Modifications to an Oliver? - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-24-2019, 06:24 PM   #1
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Modifications to an Oliver?

We are considering the possibility of purchasing an Oliver (among other options) in the next 2 years. There’s a lot about it we like and, like any trailer, there are some things we’d like to change. The fiberglass interior of the Oliver looks particularly difficult to make any changes. Has anyone made any modifications to their Oliver. We’re especially interested if anyone has made the rear dinette into a permanent bed (seat cushions do not make a good mattress for the long term).

Thanks for any info.
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:52 PM   #2
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Robert, if you go over to the Oliver Forum and ask your question you’ll get a lot of input. There are a number of Oliver owners who keep the rear dinette as a permanent bed. We have the twin bed model and have an easy way to make them a queen bed when.... well, when we need a queen not twins. There are mattress options available. The solid fiberglass interior is difficult to modify but also results in a long lasting trailer. Mike
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:39 PM   #3
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Being a future Oliver owner (pickup date July 8th) I never thought of changing anything other then the options offered by Oliver. We like Mike and Carol went with the twin bed model as I think most new Oliver's are being built that way from what I read. I don't know anyone who wants to crawl over someone to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and only Casita, Bigfoot, and Oliver offer twin bed model trailers, well that in a fiberglass trailer that is. Also I wouldn't think that Oliver owners sleep on the 4" cushions, I would say they either get the factory mattress, purchase there own custom mattress, or put a memory foam mattress on top of the factory 4" cushions. In our Casita we put a 4" memory foam mattress on top of the 4" cushions and we were very pleased with how comfortable it was, we are going to do the same thing in the Oliver.

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Old 05-25-2019, 08:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Carol and Mike View Post
The solid fiberglass interior is difficult to modify but also results in a long lasting trailer. Mike
LOL.
I do not see where the fiberglass interior makes the Oliver a longer lasting trailer. There are 50 year old Bolers still in use, but I personally won’t live to see any 50 year old Oliver’s. All fiberglass trailers have solid fiberglass interiors, it’s just that other manufacturers cover the interiors various ways for appearance sake. Some people, and I am an example, find the Oliver’s interior too sterile, much like a hospital operating room. But it is easier to keep clean than what some manufacturers use. With a double fiberglass shell had Oliver tried to cover the interior walls the weight of the trailer would have come into play. And In the final analysis, fiberglass bathtubs have always been the sustaining product of the company. Gelcoat walls are what they do. I haven’t seen any bath fixtures with walls covered with rat fur, carpet, or wood paneling! Seriously though, Oliver’s, like any other trailer, require proper maintenance to attain a ripe old age. And one truth that cannot be refuted is that anything assembled by man will eventually fall apart.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:28 AM   #5
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Carl, those 50-year-old Bolers do have a fiberglass interior. It is modular rather than unitary like Oliver, but they share the same longevity advantage: the fiberglass cabinet pieces will never rot.

Some vintage molded fiberglass trailers were built with conventional wood-framed cabinetry. My impression based on photos of unrestored vintage units for sale is that units with wood cabinetry are more likely to require extensive interior reconstruction.

I see the ones with modular fiberglass interiors making the best restoration candidates. Unlike double hull designs, they come apart easily to access repairs, and unlike wood-framed interiors, they go back together without having to reconstruct all that cabinetry. Hence the enduring popularity of Bolers and kin.

Yes, bad things that will happen to any trailer if regular maintenance to preserve weather tightness and humidity control is neglected. And yes, any trailer, even one with wood cabinetry, can last a long, long time if cared for.

I probably won't live to see my Scamp reach 50 either, but my younger daughter is a reason to keep up that maintenance! We were discussing the sale of our Class B at dinner the other evening, and I threw out the idea that I might think about buying a larger Scamp to have a small bathroom when it sells. My 13-year-old pipes up, "Dad, you can't ever sell Scampy, because I want to have it when I'm grown up." Since I don't want two trailers, I guess I'll have to wait until she's "grown up" before I yield to 3'itis...LOL!
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
LOL.
I do not see where the fiberglass interior makes the Oliver a longer lasting trailer. There are 50 year old Bolers still in use, but I personally won’t live to see any 50 year old Oliver’s.
Carl, you prove my point! I said a “long lasting trailer”. Just like Boler or any other fiberglass trailer, an Oliver will last a long time whether we live to see it or not. This just happens to be a thread about Oliver, I was not denigrating any fiberglass cousins. Mike
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:57 PM   #7
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Robert we have a 2017 Oliver with the rear dinette that we leave made up with a mattress topper all the time. We live about an hour southeast of you in Calvert County if you want to see one in person.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:54 PM   #8
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Robert we have a 2017 Oliver with the rear dinette that we leave made up with a mattress topper all the time. We live about an hour southeast of you in Calvert County if you want to see one in person.
Thanks everyone for the replies. Rpopp, we may take you up on that. Our schedule is kind of busy right now but I may be contacting you later.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Carol and Mike View Post
Carl, you prove my point! I said a “long lasting trailer”. Just like Boler or any other fiberglass trailer, an Oliver will last a long time whether we live to see it or not. This just happens to be a thread about Oliver, I was not denigrating any fiberglass cousins. Mike
No, actually I did not. Perhaps you would like to think that I did, but you are wrong. Fiberglass does not make for a long lasting trailer in itself. Your fiberglass trailer could be T-boned, the aluminum frame could break, or you could fail to properly maintain the trailer. Actually, you missed my point totally, AS DID Jon. And I did not perceive you were denigrating any other brand of trailer, nor was I implying anything about Oliver’s longevity. Your Oliver and or any other trailer will only last as long as it is properly maintained. While I cannot back up my suspicions, I would bet that for every 50 year old Boler still serviceable, there are several that can be classified as useless junk. And I would bet that the same could be said when Oliver turns 50. But I would suspect there is a greater percentage of older FG trailers still going strong and probably a much smaller percentage of older “stickies” still useable. I also believe that more FG trailers are “restored” by enthusiasts than stick builts.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:15 AM   #10
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Modifications to an Oliver?

I understood your main point was that interior finish materials are irrelevant for longevity; only the solid fiberglass shell matters. If that’s not it, perhaps you could set me straight.

I agreed with you in large part, particularly about maintenance of the shell being the most important factor in longevity. However, I made a secondary point about restoration that you might possibly disagree with. I take the big-picture view of longevity that eventually every trailer will be neglected for one reason or another and units with fiberglass interior materials are somewhat more likely to be saved and restored.

You also stated that “all fiberglass trailers have solid fiberglass interiors”; it’s just covered with other materials in some units. I don’t think anyone who steps inside a Bigfoot (to use one example) would say it has a solid fiberglass interior.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
LOL.
I do not see where the fiberglass interior makes the Oliver a longer lasting trailer...
Apparently you didn’t actually read Mike’s post close enough. He did not say the fiberglass interior made it a longer lasting trailer, he said it made it a “long lasting trailer.”

But, that being said, since we’ve established that fiberglass will generally outlast other trailer construction materials, Oliver’s molded fiberglass interior will most likely outlast the interiors of all of the manufacturers that still use cloth, vinyl or carpet wall coverings and are still installing wooden cabinetry through various means of attachment that, in some cases, actually become structural pieces.

So, realistically, maybe the molded fiberglass interior actually does make an Oliver a longer lasting trailer.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:26 AM   #12
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Apparently you didn’t actually read Mike’s post close enough. He did not say the fiberglass interior made it a longer lasting trailer, he said it made it a long lasting trailer.
Apparently, you are into semantics and so in love with your Oliver that tunnel vision also prevented you from understanding my point, which was FIBERGLASS IN ITSELF DOES NOT MAKE A TRAILER LONG LASTING (or LONGER lasting). I have absolutely nothing against Oliver and was NOT, REPEAT NOT DENIGRATING OLIVER TRAILERS. However, you should stop trying to twist my words around to make it appear that I misunderstood Mike’s words. And I will say no more regarding my original post. It was simple and I stand by it. I apologize to any sensitive Oliver owner who is so defensive that they perceived I was criticizing Oliver. Oliver also makes a lovely, long lasting walk-in bathtub.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by RobertW View Post
We are considering the possibility of purchasing an Oliver (among other options) in the next 2 years. There’s a lot about it we like and, like any trailer, there are some things we’d like to change. The fiberglass interior of the Oliver looks particularly difficult to make any changes. Has anyone made any modifications to their Oliver. We’re especially interested if anyone has made the rear dinette into a permanent bed (seat cushions do not make a good mattress for the long term).

Thanks for any info.
Robert,

In our previous campers we had Queen and Full sized beds. When we purchased a used twin bed LE2 Ollie, we were not sure we were going to like twin beds, but for the competitive used price, we gave it a try.

Investigated converting to king bed arrangement. Like previously mentioned, a twin bed model could be converted to a larger single bed arrangement, if needed.

After a few camping trips, we were happy with the twin bed arrangement. We did not like the mattresses that came with our used 2015 Ollie, so we had memory foam mattresses made (thicker) and Debbie loves the new mattresses.

Hope this helps and good luck on your search!
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:13 AM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestions about the twin beds but we’re not really considering an Elite II. The 7000lb gross weight is too close to the max tow capacity of the trucks we’re considering. It would require upscaling everything which we don’t want to do.
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