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In search of a tow vehicle. . .


Keith-n-Jill
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Greetings to all.  We have placed our order for an LE II, due for delivery in April.  We've been shopping for a tow vehicle and having a helluva time trying to figure out what to buy. Given the chip shortage and demand for pickups, the salesmen laugh in your face--slap another $5,000 in dealer fees for spraying the tires with Armorall--and tell you to take it or leave it.  We have  about six months before our Ollie is due, so I'm hoping the chips will start coming in from Taiwan and prices will drop. When do you know that you got screwed-over by a car dealer? When you drive the vehicle off of the lot.
Anyway, we ask you, the Oliver brethren (and sisters) for some guidance: 

1. Is a half-ton pickup the absolute minimum tow vehicle for an LE II?
2. Is anyone out here towing an LE II with a Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon? Diesel or gas?
3. 2WD, 4WD or AWD?
4. We're looking to buy new but open to a used vehicle. Any suggestions?

Our camping style:  75% in a park, hooked up to shore power;  25% dry camping.

Keith & Jill Burnett

Atlanta GA

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There are numerous posts on "appropriate" tow vehicles for the LE I and II.  Use Google advanced search if the forum search feature is not giving you good results.

Prices on new and used vehicles have gone out of sight in the past year.  My uneducated guess is that it will be close to a year before you are able to negotiate a price up from dealer "cost" versus today's take it or leave it MSRP plus ADP (additional dealer profit).

If you have to buy right now, I'd look for a dealer that doesn't mark up above MSRP.   Probably few and far between, but I'd like to think some dealers are taking the long view on how they treat customers, versus those that don't care and are out to make as much in the short term as possible.

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The chip shortage is making things tough.  I notice dealers around here with half empty lots.  It’s kind of depressing.  The good news is that the chip shortage isn’t affecting Oliver production!  Here are my thoughts on your questions:

1. I’ve towed with a Tacoma, half ton and now 3/4 ton.  The smaller vehicle can tow an LEII but has significant limitations.  Fuel tank size coupled with low gas mileage (small engine working hard) means you need to stop for gas frequently.  Payload will be at the limit if not over when you figure tongue weight, bodies and stuff.  A half ton seems to be the sweet spot, if configured with adequate payload and towing specs.  A 3/4 ton is towing heaven.

2. See above.  Check the smaller truck for payload and gas tank size.

3. How do you intend on camping?  2WD is fine if you stay on the pavement.  If you are going to venture off the pavement any, the 4WD.  We were recently at a campsite (state park) in Vermont that was grass.  It had rained and if I didn’t have 4WD I would have been stuck trying to get up the small hill to the paved road.

4.  It might be time to start looking at Carmax.  I used them once and it was a good experience.  I can provide details if you’re interested.

Just my thoughts, good luck!  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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I think that waiting is best from a financial standpoint, but that is going to be really hard to deal with emotionally. It might make sense to either have your Ollie delivered to your home (hopefully you have a spot to park it) and use it as a party house for a while, or else talk a friend with a suitable TV into going to the delivery with you for a free vacation trip. Or buy an old beater used 3/4 ton pickup with the idea of trading or selling it when you can buy a new truck that you really want. Don’t discount a 10 or 15 year old truck - other than comfort and safety features it will do perfectly fine. A half ton of that age, probably not. Tow ratings were much lower then.

We have been looking at used SUV prices, my wife wants to sell her car. While this is a terrific time to sell, it is not at all a buyers market.

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/06/now-might-be-a-good-time-to-sell-your-car/

Wait if you can, otherwise, just pay the extra and move on. Life is too short to stress over fluctuating prices in the car market. It is what it is.

Add your location to a signature. And tell us where you plan to travel and how you want to camp.  It helps when asking for advice.

John Davies

Spokane WA

"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, Safari snorkel.

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1 hour ago, Keith-n-Jill said:

Greetings to all.  We have placed our order for an LE II, due for delivery in April.  We've been shopping for a tow vehicle and having a helluva time trying to figure out what to buy. Given the chip shortage and demand for pickups, the salesmen laugh in your face--slap another $5,000 in dealer fees for spraying the tires with Armorall--and tell you to take it or leave it.  We have  about six months before our Ollie is due, so I'm hoping the chips will start coming in from Taiwan and prices will drop. When do you know that you got screwed-over by a car dealer? When you drive the vehicle off of the lot.
Anyway, we ask you, the Oliver brethren (and sisters) for some guidance: 

1. Is a half-ton pickup the absolute minimum tow vehicle for an LE II?
2. Is anyone out here towing and LE II with a Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon? Diesel or gas?
3. 2WD, 4WD or AWD?
4. We're looking to buy new but open to a used vehicle. Any suggestions?

My experience towing an EII all around the US confirms the 3/4 ton class is as Mike says - towing heaven. Many do tow with less and have a fine time.

Now - as we have moved on from Ollie - I am considering downsizing my 2018 GMC duramax 2500 4x4. It is simply more truck than I need right now. And yes - used truck prices are insane - some going for more than a new similar unit. The KBB trade in on my truck is higher than I would have thought, so I may pull the trigger when the "new" truck arrives. There are no trucks I favor within several hundred miles of our home.  The new truck price is lower than similar used.  Insane. But one is on the  lot the other -"in transit" 

Were I to choose all over again - the 3/4 ton is what I would choose. GM has a new gas engine - I would consider. 

Below is my former Ollie and the TV. 

Good luck in your search

 

20180929_103755.jpg

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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"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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Even with a “1/2 ton” pickup, make sure you understand and pay close attention to ALL the relevant ratings.  There are specs for towing capacity, tongue weight (different capabilities with and without a weight distribution hitch), payload capacity (also called cargo capacity), GCWR (gross combined weight rating), etc.  Even two of the same model trucks like an F-150 can have significantly different towing capabilities depending how it’s equipped.   I have an F-250 which is generally classified as a “3/4 ton” truck, but mine as equipped from Ford is rated for up to 3,334 pounds of cargo, and 12,600 pounds of towing.  So I can technically put more than a TON of weight in the pickup bed as cargo and still have payload to spare for tongue weight while towing my Ollie. 

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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To all of you:  thanks for the info! I have a lot to learn.

I'm leaning towards a half-ton, 4WD.  The Chevy Colorado may not have the chops. It has a max towing of 7,000 lbs.--just at the threshold for pulling an LEII.  Maybe we'll need more towing capacity as a margin for safety; you think?

Regarding used truck prices;  I went to a CarMax this weekend just to look and kick tires. There was a  2017 Toyota Tundra, crew cab, 55K miles, loaded with leather and all of the options. Asking price:  $47,500.  I couldn't believe it. Then I went across the street to a Toyota dealer. They had (only) one brand-spanking-new 2021 double cab Tundra, base model: $46,850 sticker price including the "dealer options." They'll still tack on more "handling charges" at the closing table.  I passed on both of them.  Used trucks going for new truck prices? Everything selling above sticker price?  We are living in a crazy world.  I'm gonna wait a few months. 

Keith & Jill Burnett

Atlanta GA

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3 hours ago, Keith-n-Jill said:

 Used trucks going for new truck prices? Everything selling above sticker price?  We are living in a crazy world.  I'm gonna wait a few months. 

We're going to look at the 2022 Tundra to be unveiled later this month. Towed our LE2 many thousand miles with a 2016 Tundra and it did a fine job.  Only problem with the 2016 Tundra, always approaching gross vehicle weight ready to camp (we are gear minimalist)  with Ollie connected. Hoping the new Tundra will have a larger payload, will see.

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Bill

LE2 #75

 

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1 hour ago, rideandfly said:

We're going to look at the 2022 Tundra to be unveiled later this month.

On the 19th.  Should be interesting.

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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My opinion is the car manufacturers will probably offer large incentives down the road again. However, over the next year or two, expect the msrp to increase rapidly to offset some of the “savings”.  Oliver has had some pretty large hikes as well recently. 
 

A half ton is a lot easier to live with as a daily driver and gets better mileage. The HD models haul like a dream but drink like a fish.  They can also feel more “truck like” in the suspension department when cruising empty. 

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33 minutes ago, ChrisMI said:

My opinion is the car manufacturers will probably offer large incentives down the road again. However, over the next year or two, expect the msrp to increase rapidly to offset some of the “savings”.  Oliver has had some pretty large hikes as well recently. 
 

A half ton is a lot easier to live with as a daily driver and gets better mileage. The HD models haul like a dream but drink like a fish.  They can also feel more “truck like” in the suspension department when cruising empty. 

Let's face it.  Inflation is here to stay.  Going back to Economics 101; if the government prints more money then prices will rise. Part of the reason I placed an order for an LE II now is because that Ollie will be a lot more expensive in a year or two.  I'm hoping that the price of trucks and automobiles will drop a bit in the short term.  Over the long term, everything will be much more expensive.

I agree with you on the half-ton as a daily driver. My 5' 3" 100 lb bride will be driving it on occasion--our motivation for looking at the Chevy Colorado. She refuses to tackle any vehicle bigger than a F150.  We are also waiting for the new Tundra. The V-6 turbo, hybrid and coil spring suspension is worth a look.

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Keith & Jill Burnett

Atlanta GA

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8 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Or buy an old beater used 3/4 ton pickup with the idea of trading or selling it when you can buy a new truck that you really want. Don’t discount a 10 or 15 year old truck - other than comfort and safety features it will do perfectly fine. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

Good point!

What are the older 3/4 ton TV preferred here?

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Bill

LE2 #75

 

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3 minutes ago, rideandfly said:

Good point!

What are the older 3/4 ton TV preferred here?

Just my opinion, but is is going to be really easy to find any old 3/4 ton with enough payload, but most old half tons are probably going to be marginal in that department, just as are the new ones. And older trucks are down on power, so a bigger truck is more likely to have a stouter engine.

Besides, if they drive around in a rough riding older truck, it will make their transition to a new one all the sweeter.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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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, Safari snorkel.

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FWIW, my sister-in-law is a little shorter than your wife, and she loves driving my brother's F150, even towing a trailer. The seats are really comfortable,  and plenty of adjustments. His has the slideout running boards, which are really nice for her. I think the new f150s still have the adjustable pedals, which is a really nice feature for shorter people.

My daily driver is a 2005 Silverado, and as much as I'd love to have a new truck, it will be very very hard to part with it someday.  I really enjoy driving that truck. I love the greater visibility of a big truck windshield, and sitting up higher, so I  can see further ahead than in a car or smaller suv.

For whatever reason, I don't enjoy my husband's Ram nearly as much. I think it's the way the hood slopes away, and I am, of course, used to a different truck. Plus, I  don't find the seats to be as comfortable as Ford or Chevy, for me. I just can't find a seat adjustment that keeps my left leg happy. He loves it, though.

Good luck in your search. 

 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

FWIW, my sister-in-law is a little shorter than your wife, and she loves driving my brother's F150, even towing a trailer.

The F150 is my wife's favorite truck of the the half-ton variety. She likes all of the bells and whistles, especially those slide out running boards. She likes the interior best in the Ford. If the wife's not happy then nobody's happy. My impression is that no manufacturer is making a bad truck.  There's a lot of competition.

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Keith & Jill Burnett

Atlanta GA

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I absolutely agree with your last comment about there not being a manufacturer presently making a bad truck.

I've now owned two F-150 ecoboost trucks in a row (2011 and presently a 2017).  I live in the southern mountains of North Carolina and spend at least two months each summer out West in the mountains chasing trout.  I've never had an issue with either truck pulling my Ollie Elite II.  Both trucks have been very comfortable even though I have the fixed running boards 😁.

Having said this, I'm looking forward to seeing the new Toyota next week while at the beach - it'll give me something to do on that rainy afternoon that always seems to happen.

Finally, yes, my 2017 and 2011 both have/had adjustable pedals and steering with memory for at least a couple of drivers.

Bill

p.s.  I see that K-n-J are going to be at the Florida mini-rally.  I'll be there too - let's talk! 

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

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9 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

p.s.  I see that K-n-J are going to be at the Florida mini-rally.  I'll be there too - let's talk! 

Looking forward to meeting you. We'll be there asking a lot of questions and taking notes. . . we have much to learn.

Keith & Jill Burnett

Atlanta GA

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4 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

A half ton is a lot easier to live with as a daily driver and gets better mileage. The HD models haul like a dream but drink like a fish.  They can also feel more “truck like” in the suspension department when cruising empty. 

I’m getting better mileage with my 2500 diesel than I did with either of my last two half tons both around town and towing.  That will be offset some with maintenance costs of the diesel.  It is slightly larger but works fine as a daily driver, comfort is great - it has all the gadgets and gizmos.  But, here in Texas 3/4 tons are everywhere….  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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1 hour ago, Keith-n-Jill said:

We'll be there asking a lot of questions and taking notes. . . we have much to learn.

Hint - be sure to bring your camera so that you can take a photo of all the mods (you will not believe Foy & Mirna's decoration of the interior or Steve & Tali's lifted beds and switches or Mike and Krunch's Raspberry Pi or .........).

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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We ordered a new truck in the middle of June. We got it a little over a week ago.

I replaced our 2017 Silverado 2500 HD with a Silverado 3500 HD. The reason for my decision was to increase the payload capacity of our tow vehicle. For those of you who know us personally, you've seen all that we carry. For those that we've not had the pleasure to yet meet, suffice it to say that the load is legendary. I'll never be accused of minimalism and when it comes to my stuff, like the American Express advertisements of old, I... "don't leave home without it..."  The 2500 HD had a cargo capacity of 2110 pounds, But, upon taking into account the topper, front hitch, two tier bed slide, Dometic fridge, a rather large tool box, two adults, three dogs, hitch, tongue weight and THEN all the assorted accoutrements of camping, we found ourselves about 500-600 pounds overweight. The new truck has taken care of that deficit and them some.

As far as the price went, being a 2022, we did not know what it would cost at the time we ordered it. I had gone online and "built" a 2021 to the same specs but in June, there was no provision to spec out a 2022. But, everything I read said not to expect the price to go up too much for the model year change. When the truck arrived it was essentially the same price as the previous year model. The salesman had told me not to expect any rebates and incentives as none of the different manufacturers were offering any. But the owner of the dealership in Memphis is a lifelong friend of my son-in-law and he gave me a good deal. With our trade in we got out the door for about twice what a new Ferrari 275 GTB would have cost you in 1965.

Now "all" I've got to do is re-install all the gear that came from the old truck into the new one.

 

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 #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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18 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

Now "all" I've got to do is re-install all the gear that came from the old truck into the new one.

Well you have less than 30 days before the mini rally.  If you don’t get finished before then, bring it with you and we can give you hand or two.👏👏

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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38 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

With our trade in we got out the door for about twice what a new Ferrari 275 GTB would have cost you in 1965.

Wow, that was a tough one!!! It took me ten minutes to find that figure…..

19C4D8CE-7FDF-462A-9084-B4EB71E3251E.thumb.png.a9cba905000c7af54619e5623550f413.png

I am really glad you did not have to pay their current market value. I had a poster of a 250 GTO on my wall for maybe twenty years, what luscious cars. Listen here.

The Ferrari 250 GTO Speaks For Itself

John Davies

Spokane WA

"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, Safari snorkel.

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That's funny. My father paid $16,000 for our first family home when i was a kid in the mid-60's.  Clearly the Ferrari proved to be the better investment in 1964.

For towing it comes down to payload for your gear and trailer. the new fore f150's have a nice payload range from 1,800 - 3500 lbs  but largely depends on the engine choice

https://www.ford.com/cmslibs/content/dam/brand_ford/en_us/brand/resources/general/pdf/guides/21Towing_Ford_F150_Dec3.pdf

if you get the cool turbo diesel with lots of torque at low rpm's the engine weight kills you payload.. (1,850 lbs).  It's kind of crazy to have all that power and such a small payload.

My last 1/2 ton would pull the the LE II fine but we were fighting the payload on every trip... What a pain.  We went to an F250 6.7 diesel and don't need to worry about payload. Lot's of 1/2 will do a good job pulling the LE II but few will give you much payload.   this said, the f250 is not a good daily driver. 

 

 

 2016 Legacy Elite II, Twin Beds, Hull #124

Tow Vehicle: 2019 Ford F250 4x4  / Short Bed / Crew Cab / 6.7 Diesel

 

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10 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

We ordered a new truck in the middle of June. We got it a little over a week ago.

Now "all" I've got to do is re-install all the gear that came from the old truck into the new one.

Looking forward to seeing the new truck!  A small crane would come in handy….

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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