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Tongue Weight


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I've read though the forum, but can't seem to find an answer that I can hang my hat on! The Spec sheet says approximately  490 lbs. I assume this must be empty, what good is this? We are close to buying a new/used  Elite 2 and need to know what actual Tongue Weight we can expect. The trailer is question will have the 30lb LPG tanks and we generally tow without full tanks, maybe 1/4 full. This info is critical in making sure our TV is set up correctly. We will be using the Andersen WDH on a Mid Size SUV with a max TW of 600lbs. I was hoping to be able to use the adjustable Tongue Extension feature to fine tune the TW, but I just realized they stop using this feature some time ago.

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It’s not an exact number because it will vary with the trailer options (such as solar panels, 2nd awning, etc.) and how the Oliver is loaded up for camping (tongue storage basket with generator, tanks empty or full, etc.).  But a starting point is around 10% of the trailer weight.   The 490 lbs. number is 10% of the base Oliver Elite II dry weight without options.  
Most owners seem to be close to or over 600 lbs.  If your tow vehicle only allows 600 lbs. of tongue weight even with a weight distribution hitch, I’d say you better get a bigger tow vehicle.   Cutting it that close for tongue weight, payload capacity or towing capacity is not a good idea.  

Edited by FrankC

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

ALARCODEINKSKYMONMNYNCOHOKPATNTXUTVAWVxlg.jpg.bc136094bef415679018eafd8d4046ad.jpg

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What SUV? it sounds VERY borderline. A typical LE2 will be around 650 pounds TW, it could go higher depending on where you store your gear, especially if you load down the tongue cargo tray.

You need a tow rating of at least 7500 pounds, preferably higher, to be really safe, and a good payload in the TV to handle the trailer load plus passengers and all your stuff. These trailers are quite heavy for their physical size, they are not at all like a 2500 pound Casita.

An Andersen hitch weighs about 60 pounds, and it must be added to the tongue weight calculation! 

Tell us about your current TV and we can get you a solid answer quickly. This situation is discussed very often in the Towing forum.

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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Pat:

In addition to the above responses, you might want to go to page 24 of the 2021 Oliver Mainteance Manual (found in the Oliver University web page).

If you know the weight of your vehicle and the published weight of the Oliver plus an assumption of the weight of the items you load on the Oliver, you might be able to get a general idea of the tongue by working the formula shown on page 24. 

I would check with the Oliver Sales Staff who might be able to help further.

Good luck

2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4

 

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3 hours ago, Carl Hansen said:

That looks quite interesting, if you mean the first on that page, the eTrailer tall one. I would like to know, what is the precision of the gauge? Have you seen a spec sheet? Using a 2000 pound rated mechanical instrument to measure an expected weight of around 600 pounds means that it will not be in its most accurate range, which is the center of the dial, plus it will be a little harder to interpret. But if you also have another much heavier trailer, it might be a good choice, and don’t use it as they show in the video, under the tongue jack; the reading will be incorrect (too high). And it appears to have no height adjustment when using its own tube, which is not at all good.

I have the Sherline LM1000, which is much more compact and is fine for an Ollie. You do need to figure out a support for it, blocks or a tall portable automotive steel jack stand. Considering that you most likely will use it only a few times for a travel trailer, that is not a big deal to most buyers.

86051729-F478-46AC-BC6D-28F708526795.thumb.jpeg.f5cdd20eee141dc33cf1673961185eb4.jpeg

Sherline LM1000

With any of these, you must ensure that the trailer is level, take half a dozen readings (average them), and always be gentle, don’t slam it around or drop it onto the ground. Please post a review if you get the big one.

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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11 hours ago, Carl Hansen said:

I’m considering purchasing one of these tongue weight scales. I think it will take some of the guesswork out of the equation.  Does anyone on the forum use this scale?

Carl
 
https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Tools-pt-Tongue_Weight_Scale.aspx?gclid=CjwKCAiAsaOBBhA4EiwAo0_AnBUPfGgzN1DKXwoSMpSCuw1NqCmGunjpQEKoJsPb2Rla5ZUafUMEMhoCXVoQAvD_BwE

I use a more portable version of that scale. They are great for distribution of trailer load to achieve optimal tongue weight. I carry it in the TV

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I have been considering the purchase of this hitch with a built-in scale.  I have another trailer, and it would be real handy for load balancing my other “toys.”B9061D28-FA44-4EC5-830B-64290FDEC052.thumb.png.0a5c02b8c5281951ee72d23bd148865c.png

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"R-Villa" ~ Hull #803 Legacy Elite II  Twin Beds 

2021 GMC Denali HD, 6.6 L Duramax Turbo-Diesel, 10-speed AllisonALARILINIAKYMNMSMOOHTNWIsm.jpg

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I have this hitch and really like it. I got it because of two trailers but have since sold my flat bed. Easier to adjust than to switch out a hitch. BTW says my Ollie is just a bit over 500 tongue weight. I recommend a locking pin. 

Bill Thomas 2019 Elite II Hull # 534

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500

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8 hours ago, IL_Travelers said:

I have been considering the purchase of this hitch with a built-in scale.  I have another trailer, and it would be real handy for load balancing my other “toys.”B9061D28-FA44-4EC5-830B-64290FDEC052.thumb.png.0a5c02b8c5281951ee72d23bd148865c.png

That is a very cool concept, but you need to find out how hard it is to replace (by yourself) that precision mechanical gauge when it fails. They are very fragile devices by their very design, and placing one under a heavy load that bangs and lurches on rough roads is a very questionable engineering choice. However the hitch does have a built in dampener to reduce pressure spikes.

C08A37B3-2FBD-4FCA-9CCC-F2080660D899.thumb.jpeg.b8accb47db010c514c1f75105a640f4a.jpeg

Any idea how you would remove that one? (The Sherline has the same oil filled gauge, it can be replaced in a couple of minutes using an open end wrench.) What about the seals in the vertical hydraulic ram? Are they serviceable and can an owner add oil? How long would it take if you had to send it back for service?

OTH it is certainly a pretty thing, I will admit that!

John Davies

Spokane WA

07088C09-5148-42A3-A3F3-635C185EA2F3.jpeg

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 agree and thought the same thing.  When I researched it through etrailer, I found that the scale portion of the hitch can be replaced for $86 in the event it fails.  I may even just buy one as a spare.

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 3.06.23 p.m..png

"R-Villa" ~ Hull #803 Legacy Elite II  Twin Beds 

2021 GMC Denali HD, 6.6 L Duramax Turbo-Diesel, 10-speed AllisonALARILINIAKYMNMSMOOHTNWIsm.jpg

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ThomB87:  So glad to hear you like this hitch!  

Regarding a locking pin; I bought the Andersen.  It seems far superior in strength to anything else I found and has a key that is extremely hard to pick according to YouTube's "Lock Picking Lawyer!"

"R-Villa" ~ Hull #803 Legacy Elite II  Twin Beds 

2021 GMC Denali HD, 6.6 L Duramax Turbo-Diesel, 10-speed AllisonALARILINIAKYMNMSMOOHTNWIsm.jpg

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Very sorry for the late response!

My Tow Vehicle will be a 2015 Mercedes Benz GL450, with the Factory Tow Package. This vehicle is rated to Tow a trailer up to 7500 Lb, with a max Tongue Weight of 600lbs. According to Oliver, I should be within this "Ball Park."  However, I will be very careful about adding Options that add weight to the front end etc. For example, we had originally planned on the Front Storage Basket and 30 lb Propane tanks. In an effort to give us a little safety cushion we have eliminated the Storage Basket, although we will still order the 30lbs tanks (for resale value) we plan on using them only half full to save weight! Additionally, we will have two Bikes (around 125 lbs) on a Bike Rack which will act to Counter Balance any weight on the front of the trailer, like the 50 lb Hitch weight. 

I don't want to start a TV debate here, but the GL 450 has several characteristics that makes it an ideal choice for a Tow Vehicle. Many of these features produce incredible handling both Towing and under normal driving conditions. It also fits inside our Garage! Another benefit, that is often overlooked is the benefit of a Turbo Charged engines which the GL has. Generally speaking you will lose around 3% of Horse Power every 1000 feet of elevation. For example, Pikes Peak starts at 9,000 ft up to 14,000 ft. The V-6 engine in the GL has 362Hp, that equates to a 98-152 Horse Power Loss due to elevation alone.

The other aspect of evaluating a TV capabilities is how much Payload it can carry. Admittedly, after we deduct the Tongue and Occupant Weights we don't have a lot of reserve capacity left!  

 

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18 minutes ago, Pat Maundrell said:

My Tow Vehicle will be a 2015 Mercedes Benz GL450, with the Factory Tow Package. This vehicle is rated to Tow a trailer up to 7500 Lb, with a max Tongue Weight of 600lbs.

The other aspect of evaluating a TV capabilities is how much Payload it can carry. Admittedly, after we deduct the Tongue and Occupant Weights we don't have a lot of reserve capacity left!  

 

Hi Pat,

What does your tow vehicle state on the tire/payload/cargo sticker on the driver's door jamb?   You are right that 600 lbs. of tongue weight and two adults will use up close to 1,000 lbs. of your cargo capacity, and most mid-size SUVs have less than 1,500 lbs. as the limit.   The sticker (usually yellow) will look something like this.  Even some Ford F-150 trucks only have a 1,600 lbs. cargo capacity.  I have a 3,334 lbs cargo capacity because we carry a lot of stuff with us on the road, and our bikes are mounted on a bike rack over the truck bed.  We are around 2,000 lbs of cargo (tongue weight, people, camping gear, bikes, etc.) when all loaded up for camping.

EE0A88D5-1CF3-4241-9090-6DA1AD11F81A.jpeg

Edited by FrankC

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

ALARCODEINKSKYMONMNYNCOHOKPATNTXUTVAWVxlg.jpg.bc136094bef415679018eafd8d4046ad.jpg

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FYI: https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/road-tests/a10159528/the-mercedes-benz-gls450-is-a-shockingly-capable-tow-vehicle/

I still think the tongue weight will be a worry, but the payload should not, I checked the specs and it appears to be 1745 pounds. Does that match your door sticker? That is pretty impressive. I am actually a little shocked, my 2013 Land Cruiser has a 1295 pound limit, due to the wimpy soft factory suspension. Does your Merc have a stiff ride when it is completely empty? What kind of tires do you have? LTs will make it ride harsher, but will also stabilize it when towing in strenuous conditions.

FYI, the tongue weight on my LE2 with the Oliver accessory tray relocated to the back and with 100 pounds of cargo, and full fresh tank and 30 pound propane bottles, is 480 pounds (down from the original 620 pounds). It tows fine.If you can keep your TW light, your Merc should be fine too.

6445DB2D-DC2C-4783-BB1F-71A42715738E.thumb.jpeg.b9ed86ce135c041a19f51b6563d3dbca.jpeg

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/3263-how-to-move-the-factory-cargo-tray-to-a-rear-rack/

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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You're probably not going to tow your Ollie up Pikes Peak.  And, even if you were to tow it up to Cripple Creek - there's a decent campground in town - the nature of the roads up to that historic/gambling town would not allow for much speed anyway.

Yes, there are probably tow vehicles out there that will and do perform better in a fair number of situations, but, many times you simply got to dance with the one you're with.  Just be extra careful not only with the ascents but certainly with those descents as well.

Bill

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

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1. The Payload capacity of our GL 450 is 1312 Lbs, minus 600 lbs Tongue Weight, minus 60 lbs Andersen Hitch, Minus 450 lbs occupants = 202 lbs for miscellaneous stuff. I need to go on a Diet.

2. I've always wanted a Tongue Weight Scale so I actually know what the weights are. 

3. As a retired Heavy Duty Truck Sales Engineer & Service Manager for 50 years, I can't stress the importance of proper Tongue Weight and Weight Distribution as it relates to the Safe Operation of a Vehicle/Travel Trailer combination!! Your TW should be within 10-15% of the Trailer's Weight! Anything above or below this can induce SWAY or other serious Handling and Mechanical problems! 

4. It is my intention to set-up our TV/Trailer Combination by the "Book," while taking accurate measurements along the way to make sure I will be operating within all Specifications and Guidelines of my TV! 

5. BTW, I have contacted Andersen Hitch today to ask them about their Weight Distribution Characteristics of their Hitch and they claim as much as 30% weight Transfer to the Front Axle of the Tow Vehicle, that means 180 lbs off the rear of the TV and on the Front Axle of the TV. When I take the actual measurements I hope I find that this is the case.

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29 minutes ago, Pat Maundrell said:

"I need to go on a Diet."

The official Ford truck towing guide has an asterisk footnote that says towing capacities are based on "a 150 lb. driver and passenger".  Ford is overly optimistic about what most of us weigh.   😄

  • Haha 1

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

ALARCODEINKSKYMONMNYNCOHOKPATNTXUTVAWVxlg.jpg.bc136094bef415679018eafd8d4046ad.jpg

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The amount that Americans say they weigh also has not changed, averaging 181 pounds among all U.S. adults. Men report being about 20 pounds heavier than that, averaging 200 pounds, while women say they are about 20 pounds lighter than the overall average, at 162 pounds.Jan 4, 2021
 
 

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

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On 2/22/2021 at 6:14 PM, topgun2 said:

You're probably not going to tow your Ollie up Pikes Peak.  And, even if you were to tow it up to Cripple Creek - there's a decent campground in town - the nature of the roads up to that historic/gambling town would not allow for much speed anyway.

Yes, there are probably tow vehicles out there that will and do perform better in a fair number of situations, but, many times you simply got to dance with the one you're with.  Just be extra careful not only with the ascents but certainly with those descents as well.

Bill

I guess my point in mentioning that our TV is Turbocharged is that it doesn't lose power at any altitude, Yellowstone for example is 7700 Feet, thats 24% less Horsepower/Torque!

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23 minutes ago, Pat Maundrell said:

I guess my point in mentioning that our TV is Turbocharged is that it doesn't lose power at any altitude, Yellowstone for example is 7700 Feet, thats 24% less Horsepower/Torque!

You are correct with your thinking.  The horsepower and torque rating of your GL won’t be your issue.  Your earlier post about the tongue weight limit and cargo limit look like they will be your issue.   You’ll just have to pack really light for your trips if you only have 600 lbs tongue weight and 1,312 lbs cargo limit (minus the 600 lbs tongue weight).  Also, does your GL have an integrated trailer brake controller?  Or will you have to add one?  

Edited by FrankC

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

ALARCODEINKSKYMONMNYNCOHOKPATNTXUTVAWVxlg.jpg.bc136094bef415679018eafd8d4046ad.jpg

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3 hours ago, FrankC said:

You are correct with your thinking.  The horsepower and torque rating of your GL won’t be your issue.  Your earlier post about the tongue weight limit and cargo limit look like they will be your issue.   You’ll just have to pack really light for your trips if you only have 600 lbs tongue weight and 1,312 lbs cargo limit (minus the 600 lbs tongue weight).  Also, does your GL have an integrated trailer brake controller?  Or will you have to add one?  

The GL is equipped with the Factory Tow Package that includes the Receive on the frame and the Wiring (pre wired under the dash) to install the Brake Controller, which I installed a few weeks ago.

Additionally, I've found that the initial Height set-up of the Andersen Hitch ball to be at the recommended 23 1/2 inches without the Air Suspension increased or the Rear Tire Pressure increased either. I expect the Height to increase to around 25 inches when the Air Suspension and Tire Pressure are set to Specification for Towing!   

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That's a beautiful vehicle. 

Our very good sailing and camping  friends from up north tow an Elite with their GL450, and really say it's a "don't know it's there" kind of thing. Plus, they're always chiding us on their great fuel mileage. Even in Colorado,  where we camped together a few years back. (They passed us on a wide portion of the Million dollar highway. Yes, we let them.)

Yes, the II is heavier, and heavier tongue. Load the car and trailer appropriately,  and I think you will really enjoy the ride. The seats in their GL, even the back seats, are awesome.

Unlike some on here, we don't carry a half ton of spare parts and tools. For long trips, we carry clothes for 15 or 16 days, and provisions, and some tools and a few spares. Each year, the load gets lighter. If we don't use it in a season, it stays home the next.

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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