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StoicJim

Is a Toyota Tacoma ('16 or '17) a good tow vehicle for a Legacy Elite II?

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I'm enamored with Toyotas and am currently researching getting an Oliver TT. My current 2004 Tacoma is completely unsuited for towing but I'm willing to upgrade to a new Taco. And, no, I don't want a Tundra. :-)

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Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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Hi StoicJim,

 

First off, welcome to our Forum.  The short answer is, maybe.

 

The weight of an Elite II is dependent on the options selected, your camping gear and any contents to your fresh water, gray or black tanks.  In my case, I average an Ollie weight of 6,000 pounds each time I go camping.  I also like to navigate mountainous terrain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as well as the Green Mountains of Vermont.  I wanted a tow vehicle which could get me to my camp sites and back home with plenty of towing and braking power.  For me, it was more a matter of feeling safe on the road.  My current tow vehicle meets all my requirements.

 

Buzzy

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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My answer is, yes maybe for flat land.

 

Definitely 100% no for high altitude and steep grades.

 

It really is a poor choice. Why buy a new TV that will only be marginally acceptable? It does not compute. You ideally need 20% reserve towing capacity, and the Taco gives you essentially zero reserve. You should be shopping trucks that will pull 8000 pounds or more.

 

You also need to consider the truck payload and whether or not you will be able to bring all the stuff you need in the TV in addition to the 600 + or - pound tongue weight of an Ollie. A new 4wd Taco has a payload of around 1200 pounds. That only gives you 600 for driver, passengers and your stuff. IMHO that number is really too low, unless you travel alone with no heavy gear. With four normal sized people you would have no reserve capacity whatsoever....!

 

Why don't you like a Tundra? Or a Sequoia? Either would be a highly satisfactory choice for the bigger Oliver.

 

If you are determined to tow with a mid-sized truck, then you might consider the Elite instead of the heavier Elite II.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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StoicJim, welcome!

 

I have owned two Tacoma's, a 2009 and 2012.  We picked up our Oliver with the 2012 Tacoma.  It did an adequate job of towing, we put 4K+ miles on our Tacoma towing our Elite II.  Hills in the Ozarks, freeways, and backroads - no real towing issues.  I don't tow fast (60-62mph) and am generally pretty cautious.

 

When I went over 100K miles we decided to go with a bigger replacement, our current Ram 1500.  Going in, our main reasons for going bigger was to get a bigger fuel tank and a bigger truck bed.  With the Tacoma, I was constantly looking to refuel due to the small gas tank.  I also didn't want to always be "full to the brim" cargo wise when we traveled.

 

Now that I've got many more miles on the full size Ram, there are other things I appreciate.  Besides the big gas tank and larger bed, I like the integrated brake controller and the "tow mode". I also appreciate the additional power and braking capacity.  Gas mileage is about the same.

 

You might consider any cargo/supplies you would want to carry when you tow.  As Buzzy points out, with some water in the tanks you are pushing the upper weight limit of the Tacoma which can make hills more challenging in both directions.

 

Hope this helps.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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StoicJim,

 

Welcome!!!!!

 

We have two Toyota pickups and really like them, too!!!!!

 

We tow our Ollie with empty water tanks ready to camp coming in around 4950 pounds with about 450 pound tongue weight. The Ollie has great towing manners, too.

 

We picked up our used Ollie in MO, the previous Ollie owner had towed the Ollie 6,000 miles with a 4.0L Tacoma between New England, FL, and MO. He had Timbren rubber block rear suspension installed on his Tacoma to reduce sag.  We towed the Ollie home with a 4.0L Nissan Frontier Crew-cab 6300 pound tow capacity, we were amazed how well the Frontier handled the Ollie and fuel economy in the NC & TN mountains, over 15MPG. Even had an emergency stop when a vehicle pulled out in front of us in the TN mountains with the rig stopping easily.

 

Eventually traded our Fronty in for a 2016 5.7L Tundra. The Tundra tows the Ollie easily with fuel economy of 13.5MPG with cruise control off in the NC/TN mountains. We purchased the Tundra as our Ollie's TV for now, the Tundra's tow capacity is close to 10,000 pounds. The 38 gallon Tundra fuel tank is very nice to have, too. If we only had one TV for the Ollie, it would be the Tundra.

 

Our long range plan is to replace our 2003 2.4L Tacoma with a 3.5L Tacoma if the 2003 Tacoma ever wears out, only has 143,000 miles, so may take another 143,000 miles or 14 years before replacement, will see! When the 2.4L Tacoma is replaced, plan to use a 3.5L Tacoma with tow package to tow the Ollie east of the Mississippi River and use the 5.7L Tundra for towing the Ollie in the higher elevations out west. Please correct me if I have this wrong, last time I checked it's possible to currently buy 3.5L TRD Tacoma with up to 6800 pound tow capacity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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These guys got 8.4 mpg towing 5600 pounds at 70mph and felt that it was working too hard. Admitedly their trailer has more wind resistance than an Ollie. It did not appear to be a relaxing driving experience.

 

http://www.tfltruck.com/2015/12/2016-toyota-tacoma-real-world-mpg-towing-test-video/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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The folks at Trailerlife, "Oliver's Twist" article,  evaluated the Tacoma/Oliver Elite II rig yielding 13.1MPG and stated, "On the road, the 23-foot 6-inch Oliver towed like a dream".

 

 

 

 

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Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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I got 12-14 mpg towing with my 2012 Tacoma with the 4.0L six.  I also had the TRD supercharger.  My mileage with the Ram with a 5.7L V8 is about the same or slightly higher.

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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StoicJim,

 

I'm all about loving my Taco and understand your desire to stay in one. These things are bullet proof.  My '08 Taco with the  V6 - 4.0L engine is almost broken in, at 218,000 miles.  99,000 of those miles were towing my '08 Elite Ollie and it still runs like a Swiss watch. It's 6500lb towing capacity is very capable to my 3900 lb Elite.   I'm only towing at 60% of the truck's capacity.

 

Although the new Tacoma has more torque and HP than the older ones, I wonder how the smaller 3.5L engine will tolerate heavier towing when it gets into the higher mileage ranges.  Also,  it is good to have a nice healthy safety margin going both ways on hills of significant grade.   I'm not too sure I'd want my Taco to go over Lolo Pass and down the long steep approach into Dent Acres campground in Idaho with an Elite II fully packed for camping behind me.

 

If you do go with a new Tacoma, I strongly advise adding a Roadmaster Active Suspension Assist to the rear springs.

 

 

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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Please correct me if I have this wrong, last time I checked it’s possible to currently buy 3.5L TRD Tacoma with up to 6800 pound tow capacity.

 

 

With V6 Tow Package it's 6400 lbs.

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Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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My ’08 Taco with the V6 – 4.0L engine

 

The Tacoma came with the 4.0L engines up to 2015.

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Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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Why don’t you like a Tundra? Or a Sequoia?

 

We don't plan on using the TT more than 2-3 months out of the year and I don't want a full-size truck for the rest of the year. PLUS my wife, who is otherwise fine with my Tacoma, would refuse to go along with a bigger truck. :-)

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Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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I see by your profile that you are in Florida and wanting to escape. Do you ever plan to go to the Rockies or Sierras? Towing up a 12% grade in 100 degree heat at 10,000 feet is another world completely compared to the Southeast!

 

What are your payload requirements?

 

Love makes us all do things that don't necessarily make sense. Buying a very marginal tow vehicle like a Tacoma will be a very expensive mistake if it doesn't work.

 

Risky!

 

My goal in the next year is to downsize to a Series 200 Land Cruiser. I won't go lighter than that. Have you considered a five year old LC? Bulletproof and not that big - more like a Highlander in dimensions, but with the Tundra's brute power, and a build quality second to none. No wife would turn down a ride in a late model Land Cruiser! Ride and interior are excellent.

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/towing-elite-ii-with-a-land-cruiser-200-v8/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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We're currently retired, in our early 60s and living in FL. The plan is to visit a bunch of different places in the US with the intention of relocating our retirement home (in a condo now, not loving it). I'm a newbie at all this (have never owned a TT or RV in my life). Unfortunately, we think the current real estate condition in most of the places we're interested in are over-valued and over-heated (too many Flippers) and I think the values are unsustainable and due to crash again. So the plan is to get a TT and do a couple of years of "moving about the country" and getting a feel for each location.

I'm interested in the Oliver Legacy Elite II because I have adult children, one of which can join us for weeks at a time to travel with. If it was just me and my wife, we could probably get by with the smaller Legacy Elite and the choice of a Tacoma would be easier (I think).

 

After reading this: RV Industry Death Spiral I want to be very, very careful in the TT I chose.


Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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Just my two cents worth...Up until this year, we have always owned and towed with a Toyota. We really didn't want a big truck and Toyotas are very reliable. We towed a Casita Liberty with one and most recently a Bigfoot 25B21FB with a Tundra. The Bigfoot's base weight is about the same as the Oliver Elite II. We towed without any problems for years..until last summer.

 

My husband was towing up Monarch pass in Colorado when the rear differential fell off the Tundra and into the road. The truck and camper started going backwards. Of course he was in a blind curve with no shoulder and a shear drop off. No cell phone service. Luckily, no one was hurt and many fine people stopped to help flag oncoming vehicles. Both camper and truck were towed on a flat bed truck to Gunnison where my husband camped in the parking lot for a week while the owner of the repair/tow shop ordered parts and repaired the vehicle. If you tow out West it is worth noting the lack of Toyota dealerships.. Anyway, we sold the Toyota and bought our first Ford. We are probably overpowered for towing the Oliver but that is okay. So far we love driving the F250. It drives almost as well as my Honda Ridgeline! ....And there are lots of Ford dealerships in the Rockies :-).

 

Yvonne

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Yvonne & Doug


2017 Legacy Elite II, twin bed


Hull #223


2017 Ford F-250 Lariat, crew cab

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Also,  it is good to have a nice healthy safety margin going both ways on hills of significant grade.   I’m not too sure I’d want my Taco to go over Lolo Pass and down the long steep approach into Dent Acres campground in Idaho with an Elite II fully packed for camping behind me.

I am intimately familiar with the precipitous backroads in North Idaho. Good brakes are imperative. Before I wrecked my 1996 LX450, I would use 4wd Low range both climbing and descending those steep roads with a trailer in tow. Unfortunately many modern vehicles will not allow use of Low on pavement. Having a viscous center differential like in a Land Crusier makes it possible. In 4 Low you won't need to use the brakes while descending AT ALL except for slowing down for hairpin turns.

 

Note, don't try this on busy roads with fast moving traffic....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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(Hmmm, had a whole comment disappear. I'll try again.)

 

My wife and I are currently retired, in our early 60s and living in FL (in a condo, not loving it) for the past 6 years. I'm a newbie at all this and have never owned or operated a TT or RV (but am a quick learner). We hope to eventually move into a single family home sometime in the future but because I think the R/E market is overheated (and over-valued) in many of the potential locations we can agree on, we plan to get a TT and do some scouting (for a few years) by "moving about the country" to get a feel for new places. But I don't see us as full-timers, just maybe 2-3 months out of the year. We also have access to RV parks on military bases.

 

My criteria for a TT is at least two twin beds (I'd prefer a third because we have two adult children, either one of which can potentially join us for a couple of weeks a year in our travels), fridge, shower/toilet, and cooking. I don't want a "second home" behemoth. I'm not too interested in a full-sized truck for reasons already stated.

 

After reading some horror stories about quality issues in the RV industry (and other issues) I'm only interested in making sure whatever I pick has the highest standards of quality. As of now, I'm looking at the Elite II but might step it down to the Elite if it works better with my other criteria.

 

 

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Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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My husband was towing up Monarch pass in Colorado when the rear differential fell off the Tundra and into the road

Wow, was this due to the infamous Tundra/ Tacoma/ Sequoia frame rust problem? I am trying to understand how an entire rear axle could end up in the road. And how it could be repairable.... Disturbing pictures: .... https://www.google.com/search?q=toyota+frame+rust&client=safari&rls=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjU_bzs2YPTAhUN32MKHVL3ARoQ_AUICCgB&biw=1261&bih=973

 

I am glad you were not hurt.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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May I suggest that you consider renting a light travel trailer? Will your existing Tacoma pull much? Here is a "3100 pound" rental in your area. Loaded weight will be over 4000 unless you travel really light with empty tanks. You would need to have an electric brake controller installed, and possibly have to rent a weight distributing hitch. Better yet, borrow a bigger truck from a friend, one that is already set up....

 

https://www.outdoorsy.co/rv-rental/show/6187

 

 

A week long trip around Florida with a "stick and staple" trailer will definitely be very educational. Getting your first RV can be intimidating.

 

BTW thanks for your service. Having access to military campgrounds is a great bonus.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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StoicJim,

 

I share your newbie to owning a travel trailer status.  Last June, when I took delivery of my Ollie, I had never owned a travel trailer nor had I learned to tow a trailer.  Three months prior to June, I took delivery of my Ford F150.  Prior to that I had never owned or driven a truck.  Despite my lack of experience, I knew this journey would be a good fit for me.

 

For what it is worth, I set two over-arching requirements for myself and my journey which I would not compromise.  I sought to purchase high quality equipment.  My Ollie met the criteria.  More importantly, all my decisions on equipment selection and procedures would need to stress safety.  Safety for me and the loved ones who would join me on my travels.

 

I quickly found the focus on safety brought great joy to my journey.  My decision-making suddenly had a solid foundation and it all made sense to someone like me who lacked experience.  Whether it involved a decision regarding a weight distribution hitch, a tire pressure monitoring system, proper torque on lug nuts, using a digital laser infrared IR thermometer, they all met the goal of achieving the highest safety for my RV camping trips.

 

I understand each prospective owner has personal preferences.  Those preferences can apply to whether you select an Elite II versus an Elite and which tow vehicle.  I would recommend you use safety as your guiding principle and you will tend to make wise decisions.  Keep in mind, the decisions you make early in your journey will set the framework for many of your later choices.

 

From my experience, it can be heart-warming when a loved one looks at the final collection of all your decisions and says, “You did good, I feel safe!”

 

Safe journey my friend!

 

Buzzy

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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Wow, was this due to the infamous Tundra/ Tacoma/ Sequoia frame rust problem? I am trying to understand how an entire rear axle could end up in the road. And how it could be repairable…. Disturbing pictures:

 

Hi John,

I am not very mechanical and my husband is not here to ask right now but I believe the U joint broke. I am unaware of rust issues. The rear wheel was damaged too. They had to order a new axile/drive train? not sure of the term from Toyota. Anyway, Toyota says " that never happens". Only 2 new ones were available in the entire U.S. so I guess it is rare. It was a very costly repair. It scared my husband enough to buy a new truck before we were really wanting too. We tend to agree with Buzzy, safety first!

 

Yvonne


Yvonne & Doug


2017 Legacy Elite II, twin bed


Hull #223


2017 Ford F-250 Lariat, crew cab

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StoicJim, bigger is better, no doubt.  While I am glad I have the additional capabilities in my Ram 1500, the many miles I towed with the Tacoma were trouble free in all kinds of conditions.  It was a fine tow vehicle and great daily driver.  I'm sure a new Tacoma would do the job, there are others out there towing the big Ollie with a Tacoma.  Mike

 

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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I find it interesting that the background image on the Oliver website has the Elite II coupled to a Toyota Highlander and other photos show an FJ Cruiser both of which, I believe, are only rated to 5000lbs.


Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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I find it interesting that the background image on the Oliver website has the Elite II coupled to a Toyota Highlander and other photos show an FJ Cruiser both of which, I believe, are only rated to 5000lbs.

The FJ is  adequate for pulling the smaller trailer. The white "Highlander" in the Elite II pictures is in fact a 5.7 liter Sequoia and those will pull about 7500 pounds, I believe. You can't realy make out the badging.... I zoomed in.

 

IMG_5168.jpg.1d839ded5415a9ec8e90e27a56cda4b2.jpg

 

There have been few comments from forum members about Oliver's misleading advertising. It is common enough in the RV industry, but disheartening. I suspect that if they showed a 3500 turbo-diesel pulling an Ollie it would confuse a lot of potential buyers.

 

Numbers do not lie, make your own educated decision based on real world weights and capacities, not pictures. While many owners with compact tow vehicles are happy towing an Elite II, there is no doubt whatsoever that bigger TVs do it more easily and safely, without any added wear and tear, or risk of catastrophic failure along some lonely highway. A larger truck also makes for a relaxed towing experience, intead of a worrisome one. Which is the whole point of travelling with a trailer. The last thing you want is to be constantly worrying if you are too heavy, or it's too hot, or too steep a grade, or that your transmission is going to overheat, or your axle will fall out ;)...

 

In spite of their compact size, these are actually heavy trailers when fully optioned and  loaded down with fluids and your gear. You could always buy one without any options, and tow it dry.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Numbers do not lie, make your own educated decision based on real world weights and capacities, not pictures.

 

Yes to that. That's why, even though I see many photos of Olivers being towed by Jeeps, etc. I'm being careful making sure I know what I'm getting into. My wife and I are traveling to KS to attend my youngest daughter's commencement in mid-May and we are planning on attending the Oliver Travel Trailer Rally in TN along the way. Oliver is supposed to have demo units and presentations as well as us meeting people showing off their Olivers.


Looking at an Oliver Legacy Elite or Elite II


Looking for a Toyota Tacoma that can pull it (maybe)

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