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Tow Vehicle


MarkC

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This is a generic question.  Probably been asked many times on this board.  Feel free to direct me to a better thread.  I'm hoping this one might be appropriate.

We are considering a purchase of an LEII in about a year.  Between now and then, we have to buy our first truck.

I looking at all the standards (Ford F150, Ram 1500...), and I don't want to start a brand war (yet 🙂 ).

What I need first is info on how to search for trucks that meet the necessary towing criteria.  Auto trader doesn't seem to have anything searchable.  And the dealer websites are notorious for misinformation.

I want to search for trucks that meet 2 numbers:  can tow 8,000 and can carry  2,000 in cargo.

It's a waste of time for me to look at anything else, right?

And even if my numbers are not perfect, there must be SOME set of numbers that are reasonable.  And I don't know how to search for any of them online.

Thanks for your time.

2024 OLEII - Hull MDIV
Due 3/13/24

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12 hours ago, dennis said:

I want to search for trucks that meet 2 numbers:  can tow 8,000 and can carry  2,000 in cargo.

If you want that much towing capacity AND that much payload WHILE TOWING (which is good), none of the 150/1500 level trucks is optimal.   I tow with a 2019 Tundra, which only has a 1460 lb. payload.  When towing an Oliver Elite II, which has tongue weight in the 500-600 lb. range depending on how it is loaded, we are right on that payload margin. Not ideal.  And, we use an Andersen weight distribution hitch because is is mandated by the Tundra owners manual.   The Andersen works well, but is an added hassle when hooking and unhooking the trailer.

I have been a Toyota guy for a couple of decades.  I wish Toyota made a 3/4 ton pickup.

That said, you will be much better off with a 250/2500 level 3/4 ton truck, or maybe even a 1-ton, which limits you to Ford, Dodge and GM/Chevy.  No Andersen WD hitch required.  And, safer on the road because the tow vehicle will outweigh the trailer.

Why don't I tow our new Oliver 2022 Elite II with a 3/4 ton pickup?  Because this is a historically bad time to buy a new truck.  I can't justify the remarkable price differential between what we paid for our 2019 Tundra in 2019 and what it would cost me to buy a new Ford F250 or Chevy/Dodge 2500 today.  But if I were buying now, it would be a 2500 or even 3500 level truck for towing our Elite II.

Good luck with your decision!  And, please report what you decide to buy, so the rest of us can learn from your experience.

 

 

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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Agree with @Rivernerd.  Lots of folks tow an LEII with a half ton truck and it works just fine with tow package and WD hitch.  Most would also agree that a 3/4 ton truck is ideal for towing and gives you more payload if you need it.

Consider your use overall - in my case, I use my truck as my daily-driver and for frequent day trips into the mountains for skiing, fishing and mountain biking.  I tow my Oliver on several trips each year but it's not the "primary" use for my truck.   I have a 2021 Silverado 1500 with the 3.0L diesel and I've been very satisfied both towing and not towing.  If I were a full-timer with my trailer or using it frequently year-around, I would go for a 3/4 ton diesel.

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2020 Elite II #627, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax, Colorado

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Finding a half ton truck with a payload of 2,000 lbs will be a challenge.  I towed with two different half tons and found them to be fine tow vehicles although payload was in the 1,500 lb range.  The Andersen WDH was required.  The past couple of years we’ve had a 3/4 ton diesel and the difference is noticeable. No WDH, no worry about what we throw in the bed of the truck.  Our payload is just north of 2,000 lbs.  Towing is relaxed, no drama.  I also use it as my daily driver, no issues.  Of course around here big trucks are the norm.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

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There are a handful of SUVs that meet those requirements.  I tow my LE2 with a LR Defender that has a payload of 1920lbs and max tow of 8200lbs for example.  I know it’s frowned upon to even suggest towing anything with anything smaller than a 3/4 ton duallie truck on US-focused sites, but it is possible. 

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1 hour ago, Mike and Carol said:

Finding a half ton truck with a payload of 2,000 lbs will be a challenge.  I towed with two different half tons and found them to be fine tow vehicles although payload was in the 1,500 lb range.  The Andersen WDH was required.  The past couple of years we’ve had a 3/4 ton diesel and the difference is noticeable. No WDH, no worry about what we throw in the bed of the truck.  Our payload is just north of 2,000 lbs.  Towing is relaxed, no drama.  I also use it as my daily driver, no issues.  Of course around here big trucks are the norm.  Mike

💯agree with all the above! Especially no WDH and no concerns about payload or tongue weights while towing a ready to camp OLEll. 👍🏻

David

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR” 

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor aka- Beast

 

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The only way you will find a light duty truck with high payload is to look for one with minimal options. Every little extra you add reduces the payload number, especially stuff like that power sunroof and fancy multipurpose tailgate…. Compare the payload of a stripped work truck to a loaded luxury version. (For the HD trucks a diesel option just decimates the payload, these big diesel engines are massive cast iron and very heavy with many complicated emission components.) And every aftermarket part you add later also takes away pounds, a canopy and thick bedliner alone might weigh 300!

If you plan just a few short camping trips annually, maybe some trips for household chores like lumber, a stripper would work fine. But it will be a relatively horrible towing experience on really long trips. People like those posh interiors, but they come at the cost of reduced practicality and capability.

The newer Ram heavy duty trucks with coil or air suspension ride and drive very nicely. The interiors are car-like. At the very least you should test drive some big trucks, just to see how they feel. Then you can start to narrow your search.

A LE1 trailer opens up many more options for TVs. Keep that in mind.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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  • Haha 1

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II 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, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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I finally settled on an F-250 as our tow vehicle.  The previous two tow vehicles we used (a Ford Expedition with max tow package and then a Nissan Armada) just didn’t have enough payload rating or cargo volume.  The F-250 I found is an XLT model, so not luxurious by any means, but it’s not totally stripped of all creature comforts.  It’s a basic model with cloth seats, remote start, power windows, power driver seat, but no sunroof, no heated seats, no leather, no nav system (I just use my phone) etc.  What it does have (and the main reason I bought it) is 12,600 lbs towing capacity (no WDH required or recommended) and an insanely high (for a “3/4 ton truck”) payload rating of 3,334 lbs., so no concern at all with carrying the weight of driver and passenger(s), the Ollie tongue weight, truck bed liner, truck bed cover, 2 bicycles (on a bike rack over the bed cover), all the camping gear, camp chairs, folding picnic table, tools and road emergency gear, etc. in the bed of the truck.  A bit of a stiff/rough ride when not loaded up or towing, but when loaded and pulling the Ollie the ride is great.  

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We have had generally good luck towing our LE with a 2017 Silverado 1500 LT (5.3L V8 gasser, 355 HP, 383 lb-ft torque, 3.42 axle, 4x4 double cab/std bed, max payload 1850, max conventional tow 9200) without the WDH. No discernible sway issues and generally reasonable performance when climbing and descending in most locations (using lower transmission gears as needed up and down in steeper sections).

I haven't been through a CAT scale yet, but I expect we are close to max payload as we have a fiberglass cap on the back and assorted camping gear in the bed (no cast iron, and generally no higher than the rails). Our LE tongue weight is about 460 lb loaded for camping, with 30 gal of water and empty black/grey tanks. Our LE sticker gross weight is 5,000 lb and I expect we are slightly under that, but we'll see what the CAT ultimately says.

We did have some modest difficulty maintaining speed and running hot when climbing through the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming, or the (in)famous "IKE" stretch of I-70 in Colorado, 7% grade eastbound from Dillon to the Eisenhower Tunnel at the Continental Divide, heading towards Denver.

There's always trade-offs... the 1500 is my daily driver, and last year we were only camping for 53 nights. If we're going to continue traversing the Rockies, the next time the truck is replaced it just might be a 2500.

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Tom & Holly

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite I #409 - 2017 Silverado 1500, 5.3L Gas, 4x4 Z71, Dbl Cab, Std Bed

 

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9 hours ago, Frank C said:

I finally settled on an F-250 as our tow vehicle.  The previous two tow vehicles we used (a Ford Expedition with max tow package and then a Nissan Armada) just didn’t have enough payload rating or cargo volume.  The F-250 I found is an XLT model, so not luxurious by any means, but it’s not totally stripped of all creature comforts.  It’s a basic model with cloth seats, remote start, power windows, power driver seat, but no sunroof, no heated seats, no leather, no nav system (I just use my phone) etc.  What it does have (and the main reason I bought it) is 12,600 lbs towing capacity (no WDH required or recommended) and an insanely high (for a “3/4 ton truck”) payload rating of 3,334 lbs., so no concern at all with carrying the weight of driver and passenger(s), the Ollie tongue weight, truck bed liner, truck bed cover, 2 bicycles (on a bike rack over the bed cover), all the camping gear, camp chairs, folding picnic table, tools and road emergency gear, etc. in the bed of the truck.  A bit of a stiff/rough ride when not loaded up or towing, but when loaded and pulling the Ollie the ride is great.  

378217CE-99AA-442C-95F6-1C43B7A83278.jpeg

It’s nice to not have to think about pay load or travel comfort on a long trip…a great choice in TV’s!  👍🏻

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR” 

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor aka- Beast

 

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23 hours ago, dennis said:

This is a generic question.  Probably been asked many times on this board.  Feel free to direct me to a better thread.  I'm hoping this one might be appropriate.

We are considering a purchase of an LEII in about a year.  Between now and then, we have to buy our first truck.

I looking at all the standards (Ford F150, Ram 1500...), and I don't want to start a brand war (yet 🙂 ).

What I need first is info on how to search for trucks that meet the necessary towing criteria.  Auto trader doesn't seem to have anything searchable.  And the dealer websites are notorious for misinformation.

I want to search for trucks that meet 2 numbers:  can tow 8,000 and can carry  2,000 in cargo.

It's a waste of time for me to look at anything else, right?

And even if my numbers are not perfect, there must be SOME set of numbers that are reasonable.  And I don't know how to search for any of them online.

Thanks for your time.

Dennis, I know what you mean when it comes to trying to find information about specific vehicles' load and tow capacities. On line factory information is general at best and really doesn't help much with specific vehicles that are on the market. I for one always want to have more tow vehicle than I need. I have a general rule to never tow regularly on the ragged edge of a vehicle's capacities. And when it comes to leisure travel like camping in a travel trailer, leisure is the guiding principle. Having plenty of tow capacity and power makes the driving portion of your adventures comfortable and easy compared to running a light vehicle hard and just getting by. 

With that said I would say if you are looking at getting an LE2, I would highly recommend a 3/4 ton truck at the least. You won't have any need for a diesel, and even though they are powerful and efficient power plants, they come with a lot of complexity and additional cost of maintenance that you don't need to deal with if you aren't pulling maximum loads regularly. A larger gas engine is more than enough for pulling an LE2. You won't get the best mileage but again, you will travel with ease. For any tow vehicle, be it 1/2 or 3/4 ton, I would stick with trucks equipped with trailer tow packages with upgraded suspension packages. This will help to maximize your payload and eliminate the need to constantly calculate how much gear you can bring along. It's always good to be mindful of what you are loading into the truck, but with a substantial capacity you will quickly get a feel for what you can bring along safely. As others have mentioned, it's nice to not have to worry about needing a WD system to counter tongue weight. Most trailer equipped 3/4 ton trucks will not need a WD hitch. 

Here's Ford's web site with links to many of the towing guides for their various vehicles. This will provide a lot of research material for specific models. The guides also contain a lot of educational information about towing in general.   https://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/

Here is a web site with a tool for looking up the window stickers for available Ford vehicles. You can look up trucks on Autotrader and filter your search for Ford trucks. They list the VIN on each truck add. Copy and paste the VIN into the search box that's about half way down the page, hit enter and it will open another window with the Ford window sticker. You can quickly see if a truck has the payload packages to serve your needs. Also you can see if it's loaded with lots of accessories which will lower the payload capacity.   https://lancelhoff.com/how-to-get-ford-window-sticker-from-vin/

I don't know if the other manufactures offer a way to look up window stickers for new trucks, but you may be able to find a web site that offers a similar tool for those brands as well. Good luck with your search. 

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What's today?............. the most frequently asked question as a retiree 🙄

Chris and Stacie Neuhaus Greenfield, Indiana

2021 Ford F350 7.3L Tremor (Redzilla)

LE2 #1373 - Ordered 10/21/22 - Delivered 05/10/23

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No contest on a tow for the LEII. 3/4 ton or 1 ton. Not much difference in price, lots of difference in cargo capacity. Don’t waste thousands and thousands of dollars moving up every few years (which you will do). Buy big and, as Tony says, “fuggedaboutit”.

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Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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