Escape verses Oliver - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-08-2017, 02:17 PM   #1
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Escape verses Oliver

As I shared in another forum, I am just beginning my research, and it appears from what I am reading the Oliver is the better built, but almost doubles the price. I am wondering if the Oliver four ply of FG is important if I don't intend to be in frigid temperatures. It appears the connecters and hardware is superior on the Oliver, but for the price of an Oliver, you could replace these pieces often on an Escape. It also appears that the Oliver would be the best in quality, second would be the Escape in FG trailers. Would those on this forum agree? It appears to me that it gets down to what one can afford. I would like to know what you as an Escape owner thinks, if paying the extra price for an Oliver, would be worth it and if there are any other reasons besides cost for choosing the Escape. I am thinking of a unit between 17-21 at the most.

Thanks so much for info!

Dwain
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:55 PM   #2
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Dwain,

I think the short version here is that those who thought the difference in quality was not worth the difference in price are called "Escape and Scamp and Casita owners", etc.

On the other hand, some of those who thought the difference was worth the additional cost may not have been able to afford an Oliver.

The Escape and Oliver are two very, very different trailers. They are both well liked and respected by many owners and would-be owners, but they are not in the same class at all.

The Olivers are also much heavier, so require a higher-capacity tow vehicle.

I think that each trailer will best suit different owners with different needs and desires, but I don't really see these two brands as an either-or proposition.

Doing lots of reading on what has been said before will be the best place to start. Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for response.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:00 PM   #4
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The Olivers are beautiful. I finally got to see one last month, and was impressed. However, the interiors of Oliver and Escape are like an apples to oranges comparison. Escape cabinetry is wood and formica. The feel of the interior is just completely different, and which you prefer is going to be a total matter of personal likes/dislikes.

FWIW, you might also have a look at Bigfoot trailers, which are also marketed as true four season trailers.

I don't think anybody outdoes Oliver on quality, unless and until the Airstream Nest hits the market (next year?)
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:25 PM   #5
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Are you happy with a Toyota or do you want the Lexus?

I looked at the Bigfoot and the Escapes, wasn't worth the extra 10K to me. If I were a Snow country camper I would have gone with the BF.

Oliver floorplans were not for us.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:29 PM   #6
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Thanks ya'll for input!
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:31 PM   #7
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There is one big factor I think should consider as well, it's not price and it's not quality... it's layout. In the end, no matter how much you pay for a trailer, it's whether you are comfortable in it. Is the seating and sleeping in whatever brand, perfect for you?
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:44 PM   #8
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I have zero experience with Escape. I own an Oliver. Never compared the two.

I saw my first Oliver about 5 years ago and really liked it, but that is as far as it went as it was the smaller Elite model and I wasn't ready to buy one anyway.

Then after having another sticky, after having several other ones before that, I was done with poor quality in general. Handles that break off in your hand or fail from the sun, cabinetry that falls apart and and on.

I also have a lot of experience with fiberglass sailing boats, stainless steel hardware and building them the best way possible.

So, when I got the bug to get another, and final, trailer, I rediscovered Oliver and found the Elite ll. Perfect for my needs. The hardware may not make up the total difference in price, but it's the intention of building the best you can instead of using parts that everyone knows, fail. A sincere attempt to build the best based on excellent design and materials. And on top of that, it's very well insulated and sturdy. I don't feel like they gave me just enough to look good. Finally, and this is a matter of taste only, the clean bright interior with no pressboard is really nice. It will never look dated or need to be glued back together. The fiberglass behind the scenes is done amazingly well with thick panels and reinforced areas all over the place

The overall weight distribution, large battery capacity and smart plumbing design are really nice features. Four batteries all sitting right over the axles instead of on the tongue. Aluminum frame that cannot rust. No plumbing underneath to snag and get damaged. It will pump fresh water into itself from a container, has ducted heat, all LED lights arranged in a very nice way including outside courtesy lights, for instance.

The list goes on and on, but I didn't compare with Escape, so they might be just as nice.

Then I found one very close to me that was much cheaper than ordering a new one with the price increase and the travel to Tennessee. When I saw it I could not tell it from brand new in any way. So that was it.

Bottom line: A combination of a very well thought out and well built trailer that addressed all of the things that normally fail or are poorly done (insulation, plastic parts, batteries, streamlined shape, etc). Conveniently located, in perfect shape and at the right price. No waiting, and the belief that I won't have to replace this one.

I jumped on it and didn't do a lot of research on other brands. Can't say it's better than an Escape because I know very little about Escapes.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
There is one big factor I think should consider as well, it's not price and it's not quality... it's layout. In the end, no matter how much you pay for a trailer, it's whether you are comfortable in it. Is the seating and sleeping in whatever brand, perfect for you?
This is a really good point. Possible drawbacks with an Ollie are you can't have captains chairs at the dinette and you can't get an oven. An oven could be retrofitted with some creativity, but not from the factory. There is also no vent hood over the stove, if that matters, just the roof top power vent. I think there are three different layout options with the bed area.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:54 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks for info!
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:56 PM   #11
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Not sure what you mean by "pressboard", but Escape uses lauan, which is a plywood.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:10 PM   #12
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In the end, no matter how much you pay for a trailer, it's whether you are comfortable in it. Is the seating and sleeping in whatever brand, perfect for you?
And even more important, my wife has to like it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:16 PM   #13
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Not sure what you mean by "pressboard", but Escape uses luaun, which is a plywood.
Pressboard is a common building material for cabinets in trailers. It's made, basically, of glued together sawdust. It is heavy, brittle, won't hold screws well and falls apart if it gets wet. Junk. To make it look like real wood, a common practice is to glue on a picture of wood. Then call it "oak" or "walnut" or some such.

I did not imply that Escapes had this material, just that Olivers don't.

Luan is Philippine mahogany plywood of three plies and about 1/8" to 1/4" thick. This is also a common building material for drawer bottoms and thin partitions. It is also called door skin. It's light, glues well, staples fairly well, accepts finish well, but is not very strong. Not good for drawer fronts or bulkheads, for instance. So it's fine for low weight and in low stress locations.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:18 PM   #14
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I had the cash in hand to purchase whatever I wanted. I went to Hohenwald and toured the factory. They made two models, and I'm not sure how they are designated, but I decided the newer and larger model was too heavy, and the original smaller model model on which they were soon to resume production only had a single axle, and I wanted two axles. Also, I am partial to the towing stability of a 5th Wheel, and Oliver does not manufacture a 5th Wheel. And my wife thought the inside was "sterile," like a hospital operating room. I much prefer that the bed in my Escape does not require someone to crawl over the other to get out of bed, and while the Oliver provides a similar sleeping arrangement, it sacrifices a full sized dinette to do so. As has been stated, layout is a major consideration as is quality. There is a perception out there that Oliver is the best constructed available FG trailer. While this may be true, suitable layout means more to me than having to own the perceived best/most expensive. In some cases, that is an ego thing.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:20 PM   #15
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Yup. 5mm actually.
It's used in large panel areas to save weight. Cupboards and drawers faces are solid oak.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:27 PM   #16
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Pressboard is a common building material for cabinets in trailers. It's made, basically, of glued together sawdust. It is heavy, brittle, won't hold screws well and falls apart if it gets wet. Junk. To make it look like real wood, a common practice is to glue on a picture of wood. Then call it "oak" or "walnut" or some such.
I believe that is far more common in stickies and not so much in fiberglass trailers.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:43 PM   #17
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There is a perception out there that Oliver is the best constructed available FG trailer. While this may be true, suitable layout means more to me than having to own the perceived best/most expensive. In some cases, it is an ego thing.
I agree that you have to get a trailer that is suitable for your needs. Of course. Having to own the perceived best/most expensive one is not interesting. Avoiding all the repeated weak points in so many brands is. If I was looking to impress, I would have bought an Airstream and really paid the price. But then I'd have to settle for something much less useable, for us.

It's just nice to avoid making the same mistakes and finally, after many years, be able to get something really nice. Of course, camping is still camping and being able to get in out of the weather is the bottom line. I've had a lot of fun with tents.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:56 PM   #18
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Are you really cross shopping between those two brands? Are you truly considering paying $50,000+ for the trailer and a similar amount for the 3/4 ton truck you will need to pull it? Olivers appear to be wonderful trailers, clearly the nicest of the FGRVs, but it's a huge leap in commitment over any of the other FG choices. I think most of their customers would be considering Airstreams or even one of the Sprinter based motorhomes.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:18 PM   #19
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I believe that is far more common in stickies and not so much in fiberglass trailers.
I agree. That's why I said "trailers" instead of fiberglass trailers. I obviously don't know what every brand of trailer uses for everything. Just that too many use poor materials. The concept of marginal, but cheap, materials could be carried over to using bare OSB or plywood for floors too. Or plastic outside grab handles and plastic faucets. Often it's so easy to do so much better at a small additional cost, and it doesn't happen. It's fairly easy to fix a many things, but the idea that I was set up to have to fix them and then wonder what else will be next is annoying.

Trailer manufacturer's, when confronted with questions about why products seem so poorly built will say they are not designed for steady use. But many of us would like to keep these things for many years and not be afraid to use them as much as we want. How much is too much? Beyond that, using things that are well made adds to the enjoyment of having them. Smooth working mechanisms, safe stoves, convenient refrigerators, easy to heat spaces, cabinets that stay together, roofs that don't leak and exteriors that don't require much maintenance, like fiberglass.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
I agree that you have to get a trailer that is suitable for your needs. Of course. Having to own the perceived best/most expensive one is not interesting. Avoiding all the repeated weak points in so many brands is. If I was looking to impress, I would have bought an Airstream and really paid the price. But then I'd have to settle for something much less useable, for us.

It's just nice to avoid making the same mistakes and finally, after many years, be able to get something really nice. Of course, camping is still camping and being able to get in out of the weather is the bottom line. I've had a lot of fun with tents.
Actually, if you were to buy an Airstream, I would not be impressed at all. Since they were sold, from everything I have heard, quality has been on a downward spiral. And I find their layouts not enticing. And given that most of the time I spend inside the trailer is when I am sleeping, I am not impressed with a bed that has a diagonal cut rather than a rounded corner. And I do not suggest that everyone who buys an Oliver does so to impress others. As I said, price wasn't a concern for me. Neither my wife nor I liked the layout. If they built a 5th Wheel, I would have likely bought one. However, even though they may be nice, Olivers did not meet my needs and/or my desires. You have a very good trailer.
But I am sure and you will probably agree with me that there is a small handful of Oliver owners who bought them because they just had to have what they considered the "Cadillac" of trailers and think they are impressing others, just as some people will purchase stainless steel appliances and granite countertops for their home simply because SS and granite are the current "in thing." Remember avocado and yellow appliances in the 60s and 70s!
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