Updated: Dec 12, 2018
Let's recap. We bought the sailboat, Wicked Pissah, to learn to sail thinking we'd do the Great Loop on a sailboat. That was a blast, but we decided against that as impractical and bought an RV to bring the travel dream to life and as a first lesson in downsizing. Our experience with the Airstream (our first RV) enlightened us to our particular RV needs and wants and we concluded the pavement princess was actually more space than we need and would actually hinder our preferred camping approach, boon docking, which is better served by smaller, higher off the ground RV that tracks nicely with the TV mirrors.
In the background we were always working the numbers in our heads, can we afford this lifestyle? Do we need to work to pay for it? On paper we answered that, yes and no. We could indeed both quit our corporate jobs and live comfortably/frugally while full timing in an RV. Now to prove it to ourselves. We saved enough to cover the expect $3000/mo we might see from an SEPP arrangement and our condo expenses for 6 months.
These two threads converged earlier this year so we set the plan in motion. We swept the bulk of our income into savings and, we ordered the RV we thought would best meet our RV needs, an Oliver.
What's an Oliver you ask? Well its a true 4 season travel trailer that in our estimation suits us best for boon docking further afield than the nearest Cracker Barrel. It's a molded fiberglass travel trailer, built, unlike most egg campers, with two fiberglass shells and a high tech layer of R16 insulation added between. You can visit their site for more details, specs and features. These are the features we were after:
Just right size at 23.5 feet long and 7 feet wide, with some actual road clearance
exceedingly well built (we toured the factory in Hohenwald, TN)
True 4 season
fiberglass - not stick built, only one seam where the upper and lower shells meet, means much higher structural integrity and significantly fewer possibilities of leaks. Even if one does develop, it will likely flow to the weep holes built between the shells
no wood in the external structure - means no dry or water rot over time
significant battery power storage for off grid camping
solar power to charge the batteries
composting toilet - no black tank management (no smells) and more importantly no fresh water wasted on flushing (no flushing at all) and longer times between dumping solids (2-3 weeks for 2 adults full time)
all lights are energy efficient LEDs
on demand hot water (no keeping gallons of water at 120 degrees)
Air conditioner can run off one genie (soft start capacitor)
2000 watt inverter to run standard appliances (electric kettle, induction cooktop, etc) from batteries
Oliver had about a 12 week lead time for manufacturing and delivery at their factory in Tennessee. We ordered in June and picked our Ollie up on October 4, 2018. I just noticed Oliver is now (December 10, 2018) promising delivery of a new Oliver in July of 2019. That's 7 months or 28 weeks, more than double?!
NEXT: Ollie Flaws from the Factory