Oliver vs. Airstream: the numbers - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2017, 08:11 PM   #15
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Name: Perry
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A year ago we had the opportunity to purchase a 2014 Oliver, former factory model, that was sitting only 60 miles from us for $39,900. I loved it. Terry had reservations. It had a smaller fridge like our Casita's. There was no stove (Terry likes to bake). I felt they could have been more efficient with the storage under the seats. Terry made the call and we passed (I still regret not buying the Ollie). Besides in a former life I farmed and had Oliver tractors!

Last September we purchased a 21' Cougar (25' ball to bumper) with an open floorplan. We loved the inside! Terry had her oven and there was room galore. In June we took the Cougar out west to Montana and Idaho on a 3,000+ mile, 3 week vacation. Turns out we disliked the exceedingly tall camper that took us out of campsites we normally go to, killed the battery in two days, and it was tippy in winds. The Cougar is for traveling a 100 miles and camping, not for miles and miles on the road.

While out west I read about a Bigfoot 25RB for sale in our home state of Minnesota. Turns out we would be driving within four miles on the way home. They were going to be gone, but promised that we had first dibs and their daughter would show the camper to us on our way home. We looked and it was as pristine as a 2003 Bigfoot could be and purchased the 25RB. Terry gets her oven, it has at least double the storage of an Oliver, and it has a 70 watt solar panel so we can go longer on the existing battery. I'm happy, not as happy as the Oliver would have made me, but the important thing is Terry is happy. Oh, the former owners were Jerry & Terry and we are Perry & Terry.

Tomorrow we go dry camping with friends who have a 2015 Airstream 23FB with 300 watts of solar. I'm sure we'll compare notes. Everyone has different needs and wants, and partners. In the end we'll be happy with the Bigfoot, but damn that Ollie was nice!

Enjoy,

Perry
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Previous Eggs - 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, that we regret selling
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:49 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Neto View Post
Airstream. The best of the best and holds its value.
"Best" must be defined, or it's meaningless. As for resale, I could sell my 2015 Escape for more than I paid for it. No, I'm not comparing my fiberglass trailer to an Airstream. I'm merely pointing out that your statement is empty without specifics that brought you to that conclusion.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:10 AM   #17
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When a conventional trailer that cost $18k looses $3k a year it looks bad, when an Airstream that cost $70k looses $3k it doesn't look so bad. I gues it depends on if you look at % loss or $ loss.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:03 AM   #18
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Oliver is a great trailer but the floor plan looks alot like a stretched out version of a 17 ft Casita SD (IMHO ) which we already own.
Airstream seems to be better at layout , design and use of space but also has its' issues.
The problem is they all cut corners somewhere to save on cost and you just end up with a different set of problems and irritants.
Sincr they have been building travel trailers for a 100 years , one would think they would have worked the bugs out by now.
Looking at the number of threads on this and other FG forums dealing with defects and owner issues , the answer is obviously NO
If I bought a high end FG trailer , I would expect the warranty to sit in a drawer and never be needed because the trailer was built correctly to begin with. That's evidently still only a pipe dream.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:11 AM   #19
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If I bought a high end FG trailer , I would expect the warranty to sit in a drawer and never be needed because the trailer was built correctly to begin with. That's evidently still only a pipe dream.
Buying high end of any product does not preclude one of having problems with it.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:56 AM   #20
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Wasn't Airstream bought out, acquired by some big corporation, a few years ago? You know, the kind of corporation that sees a cash cow profit opportunity and then guts the product quality to increase their margin. Olivers and Escapes are still owned by the original owners and their excellent customer service reflects that,
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:15 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Myron Leski View Post
Wasn't Airstream bought out, acquired by some big corporation, a few years ago? You know, the kind of corporation that sees a cash cow profit opportunity and then guts the product quality to increase their margin. Olivers and Escapes are still owned by the original owners and their excellent customer service reflects that,
Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein bought Airstream in 1980. That's how "Thor" was created. Since Airstream has been owned by Thor now for 37 years, if there are any quality issues, I doubt it has anything to do with being bought out.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:25 AM   #22
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I sure would like to see.... Oliver vs. Bigfoot: the numbers

Steve,
"I would expect the warranty to sit in a drawer and never be needed because the trailer was built correctly to begin with. That's evidently still only a pipe dream. "

I think the recent Bigfoot interview at truckcampermagazine.com said they have never had one come back for a Manuf. defect, I'd have to read it again, going off my poor memory here. Or maybe they were just talking about the structure? 3 Year warranty though
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Myron Leski View Post
Wasn't Airstream bought out, acquired by some big corporation, a few years ago? You know, the kind of corporation that sees a cash cow profit opportunity and then guts the product quality to increase their margin. Olivers and Escapes are still owned by the original owners and their excellent customer service reflects that,
Wrong premise. When corporations buy a business, they tend to pay a PREMIUM over FMV. To get a return on this investment, they want to GROW the business, not use it as a cash cow. Cash cow = save the cash, and don't buy another business, and certainly don't pay a premium for it. Short term thinking = stock buy backs, not buying other businesses.

To get a payback on such a purchase, larger corporations tend to focus on reducing overhead (don't need two sets of senior managers, two accounting departments, two HR teams, etc., so called synergy savings) and purchasing (negotiating better pricing from suppliers). The best also share knowledge on manufacturing expertise, sharing best practices, improving processes and quality.

Jeopardizing quality just leads to business decline and increased costs, everything from warranty claims to image and reputation. Rebuilding a reputation is very expensive!!

Sure, some purchases fail. But the winning ones work well. Think when Google bought youtube. Thats worked pretty well. There are thousands of more examples out there.

Look at the excitement right now on the Airstream NEST trailer. Had Airstream not bought NEST, would the company have survived? By being purchased by Airstream, NEST has the chance to be a really great trailer.

And another strong competitor in the molded FG trailer business is GOOD NEWS to all of us, as it pushes the entire industry to up their game.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:35 AM   #24
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23 years ago? And before them Beatrice Foods... so despite reading myths and mis-information the product over the years has not suffered, and from what I read Airstream mechanics confirm it. Clearly, from time to time all products will have their quality issues. Old saw: never buy a car built on a Monday or a Friday.

I worked for a company that was doing so well they got bought out by Gannett, Inc., who at the time needed a cash cow to help support their new start-up, USA Today, a national newspaper that lost money big time for years when getting traction. They ripped us pretty good.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:36 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Sure, some purchases fail. But the winning ones work well. Think when Google bought youtube. Thats worked pretty well. There are thousands of more examples out there.
And by any reasonable measure, the acquisition of Airstream by Thor worked out well. Airstreams are very popular today, the product line is strong (although expensive) and they've even delved into fiberglass with the purchase of Nest.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:46 AM   #26
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Kevin loved the Oliver we saw at Algonac. I did too, but not for the purpose we had in mind. We wanted a camper we could snowbird in. While others do it in smaller campers, I wanted one that had different rooms. I was looking at 25' Bigfoots, the model that has a separate bedroom. Happily, the Silver Cloud does exactly that. I can watch TV in the bedroom while Kevin watches the Cubs in the livingroom or vice versa.

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Old 07-20-2017, 10:03 AM   #27
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Good post Cindy as it goes to prove ONE specific camper is still not a "fit-all"!

As far as Airstream being the best? That's the way I feel about it. I hate the feeling I'm walking inside a "cooler" with all the alum. I dont like the dents...and if I had to have one repaired as to a small dent in an Oliver??? Compare the costs.

Airstream is the "best" as being the most expensive TT in the world! If I'm going to buy a trailer, it WONT be for "prestige".

Most certainly, the irony that Airstream is the best; but all of a sudden they see the need to delve into the "fiberglass" world. FG is STILL the "best" in durability for the cost in my opinion- be it from Scamp to Oliver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyL View Post
Kevin loved the Oliver we saw at Algonac. I did too, but not for the purpose we had in mind. We wanted a camper we could snowbird in. While others do it on smaller campers, I wanted one that had different rooms. I was looking at 25' Bigfoots, the model that has a separate bedroom. Happily, the Silver Cloud does exactly that. I can watch TV in the bedroom while Kevin watches the Cubs in the livingroom or vice versa.

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