Toured the Oliver Travel Trailer factory in TN - WOW! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2017, 04:35 PM   #1
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Name: Clay and Cait
Trailer: Escape 5.0
Florida
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Toured the Oliver Travel Trailer factory in TN - WOW!

We are the very proud owners of an Escape 5.0 - Oliver had never really been on our radar when we were trailer shopping because of the higher price point, and we are more than happy with our decision to buy an Escape.

We are fulltimers currently traversing the east and we found ourselves 15 minutes away from the Oliver factory. So of course we had to call and schedule a tour!

I still can't get over how impressed we are after seeing the build quality of Oliver. They do not compromise on a single detail, and it is incredible what a well-built trailer they produce. Higher price point compared to other eggs, sure, but in our opinion, worth every single penny.

We wrote about our factory tour on our website and welcome you to check it out. Huge thanks to Oliver for taking the time to show us around, and you can bet that we'll be customers next time we're on the RV market.

Oliver Travel Trailers Review – Two Plus Lu
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:26 AM   #2
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Name: OnTheRoadAgain
Trailer: Oliver
Tennessee
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We love our Oliver. Well worth the years of wait. We had to swallow very hard on the price.


Love the Oliver people at the factory. Real down home folks.
They stand behind their product.
We have a fantastic 1 yr. warrantee.


Fortunately we are within range to take ours over for a tune-up.
Just a few minor things.
Going this coming week.
If you go ask for Dustin Great guy!


Save your bucks people.
If you so choose to ever go to another egg take the tour.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:12 AM   #3
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Name: Pat
Trailer: Escape 2013 19 ft
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Originally Posted by TwoplusLu View Post
We are the very proud owners of an Escape 5.0 - Oliver had never really been on our radar when we were trailer shopping because of the higher price point, and we are more than happy with our decision to buy an Escape.

We are fulltimers currently traversing the east and we found ourselves 15 minutes away from the Oliver factory. So of course we had to call and schedule a tour!

I still can't get over how impressed we are after seeing the build quality of Oliver. They do not compromise on a single detail, and it is incredible what a well-built trailer they produce. Higher price point compared to other eggs, sure, but in our opinion, worth every single penny.

We wrote about our factory tour on our website and welcome you to check it out. Huge thanks to Oliver for taking the time to show us around, and you can bet that we'll be customers next time we're on the RV market.

Oliver Travel Trailers Review Two Plus Lu
We also own a Escape and totally agree with your assessment of Oliver . Pat
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:16 PM   #4
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Name: Julie
Trailer: Shopping
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Just the person I want to talk with! We too took the Oliver plant tour a couple of weeks ago. Very impressive in many positive ways. Our reluctance has to do with DHs height. At 6'7" he could stand up in the Oliver Legacy 2, but the bathroom, perpendicular king size bed, and dinette was a real squeeze. Showers while sitting is made difficult due to the molded cabinet above the toilet. He said it would be doable, but at that price point, you want more than doable.

This has us browsing over the Escape 5.0TA with the 6'4" to 7' headroom, and hopefully more usable bathroom and bed (hanging off the end is ok, just cannot do that against a wall). Escape answered my query and says the ceiling in the bathroom of the 5.0TA is 75" and slants and 79" at the range.

After seeing both, what is your opinion of the benefits of the 5.0TA. DH wants to know if you are good with the tanks (size and usefulness) and if you find enough storage with the fifth wheel configuration. Oliver surely lacked in storage but with a travel trailer you still have the TV. Complaints we've found about the Oliver tanks not being completely useful is another point.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:06 PM   #5
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Name: OnTheRoadAgain
Trailer: Oliver
Tennessee
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Size matters

DH is 6' and does fine with Oliver shower with some inches to spare.
We sleep North South as it were facing the TV with the heads against the counters. In the King Size area we use 2 twin XT 3 fold 6" memory foam mattresses. Works great. Plenty of room for stretch out for DH with comfort.


As far as storage room to us it is copious. There are large multiple drawers, a large pantry, and a sizable hangup and stow away closet. We do keep a few of our bulkier items (large 0 gravity recliners for instance) under cover of our camper top Tundra. Also keep our wooden leveling blocks in the truck. Also since we keep our bed in the sleep mode this gives us added storage for underneath the bed.


Now for 2 things found wanting...

I do have to say I am rather disappointed in the cushions. Only 4 inches thick and have rather scratchy wool-like feel. We paid some large bucks (for what they are) for seat covers and plan to stuff them with memory foam. Made them 1" bigger on all 3 dimensions. The seat covers we had made are very snazzy (I think) and should hold memory foam for added cush.


Oliver does let you pick out your own material for their 4 "cushions but I do not know the charge extra if any. Check into that if interested. You can always call or write to Heather Oliver or Jason Essary. (Heather was the one that clued me into the seat cover idea.) Great people! Bless their hearts. See you both very soon!

>> Complaints we've found about the Oliver tanks not being completely useful is another point. <<

True.

Grey water and freshwater are 35 1/2 gal.

Would have preferred larger tanks especially the black. The black water fills up about every 3 days with just the two of us (and we don't do the do of lumpy stuff usually... save that for the campground facilities.) Only holds 18 1/2 gallons. We dump at 80% Pushing even 90 is not advised we have heard from some people who got backups.

This will make us move if we do not have sewer on a lot site.
For instance we are planning a FL Keys trip.
When in a site without full hook up we will only stay about 3 days and then move onto a RV park with full hookup to dump and stay longer.

As far as trim and polish the Oliver is gorgeous.
Many compliments.
"I have never seen one." (coming from the RV/State Park Ranger) which is saying a lot. He sees all kinds and was quite impressed.
We had others that wanted to learn more and a few we let go inside. We really need to go on the Oliver program showing folks (but only at campgrounds). Sure we got Oliver some sales.

Overall I have to give the Oliver a 9.8 out of 10.

Again terrific manufacturers and great people make their product with love. Really nice downhome folks and the tour is a hoot actually. Looking forward to seeing them again. We do not look forward to camping around Hohenwald as the campgrounds are a messy. We are going to camp at Lebanon TN instead. A friend on mine was at the Rally and did not like the park. The other option is muddy in the rain.

We are fortunate and live in the same state. The problem I see with any manufacturer that does not use distributors to most areas is warrantee work if necessary for those living elsewhere. No problem for us. How do the rest of you handle the manufacture only problem with your various brands?

Good luck to all in whatever choice you make. We love our Oliver and have never camped so comfortably. Suits our needs and much, much more. The bells and whistles are amazing and of quality.

I would love to see what an Escape and a Bigfoot look like to compare.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:50 PM   #6
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Name: Clay and Cait
Trailer: Escape 5.0
Florida
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First, 6'7" is going to be tough in any camper. I have sat in hundreds and they do not really cater to that height. It's unfortunate, but just the way it is with most RVs. I am 6ft, maybe a touch over, and I rarely fit height wise in RV bathrooms. The Escape, we have the original single axle 5.0 (2013), and the height in the bathroom is actually OK. I cut it close, but I fit. 6'7" I would be bending over to fit. At that height, I think sitting down to bathe would make more sense, and from my experience with the oliver elite II and the escape 5.0 original, it would be easier in my mind to bathe sitting down in the Oliver. I did not notice any issue with the cabinet behind the toilet, and I did enjoy more horizontal space in the Oliver which would lend to sitting down. That being said, please check in with someone familiar with the new 5.0 TA for better advice on that one, I have not been in one, but from what you are saying they are a taller and wider camper than the original.

For the Bed, I hang off the Queen bed in the 5th wheel, which in the middle of the night usually forces me to the middle of the bed where there is space between the sidewalls, which at times forces me into the space of my partner. Once again, I would think the full king of the Oliver to be more comfortable for sleeping, but the orientation of sleeping would allow to hang off the escape bed. I do enjoy having a normal mattress in the Escape, and believe there is some room for improvement on the bed design in the Oliver. Again, please cross reference with someone who knows more about the 5.0TA.

In reference to tank size, I have never found the Escape 5.0 tanks (20 gallons fresh, 26 gray, 19 black) to be limiting at all. We come from a truck camper with no tanks, and are judicious with water, but not that much. We shower every 2-3 days, and use the bathroom regularly. We are very comfortable for up to 7 days, and it is usually the fresh and gray that become an issue, not the black tank.

In reference to Oliver Elite 2's post, I cannot imagine the black tanks are filling up in 3 days. Black tank sensors are notoriously inaccurate, but depending on your use and flushing habits and basin fill, it may be possible. We have had no issues at 19 gallon black to last a week before dumping.

Good luck in your decision, my best advice is to go an see a new 5.0 TA in your area, Escape can refer you to people nearby, and make the call from there. In summary, I do not believe there to be an issue with tank size in either the 5.0TA or Oliver 2, but the height and comfort for your husband will be best determined with an in person walkthrough.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:11 PM   #7
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Maybe we drink more liquids than you and flush too much

We haven't had a backup but we stopped short of the 90% that others say causes one.
We go with 80 for a comfortable margin of error.
Cut it close once on the grey water but caught it before it filled the shower floor at 90%.
The Oliver has a King-Sized bed area (which is slightly smaller than a home King).
This is fine for the 6 footer here. And if he wants extra stretch out room there is plenty available. He doesn't invade my comfort zone.
Lots of lea way. I like it!

I tried to give an honest assessment. We have a few zealots in the Oliver camp so-to-speak on everything is absolutely perfect. I think my 9.8 out of 10 an excellent score.

The added 6" memory foam trifold mattress is great on top of our 4" of cushions. Really, really comfortable more than either of our beds at home.
When I make the bed I use 2 twin XTs fitted and the corners cover over both the cushion and memory foam pad. Dresses out nicely. Use very thin fleece blankets rather than a straight sheet. I fold them up and up at the foot of the bed. I found a straight top sheet a real pain to make with the doubles. We use a nice quilt that fits the whole top of the king-sized compartment. Looks very nice. Matches the fabric we picked out for the seat cushions very nicely. The beauty of the 3 section folders is you can get to the "basement" when it is time to winterize or get to the freshwater tank (we don't use). Also makes removal if necessary of the mattresses out the door with a real pain and strain I can imagine a one piece mattress would be... just my opinion. Maybe you with 1 piece mattress don't find any inconvenience?

Again, I am disappointed with the cushions as they are not plush enough given the price and finish. The dinette booth ones tend to wrinkle and turn on the end. If you look at pictures of older Olivers you will see this roll / squash effect. Perhaps Oliver will improve on them in the future?
The slipcover plus adding a memory foam insert should fix the dinette cushion discomfort and tendency to wear.

Anyway... It is all a matter of what suits the couple the best. We love our Oliver and it is gorgeous (or rather people who have never seen one say it is "cute.")

Happy camping and let us know what you selected original questioner.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:54 PM   #8
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There has been a fair amount of discussion about Oliver tanks. They are up inside between the lower hulls and have a horizontal drain line. This is good for ground clearance and freeze protection, but can lead to incomplete draining. Then the sensors seem to give funny readings that don't accurately compare to the level sometimes.

The accepted method for draining is to raise the front of the trailer slightly. This is easy with the front jack, even while hooked up, or drive the rear tires of the TV up on some blocks. It seems a bit awkward, but to me, is better than the typical hanging down plumbing and more likely freezing.
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:17 PM   #9
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We raise our front tongue jack and 2 rears and have no problem draining whatsoever. Even after raising the jack we still get the same gauge measurement before this.


That is not the issue. The tank is small. But then again it's a 3 person camper and not a luxury liner Class A that needs a 40 gal. tank.


It's not a problem at all with full hookup. Just do a drain every 3 days. But without sewer connection hitch up and go to a dump station? Nah. May as well move on.


The original questioner was inquiring about the tank problems (capacity) size. I answered. Simple as that.


May as well move on to a campground with sewer connection to do the deed. This strategy should work well when we camp at John Pennekamp, Key Largo for 3 days (no sewer) then onto Key West and Bluewater RV Resort full hookup and then some. Just takes planning. No sweat.


Just like on any forum everyone has an opinion. I respect that.
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:54 PM   #10
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For MulieJ, I think the Oliver would be a challenge if I was 6'7". At just under 6' it is great. As far as storage, there is good storage inside with the kitchen drawers, closet, 5 overheads and nightstand (we have the twin bed layout). What is lacking is external storage. There is a storage compartment in the back (the basement) that is not very tall but is good for plumbing, electrical, tools, cleaning items, etc. Larger items go in the bed of the truck (chairs, grill, table, etc).
The fresh and gray tanks are very flat which makes the level readings sensitive to any variation off of level. The black tank drains quickly because it is square shaped. The gray drains slower and is helped if the front of the trailer is raised somewhat.
It's a small trailer by design, so anyone looking for more headroom and storage for bigger items should look at something larger. Mike
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:04 PM   #11
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Thanks to all. Some good information. Will need to see/try on an Escape 5.0TA. Some rumors have surfaced on other threads about a possible larger Oliver in the works. The tour at the factory included prototype molds of past years, hopefully there will be another one. Gee, all we need is a couple of extra feet to make true extra long twin beds and more bathroom space. While they're at it I'd like a oven option, and a larger refrigerator and freezer.

At home we sleep in a California King bed which is longer at 84". Have not yet seen a California King in any trailer, sticky or FG. Good point Twopluslu regarding the likelihood of a full mattress takeover by DH to find room for hanging over the end. Oliver Legacy 2 would have one of us climbing over the other since the bed length is longest perpendicular to the isle. Whatever we get I will probably decline the upholstery, as this is something I am capable of doing to my satisfaction. A permanent bed with under bed storage and a 3 piece cushions is an excellent suggestion Oliver_Elite2.

Black tanks, gray tanks and freshwater never will have enough space for a week for us. At a risk of TMI, we have special toilets in our home for extra large people. Not likely something an RV manufacturer would make standard.

The freezing protection offered with the Oliver and it's closed tank system is one of the reasons we looked at Oliver Raspy. We have a real talent for finding freezing temperatures in July. We like the severe weather protection offered in a fiberglass unit compared to others as well. We're very good at finding hailstorms and tornadic winds as well. One of the reasons we are done with tent camping.

Looks like more research is needed. Thanks all!
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:33 PM   #12
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Carol and Mike, thanks for the information on the tanks. We'd heard about this at the factory as well when the group we were with asked about that very point. Seems to be more of an issue with fresh water and gray, rather than the black. There was also a way to pump fresh water from extra containers using the pump, that the group was impressed with. We're still learning, and they were a good group to do the tour with. We learned much.

Our TV right now is a one ton van, so storage with the Oliver would be in the van. The Escape 5.0TA would mean moving to the pickup, and loosing storage in the bed. DH likes to haul plenty of tools, camera equipment, and things for work while we're on the road so he has a real concern for the space a fifth wheel uses.

Aside from buying a big fiberglass boat and leaving it on a trailer to travel with, we are still in research phase with this.
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Old 05-28-2017, 12:53 PM   #13
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Name: Clay and Cait
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Florida
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MulieJ, when we arrived for our tour they had recently finished up a meeting on a new larger floorplan. Fingers crossed!

If it helps at all, we have a 6.5' truck bed ('17 Toyota Tundra, access cab) and we've combatted the lack of outdoor storage with a flush-mount truck box installed in front of the hitch. At just below bedrail height, it won't ever get in the way of the 5th wheel in the event of doing tight turns. After we hitch, we are also able to fit our outdoor chairs, screenhouse, outdoor table, and a few other odds and ends in the truck bed with some room to spare. Our 20lb dog gets the whole backseat to herself
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Oliver_Elite2 View Post
We do not look forward to camping around Hohenwald as the campgrounds are a messy. We are going to camp at Lebanon TN instead. A friend on mine was at the Rally and did not like the park. The other option is muddy in the rain.

I would love to see what an Escape and a Bigfoot look like to compare.
If you want to be close to Hohenwald and don't want to go all the way to Lebanon, you may consider Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill TN. We live 5 minutes from there and love it
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