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Best 3/4 Ton Pickup to Tow an Elite 2


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Hello Everyone,

I am looking for the best 1/2 or 3/4 ton short box truck to tow an elite 2. I would rather not invest in the Anderson Hitch, as I already own a really nice adjustable B & W hitch.

What type of truck do you own and how does your truck handle pulling the elite 2 up and down steep grades, 6-8% grades?

Do you have any issues with trailer sway at interstate speed, during cross winds, or when a semi truck passes you?

What type of mileage do you get with your truck when towing and type of engine is in your truck?

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With a 1/2 ton payload is an issue and your choices are limited.

 

 For a 1/2 ton with a heavy payload package with a 6 ft bed is limited to an F150  XL or XLT super crew with Max payload and Trailer packages or the Silverado/Sierra with at least LT or SLE trim and the max trailer package.  Ram doesn’t offer a heavy payload package.  The F150 is more capable than the GM models.

Both the Ford and GM need to be ordered.  

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Nicole - 

Good to have you here and thanks for posting.

I believe that you are looking for a 3/4 ton truck.  All of the 1/2 ton trucks currently on the market require a weight distribution hitch when towing something like the Oliver Legacy Elite II.  I have tried to make my Oliver sway without success and I've never heard of even one instance where any Oliver trailer swayed due to wind, passing semi's or any other circumstance.

I happen to own a 2017 Ford 150 and, yes, I do have and use the Andersen.  My truck has the 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine with the max trailer towing package.  This truck gets in the low 20's mpg while not towing and averages between 12 and 13 mpg while towing.

I have towed my Elite II through out the mountain west and have never experience any trouble with any grade under any circumstance.

Hope this helps.

Bill

 

P1020594.JPG

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Any 3/4 ton pickup will work fine without the Andersen hitch, choose whatever brand and 4wd model you like best. If you want to know about engines, search past topics here since this gets discussed about every couple of weeks.... there is an active “How many mpgs towing” thread, have you looked at that yet? Fuel economy is only a fairly small part of the overall ownership picture. I personally like the newer Ram 2500 trucks. Choose a nice interior because you will spend many long hours sitting inside, looking at it. Drive them all, choose your favorite, then shop for the best deal on it.

BTW, we hear all kinds of reasons to change vehicles, I do not recall anyone choosing one because they already have a nice hitch....🙂

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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I’ve used two Ram 1500’s to tow my Elite II.  If you want to forego a WDH you’ll need to bump up to a 2500 or F250.  Sway is not an issue with 1/2 tons, weight distribution is.  I have my Andersen set to remove about 1.5” of drop in the back so that everything stays level.  I have the 5’ 7” bed and we have enough space to carry our camping stuff.  Mike

 

1BFB7CA2-5679-4354-B8B3-9F28D20A6509.jpeg

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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The best -  one by far -  is one rated for the load - and with in your cost budget- Other than that -   the choices are many. 

All  of your concerns are handled with a modern 3/4 ton truck - diesel are the preferred- but not necessary.

Many modern 1/2 ton trucks, SUV's and such are also in the  mix. 

The number one thing I will caution - don't go on the word of a sales person, an internet forum, or the neighbor - consult with the  GVWR label on the vehicle you are considering - it is the legal rating of that vehicle. You also  will need to consult the owner manual for other spec's.

Good hunting.

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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"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Wait a minute! I thought we all agreed that a Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax was the perfect tow vehicle? Are some of you all “crawfishin’ “ now?

Read my post, top of page 2 in this thread:

 

D7F6B22D-AFBA-43BF-8F70-5E70D9691BDC.thumb.jpeg.2cea13e1cc47509267b6d0a85228570a.jpeg

Edited by Townesw
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Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax with a custom Turboencabulator modification 

 

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Using my 2017 F250 without an equalizing hitch, no problems ever with sway, cruising I10 at the legal speed limit of 80mph. 20200127_154329.thumb.jpg.ae1ec859a317102565e21ae9fc9a67f6.jpg

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John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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19 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Choose a nice interior because you will spend many long hours sitting inside, looking at it. Drive them all, choose your favorite, then shop for the best deal on it.

John Davies

Spokane WA

We are choosing to keep our dependable 2013 F-350 SD diesel 4wd crew cab long bed to tow our Elite II.  55K trouble free miles, but the interior was looking "used".  Installed these custom fitted seat covers from Cover King and detailed the interior.  Everyone says it looks like a new pickup!

Waiting for a Garmin 890 to complete our cockpit. 

Edited by Susan Huff
update link

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Nicole,

We recently opted to purchase a 3/4 ton 2020 F250 Lariat Ultimate with the “Tremor” package. We wanted more long distance travel comfort, better road sight distance when traveling and touring. This truck sits approx 4” higher than a stock F250, no weight distribution hitch, larger fuel tank, and all the hp and torque we could ever possibly need.
So a simple no to all questions you asked. We also have the tow haul pkg, trailer anti sway pkg and a bunch of other options. Mileage is around 20-21 highway when not towing. We are getting ready to take a trip towing the Ollie and will learn more about towing mileage.
As previously stated there are lots of options out there so enjoy being in the buyers seat! As long as you are happy in the end that is all that counts!  So far we really like the power, handling and most of all comfort level in this truck. Welcome to the forum!
Happy Truck shopping and Happy Adventures! 
 

-Patriot

04403B40-6556-49F5-91A9-6B1AC63B0875.jpeg

 

EF8CBA0E-7690-4611-ADD7-C330BBF00B59.png

Edited by Patriot

2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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Nicole, my wife and I spent several afternoons over the last few weeks (including yesterday afternoon) looking at trucks to tow an OLE2.  Perhaps the following observations (and search criteria) will help you.  

First, these are some of our criteria: (1) ample towing capacity for ~6,000 lbs trailer for extended northwest, mountain west, and cross-country trips (we've averaged about 2 months and 10,000 miles per year in our current Sprinter van over the last 13 years); (2) sufficient payload for trailer hitch weight (600 lbs), topper (~200 lbs), people (300 lbs), gear (~200 lbs), rock tamers (30 lbs), Anderson WDH if 1/2 ton (60 lbs), dogs (50 lbs), and perhaps occasional passengers (300 lbs), for a total of 1440 lbs without guests, and 1740 with guests; as good of gas/fuel mileage as possible; collision avoidance technology, decent ride quality with and without trailer; reliability; and ability to find service in semi-rural areas.  We would like to avoid the Anderson hitch, but that's not absolutely necessary.  

Long story short: we're not meeting all of these criteria with any available pickup.  Some observations and opinions:

Ram 1/2 ton, Ecoboost diesel: good reported empty and towing mileage, nice interior, sufficient towing capacity, but insufficient payload.  The maximum payload (based on door stickers on three vehicles) ranged from about 1,300 to 1,470 lbs.   Would be fully loaded without guests, and overloaded with guests.

GMC Sierra 1500 (1/2 ton), 3 L diesel: Very comfortable, sufficient towing capacity (8500-9300 lbs), nice electronics, and peppy.  It feels like there would be enough pep to tow the OLE2.  The maximum payload for the vehicles we looked at ranged from about 1500 to 1720 lbs (the trick tailgate appears to add about 100 lbs), and a relatively small fuel tank (24 gallons).  While regular towing mileage might be better than 15 mpg, driving into a headwind might result in 13 mpg; 20 gallons at this rate (which leaves 4 gallons in the tank for margin) would take us 260 miles, perhaps a bit less the ideal.  Or perhaps under more ideal conditions, 20 gallons at 16 mpg would take us 320 miles.  

GMC Sierra 2500 w Duramax: Extremely capable, nice side mirrors, nice electronics, no towing or payload concerns, comfortable seating positions, and compared to Ram 2500 w/ Cummins: quieter idle noise, more wind noise at highway speeds, more passenger foot room, more back seat room.  10-speed transmission shifts very smoothly.  Rough ride when empty (almost punishing on rough road), although I'm sure that it is smoother with a trailer on the back.  Fuelly.com data (2017-2020, with 1,245,562 miles driven) indicate a mileage of 15.2 mpg (which includes some mix of empty and towing, city and highway miles).

Ram 2500 w Cummins: Extremely capable, nice interior, no towing or payload concerns.  Very annoying hump in passenger-side footwell (presumably to fit Chrysler's version of Bill and Martha's turboencabulator), although 10-way electric seat (which enables raising the seat) mitigates this impact somewhat (although that means buying the Laramie trim level).  More engine noise than GMC at idle, but less at highway speeds (active noise cancellation makes for a very quiet ride).  Slightly rougher shifting in the 6-speed transmission.  Smoother ride when empty because of rear coil springs (in contrast to GMC's leaf springs).  

Bottom line: 3/4 ton trucks have more than enough towing capacity and payload, and give a very secure feeling on test drives (and almost certainly will when towing, as well).  Exhaust brakes are a good feature.  Anderson WDH not needed.  The GMC and Ram are less pleasant to drive when empty (in my view) than the 1/2 tons.  Towing mileage for the 3/4 tons might be in the 13-15 mpg range at modest speeds, likely less in the mountains.  The 1/2 tons with diesels promise better fuel mileage (14 to 17 mpg, perhaps), are comfortable to drive, but have less payload capacity (especially the ecodiesel) and smaller fuel tanks than the 3/4s.  Most reports from this forum are that folks feel sufficiently safe towing with 1/2 tons, although some have traded from 1/2 tons to 3/4 tons and are very pleased with the change.  I've seen no reports of folks trading 3/4 ton for a 1/2 ton.  

Bottom, bottom line: we have not yet decided.   Leaning toward the GMC 1/2 ton or the Ram 3/4 ton.  Will also check out Ford.  I would really like for a 1/2 ton to be sufficient for our needs, primarily because of the easier ride when empty and the fuel mileage.  But we may go with a 3/4 ton.  I wish there were a decent 5/8-ton pickup, or that the OLE2 were a bit lighter (or the OLE1 a bit larger inside).  

Hope this helps.  Good luck with your choice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Observations

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Forgot to add, Ram 2500's mileage (based on Fuelly.com data), for 2018-2020 over 3,423,331 miles is 15.0 mpg, virtually the same as the Sierra 2500 HD.  The Sierra 1500 w/ 3L diesel tabulates at 23 mpg over 193,000 miles, although this almost certainly reflects a lot of non-towing miles.

 

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I used to have Ram 2500 Laramie Diesel 4x4 as a work truck.  I towed up to 13K-14K lbs.  Pretty much the limit of the truck.  Great vehicle.  The heavy loads gave mpg of 7-8 and lighter loads, say 5K, right around 15 mpg.  Unloaded, on flat ground (around Houston) and at 67-68 mph, I could get 27 mpg (2015 vehicle...seems like the last one I had, 2017, did not do quite as well).  For the weight of the LEII, the Ram 2500 will have no issue and have more comfort and a better ride than my 2015 Silverado 4x4.

Any truck you get, the brake controller is a must.

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1 hour ago, jcbenten said:

I used to have Ram 2500 Laramie Diesel 4x4 as a work truck.  I towed up to 13K-14K lbs.  Pretty much the limit of the truck.  Great vehicle.  The heavy loads gave mpg of 7-8 and lighter loads, say 5K, right around 15 mpg.  Unloaded, on flat ground (around Houston) and at 67-68 mph, I could get 27 mpg (2015 vehicle...seems like the last one I had, 2017, did not do quite as well).  For the weight of the LEII, the Ram 2500 will have no issue and have more comfort and a better ride than my 2015 Silverado 4x4.

Any truck you get, the brake controller is a must.

Hmmm . . . . . our F350 never gets below 10-12 mpg, when towing a heavy load.  Must be the difference between 3/4 and 1-ton.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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15 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

Hmmm . . . . . our F350 never gets below 10-12 mpg, when towing a heavy load.  Must be the difference between 3/4 and 1-ton.

I think your Ford has more power than the Cummings motor.  Could also be gearing differences.  The Rams (we rented from Barco in Utah) were Laramies and not really set up as work trucks though that is the way we used them.

The heavy load I mentioned, was a large dual filter pod used in the oil field.  The weight was not listed on the trailer because I suspect it was overweight.  I estimate 12-14K but it could have been well over 15K...which was the max rating of the truck.  All I know is it took a long time to get to speed and a long time to brake...even with the brake controller.

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Fritz, one option, if you can do without the diesel engine, is a Power Wagon 2500. Base payload for a 2019 model  is 1660 pounds but you can add aftermarket rear airbags to level the truck and in effect increase the payload, tho legally speaking you can’t carry more than the door sticker indicates. I would choose options carefully to keep the payload as high as possible, no sunroof, no extra battery or alternator, etc.... The PW has very soft, long travel suspension, which greatly reduces the advertised payload compared to a standard 2500, but it rides beautifully empty, especially if you deflate the tires to an appropriate psi. When you are exploring choppy gravel or forest roads, the ride is stellar in comparison. I can’t recommend the older models with six speed tranny, but the newer 6.4 Hemi plus eight speed transmission combination provides plenty of power with a very low first gear, to get the load rolling from a stop, and for better rock crawling 😀

It is important to know how much air is in the tires when doing a test drive, an empty truck with 80 psi LT tires will not ride nearly as smoothly as one with 45 psi. Also, the diesel trucks require more pressure in front all the time because there is an extra 600 pound mass there..... these are very heavy engines and they load down the front suspension, ball joints and tires. BTW there are a number of ways to determine correct unladen tire pressure, we could have a thread about that.

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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On 10/19/2020 at 6:55 PM, Townesw said:

Wait a minute! I thought we all agreed that a Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax was the perfect tow vehicle? Are some of you all “crawfishin’ “ now?

Read my post, top of page 2 in this thread:

 

 

I find it immensely entertaining to watch as folks eventually work their way to the correct answer.....

But honestly, I could be fine with a Ford, Ram, or GMC.  - Arguing about the very small differences  - well let em rip. 

 

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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"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I'm impressed that Townesw has chosen to outfit their 2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax with a custom Turboencabulator modification.  I've been contemplating doing the same to our 2017 model.

Edited by ScubaRx
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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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21 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

I'm impressed that Townesw has chosen to outfit their 2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax with a custom Turboencabulator modification.  I've been contemplating doing the same to our 2017 model.

Has the price come down on these?  I could use a little extra oomph from my Rebel.  $750,000,000.00 is just out of my price range.  Maybe I could find a used one....

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, jcbenten said:

I think your Ford has more power than the Cummings motor.  Could also be gearing differences.  The Rams (we rented from Barco in Utah) were Laramies and not really set up as work trucks though that is the way we used them.

The heavy load I mentioned, was a large dual filter pod used in the oil field.  The weight was not listed on the trailer because I suspect it was overweight.  I estimate 12-14K but it could have been well over 15K...which was the max rating of the truck.  All I know is it took a long time to get to speed and a long time to brake...even with the brake controller.

Our F-350: 6.7l V8 diesel with tow package.  55K trouble-free miles . . . . . no complaints.  Towing a 30' 5th-wheel we got 12-13mpg.  18-20mpg not towing.  Hoping for 15mpg towing our Elite II.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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5 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Fritz, one option, if you can do without the diesel engine, is a Power Wagon 2500. Base payload for a 2019 model  is 1660 pounds but you can add aftermarket rear airbags to level the truck and in effect increase the payload, tho legally speaking you can’t carry more than the door sticker indicates. I would choose options carefully to keep the payload as high as possible, no sunroof, no extra battery or alternator, etc....

Thank you, John.  We will probably stick with the diesel for better towing mileage (at least that's what I anticipate), and extra built-in payload.  We found the regular Ram 2500 with Cummins rides pretty well (presumably a result of the rear coil springs) on a short section of dirt road, and gives more-than-adequate door-sticker payload for what we need.  The 6-speed transmission seems to have a decent reputation, but we have found that on one tester the transmission shifted more roughly than on others (similar to a 2014 used model that we also drove).  We didn't notice rough transmission shifts on previous test rides with different Ram 2500s.  In our limited experience, the 10-speed GMC 2500 transmission shifts very smoothly.  

One would think that the 10-speed Allison transmission would yield better mileage for the GMC/Chevy than Ram's 6-speed transmission, but a significant difference is not apparent in the Fuelly.com data.  Anyone have thoughts on these transmissions?

For those of you with the GMC/Chevy 2500 duramax, does the unloaded ride soften up a bit over time?

 

 

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On 10/20/2020 at 12:00 PM, Fritz said:

GMC Sierra 1500 (1/2 ton), 3 L diesel: Very comfortable, sufficient towing capacity (8500-9300 lbs), nice electronics, and peppy.  It feels like there would be enough pep to tow the OLE2.  The maximum payload for the vehicles we looked at ranged from about 1500 to 1720 lbs (the trick tailgate appears to add about 100 lbs), and a relatively small fuel tank (24 gallons).  While regular towing mileage might be better than 15 mpg, driving into a headwind might result in 13 mpg; 20 gallons at this rate (which leaves 4 gallons in the tank for margin) would take us 260 miles, perhaps a bit less the ideal.  Or perhaps under more ideal conditions, 20 gallons at 16 mpg would take us 320 miles.  

Saw one video of a 100-mile towing test (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBfBFxdy_A4) with the 3L diesel Silverado in Michigan pulling a 7,400 stick-built (i.e., large profile) trailer at 70 mph, with some 12-15-mile headwinds.  Pulled well, but the fuel mileage was between 10 and 11 mpg!  Not good.  I would like to think that the 2500 Duramax or Cummins, while having poorer mileage while empty, would not drop this low towing into a headwind.  Thoughts, anyone?  (Am I overthinking this stuff?  Well, yeah.)

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In my real world Oliver EII towing - I average about 15 mpg - over about 18000 miles - all terrains.  Empty - around the home place 18-21 - depending on what I am doing. 

If I was buying new - again - I would try out (test drive)  a gasser - but those are far and few between in the GMC 2500 I desire. 

 

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"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Several others have said the same. I’m curious why.  I can see gasser for mostly non-towing, but for mostly towing?  Is it the extra cost? Maintenance cost? Emissions technology reliability?  All of the above?  Thanks!

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