Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER FORUMS, WELCOME › Introduce Yourself › Intgerested in Oliver
- August 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm #12643
Hi. I’m Chamaigne. I’m very interested in the Oliver.
I had been thinking that I would buy a cargo trailer, insulate it, and add low tech amenities inside. But the more I researched, the more I felt that I would like water tanks for boon-docking, and really great insulation. I am figuring I ought to leave that to the experts. I’m very impressed with the double hull idea.
I’d also like to be able to camp in cold conditions because I’m a traveling musician, not just a for-fun traveler. I also like the idea of being able to relocate to help family if the need arises. So I want flexibility. I have read a lot of opinions that true four season camping is impossible in anything on wheels, because it’s impossible to keep water tanks from freezing, especially if you’re whizzing down the road. Plus, it’s hard to fill those water tanks from hoses because the campground hoses freeze. But, as I’ve looked around, I get the impression that the Oliver and maybe the Big Foot are the best there is. So I won’t expect the winter functionality of a park model or mobile home, but I want the best there is available.
My concern is:
Chemical off-gassing – I’m chemically sensitive, especially to glues. I’m impressed that some RV manufacturers have "green certification" from TRA Green and they specify their rating for indoor air quality. I wish Oliver had this. I wish I knew how a new one smelled, or if buying an old one will be safe enough for me. Any thoughts?August 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm #18848
You CAN see and smell a new "Ollie" on the next road tour, by contacting the factory and asking to see one near you from a participating, cooperating proud Oliver owner, or by visiting the factory. Robert was on the facebook page the other day, asking folks just where they should be planning stops for the next Oliver road tour. If you’re not a facebook user, just give them a call. I don’t know where you are, but there are a lot more 17s out there than new 22s.
Oliver is RVIA and NATM certified. I’d actually never heard much about TRA up until your post. I think it’s fairly new, maybe four or five years, with only a handful of participating manufacturers. Looking at their certification process (especially with regards to indoor air quality), it looks like they base at least some of their standards on the LEED process for homes and buildings (with which I am very familiar.)
Nowhere does it say on the TRA website that the actual indoor air quality of each trailer is measured. Actually, no specific testing is done in LEED for homes, either. However, the guidelines that are followed by participating members and builders in both programs help to assure better indoor air quality for the occupant. In another post, I’ll look at their posted guidelines one by one. Briefly, qualifying means the manufacturer or builder is using primarily nonemitting or low emitting (low voc) materials in the construction process (no or low voc insulation, no or limited carpet, low voc paints, etc.). For the RV manufacturers, and for builders, the programs also mean that other factors are quantified: energy and water consumption are monitored and reduced, recycling used where possible, etc.
2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4
2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12August 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm #18849
I took the time to look through the certification process grid listed on the TRA verification section of their website.
Here’s a link:
The grid doesn’t show the entire process, I’m sure. (The LEED certification process checklist is a small book.) But it does go through what a manufacturer must show to be certified as Green Capable, but not how many points take them to whatever level, from bronze to emerald. An accumulation of points, for good practices and material selections, added up, lead to a level of certification for the applicant if all conditions are met.
The indoor air quality section would seem to be the most important to you, and to many people. It is to me, as well. I’m adversely affected by a number or adhesives, paints and some building materials, especially contact cement, some sealants, and a number of oil based paints, and most types of nail polish. Even some low voc paint latex paints can give me a headache. And, that’s true of many people, though probably not as bad as someone like you who has been identified as chemically sensitive.
From what I’ve read, most of the vocs in fiberglass and composite products, are emitted during the manufacturing process. All the trailers listed on the certified page are fiberglass panel, aluminum panel, or composite panel, except Airstream, of course, so I’m guessing that TRA believes fiberglass is ok.
For a number of the items listed on the TRA air quality section, Oliver scores very high in my opinion:
No wood, so no worries about vocs from plywood or particle board, or cabinetry finishes or paints. Hull, benches, walls, cabinets are molded fiberglass. Frame is aluminum. No wood, so no treated wood.
Good natural ventilation with the windows and skylight/fan.
Zero carpet. Not on the walls, not on the floor. No wallpaper. No automotive headliner stuff. We were even allowed to pick our own tile when ours was built. The rest of the floor is, you guessed it, fiberglass.
Mechanical ventilation from the FantasticFan
No ductwork in ours (2008 17 ft model),and I think the new ones have ductwork run thru the lower cabinets, so I’m guessing no ductwork on the floors. Easy enough to seal off ductwork during the manufacturing process, even easier than in a home, so that shouldn’t be an issue anyway.
Carbon Monoxide detector is standard, and an RVIA requirement. And probably the law now, so that’s kind of a gimme for everyone who applies.
You can pick your own mattress, seat cushions, upholstery fabrics, etc., so you can control a lot of the indoor environment thru materials choices, (and pay for the upgrades….)
I know that one of the sealants Oliver uses is 3M4000, which is a low VOC (<1%) marine grade sealant/adhesive, but I don’t know about the others. You’d have to ask. No paints applied by Oliver in ours. Probably still true in the new ones.
That said, all RVs (including the Oliver) contain a lot of components made by others. Water pump, gas stove, refrigerator, a mile or two of wiring. Batteries in a compartment sealed from the inside of the cabinet, vented to the great outdoors. Plumbing. Insulation. Lighting. Television and stereo. AC unit. The list goes on. Not many of these items are touched on in the TRA list of vetted items on their website. Still and all, when you asked about formeldehyde and mercury, off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of any components in my trailer that would likely contain them, with the exception of the tv and the stereo, which often do, and why municipalities charge more to dispose of them when they quit functioning. Those are optional items, of course.
Looking through the grid, I’d guess if Oliver wanted to be certified green, they’d have no problem. But, how many certifications does one small manufacturer need to have? Even though I’m very committed to green building, I’m not sure I’d encourage them to go for it now, as I know personally how much time and paperwork goes into LEED for homes certification.
2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4
2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12August 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm #18859
Thanks for the replies. Interesting and encouraging.August 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm #18869
I’d venture a WAG that the Oliver is no worse than any other RV and MUCH better than virtually all the rest.
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 NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4
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