Decided to order the Oliver - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-04-2014, 07:55 PM   #113
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GVWR etc etc

Perhaps worth pointing out what comes standard on the Oliver is way out beyond what other companies provide. In fact there are only a few options, most of which do not add up to a lot of weight, well with the exception of the 4 battery pack, be it the AGM's or Trojan Wet Cells. So by the time you start adding all of the extras, add on's, and options with so many of the other TT's produced pretty soon you're knocking on the door of the Oliver's standard weight. However most companies do not produce weight as you go analysis as you add on these options.

If you doubt this this, saunter on over the Lance Travel Trailer website, and navigate to the build your own trailer or something along those lines. Once there you can start adding on options to your hearts content and unlike other companies this will also produce the GVW of the trailer with those options. The 1995 model comes within a couple hundred pounds of the Oliver, yet it still doesn't have many of the standards the Oliver has. In all fairness it also has many that the Oliver doesn't have, i.e. slide out, 1 foot wider dimension, full bath etc.

The point is, make sure you're comparing apples to apples when talking about weights, especially hidden weights.

Just some food for thought.

rob
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:25 PM   #114
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Rob,

I'll be one of those not using WD or sway control with my new trailer. My truck's hitch tag says 1000 lbs w/o WD and 1500 lbs with. My max tow is around 18000 lbs. The truck itself weighs around 7600 lbs. It has a fairly long wheelbase being a crew cab.

One neat thing about the Oliver is the adjustable tongue. You can pretty well manipulate your tongue weight which may be needed for some folks. With my heavy truck, I doubt adjustments will be necessary.

There are so many variables involved in figuring out if you need sway control. Weight of the trailer compared to weight of the truck. Length of the trailer and length of the tow vehicle. Tongue weight proportion of total trailer weight.

When I towed a 34' box trailer, sway control bars were definitely needed. When I towed my Vantage 19UL (23' with rounded body) it was not needed at all. With a 25' show car hauler I have, even with a car in it, neither WD or sway control is needed - that one is 1000 lbs on the tongue and 10,000 lbs overall. But it has a very low center of gravity.

In my experience, if your loaded trailer is lighter than your truck, is not much longer than your truck, and tongue weight is less than 20% of the total weight, and you have less than 1" drop on the rear suspension (stiff), then towing with just the ball hitch is OK. These are my own rules, not something written in stone.

They certainly didn't apply when I towed with a Chevy Suburban. The trailer met most of these criteria, but the Suburban had such a soft suspension (basically a car suspension) that sway and WD was an absolute necessity even though this vehicle was quite heavy and had a long wheelbase.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:34 PM   #115
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Quote:
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They certainly didn't apply when I towed with a Chevy Suburban. The trailer met most of these criteria, but the Suburban had such a soft suspension (basically a car suspension) that sway and WD was an absolute necessity even though this vehicle was quite heavy and had a long wheelbase.
I drove one of those for a while. It was likely the worst truck I ever towed with. Like you I found the suspension very soft. I did not to a lot, but when I did I never felt it was all that stable.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:43 PM   #116
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The poor guys that bought them with the air suspension could never get a WD set up properly because the air suspension would constantly adjust. On mine, I ended up installing Timbrens, which helped a lot (I didn't have the air ride).

I also had the 5.3 motor, so besides the 9 to 10 mpg, I also got to enjoy very poor hill climbing.

Supposedly the tow rating was 7200 lbs, but that was a laugh. That is why I'm very skeptical when I see the ratings on SUV's. Maybe they won't fly apart up to those numbers, but they certainly won't be a comfortable tow.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:47 PM   #117
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I personally think that my Pilot has way stiffer suspension, than that Suburban had. If I feel I need more stiffness though, out comes my F-350, no issues there. lol
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:54 PM   #118
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Eventually I'd like to downsize my truck. I've been looking into the RAM 1500 diesel and am interested in the new Colorado/Canyon diesel. These trucks may be a good match for the Oliver. The RAM is rated for nearly 10,000 lbs and gets 28 mpg highway. The GM's aren't out yet with the diesel versions, but should be rated just a bit less than the RAM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:22 PM   #119
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Quote:
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Rob, ...

One neat thing about the Oliver is the adjustable tongue. You can pretty well manipulate your tongue weight which may be needed for some folks. With my heavy truck, I doubt adjustments will be necessary. ...
From the Oliver website I couldn't figure out what the adjustable tongue was. Your clue "... manipulate your tongue weight ..." makes me think that the length is adjustable. Is that the case?

On my '11 so-called ¾ ton F-250 the hitch says I need a WD hitch if the tongue weight ≥ 600 pounds and/or the trailer is ≥ 6,000 pounds. If you wish to discuss differences in tow vehicles the differences between ½ ton and ¾ ton pickup are often not understood. The major characteristic differentiating the two in my eyes is the amount of stuff the truck can carry in the cabin and on the bed. While both kinds of truck can tow >10K pounds the ½ ton pickup may have a non-towing payload of maybe 1,500 pounds while the ¾ ton pickup may be nearly twice that. I haven't checked the numbers in a long time but think I've got it right.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:29 PM   #120
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Yep. There are a few pictures around that show it. I don't think it's a quick adjustment - think it's something you bolt and unbolt.

I think with your truck, those limits are because of the springs Ford decides to use in it's trucks. They are generally softer sprung, and therefore ride better than the GM's. Often you see folks install air bags in them to eliminate the sag from a heavy load. That doesn't negate the need for WD, but does help with the dynamics.

You are right about the differences. Often, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks can have the same engine and transmissions. The difference in the rating is due to frame rails, springs and axles - all the load carrying bits. Engine power is not much of an issue with the modern trucks - they all have gobs of pulling power.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:54 PM   #121
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I don't believe anyone's Oliver tongue wt will exceed 600 pounds. Our Oliver has got to be the heaviest one in existence at over 6000 lb ready to camp. Yet my weighed tongue was 535 lbs. I had them build an extra 24" of tongue so it is longer and therefore creates some reduction in weight. But it also has 200 lbs of genny and basket sitting on it in addition to two 30 lb propane tanks. I thought I was going to need a weight distribution hitch, but would that not effectively make the tongue even lighter? It's not even 10% now. Don't misunderstand, the trailer pulls fine and I've not had any sway issues so I'm not too concerned, just wondering if anyone had any thoughts that I'm possibly overlooking.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:01 PM   #122
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Proof is in the pudding I guess. If you are happy with the tow, then that is all that matters.

I am surprised though that it behaves well with less than 10% tongue weight. Although adding 24" to the tongue is quite a lot! Maybe the cantilever has something to do with it.

So that 535lbs includes the weight of your generator?
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:08 PM   #123
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If anyone knows where I would read about real-world experience in winter in an Oliver, please advise. I have looked and asked. That is a valid question for a trailer said to be four-season. I am sure there are folks out there who know.
Hi Cathi,

Since none of the big Ollies have gone through a winter, that probably explains the silence there. I own a 6 1/2 yr old 17' Ollie and have enjoyed it for 83,000+ miles so far. While I prefer nicer weather, I have had a bit of cold weather time. My unit is not as well insulated as the newer ones, however, I did install a bilge heater between the two shells which comes on as the air between them goes below 40 degrees. The heater comes on and a small fan blows to heat the air in the back section of the trailer between the shells, where critical water items can be found, heating the air to 50 degrees. This not only protects critical items from freezing but it also help prevent frozen toe syndrome during any late night walks to the loo.

I personally feel comfortable with this trailer into the twenties and brief excursion into the teens, but have discovered that 8 degrees with a wind chill of 6 below zero for four days stopped the water from flowing to the bathroom or galley sink. It took a ceramic heater next to the water pump about 12 hours to get water to the galley.

Even the cabin I was parked next to had no water at those temps. My dog, Oscar, swore he'd disown me if I took him out to do his business in 6 degree below chill again. So while I plan to avoid it if at all possible, sometimes "Stuff Happens" and you simply deal with it as best as you can.

Hope this helps some,

Pete

Ps. The newer, bigger Oliver's do have a more sophisticated insulation and they also offer an optional furnace vent opening between the shells that would put out a higher volume of warm air than my small bilge heater. I think it would fair better than my older model in severe frigid temps.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:27 PM   #124
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Rob, I saw your other post on the towing capacity. We do use a WDH. It looks as if one cannot be used with the Oliver but I take it that it can.

By the way, the F-150 Eco boost is now on the 2015 Ford Expedition, I hear, for anyone's interest.

Steve, you might want to get the tongue weight up however you can do it and try to at least meet that 10%. As for the 24" which is perhaps lowering it, I understood that you should be as close to the TV as possible. I don't know what your reasoning was on that. Maybe you needed the space for something.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:39 PM   #125
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Hi Cathi,

Since none of the big Ollies have gone through a winter, that probably explains the silence there. I own a 6 1/2 yr old 17' Ollie and have enjoyed it for 83,000+ miles so far. While I prefer nicer weather, I have had a bit of cold weather time. My unit is not as well insulated as the newer ones, however, I did install a bilge heater between the two shells which comes on as the air between them goes below 40 degrees. The heater comes on and a small fan blows to heat the air in the back section of the trailer between the shells, where critical water items can be found, heating the air to 50 degrees. This not only protects critical items from freezing but it also help prevent frozen toe syndrome during any late night walks to the loo.

I personally feel comfortable with this trailer into the twenties and brief excursion into the teens, but have discovered that 8 degrees with a wind chill of 6 below zero for four days stopped the water from flowing to the bathroom or galley sink. It took a ceramic heater next to the water pump about 12 hours to get water to the galley.

Even the cabin I was parked next to had no water at those temps. My dog, Oscar, swore he'd disown me if I took him out to do his business in 6 degree below chill again. So while I plan to avoid it if at all possible, sometimes "Stuff Happens" and you simply deal with it as best as you can.

Hope this helps some,

Pete

Ps. The newer, bigger Oliver's do have a more sophisticated insulation and they also offer an optional furnace vent opening between the shells that would put out a higher volume of warm air than my small bilge heater. I think it would fair better than my older model in severe frigid temps.

Thanks, Pete! Wow, 83,000. That's a big number.

I don't even know what a bilge heater is but from what you say, sounds helpful but perhaps not needed now in an Oliver with furnace venting. You were in such an extreme. I'm surprised the ceramic heater did not work faster. I take it that the Oliver insulation now is a change from the material you have.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:46 AM   #126
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Ron Just for the record, likewise I will at least initially not use a WDH given what other owners of the newer Elite II claim with towing experiences. I mainly brought this up because so many "undersize" (according to my definition) their TV because they think they are going to save 2-3 MPG by using the smallest TV they can get away with. Curiously our second car a 2011 Subaru OB 4 Cyl, only gets marginally better gas mileage around town especially during the winter months compared to our F150 EB, it is better, but not enough to get excited about. Not that I would tow an Oliver with the Subie, heck I didn't even feel comfortable thinking about using it to tow our T@b when we had it.

The point is the best way we conserve gas is to not use darn things when its unnecessary. Both my wife and I either bike or walk to do the lions share of our errands and as such our 2011 OB only has 24K miles on it, our F150 about half that but it has done quite a few cross country and or towing road trips.

For those following this thread and who have an interest in the Oliver, they are now supplying the Anderson WDH for those who want it.

rob
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