ken - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-08-2016, 04:03 PM   #1
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Name: ken
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ken

hi folks, I am thinking and am very intrigued by oliver travel trailers, in the forums estimations, are they better the air streams, i love what i see in both, but love bigfoot also, need some direction from folks that know more
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:17 AM   #2
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Wow Ken, sorry no one has responded. What actually caught my eye was your name. Ken Cummings is the name of a boss of mine from many years ago. :-)

I think one of the reasons for no replies was that you had no "Subject" or "Heading" to attract attention. These are quite important, especially in an initial post to a thread.

Anyway, if you are still lurking, Welcome. Not sure what type of guidance you are seeking, but you have shown exquisite taste. Olivers certainly are very near the top of the list among all trailers, not just molded fiberglass. Unfortunately, they have an equally lofty price tag. Most folks find other makes to share many of the advantages of the Oliver, but at a more manageable cost. If they are within you budget - go for it.

Are Olivers better than Airstreams? On this forum, probably the answer will be yes, due to the fact that most on here are sold on the many benefits of the molded fiberglass construction method.

I'm not implying that Olivers are not worth what the company charges, just that they are "correct" for a smaller subset of buyers.

One thing to keep in mind is that with the higher quality and feature set of the Olivers and Bigfoots come higher weight, thus they also need a larger tow vehicle.

If you are still around and have other questions, please do ask. Folks here are very friendly, and the fact that you got no response for over a month was truly just a glitch.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:21 AM   #3
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I can see why no one has replied. It was posted in the wrong forum [Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets (Upcoming)]. I've asked the moderators to move it to a more appropriate forum.
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:23 AM   #4
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I have owned an Airstream and visited and seriously looked at purchasing an Oliver trailer as their production facility is only 50 miles from my home.

The "Overall" construction of an Airstream has changed little in the last 50 years. The problems you see in vintage Airstream trailer's (leaks, floor rot and mold due to wet fiberglass insulation) will occur in the new trailers as they age due to the fact that the cause of these issues are still present in the current construction methods which are WATER LEAKS!

Airstream has been slow to adopt, resistant to, oblivious to or whatever term you wish to use to use newer/better construction methods and materials. Airstream still uses wood for the floor with a C channel yet in 1978 & 1979 they pioneered and installed an aluminum floor in the small Argosy Minuet line of trailers they manufactured. These short Argosy Minuet trailers today are highly prized in the Airstream community because of the aluminum floor, aluminum cabinets and no floor rot yet Airstream still uses wood as their subfloor material of choice when the aluminum floor is and was far superior.

You have to ask yourself WHY?

Cost?

Can't be that as many Airstreams are now over $100K new. What's another $2K!

Tradition?

Exactly!

Right now that's probably a good bet on the part of Airstream as they like everyone else in the RV industry are SOLD OUT and at maximum production. Just yesterday Airstream announced a $50MM dollar investment/expansion in new production facilities.

The Oliver is a very nice HIGH END trailer at Top of the "Cottage" fiberglass trailer industry. Their "Double Hull" construction is unique and very well thought out. With a fiberglass trailer your potential for leaks is "minimized" but not eliminated. There are still holes in the damn thing for windows and other necessities where leaks can occur HOWEVER much less chance than any other type of RV trailer construction.

Oliver's are not offered in all the trailer different lengths and designs like an Airstream so to compare "Apples to Apples" is NOT reasonable given the many Airstream choices. There are still a lot of old "Gray Hair" trailer buyers with LOT'S of Money that want a BIG trailer and an Oliver with its more compact design ain't goin to cut it for those folks. Airstream has tradition on their side. Oliver is still building their tradition.

For MY MONEY when comparing similar Length and Optioned trailers "I" would buy the Oliver long before "I" would by another Airstream. This is strictly based upon the build quality, future usable longevity of the trailer and far less chance for problems 10 years from now due to the differences in materials and construction methods between the trailers.

About the only thing "I" would like to see Oliver do is offered an aluminum chassis under their trailers instead of the steel chassis. "Mo Money" in an already expensive trailer? You bet HOWEVER "I" think that is well worth the added expense!

My money buys the Oliver!
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:32 AM   #5
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I recently sold an Oliver for a man who owned both an Airstream and an Oliver. As to why he chose to keep the Airstream?
There are many issues which affect owners differently, even down to what club you belong to.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:42 AM   #6
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There are also 2 other manufacturers of fiberglass trailers located in British Columbia, Bigfoot and Escape Trailers. Unlike Airstream, Escape will customize the interior to your liking, something Airstream refuses to do.
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
...About the only thing "I" would like to see Oliver do is offered an aluminum chassis under their trailers instead of the steel chassis...
An Oliver sits on an aluminum frame and there is no wood in the floor- they use a honeycomb material to add the necessary strength.

What more do you want?
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
An Oliver sits on an aluminum frame and there is no wood in the floor- they use a honeycomb material to add the necessary strength.

What more do you want?
For some reason I remembered they sat on a steel frame. My BAD!!

On my way to Hohenwald tomorrow with $$$ in hand!
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:08 AM   #9
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Airstream has the reputation and Oliver is the new kid on the block.

But for me there are some key points that made the difference. Airstreams are very luxurious and this brings with it some baggage that I didn't like. They are wider which means harder to tow by taking up more lane and being harder to see around, but that also means more interior room once you get there. They seem to be designed for weekends rather than long term camping, as they have a very small battery, small tanks and limited useful interior kitchen storage. They use a lot of wood in their construction. That's one of the reasons I wanted to get away from other trailers and was drawn to the Oliver.

Olivers are very well insulated, very easy to tow with their 7' width, use almost no wood (none in the basic structure), have all of their systems enclosed for cold weather and bad roads, have huge batteries that are mounted over the axles instead of on the tongue, have a long tongue with the jack set back so you can open the tailgate without obstruction (very few trailers have this feature), and they use stainless steel fittings, catches, handles throughout (I have broken so many cheap plastic handles, faucets and tank fittings!), they come with 16" load range E truck tires as standard equipment and this is a big deal to me also. One downside, though is the limited storage caused by their double hull design and battery location. Oh well, I tow it with a full size Ram and have lots of room there for chairs, camp table, extra ice chest and outside stove.

Finally, the cost. Olivers are expensive, but Airstreams are way more, easily another 50%. It seems you are getting the luxurious look and feel in an Airstream and actual long term function in an Oliver.

I have already taken my Oliver on 4 wheel drive roads and narrow trails that I would never venture onto with an Airstream. Just because of the extra width and ground clearance issues. And it seems like the aluminum is more fragile when it comes to Nevada pin striping from bushes along the trail. Worst case, the Oliver can someday be painted or at least rubbed out, but paint an Airstream??? Not.

I looked at Airstreams over the years and always wanted one, but the cost always stopped any serious consideration. Then after having a number of stickies and being repeatedly disappointed, I discovered Oliver and decided it was a perfect fit for me. My Elite ll is a keeper.
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:19 AM   #10
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Hi Ken,

Laura and I are new to camping and RVing just finishing our 1st season with our new to us '05 Casita, thus I am no expert, but I am an avid researcher. My 15 months of research led me to FG RVs! We love our Casita. I will retire in 8.5 years. If I were retiring today and thinking about a new rig, I would put Olivers, Bigfoots, and Escapes on my short list, but I would lean Oliver.

We live 2.5 hours from the Oliver plant. In September, we attended their rally, met the owners, toured the plant, and had a great time visiting with Oliver trailer owners. I love the construction and quality and Laura and I both love the interiors of the Oliver.

Airstreams are uber nice, too. In fact, two of my brothers-in-law own late 80s vintage 30' plus Avions that are much like Airstreams. But, for me, the Oliver is the ultimate FG rig and the ultimate travel trailer, period.

Until retirement, we are perfectly happy in our first egg camper (Casita).

Wishing you the best!

Dean
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Airstream has the reputation and Oliver is the new kid on the block.

But for me there are some key points that made the difference. Airstreams are very luxurious and this brings with it some baggage that I didn't like. They are wider which means harder to tow by taking up more lane and being harder to see around, but that also means more interior room once you get there. They seem to be designed for weekends rather than long term camping, as they have a very small battery, small tanks and limited useful interior kitchen storage. They use a lot of wood in their construction. That's one of the reasons I wanted to get away from other trailers and was drawn to the Oliver.

Olivers are very well insulated, very easy to tow with their 7' width, use almost no wood (none in the basic structure), have all of their systems enclosed for cold weather and bad roads, have huge batteries that are mounted over the axles instead of on the tongue, have a long tongue with the jack set back so you can open the tailgate without obstruction (very few trailers have this feature), and they use stainless steel fittings, catches, handles throughout (I have broken so many cheap plastic handles, faucets and tank fittings!), they come with 16" load range E truck tires as standard equipment and this is a big deal to me also. One downside, though is the limited storage caused by their double hull design and battery location. Oh well, I tow it with a full size Ram and have lots of room there for chairs, camp table, extra ice chest and outside stove.

Finally, the cost. Olivers are expensive, but Airstreams are way more, easily another 50%. It seems you are getting the luxurious look and feel in an Airstream and actual long term function in an Oliver.

I have already taken my Oliver on 4 wheel drive roads and narrow trails that I would never venture onto with an Airstream. Just because of the extra width and ground clearance issues. And it seems like the aluminum is more fragile when it comes to Nevada pin striping from bushes along the trail. Worst case, the Oliver can someday be painted or at least rubbed out, but paint an Airstream??? Not.

I looked at Airstreams over the years and always wanted one, but the cost always stopped any serious consideration. Then after having a number of stickies and being repeatedly disappointed, I discovered Oliver and decided it was a perfect fit for me. My Elite ll is a keeper.
When I bought my Scamp I considered a CCD Bambi16
The list price was $45,000. We negotiated it down to $27,000 before deciding on a Scamp.
Like Scamp, Oliver makes no substantial concessions and has no dealer network. Thus... at $50,000+ the Oliver is close competition to the Airstream. I think the Oliver is a better choice.
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