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John E Davies

Grade your current tow vehicle

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 Our Sequoia seemed a great All-around vehicle to haul us, or two 65 lbs dogs, the Ollie and various kinds of gear ... (the Ollie also functioned as The cargo carrier for generators, tables, chairs, etc... so it was a regular cycle of packing/unpacking that became a little monotonous on the stop and go overnighters.   After 6000 miles from our home in Tn out West (Ks, Ut, Id, Wa, Mt, Wy, SD, Ne, Mo) we grew increasingly dissatisfied with the towing experience of the Seq.  Previously we’d done flatland towing, within Tn and to Fl so all seemed great.  We loved the roominess, ride and reliability of the Toy, but once we started dealing with elevation, the engine, trans, gear ratio combo made for constant shifting (constant is an understatement) and became so annoying that we almost traded it in while out on the road.  (The Seq has a low tow rating of 7100 lbs but with the Andersen hitch stability was never an issue from the standpoint of driving stability.)  The transmission overheating warning light also came on once while backing up a 100’ slope.  Mpg was also disappointing, from 6-11 depending on elevation and speed. We literally had to fill every 200 miles to be safe and not run out of fuel. Our solution was definitely overkill but after looking at the big three American options we decided to go Silverado, Z71 4X, 2500HD Duramax  with the 10sp Allison trans.  It’s a long term play as we’re hoping Ollie builds a slightly larger trailer in a few yrs (as we RV for longer stretches a little more interior space will be welcome).  The downsides of the pickup are several... way less interior space for the dogs, a lot more rigid/solid ride and less space for gear we want to have in the vehicle, but from a camping standpoint way more functional storage capacity in the bed and a much better towing experience.  As others have said, the pull is so effortless you don’t even know the trailer is there.  

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Posted (edited)

Mac, what year was your Sequoia? Transmission? Tire diameter? Your constant shifting and transmission overheating may be due to towing in Drive instead of a lower gear as recommended by Toyota - 4th (direct drive) for a six speed tranny, 6th for the eight speed unit. The 5.7 liter engine and drivetrain is really overbuilt and pretty much bullet proof, unless operated incorrectly, but peak torque occurs at 2800 rpm and it absolutely needs to rev when working hard; high rpm keeps it in the middle of the torque curve and provides extra cooling air via the fan, which is mechanically driven.  

Or perhaps you just experienced an unusual failure of some kind..,,

I think the 5.7 liter Sequoias share the same 4.30 axle ratio as the Tundra, so that is terrific. I really wish the Land Cruisers were specced this way. I monitor transmission pan and torque converter temps digitally and they certainly spike on steep grades but even with my 3.90 axles they never get anywhere close to dangerous values. Please elaborate. Thanks,

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.

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John, you’re too technically sophisticated for me!  But I really like that about the things you share.  The Seq was a 2019 Platinum 4X.  We loved much about it. It could have worked had I wanted to “live with some of its drawbacks.    I drove always in “tow/haul mode, and some in manual mode, but @ 75 mph the high revs and low mpg were a bit much.  Like I said, <200 miles per tank meant constant eyes on the distance to the next gas station. A couple of time we cut it too close between fillips. Another major issue was the constant loading of and unloading of gear.  We are looking fwd to having a place to secure things we’re not using and keep them out of the way.  
 

all said, we are learning as we do more traveling, and being less technically minded (dumb) means  my learning curve is a little longer (and more expensive!). 
 

on another note, Power management with generators, solar, age batteries is something I’d like to talk about with someone at the rally in Sept. 

 

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Mac, I was in the middle of writing a response earlier today to the news about your new truck but, in my zeal to show the picture to Tali, I lost the post.

I want to say how nice it looks and I know you guys will be very happy with it. I truly believe all your towing frustrations will now be a thing of the past. No more worries about 12,000 foot passes, up or down.  Use your exhaust brake and manual down shifting on downhill runs.  Don't be surprised if you rarely use your brakes. You're also going to find your maximum torque (910 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm) will be right where you need it - at cruising speed. Now, you're all set when that OEIII rolls off the line.

We fold the back seat 2/3's up for Reacher (our 105 pound Doberman.) He likes to sit in the single passenger seat and look out over Tali's shoulder.  We had a cover made for that seat so he won't harm the upholstery.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Mac said:

 I drove always in “tow/haul mode, and some in manual mode, but @ 75 mph the high revs and low mpg were a bit much.  Like I said, <200 miles per tank meant constant eyes on the distance to the next gas station. 

😳 Towing at 75 mph in “D” will certainly result in really bad fuel economy and constant transmission downshifting on grades. The Owners Manual talks about this. All those extra shifts drive up the oil temperature and wear out the parts. Plus it is dangerous and in many states you can't go that fast. WA Interstates for example are posted 70 mph cars, 60 mph trucks (and RVs). If you normally drive 75 you should do some serious thinking about what might happen if you suffer a tire or bearing failure, or a car or animal obstructs your lane and you have to do a quick maneuver or slam on the brakes.

I am sure the tires on Ollies are adequate at 75 under very ideal conditions, however most standard trailer tires have a max speed rating of 65 mph. I am sure you have seen “that guy” in a big lifted pickup doing 85 with a 25,000 pound toy hauler in tow, passing everybody. That is a disaster in the making. I hope that you have and pay attention to a trailer TMPS. Be safe.

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.

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John, thank you for the safety reminders. Traveling through the open county in broad daylight (in Kansas, Ut, ID and Mt) where posted speed limits of 75-80 mph were common, and because the Ollie tows so smoothly with the Andersen system ... I evidently got too comfortable and anxious to put miles in the rear view and pushed it a bit. I didnt imagine that 5-10 mph would make that much difference for the LT Michelins on the Ollie but safety thresholds exist for a reason.  

Steve, thanks for the encouragement on the truck.  I’ve had several great  1/2 ton gassers over the years, but the HD 2500 diesel is in a different category.  It’s more truck than I need but now that it’s the reality I don’t regret the extra margin it creates. Rear passenger (Dog(s) space isn’t as nice  as the SUV but they’ll adjust.  Added a couple of dog beds and rigged a Velcro system to keep them from sliding on the seats ... now need something thin to keep the seat backs clean.  Btw, for cargo capacity and management, decided on an aluminum “Diamondback” cover. It definitely inclined toward work-grade over cosmetics.  The setup seems durable at handling weight (1600 lbs) and also claims decent security. Time will tell. 
 

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39 minutes ago, Mac said:

Rear passenger (Dog(s) space isn’t as nice  as the SUV but they’ll adjust.  Added a couple of dog beds and rigged a Velcro system to keep them from sliding on the seats ... now need something thin to keep the seat backs clean.  Btw, for cargo capacity and management, decided on an aluminum “Diamondback” cover. It definitely inclined toward work-grade over cosmetics.  The setup seems durable at handling weight (1600 lbs) and also claims decent security. Time will tell. 
 

My Chessy rides in the back seat area of our GMC - seats up- have a  rigged covering system that protects all the interior - he rides like a darn King.... - in the off season I am going to sew up a really good system- maybe,,,,,

I don't have an issue with storage capacity - use a leer top - everything but the sink!!!

And yes - much of the West interstates are 80mph - it is not hard to find yourself doing 80 ---- I try to stay 70 and below - but when my wife takes over - well I have to dial her back - The GMC is like a Locomotive - don't worry about the mule - just load the wagon! 

The Anderson - was due to old TV - no need for it now-it stays at home. 

Good day all


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"

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Oh absolutely I agree and it never hurts to have more then you need.  And yes we have a Ollie II.  Half ton pulls it with nothing other thena tow package. 

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On 6/7/2020 at 8:07 AM, Mac said:

Rear passenger (Dog(s) space isn’t as nice  as the SUV but they’ll adjust.  Added a couple of dog beds and rigged a Velcro system to keep them from sliding on the seats ... 

 

Mac, we have an F150 so this may not be of any help. We have two big dogs & their comfort & safety is important to us- along with preserving the backseat upholstery. With the rear seats folded up they would need to stand to see out the window so we built a platform for them to ride on.  It's designed with a good amount of storage underneath. To keep the dogs from becoming projectiles, they wear harnesses that clip to the seatbelt latch. They've logged 19k+ miles with no complaints. Baxter sleeps 90% of the time; Maddie is Duke's copilot.

Happy travels!

Chris

 

 

 

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Chris & Duke Chadwell
🐾Maddie & Baxter🐾
Elite II Hull 292
2017 F-150 Lariat 3.5 EB 4x4 Lakeland, FL 

 

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