After I decided my new home would be an Oliver Travel Trailer, the next step was to get a date for the rig to go into production. As it happened, Oliver had a rally the week prior to my May 10th call to say I’d decided to purchase one of their trailers. At the rally, several people ordered trailers of their own. Many scheduled theirs to go into production during the month of June. And a July production date would likely be too late for me.

So I was slotted in for today, May 29, 2017.

What Does That Mean?

Production takes about eight weeks. Following production is another three to four weeks of inspections. Two things need to be in place on Day 1 of production:

  1. All decisions regarding upgrades and add-ons must be made and included with the signed contract.
  2. With the signed contract, you pay 50% of the cost of the full cost of the rig. The 50% breaks down into two payments: 15% is due initially to secure a date to go into production and the remaining 35% is due on or before the first day of production. At pickup, you pay the final 50%.

I was as ready as I could be to write another big check after my initial deposit thus completing requirement number two above. But I wasn’t anywhere near final decisions on upgrades and add-ons. I’ll share the decisions I’ve struggled with  in a future post. I’m not being coy here but the truth is I am still grappling with those final decisions.

A week after sending my initial deposit, I called Oliver back and asked for a slot in June if any were available. I got lucky. There was an opening and my new date to go into production is June 12. I will be ready by then. I must be.

Even though I wrote a post on my tour of the Oliver manufacturing plant, there wasn’t enough room to include everything I wanted to share or the photos. I thought I’d do so today. It will show some of the stages my custom-built trailer will go through between June 12 and August 4.

I shared a brief history of Oliver Travel Trailers when I reviewed the Final Four fiberglass trailers I was trying to decide among. It’s an interesting story. To quote from my own blog:

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.

Oliver does other fiberglass work which is what kept them in business for the in between time. They manufacture fiberglass sitting bathtubs. The ones with a door so the elderly or those with disabilities and those who have trouble with balance can bath with ease. We saw rows and rows of those ready for shipping.

Travel trailers are made from spraying fiberglass into two molds, a top and a bottom. Then they are brought together and sealed. This seal is referred to as the belly band. A single seam is one reason fiberglass rigs are popular. Water problems and damage due to leaks is fairly common on non-fiberglass rigs. But a fiberglass unit has less of these issues for the simple fact that there are less seams for water to sneak in.

So, here is what those look like:

Empty Molds.

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Bottom mold sprayed with fiberglass.

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Top half, polished and out of the mold.

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The base on which my new home will sit.

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Once the halves are joined and placed on the base, paperwork for that particular rig never leaves the rig. Workers at every station along the way know whose rig they are creating and the upgrades, add-ons and other customization that goes with that rig.

I love imagining my own rig snaking through the manufacturing facility, stopping at each station along the way. Plumbing and electric. The stove. The closet door. Flooring. Windows. The reading lights. Color stripes. All of it.

In the next two weeks, Oliver will have my paperwork. They will have my signed contract and another check. Then they spray two molds and my Oliver will begin its way down the line. My imagined rig will begin the process of becoming reality.