Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Ollie Modifications › A living design. How mods become standards . . .
- May 18, 2016 at 10:05 pm #34262
Oliver Travel Trailers initially designed a wonderful trailer including unique manufacturing processes and innovations that really allow us to get out there and have fun right off the “git-go” without having to tinker with it to make it great. As good as it is, another thing the Ollie has going for it is the company is continuously listening to owners and buyers who may have new ideas. After thinking about it, they have been known to accommodate these new ideas, or modifications, if they are safe ideas that don’t interfere with the production line too much, and we are willing to pay the extra price for the mod.
By being willing to think outside of the box, Oliver may start to offer new buyers some of these modifications as optional add-ons. If they think it makes sense, a new mod may even become part of the basic design. Over the years, this willingness has rocketed Oliver Travel Trailers to be known for its innovation in the industry.
I can think of a few modifications that started with owners or buyers, that went from concept, to modification, to add-on option, and even standard item:
Spring over axle lift . . . Solar panels . . . Cell phone signal amplifier . . . Front basket . . . Safety grab handle on exit . . . 16″wheels with Michelin truck tires . . . total control of exterior lights from inside the Ollie . . . double step . . .
There are surely other items as well. What ones are you aware of?
Pete & "Bosker". TV - '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV - "The Wonder Egg"; '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.
Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.comMay 19, 2016 at 6:19 am #34267
Thank you for initiating this thread. I agree there is a measurable partnership between Oliver management and the owners. That partnership is a real catalyst for change and innovation.
One idea I would like to place on the table is the value of obtaining ideas from exhibitors at the National RV Trade Show. We know the show is not open to the public, however, a representative from Oliver could attend. The 2016 meeting will take place from November 29-30 and December 1, 2016 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville. Kentucky
In a perfect world, someone from Oliver would attend and bring back ideas for possible options. They could share their discoveries with us on this Forum. Some of us would probably enjoy purchasing the items to be installed at the factory and perform a test-of-concept while providing feedback to management and owners. In essence, we create an incubator for change and innovation. Hey, sign me up for that tour of duty!
BuzzyMay 19, 2016 at 7:05 am #34268
Dave here. I like your idea. Other than a larger coach we find our unit quite comfortable and well thought out. One very big mod I would suggest to Oliver is a larger fridge. It is fairly obvious they just followed the Casita model when laying out the floor plan. At prices pushing 50k a trailer should have at least a 6 CF fridge. The Escape certainly does, as do the larger Bigfoots. That and the fact one must get on their knees to access the fridge have been problematic for us. I did speak to Tommy at Oliver about a mod but the space is too tight and would require a lot of re-configuring.
Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31
2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)
2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo dieselMay 19, 2016 at 7:34 am #34271
I understand the need for more cubic feet of refrigeration. I also understand the space constraints with the current Elite and Elite II design. For this issue, we may want to consider thinking outside the ice box, so to speak.
For me, I see the need for supplementing the refrigerator with a Dometic portable unit (see link below) in either 1 or 2 cubic foot size. If I am planning to head out for a long weekend of camping, I would prefer to pre-cool a portable unit, load it up, and then place it in the back seat section of my F150 plugged into the 110V outlet. That way I do not need to pre-cool my trailer fridge the night before. Nor do I need to keep it cool in transit. Once I arrive at the campsite, I begin cooling my trailer fridge and move the items from the portable to the trailer once it arrives at my desired temperature. I think this approach will give me flexibility and added capacity I might need at times.
Refrigerated food for thought?
BuzzyMay 19, 2016 at 9:23 am #34272
At $800 bucks, I don’t think so. We got a small cooler that plugs in to the cigarette lighter outlet and use that to supplement the frig. It would be nice to have a little more freezer space.
As far as innovations, I would still like to have a small window behind the sink.
Stan and Carol
2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi
2014 Legacy Elite II Standard Hull 63May 19, 2016 at 10:13 am #34274
I use one of these and it is amazingly efficient, plus no power input needed, not cheap but very useful, and yes I think it is better than a Yeti:
Its a Pelican 45 quart cooler. http://www.amazon.com/Pelican-Quart-45Q-OC-Elite-Cooler/dp/B009QB0LVC/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1463672065&sr=1-1&keywords=pelican+coolerMay 19, 2016 at 10:23 am #34275
Coolers, we just do it the old fashion way. We bring along an ice chest and keep that in the back of our truck. Nice to have a cold drink after a long day of hiking or cycling or what ever we are up to for the day. Even in hot weather we can go a 2-3 days without replenishing the ice. Thus far we haven’t felt the need for a larger fridge per se, but if we had it no doubt it would get used. Things do get tossed around quite a bit though. Regarding pre-cooling the fridge, really its no big deal, one can always use AC for the initial phase but the fridge from what I can tell doesn’t eat up too much propane so this is not something I worry about. And it will take lots more energy in the summer months to get it down to temp than if you had done it before leaving.May 19, 2016 at 11:58 am #34277
A window in the galley area could enhance visibility and awareness of the outside environment and increase natural light inside. A few years back, Escape started to offer this option and it has been well received in their community. The fridge may be a bit smaller than some, but thankfully, I find hunting for food in grocery stores an easy task. (then again, I travel alone, so it makes a difference) Figuring out how to elevate it a bit would surely be a nice touch.
We must remember as we dream about changes, that there are costs involved to both the manufacturer and the customers. The fiberglass molds are very expensive items to “tinker” with and any major change in a mold would involve a capital investment by Oliver. So it is important to be patient and understanding.
Some other things are easy to do, but expensive to accomplish. For instance, all of the fiberglass is white in color. The exceptions have been two unique Elite models produced “in the early times” – one bright red and the other pure black. I understand the hoses and nozzles used for some of the spraying involved are super expensive to buy and the process of cleaning them perfectly to produce another color return to the normal white is very labor intensive, incurring significant labor costs.
And we must also be aware of the disruption on the production lines. Anytime a new process is interjected it will involve technical training and expertise and if incorporated, retraining of other technicians . . . to say nothing about the extra time involved as they figure out how to do it correctly and efficiently.
I’m looking forward to the vertical takeoff, hovercraft mod that will enable me to get to campsites only backpackers can find. Do you think I am expecting too much?
Pete & "Bosker". TV - '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV - "The Wonder Egg"; '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.
Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.comMay 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm #34285
John E DaviesParticipant@john-e-davies
Oliver has told me that they will not install a spring-over axle conversion on an Elite II, which is a great disappointment since I would have to get it done locally and at much extra cost and wasted time. Plus no warranty. I may just install this bolt-on Lippart alignment kit which will give an extra 2 inches of lift plus the ability to adjust the axle angles for reduced tire wear and better stability.
I asked for a cassette toilet system and was also politely and firmly rebuffed.
"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.May 23, 2016 at 6:20 am #34388
We had Dometic C-5 windows on our previous camper. Never had leak issues and can be opened while raining without water getting into camper.
Would also be interested in replacing existing Kinro windows with Dometic, if sizes available for older Ollie Campers.
LE2 TundraMay 23, 2016 at 7:21 am #34391
Great video. I would not be surprised if Oliver decides to include something like this as either standard or optional in the 2017 model year. I am hoping for an induction cook top down the road.
BuzzyMay 23, 2016 at 7:43 am #34394
Very informative vid. I wonder how acrylic compares to glass in regards to being more easily scratched?
Speaking of 2017 models, which month are those usually announced and able to be preordered?May 23, 2016 at 7:45 am #34395
Great video. I would not be surprised if Oliver decides to include something like this as either standard or optional in the 2017 model year. I am hoping for an induction cook top down the road. Buzzy
Would be happy to let Oliver retrofit our Ollie, if they start using Dometic windows! We purchased an induction hot plate to try out.
LE2 TundraMay 23, 2016 at 7:53 am #34396
Very informative vid. I wonder how acrylic compares to glass in regards to being more easily scratched? Speaking of 2017 models, which month are those usually announced and able to be preordered?
Cleaned Dometic windows with Microfiber cloth and Plexus plastic cleaner. Also use Plexus cleaner on aircraft windows and motorcycle windscreens. Easy to scratch if care is not taken while cleaning.
2 users thanked author for this post.May 23, 2016 at 11:27 am #34402
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