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Old 06-23-2022, 10:25 AM   #1
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2019 Oliver Elite II and Airstream International 27FBQ

We have owned three Airstreams since 2006. New and 'improved' them over time. These are listed under my photograph, which is not... current, but the likeness is the same.

Our current Airstream is a 2019 International Signature 27FBQ purchased new, for around $90,000, with a three inch lift and solar. We added 16 inch wheels and Michelins and sold the Goodyears. Our 2019 is the last of the Propane / Battery / Electric models... or near the end. I have not checked. We avoid RV Parks, so never used the AC's or Microwave, because of that.

These Airstream physical upgrades for road clearance make OUR Airstream compatible to the stock Oliver from the factory. (I posted somewhere on the Forum the ground to frame clearance and they are nearly exact...but did not find the old post.)

I became infatuated with the... Oliver Elite II... the longer of the two Oliver models available. They are fiber glass.

I now find Oliver advertising on the Airforums. Airstream owners and Oliver owners are the prime high end customers for either. Neither trailer are inexpensive in comparison to other brands which can be large, for less cost. OK... but are the TOP of the Travel Trailer Off the Grid Boondocking models... in my EXPERIENCE.

This year we have the Airstream tucked away in the RV Garage resting. We have been traveling and Off the Grid Camping this Spring. We also use the Airstream in the same way as the Oiiver Elite II.

We... well I, paid $68,500 for a used 2019 Oliver. It is comparable to the 23 foot Airstream length and 8 feet wide. The Oliver is 8 feet 5.5 inches wide. The width of our tow vehicle which is a 2016 F350 Diesel 4x4 is about the same as both.

The 23/25 foot Airstream and Oliver Elite II are similar in weight. I am not doing a research paper, so am not hunting down numbers but the Oliver is around 7,000 pounds on leaf spring double axle, stock 16 inch Sendel wheels and 16 inch Michelins, stock from the factory. (I can get these numbers if there is any interest.)

The standard Oliver has the ground clearance of an Airstream with a 3 inch Lift Kit and Michelins.

(Due to length, I am breaking this report into two posts. I may be one of the few Airstream Owners having BOTH trailers... at the SAME TIME.)
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:47 AM   #2
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Comparisons... are obviously SIZE and WIDTH

My current 2019 Airstream is a wonderful trailer... other than the front indents that seem to plague the 25FBQ and 27FBQ. A visual flaw, but not a serious defect in my experience of using the 2019 since new.

The Oliver Elite II can be compared easily with the 23 foot Airstream. Double Axle of different kinds, but double axle is my MINIMUM for a Travel Trailer for Boondocking.

The twin beds in the Oliver took one trip to adjust to the Queen in the 27 foot, but manageable. After three Off the Grid camping this Spring from 17F in the mornings in New Mexico to a balmy 23F in Utah... the Oliver, being compact, well insulated... was excellent.

Parked as we do all our Airstreams in the cooler months, broadside to Sunrise... the Furnace was set at 48F... on propane and it fired up several times for a short period to maintain decent interior temperature. The vent was open to prevent condensation in 2% to 10% humidity... great at 8,500 to 10,300 feet elevations on our adjusting between trailers.

We find the Oliver Elite II very comfortable. It has window treatments Airstream should steal from Oliver and the double pane windows and slider and... well, the Oliver IS OUR CURRENT FAVORITE TRAILER OF ALL TIME.

Sorry Airstream. You need to do like Oliver made fiber glass boats and purchased fiber glass trailers for their staff on business trips. They were falling apart. Oliver then made their OWN and now I have One. Under the 500th one made.

Everything is designed to perfection... or nearly. I am fine tuning the door closure, as the Airstream gasket closure... but figuring it out. The ONLY small detail found... so far. We spent Weeks... towing and camping in locations we took the 23, 25 and 27 foot Airstreams.

This morning we were having breakfast and thinking... should we keep Both or Sell One? Oliver has the edge for size. Airstream has the edge for luxury and comfort.

Oliver has a better fit of all components and access. Airstream... not so much.

(This is the second post. If anyone is interested in MY OPINON of comparisons between the 23, 25 or 27 foot Airstream (other than the obvious lengths)... it is up to you to motivate me to continue.

Oliver has produced an ULTIMATE Off the Grid Boondocking Trailer. They are hard to find for sale... and I found our within 40 miles of our home and after posting a want ad on the Oliver Site... when someone contacted me five minutes AFTER the add was posted. Two others called after I purchased the Oliver within 24 hours.

Call me Crazy. Call me anytime. If you get no call back... we are OTG Boondocking with the Oliver or the Airstream. Yaaa Hoooo
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:53 AM   #3
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Some photographs from March 2022... when taking a 100% TOUR of the hardware, cabinets, appliances, Solar, Batteries, Composting Toilet, etc. etc.

If Oliver is advertising on the Airforums... they understand Airstream Owners and their taste for the BEST.

More photographs that I had available...

(My wife totaled what we had invested in the 27FBQ International TOTAL: $99,940.40 in comparison to the Oliver (as of today) $68,500.)

The Oliver II Elite is... 7 feet wide. The 23 foot Airstream is 8 feet wide. (My wife says and is usually right. The Oliver TRACKS PERFECTLY BEHIND THE F350 Ford and tows on the Ball, as does the current 27 foot Airstream.)

With the Oliver Solar... we never plug into power... as it is between sunrise and sunset from buildings east and west blocking direct sunlight and getting direct solar power for maximum exposure for five hours a day.

Any questions? If none... I have done my best for some comparisons.

The last photo was inside the 27 foot. I was holding the 'lighting system' over the bed for our entertainment....
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Old 06-23-2022, 11:35 AM   #4
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First of all, thanks for taking the time to write up that summary, there is no substitute for real world first hand experience, and as you mention, you are probably one of the very very few (possibly the only one) that has both trailers simultaneously. I wrestled with Airstream vs a fiberglass (Oliver, or Bigfoot, or Casita ...) before we settled on our current mobile place, the 25' RBT flying cloud. We do love it very much, but on cool/cold expeditions, the wife is less than pleased. I still wonder if I should shift over to a fiberglass trailer, and I anticipate that will happen someday, but it will be years into the future, we are having too much fun with the current unit, and put too much $$$ and effort into our own customizations. Couple questions if you don't mind.

1) I notice from dimension references that the twin in the oliver is noticeable more narrow than the Airstream, and that nightstand in the middle cannot be modified (as it is fiberglass). I made custom made a substitute countertop on my Airstream, made it more narrow, so I had a little more elbow room. How much does that narrow twin impact your comfort for sleeping ? It seems too narrow for me and my tossing and turning about in the night.

2) you mention furnace set to 48, but sounds like that is in the Airstream. We are familiar with the overnight performance (lack thereof) for the Airstream in cool weather. Does the oliver have enough insulation that human body heat keeps the interior warm overnight, or do you find a need to run the furnace ?? We keep ours set in the low 50's, the wife does not like lower than 60, so I stay in the high 50's as our "low point" for the furnace ... 58 -- 59 --- 60.

3) I know you dont run your A/C but have you had a "hot weather" excursion in the Oliver ?? How comfortable will it be in there. There is more airflow through the Airstream, wondering if the lesser air flow, and more "air tight" enclosure of fiberglass/double pane makes it noticeably more warm in those climates where temperature goes high ?

4) opportunities to "tweak" the Oliver seem much more restricted, with all that fiberglass and molded sections ... has that impacted you and your wishes in regard to customization ?

Thanks again for sharing your insights and experiences
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:04 PM   #5
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I would be more interested in seeing you heading down to Texas in the 100 degree heat with humidity now and see how that Boondocking works out for you.
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:08 PM   #6
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I would be more interested in seeing you heading down to Texas in the 100 degree heat with humidity now and see how that Boondocking works out for you.
I'm not who you were asking about this, but I'd suggest that when it's 100F and humid it's not the time to head to Texas (or anywhere that hot) and try to boondock? I get it if there are family or work obligations, but that's when you pay for a place to plug in.

These things have wheels on them for a reason - so they can be moved. We like to move ours to places which are comfortable for camping, like upper Michigan last week. We had to run the heat one night for a short time while much of the country was baking under the heat dome. Just didn't seem like a good time to head south.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:24 PM   #7
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I would be more interested in seeing you heading down to Texas in the 100 degree heat with humidity now and see how that Boondocking works out for you.
******
Spent some time looking for Mountains around Mineral Wells, Texas in 1970 while flying Helicopters at Fort Wolters Army Flight School. Once in the air... very nice and comfortable.

Why Texas in the Summer? I have no reason to go to Texas, as I have the entire Rocky Mountain Region at my whim. I am a Geologist and have a great concept of where I do not want to go, any time of the year.

Relatives say Dallas is also too hot, even in a house.

I went to Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. I experienced Heat and Humidity do exist at the SAME TIME and in high numbers.

****** From my Oliver Experience ******

I can guarantee you that the Oliver will do much better than any Airstream, parked in 100F sunny weather without AC.

I can also guarantee you that Oliver's AC System in a smaller interior will do much better than any Airstream 25 feet or longer. Those with the 23 foot Airstream or shorter... you have the #1 size. Next, 25 foot as an all purpose length is a close #2.

Double Axles are preferred OTG Boondocking.

*******

I can guarantee you that the Oliver will do much better than any Airstream at 8,500 feet with 17F mornings in arid New Mexico in the mountains with minor Propane needed to warm the excellent insulated fiber glass, double hull fiber glass body.

I can guarantee you that the Oliver will do much better than any Airstream at 10,300 feet in Utah with lows in the 20's with minimal Propane needed to compliment smart use of bed spreads and Blue Hellers.

I can guarantee you that the Oliver TOWS better than any Airstream on the Ball of a F350 4x4 Diesel Off the Grid or on the Interstate Highway System. As does my 27 foot International.

You missed that I have owned and used Airstreams since 2006 and still do.

It took me several years before I found a 2019 Oliver Elite II in my area to physically look it over and bought it... asked for NO Discount from Asking Price.

I can find an Airstream anywhere for sale. Olivers are made for one person at a time... custom. Ours is totally Custom for a Boondocker Off the Grid camper.

When someone encounters us on the road, off the road or at home... I have a 2019 Airstream and a 2019 Oliver to compare that were built the same year. When Ray is impressed looking at an Oliver... and my Wife... something tells me that others may want to compare.

Oliver has been very helpful with questions. Airstream... hmmmm. Still waiting.

(If anyone wants to discuss Oliver... send me a PM message.)
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:42 PM   #8
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i would be more interested in seeing you heading down to texas in the 100 degree heat with humidity now and see how that boondocking works out for you.
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:36 PM   #9
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I would be more interested in seeing you heading down to Texas in the 100 degree heat with humidity now and see how that Boondocking works out for you.

No need to visit Texas in the summer as most Texans are in the mountains of NM & CO.
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:41 PM   #10
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My Guarantee definition:

Guarantee: "My experience has been positive and my experienced opinion, from actually using the Oliver and three Airstreams since 2006."

I am currently in the Las Vegas area. Over 100F and humidity 2%. Not sweating here...

To the west, overlooking Las Vegas are the Spring Mountains... they get snow in the Winter, people can ski and this area is a comfortable escape from the Las Vegas Valley in the Summer.

We played Video Poker and left $3 poorer at Stations Casino in Henderson.

Yep... Yaaa Whoos... need no advice as to what to do. We are doing it.

(My 2019 Airstream still has Warranty left... yet Airstream denies to repair the front dimples on our 2019 27FBQ International.)

Seasonal Boondocking is a learned activity after years of experience and common sense. Even Canada Geese have a sense of time, direction and weather.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:17 PM   #11
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Thanks for your post Ray. Nice to get the comparison of the 2 models. I’m sure the Oliver is better insulated than the Airstream which is why we avoid the winter months in our Airstream. Having lived in Houston for 3 years I also avoid Texas in the summer.

Find the RV that suits your lifestyle and go with it. The main thing is to use and enjoy what you have.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:42 PM   #12
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Perfect duo of travel trailers, Ray. I absolutely love the Olivers and if I had more money, I would buy one to add to the stable.
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Old 06-24-2022, 08:07 AM   #13
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Oliver and Airstream Trailers have Instant Interest

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Perfect duo of travel trailers, Ray. I absolutely love the Olivers and if I had more money, I would buy one to add to the stable.
*****

It took time for us to 'evolve' from tent to trailer. Actually 18 years after we were married.

First purchase: A new 2016 23 foot Safari with... 14 inch Marathons. But used it 8 years and lots of 14 inch tires of other brands. Never considered a trailer as an option. Duhhhhh.

Used Olivers are EXCELLENT. No popped rivets. Cabinets that are secure. Cook tops that do not decompose while towing.... White reflects heat. Many new Oliver owners add most every upgrade possible. Buy used. We did as everything worked and was SUPER QUALITY. Not just used... but we could not even find any wear within the interior of ours. Oliver owners may be casual users... unlike ourselves.

Place a WANT on the Oliver Forum... for your area to look at one. They are scarce as few are made. But... we looked this 2019 over and did not hesitate.

We have been on three Off the Grid Boondocking trips and 100% satisfied. We are 100% satisfied with our 2019 27FBQ after nearly three years tweaking what we could. The front skin rivets and dimples are something Airstream should have corrected ten years ago... prompting our interest in Olivers.

Airstream and Oliver Trailers are as good as it gets. Resale for 100% operating units will sell used to budding trailer buyers.

The Oliver... in our #1 travel trailer now for convenience and more options to where we can go due to length and leaf spring suspension seems to do very well.

Nobody can tell me I do not know what I am talking about. Ha ha ha. I have more tools for my Airstreams that I have not had to use on the 2019 Oliver. I will be reducing the TOOLs I carry in a foot locker in the tow vehicle... soon. Although the Lath Screws and battery screwdriver... will stay.
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:25 AM   #14
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I would like to see a lot more interior photos of your Oliver.
The greatest appeal for me in Airstreams is how much light comes inside through the beautiful big windows. How have you found the light inside the Oliver?
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:47 AM   #15
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I think I've mentioned this before, apologies if repeating from previous threads....

A good friend of mine and I had both been long-time tent campers, and both of us had gotten bit by the Airstream bug. Both of us started long-term shopping/ researching.

We ended up w/ an Airstream, but ours is smaller, a single-axle, FB20. Yeah, if I boondocked more, I definitely would have wanted the larger tanks that you can get w/ a double-axle. But we're not doing THAT much boondocking... some, but like this past week, we were in Charleston in a nice campground, w/ shore power to run the A/C. That was the big thing for us, when we're on beach trips, being able to have A/C running. (I'm a geologist, too... but my work is all in-state / localish, not traveling far for work.)

My friend ended up w/ an Oliver. They love it. He got his from the factory (we're in Tennessee, it's not much trouble to get to the factory for us). He spent more on his Oliver than we did our FB20. But, I think he's pretty happy w/ it as-is...
What's funny, I keep thinking 'how perfect' our FB20 is, but, then, I think of all the little things I've already done, or am going to do... 3" lift, swapped out USB for BlueSea units, added the water-pump controller to quiet it down, need to get a soft-start installed in the A/C, eventually will switch to lithium and add rooftop solar (still only have a suitcase setup, has worked for us thus far, but, eventually, will want more). There'll always be projects, I expect.
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
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We have owned three Airstreams since 2006. New and 'improved' them over time. These are listed under my photograph, which is not... current, but the likeness is the same.

I became infatuated with the... Oliver Elite II... the longer of the two Oliver models available. They are fiber glass.

I now find Oliver advertising on the Airforums. Airstream owners and Oliver owners are the prime high end customers for either. Neither trailer are inexpensive in comparison to other brands which can be large, for less cost. OK... but are the TOP of the Travel Trailer Off the Grid Boondocking models... in my EXPERIENCE.

(Due to length, I am breaking this report into two posts. I may be one of the few Airstream Owners having BOTH trailers... at the SAME TIME.)
Great write-up Ray, but you're about 15 years late to the party.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f16...5rq-80793.html

I jumped ship in 2006 after twenty years of fixing my broken Airstreams. In the nine years I had my Bigfoot 25RQ, the ONLY maintenance item I had was the propane regulator to replace. And I had the roof through-hulls re-sealed. That was it. I'd still have my Bigfoot if I hadn't found my Born Free 32RQ motorhome on the Kodiak chassis I've had since 2015.
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:58 AM   #17
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That was my whole point. It is so much easier to do this when you live in an area like you do.
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Old 06-24-2022, 11:29 AM   #18
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That was my whole point. It is so much easier to do this when you live in an area like you do.
You and a Neanderthal think alike.
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Old 06-24-2022, 11:53 AM   #19
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85MH325:

I was a Chevrolet guy up to 20 years old. Bought used 1964-1967 Corvettes, fixed them up and sold them.

I bought a NEW 1969 Chevrolet 4x4 3/4 ton, four speed stick, pickup. Twelve month, 12,000 mile warranty. It was coming apart by then, rust on the door and I had to pull the heads for a valve job... after the 12 months. The transmission was missing the output that the Throw Out Bearing slides over to keep centered.

Chevrolet Dealer squirted OIL into the area... throw out bearing... we are doing you a favor... kind of thing. "Buzz off kid... we are busy here" kind of service

I ended up pulling the transmission. Found that the cast iron part was sprayed RED and missing three inches of shaft. Took it to the Dealer... They gave me a new one. The cast part that was about $12.

I wrote a letter (much like this post) to the President of Chevrolet after trading in the, self repaired, 1978 Chevrolet to get a 1981 Toyota and financed the difference for 12 months. He wrote and would have a Dealer sell me any vehicle at Dealer Cost. Of course, by then I had the Toyota. At least, that was positive.

I bought a Toyota pickup in 1981... bench seat for two adults and two small kids. A tight fit for a family of four. No kidding.

Have bought Toyotas since 1981 and now own the last of the V8 5.L Toyota Land Cruisers. I had Land Cruisers, Supras, Celicas, Tundras since 1985 with the straight Six. My wife also liked Toyotas. Best Vehicle I have owned.

Chevrolet employees would drop "Eat Your Import" bumper stickers in my driveway in Missouri with 'reading material'. I put it on my rear bumper of the 1981 pickup. They would yell obscenities to me on the highway. I bought the 1985 Land Cruiser new after saving up and working hard to afford it.

Airstream. With the 2019 27FBQ Experience... with the indents on the 25FBQ and 27FBQ... being MY fault. Now I sense the "Buzz off Old Man"...

Chevrolet comes to mind. Again. I maintain my vehicles and trailers, myself. I stil have warranty on my Airstream Jackson Center build... but denied at the Las Vegas Dealer and the local dealer said Jackson Center would not, as well.

Well... Oliver Elite II comes around. I begin looking. I find one. Paid almost what the original owner paid. Reminded me of the Chevrolet to Toyota 'evolution'.

I am honest. Never have had any reason to abuse anything I paid 100% out of pocket, house, vehicles. I manage to maintain the small stuff, myself. I secured the front end of the 27FBQ myself with angle aluminum and reinforcements to secure the area in the front compartment from the inside, under the bed area. This should take care of it... for ME. A subject warranty... chose what you want to cover warranty and for whom?

Airstream has lost a customer from 2006 to 2019. I will not buy another Airstream. I will tell people my experience and why I have a 2019 Oliver and a 2019 Airstream. Both are now 100% functional and as good as it gets. The Airstream took three years. The Oliver... was perfect from the original owner, I have found nothing to fix. I am working on the closing of the front door... like the Airstream. I like perfection... but just 'good' is good enough. Did that the FIRST DAY of ownership. Two Lath Screws... and it Clicks.

(Perfection is not possible. I know. I understand. But when things fall off, do not work and the cabinets do not fit the interior curves, sit flush on the floor without added hardware to secure them to the floor when traveling... etc.)

Thanks for reading my story. I feel SAD how Airstream treats any OWNER from THEIR engineering mistakes, but continue to make the same models for years. I hope this is not deleted. At least if I have a question... Oliver answers the telephone and gets me connected to whomever does that part of the build. Our radio was a bit off... within three days... the Radio Company sent a new in the box complimentary radio. We returned the original radio. That is taking care of a customer. I thank you Oliver.
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:10 PM   #20
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
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The reality of our two current Airstreams: a 2014 31' Classic and a 2015 23D International Serenity. Initial cost at purchase was around $95,000 for the Classic and $67,000 for the 23D.

I drove the Classic to the storage unit from the dealer and swapped out the tires and wheels for 16" Michelins, SenDel wheels, McGard lug nuts, Centramatic wheel balancers and a ProPride hitch (recently upgraded with new jacks and center section)). And so the repairs from delivery damage, bad installation and upgrades started a few weeks later at A&P Vintage Trailer Works in Paradise, TX.

I have nearly paid the purchase price to get the Classic to where it is now with multiple trips to A&P for repairs and upgrades. An excellent facility that stands behind their work is worth the 1,000 mile commute.

New 5,200 pound axles with 3" lift plates and dual puck 12" disc brakes were recently installed . Propane only Truma Instant on water heater (recently upgraded to latest components), Vitrifrigo refrigerator/freezer with freon based 12Vdc Dan Foss compressor (required customization of that space that included new storage above the refrigerator). Dual Coleman 15K BTU A/C units with Bluetooth MicroAire softstarts and Bluetooth MicroAire thermostat. 1,000 Watts of solar panels with a 600 amp hour lithium battery. Custom Marmoleum flooring. All 120 Vac outlets are Hubbell GFI 20 amp and run off the battery when off grid. Additional 120Vac outlets both inside and outside the trailer. 5G Cellular modem with GPS that allows me to track unit if it were "borrowed". We also have a rear camera.

We are on the third inverter charger and second 600 amp hour lithium battery, second solar charge controller and first buck boost device to allow the truck to charge the lithium battery and first color control panel with remote control over cellular. Both the initial Magnum and the second Xantrex inverter chargers failed completely. Our system is now all Victron.

The 23D with stock 14" Explodathons and wheels was greeted at the dealership with new 15" Michelins and SenDel wheels, McGard lug nuts, Centramatic wheel balancers and my used Hensley Arrow (from our 2013 25FB International Serenity that morphed into the Classic). Quite a few QC issues including no "Airstream" brand name on the back of the trailer, cabinetry issues, curtain issues and flooring issues. Extremely poor dealer QC before delivery.

I proceeded directly to A&P Vintage Trailer Works to begin a similar transformation that we did to the Classic. We checked the wheel bearings and one was scored from no grease and insufficient grease on two others (total distance was under 2,000 miles as the 23D was trucked to Colonial). We installed 500 watts of solar and a 300 amp hour lithium battery. Lots of electrical modifications including adding a front generator/shore power inlet with automatic transfer switch like on the larger 30 amp trailers. Lots of custom cabinet work and Marmoleum flooring. The original Magnum inverter charger died and we installed a Xantrex one along with a 315 amp hour lithium battery.

We recently went to 3,600 pound axles (up from the stock 3,000 pound axles with 10" drum brakes) with 3" lift plates and 12" dual puck disc brakes. The brake upgrade is wonderful in the mountains....

This fall, Victron will supply a new inverter/charger and a color display with interface to a cellular modem like in the Classic. With all the mods, we have spent about ⅔ of purchase price. All the electrical components will be by Victron which precludes issues often found using different brands.

Both trailers each have a Lithonics branded lithium battery.

We have them where we want them for off grid or on grid use. We are still using the 2012 Ram to tow the Classic and, when needed, the 23D. Our preferred tow vehicle for the 23D is our 2021 Land Cruiser (rated to tow over 8,000 pounds) which does a great job getting one mpg more towing than the Ram that gets 11.5mpg towing.

The only camping issue with the 23D is the 19 gallon black tank. If out in the woods, one could pee behind a tree which extends the camping time.

If we weren't so heavily invested into the 23D, that dual axle Oliver would be a logical choice for us.
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TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic w/ twin beds, 50 amp service, 1000 watt solar system, Centramatics, Tuson TPMS, 12" disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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