Oliver Trailers Deliver Remote Camping Luxury

JULIANNE G. CRANE
Motor Matters

If you’re looking for a four-season Recreation Vehicle and want to experience remote camping in luxury, then consider the Oliver Travel Trailer Legacy Elite II (olivertraveltrailers.com).

Oliver’s hand-crafted fiberglass travel trailers are sold factory direct and made-to-order about 80 miles southwest of Nashville at the Oliver Fiberglass Products Company plant.

The Oliver brothers’ love of the outdoors and past negative experiences with other trailers led them to design and “build a unit that would last them and their families for years to come,” according to company literature.

What resulted is a two-piece, hand-laid fiberglass composite body mounted to an aluminum frame. The design features only top quality components including marine-grade stainless-steel latches and hinges.

“Stepping into a Legacy Elite II is like stepping onto an opulent yacht,” said former harbor master Mike Nickel who has hand-built two sailboats of his own.

Nickel and his wife, Elaine, have gravitated toward small space living all their adult lives. “Out of our 45 years of marriage, we only have lived in a house for six years. Other than that, sailboats, trollers, and recreation vehicles have been our homes,”

The full-time RVers consider themselves “Pacific Northwest people” even though they live half of the year in the Southwest. “We bounce back and forth,” said Elaine Nickel.

Longtime RVers, the Nickels have owned half a dozen rigs including a fiberglass truck camper and a 2016 17-foot Casita. “Although we enjoyed the fiberglass Casita,” said Elaine, “we wanted something with a little more room.”

The Nickels selected the 2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II (23-foot, 6-inch), listed on the website with a starting price at a smidge under $54,000. This high-end tandem axle camping trailer is available in two layouts, the standard (queen bed in the rear) or the twin bed floor plan.

A few of the standard features in this double-hulled insulated unit include thermal pane windows, central heat, TV/Stereo, a full bathroom with shower, and pretty good storage space.

Buyers personalize the standard options to reflect their own unique flair. They can choose from among three awning colors, 25 exterior graphics colors, nine upholstery options and seven flooring choices.

In addition to their Oliver’s broad list of standard features, the Nickels added almost $20,000 in extras. “We figured we might as well go for it,” said Mike Nickel.

Some of that 20 grand went for gel coated Fiber-Granite on all countertops ($1,700), two 8-inch custom-size KTT latex mattresses ($1,600), and a Truma AguaGo On Demand tankless water heater ($1,300).

“When camping in the desert every pint of water counts,” said Elaine Nickel. The instant heater “circulates hot water up to the faucet within five seconds, so little water is wasted.”

It also conserves on propane. “One does not have to heat all the water in a tank to get hot water at the sink,” said Mike Nickel.

The Nickels are experienced at dry camping without being attached to any municipal utilities. For their extensive off-the-grid adventures, their Oliver carries 340 watts of solar power and a bank of four deep cycle 6-volt batteries. “We can run our microwave off the batteries,” said Mike Nickel.

In the winter, they love dispersed camping on Bureau of Land Management Areas near Quartzsite. “Arizona is 100-percent boondocking,” said Elaine Nickel. “We do not plug in anywhere for five months.”

Oliver trailers come with large 30-gallon water tanks and waste holding tanks, LED interior lights and two optional 30-pound propane tanks. In addition, Oliver brags that the insulation from the double hull fiberglass construction in this “four season RV” affords the same comfort in the desert Southwest as in the “wilds of Canada.”

The Oliver trailer is “designed for easy towing” and most pickups or SUVs with a pulling capacity of 7,000 pounds are able to tow it with relative ease.

The Nickels’ 2013 Toyota Tundra “1/2-ton plus” is a comfortable match with their 2019 loaded Ollie.

“I cannot tell any difference from towing the Casita when we are moving down the road and the Oliver weighs twice as much,” observed Mike Nickel. “We are just as happy driving 50-55 mpg. When I come to a hill I just go up it. I do not have to go 70 mph. Why burn a lot of gas?”

The 23-foot 6-inch Oliver Legacy Elite II is a tandem axle double-hulled fiberglass travel trailer for RVers who want to camp off-grid in luxury and style.