Ollie question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-06-2018, 06:08 AM   #1
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Ollie question

Hi all,

As we ponder upsizing (slightly) and I have posted that we have been considering the 19 Escape. I also decided to give the Ollie 18.5 another look.

Escape does not offer a composting toilet. Ollie offers Naturehead as an option. Great for boondocking and no black water tank to deal with.
Also, the Ollie is a 4 season trailer and has a larger bed area than the Scamp. Although the Escape does as well so not any difference there.

However, a few issues possibly may remove an Ollie for consideration.
Apparently, you cannot get it with a 2" receiver for the rear bike rack. The only option is their add on an aluminum rack. Oops.

They indicated too many people we misusing the receiver and causing trailer issues??? Perhaps the aluminum frame cannot support a standard rack? Or people were using those parcel rack thingies and over loading the max weight?

While on the road we have seen far too many of these on the back of cars with way too much mass on the back. Many look like a dog getting ready to get "really busy" and the front end is way high. Assume the steering would be very twitchy and light. Scary at best.

We prefer to use our own Saris bike rack that we can transfer from our Scamp to TV to take our bikes to trail heads while staying places. This would not be an option with the Ollie. No place to store our rack and would not want to put that huge rack on the back of our TV. The small is beautiful FG trailer concept would be defeated if we need to haul too much extra stuff.

The Escape has more counter space (an issue with our 16 Scamp for 4+ month travel) the Ollie appears to be +/- that same in that department as the Scamp.

Wondering also about the resale value of an Ollie. It is not quite an order of magnitude more, but certainly much more $$$ than a new than an Escape, Casita or Scamp.

Any Ollie 18.5 folks out there in FG land?

The folks at Ollie were strongly suggesting we stop by the factory as we head north to Mich. in a few weeks. The wait time for a new one is short with current delivery in June!!! That is appealing vs. August for an Escape.
The Escape would necessitate a week-long time & > $5.5 K for delivery or a 2-week trip out and back to pick up vs. 3 days for the Ollie.

Why is this not easy?
We have a 3-day yoga retreat scheduled for a Mich. state park in early June so will likely use the Scamp until we determine what we are gonna be doing.

Cheers all
Bat Dude
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:40 AM   #2
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They're very different trailers. I'd suggest spending some time inside each one. It's really the only way to know what will meet your needs. All the posts I see on forums discussing the pluses and minuses are helpful, to be sure - but not nearly as helpful as seeing the brands in person.

Escape uses a referral program and I think Oliver does as well. Get in touch with some owners of these models in your area via the manufacturers - and tour the trailers. I've talked to lots of people who were undecided before they spent some time touring the trailers in person, but haven't seen anyone undecided afterwards.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:28 AM   #3
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Having looked at and walked through both Escape and Oliver trailers there are both pro's & cons with each
We thought the Escape had the better layout .
As far as engineering , design and quality of parts & build we would give the edge to Oliver.
They both are at the upper end of the price scale and for many including us the cost can't be justified.
I read both the Escape and Oliver forums , and I suggest you do the same. . They will quickly enlighten you about customer issues with build quality and design problems.
Both trailer manufacturers offer and honor their warranties but to my thinking if a product is properly designed and built a warranty should be unnecessary.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:30 AM   #4
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If you can stop by the factory you could get all your questions answered and spend some time in the small Oliver. Used Ollie’s are selling for pretty close to what was paid when new. Not much depreciation. Mike
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:57 AM   #5
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Yes, both are great trailers in their own right, yet very different from each other. Taking time to look over both is definitely a good idea. To bad you were not at the Quartzsite rally, lots of both there.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:51 AM   #6
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I own a 2008 18.5 Ollie. The bumper configuration will not accommodate one of their new hitches. I've transported my bike two different ways. initially, I used a custom made dual receiver on the rear. Since you are transporting two bikes, clearance issues in turns may be a problem.

I then added a front hitch by Curt to the front of my Tacoma. I preferred this method due to ease of mounting the bike and eliminating difficulty accessing the truck bed. A front hitch by Curt and a Swagman XC-2 might be your solution if you choose an Oliver.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
I then added a front hitch by Curt to the front of my Tacoma. I preferred this method due to ease of mounting the bike and eliminating difficulty accessing the truck bed. A front hitch by Curt and a Swagman XC-2 might be your solution if you choose an Oliver.
A friend went with this solution, but ended up dropping it as he did not like having the bikes on the front of the truck all the time, even when not towing, unless he took them off and stowed them elsewhere. Bugs can be a concern too, as you can't use a cover due to needing airflow. Have either of these things been a concern for you?
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:02 AM   #8
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I removed the seat to eliminate forward visibility problems. Bugs were not a significant issue. Sure, some whacked and stuck to the one side of the bike but they wiped off easily and those that didn't simply added character.

If I was at a campground for a length of time it is simple to remove the bike and rack. The bike would get secured around a tree or through the steps of the trailer if no trees were available.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:13 AM   #9
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I have a 2016 23.5 ft Oliver, with their older design bike rack mount on the rear. This is a very robust assembly that has a receiver to hold a bike rack. Like BatDude, I like the ability to move the bike rack to the tow vehicle so that we can carry the bikes to a bike trail some distance from the campsite.
I don't know why Oliver switched to this new bike rack system, but if you ask I bet they could use the older design.
Pete suggests that this bike rack would not fit onto his 18.5 Ollie (a 2008 model), but looking at the current website it appears that the rear bumper assembly is the same in the 18.5 and 23.5 foot models.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:18 AM   #10
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Decision was made for us by Olliver!

I did ask Olliver if there was an option for a 2" receiver in the rear and was told this was not an option. So Olliver made the decision for us.

"I would recommend that he look at the double hitch receiver that would allow him to connect to the trailer but also install his bike rack so it is on the tow vehicle. The concern would be clearance between the bike rack and front of the camper for turning. For us to do what you are asking would have to go through engineering to be approved. This is a very long process. We just got the one we have approved last year."


Also on a more careful look at the way the 18.5 is measured it turns out that the rear bumper is fairly wide ~ 10"-11" so included in the 18.5. So with the trailer tongue, the size is only slightly longer than a 17 Casita so in realiaty not the significant upsize we are seeking.


The bed although longer head to toe "Queen" it is still narrow ~ same as Scamp. Also, the bed, like the Scamp comes with the mass of cushions that make up the sleeping area. Kind of a pain to fit sheets etc.



One option Olliver had that was likely a choice was the Natureshead composting toilet. As an add-on, this was $1.1K so no black water to deal with. Also, far too many things we did not want such as flat screen TV that was not an option to not have.



So the Escape 19 has won hands down. The 21 Escape was a tempting option, but the weight would have been an issue for our Flex. Also, our parking pad by the house would have been problematic with the 21 to turn around.



Now to chose the graphics colors and all the options.



Apparently, we have until early May to complete our options for the build list. A no-brainer will be all of the insulation, heating pads and thermal frameless windows for all season travel.


After last years trip to Yellowstone in September and nearly getting snowed in as roads were closed extra insulation would be welcome.


So our 16 Scamp (layout 6) with new Fiamma awning, mounts etc and various new parts including a new cover, Bal single wheel leveler, anti-sway etc. will be placed up for sale early summer.


Cheers, all,


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Old 03-07-2018, 07:00 AM   #11
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Could be wrong, but I think the small Ollie bed is bigger than a Scamp, which is only 45" wide (unless you have a deluxe). Could it be 54" wide, like a Casita 17? Length (side-to-side) is the same in all three.

The way I see it, the small Ollie is just a Casita 17SD on steroids. Pretty much the identical layout, but premium everything from the tires up. Nice all-season boondocking unit, but I don't think they sell many. Lack of galley space is a problem in that layout, shared by Ollie 1, Casita SD, and Scamp L6.

The Escape 19 is still a transverse bed, closed in on 3-1/2 sides, so bed-making will still be a chore. But you do get queen-sized space and a real mattress.

Decisions... Best wishes going forward!
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:10 AM   #12
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Congrats on your decision. One caveat, so bear with me. Escapes are really 3 season trailers, even with all the extra insulation and the heat pads. Yes, some folks do use them year round, but don't expect them to perform in very cold temps as well as the double hulled and enclosed Oliver, nor to cool as well with AC when it's very hot. To me the double hull features aren't worth the price difference because being from south Texas, we rarely camp when and where it's cold. For us the priority is layout. Your priorities may be quite different from ours however.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:57 AM   #13
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Good luck with your decision
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:36 PM   #14
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I think Escape will do a "toilet removal" mod so that you can install your own composting toilet. They basically just fiberglass over the opening for the toilet, not sure if the black tank remains or not. As long as you have a level bit of material to bolt it to, (and enough room for it) the installation of a composting toilet is really trivial.
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