Over the last two weeks, you’ve read a long list of 11 things I hate about my Oliver Travel Trailer in Part I and Part II. But today we move to the positive side. This week in my Oliver Travel Trailer review, I want to share the 12 things I love about my molded fiberglass trailer.
Double-Hulled Molded Fiberglass
As I said in the Pros and Cons of Molded Fiberglass Trailers, I find it strange to simultaneously love and hate certain aspects about the trailer. And this is at the top. You know why I hate the molded fiberglass trailer. But here is what I love. I love the sleek, clean look. I love that people often stare at it as they walk past, ask for tours and ask me questions about it because it looks so different from other RVs they’ve seen before.
In the Oliver’s case, it is double-hulled which means better insulated than other molded fiberglass trailers. It means I can feel confident taking it into more extreme weather conditions. The company calls it the only true four-season molded fiberglass trailer on the market. I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t go that far. I’d call it a solid three-season plus mild winter trailer. But that’s me. I wouldn’t live it in through, say, an Alaska winter.
Heftiness of the Axle and Tires
The 23’6” Oliver Trailer has a double axle while the shorter one (18’5″) has a single axle. Either way, it a hefty thing. Axles, wheels and tires are not something, I’ll admit, I took notice or particularly cared about.
But I have had so many comments and questions about them in campgrounds, I couldn’t help but take notice. It was after multiple comments that I started watching other trailers.
And what I discovered was astounding. Most trailers and fifth-wheels—ones much larger and heavier than mine—have Barbie doll tires. At least that’s what it looks like to me after being used to my big trucker tires.
Knowing this makes me feel safer. Yes, I know I’ll be complaining when it comes to the cost of replacing them when that day comes but I’ll try to remember to come back and reread this post because the sturdy axle and big tires are definitely something I love about my Oliver.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know it was hard for me to come to the decision to buy an Oliver. I knew I wanted a fiberglass trailer but at triple the price of a Casita (which I initially thought I’d purchase), it took a long time before I decided the cost was worth the product.
One of the things that helped me in this area was monitoring RV resell websites. Now, because there are so few Olivers on the road compared to other brands of RVs, you don’t see them come up very often. But when they do, they go fast, within a day or two. And almost always for the asking price. Plus, I saw a few that were a year or two old going for practically the same price as new ones. Also, most people were selling not to get a different trailer but to get out of RVing altogether for whatever reason (health issues being the most common).
This gave me comfort and assurance that purchasing an Oliver wouldn’t turn out to be a bad decision. My thinking was that, even if it turned out not to be the right trailer for me, I wouldn’t be losing money on the deal because I could turn around and get most of it back.
I know the popularity coupled with the scarcity makes this true. And with more and more getting on the road (in 2017 when I purchased, Oliver produced 10 trailers per month, the year prior just four per month and now they aim for 15 a month), the scarcity factor may diminish a bit. Still, a quality product that’s built to last combined with the toughness of fiberglass and you can see how and why the high resell value should continue.
I knew from the start I wanted a decent solar system and battery bank on my trailer. I loved that Oliver offered so many add-ons at the factory. It was incredibly convenient. Can you imagine getting your new trailer, ready and excited to embark on RV life but first you need to go to the solar dealership to have that installed? Next, you need to install your own composting toilet. Then you have to have a custom-made mattress so you aren’t sleeping on 3-inch cushions which, no doubt, are uncomfortable and back-wrenching.
Though I took issue with a few things in this process as described last week, for the most part I loved it and loved all that was offered. It made it so I picked up a ready-to-hit-the-road trailer. For sure, the fact that I could do this was one factor in my decision to go with the Oliver Travel Trailer.
Of the four major “egg” trailers manufactured today, all except the Bigfoot Travel Trailer, are purchased directly from the factory. During the period when I was deciding and buying, the trailers came off the factory floor identical from the one before and the one after. Yes, Casita had four different floor plans but that’s deciding what trailer you want, not customizing your build.
In writing this series, I went back and reviewed the molded fiberglass trailers websites. Now, the Escape Trailers are more of a build process where you choose things you want added to the trailer. That’s new since I did my research in 2016 and a nice option for customers.
Oliver Travel Trailer Review with Customized Graphics and Swoosh Colors
This happens during the build but it is so individualized and awesome that it’s worth its own mention. It’s one thing to add or not add solar, it’s quite another to have Oliver put your logo on the front of your trailer (feature image), your website address on the back and the name of your trailer near the entry door.
Similarly, purple wasn’t on their master list of colors, but they said I could have any color I wanted. Both of these I got for no additional charge.
However, there is one note on this Oliver Travel Trailer review. The customization I got was on my 2017 Oliver. With increased production, the customized graphics are no longer offered. If you want it, they leave the trailer white and you go to another company for that work. They do still let you pick any color combination you want for your swooshes and it comes with the Oliver logo on the front if you go that way.
Hardware and Locks on Closet, Bathroom Cabinet, Pantry and Nightstand
I like the looks of the hardware on the drawers and cabinets, but this isn’t about looks. I’d heard and seen how lots of RVers tie down their drawers and cabinets and, even refrigerator, after learning the hard way that they can open during travel, creating a big mess.
However, in the Oliver, the closet, bathroom cabinet, pantry and the nightstand (for those who opt for the two single beds) have a locking latch. At first, I found it pain because I was locking and unlocking it every time I wanted in. But now, when I’m stationary, I no longer lock it. I just twist it to keep the mechanism closed. Locking is only for travel. And I love them. They are sturdy and secure. Never once have they come loose during travel.
One note, though. Since most of the time they aren’t locked, I have to put “lock cabinets” on my leaving a campground checklist. Otherwise, it’s super easy to forget that step. I have done that one before.
One further note, locks are not on the kitchen drawers which are pretty secure but I bungee to prevent opening on travel days. As well, I run a bungee (actually it’s a dog leash) across the bathroom door.
In campgrounds, you’ll frequently see cinder blocks and blocks of wood under the bottom stair leading into RVs. The reason? The steps are so bouncy and flimsy, people want to create a secure stair for stepping in and stepping out of their rig.
The stairs on the Oliver Trailer and hefty, heavy-duty and don’t need anything shoved underneath to make you feel confident in your footing. Add carpet to the steps (here is my step-by-step guide) and you are golden.
Built-In Surge Protector
Back when I wrote a post on the checklist for setting up at a new campground or RV park, I talked about the importance of testing the power pole to make sure the power it puts out is within an acceptable margin for your trailer. Further, it’s important to have protection against power surges during the entire time you are on shore power.
Not doing so can have disastrous results. I knew someone whose entire electrical system was blown when the power surged. The fix was neither cheap nor convenient.
This is something I knew from others’ warnings so I walked into full-time RV life with a high-end surge protector. But, it turns out, high-end surge protectors are a popular theft item from RV sites. I’ve seen people create a way to lock their surge protector. That’s a good option.
But one of the things I love about the Oliver is the built-in surge protector. (It was an add-on when I purchased but now a standard feature.) So, I still test the power pole with my portable surge protector, then stow it away and plug the trailer into the power pole, knowing that should there be an unexpected surge outside the acceptable range, my on-board surge protector will protect my rig.
Day and Night Shades
While giving tours of my Oliver, on occasion, people will ask about the shades. I love showing how they work. Day and night shades certainly aren’t exclusive to Oliver.
I included after-market shades on my probable mods list before I got into the trailer. But once I used the ones in the Oliver, I crossed the after-market shades off my list because I love the ones in the Oliver.
How they work is that there is a set of shades on the top of the window and another set on the bottom. If you want a solid shade for dark, privacy or to block the heat of the sun, you pull down the top shade. If you want to block a little bit of heat from the sun or need to slightly shade your computer screen but still want the lovely daylight, you pull up the mesh bottom shade.
I use both with regularity. I love being able to sit at any window without having to move as the sun does its daily dance across the sky.
I have to admit, this isn’t something I care about since I’m 5’2”. I don’t have to duck my head when I step out of the trailer. But many people do. Oliver thought of that and put a thick cushion on the top of the door frame.
I have not had a single man inside the trailer who hasn’t commented on it. Taller people really appreciate that detail. A head bump on a cushioned pad is a hundred times better than on a metal door frame. It saves a headache and a bruise.
Oliver Travel Trailer Review: The Service Department
I know I complained about the service department last week. But today I want to rave about them.
When you buy an RV from a dealer, once you drive off the lot and they have your money, they care little about you. Much like purchasing a car. It can be hard to get a call returned. This makes dealing with warranty issues sometimes more hassle than their worth.
None of that is true when you purchase an Oliver. They are fantastic and responsive. Oliver completely stands behind its product and the people regularly go above and beyond for owners.
When I was a newbie, I had a bunch of amateur questions. I emailed the head of the service department regularly and always got a helpful reply. I’m not sure any other manufacturer is as great at service as Oliver Travel Trailers. And I know my experience isn’t an isolated one as I’ve spoken to other owners who rave too. My one hope is that as production has increased that the responsiveness I received remains true for new owners.
Even though the price of an Oliver Trailer is quite high, so far, I’ve found the service department prices very reasonable. I may need to take it in a few more times to see if this holds true since my assessment comes after only one visit as my first service visit was when the entire trailer was still under warranty.
Oliver Travel Trailer Community
I cannot write an Oliver Travel Trailer review without mentioning other Oliver owners. The Oliver community is the thing I love most about my Oliver. I cannot express enough at how kind and giving other owners are. They truly take care of one another and offer help whenever and wherever they can.
This is true in person, through the Facebook group and the Oliver forum. I should note that you don’t have to be an Oliver owner to join the group or the forum. There are many people who are part of the group who are in their research and pre-buying phase.
It’s so helpful to ask a question and get answers and ideas from people who have experienced the same thing. No doubt, it’s also a big relief to the service department because it must greatly reduce the number of calls and emails they’d otherwise receive.
Since I don’t have anything to compare it to, I cannot say if Oliver owners are a tighter group than others. But I’ll be honest, it’s hard to imagine a more supportive tight-knit group.
If I Had It to Do Over Again?
Would you purchase an Oliver if you had it to do all over again? I get asked this question a lot. I certainly know many Oliver owners who answer this with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
But I’m not quite so sure.
That said, I frequently wonder if what I feel falls more into the “grass is always greener” category. Because when I’m asked that question, I think about how nice just a little more space would be. I think about how much I loathe and struggle with hooking up the weight distribution hitch. And I think about how nice it would be to have a small vehicle for getting around at each stop.
In other words, I often wonder if I’d like a Class C better.
I don’t have any plans to change my situation but I do think about it sometimes. But thinking about a Class C with a small toad (vehicle towed behind the RV) doesn’t mean I don’t love the Oliver. No rig can be absolutely everything you want. I know this.
So, for now, I’m sticking with the Oliver.
I shared what I loved in this Oliver Travel Trailer review. Now it’s your turn. Share what you love about your RV.
Links to Referenced SSL Blog Posts Above:
- Oliver Travel Trailer Review: 6 Things I Hate
- Oliver Travel Trailer Review: 5 More Things I Hate
- Pros and Cons of Molded Fiberglass Trailers
- Hack: Adding Carpet to RV Steps
- RV Checklist for Setting Up at a New Campground
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