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Tacoma + Elite II Owners Here?


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Hey there!

 

Im new to the forum and purchased a 2020 Tacoma 3.5L V6 earlier in the year in anticipation of purchasing a light camping trailer. 
 

My wife and I decided on the Elite II and although the weight is under the Tacoma’s Max (6,700lb) I believe, I was a bit nervous. 
 

My max vehicle load is 1,200lbs. 
 

I think we will be fine, I was just wanting to connect with other TACO owners who also tow an Elite II here to get advice and things you have encountered. 
 

EDIT: I’m now open to suggestions if this is or isn’t a good idea. My trade in value could possibly get me something like an F150 (which can be configured to have a tow weight upwards of 10,000) with little to no extra cash having to be spent on my end.

Edited by jordanv
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I think the taco is the sort of truck you tow with a few times, make some posts about how well it does and how much you love it, then quietly trade in for a half ton. 

Oh, I know a certain moderator who’s got you beat.  

Jordan,  I would feel ok in many situations, but not in others. The data below says you are OK from a payload perspective. But that's only part of the story. My personal experience with

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Mike and Carol are the only ones I saw with experience with the Taco.

The 3G Taco isn't amazingly more capable than their 2G.

Your fuel tank size, payload, and rear axle weight rating will be your limiting factors.  It's possible, but to tow within limits you are going to be spending a lot of time on weight and balance and a lot of time pulling into fuel stations.

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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Where do you live? If you plan to spend all your time east of the High Plains you should be OK, it’s the extreme conditions that will stress that combination. The truck will do the job, it just won’t be a carefree towing experience. You will need to a avoid buying the heavier options on the LE2 and the quad batteries (pick the much lighter lithiums). Don’t get the cargo tray since you will need to keep the tongue as light as possible. Travel with empty tanks when you are able.

Welcome to the forum, I am a big Toyota truck fan.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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Posted (edited)

I think the taco is the sort of truck you tow with a few times, make some posts about how well it does and how much you love it, then quietly trade in for a half ton. 

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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3 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Where do you live? If you plan to spend all your time east of the High Plains you should be OK, it’s the extreme conditions that will stress that combination.

I live in Louisiana so I see us using the mostly in the southeast, eastern USA. We do have plans to visit the north west however but I’m thinking we’ll take it as it comes. 

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You should be fine in that section of the country, but the first time you encounter a twenty minute 8% high altitude ascent in 100 degree temperatures, you will be swearing and beating on the dash with your fist. Guaranteed. With planning you can detour around some of those passes, but not all of them, Idaho seems to have a disproportionate number of jaw dropping extreme grades, though fortunately they are much lower than in Colorado.

Sorry, you didn’t want to hear any criticism of the Taco, it slipped out......

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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Take a look at your payload sticker in the door jamb: image.png.d7b97bbde1463e0cd69c3396c238f2d8.png

 

In this example 2020 Taco, it has 950lbs of payload.  -650 lbs of tongue weight (most LE2s are well over this, so this is a delicate balancing act) - 125lbs of gas leaves 425 lbs for you, your pasengers, and any stuff in this example.  So you really need to nail the tongue weight, and travel light.

 

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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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Changing the tires to LTs will help control the load, those P rated (passenger) tires are comfy but very squirmy. But it won’t alter the numbers, in fact it will decrease them because your unladen weight will increase by 30 pounds. Do you plan to add a canopy? 200 pounds. Steel bumper, bigger tires. Andersen hitch 60 pounds, a generator 40 to 80 pounds..... See where all this is headed?

My sister Just ordered a teardrop trailer, she specced it out very light, so she could tow it behind her Forester 2.5 CVT which has a 1500 pound tow rating and max TW of 178 pounds (!!!) She was unable to get any really useful things like plumbing or propane and she has spent a ton of money getting her marginal TV ready, (8 hrs labor to put in a brake control and charging circuit, most shops refused to do it for liability reasons I think) - a very sad situation IMHO, and one that is avoidable. The trucklet has no paddle shifters and she will be completely unable to control her descent speed except with the trailer brakes. Her transmission will be prone to overheating and failure. Trailer forums are full of folks who try to “make do” with a less than ideal combination, spend a lot of money and end up unhappy in the end. 

Just make sure that you are fully informed and understand your path completely. If you were intending to buy the Elite, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all, because that would be a perfect match.

  John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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There have been several Tacoma owners pulling an Elite II.  We did our pick up and first several trips with a. 2012 Tacoma.  I did have the TRD Supercharger which helped with hills.  I don’t have any experience with the new Tacoma.  If you aren’t planning on doing a lot of mountains your Tacoma should be fine.  My issue was with the size of the fuel tank and limited payload capacity.  If you don’t mind stopping every 150-200 miles for gas and you aren’t going to be carrying a lot of stuff, your Tacoma will be fine.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 6.7L Cummins Diesel

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, jordanv said:

...in anticipation of purchasing a light camping trailer. My wife and I decided on the Elite II and although the weight is under the Tacoma’s Max (6,400lb) I believe...

There is a statement with two caveats that I've heard hundreds of times over the past 12 years. "Oh yeah, those Oliver's are nice and all, but they're expensive and they are heavy."

We bought our first Oliver in 2008 and I thought that the coolest looking combination would be to team it up with a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It had a 3500 tow capacity and the Oliver was stated to weigh abut 2400 pounds dry (what the hell did that even mean?) Well, who know that with the options that were added and the water, food, clothes and all that stuff would make it weigh 3900 lbs. Jeep, big mistake. Our first trip to the mountains, by the time we got to the top we were pedal to the metal, in second gear going 20 mph. Traded it in on a used 2007 Tahoe taking a $7000 loss.

There are plenty of Elite II's out there that will easily weigh >6000 pounds. Mine comes in at better than 7200 pounds. Before we got our second Oliver, we did a nationwide search for what I believed would be the perfect tow vehicle.  We went to Illinois to buy a very nice Sierra 1500 6.2L with the Max Tow Package. There are many here pulling with a 1500 pickup and are very satisfied. There's also a group here that ended up trading to get diesels because they were not satisfied with their 1500's. I am of that group and bought a Silverado 2500HD Diesel. Now, we are very satisfied, but I wish I had not spent the $$$$$ on the Sierra.

I don't have a dog in your truck selection race, but I just hate to see someone making the same very expensive mistakes that I made.

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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 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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My 2008 4.0L V6 Tacoma did an admirable job pulling my Elite I (shorty) Ollie 111,000 miles.  That being said, when the truck neared 1/4 million miles, even though it still ran superb, I searched for a new TV.  When I discovered the new engines in the TACOs had a 3.5L displacement I decided to write it off my list.  Yes, it has torque, but given my high annual mileage (pre-Covid) I thought the smaller displacement engine would be working too hard for the long haul.  The Elite II would place an even larger burden on the truck's engine as you approached large hill or mountainous terrain. Personally, I would not use a new 3.5L Taco to pull an Elite II up and over many of the spectacular places my Elite I has been.

The Taco is still in my garage, as a very dependable driver, but I have retired it from significant towing duties.  My new TV is a Ford F150 with the 5.0L V8 engine and it has done an admirable job.  Here's a picture of the F150 and Elite I going across the Top of the World Highway, from Yukon to Alaska.  

 

 

 

Top of the World HWY.jpg

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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LOL, JordanV, I see you edited your first post and are now open to switching tow vehicles. Please accept all our apologies, we tried not to be too critical of the Taco, but somehow we just can’t keep our opinions to ourselves. I really do like the Tacoma, in theory; perhaps the next Gen will offer enough extra power and payload to make it better at long distance camper towing, since now it seems more suited to pulling a boat to the lake over a weekend.
 

The overlanding guys constantly moan and groan about lack of payload, which is such a shame since they look so spectacularly wonderful when they are steel bumpered, armored, lifted and racked. The Land Cruiser shares this same payload problem, the difference being the 200 is so grossly overbuilt (the fully boxed frame is 20% stronger than a Tundra’s) that you can just put heavy springs and tires on it and greatly exceed the recommended payload without worrying that the frame will buckle. The Tacoma is what it is....

So cool, can’t tow a thing:

8C87AC13-EBD2-43AE-A02E-F80C8588330A.thumb.jpeg.1cc1b1852d2db273ddfcc899726b8df3.jpeg

 

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Please accept all our apologies

🤝 Apologies accepted lol! I do appreciate the advice though. If the responses were 50/50 I may have gone a different route. But the consensus from you guys seems to be over and above to NOT pull an Elite II with a Tacoma. At least not where we want to go.

The story of how I got my Tacoma is a little interesting, it was also when my wife and I KNEW we wanted a travel trailer, but didnt know which one. We were thinking RPODs, TAGS, etc at the time.

Now that I know we are going to getting the Elite II, this definitely threw a wrench in the gears. Fortunately, my 2020 Tacoma has only 5500 miles on it and is in perfect condition. For an F150 that can tow up to 10,000 I may have to spend a little more than my trade in value, but I am going to start actively looking, and no longer putting miles into the Taco.

Edited by jordanv
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I'm really glad you asked...

 

Chosen Wisely.gif

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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 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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I test drove a Colorado last year, and was unimpressed. It lacked so many modern driver assist features,  and although the seats were very comfortable,  the cab finishes were meh, to me, compared to the Ford Ranger, which was much more like a downsized f150, details and features.

 The ride was definitely superior , IMO, in the Ranger. But, so was the price. 

I don't think that much has changed in Colorado features,  but I  could be wrong.  It just seemed so basic to me.

Sherry

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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2 hours ago, jordanv said:

🤝 Apologies accepted lol! I do appreciate the advice though. If the responses were 50/50 I may have gone a different route. But the consensus from you guys seems to be over and above to NOT pull an Elite II with a Tacoma. At least not where we want to go.

The story of how I got my Tacoma is a little interesting, it was also when my wife and I KNEW we wanted a travel trailer, but didnt know which one. We were thinking RPODs, TAGS, etc at the time.

Now that I know we are going to getting the Elite II, this definitely threw a wrench in the gears. Fortunately, my 2020 Tacoma has only 5500 miles on it and is in perfect condition. For an F150 that can tow up to 10,000 I may have to spend a little more than my trade in value, but I am going to start actively looking, and no longer putting miles into the Taco.

We were in the same boat as you last year. We started looking at RPOD's, then TAB's, and then as we learned more about quality started looking at the InTech SOL (Horizon). We purchased a Jeep Gladiator before buying the travel trailer, but assumed we were in the right ballpark as far as towing capabilities. My curse as my wife puts it is that I can't stop researching, and that led me eventually to Oliver due to quality. Knowing that a new Oliver (I or II) was more than we wanted to spend (and  could wait forever for a used Oliver, especially an LEI), we settled in on an InTech Sol Horizon. But we ran across a used LEII and couldn't pass it up. Now we're "stuck" with a Gladiator pulling an LEII. Luckily since this was our 3rd (i.e. spare) vehicle to be used for camping, the occasional need for a pickup, and some very light off-roading (think just dirt roads), we leased. So there's an end to this, but it will be painful until then. Last week we traveled up the "rim" from Phoenix to the Forest Lakes area (elevation change from 1900' at my house to 7500'). Not the first time I've done it with this combo. It's doable, but painful. This was the 8% grade John described above. A brief period of driving 40-45. No overheating fortunately. I watched the gauges constantly and it was ~100 out. But not a fun experience. I love the Gladiator, and on flat terrain it really tows well. I have to catch myself as it's easy to get in the 70-80 mph range and not realize it. But an under-powered tow vehicle will make you dread and think about every trip. We're going to Davis Mountain State park next month and I've already used Google Earth to look for the trouble spots that have climbs.  

 

Darren

 

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2014 Oliver Elite II, Hull #62

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Thanks for the memories,  Overland. The original " can  I tow with it thread" from 2008. 

Yes, we explored a wide variety of possible tow vehicles. And had a lot of laughs.

 

Screenshot_20200806-210051_Chrome.jpg

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)

So today I called my Dad and asked his advice. (He refrained from telling me “told you so” about the Tacoma as when I purchased it he recommended the Nissan Titan.)
 

He told me his 2013 Titan has a towing capacity of 9,400lbs and he would be willing to let me borrow it for any trips not on flat land where we would need more power. My only fee... cleaning the vehicle. 

Edited by jordanv
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My 2020 Tundra did a very good job towing my Elite II last week.  We did not have to traverse too many steep climbs but did have a few pulls in N Ga. back roads.  I know the 2020 Tundra is obsolete in many ways but the engine was what I wanted.  I have the same V8 in my  2011 Lexus 570 and it never misses a beat and just runs, runs, and runs.

I am interested to see if Toyota catches up with the 2021 model Tundra.  I have had a Jeep Rubicon that stayed in the shop (3 radiators and resurfaced heads from metallurgy issues with 111,000 miles in which Jeep gave me a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty) and a Ford 150 that was problematic have steered me to Toyota.   If we could get Toyota to come out with a 2500 series I would be thrilled.

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Erv & Sherry  Hull # 650

2020 Tundra SR5 Crewcab 4X4

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