Decided to order the Oliver - Page 7 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-03-2014, 09:35 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Ron Merritt View Post
.....I'm open to ideas on an actual measure for the insulation value......
Would be fun to use the new "Seek" 200 dollar iphone thermal camera if a friend, co-worker, or relative has one. An escape forum member played with another brand, it sure was interesting. An Escape/Oliver thermal shootout would be interesting, footprints below
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:00 PM   #86
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Sometimes using a correct name helps people to visualize better and then understand better. If I understand correctly Oliver uses sandwich construction (see: Sandwich-structured composite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ). Perhaps that Wiki entry will help.

When contrasting two construction approaches, 1) a sandwich of two fiberglass skins with foam in between and 2) a single fiberglass skin of equal strength there is no surprise that each has it's advantages. Some of the advantages of 2), the single thick skin, are better resistance to puncture (think of backing into a pipe or limb, ugh!), and cheaper to make (one vs. two molds, no assembly,,,).

Since we like to attach things to the structure we sometimes make holes in it for bolts. With the single thick skin if we have a water leak it is annoying. With a sandwich construction any water ingress that gets between the outer skin and the foam can freeze and cause delamination.

I focused on the downside of sandwich construction because I think the advantages of sandwich construction have already been discussed. Sailboats have used sandwich construction for decks since I guess the '60s very successfully. Done right (design and manufacturing) sandwich construction can be very effective.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:15 AM   #87
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You do not understand it correctly. It is NOT a sandwich construction technique.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:17 AM   #88
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Would be fun to use the new "Seek" 200 dollar iphone thermal camera if a friend, co-worker, or relative has one. An escape forum member played with another brand, it sure was interesting. An Escape/Oliver thermal shootout would be interesting, footprints below
I'm certainly open to this idea if I could better understand what it's telling me. I'm supposing it would show me hot and cold spots, but can I determine relative temperatures?
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:08 AM   #89
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You do not understand it correctly. It is NOT a sandwich construction technique.
Perhaps you can see how I got it wrong: two skins, stuff in the middle, all joined together. Sounds like sandwich to me. Tastes like sandwich to me. Please then, instead of just announcing that I'm wrong and dismissing me, tell us 1) what is right and b) perhaps also why I'm wrong.

thanx,,, Alan
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:31 AM   #90
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There is no "stuff in the middle", which you'd know if you read a bit.

This is two distinct pieces of fiberglass, each with a thin layer of insulation applied to them and an air gap in the middle. The layers are in contact with each other at anchoring points only.

If foam insulation was blown into that gap, thus joining the pieces together, then it would act as one "sandwich" panel. Since it doesn't, then it's not.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:32 AM   #91
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Perhaps you can see how I got it wrong: two skins, stuff in the middle, all joined together. Sounds like sandwich to me. Tastes like sandwich to me. Please then, instead of just announcing that I'm wrong and dismissing me, tell us 1) what is right and b) perhaps also why I'm wrong.

thanx,,, Alan
I'm just going to jump in here. The sandwich construction, as you call it, for the Olivers is far superior to a single wall construction. It's lighter, stronger, heat and cold resistant and I have not had any problems attaching to the outside or inside with my 2008 Oliver. Fortunately, I have never run into anything but branches overhead, which caused no damage. It is more expensive to do it the Oliver way, but you get what you pay for.

I think the single hull of the escape is great, but the Oliver's approach is just better. With all the furniture built into the hull, it helps to make it even stronger, not to mention, that there are no heavy fiberboard or wood products to get wet, warped, come undone, etc. Not that you would, but you could take the cushions and all your stuff out of an Oliver and hose it down. I have not owned an Escape, but I did have an AS Bambi deluxe, and a U-Haul. The Oliver blows away these two trailers in every respect. From everything I can research on the internet, the Escape is an excellent product. If there were no Olivers, I would consider it as one of my first choices in a small RV trailer.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:05 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Ron Merritt View Post
There is no "stuff in the middle", which you'd know if you read a bit.

This is two distinct pieces of fiberglass, each with a thin layer of insulation applied to them and an air gap in the middle. The layers are in contact with each other at anchoring points only.

If foam insulation was blown into that gap, thus joining the pieces together, then it would act as one "sandwich" panel. Since it doesn't, then it's not.
Thanks for the explanation. When I saw the Nida-Core I visualized based on my experience and was wrong. I've got a sailboat with a honey comb material in the deck with both skins attached.

thanx,,, Alan
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:07 AM   #93
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I can only imagine how awesome an RV would be built like some of those sailboat hulls (or decks). People are surprised how expensive an Oliver is, but it would seem cheap by comparison!
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:22 PM   #94
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...I think the single hull of the escape is great, but the Oliver's approach is just better. ....
I like the Oliver and think it is a nice trailer. The double hull of the Oliver is also a nice feature in terms of strength, but has some distinct pitfalls that would make your usage of the term "better" quite subjective. Many people do not want to have to haul around the large weight that is associated with the double hull Oliver. The look of the fiberglass interior of the Oliver appeals to some but not all. The strength of the single hull fiberglass rv's appears to be more than adequate for the majority of owner's having single hull trailers.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:58 PM   #95
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There have been alot of posts where people say Olivers are "heavy". Well, yes, a 23' long trailer is heavy in gross terms. No small SUV is going to pull such a trailer. You'll need a 1/2 ton truck at least. But if you have a 1/2 ton truck, then you have alot of choices:

Oliver Legacy Elite II - 4600 lbs dry/7000 lbs GVWR = 2400 lbs carry capacity

Bigfoot 2521FB - 4450 lbs dry/7500 lbs GVWR = 3050 lbs carry capacity

Airstream 23D (starts at $66,019!) - 4761 lbs dry/ 6000 lbs GVWR = 1239 lbs carry capacity

My last fiberglass trailer was a Keystone Vantage 19UL - 4900 lbs dry/6000 lbs GVWR = 1100 lbs carry capacity. Curious this was the rating even though it had 4000 lb axles. But it was a 23' long plastic Airstream, essentially.

Just for fun, the other competitors are smaller, but here's some specs:

Casita 17 - 2480 lbs dry/3500 lbs GVWR= 1020 lbs carry
Scamp 16 - 2200-2600 lbs dry/3500 lbs GVWR = 1300-900 lbs carry
EggCamper 17' - 1900 lbs dry/2500 lbs GVWR = 600 lbs carry

Now of course on all these, the weight numbers change base on optional equipment, etc. But you get the idea. Roughly 1/2 the money, 1/2 the size, 1/2 the carrying capacity.

If you are going to a 22-23' trailer, the weights are around the same and the carrying capacities are similar (except the AS). If you go smaller, you are in the same ballpark. You are definitely in a different class of tow vehicle. But if you move up on your tug, then your choices widen up considerably.

Surprisingly, if I spend 50% more money on an Airstream, I only get half of the load carrying capacity. Not a very good value, eh?

There is nothing about the double hull design that is inherently more heavy than a single wall trailer of a similar size. The interior "wood" furnishings must be quite heavy and looks to be a wash in total compared to the weight of the interior hull. Probably exacerbating this is the heavy steel frame on the single hull trailer - it has to be part of this weight trade-off and must be key to getting the similar load carrying capacity.
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:55 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Ron Merritt View Post
There have been a lot of posts where people say Olivers are "heavy". Well, yes, a 23' long trailer is heavy in gross terms.

Oliver Legacy Elite II - 4600 lbs dry/7000 lbs GVWR = 2400 lbs carry capacity
Just for fun, the other competitors are smaller, but here's some specs:

Casita 17 - 2480 lbs dry/3500 lbs GVWR= 1020 lbs carry
Scamp 16 - 2200-2600 lbs dry/3500 lbs GVWR = 1300-900 lbs carry
EggCamper 17' - 1900 lbs dry/2500 lbs GVWR = 600 lbs carry
Judging from the fact this thread has gone on for seven pages it looks like people like talking about a nice FGRV, even if there are things they have questions about. For example, and just using the numbers you posted, I think the term "heavy" is applicable to the Oliver in "net" terms. Here's the quickee math: Oliver at 4600 pounds and 23 feet, is 200 pounds a foot. The Scamp and Casita come in around 150 pounds to the foot, the Eggcamper much less. Just for grins I also looked at the specs on an Escape 21 and it came in right under the 150 pound a foot figure also. Of course we really should use real world weights of all the trailers but this gives us a basis for debate. So just where does the extra 50 pounds a foot (a 33% increase) of weight go in an Oliver? The second shell?
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:14 PM   #97
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Judging from the fact this thread has gone on for seven pages it looks like people like talking baout a nice FGRV, even if their are things they have questions about. For example, and just using the numbers you posted, I think the term "heavy" is applicable to the Oliver in "net" terms. Here's the quickee math: Oliver at 4600 pounds and 23 feet, is 200 pounds a foot. The Scamp and Casita come in around 150 pounds to the foot, the Eggcamper much less. Just for grins I also looked at the specs on an Escape 21 and it came in right under the 150 pound a foot figure also. Of course we really should use real world weights of all the trailers but this gives us a basis for debate. So just where does the extra 50 pounds a foot (a 33% increase) of weight go in an Oliver? The second shell?
The GVWR for the 21' Escape is 4500 lbs. vs. 7000 lbs. for the 23' Oliver as I recall. We can tow the 21' with a mid-sized TV rated for 5,000 lbs. (we would likely be at a little over 4,000 lbs.) Must take a leap in TV for the 23' Oliver.

I, too, am still wondering where all of that Oliver weight is coming from. The explanation of four shells would explain much of it, I would think. And the rest would be heavier components of all kinds, I guess. Of course, Escapes are meant to be as light as possible and they do that well. The Oliver apparently has many high-quality (read heavy) components.

The question is weather you have or want a suitable TV and the gas cost, and is it worth it to get what I assume are better components.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:33 PM   #98
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Judging from the fact this thread has gone on for seven pages it looks like people like talking baout a nice FGRV, even if their are things they have questions about. For example, and just using the numbers you posted, I think the term "heavy" is applicable to the Oliver in "net" terms. Here's the quickee math: Oliver at 4600 pounds and 23 feet, is 200 pounds a foot. The Scamp and Casita come in around 150 pounds to the foot, the Eggcamper much less. Just for grins I also looked at the specs on an Escape 21 and it came in right under the 150 pound a foot figure also. Of course we really should use real world weights of all the trailers but this gives us a basis for debate. So just where does the extra 50 pounds a foot (a 33% increase) of weight go in an Oliver? The second shell?
I'm not so sure that the Escape is such a good comparison - it's body length is 17', so that puts the weight around 180 lbs a foot. The Oliver has about 20' of body length - it is a bigger trailer after all - so that works out around 230 lbs/ft. Clearly with the difference in carrying capacity, that weight goes into strength. Strength to carry more load. The Escape has a fairly modest carrying capacity at 1450 lbs. 1000 lbs less than the Oliver. Question is, do you need that load? Or does it turn into durability because you are traveling mostly lightly loaded? Are you wearing out an Escape because it's traveling most certainly near it's maximum load most of the time?

So yes, if you choose Escape 21, you could get by with a smaller and cheaper tug, maybe something with a V6. But with the squarish body, there may be aerodynamic considerations, so you might still be better off with a 1/2 ton. The question then becomes, how much excess capacity, or margin, do you want in your tow vehicle?

To the question of heavier components, the answer is most certainly yes. Those 16' wheels and tires, heavier rated axles and shock absorber setup adds weight - probably a few hundred pounds. The bigger tanks are certainly heavier. The appliances are about the same I'd guess. The propane tank locker cover and the spare tire cover - made of fiberglass - most certainly add weight.

The thickness of the hulls most certainly plays a part. This may be due to the size of the trailer, needing a thicker hull, or it may just be a design choice for durability. I'd surmise that the smallest Casita has a thinner hull than the largest Escape as well. It would be interesting if anyone has any data on that - if the smaller trailers have thinner fiberglass.
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