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Thoroughly Confused Soon-To-Be Elite 1 Owner


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Getting the Elite 1 in Jan, tow vehicle would be a 2002 Escalade with a hitch thingy (tech talk! Ha!) on it. Manual says tows up to 7800.

Dealer seems to be saying I should do the “upgrade” to an Anderson hitch? I think that’s what they’re saying

The Escalade has 168k miles on it and I am now concerned and thinking even if it CAN pull the Elite 1, should I add the option for the Anderson hitch to my build?

OR, should I shop CarMax and find a Ram 1500 or Ford F 150 (used, say, 2017 models and upward, with “tow package”)? Lowest miles possible etc. Etc

 

Really don’t know what to do and the more I read with all the ways people tow, Anderson v not, Ram or Ford and which one etc. more confused I get!

i want to have a good SAFE setup. If I can NOT break the bank but have that too, I am game.

thanks all

Edited by SeaDawg

Soon-to-be owner of a 2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

2021 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Copilot: Dog, James Dog.

 

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Chill out, your Escalade will be 95% fine for an Elite, I would not even use the Andersen for this setup. Just make sure your truck is in good mechanical condition, all fluids fresh; brakes, tires and shock absorbers in good shape, and go for it. It won’t have the many safety and towing features of a new truck. Just try it out for a season, that will give you the basic towing education, and you can decide if you want to trade it in on a newer tow vehicle.

You will need a brake control unit, plus a GM adapter wiring harness, I suggest the Tekonsha Prodigy P3. Other than that it should be fine as is, assuming it is in very good shape. With the Andersen you could safely tow an Elite II, so the smaller trailer should be a piece of cake for this truck.

OTH if it is not in good shape AND if it is not economically practical to make it so, trade it in and get something a few years old. It is up to you to decide if you are ready to spend a lot to fix it up. On a nearly twenty year old vehicle, that is a big factor. So, if it is a beater, get rid of it, if it is a gem, keep it. If you don’t know, take it to a good independent shop and ask them to perform a full safety inspection, which will give you a list of all the good and bad things.


46E39FDC-F9FD-48B8-8B05-ABBD942365FC.thumb.jpeg.ab797d93071412c17878f0aa8ca4043f.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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19 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

I would not even use the Andersen for this setup

I'd refer to the owner's manual.  That, or there should be a sticker on the Escalade's hitch somewhere (often the bottom) that lists the maximum tongue weight.  If it says 500lbs without weight distribution, then you should use the Andersen.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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6 minutes ago, Overland said:

I'd refer to the owner's manual.  That, or there should be a sticker on the Escalade's hitch somewhere (often the bottom) that lists the maximum tongue weight.  If it says 500lbs without weight distribution, then you should use the Andersen.

There are many factors to consider for the Escalade besides tow capacity:  payload capacity  (cargo you may plan to carry in it); transmission suitability for towing; overall construction (is the Escalade built on a pickup chassis or passenger car?)

You might look at some GM forums and see what others have to say about towing with the Excalade.

Edited by Susan Huff
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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)

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Just throwing this out here. Would all these trucks work (they all say “tow hitch” and 4WD) to tow the Ollie I, without me buying an Andersom hitch and just using the hitch that comes WITH the 2021 Elite I?

 

 

https://www.carvana.com/vehicle/1539670


https://www.carmax.com/car/19409843?utm_campaign=AppShareiOSShareCar&utm_source=AppShareiOS&utm_medium=AppShareiOS


https://www.carmax.com/car/19478884?utm_campaign=AppShareiOSShareCar&utm_source=AppShareiOS&utm_medium=AppShareiOS


I am searching! I already had a brake light controller added to the ole Escalade. It is mounted under the dash at the right of the steering wheel area. Not used yet (obviously, no trailer yet!)

The Escalade is showing its age and while I have taken good care of it, it’s getting up there. I believe it is essentially “a GMC pickup with badges on it.” It’s been a good vehicle but I think it’s time for a Ram 1500 or a Ford F150 (with “tow hitch” and 4WD and 8cyl). That is what I am searching used car apps like CarMax for anyway. I need a new-to-me USED tow vehicle, I decided, and preferably something from 2017-on, without tooooo many miles on it (say, 50k or less?), and that has the hitch. I guess I can move the brake light controller (pretty sure it IS a Tekonsha, will check) from the Escalade to the used truck I end up getting. 
 

And avoid buying an Anderson. Rather spend the money on a good used truck with a V8. 

Edited by SherMica

Soon-to-be owner of a 2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

2021 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Copilot: Dog, James Dog.

 

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16 minutes ago, SherMica said:

I am searching! I already had a brake light controller added to the ole Escalade. It is mounted under the dash at the right of the steering wheel area. Not used yet (obviously, no trailer yet!)


Rather spend the money on a good used truck with a V8. 

Your “brake light controller” is actually a “brake controller”.  When you step on the brakes in your Escalade or truck the brake controller sends a signal to the electric brakes on your trailer to have them slow the trailer at an equal rate as your vehicle brakes slow your vehicle.  Your seven pin connector at the hitch connects the tow vehicle electrics to the trailer so that when your tow vehicle brake lights come on so do your trailer brake lights.

Since you don’t want a diesel, if you get a Ram or GM truck you’ll want to look for a V8.  If you get an F150 the 3.5L V6 works well, or you could go with the 5.0L V8.

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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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We've never used an Anderson on our tow vehicles. 2004 Volvo xc90, 2008 ram 1500, 2005 1500 Silverado. 

The Elite is lighter and smaller than the II. More choices in tow vehicles .

I suspect your big Escalade (same platform as Hummer?) would be fine. But, if you want a truck,  find a 1500 that feels good when you drive it. If you're going to be  changing up anyway, I'd recommend 4x4. 

You definitely do not need a 3/4 ton truck to comfortably tow an Elite I. There are many suvs that would also work.

 

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Btw, we installed the harness and receptacle for our Tekonsha Prodigy in all three vehicles. Just moved the brake controller around as needed.

Some newer pickups, with tow package, already have a builtin brake controller. 

You want a "tow package," not just a hitch, for towing your trailer. There is an important difference. 

Edited by SeaDawg
Typos

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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2 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

But, if you want a truck,  find a 1500 that feels good when you drive it. If you're going to be  changing up anyway, I'd recommend 4x4. 

You definitely do not need a 3/4 ton truck to comfortably tow an Elite I. There are many suvs that w I uld also work.

Agree.  If you are going to get a truck and plan on living in your Ollie I would favor a 4X4 for those situations that one is needed.  The reason I prefer a truck over an SUV is because I would rather have my camping gear (grill, chairs, clam, rug, etc) in the bed of the truck rather than inside with me in an SUV.  Mike

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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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I'd agree with Mike, there. My daily driver is a pickup. I learned to drive in pickups and much larger trucks. And, it won't be much different from driving your big Escalade. Look for the 4 x 4.

I'm shorter, (shorter legs) and find Nissan and Ford seats more comfortable in newer models.  See what you think, as you test drive. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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12 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

I suspect your big Escalade (same platform as Hummer?) would be fine. But, if you want a truck,  find a 1500 that feels good when you drive it. If you're going to be  changing up anyway, I'd recommend 4x4. 

Sherry, on your Elite I how high does the ball need to be to keep the trailer level?  This is an important measurement for Sheri to know when buying a ball and mount.

We have two Sherry/Sheri’s here, trying not to get confused!  Mike

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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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Good point. I can measure that. I don't remember,  offhand. And, our trailer is "lifted."

Thinking about that, this could be different today. Probably better to ask her Ollie sales rep. I don't think they've changed  a lot, but they now come with lt tires, and not sure on wheel size for the new Elite. 

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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My bad, I read over the part where you said Elite 1. I agree with the others, you’re definitely ok without the Andersen. 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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We pulled our former Oliver Elite Hull # 026 with a 2007 Tahoe LTZ V8. No Andersen Hitch (don't think it was even on the market back then) and never needed it. We had that combo for 5 years from 2008-2013, never a problem. Then we got an Elite II, much heavier and we pull it with a 2017 2500HD Diesel.

A new Elite will weigh around 4000 pounds loaded and ready to travel. Bottom line, your Escalade should do a fine job with an Elite. I would feel comfortable towing with it.

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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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On 10/20/2020 at 8:44 PM, Mike and Carol said:

Sherry, on your Elite I how high does the ball need to be to keep the trailer level?  This is an important measurement for Sheri to know when buying a ball and mount.

We have two Sherry/Sheri’s here, trying not to get confused!  Mike

It is confusing! Sherry/Sheri! LOL

Yes I would love to know how high up the ball needs to be so I can go buy the ball and mount -- which I assume I should buy and take with me to the delivery day at the factory in TN. I do try to clarify that I am getting the Elite ONE, and even when I search the forums, I may be missing it but is there a section just for Elite 1 questions? I think I am in the minority here (Elite ONE person, and a n00b!); sounds like most of ya'll have the Elite II and there have to be "some" (heheh) differences. <-- kidding! of course there are!  🙂

 

Especially when it comes to towing and weight and WDHs, and all that, the would imagine the Elite I is going to weigh a bit less and require a bit less truck-towing-power.

That said, I have decided to LOOK for a Ram 1500 8 cyl 4WD with a "TOW PACKAGE." I started looking with "2017 or later" and USED in the search fields of various car-buying sites and apps. Now I am even looking at NEW. Mainly because the thing I notice is, when I see the "used" ones, they all just have a box to tick that says "TOW HITCH." It never says TOW PACKAGE, and it looks like there is a HUGE difference between those two things, and I need the TOW PACKAGE.

I have already had a Tekonsha Prodigy 2 Brake Controller INSTALLED just to the right of the steering wheel in the Escalade. I don't know if this can be "moved" and used with EITHER a used or new Ram 1500 (as described above) or not. It was about $225.

I am torn as to trying to stick it out with the Escalade for a while, vs get a new-to-me used OR even a BRAND NEW truck (Ram 1500 as described above). I am very much leaning at this point to getting the Ram 1500, PERIOD, then it's a matter of finding one with the Tow PACKAGE and not just a box with a check mark "Tow Hitch." So, very likely, I am shopping for a NEW Ram 1500 with the Tow PACKAGE at this point. I think I would want regular gas (not diesel), but otherwise I would get it with the options described above. The trucks gets good reviews from auto industry mags and such, anyway. May be tricky to even find a new one with a Tow Package etc. because of supply chain issues, I dunno.

 

Thank you SO much for the help with this. I just don't want to drive all the way to TN and be told, "Oh, you needed to have THIS, and it needs to be a certain height, and where is your brake controller?" etc. etc. at the Ollie factory. Anything ELSE I need to have already, please let me know!!

I will be calling the Ollie sales rep today to try to get clear on this stuff. I do NOT need an Anderson, but it sounded like they were suggesting it for some reason. Again, I am Elite 1, not II. (Maybe I should add this to my forum sig?)  😉

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Soon-to-be owner of a 2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

2021 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Copilot: Dog, James Dog.

 

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So I have been looking at a new truck for my TV as current driver is going to my son plus it cannot tow an Oliver.  I have be really surprised how high the prices have been in the used truck market, at least in DFW market.  If you are open to brands you might see if you can get a deal on 2020 F-150 as new design for 2021 drops in November.   If they incentivise them enough it may not be much of price delta to a used truck.   Just depends on the market where you live.  I was looking at 2019 and above models.  
 

Good luck.   I get my LE in May so I have to wait longer.   

Edited by TexasGuy
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SherMica - 

Your Oliver sales rep can tell you exactly how high your hitch ball should be prior to pickup.  

Bill

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

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10 hours ago, topgun2 said:

SherMica - 

Your Oliver sales rep can tell you exactly how high your hitch ball should be prior to pickup.  

Bill

Bill, thanks! I have not had all that much info from him, maybe just because he figures my delivery date is SO far out it's too early for me to be concerned with this stuff, but, that's just how I'm wired. I'm a "get it done early" person! Thanks again, I WILL ask him on the phone (probably tomorrow).

 

Thanks to ALL here for all the clues/help!

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Soon-to-be owner of a 2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

2021 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Copilot: Dog, James Dog.

 

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Make sure you buy good chocks.  Those won't come with your trailer. 4 x harbor freight chocks, with coupon, probably  22 bucks.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Harbor freight often has these on sale for 5.99. With a 20 per cent off coupon, even better.

Best chocks around. For the price.

Screenshot_20201022-201851_Chrome.jpg

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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6 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Make sure you buy good chocks.  Those won't come with your trailer. 4 x harbor freight chocks, with coupon, probably  22 bucks.

Thank you! Yet another thing I did NOT know I needed to buy in advance of delivery.  I know this is off-topic for this thread, but while I'm here, I was gonna get a generator and it sounds like people store them in the basket (Elite I addon I am getting), is that correct?  I can't see leaving a generator in a basket unsecured (and by secure I mean both "not moving while underway" AND "not being subject to easy THEFT." I can search for this around the forums too, but I think I need the exact dimensions of the "basket" for the ELITE 1, first, before buying any generator (not that I have a clue what KIND to get). Heh. 

Edited by SherMica

Soon-to-be owner of a 2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

2021 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Copilot: Dog, James Dog.

 

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2 minutes ago, SherMica said:

Thank you! Yet another thing I did NOT know I needed to buy in advance of delivery.  I know this is off-topic for this thread, but while I'm here, I was gonna get a generator and it sounds like people store them in the basket (Elite I addon I am getting), is that correct?  I can't see leaving a generator in a basket unsecured (and by secure I mean both "not moving while underway" AND "not being subject to easy THEFT." I can search for this around the forums too, but I think I need the exact dimensions of the "basket" for the ELITE 1, first, before buying any generator (not that I have a clue what KIND to get). Heh. 

 

76C25285-D860-4ECD-AAD5-3162DA5296E7.jpeg

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My advice, carry your genset in the pickup bed. Don't add to the tongue weight.

There are many threads on generators here. We carry a (now) 12 year old Honda 1000 that charges the batteries, when we don't have sun for the solar. Economical. We don't use it often.

My sister bought a small powered by Yamaha 2000 watt at Costco for around $450. Great little generator. Champion also has a good reputation, at a similar price.

Get a good cable set,  and lock it to a rear wheel. 

Make sure  you buy something you can lift. Use nonethenol fuel, and stabil.

 

 

 

 

Edited by SeaDawg
dang autocorrect, corrections
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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16 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

My advice, carry your genset in the pickup bed. Don't add to the tongue weight.

Make sure  you buy something you can lift. Use nonethenol fuel, and stabil.

I’ve had good luck with Champion Inverter Generators.  I had a 3400 watt dual fuel that I ran only on propane.  It was heavy (90+ lbs) and a little more than I needed.  I sold it and bought a 2000 watt Champion on sale at Tractor Supply for $349.  It only weighs 37 lbs, is very quiet and does a fine job of recharging batteries.  I also tested it with the air condition (with EZ start) and it did fine.

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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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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/22/2020 at 9:07 AM, topgun2 said:

SherMica - 

Your Oliver sales rep can tell you exactly how high your hitch ball should be prior to pickup.  

Bill

Bill, to update here . . . I asked and he replied: “The ball hitch should be 23-25 inches to the ground from the top of the ball.” This means nothing to me right now; I am a hands-on visual person at least when it comes to stuff like this! 

Soon-to-be owner of a 2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

2021 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Copilot: Dog, James Dog.

 

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