Stopped in at Oliver
Camper Trailers in "Hole in the Wall" Tennessee on my way back home to "Hillbilly Hollywood TN". Spent a nice 1 1/2 hours with the fine folks at Oliver
I got to see the latest and greatest from Oliver
on display in their showroom. Very impressive trailer. It should be at $50K+!
Jason gave me a personal tour of the production facility. The trailers are made at the Oliver Fiberglass Products manufacturing plant in Hohenwald TN. Oliver Fiberglass manufacturer's fiberglass bath tub shells for any number of manufacturers. They make LOT'S of fiberglass tubs shells to the tune of 500+ units per week! Pretty obvious where the real money is made that supports the trailer division.
I must say that the the Oliver trailer is very impressive particularly the way the unit is designed and constructed. With Oliver Fiberglass Products being the parent company it is very obvious very quickly their expertise in fiberglass shell design, fabrication and assembly. Their fiberglass work is first class. Looking at the bare shells you can see the engineering that has gone into the design and fabrication of the shells such as the different thickness "honeycomb" sheets incorporated in the fabrication of the fiberglass shell for strength and rigidity. The fit and finish is first class. The fabrication of the aluminum trailer chassis is also in-house along with almost everything else besides the obvious such as windows
, axles, wheels, appliances etc. All the wiring harness's are fabricated in-house with every trailer from a cheap no option trailer to a "Hard Loaded" trailer all receiving the same wiring harness so for any future upgrades the wiring is already there. The one item that did surprise me with the wiring harness in the trailer with the small use of Romex solid core wiring in the trailer. Most all the wiring in the trailer is "Stranded wire". I asked why solid core "House Wire" was used in the trailer and Jason had no answer. Yes I know other manufacturer's use Romex in trailers however Romex does not play well with vibration issues so I was surprised to see that in these trailers. I expected they would follow the "Boating Industry" standard and use "Stranded Wire". Also included in all trailers are the attachment points for things such as awnings (both sides), solar
, A/C etc. Currently the only wood structure in the trailer is slide in drawer rack below the sink/cooktop. This is also fabricated in-house. When asked WHY WOOD the response is that they are currently looking at making a molded drawer insert however that has not made it into production at this point. The inner/outer shell design is interesting and allows for some unique placement of the tanks, wiring and electrical
. All is first class right down to the sliding 4 battery
tray. The trailer frame uses 3,500# axles with "Buggy Springs" for the suspension. No "Torsion Axles" here! Brakes
are standard along with aluminum wheels and Michelin tires
. The design and cover on the propane
bottle is very nice along with the optional Generator
stand and hookups. Instant on Hot water heaters are an option along with a nice roof mounted solar
system, Domestic A/C and a nice LARGE refrigerator
I am told that production is currently 2 trailers a week with consideration of going to 3/week. Current lead time from purchase to delivery is 10-12 weeks. They currently have several trailers in production that could be purchased (Inventory if you will) if so desired. There were at least 15+ trailers on the production line today during my visit with the fiberglass shop in current production of more shells for current orders. Oliver also maintains a repair, warranty and upgrade center in a portion of the 500,000 square foot Oliver Fiberglass production facility. There were currently 7-8 trailers in this section of the facility from customers for upgrades.
Overall a very nice product that is more impressive AFTER you truly see whats UNDERNEATH all the glitz and glamour that is an Oliver Fiberglass trailer.
So the $50K question.
Is it worth it????
Having seen the construction methods, materials used, parts fabrication and design used in other manufacturer's fiberglass trailers costing $20K-$35K and then comparing these competitors fiberglass trailers to the Oliver "I" can say that yes there is is $20K+ worth of additional value in the Oliver trailer. It's construction and materials aspect that you cannot readily see on the outside of an Oliver that makes these trailer's special. Although still an EXPENSIVE "Expenditure" (Not Investment) I believe it's worth that expenditure if you are looking for the a top of the line fiberglass RV that will provide many years of fun and product satisfaction.
That's something that is VERY HARD TO FIND in the RV Industry TODAY!
One man's OPINION!