me up when it kicks in.


Since we don't usually camp with electricity, we've only used our cube heater a few times. I'm not sure we have it anymore. However, even the little wall mount furnace keeps the older 17s pretty cozy in weather in the twenties and teens, but we don't have the benefit of the heat in the "basement" area between the hulls.


For those who boondock, it would be interesting to know how the furnace deals with heating the interstitial spaces in the new olivers. We don't have the luxury of cube heaters when we have no electricity.


Stan, in the old days in Minnesota, all we did was blow out the water in the lines in my parents 70s class c, and the later travel trailer. We never used rv antifreeze, don't even know if it existed then. Probably did, but we had an air compressor, so that's what we did. Don't remember ever having a problem with frozen lines, etc., but maybe Dad just never mentioned it. Since i used the camper as much as anyone in the family, I think he probably would have mentioned it to me.


What a lot of people did was add a half cup or so of mineral oil (very cheap, and no staining) to the toilet bowl to keep the seals lubricated. It doesn't spoil, and doesn't apparently freeze very easily. With the price of rv anitifreeze being so inexpensive, that's what we use now.We winterize our trailer if we're leaving it in Nc in the mountains in the late fall, just in case we don't get back before the first hard freeze. The rv "pink stuff" works great, Once we're home in Florida, it's not really necessary.


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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