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GX470 + Elite = ?

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Hello Folks:

 

It has been a great distraction from real life reading about Oliver Trailers.  Thanks to all for the wealth of information I have been reading on this forum.

 

Now my dilemma.  Which trailer to upgrade to?

 

I am not ready to upgrade tow vehicle, which limits me to an Oliver Elite or similar weighted trailers.  The Elite II is just a little to heavy for the GX470, which has a towing capacity of 6500#.   I did a suspension swap on the GX470 that includes :

 

(...for the gearheads)

32" tires,

2.5" lift with factory airbag delete

Dobinsons suspension with HD suspension front; rear with HD shocks and medium progressive coils.

Airlift 1000 airbags.

My wife and I currently tow a 2015 T@B Outback (see photo below).  Routine outings typically include 1) driving over 1 to 2 mountains passes of 10,000ft within the first hour of leaving our home and 2) traveling on 20+ miles of washboard roads on some of our outings (we looked at offroad teardrops before buying the T@B but liked the inside kitchen of the T@B).  Encountering freezing temperatures is not uncommon.  My wife and I typically limit our towing to maintained forest service roads and getting into tight little camp spots that is perfect for the T@B.  We tend to travel light and can boondock with our 140W solar and a 20lb propane for 3+ weeks.

 

We love the T@B but would like something with a permanent bed and a side table as we are planning to extend our travels up to 2 months at a time.  I am not too fond of the new T@B 400s, which brings me to look into other trailers  (in order of preference):

 

1.  Elite (single axle) - would like a little more room like the Elite II, but still bigger than the T@B.  Is within towing capacity of the GX470.

 

2.  Alto Safari Condo F1743.  Like the layout and european styling.  Concerned about the structural integrity over time.  Concerned about the plumbing underneath. (https://safaricondo.com/en/caravanes-alto-serie-f-1743/)

 

3.  Escape 19.  Dated interior, even with the available upgrade options.  Will the cabinetry hold up on washboard roads?  And the drain valve on the holding tank is very vulnerable to road debris.

 

With all that said, I am looking for comments on experiences taking their Oliver off-pavement (I consider off-road a whole different category).  And how about the jack foot hitting the ground when going over uneven ground (ie driving through a gully or a dip in the road; I know I can put rocks or shovel dirt into the gully to get across if it comes down to that).  I installed a swivel jack on the T@B to eliminate this issue.  In the photos the electric jack foot on the Elite looks pretty high, but still protrudes down a little.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

tabPlusLift.thumb.jpg.23c02a1c2c346c31fee1a7af745b54ee.jpg


Andrew P.

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Nice Lexus, I really like them. I actually test drove one a month ago, considering it for my daughter.

 

You need to factor in your larger tires and added equipment, like that heavy front bumper and winch, when figuring tow capacity and payload. What axle ratio do you have? What diameter were the factory tires? What is the specified max tongue weight?

 

The Elite is a cool little trailer, but it is heavy for its size. I suspect that your truck would be fine but some of those high back country passes will definitely have you wishing for more power. The 4.7 liter V8 is not a powerhouse... We hear from buyers who want to tow with marginal existing vehicles and all too often they just don’t have enough reserve capacity for really harsh conditions (hot, high and windy). If you didn’t have to tackle those passes, I would not hesitate to recommend what you propose. But in reality I think you would be much better off with either a lighter load or a bigger TV like a Land Cruiser 200. My 2013 200 struggles with the Elite II on those steep grades, but it would pull the smaller trailer without worries.... my truck is stock except for 33” LT tires (+ 2”). Plus the 200 is one of the few vehicles that lets you safely tow in 4 Low on pavement, which is really handy at altitude.

 

The fixed tongue jack is easily swapped out for a heavy duty offroad swiveling unit. If your TV doesn’t need an equalizing hitch, you can put on an offroad coupler and you would be all set for nasty forest roads. .... https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/off-road-jack-and-multi-axis-hitch-on-an-ollie/

 

As far as the Elite offroad, both models have plain old RV spring suspension, with heavy duty greaseable shackles. Ground clearance is a non issue, but suspension travel is very poor and you would need to keep the speed way down over potholes and washboards. Airing down helps, but you will end up banging the axle into the subframe more than you like.

 

Have you thought about the Black Series trailers? They are very cool and have the suspension and coupler you need for back country travel. Unfortunately they are porky, even the smallest one is significantly heavier than an Elite.  ... https://www.blackseriescamper.com/src/data/brochure/BlackSeries-catolog-2018.pdf?

 

Welcome to the forums. That is a great picture.

 

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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Hey Andrew, welcome to the forum. John lays out some considerations worth thinking about. If you plan on keeping your current TV for a while the Elite would provide a better towing experience, especially in Colorado. If a new TV is near term I wouldn’t hesitate to get the bigger Ollie. I towed with a Tacoma, 6500lb tow capacity and 650lb tongue weight. It did fine but I upgraded after about 6 months - didn’t like the small gas tank and small bed/cargo capacity. Mike


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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Weight is something I am thinking through.  I am moving away from the offroad adventures and getting back into cycling and fly fishing so the Black Bear and Conqueror (https://conqueror4x4usa.com/) is overkill.  Stock gearing in GX470 is 3.73.  Stock tire size is 265/70/17.  I only went up to a 265/70/17 so I could still fit the spare in factory location.

 

The local RV rental place in Durango actually has an Alto Safari Condo F1743 for rent.  When I get back home and winter has not set in I may take it out for the weekend for a test.  If I can pull a loaded down Alto up and over Coal Bank, Molas, and Red Mountain passes with little effort that will give me more of a relative idea what a dry weight Elite would feel like.

 

John:  try towing with an FZJ80.  3" inch lift. armor all-around...very painful when semi trucks are passing you up the grade.  That is why I bought the GX470  with the V8 for the T@B.  If you are looking for a GX470 check out the GXOR forum on Facebook.  Or the ih8mud 120 group:  https://forum.ih8mud.com/forums/120-series-toyotas.207/.  I am source3 on ih8mud.  Ih8mud also has a great classified section.

 

Cheers and thanks for the input.

  • Thanks 1

Andrew P.

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We have an Elite 2, use and appreciate all the extra storage, but in truth the Elite would be a better fit for the two of us, since we do go off pavement regularly. Mostly, perhaps entirely, we regret the extra length when trying to get into a tight campsite. We’ve yet to encounter any switchbacks that would allow the smaller trailer and not the larger one, though I’m sure there are some out there. The extra room does allow some added glamping luxuries of course.

 

But our philosophy is that we can always leave the trailer behind, and if we know or think that we might want to go someplace that the trailer won’t, we carry a tent and rough it for a night or three.

 

As for soft roading it, the Ollie is a champ - and you won’t be disappointed so long as you go into it knowing that the trailer wasn’t specifically designed for that use. That is, you may want to do a few shake down trips to find any weaknesses and you might read up here on the things that some of us have done to ‘harden’ our trailers for going off pavement.

 

On the jack situation, I use an XO jack and they’re easy to install on the Ollie’s tongue. I use mine in tandem with the power jack and haven’t had an issue, but of course you could use one on its own and just remove the power jack. But to be honest, while I was pretty concerned about clearances before we bought ours, in practice we’ve yet to run into any problems, figuratively or literally. Just looking at your photo of your Tab and trying to remember from the ones I’ve seen, I’d say that the Ollie will have much better clearance all around.

 

Actually, I did bonk the steps once, coming off the pavement onto a gravel road with a big drop off, but the asphalt took all the damage.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John: try towing with an FZJ80. 3″ inch lift. armor all-around…very painful when diesel trucks are passing you up the grade. That is why I bought the GX470 with the V8 for the T@B. If you are looking for a GX470 check out the GXOR forum on Facebook. Or the ih8mud 120 group: https://forum.ih8mud.com/forums/120-series-toyotas.207/. I am source3 on ih8mud. Ih8mud also has a great classified section.

Been there, done that. I used to hang out there constantly, but since I got the 200 and it is so close to stock .... not so much. My son totaled this truck a couple of years ago, but he was unhurt. The LX450 saved him. What a great truck, as you pointed out, it just needed a decent motor for towing...

 

Getting turned around on a side road along the Magruder Corridor Road,  Idaho Panhandle, when the double track turned into an ATV trail. You can’t do that with either Ollie:

 

DCEE4D34-4E65-4D19-BF2C-6AB953F62F2C.thumb.jpeg.c58d37a98b94c4d0ae8e6aefae68893c.jpeg

 

After owning my 200 for a couple of years, I have zero regrets and would never go back.

 

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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Andrew, I will look forward to your comments if you rent the Alto. Love the light, and the light weight, don't love the width and clearance. And dislike the weird doorless/ curtained bathroom, though maybe that has changed.

After 11 years in a shorty Elite, I would tell you we wouldn't likely change. Would we love a true queen? Sure. But your other choices are all crawlover beds, as well. Love the way it tracks directly in the path of the truck. We don't "offroad", but certainly not strangers to off pavement. We are happy to camp in the woods, without services, most of the time.

 

As far as the escape, we deliver Elkhart made rvs to Alaska from time to time. I'm developing an allergy to brown... brown cabinets, brown upholstery, brown floors... I guess it hides dirt. But, there are many happy owners, nonetheless. And, I'm pretty sure the Canadian product is better than Elkhart.

 

Good luck in your search. We're here for questions about the Ollies

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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