Jump to content
SimonJester

SUV's pulling Elite II's?

Recommended Posts

We are preparing to order an Elite II but need to consider if our Jeep Grand Cherokee will be adequate! I believe it would be similar to your Dodge Durango. We tow a Casita (our third fiberglass trailer) with a JGC 4X4, 5.7 Hemi, trailer towing pkg. rated at 7,200 lbs. towing. With load leveling hitch and anti sway it tows 4600 lbs. very well under all conditions.

 

Will we have enough overhead to provide for a [continued] durable tow vehicle for the Elite II in your opinion?

 

You really don’t have any overhead for a 7000 pound trailer, your GC will be maxed out unless you travel light with only a couple of people. I say try it for a while and see how it does for you.

 

If you think it handles the weight OK but could use more grunt, for around $2K you can change both ring and pinions to a lower ratio (bigger number) to get lots more more torque. What axle ratio does it have? Some V8 GCs come with 3.07 ratio which is VERY bad for towing. My Land Cruiser has almost identical power as your trucklet but a 3.9 ratio, so it does OK. I run oversized 33” tires so I may actually change them to 4.33 to get back the lost power from that alteration. If you want to find out your your axle info, give your dealer the VIN and he can give you a printout. Unfortunately light duty SUVs have ratios designed to maximize empty cruising mpgs, which is bad for towing performance.

 

There isn’t anything you can do if you need to carry more weight, except upgrade to a bigger vehicle.

 

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=104043.0

 

BTW your GC would be a perfect fit for the smaller Ollie.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 2

"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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
consider if our Jeep Grand Cherokee will be adequate!

It is always an interesting read - the considerate replies to TV capabilities. What strikes me is the number of folks that are close, perhaps - "on the bubble" with the current TV, and question, rightly so, where the chips lie.. some seem to favor ultra-lite RVing, nothing wrong there, just not me...

 

I would think your JGC would be "OK" - try it out, get some  experience, experiment with your loads, do some real world weighing - worst case, you end up getting something more capable.

 

I've been doing some backpacking - and ultra lite resonates with my aging back and legs - but not with my TV. I was on the bubble myself, within safe ranges, but not within the comfort and no worries range I wanted. Once I went to my current TV,  it was  no contest.

 

Wish you well with your journey.

 

RB

  • Thanks 1

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are preparing to order an Elite II but need to consider if our Jeep Grand Cherokee will be adequate! ...

You really don’t have any overhead for a 7000 pound trailer, your GC will be maxed out unless you travel light with only a couple of people. I say try it for a while and see how it does for you.

 

If you think it handles the weight OK but could use more grunt, for around $2K you can change both ring and pinions to a lower ratio (bigger number) to get lots more more torque. What axle ratio does it have? Some V8 GCs come with 3.07 ratio which is VERY bad for towing. My Land Cruiser has almost identical power as your trucklet but a 3.9 ratio, so it does OK. I run oversized 33” tires so I may actually change them to 4.33 to get back the lost power from that alteration. If you want to find out your your axle info, give your dealer the VIN and he can give you a printout. Unfortunately light duty SUVs have ratios designed to maximize empty cruising mpgs, which is bad for towing performance.

 

There isn’t anything you can do if you need to carry more weight, except upgrade to a bigger vehicle.

 

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=104043.0

 

BTW your GC would be a perfect fit for the smaller Ollie.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

Thank you John for taking the time to respond.

 

There are just the two of us. We had Escapees evaluate our present towing weights and we carry approximately 1000 lbs. of contents including 25 gal. of fresh water [if that tank is full].

 

I’ll have to research the axle ratio as you have suggested.

 

We would only be interested in the Elite II. We are pleased with our 17’ Casita but are attracted to the additional interior space the Elite II would offer, the double axle and suspension and the build quality of course.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

consider if our Jeep Grand Cherokee will be adequate!

It is always an interesting read – the considerate replies to TV capabilities. What strikes me is the number of folks that are close, perhaps – “on the bubble” with the current TV, and question, rightly so, where the chips lie.. some seem to favor ultra-lite RVing, nothing wrong there, just not me…

 

I would think your JGC would be “OK” – try it out, get some experience, experiment with your loads, do some real world weighing – worst case, you end up getting something more capable.

 

I’ve been doing some backpacking – and ultra lite resonates with my aging back and legs – but not with my TV. I was on the bubble myself, within safe ranges, but not within the comfort and no worries range I wanted. Once I went to my current TV, it was no contest.

 

Wish you well with your journey.

 

RB

 

 

Thank you Russell for your response.

 

 

 

I’ve learned a lot through the Ollie forum and this is the first inquiry/comment I’ve made. Yes, you all are super helpful.

 

We are on “the bubble” so to speak. Trying to make informed decisions. We are minimalists for the most part. We’ve been RVing half time for about five years so we have some experience. With that said, I’m not one to cut it too close with regard to tow vehicle capabilities.

 

I was thinking we would have a GTW of about 5600 lbs. to 6000 lbs. with an Elite II. And so we’re trying to evaluate if the 7200 lb. towing capacity of our Jeep would be recommended. I’m mostly concerned about the drivetrain. Don’t want to destroy a nice vehicle!

 

Thanks again for your considered opinions!!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we picked up our trailer we had a 2012 Tacoma. We were at the upper limit of its towing capability. As I’ve posted before, it did fine. We did about 6K miles with it. Did some Ozark mountain towing and bad weather towing. It did fine and I never felt like we were on the edge. What I didn’t like was the small fuel tank and limited cargo capacity - which combined with 100K miles “encouraged” me to look at a new TV. Our Ram 1500 is much better in all categories. We now have 70K miles on it, mostly towing, and I’m looking at upgrading again in the next 12-18 months to a 2500 or F250. Sometimes, actual experience will influence your decisions. Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You haven’t told us any details of your Grand Cherokee ... this screen shot is for model year 2016:

 

8A449737-D2FF-490A-A431-7311DFECF2D0.thumb.jpeg.83de01bb277c7a903ce80f574ee42f26.jpeg

 

Note that this 5.7 Hemi uses a 3.07 ratio. The SRT 6.4 hotrod uses a 3.70 ratio. Switching to 3.70 or even bigger would make a tremendous difference in the amout of power. It would also make your vehicle a real hoot to drive when not towing. A dealer could do the swap but it would be cheaper if a drivetrain shop did it. Regearing the axles will actually decrease strain on the rest of the drivetrain. It is a win-win situation.

 

http://www.new-cars.com/2016/jeep/specs/grand-cherokee.html

 

Just thinking out loud. Always check your vehicle VIN to make sure, don’t rely on the Internet.

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John,

 

So yes, ours is a 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4 with the 5.7 Hemi V8. I believe it’s specifications are the same as model year 2016. It looks to be a 3.09 Axle Ratio on the chart you found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

 

Just a quick follow-up to my inquiry...

 

I believe you kept me from making a mistake! After reviewing specifications, I’ve come to realize that I need to adjust towing capacity with the weight of cargo in my tow vehicle. Because we would tow an Oliver as we do our Casita, we carry considerable equipment and supplies in the Jeep. That would put us over the top for safe towing of an Elite II. So, we’ll rethink our TV needs.

 

Thank you so much for your assistance.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That would put us over the top for safe towing of an Elite II. So, we’ll rethink our TV needs.

 

Thank you so much for your assistance.

 

You are welcome. It is much better to understand this now, rather than a few miles down the highway from Hohenwald with your new trailer in tow...

 

Think about a pickup, seriously. They are a great choice for an Elite II and the newer 1500s drive very much like a big car. The HD trucks not so much, but one of those would let you ditch the Andersen hitch so you can use a simple quick and easy $30 dead-weight ball mount. I use an Andersen but I am not a fan....

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[postquote quote=149881][/postquote]

Any updates on your Expedition? The Fast Lane has a tow test video and it scored highest of ALL SUVs they have reviewed.

 

I actually like it a lot, I usually am not attracted to any Ford products. What are your thoughts on the rear suspension and have you ever felt you needed more ground clearance? There are inexpensive aftermarket kits to add a few inches. I think it looks terrific....

 

2ABBBB65-0AF5-4EE3-BB10-42C61E5CF3FD.jpeg.5c2030aaf7a30919ce67bb1b8f8d5c8d.jpeg

 

I think Ford has really nailed the towing features of their newest pickups and the Expedition/ Navigator. Abundant turbo power and ten speeds, woohoo!

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 2

"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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not Alison but I also have a 2018 Expedition.  It's my first Ford vehicle.  Like you I was never really interested in their offerings, but I think the new Expeditions are wonderful vehicles.  It handles everything we throw at it, not just towing but from an everyday life perspective.  I love having three rows that can all seat adults comfortably.  Creature comforts are all top notch, and after 10 hours in the saddle I don't feel sore.  400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque are nothing to sneeze at.  Towing over grades at high altitude is so easy it's boring (which is just how I like it).  But I still get 19mpg in combined driving (average over 13,000 miles) and 12.5 mpg towing the Ollie (average over 4500 towing miles).

 

I haven't done any serious offroading in it but on normal forest roads, even rutted out unmaintained ones, it has no problem whatsoever.  Clearance is fine.  As with any vehicle, choosing a good line is still the most important aspect for success.  If you were navigating a rock garden you may be wishing for a different car, or a lift, but I don't do that anymore.

  • Thanks 2

2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


AZCACOGAKSMONMTNWYsm.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[postquote quote=175318][/postquote]

Thanks, which model is yours, and if you don’t have one, did you consider the FX4? Pictures would be appreciated.

 

The rear e-locker is lame, and there isn’t really any suspension articulation, but I really like the rest of the vehicle. The locker can be upgraded easily enough..... I wish manufacturers would offer these full sized SUVs in a serious off road Power Raptor Wagon version. I know the pickups are probably a better choice, but I don’t want or need an open bed. There’s a new Bronco coming soon, but that will be a midsized dirt toy with no real towing ability....

 

Darn it.....

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here’s an added benefit to towing with my VW Touareg TDI. I drove from Iowa City to Cleveland yesterday to attend the Tri-C Jazz Festival. I averaged just under 70 mph (lots of construction in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) and averaged over 32 mpg. Filled with diesel fuel and drove 45 miles the day before on the full tank before leaving yesterday. I’ve now driven about 600 miles on that tank and still have almost a 1/4 tank of fuel. Of course, towing reduces the mileage but it’s nice to have such a fuel efficient tow vehicle for every-day use. Now, if VW hadn’t cheated on the emissions testing. . .

 

Hi Don, this is good to hear. Do you have the Andersen hitch with you Touareg/Elite II?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tow with an Audi Q7, which is built on the same chassis as the Toureg. In the Q7 Owner's Manual, it says “Never install a “weight distributing” or “load equalizing” trailer hitch on your vehicle. The vehicle was not designed for these kinds of trailer hitches. The hitch attachment can fail, causing the trailer to tear loose from the vehicle.” Based on discussions on other forums, I think the same prohibition applies to the Toureg.

 

My experience is that the Q7 tows the Elite II beautifully without a WDH hitch, and I think that has also been Don's experience with his Toureg.


David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in Cornwall and missed this discussion. David is correct—VW/Audi forbids the use of a weight distribution hitch. I’ve towed many miles with tow Touareg TDI’s with the standard bulldog hitch. The Touareg/Q7 platform is great for towing an Elite II. If you can find a good used ‘15 or ‘16 TDI, that’s what I’d recommend, but the gas engine will do the job as well.

 


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2016 VW Touareg TDI

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were towing with a 2016 Ford Expedition EL (Extended Length version) with the Eco-Boost V6 engine, and the factory towing package. It did pretty well towing our Elite II. But we recently traded the Expedition in on a new Nissan Armada. The Armada has a big V8 engine, plenty of towing capacity (up to 8,000 lbs, but Nissan does spec a requirement for the WD hitch for anything over 5,000 lbs., same as the Expedition), full body on frame construction with galvanized steel body panels, self leveling suspension, and it fits well in our garage. It also has the Nissan "Intelligent Rear View Mirror" which gives an operating mode option of a rear view from a high mounted rear camera that shows in the mirror instead of the normal optical reflection view. This give a great view of the front and sides of the Ollie while towing. I considered a pickup truck but we prefer the enclosed storage space of an SUV and the option to add our roof top Thule storage box also. We also considered a Toyota Sequoia, which also has a V8 and plenty of towing capacity, but we preferred the interior of the Armada. I did have to add a trailer brake controller to the Armada but it already had the full wiring harness, pre-wiring for the brake controller, hitch receiver, and 7 pin trailer connector already installed.


2019 Elite II - Hull #461


Tow Vehicle: 2019 Nissan Armada. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will join the Ollie Nation next Saturday Nov 2 when we take delivery of "our new" 2017 LE II.  After we agreed to purchase the Ollie, we had to decide on a tow vehicle. We looked at the 2019 SRT Durango (6.4), Expedition (3.5 TT), Yukon  Denali (6.2) and  Sequoia 5.7).  We chose the low tech, gas guzzling Sequoia 4wd Platinum, because it fits in our garage, has loads of interior space, is known for reliability, got a lifetime engine and powertrain warranty, and got 12k off MSRP, and a great deal on our trade.  We have two 65 lbs golden doodles that pretty much travel everywhere with us, and the 120 CF of space is great for them and stuff.  I'm guessing we'll get worse Gas mileage than everyone! We hope to meet many of you in the months and yrs ahead.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mac -

Enjoy your Ollie pick-up.  Ask questions, take notes, take pics but most of all - have fun.  The excitement is just beginning!

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Rob:

We have a 2015 JGC Overland 4x4 (see earlier posts in this thread) with the 3.0 Diesel that has similar torque and the same towing capacity as the Hemi.  It has towed the Elite II an estimated 30,000 miles over varied terrain, including through the Rockies from New Mexico up into Wyoming and back, with no problem.  We don't use a WDH, and haven't experienced a need for one. 

Russ


 


Russ & Mary Caslin


AZARCOFLGAIDILKYLAMIMOMTNMNCOKSCTNTXUTWYmed.jpg


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mac..... Cool, I think the Sequoia has a bullet proof drivetrain, and it comes with the great 4.30 gears, but you will need to add a good brake control before you pick up your Ollie, and I am pretty sure you will need the Andersen hitch to keep things steady.

The Sequoia tow rating is lower than the Land Cruiser, mostly because of the softer springs and independent rear suspension. If the rear squats more than a couple of inches when fully loaded you may want to consider aftermarket rear air bags to stiffen the ride and level the truck. And keep the tongue weight as low as you can.

Please update your profile so we know where you live and who you are.... i am guessing with a November delivery that you are In the southeast. Enjoy your new toys.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies

"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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mac, I expect you will want your Doodles in the second row, consider this excellent cargo net to keep them restrained, the seat backs will restrain your rear cargo. When not in use you can unhook the top, roll it up and lay it on the floor.

Raingler Sequoia Behind First Row Seat Cargo Net

We carry two 40 lb Australian Labradoodles this way and it works great. We added seat and door protection to reduce the Drool Effect.

John Davies


"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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback. The Sequoia has an adjustable rear air suspension, so hopefully it's travel will help keep us on the level. (Are you suggesting a more robust system?) The seller is including everything including the Anderson anti sway, and will help with install and teaching its use. The cargo netting is a great idea to help manage storage and contain doodle drool.  We have much to learn.  I'll update our profile and include some photos in the near future. We live in Franklin, Tn, about an hour away from the Ollie factory. Is there a recommendation for portable generators...seems the dual linked Honda system gets the best reviews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our decade old Honda 1000 is a stellar battery charger. If you want ac, you'll need larger. 

Are you needing a generator right away? If not, I'd wait, and talk to some folks at the spring rally. Might be able to lift and try a few owned by other Ollie owners.

Btw, we love visiting Franklin. Great town. Nice people  . Fun restaurants.  55 south and red Pony are faves.

Sherry 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...