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In search of a tow vehicle. . .


Keith-n-Jill
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What engine and year? Read this….. 

Towing Capacity: The towing capacity for all of the models years for the Toyota Sequoia had a pretty significant range going from 6,400 lbs. all the way up to 10,000 lbs. The metrics that impacted the capacity numbers the most was the year that the vehicle was made, the engine equipped and whether you had (or can have) a tow package installed on your vehicle.”

https://letstowthat.com/toyota-sequoia-towing-capacity/

With the right gears (axle ratio) the 5.7 engine is a beast, but it struggles otherwise. My Land Cruiser has 3.90 axles and it is barely adequate in the high mountains, Tundras have 4.30 axles and do way better.

Regardless of what the “rated” towing weight is, the payload will be very inadequate.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

George:

I started towing my 2018 OE2 with a 2005 Toyota Sequoia.  Before my egg hatched, I reached out to the owners, just as you have.  It was John Davies that responded back with the very excellent and PROVED to be spot on responses.  The Sequoia I had was with their "New" 4.7L engine.    My 2018 Summer Voyage was TX to OK to Oregon to NC and back to Texas; just over 8100 trailer miles. 

When JD responded, he intonated that mine would be underpowered out west, and would take a lot of energy on my part for long trips.    

I found that it was actually adequate for flat land use, it was not adequate for towing my Oliver out west in the mountains.  Flat lands, it did much better so long as I kept mindful of brake heating and stopping distances.  The MPG was pretty dismal though as I was always hard riding those ponies.

Just north of the Denver area, I was crawling up a four lane highway, down shifting as my rig slowed until I was in first gear crawling up the mountain.  I was actually passed by the US Cycling Team.  I caught them and passed them on the down hill, and the process repeated itself several times.  At one point we opened our front doors and were doing the "Fred Flintstone" one legged push off''s as they went by.  We had plenty of water and passed it out to each rider as they passed by us on the next hill, and collected the empties as we passed them on the flats to the northwest.  My passenger stated:  "I think it is time for a new TV".  I had to agree as I was a hazard on long climbs.

For our Summer 2019 voyage, 7000 Miles,  I had purchased new F-150 3.5L SuperCrew.  That's when I finally figured out what Mr. Davies meant by my having to invest a lot of my energy into driving my Sequoia TV with an Ollie OE2.  Having a very capable TV is MUCH easier on the driver.  

The Sequoia's are one of the most reliable vehicles on the road.  (Shameless Plug Follows)  Except for the Toyota Land Cruiser that is better in every way (Except Cost of course).  Their relatively small fuel tank was found to be a time and energy sucker from "Low Fuel Shortage Syndrome".

If you have the 5.7 L engine, 4 X 4 Sequoia, I would suggest that you give it a shot for a year.  Then consider what YOUR needs are.  In my case, that process worked well. 

Good luck,  GJ  

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

 

I found that it was actually adequate for flat land use, it was not adequate for towing my Oliver out west in the mountains.  Flat lands, it did much better so long as I kept mindful of brake heating and stopping distances.  The MPG was pretty dismal though as I was always hard riding those ponies.

Just north of the Denver area, I was crawling up a four lane highway, down shifting as my rig slowed until I was in first gear crawling up the mountain.  I was actually passed by the US Cycling Team.  I caught them and passed them on the down hill, and the process repeated itself several times.  At one point we opened our front doors and were doing the "Fred Flintstone" one legged push off''s as they went by.  We had plenty of water and passed it out to each rider as they passed by us on the next hill, and collected the empties as we passed them on the flats to the northwest.  My passenger stated:  "I think it is time for a new TV".  I had to agree as I was a hazard on long climbs.

 

John,

Great description! :classic_laugh: We're looking for a TV right now, too!

Tundra LE2

 

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I agree with those here who say a 3/4 ton truck is the ideal tow vehilce for an Elite II.  However, I elected to buy a 2021 Silverado 1500 with the new 3.0L Duramax Diesel.  I bought it in December of 2020 before prices went crazy and now have 10K on it with mayby 2500 miles towing my Oliver.  As other's have said, the limitation is the payload spec like all 1/2 tons but we have not found it to be a problem for us as we don't take that much stuff.  If I were buying the truck JUST to tow then I would have got a 3/4 ton diesel but it's also my daily driver.

I've been a long time Toyota fan and it was really hard to sell my trusty 2005 4.7L Sequoia but the new Silverado 3.0L Diesel has been outstanding.  Flawless performance so far (only 1 year and 10K miles).  The 3.0L diesel is matched to the 10 speed transmission (believe it is the same trans as in the Ford 1/2 ton as joint project but not completely sure).  The low-RPM torque of the diesel matched to that 10-speed transmission is teriffic. I live in Colorado and tow my Oliver to and over 9,000-10,000ft without any struggle at all.  I've been really impressed.  Now, add the other features that I have come to really appreciate - 30mpg on freeway when not towing and and 17-20mpg when towing,  automatic engine brake is fantastic to hold back on the long downhill runs, GM advanced trailering package with 7 cameras and 360 view is really nice.

@Keith-n-Jill  maybe take a look at the 3.0 duramax if you can find one.  They are scarce as well.  GM is also now putting the 3.0L in the Tahoe and Suburban if that's of interest.  

Se1UgGu_lI6T9sC7zi9fCc2bANKHTPzjzIYKOk523-E9eG7G27MlGifRCkSILC-vzlFi6hpm8auvCresPE0U7cMl86z2Cai3kyDgnQxUYzQKvMsa4Wfa3Grm6nZ_H42mME2tTtixGosGJQ15UGeLJXHGzQ9QKbJodPL88JY5SsRLNsgSFnE6pdKxOUAWiu6PxHIM1lIKOa8LU9tLvsYm-ypWuj4vNxijwvrHZSENNyeR_B7tHbKk2AZ7D7uW9yG006_IBMgonVeeoWWyoG19qEmD3s_Olpaxy8_Axr-GrCz5xt7CvHVEObyRRTtMWo6rldwAcPEXt3CaXemcIm0loySMxgvvrPfJ_WVhs6Xp0wVqgn8Mhm9qJXcjHQ1FkurPOtjaET2QcDn7X9yCR3gBR8lg_fRhcTsxwKkyyGwn0IfqESDPIvGT70SAs-J2c8sLpI3j6w4kA3VF1gVOJWE7SADLNk28LEtzb_MiQxao3_9SI4VISo98N7ZcBwp9IvgqLgsUe2aNAs0lUjSQgi62y0DUBqPYPuLZAPyS8pygDBG3mpWw2Hp5gcC064it-yK2LjXsB9a2jw6Jwgog2T5HYrurnxwro9dVoh-TiQQb3O1nBWW90X4b4fBhd39pAT3AO97PjWdpx_-k_VlWtfOLlfCQgX80t6wOyzvMcbb9sb3ZC9Zge0me0SPXDT1h98-f-S--kBmE5FJqOAUGWbxXpklZfw=w2484-h1860-no?authuser=0

 

2020 Elite II, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax

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2020 Elite II #627, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax, Colorado

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4 hours ago, tallmandan said:

I agree with those here who say a 3/4 ton truck is the ideal tow vehilce for an Elite II.  However, I elected to buy a 2021 Silverado 1500 with the new 3.0L Duramax Diesel.  I bought it in December of 2020 before prices went crazy and now have 10K on it with mayby 2500 miles towing my Oliver.  As other's have said, the limitation is the payload spec like all 1/2 tons but we have not found it to be a problem for us as we don't take that much stuff.  If I were buying the truck JUST to tow then I would have got a 3/4 ton diesel but it's also my daily driver.

I've been a long time Toyota fan and it was really hard to sell my trusty 2005 4.7L Sequoia but the new Silverado 3.0L Diesel has been outstanding.  Flawless performance so far (only 1 year and 10K miles).  The 3.0L diesel is matched to the 10 speed transmission (believe it is the same trans as in the Ford 1/2 ton as joint project but not completely sure).  The low-RPM torque of the diesel matched to that 10-speed transmission is teriffic. I live in Colorado and tow my Oliver to and over 9,000-10,000ft without any struggle at all.  I've been really impressed.  Now, add the other features that I have come to really appreciate - 30mpg on freeway when not towing and and 17-20mpg when towing,  automatic engine brake is fantastic to hold back on the long downhill runs, GM advanced trailering package with 7 cameras and 360 view is really nice.

@Keith-n-Jill  maybe take a look at the 3.0 duramax if you can find one.  They are scarce as well.  GM is also now putting the 3.0L in the Tahoe and Suburban if that's of interest.  

 

 

2020 Elite II, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax

Thanks for the report! Will also check out the 1500 3.0L Duramax! 

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Tundra LE2

 

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On 9/16/2021 at 5:11 PM, 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! 

Mini-Rally!?? Did I miss this already? 

I appreciate the 'seat comfort' discussion. Some seats seem to not work for some people, others do. Need to spend more time test-driving! 

Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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On 9/17/2021 at 4:36 PM, Keith-n-Jill said:

Thanks for the info. Wow, I had no idea that Titan market share was that small. Alfa Romeo sells more cars in the US than the Titan brand. I'm stunned.

This comment may be late for your post, but I thought I'd chip in -- my husband had a Nissan Titan XD when we first met; he had towed a larger TT from Florida to the far north end of Alaska and back with that truck. We took a few shorter camping trips with it (and other trips without towing) -- it was hands-down one of the most comfortable rides I've ever experienced. Better than any of the automobiles I've owned or friend's trucks or vans I've traveled in. It was easy to drive, and easy to ride. He gave it to his son-in-law a few years back. Anyway, he had great experience with it through the Rockies. 

Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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The Nissan XD 5.0 diesel was a truck in search of a market. Not enough torque to match the bigger engines for towing, and not especially fuel efficient. And much harder for service access than the inline engines. It died after four years and if you own one, good luck finding parts in the future, once the supply chain dries up. And good luck finding a Nissan dealer with a diesel certified technician…..

https://www.titanxdforum.com/threads/cummins-isv5-0l-v8-status.43238/

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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3 hours ago, Boudicca908 said:

Mini-Rally!?? Did I miss this already? 

Yep - you missed the 2021 version.  Stay tuned for details on the 2022 edition - it is a good rally.

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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UPDATE:  We purchased a 2021 Toyota Tundra 4X4, 5.7 V8.  I found a dealer (AutoNation) that did not add a "market adjustment fee" or charge $5,000 for floor mats. I never thought that we would pay sticker price for a vehicle and feel like we negotiated a good deal.

This is the last of the Mohicans. Toyota is ending V8 production and the engine is known for reliability. Gas mileage isn't the greatest but there are always tradeoffs.  I would love a diesel TV (any make)  but there are none to be found on the dealer lots. We are living in strange times.

Anyway, this is our first TV and RV. We have much to learn. We thank you all for your advice and guidance.

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Keith & Jill Burnett | 2022 LE2  #1071 | 2021 Toyota Tundra

Atlanta GA

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10 hours ago, Keith-n-Jill said:

UPDATE:  We purchased a 2021 Toyota Tundra 4X4, 5.7 V8.  I found a dealer (AutoNation) that did not add a "market adjustment fee" or charge $5,000 for floor mats. I never thought that we would pay sticker price for a vehicle and feel like we negotiated a good deal.

This is the last of the Mohicans. Toyota is ending V8 production and the engine is known for reliability. Gas mileage isn't the greatest but there are always tradeoffs.  I would love a diesel TV (any make)  but there are none to be found on the dealer lots.

I have bought three vehicles from Autonation dealers, and they have always been fairly priced with no sales pressure. One was my used Land Cruiser, We wanted to see if they would give us an acceptable deal on our ram 5.9 Cummins trade, and when they offered $22k we were gob smacked, because we expected $17k. That was long before those pre emission trucks started going up in value. We are looking at the Acura RDX, if we decide, we will buy from Autonation at MSRP, no worries. One other vehicle we looked at is the new Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid, some Hyundai dealers sell at close to MSRP but others are marking that $40k car up by $15k. Probably because there are pretty much zero to be found, with orders extending into 2023…..

I think Toyota may be shooting itself in the foot by not offering a non-turbo engine in the new Tundra. There are legions of fan boys who simply do not want complicated twin turbos, intercooler, and extra pipes in a full sized gas truck.

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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Very interesting read....I have a Colorado that  has pulled for three years  a NO BO 16.8 No Boundries fine.But my leg ll will be ready On august 1, 2022.After dealing with Chevy on a Order for a 2022  2500 HD... three months have gone by still NO truck?

They tell me December25,2021 The order has been excepted ? Now they will not call or confirm any  delivery date?

Looks like I will be Pulling the Leg ll with my Colorado.... No mountain trip next year. Have to stay no the flat land of Nebraska.

Hope I can make it home from the Oliver factory? The math for the trailer says ok.... But I do wonder about the hitch weight.

I do not want to kill my Colorado. Anyone else pulling with a Colorado?

Thanks JIM

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Hello Everyone,

I am currently researching tow vehicles for an Oliver Elite 2. I have not ordered yet but I may go ahead and order by January before the prices increase in the 2023 models. I've heard they may increase by $4000. I was planning on buying the new Ford F150 Hybrid with the 7.2 kw generator because we plan on boondocking more than using crowded campgrounds.  I have noticed that the dry weight is listed for 4900 lbs and the GVWR is 7000 lbs. Has anyone REALLY maxed out the Oliver to $7000 lbs? I don't have one yet but with limited storage I just found it hard to believe that you could put 2100 lbs of stuff in it. Thoughts? The number difference made me think that the Ford Ranger could tow it and it is thousands less in cost. The Ford Ranger has a tow rating of 7500 lbs,, payload of up to 1900 lbs, and tongue weight of 750lb I think. Any help on this woud be greatly appreciated.

 

CW

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7 minutes ago, chiwald said:

Has anyone REALLY maxed out the Oliver to $7000 lbs?

You might try a PM (private message) to ScubaRx about overloading just about anything.😁

I'd guess that the "normal" or "usual" real world towing weight of an Elite II is something just north of 6,000 pounds.  While that figure is below the maximum  tow rating of the Ranger it is starting to get uncomfortably close - in my opinion.  Most "experts" that I've seen caution to not go above approximately 80% of the maximum tow rating which is 6,000.  In the medium to long run you would most likely be happier with a larger tow vehicle.  There haven't been any (that I can recall) owners of a Ranger that have towed the Elite II here on the Forum.  But, there have been a number of Toyota Tacoma owners that have towed the Elite II and all that I'm aware of have moved up to a larger Tow Vehicle.

Good luck!

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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1 hour ago, chiwald said:

I have noticed that the dry weight is listed for 4900 lbs and the GVWR is 7000 lbs.

That 4900 is fluff, it represents a completely stripped dry model with no options at all, perhaps that includes the 20 pound bottles' propane contents, I do not recall. Figure about 5300, depending on how many check marks you add to the build sheet. Lead acid batteries are especially heavy, as are solar panels. A big generator up front and two e-bikes in back could contribute another 300. The Andersen hitch weighs 50 (it not needed with a HD truck)..... So that combination would put the trailer at 5650, and that is before you filled the water tanks or added your personal stuff. Completely filling the fresh water tank adds another 250 pounds.

I have never come close to maxing out the trailer, you could do it if you had lots of cast iron pots, or were into Cowboy Action Shooting and had lots of firearms and ammo. It really is a very healthy payload for such a small little "tank". Many people do not understand how heavy these are compared to a typical Casita, and usually underestimate the size TV that is required. The Ranger is NOT enough truck, especially when you reach the Western mountains. No way. You must consider the TV payload as well as its tow rating. "Payload up to 1900 pounds" means 2wd stripped (no options). You will not often find those vehicles sitting on the lot, nor are they a good choice for towing the LE2.

Then you must also add the weight of the aftermarket stuff you attach to the truck, like a bed liner and canopy, that might be 300+ pounds. See where this is heading? As Roy Sheider said in Jaws, "You're going to need a bigger boat!"

John Davies

Spokane WA

1294776440_ScreenShot2021-11-05at9_12_49AM.thumb.png.3659fe2a70d0ea117367698ad1bcc80f.png

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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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My trailer weighed right at 5100 lbs with full 30lb propane tanks but empty water tanks when it came off the factory floor.  Add water and our stuff and we’re close to 6000 lbs.  If you are getting a new truck I would look larger than a Ranger.  It’s a nice truck but you’d be at the towing limits and would not be enjoying the ride while towing, especially in areas that aren’t level.  I started with a Tacoma and quickly upgraded to a half ton.  Now I’m in a 2500.  The difference?  Towing is much less work, driving range is increased and what I carry in the truck (payload) is not a concern.  Gas tank size and payload capacity should be major factors in your decision.  Mike

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

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On 11/3/2021 at 5:49 PM, John E Davies said:

once the supply chain dries up. And good luck finding a Nissan dealer with a diesel certified technician…..

I have to say -- after visiting the dealer to the south of me -- there were SLIM pickings on their lot, and they were claiming they had no control over what they would have in the future.  "buy the one model we are pushing or goodbye" 

Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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1 hour ago, chiwald said:

Has anyone REALLY maxed out the Oliver to $7000 lbs? I don't have one yet but with limited storage I just found it hard to believe that you could put 2100 lbs of stuff in it. Thoughts?

My salesman told me this week, while it's listed as 4900# dry wt, it "averages" 6000# loaded and that the tow vehicle should be rated for "not less than 7000#" which I translate to read (for my personal comfort level expecting long haul trips and mountains) to be min 10,000#. I'm a NOVICE. I don't know but that's where I am in what I'm hearing and reading. 

Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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Thank you so much for yall's input!! I got email back from Oliver and it said "The GVWR is pretty much the rating of the axles. They are rated to 7,000lbs. Your are correct, the dry weight is 4,900lbs. The heaviest we have gotten a trailer to is 5,600lbs. That is with tanks full and 500lbs of camping gear. If a Ranger will tow 7,500lbs, you should be fine with one of our trailers. We recommend a vehicle with at least 7,000lbs capacity. You should be fine with a Ford Ranger. "

I am hearing you all about the gas tank size and payload capacity. I looked up a Tacoma and it is rated up to 6800 lbs towing and the payload is 1,050 to 1,685 lbs. The Ranger is up to 7500 lbs towing and its payload is 1609 to 1905 lbs. I would love to be able to get the F150 hybrid with generator but its so expensive. And if the Ranger will do it for now.....I can always upgrade to the 150 later, right??

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Any idea of what the hitch ball weight limit is for the Ranger?

You're looking at a minimum of 500 pounds and up towards 600 pounds for the trailer you are thinking of.

Certainly I have a bias in this discussion as I do not believe that it is either wise, comfortable or safe (in all conditions) to be towing with a vehicle that is marginal at best.

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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2 hours ago, chiwald said:

Thank you so much for yall's input!! I got email back from Oliver and it said "The GVWR is pretty much the rating of the axles. They are rated to 7,000lbs. Your are correct, the dry weight is 4,900lbs. The heaviest we have gotten a trailer to is 5,600lbs. That is with tanks full and 500lbs of camping gear. If a Ranger will tow 7,500lbs, you should be fine with one of our trailers. We recommend a vehicle with at least 7,000lbs capacity. You should be fine with a Ford Ranger. "

I am hearing you all about the gas tank size and payload capacity. I looked up a Tacoma and it is rated up to 6800 lbs towing and the payload is 1,050 to 1,685 lbs. The Ranger is up to 7500 lbs towing and its payload is 1609 to 1905 lbs. I would love to be able to get the F150 hybrid with generator but its so expensive. And if the Ranger will do it for now.....I can always upgrade to the 150 later, right??

You haven’t mentioned where you might want to be camping.  If you stay in Florida you should be okay with a Ranger.  If you head north into the mountains in north GA and the Carolinas you will be less fine.  Mountains and elevation in the west will be much more challenging.  Payload capacities for trucks on the lot are usually much less than what is advertised.  Once you add any options the payload decreases.  I don’t know what the gas tank size is for a Ranger, but figure about 12 mpg at best and see how far you can go.  Yes, you can always upgrade but probably at a higher cost than just starting out with a half ton.  Have you considered an F150 or other brand 1500 without all the bells and whistles?  Of course Oliver says you will be fine with a Ranger.  “Fine” means a properly equipped Ranger will pull and Oliver.  Again, a smaller truck means more work, less margin for error, less payload, less range.  The decision needs to be what’s best for you and your current situation.  If it’s a Ranger, go for it!  Don’t let a truck decision spoil your Oliver acquisition process…. Mike

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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Do you already own the Ranger?

It's a nice small truck, good safety features, great seats and visibility,  kind of a small version of an f150. I test drove one a year ago, and liked it. 

It would be fine to tow my smaller Elite, in most situations. If you stay in the east, (I don't know where you are), you'll likely be "fine." Flatter roads, not too many 5 per cent or higher grades, ok. You'll likely struggle in even some roads in the east, like i26, green river gorge. A number of places on i40 in TN and NC that I can think of. 

Southeast, coastal, (sc, much of NC,  ga, al, ms, fl,) you'll probably be golden.

If I  were looking for a TV, I'd look for something with at least half ton capacity.  Look for a bigger, used suv , maybe. Trucks are really hard to come by, these days .

Where do you live , and where do you want to go? 

Everything everyone says about gas tank size, comfort, joy, is really true.

We've towed our elite with three different vehicles,  Volvo xc90, 2005 Silverado stepside, ram 1500 4 x 4. Big gas tank, bigger TV weight, stability comments are all true. The bigger, heavier ram, with the big 34 gallon tank can get us from sw Florida to Asheville in two gas stops, if we so desire. The Volvo was probably 4. And, green river gorge was slow lane slowww, with the heaviest trucks. 

That said, Volvo was great around flatlands, local. 

It's a big decision.  Take your time.

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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On 9/16/2021 at 7:51 AM, 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 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.

This may start a firestorm but....

I picked up an Elite II last December.  Have driven it all over the eastern seaboard including the Adirondacks, Whites, Blue Ridge and Green Mountains.  About 7.5k miles so far, all with a 2016 Chevy Colorado.  I use the Anderson weight distro/anti wobble hitch and aside from the trailer brake system the only modification I did was adding Sumo springs (easy install). The truck is rated to tow 7,000lbs and my loaded trailer is running about 6,000 with a full fresh water tank.  

Pros:  Great daily driver, gets 13mpg while towing, owned before I got the trailer.  It handles fine, don't really feel fast passing semis, no sway or porpoising. Gets up to speed on highway on ramps without my ever having to stomp on the peddle.

Cons:  On hot days and extended mountain climbs the transmission can run up to 225 degrees which is fine but close to the edge.  With a passenger, kayaks on the roof and a bed full of toys, I am pushing right up against my payload limit.  Hits 5.5k rpms when passing on a hill which is acceptable according to manufacturer but I can feel and hear the strain.

Takeaways:  I feel the Colorado can safely get the job done in rolling terrain but there is little room for safety margin.  The braking, drive train and suspension are rated to do the work (read up on SAE rating requirements).  That said, is it really prudent to run against the capacities on a frequent basis?  Will certainly effect the longevity of the tow vehicle and I worry about ability to handle an emergency avoidance maneuver.    If I were limiting my towing to modestly hilly terrain and staying out of the mountains and willing to compromise on my payload options, I'd consider sticking with the Colorado. My new F150 (tow capacity is 11k lbs and the payload more then doubled) is due for delivery in December.  Side note: I bought the Colorado with 18,000 on it for $30,000 and can sell it now, with 80,000 miles for $25,000.  Even at the obscene price of the new Ford, considering the 0% financing and a more sensible match for towing, it's a no brainer.

Gerry

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Firestorms -- I have a question about Chevys.

Yesterday I felt *lucky* to find the opportunity to test drive a 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 High Country (19k miles, advertised for $83,000). It's far beyond the trim level I want, but allowed me to experience the feel of the engine, sound, cabin comfort -- all of which would be the same on the lower trim I might consider. This opportunity ONLY came because someone had traded it in that day; dealers don't have anything on the lot, so I can't see the vehicles I want to see in person. 

It was a nice drive, quiet, comfortable, very easy to handle (mind you, it was raining and afternoon traffic, so I didn't get to test the highway.) Why have I always heard bad things about Chevys? Is is just my Granddaddy's prejudice or something? What's the deal? Is there a solid reason (or a laundry list of reasons) that I need to know about before considering a Chevy truck?

So far, I've tried the following local dealerships: Nissan, Toyota, Ram, Ford and Chevy. I've only been afforded 2 test drives (both used vehicles -- one Ford F250 dually, one Chevy 2500 diesel). I really want to know more about the new Toyota, because I hear a lot of chatter, but haven't found one yet. Ram dealer had 2 vehicles to see, but I might go back to test drive the 2500 diesel (it was still being checked out, had just arrived); I sat in it and it wasn't near the comfort level of the Chevy. 

The TV that has bubbled to the top of the list, for now, is this: Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax diesel V8 Turbo with 10-spd Automatic (Allison) transmission. Torque 445, HP 910, max tow capacity 18,500, GVWR 11,150, mileage (3rd party reports) 14 - 19 mpg (dealership owner tows 15,000# trailer with 2500 High Country model and reports 9-10mpg).

I'm still learning what some of this means. 

Talk to me about Chevys, please! And also if anyone has had opportunity to test the new Toyota Tundra. 

 

Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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