These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
By Tony Barthel
Imagine that your fan club is so strong you don’t need dealers to show your products – just ask your fans to tell their story with your product. That’s the Oliver trailer. Oliver is an independent RV company from Tennessee that started in 2008 when twin brothers Jim and John Oliver had their fill of RV-related issues and sought to build their own trailers the way they wanted them built.
So how are they made? They have a reputation as being very well made and part of that may be due to the Limited Lifetime Warranty on the body, the five-year warranty on the chassis and other warranties on various components.
The list of components that go into an Oliver trailer includes things like 16” E-rated truck tires on Dexter axles that incorporate shocks, an aluminum frame made of 6061 aircraft aluminum, a Bulldog cast hitch on the front, two-layer four-piece molded fiberglass body/interior construction and more.
These are not cheaply made trailers and the company has a policy of welcoming prospective buyers into their factory and even has videos on their website of their factory in operation. Then, when there isn’t a global pandemic, there are rallies for Oliver owners as well as rallies for fiberglass trailer owners. I think it is evident that this company has earned quite a reputation, even though there are still people who have never heard of them.
Oliver essentially sells two trailers with different interiors: a single-axle “Legacy Elite” series and the more popular “Legacy Elite II” series which is the larger of the two and features two axles. According to the company, the name comes from the trailers built to be legacy pieces over time.
Both of these are narrower trailers with no slide room: the single-axle trailer is 78” wide, the two-axle trailer is 84” wide.
Inside, the cabinets are molded into the fiberglass and the interior feels almost more sailboat than travel trailer. Both series have wet baths with the surface of the bathroom being the same glossy fiberglass as the exterior, so cleanup of the bathroom is a breeze.
Since all Olivers are purchased factory-direct, there are a lot of ways one could tailor their trailer (does that make the salesperson a trailer tailor?) – including battery upgrades to include up to four lithium batteries, solar, upholstery and finishes, flooring and more.
But what comes standard are some really noteworthy things as well – such as a rear bumper made of aluminum that folds down to reveal a compartment as well as the sewer tank connection. This is a really nice way of doing this.
Over on the side of the Legacy Elite II is a compartment that features the two tank valve levers, an outdoor shower and some storage. Compared to some RVs where the sewer tank valves and connections are a contortionist’s worst nightmare, this is exceptionally well done.
Oliver trailers feature a power tongue jack and two power stabilizers at the rear. Combining these three positions the trailer can be leveled with ease, and this is really a nice implementation.
Other nice touches include the batteries being in a compartment on a tray that slides out for maintenance. The propane tanks are also in a compartment with a port through which Oliver says you can reach to turn on and switch tanks and, of course, the compartment cover comes off so you can swap tanks.
The shell of the Oliver is molded of fiberglass in four pieces, essentially, with insulation placed between the inner and outer shell as it’s being put together. While there is very little wood in these, the drawers are wooden and are dovetailed together and have positive marine-grade latches, as do the cabinets above. The attention to detail and quality of workmanship really is evident in these trailers.
While some RVs offer huge cabinets, the relatively narrow, curved body of these means storage won’t be Oliver’s strong suit, though there is a nice closet right at the entry door of the Legacy Elite II and cabinets all around the perimeter of the roof which are molded into the fiberglass.
Inside, you’ll either like the nautical, almost sterile feel or you won’t, period. While some RV interiors are specifically designed to offend the smallest number of people without thrilling anyone, this one is probably more polarizing. Oliver does offer a lot of variations of color and fabric so you can tailor it to a certain extent, but the walls and cabinet structures are always polished white fiberglass.
There are a few other things to take note of, including the “chassis-level” courtesy lighting which isn’t above your head. Nice. Their most popular model is the Legacy Elite II with the twin beds accounting for well over 50% of their production and I can see why – those beds are a nice place to sit in the day but don’t require any conversion other than plopping something like an RV Superbag on top of them when it’s time to dream.
I’ve been told these trailers tow very, very well – which you would expect with the suspension and tires they feature. Being a narrow body they’re not sticking out from the sides of the tow vehicle as much as some trailers, and you can potentially use the mirrors your pickup came with rather than upgrading to fancy tow mirrors.
With the combination of warranty, build quality and the ownership experience, it’s no wonder the Oliver twins have such a passionate following. The Olivers have chosen to build a trailer that is going to thrill a certain customer so much that they are willing to brag about their purchase to prospective buyers.
While these aren’t trailers everyone is going to like, there are people for whom the uniqueness or build quality or even nautical feel is just the ticket.
Someone is probably studying this company in a business school somewhere.
I really like the Oliver, and may regret not buying one, but it feels cramped to me. I understand the next model will be longer. It is a nice one or two person trailer that appears to be extremely well made.
Nice article and summary of the Oliver Travel Trailer. Laura and I love Olivers. Being empty nesters that look forward to retirement in 2 years, 7 months, and 14 days, 😉 the Oliver continues to be our Number 1 aspirational rig at retirement. We love our used Casita and will continue to love it for the foreseeable future. However, there are very few RVs on the road or in any campground as nice as the Oliver. Laura and I have toured the factory, attended Oliver Rallies, met the Oliver family, and met dozens of owners, including Teri that just posted. Olivers are truly amazing RVs.
Thank you, Dean. These are aspirational to be sure and the fan club for these is quite passionate which says a lot about the company and their product.
Dean – I think we’ll be retiring on the same day! And my wife and I are looking at getting an Oliver too!
I’m one of the lucky ones who owns one of the first Elite 11. It’s a 2015 and has traveled more than 90,000 miles in 5 years and still looks brand new! With proper maintenance it will continue to look that way. I disagree with the scores given for wet bath and storage. Simply hanging a shower curtain and wiping down two walls takes less than 2 minutes. Storage can be tricky but trial and error will overcome packing items you really don’t use but think you have to have. We have packed three seasons worth of clothing and plenty of food and cooking items with room to spare. With that said we do have a 3/4 ton pickup for storing outside gear.
We have owned stick built trailers in the past and the quality of this trailer far exceeds all other manufacturers!
This is really good to read from first-hand experience. That’s a lot of mileage and good to read that it’s also great to read that you’re traveling that much. I hope you continue to enjoy the trailer and this beautiful country.
I was confused by the photo of a vehicle interior with driver & passenger seats, but it must be an ad.
Sometimes I am able to use my own photos and sometimes I have to have them provided by other sources.
If I wanted the top of the line travel trailer that will outlast me and pass to my children, the Oliver would be it. I have seen some of these and they are great.