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Old 01-26-2008, 11:12 AM   #1
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I just found out that we're only an hour or so away from the factory where Oliver travel trailers are manufactured. We're planning to take the tour out of curiosity. From the web site, they look very similar to the Casita 17' but with more "frills." I'd like to hear what Oliver owners think of them.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
I just found out that we're only an hour or so away from the factory where Oliver travel trailers are manufactured. We're planning to take the tour out of curiosity. From the web site, they look very similar to the Casita 17' but with more "frills." I'd like to hear what Oliver owners think of them.
Sandra
Well, I'm not an Oliver owner, but we are starting to get a few around here. I think that you will find that most people think that what they have is the best. We just don't brag about it too much. Ah, I did say TOO much, right?

While it is true that it appears to have the same shell as the Casita (just like the original Casita did to the Scamp), there appears to be many differences from what I read. It all comes down to what YOU, as the consumer, wants. The best thing, IMHO, is the fact that it's molded fiberglass. Beyond the looks, there are some notable differences. Besides the double wall (no rivets throught the outside), techie stuff, plumbing, interior height, insulation, they have a different frame, different suspension system, etc. I think you are the only one that can know which one is best for you. For instance, my little 1989 16 foot would absolutely not work for some. It's interior height is only 5'10" and it doesn't have a built in grey tank.

We will be eager to hear about your factory tour.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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Sandra,

I'm a newbie on the block. I've been considering the purchase of a FGRV for about 6 months now. After looking at the options and being realistic about my skills of making modifications (read zilch) I have reached a deal with Jim Oliver and his team.

I had some unique requirements which I've asked them to incorporate (beyond their usual options) and they've stepped up to the plate to deliver my "Wonder-Egg" cooked just the way I want.

Robert, the sales manager, has created an album of photos he'll be taking during the production process so I can watch as my new baby is born. Production should take 4 to 6 weeks. If you're interested in the manner Oliver creates its Eggs, you can view the process at:

http://s262.photobucket.com/albums/ii120/r...arks%20Trailer/

Pete Marks
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:48 PM   #4
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Pete thata cool to see your camper be born.... I use to work in a fiberglass place making boats.. let me tell ya its a nasty job an d I must say kudos to those who work in making beloved eggs!!!
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
I just found out that we're only an hour or so away from the factory where Oliver travel trailers are manufactured. We're planning to take the tour out of curiosity. From the web site, they look very similar to the Casita 17' but with more "frills." I'd like to hear what Oliver owners think of them.
Sandra
We called the factory, talked to sales, then went to see a Oliver in person at the River Valley Egg Rally In Van Buren Arkansas.
We were getting satisfactory answers at each place we checked on the Oliver. But it was the factory visit that "got us off of the dime" ! The unlimited access to the assembly line and tour of the facilities made our minds up.
There is something about a manufacturer that has the room and the plans to grow all under a roof that covers seven acres.
After looking at the quality "innards", you know the things that are hidden inside, between the fiberglass shells, we knew for sure that a Oliver was in our future.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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Seven more 1st trimester photographs of the "Wonder-Egg" have been posted! (Thanks, Robert) I looks like some top outer shell action with holes cut and a few lower outer shell pictures showing the more or less naked shell and a more developed stage with holding tanks, plumbing, and some of the wiring showing up in view. Lots of fun seeing the early developmental process rolling right along! GO-BABY-GO!
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:24 PM   #7
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Well, my Oliver will be ready in a couple of weeks and I bought it because of all the "frills"! If you ask them about a change or something they don't offer(and that's not much) they bend over backwards to accomodate your request. I really enjoyed my Casita Liberty but for full timing I felt the Oliver extras were better for me!
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:43 PM   #8
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Chuck,
Inquiring minds want to know...what kind of "frills" did you order in your Oliver?
Sandra
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:03 PM   #9
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Went with the Elite, plus dual pane windows, hi rise with xtra suspension, extra battery, and 15" tires. The Elite is std with TV, entertainment center, 3 point power levelers,day/nite window treatment, satelite dome,slideout battery tray,outside shower, chrome wheels,parquet floor, wind out power cord and built in sewer hose and connection.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:56 PM   #10
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Wow--sounds great! I'd love to see pics when you get it.
Sandra
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:22 PM   #11
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So THATS how they do it! I've been wondering about the beautifully formed storage compartments found in the Oliver. Now I see all they do is take some super-duper heated fiberglass, strap it on a frame, latch it to the mother-of-all-suction-machines and throw the switch. POOF! Instantly formed cargo holds . . . whooda thunk it?

'See more at: http://s262.photobucket.com/albums/ii12 ... 20Trailer/
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:57 AM   #12
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Sorry, but I'm pretty sure that's not fiberglass.
Vacuum formed plastic has been around for many many years. Maybe Peterh will weigh in here.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:22 AM   #13
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Byron, Yeah, I'm sure you're correct . . . makes more sense. Anyway it's a COOL video watching the creation of the cargo holds! Thanks for the clarification of what we're watching.
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:20 AM   #14
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Yep, that's vacuforming. You build a wooden form of the shape you want the plastic to form to on a table with lots of little holes in it and a standard shop-vac (honestly, that's all it is) underneath (kind of like a reverse air-hockey table), then pull a frame containing a sheet of heat-formable plastic heated so it sags significantly (1" for every diagonal foot of the frame) over the top and switch the vacuum on. Done right it makes a beautiful, formed shape that exactly matches the positive. Works with everything from ABS plastic to Lexan/Polyglass.

The resulting product is the right shape, but it's pretty floppy. It looks like Oliver blows fiberglass chop at the formed pieces to give them the structural rigidity they need; the back seats of police cars that have contoured cutouts for the arms of cuffed suspects are made exactly this way.

There are limits to the technology, though. As the piece to be formed gets larger it gets harder to evenly heat and bring down smoothly & at the right temperature over the form without causing defects. You can see what I mean if you look at the photobucket pics of the much smaller forming they do in the video: the stills show sags at the top and bottom edges of the formed piece where the plastic did not get laid down smoothly enough. I've never seen it done with something as large as the entire interior of even a small trailer; they must have a horrendous defect rate.

--Peter

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