Two weeks ago I shared my thoughts about the Casita Travel Trailer, one of my last four fiberglass trailers that I’m considered beginning my Supersize LIFE in.  Today, I share two more.

The Escape Trailer comes in three sizes: 17 foot, 19 foot and 21 foot. Escape also makes a 21 foot fifth wheel, the Escape 5.0 TA (TA stands for tandem axel).  When I thought a fifth wheel was the rig for me, this one was high on the list.  I never considered the 17 foot because if I can make that length work, I’ll get a Casita.

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21 foot Escape

I flip-flopped between the 19 foot or 21 foot models. With less than a $1,200 difference between the two, money wasn’t a factor.  That left space. The 21 foot has a slightly bigger bathroom, refrigerator, gray tank and black tank.  Oddly, the 19 foot has a bigger bed. Ultimately, I couldn’t imagine a scenario where I’d wish for less space while I could easily conjure up scenarios of wishing for more.  The Escape 21 foot trailer made the final four.

I’m not going to go through features here like I did with the Casita for the simple reason that this trailer is no longer on my list.  You know that old adage about how not making a decision is, in and of itself, making a decision?  Escapes are very popular, so popular the lead time to order one is about a year. My goal is to make my rig decision by February 2017. If I wanted an Escape, it should have been ordered a month or two ago.

I am going to pause here to tell a goofy story.  With all the hours and hours of rig research I have done, this story highlights how easy it is (at least for me) to still be a complete and utter dweeb.

21 foot Escape floor plan. Click to enlarge.

21 foot Escape floor plan. Click to enlarge.

For two years, my matrix listed the cost of the trailer as the number listed on their website.  And even though CAD is as large as the price, only VERY recently did it occur to me what CAD means. And I say this even though I’ve always known Escape Trailers is a Canadian company. When it turned out the 35,000 Canadian dollar (CAD) Escape trailer actually only costs 27,000 US dollars, I did go back and take another look.  Seriously, it took two years for me to figure this out!  Yeah, I’m embarrassed for me too.

This fact that this manufacture is in Canada did not make my con list.  They have many American buyers.  I’ve read a few people having challenge getting their trailers home, but none have been anything more than a little inconvenient.  And, keep in mind, even that has only been a few people.

Escape Pros:

  • Family-owned manufacturer with strong focus on customer satisfaction
  • Long list of upgrades and add ons to consider at time of the build
  • Affordable
  • Real mattress (not cushions)

Escape Cons:

  • Long lead time for ordering

Oliver Travel Trailers has an interesting story.  They started manufacturing trailers in 2007, a very unfortunate time.  The crash of 2008 forced them to put their trailer manufacturing on hold in 2009 after making only 45 trailers. In late 2013/early 2014 the company was back in the travel trailer business.

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23 foot 6 inch Oliver Trailer, Legacy Elite II

They make two models.  The 18 foot 5 inches Legacy Elite and the 23 foot 6 inches Legacy Elite II.  Both have a similar layout.  But with five additional feet (which means a lot more storage) and only a $3,500 price difference, I am only considering the Legacy Elite II.

So let’s start with the price tag.  This one comes in at a hefty $55,000.  If money weren’t a factor this would be a no brainer.  But at nearly two and a half times more than the Casita, you get an idea of the mind teeter-totter I have going on.

I want to say two things about price.  First, the prices I’m including the these posts also include my estimate to make them boondock-ready so will be the reason they don’t match prices you might see on their websites. Second, it’s widely agreed that with fiberglass trailers, you get what you pay for. The Oliver isn’t the highest priced trailer without reason.

Oliver floor plan

Oliver Legacy Elite II floor plan. Click to enlarge.

Oliver is a true four-season trailer. It’s ironic this should appeal to me so much when being in the cold doesn’t.  But I also know that when I lived in southern California for four years, I started missing snow.  With the 2017 changes, one of the upgrades (though perhaps not everyone views it as an upgrade) Oliver offers is a composting toilet.  A composting toilet and solar call to my boondocking spirit.  But I remain puzzled how a composting toilet, which requires a small fan run continuously, works in a wet bath. Converting to a composting toilet has the added bonus that the black tank converts to a second gray tank.  Gray tanks fill the fastest.

There are two choices with the Elite II.  One is the twin bed model.  For looks, I find this one attractive.  It give the inside of the trailer a longer look because the floor  goes from front to back on the trailer.

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Oliver Elite II, interior with twin bed floor plan.

But as appealing is it the floor plan is for looks, it has no practicality for me.  A larger bed is just more comfortable especially when you consider I’m coming from a king bed in my sticks-and-bricks home.  This means the U-shaped dining area that seats five at the back of the trailer will be permanently made into a king bed.  Yes, it’s the dreaded cushions that make up the bed but, as I’ve said previously, I’ll rig something up to make this more comfortable either by bringing in a mattress or adding a layer of memory foam.

In forums and other websites, the Oliver has been described as a land yacht, the Rolls Royce of fiberglass trailers, basically, as the top dog.  Oliver trailers are highly customizable. Not only are there many more upgrades and add-ons from the other fiberglass manufacturers, other custom choices regarding the flooring, countertops, cushion fabric, awning color and vinyl accent colors on the outside are the customer’s. In fact, Oliver offers so many upgrade and add-on options that it can be the boondocking machine of my dreams from the factory.  No after-market work needed.

Hohenwald, Tennessee, a small town 80 miles southwest of Nashville, is home of the Oliver factory. In January, I will attend the 2017 Florida RV Supers Show in Tampa.  Twenty-six acres, more than 450 vendors, seminars and tons of RVs to walk through.  I anticipate more education during two days than two years of online research. I will fly in a few days early because I’m going to rent a car and drive to Hohenwald for a tour of the Oliver factory.

One downside of buying direct is the lack of opportunities to view the RV either at a lot or at an RV show.  All this waffling I’ve been doing about which RV is perfect for me, I suspect, will be behind me after the show and factory tour.

Oliver Pros:

  • Choices, many choices
  • Four season: double hull, plumbing, drain pipes and tanks enclosed and heated to prevent freezing
  • Tandem axel

Oliver Cons:

  • Cost

Like before, if readers have experience with either the Escape or the Oliver, I would love hearing about it.  Bigfoot Travel Trailer is the last fiberglass trailer still in the running.  Come back the third Monday of November for the next Logistic post. I will tell you about it.

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