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F-150 EB 3.5 versus Ram 1500 or 2500

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My wife and I are going to test drive two TVs on Friday.  I have asked about an F-150 EB 3,5 with 10 speed and a Ram 1500 or 2500.  Would appreciate feedback on either vehicle.  We definitely want powered seats, but other than than and a crew cab/Super cab with tow features, we are flexible.  TIA

 

 


David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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Oh boy - here we go (again).

 

As I have stated on the Forum previously, I do not believe that there is a "bad" late model 1/2 ton truck on the market today.  Drive them all and pick the one that best suits your individual needs and pocketbook.  I happen to own the Ford F-150 that you are going to test drive (2017 Lariat model with tow package).  This is my second 3.5 ecoboost with no problems on either one.  However, if you plan on keeping this truck for more than 100,000 miles I'd do some further research regarding any known maintenance problems after that level of mileage.  In any vehicle of this type that you purchase, I'd make certain that you get the large gas tank (particularly if you are planning on towing virtually anywhere out West) and integrated brake controller.

 

Bill


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

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There are endless threads about this. Have you read them in the Towing section? You need to decide how much cargo you will carry, then buy a truck with ample payload reserve. That may mean stepping up to a 2500.

 

The half tons require (most likely) the Andersen hitch which is a PITA. You can use a simple dead weight hitch with a bigger truck. Easy peasy.

 

In your shoes I would definitely look at the Ram 2500 with coil suspenion (air adjustable would be nice) and either the 6.4 gas or big diesel. If you plan to tow 10,000 or more miles annually get the diesel.

 

Get a tow package, the lowest axle ratio possible (bigger number) and the biggest fuel capacity. Four wheel drive for sure. Nobody likes getting stuck...

 

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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I have a 2015 Toyota Tundra double cab, Limited, 4WD, 5,7L, excellent condition and more than ready to tow my new Elite II when I pick it up April 4, 2019.  However, what my wonderful wife of 32 years does not yet know, I have my eye on the soon-to-be-released 2019 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD 4WD (maybe a Christmas gift to myself)

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KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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We drive a Ram 1500, 5.7L, big gas tank, brake controller, 3.92 rear end. No problems towing our Elite II. We use the Andersen and it really isn’t an issue or a hassle to use, you just need to know how to use it. The Andersen part of hitching or unhitching is only a minute or less. We’ve got 70K miles in about two and a half years, over half towing. We like it.

 

Next summer (2020) I will look to trade it in and will probably look hard at the new Ram 2500 with the 6.4L V8. One option on both the 1500 ad 2500 I will require is the Ram Box. I dislike always having a couple of tool boxes in the bed, especially when I’ve got all our camping stuff back there too. All that tool box stuff can go in the Ram Boxes and can be accessible without digging under camping stuff in the bed. The big gas tank is also a must.

 

F150 owners (I used to be one) are a happy bunch and the 3.5L is a good tow engine. I just question longevity of the turbo V6 versus a big V8 as the miles roll up. Mike

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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I have nothing but good things to say about the 3.5 Ford but I have to agree with Topgun. None of these trucks are bad and I think it really comes down to personal preference.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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2019 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD

 

That will be a great TV. I drive a 2018 SLT version.

 

Would appreciate feedback on either vehicle.

 

I personally don't favor the Ram, for a variety of reasons, but don't let that steer you. The 3.5 turbo F150 is a fine powertrain, I really liked the one I had.

 

As you are starting "new" perhaps a 3/4 ton TV should be in your test drive group.

 

My suggestion, really nail down what your RV dreams and realities will be, long distance hauls, over hill and dale, extended stay, months at a time, long term holding of the TV. Or will it be short trips, weekend type getaways, probably just RV for a few years. Why, because a decent 1/2 ton may be more than adequate, or, the cost of a HD diesel, with the bells and whistles, may be more fitting.

 

As for brand and model, that's a personal choice. Test drive as many as you see fit, narrow it down, and test drive some more.

 

Then when you believe you have what fits your dream, ask the group for feedback. And we will all tell you something different, Ha, Ha.

 

The search can be a lot of fun, if you treat it as such.

 

RB

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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We have the Ram 2500 4x4 with the 6.4 power plant. Would we have bought it to just tow the Oliver? Maybe not. But we also use it with a v-plow to keep our road open if we stay home. We have been super happy with it when launching and retrieving the boat. It sits up high, so you can see what is up ahead on the road. It has been a great truck with tons of creature comforts. Our only problem with the Oliver attached? It is those new mega gas stations. It is hard to pull into some of them (it is hard to pull into some of them with a car.). We love ours. We are going to take off the tonneau cover that hides the camping gear, and put on a matching color truck cap. It will give us more room to get "stuff" without unloading everything. It will also allow us to carry kayaks or a canoe...

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However, what my wonderful wife of 32 years does not yet know, I have my eye on the soon-to-be-released 2019 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD 4WD (maybe a Christmas gift to myself)

 

 

Be careful if your coming to the rally this year. There will be lots of new 2500 HD's there this year and your wife may see your eyes wondering. :-)

 

 

 

The new 2020's should be out this summer and they will have lots of new features including a 10 speed transmission.

 

https://www.gmc.com/gmc-life/trucks/introducing-next-generation-sierra-heavy-duty20180815_132131.thumb.jpg.274482f47cd3190d748c73210775319c.jpg

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ABNBNSPEALARCOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMSMOMTNENHNMNYNCOHOKPARISCSDTNTXUTVTVAWVWYmed.jpg

 

Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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We are going to take off the tonneau cover that hides the camping gear, and put on a matching color truck cap. It will give us more room to get “stuff” without unloading everything. It will also allow us to carry kayaks or a canoe…

Be VERY careful in your choice of canopy. Most light duty ones  will carry about 100 pounds and it is tricky or impossible  to mount rack rails because they are not reinforced (the material is way too thin there). Leer makes a really nice unit that comes with Thule compatible rails, thicker roof structure and a high enough load rating. A canoe especially will exert a lot of wierd dynamic stresses in crosswinds, and you can’t tie down the back end properly since it sticks pretty far out (and the ropes will always block the gate) and you can’t tie the bow down easily because it is in the middle of the truck roof. Two single 14 or 15’ kayaks make way more sense when carried on a canopy. On their sides they kick up at the back for clearance, tho they “should” still be secured bow and stern.

 

Since you already have a cover I think you should consider a sliding drawer system to gain access to all your gear, and a light duty boat rack mounted to the bed rails. The rack could be quickly removed off season. ... https://www.oakorchardcanoe.com/racks.php

 

BTW I sometimes carry a Wenonah Sundowner 17 tandem fiberglass lake canoe with minimal rocker, inverted on my Land Cruiser and it is awkward at best. Even with a rear Yakima roller boat loader it can be tricky to get up there after a long paddle when your arm muscles are limp noodles. The side loaders are a joke.... It weighs 70 pounds, so a kevlar version would be much easier to sling around. If you have any questions about carrying boats, please start a new thread about it. BTW again, I think a pretty, high quality canoe on a pickup looks very sexy, if that matters at all. Beat up old corroded aluminum Grummans, not so much.

 

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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To add to JD's comments on the topper - I researched the topic quite a bit, ended up with a Leer - very happy with it.

 

20180820_143615.thumb.jpg.cfc3f211a0fa62cadfc7067b6ca523d2.jpg

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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Now that is a great looking TV and topper combination!


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Woody Folsom in Baxley, Georgia has some 2018 1500 left, but no 2018 2500 left.  Will I be OK pulling an Oliver II with the 1500?  I know I have probably asked this question before, but since I do not know anything about towing vehicles, I am at the mercy of the salesman.   Thanks again.

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Nan,

 

Many pull Oliver EII's with a 1/2 ton truck. What you must pay attention to is the tow ratings of the individual truck/vehicle you intend to purchase.  Payloads and hitch weights are important, along with the total weight the TV can safely handle. Each vehicle has its ratings posted on a label - usually- on the inner door or body door pillar. Use that and not what a salesman tells you.

 

I would suggest you learn all you can about tow ratings - what the numbers mean. There are plenty of web sites that can help you with this. If you have a friend that is knowledgeable, hit them up. I personally never trust the salespeople. Their interests usually don't match yours.

 

All of the large US manufacturers make decent trucks. I wouldn't limit my self to any one dealer. I haven't looked, but I would bet there are some 2018 3/4 ton GMC's on a  lot near you. If your dealer wants a sale they can find exactly what you want - or you can do the same - the GM web site can do it also. I just did a quick search - found two within 30 miles of me in mid TN. I am certain there are some in GA.

 

RB

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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

 

 

 

 

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Nan -

 

Virtually any new 1/2 ton truck from any brand is capable of towing an Elite II.  Total cargo capacity can be a little concern especially if you are looking at full timing or are a heavy packer.  Be sure to look at trucks that have the integrated towing package - not only does this help with the brake controller but it also usually has things like a larger gas tank (very helpful in the West) and transmission cooler.  Finally, any 1/2 ton truck that I know of will require a weight distribution hitch - primarily due to the 500 pound weight limit on the hitch ball itself.

 

I'd recommend that you NOT get caught up on a specific brand of truck but look at them all to determine the one that you like best with the features, comfort and price that meet your needs.

 

Bill

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

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I’d recommend that you NOT get caught up on a specific brand of truck but look at them all to determine the one that you like best with the features, comfort and price that meet your needs.

 

Bill

 

This is a good recommendation. Look for a truck that has the tow package with integrated brake controller and the biggest fuel tank. Fuel capacity and management are important when traveling the open spaces in the western US. Mike


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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Woody Folsom in Baxley, Georgia has some 2018 1500 left, but no 2018 2500 left. Will I be OK pulling an Oliver II with the 1500? I know I have probably asked this question before, but since I do not know anything about towing vehicles, I am at the mercy of the salesman. Thanks again.

Drive at least three or four different trucks from several different manufacturers!  Don’t just pick a GM because the dealer is there..... Once you find one or two you like, take a picture of the window sticker, or ask for an electronic copy from the salesman, and post it here. We can tell you if there is anything for you to reconsider.

 

You first of all must decide how much load the truck will be carrying - passengers, dogs, extra equipment, canopy or tonneau cover, boat or bikes, generator, cast iron cook set, tools, etc etc PLUS the trailer tongue weight (use 700 pounds for an Elite II). Add it all up for the very MINIMUM payload you need. Add 20% to that, to allow for a small safety margin.

 

If all your stuff plus the 700 pound trailer load comes to, for example, 1200 pounds, add another 240 pounds (20%) and you are up to 1440 pounds. This is a typical maximum payload for many half ton AKA 1500 pickups, but that number varies, so read the specifications. So you might need to go to a different model 1500, or to a 2500 with stiffer suspension and axles, so you can carry that weight.

 

Once you decide if a 1500 will be OK, or if you must go to a 2500 for the extra capacity, then you can drive some trucks and make a good decision that will give you years of towing safety and enjoyment..

 

When in doubt, for good towing performance, always go bigger! All other things being equal, pick a bigger gas tank, a bigger engine (or torque rating), a bigger axle ratio (4:1 is better than 3.5:1), or a bigger payload. Nobody ever complains about having too much performance.... especially when you get to the Colorado High Country.

 

Be sure to study the towing equipment on the truck, specialized stuff like cameras, self levelling suspension, and backing assist. Ask the sales guy to demonstrate for you. Fords beat the others in trailer towing aids. I am not a Ford fan, but I have to admit they really know how to build a truck that tows very well.

 

Good luck, and enjoy. Don’t stress out too much. Don’t act in haste! These super deals will be around for a while. You don’t have to take one home right away. We can tell you if there are any problems, then you must decide. Above all, do not believe very much that the sales droid says, he is trying to earn a commission and he doesn’t really care beyond that.

 

But we do care!

 

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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Paula and I appreciate everyone’s comments.  We have made progress too.  We are favoring the Ram 1500 or 2500 depending on how much weight we will have in the bed or the GMC 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton.  The GMC 1/2 ton would require the Anderson hitch.  The third choice would be the Toyota Tundra.  The ride on the Rams and GMC w/o trailer are better than the Tundra.  We will take a break for a week or so and then begin working with the dealers to see who will give us the best deal on the vehicle that has the most features we feel are required.  We have learned a lot about each vehicle as we have completed our research and appreciated the help everyone has provided.

 

David

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David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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Nice thing with the 2500, you can put a snow plow on it. I know, looks funny in January, heading down 95 with a plow on front and an Ollie on back...heading for someplace warm...

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I would say, do your homework and not rely on the sales person for your towing needs. Remember sales personal are there to sell vehicles, but I will say that dealers that are on the outskirts of the larger city type dealers are much more knowledgeable for towing needs. I live in Ft. Worth, Texas where many trucks are setup for towing, but I purchase my new Ram from a dealer that was 35 north of the metroplex and just about every truck they had in stock was setup for towing, it's a farming and cattle area where these type of vehicles are needed for daily use, and the sales personal is very well informed on what works and what doesn't.

 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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For those shopping, if you're interested, there's an article on passenger-side crash tests. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/some-pickup-trucks-perform-poorly-in-recent-crash-tests-2019-03-21

 

"Several pickup trucks sold in the U.S. performed poorly in a passenger-side crash test, with an influential safety group saying the vehicle style as a whole “has a lot of work to do.”

 

Nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the research arm of the insurance industry, said Thursday it recently put pickups through a passenger-side small overlap front test, and that most struggled to maintain their structure.

 

Two trucks, Ford Motor Co.’s F, -1.61%  F-150, the No. 1 best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. 7201, +0.62%  Titan earned a good rating. The two join Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s FCAU, -3.33%  Dodge Ram 1500, which earned a good rating in the test late last year.

 

See also: Used cars are selling at fast clip as ‘overstretched’ buyers are priced out of new cars

 

Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s 7267, -1.17%  Ridgeline was the only pickup to qualify for the IIHS’s top safety pick award. That was thanks to its good-rated headlights, which the other models lack, and superior-rated front crash prevention, but it qualifies only when equipped with those features, the IIHS said."

 

 

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Steph and Steve from Jacksonville OREGON


Oliver Elite II, Pickup May 2019


Ram 1500 4x4 

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A few thoughts from a Mechanical Engineer's perspective:

 

With the advent of ten speed transmissions, the importance of getting a 4.XX rear end simply is not anywhere as important as it used to be.  For example with a Ford 10 speed transmission, while towing an Ollie II, you will not generally be using the top gear or two.  So depending on the rear end you pick, at high speed you may be in 7th or 8th gear.  Pick an higher number axle and the transmission will simply run in 8th or 9th gear.  Pick a lower number axle and you will be running 6th or 7th gear.  Point is you can now get an axle that works really well for daily use as well as towing.  For the Ford F-150 3.5L, many people are getting the 3.55 locker axle where they can use all ten speeds then daily driving, but also have the ability to drop down and keep their engine exactly where they want it based upon the trailer and cab loadings and the grade of the highway.  In the past with 4 or 5 speeds this was impossible.

 

When doing your test ride, make them as long as you can.  Be sure to consider the daily ride of a 3/4 ton vs. that of a 1/2 ton.  I really preferred the F150 with the FX4 package ride over the F250.  After a few hours in the super duty, my butt was ready for a transfer!  But loaded with about 9,000 pounds of trailer and its tongue weight, the F250 ride was excellent.  So knowing your likely tow vs daily driving needs is important.

 

Look at the curb weights of the trucks you are looking to buy.  Remember having extra weight has pros and cons.  The pro's are that the heavier the truck, generally the better it feels on the road when hauling a loaded trailer.  In my case, one of the reasons I chose the mostly aluminum F-150 was to save hauling another 700 pounds of dead weight around.  Above a certain point, weight is simply a extra load that you just don't need.

 

As mentioned above, all the 1/2 ton trucks have pretty limited payloads.  This likely will be fine with Oliver in tow, but not if your also plan on loading up the bed with ATV's or other such toys.  So sit down and study your truck payloads to determine which class works best for your.

 

Good luck!

 

 

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker


http://visitedstatesmap.com/maps/ARCACOIDKSKYNENVNCOKORTNTXUTVAWYmed/visitedstatesmap.php


 


 

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