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Old 06-13-2018, 03:16 PM   #41
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Name: Steve
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Originally Posted by Steve Outlaw View Post
Actually, a Casita with six extra feet is an Escape. An Oliver Elite II is an Oliver Elite I with six feet added.
My wife when looking at an Oliver remarked that the floor plan was just the same as our Casita , just stretched out .
The thing that has drawn us to the Oliver is the attention to detail especially in their mechanical systems ( Electrical , plumbing , heating ) . Oliver’s work look professionally done , while others , let’s just say look rather amateurish.
The Oliver is expensive and a lifetime investment but at our age may not be our best choice.
Our Casita has worked well but if we upgrade for us it has to be an upgrade in quality and not just size and price . Paying double to gain four feet just doesn’t cut it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:55 PM   #42
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I like to think I have no or minimal bias when it comes to the construction method of a travel trailer. Nothing wrong with wood frame and aluminum skin.

It all depends on the care with which it is put together and quality, methods and materials used.

And maybe just as important, if not more, is continued maintenance by the owner.

I checked out the Taylor Coach. They don't put much effort into their web site. Interesting that you can get a trailer with width options from 6'6" to 7'3". Exactly what I would like in a travel trailer.

But no floor plans on the website.

We actually prefer the white of the Casita. Did not like the interior wood/darkness of the Escape or the Taylor. But it might be acceptable with the Taylor after seeing one, which does not appear to be possible. No dealerships and apparently no owner inspection program like Casita has, or at least not mentioned on the website.

Taylor links do not work.

No Taylor owner's forum, other than a link to a Facebook page. I don't use Facebook so it's not available to me and the link did not work anyway.

Now if I could find a comparable trailer made in the US, It might be a real consideration.

I have been looking at Lances. Also I go to Lance forum. First really big issue, most have slide outs. New models have a window in the front which has resulted in many complaints of leaking. They had a problem with frames bending. I don't recall reading that any were recalled by the factory. The issue was corrected when identified by the owners, and has been corrected for current product. Most recently Lance has a problem with the front sloping part of the roof where it curves to become the nose of the trailer, becoming delaminated. Company went from luan substrate to PVC substrate back to luan, but have not issued a recall. They do correct the issue when identified by the owner.

So just when I start thinking Lance might be a possibility new issues seem to pop up and I turn back to Casita and Airstream.

At least AS is made of good solid heavy duty materials. Look at the door hinges for instance or the window and door frames. Now if they would just use an aluminum sheet thick enough to withstand a typical midwestern hailstorm...

And improve on their QA and maybe use precision robots. Hand made by skilled craftsmen is one thing, but workers that have minimal skill is another. For instance, look where the metal interior wall joins with the exterior wall...looks like someone used tin snips to make the fit. Or where the door frame meets the walls at the inside bottom. Or how the vinyl flooring curls up along some of the edges. Or the lackadaisical way caulking is applied around the windows...Someone mentioned that AS does not use glue in the wood cabinet joints. And the plywood in the floor is not marine grade and will delaminate when wet. Wetness due to condensation as much as leak

I thought about making my own TT using the covered utility trailer as a basis and someone previously suggested. But wife is smarter then I am and said no way. She has first hand experience with my handiwork.

Sorry about this long winded rant, sometimes my frustration just comes out...writing on the forum becomes a bit of a catharsis.
Taylor builds custom, whatever floor plan one wants, so maybe that is why they do not show standard floor plans on their site. And they have a 2 year waiting list. A successful little operation.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:32 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Steve Outlaw View Post
Actually, a Casita with six extra feet is an Escape.
They bear little resemblance. And the floor plan is entirely different. Having a front bath and a side dinette, the Oliver floor plan is pretty much identical to a Casita, only longer.

As I and some others have mused, if Oliver ever came up with a slightly wider trailer with a mid bath, large fridge, full 4 person dinette on one end and a permanent bed on the other, I would strongly consider it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:10 PM   #44
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Rbryan, you have hit it on the head. I would buy such an Oliver!
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:39 AM   #45
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before we tuned into the fiberglass world, we looked at a bunch of stickies, first slideins, then trailers. also we've previously rented a variety of class A and C trailers, 20 or so years ago... those rentals were mostly Fleetwood Tioga class C's, and an older Southwind class A (our first RV rental. how little did we know? but it was still an adventure! 454 chevy engine got single digit MPG and could barely move that pig). We had a Starcraft tent trailer for about 10 years. in the 80s, we had a 1971 VW 'Breadbox' 8 passenger van that had been converted to a camper, with water and propane stove, and a folding bed-for-two (and 6 seats, 3 front, 3 rear, no middle)




a bunch of the slide-ins were Lance. their build quality did not particularly impress me, the interiors were very slap-together, and from the amount of RTV I saw squirted around various things, they all had leaks (said RTV being weak attempts at mitigation).
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:49 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I am considering going to a "stick built". Have a Casita 17' SD. I think it is too small, not comfortable. Wife likes it ok.

Stick builts are ok, just have to do a bit more maintenance. Friends have them.

Trying to get wife to ok purchase of an Airstream.
Look at a 19 or 21' Escape! Quality built and way less expensive than an Airstream.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:39 AM   #47
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Look at a 19 or 21' Escape! Quality built and way less expensive than an Airstream.
I would go with the Airstream . Escape has a forum , I would suggest you spend sometime there . Remember one manís quality is often another manís POS !
Yardsale see one thing and I see something totally different .
Trailers arenít cheap , research is free .
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:54 AM   #48
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We tried very hard but just couldn't...

Laura and I shopped very hard to find an alternative to the Scamp that we found to be just too small. We shopped for months and viewed dozens of stick-built RVs but we couldn't make ourselves spend the money to buy.

Then it occurred to me that the issue of construction methods directly affect the road worthiness of the RV. From an engineering perspective, you simply can't take a stick built camper and bounce it down the road and expect it to remain "tight" and leak proof. Every single joint in the frame is going to be twisted, torqued and flexed forcing the RV to pull itself apart. More recent construction methods have improved with the use of aluminum frame material that can be welded instead of glued, nailed or screwed. However, that only improves the frame and not the siding or wall board and other seams, all of which shift, shake and separate.

We love our fiberglass campers!

bill (not laura)
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:21 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
2008 Mallard Stickie Fail:

Great video here:

Yes, great video. Unless you went to the factory (or this guy's back yard ), how would you know?
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:47 AM   #50
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If those videos don't make you run like hell, I don't know what would. Truly metal-clad firewood on wheels. It's scary what is rolling down the road next to you these days.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:31 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I would go with the Airstream . Escape has a forum , I would suggest you spend sometime there . Remember one manís quality is often another manís POS !
Yardsale see one thing and I see something totally different .
Trailers arenít cheap , research is free .

I agree with Steve. Go to the Escape forum ( Escape Trailer Owners Community ) and you will discover hundreds of exceptionally happy owners and a few disgruntled self-proclaimed perfectionists.

Owners particularly appreciate Escape's response when issues do crop up and that Escape accommodates custom requests when possible.
They also like the US/CAD exchange rate that is like 25% off for US customers.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:50 AM   #52
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Name: Henry
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My Casita is ok, other than being too small.

Don’t forget wooden boats circumnavigated the world back in the day. Sure molded fiberglass is great, don’t get me wrong. But true wood with aluminum skin has its place. It does depend on build quality just as everything does. And maintenance.
Speaking of which, Jon in AZ mentioned Taylor coach in Canada. I contacted them . Custom built TT’s, wood with Al skin inc roof, can get thermopane windows, winter package that sounds extraordinary, Lightweight, may be very well built. Which is impossible to determine from their rather uninformative web site. Direct from factory only. Nothing on the area to inspect. No discussion anywhere about construction methods: Staples vs screws, dove tail drawers, brakes on both axles, forum for members, etc, therefore almost impossible to judge quality. Largest is 24’ long, 8’ wise but they build also narrow, abt $30k USD, with many options.

Too bad someone in USA does not make something like this.

Thanks Jon for mentioning this Mfg.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:10 AM   #53
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[QUOTE=Glenn Baglo;701395]I agree with Steve. Go to the Escape forum ( Escape Trailer Owners Community ) and you will discover hundreds of exceptionally happy owners and a few disgruntled self-proclaimed perfectionists.

Owners particularly appreciate Escape's response when issues do crop up and that Escape accommodates custom requests when possible.
They also like the US/CAD exchange rate that is like 25% off for US customers.[/QUOTE

You certainly paint a lovely picture but I can understand how people who spend fourth five thousand on a trailer and then have to fix a bunch of factory defects might get irritated and complain. I donít think perfectionist is quite the proper definition
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:33 AM   #54
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The videos were shot of the lowest level of their product, basically with Jayco, those that can be had for about $10,000, and sometimes less for the smallest one. For those that would want something with toilet/shower, InTech has very high ratings, and they are adding to their line with more amenities. We have had 9 "stickies" and they are not all created equally, and quality has decreased on nearly everything as they compete for the "best" price, and this isn't just for RVs.

I was always impressed by Taylor Coach, but it would be a hassle in our case. The closest thing in the US is: Allen Camper Mfg. Co., Inc. - Home in business for 60 years, small company located in Oklahoma. They are starting to have a few more dealers across the US.

I cannot think of a single manufacturer that I have not heard a complaint about an issue, often serious, and this applies to stickies and molded fiberglass.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:03 PM   #55
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Thanks Cathy P, I am checking out Allen Camper Mfg.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:34 PM   #56
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[QUOTE=steve dunham;701409]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I agree with Steve. Go to the Escape forum ( Escape Trailer Owners Community ) and you will discover hundreds of exceptionally happy owners and a few disgruntled self-proclaimed perfectionists.



Owners particularly appreciate Escape's response when issues do crop up and that Escape accommodates custom requests when possible.

They also like the US/CAD exchange rate that is like 25% off for US customers.[/QUOTE



You certainly paint a lovely picture but I can understand how people who spend fourth five thousand on a trailer and then have to fix a bunch of factory defects might get irritated and complain. I donít think perfectionist is quite the proper definition


I gather Steve you are saying 45000$ you would have to have every option on their dearest trailer the fifth wheel to come close to that price and for US buyers much less. Doubtful any new Escape buyer would have to fix a "bunch" of factory defects. One or two maybe and those likely on appliances or windows or awnings nothing Escape has built.

What I dont understand Steve is why are you are an Escape forum member when you run them down and have no intention of buying one.

Adrian
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:33 AM   #57
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If I were to be lured from a molded fiberglass, it would be a small toy hauler for the functionality or something along the lines of a Roadtrek for the touring convenience.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:51 AM   #58
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For those considering going to the dark side, you might want to check out this manufacturer: ORV | Outdoors RV Manufacturing
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:05 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by ATHiker View Post
If I were to be lured from a molded fiberglass, it would be a small toy hauler for the functionality or something along the lines of a Roadtrek for the touring convenience.
Yes, there is no "perfect" RV. Some trips, a Class B (Roadtrek and similar) would be perfect. Full timing for five months in Florida, then a big fifth wheel would be pretty nice.

In the end, its a compromise, and what works best for me may be the worst choice for you.

What got us to move away from Casita was the floorplan. So getting a six foot longer, better built version for 3X the money wasn't the choice for us. But if the Casita works for you floorplan wise, but you just want something bigger and more deluxe, an Oliver is tough to beat.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:26 AM   #60
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Yes, there is no "perfect" RV. Some trips, a Class B (Roadtrek and similar) would be perfect. Full timing for five months in Florida, then a big fifth wheel would be pretty nice.

In the end, its a compromise, and what works best for me may be the worst choice for you.

What got us to move away from Casita was the floorplan. So getting a six foot longer, better built version for 3X the money wasn't the choice for us. But if the Casita works for you floorplan wise, but you just want something bigger and more deluxe, an Oliver is tough to beat.
We like having a trailer so we can easily take day trips in the tow vehicle. Thom (member name accrete on this forum) tows a Parkliner with a full-size 4-wheel drive Chevy van. Apparently they use the van for sleeping and the Parkliner as the "dayroom". This makes sense to me in that having the bed in the tow vehicle means they don't risk breaking the crockery if they go out for a day trip. I think this is really a great concept and seriously considered staying with our Casita 17 and changing out our tow vehicle for some sort of van.

I also catalogued literally hundreds of trailers and RVs in a spreadsheet and made a great deal of investigations over the past several years. I looked at CampLites for their aluminum construction and fretted over the prospects of condensation and chilly living. I coveted the comfortable little chairs in the Lance 1475 but worried about delamination and was sorrowed by the prospect of not being able to make many changes to a trailer where the wiring is all laminated within the walls. I considered converting an aluminum V-nose cargo trailer, perhaps even ordering a custom double-V to improve the aerodynamics. I seriously considered buying Denis Ferkany's 1986 Bigfoot 5th Wheel with two little swivel chairs, and we didn't even own a pickup. I studied OhTom's Homemade Fiberglass VNose and rejected the twin-bed floor plan.

I basically rejected Escapes for years due in large part to the dark interior pictures they used to post on their web site, (apparently they finally hired a professional photographer early last year.) But I was drawn to molded fiberglass as we live in a wet climate. In the end we went for the Escape following a visit to their showroom. Everything is a compromise; this one got us camping in less than the five years I would probably spend completing my in-the-end-imperfect cargo-trailer conversion. And I will say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the overall caliber of the workmanship including tightly-bundled and closely-routed wiring.

Our very highly optioned 21 including air conditioning, insulation packages, solar, range-oven, microwave, dual 6V batteries, surge protector, custom fabrics, flooring, and formica, didn't remotely approach the $45K that Steve Dunham mentions above; perhaps he's thinking in $CAD, aka "funny money"?

Mind you I could fret over details, but I am grateful. I have actually been somewhat surprised by my readings on the Airforum, hearing of rat's-nest wiring and seeing black-humor posts and threads on how they got their distinctive shape by "cutting every corner they could".

Would I ever go to a "Stick Built Camper"? Perhaps curiously, I might be more inclined to an old-fashioned stick-and-tin due to their relative serviceability. You can peel the aluminum siding and rebuild a 2x2 wall much easier than dealing with the more "modern" walls or roofs delaminating. However, for now, I hope to simply focus my energy more on enjoying, and less on searching. Oh, and adding a few little enhancements of my own in my spare time.
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