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5,000 lb. tow rating?


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I don't mean to cause trouble with this post, but I was a bit alarmed to read the following at the bottom of the preliminary invoice I recently received: "HITCHES REQUIRED: 17' Trailers: Hitch rated @ 5000# with a 400-500# tongue load". If true, this is important information for potential customers to know BEFORE placing an order.


Fortunately, my TV does meet this requirement (just barely); however, I've read in other posts about people with aspirations of towing an Oliver with an Outback, Rav4, etc. The only explanation I can think of is: 1) it's simply inaccurate, 2) the GVWR of the trailer has actually increased (which is a good thing, whether you need it or not), or 3) they are being extremely conservative for legal reasons.


I'm hoping to clarify this with the company soon, and I'll share what I learn. Or perhaps BuffaloBob would like reply here? From my point of view, it is entirely the customers responsibility to determine the appropriateness of their tow vehicle, using accurate weight information from the manufacturer.

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To the best of my knowledge, the Oliver is the only trailer on the market built on an aluminum frame with no aluminum or wood studs. It is not the typical 17 foot trailer. It is about 1,000 pounds lighter than the typical 17 foot trailer, and far more aerodynamic, especially considering it is only 6 1/2 feet wide, as opposed to 8 feet wide.


I think we will be just fine towing with any vehicle with a tow rating of 3,500 pounds or more and a 2 inch receiver dead weight hitch. Now, if someone is going to mount two 30 pound propane steel tanks and a 3,000 watt or larger generator on the tongue, that would make a load bearing hitch a likely necessity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

FYI, I did confirm with the factory that the hitch requirement is NOT an error. It comes from the fact that they require a class III hitch, which by default begins at 5,000 lb., if I'm not mistaken.


Given the actual weight of the trailer (both dry and gross) this seems like a rather large 'safety factor'. But, I really had no legitimate reason to contest this, as my TV already meets this requirement. Plus, a debate over the appropriate margin of safety is highly subjective and would likely lead nowhere.


For anyone that falls below the hitch requirement, I suggest you speak with the factory for further clarification.

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I will be installing a class III hitch on my RAV4 and as you pointed out, a class III hitch is, I believe, a 5,000# GVW hitch with a dead weight tongue capacity of 500#.


However my RAV4 towing capacity is 3,500# with a tongue weight limit of 350#, dead weight OR weight bearing, it makes no difference according to my manual. I will be installing inflatable air bags inside of the rear coil springs in order to keep the RAV4 level when hooked up to the trailer.


I am hoping and thinking I will be fine with this set up. Robert didn't say otherwise when I told him of my TV configuration. If it's turns out to be unsatisfactory, I can always tow with my 2002 Silverado diesel, big dually, crew cab. It has a class IV rear hitch. I just don't want to have to buy the fuel for that monster. It is no fun to drive, although it is not too bad. I don't want to use that vehicle unless I have to, for obvious reasons.

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I sure hope you can make it work with the RAV4, for the simple fact that you'd be using probably 1/3 the fuel. Plus, you'd have an easy little "car" to cruise around with after unhitching. But, at least you've got a "Plan B" in case you find the towing characteristics unacceptable.


I was towing our previous trailer right at the max. capacity of our TV, and it was no picnic...not because of a lack of engine power, but because of the relatively short wheelbase. As a result, we never travelled outside our own state.


Has anyone actually weighed their trailer loaded up ready for camping? 3,000 lbs. maybe?

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Herm, I too will be holding my breath and hoping the RAV4 and the Oliver come through for me. The new RAV4's are much larger vehicles than the pre 2006 models.


I sure don't want to use my diesel pickup. It's just too large to enjoy, once you get to where you are going. The RAV4 is quite a pleasure to drive, powerful (with the V6), and gets excellent mileage. If it tows well, I will be a very happy man. The towing capacity and power are adequate for the Oliver. It's the sway of the trailer I am concerned about. I have to try, and only my experience will give me the right answer.


If it doesn't work, then I will probably sell the diesel truck and get a 1/2 ton Silverado extended cab, short bed truck to tow with. I might also consider a Jeep Liberty, but they get no better mileage than a 1/2 ton truck and would not hold nearly as much stuff. Good deals are currently available on both vehicles.

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