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Greetings, my name is Mirna. We are in the midst of discerning between two trailers: Oliver Elite II and the Lance 1685. Anyone out there has recommendations? We will be doing a lot of boondocking. We do have the option of composting toilet in both trailers. We are buying a pickup most likely a Ford 250 gasoline. We will appreciate other’s input. Thank you.
Hi Mirna, Welcome aboard!
As John mentioned, please fill out your profile so we can see where you are and more about what you will be doing, or what your interests are.
Probably everyone here is biased toward fiberglass, and for good reasons. One very obvious weak link with the Lance is the rubber roof. These are very vulnerable to mechanical damage, will fail over time from the sun, and can cause very serious water damage to the structure when they do fail. Having a slide-out gives a lot of interior room, but can be drafty and make the trailer hard to heat. They also seriously reduce the useful interior space when in. So if you stop on the road for the night, you may have to deploy it just too get from one end to the other. When traveling, that would become a problem. I had one in an “Extreme Edition” Fleetwood and we went through a lot of propane trying to overcome the drafts and stay warm.
Olivers are streamlined, the roofs can not fail, they have good insulation. Look where the jack is on the front of the Lance and compare that to the Oliver jack location. You can open the tailgate of your truck, while connected, with an Oliver. Not so much with so many other common designs that use the same jack location, right next to the coupler.
Be sure to check the cabinet material. Is is just stapled together pressboard with a friction catch? Or do they have a positive latch? How many batteries are included? Olivers have (4) batteries located over the axle. Look at the plumbing for the black and gray tank drain. Is it hanging down where it can get knocked off on a curb or a rock? Oliver plumbing is all up inside in a closed compartment at the rear bumper.
If the cost is helping to drive the decision, look in the classifieds for a used Oliver. I know of at least one in there that is a very good deal. They hold their value much better than a Lance, because they can be used for generations if desired.
"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."
John 2019 Black Series HQ19