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Towing a Elite II W/A Mid Sized Truck


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I know this is well trodden ground but...

We are just about to sign a contract for an Elite II.  Super excited!!!  That said, we are a tad nervous about our TV.  2016 Chevy Colorado, 3.6 liter 6cyl, 4x4.  Curb weight is 4,500 lbs.  That particular model is rated to tow up to 7,000lbs.  GCWR (loaded truck and trailer) is 12,000lbs.  The trailer has a dry weight of 4,900lbs which, close as I can tell = 5,500-6,000 fully loaded with a tank of water.  We will be running a compositing toilet (no black water) and emptying our grey water while on the road.   

Soooo, a couple of thoughts based on homework so far:

-  will have some sort of anti sway, distribution system.  either the Anderson ($$$, lighter, reviews make it sound a bit tweaky to hitch/unhitch)) or Equalizer (free hand me down, noisy, easy to set up/de-couple, backs up while hooked up OK but not great).  Thoughts?

-  was considering a Trifecta Tune.  Supposedly increases MPG (whether towing or not), adds a bit of torque and horsepower in "tow mode" and changes shift points to speak to increased efficiency when heavy towing

-  am getting mixed messages about the need for a rear suspension air bag when using a anti sway/distribution device.  

-  the 7,000lb tow capacity of the truck is SAE rated.  Supposedly that means the 7k limit is good for day to day driving where as, in the past, common knowledge was to not frequently tow more than 80% of capacity.  BTW, 80% of 7,000 is 5,600 which seems to be close to where I'd land

Thanks much to you super knowledgable types on this forum for your valuable input

 

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My $0.02...  You will need an Andersen hitch.  It’s the only one that fits the Oliver without some amount of fiberglass cutting/modifications.  I towed with a 4.0L Tacoma (with a TRD Supercharger).  Engine-wise is was okay.  After about 6K miles I upgraded to a half ton because a) I was tired of stopping at every gas station on the way due to the small fuel tank and b) cargo capacity was limited so we couldn’t carry the stuff we wanted due to both weight and size of the bed.  The smaller size truck means you’ll also need to be very aware of stopping distances and hills will not be a lot of fun (both going up and down).  

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

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You are at the ragged edge -  for your safety and the safety of others get a bigger truck. You have to plan for the worst case scenarios when towing, like high/ hot/ steep mountains with 30 mph headwinds. Your truck has zero reserve capacity and it just won’t function well, much of the time.

Welcome to the forum.

John 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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Posted (edited)

I'd probably compare your pickup situation to ours. 

We had my brother with us, and my 2005 Silverado truck only has two seats. We took the Volvo xc90 to pick up our Elite shorty. We were at 70 per cent or so capacity. And an underpowered t5. (We bought the ram a few months after the Oliver.)

Difference is, going home, we were going downhill, pretty much, to Florida.  

You'll have to go uphill to Connecticut.  . But, you can choose your route. Were it me, I'd go the toll free route, Tennessee,  Kentucky,  Indiana,  and avoid West Virginia and those major hills, with your smaller truck.

Then, you can decide if stopping every 150 to 200 miles for gas is OK with you, and having to plan around mountains is ok. 

We've done both routes with my 2005 Silverado. And, with the 2008 Ram. And, I've driven both with other trucks, and rvs.

Take your time. Don't spend a ton on upgrades til you decide you want to keep the little truck. But, many times, the best tow is the one you already own, for picking up. Let's you know if you are happy, or unhappy, and what you want. 

If, when you get home, you'll do mostly local camping, you'll be golden. I wouldn't want to tow to Alaska with a small truck and small tank, personally. Or even into the Rockies. 

My thoughts, only. 

Good luck, and, enjoy your new Ollie.

Sherry

 

 

 

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Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Ps, neither route is without challenges, with a small truck. 

You will probably want to do the airbags, but that's relatively inexpensive.  And the Anderson,  for sure.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I can’t disagree with any of the above posts I was surprised when you said a Colorado Chevy has a 7000 lb tow rating. Your last paragraph makes more sense at 5600 lbs. another thing not mentioned,   Oliver base rate of 4900lbs may be true. I don’t know of any delivered Ollie II coming in at that weight most will come in at 5000- 5300 lbs mine came in at  5200 lbs with all the options ordered.  Any vehicle can tow anything, but doing it safely and comfortably. Are two different things.  The best choice is buying an Oliver. Good luck safe travels.

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2 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Ps, neither route is without challenges, with a small truck. 

You will probably want to do the airbags, but that's relatively inexpensive.  And the Anderson,  for sure.

Sherry

Yes a good route you don’t want the more southern route through NY or Washington.  A nightmare and expensive toll route.

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Great feedback.

I know it's not the ideal set up but it's going to have to be what it is for a while.  

The Chevy has a 20 gallon tank.  As far as I can tell, mileage will drop to somewhere around 14mpg which means I'll be somewhere north of 250 miles per tank which will outlast my aging capacity to hold my own water.  Ha.

Sherry and SeaDawg's points on the Anderson and airbags are good ones.  I'll go that way.  Also am planning on a progressive braking system which should be safer on thos edownhills and in snowy conditions.  Was planning on the Trifecta Tune anyhow, so the modest extra muscle can't hurt.  

Thanks all for the sage advice.  Great forum.  I'll follow up with the gory details after laying down some miles.

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I own a 2016 Canyon.  If you look in the door of your truck you will find a payload of around >1500#, which is really good for a mid size truck and 7000 towing is really great too.  Aerodynamic drag is your big problem and a tune isn’t going to fix that.  Look at the hp torque curves with the Trifecta for the 3.6.  I wasn’t impressed with a 6% gain.
 

If your truck was the Diesel, different story.

Edited by Dean
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You can spend a ton of money chasing rainbows, trying to make an inadequate TV into a barely acceptable one. Forums are full of threads about this. A simple ECU flash and airbags is not going to do it. You are spending money that will not give you good results, and you should plan on trading in your truck once you reach the frustration saturation point. Hopefully that will not happen in the middle of an important trip out West. It is best to learn the capabilities of your truck when you are not rushed for time and in a strange locale. You could intentionally seek out especially steep and challenging routes in the Appalachians as a test, if your TV struggles there, you will have an exponentially harder time in high altitude mountains.

It’s too bad they won’t let trailers on the Mount Washington Auto Road, that would be a fine towing stress test. It also is representative of very popular western routes like the Million Dollar Highway near Ouray, the Eisenhower grade west of Denver, and the Chief Joseph and Beartooth Highways northeast of Yellowstone, though those are twice as high in elevation. Some are unavoidable, there are not practical detours. Some of the less travelled highways and county roads have MUCH  steeper, heart stopping grades.

Good luck, and please keep us posted.

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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I'm betting you change tow vehicles within a year if not sooner, a 1/2 ton pickup extended cab will change towing so much you will never look back, I have to look back just to see if the trailer is still there.

trainman 
 

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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All this great feedback is super usefull.  Thanks everyone.  I have recently spoken to a couple of folks frequently pulling the same weight (in a less aerodynamic box) with the same vehicle and they both were satisfied customers.  Most folks look at the size of this truck and underate it's towing and payload capacities.  I agree that over purchasing on the accessories may be too much of a gamble without giving the system enough time to see if it works well for me or not.  I'll give it a go with the Anderson hitch, a progressive brake system and the airbags to see how it feels.  If I need to upgrade my TV, I'll bite the bullet.  Either way, will post here to share how things worked out.

Gerry

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Don't waste your money - it is inevitable.

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"

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