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Elite II Average Tongue Weight w/ Solar


Islandgrl
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Aloha, we’re trying to figure out what we can expect for an average tongue weight for our Elite II w/ solar as we compute our payload for our tow truck. We read the Elite II base model has 490 tongue weight pounds  but, we’re not sure that’s inclusive of having solar with AGM batteries in the equation?  Can anyone tell us what their average Elite II standard configuration tongue weight usually is?  *Is the standard configuration weight the same as the twin bed configuration?  We’re estimating 650-700 pounds (10% of max trailer weight) but, we’re just not confident that’s accurate.  *There’s just the two of us. Thank you so much for the assistance! 

Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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There are those on the Forum that claim much higher tongue weights than others.  Some of these differences can be attributed to "caution" or conservative guessing.  But, I would guess that most of the differences can be attributed to what is loaded or how it is loaded in any particular Ollie.  Each Oliver is weighed at the end of production and has its specific weight noted in that Oliver.

In my case - a twin bed with solar, 20 pound propane tanks, nothing in any tank and ready for a trip, the tongue weight varies from 600 pounds to 640 pounds.

Again, the standard configuration and the twin bed configuration will each have their own individual weight depending on the specific trailer.  Having said this, I don't believe that there is very much difference between the two with regards to total and/or tongue weight.

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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490 is for a “no option” trailer with no fluids or cargo. Whether you have the tongue tray and/ or the bike rack will have the most effect on tongue weight, by as much as about 200 pounds. Equipment mounted close to the axles really doesn’t matter, it adds to the empty weight, reducing the available payload, and the TW will go up a little, but it isn’t that big of an effect. Solar panels and the batteries are centered over the axles. The latter especially is an excellent (and very uncommon)  design feature.

I do not know the TW for a fully loaded (7000 pounds) LE2 without a tray or bike rack, but on my trailer, I shifted the factory tray from front to back, onto a custom mount. With the same 120 pound load (2 full jerry gas cans and other stuff and including the weight of supports and the tray itself) the TW dropped from 720 to 480! This is with a trailer towing weight of “about” 6000. I haven’t had it on a truck scale, but I do use a TW scale. This was with four AGMs, solar and full 30 pound bottles; since then I reduced the empty weight by 200 pounds by going to lithiums….

Picking a number from what I have read here, IMHO you should use 650 as a baseline. The amount of stuff you carry including water and waste is a factor, but be very aware that hanging a heavy generator on the tongue or a couple of ebikes off the back could skew this number dramatically!

At least one member is really into Power Wagons, please post a pic😀 Are you planning to use the Andersen hitch? I suspect that it could be helpful since the PW has such (wonderfully) soft suspension, and a very small payload for a 2500. Does yours have the Ram Boxes?  The Andersen would add 50 pounds to the TW but it would shift a little weight onto the front axle (if you tension the chains very hard - I do not). Or alternatively add rear airbags, for leveling. If it were mine, that would be my choice…  along with an off-road coupler, hitch, and an Extreme offroad  tongue jack, as overland has done to his LE2 and Ford Raptor. That setup just won’t work on my short LC200😤 I suggest that you try towing with a $40 dead weight ball and drop mount and later buy the Andersen if you felt it was needed to control jounce on choppy highways.

And IMHO do NOT buy the tongue tray, instead put your generator in the front of the truck bed to reduce the TW. A location six feet in front of the ball is way better than two feet behind it. I forget where you will be living - East Coast? If so, you won’t use a generator that much anyway, until you get out West.

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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Using a tongue scale at pickup, without water and before loading anything aboard my 2021 it had a tongue weight of 700 lbs. Options include: solar, 6v agms, microwave delete, composting toilet and outdoor pro package. Total dry weight listed on trailer title was 5,235 lbs. hope this helps

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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1 hour ago, Mountainman198 said:

2021 it had a tongue weight of 700 lbs

Wow - that's heavy.  What propane tanks do you have?

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

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1 hour ago, Mountainman198 said:

Using a tongue scale at pickup, without water and before loading anything aboard my 2021 it had a tongue weight of 700 lbs. Options include: solar, 6v agms, microwave delete, composting toilet and outdoor pro package. Total dry weight listed on trailer title was 5,235 lbs. hope this helps

That seems quite a bit high to me, for an empty trailer, when Oliver says 490 for a stripped model. I wonder if there is some significant error in your scale. What brand and model is it? Mine is a Sherline 1000 pound one. A heavier rated scale will be less accurate at the low end of the gauge. Do you know anybody who has one, so you can compare readings? Thanks,

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, topgun2 said:

Wow - that's heavy.  What propane tanks do you have?

30 lb. now that trailer is loaded tongue weight varies depending on front vs. real loading. Have it back to 700 lbs and will monitor handling and adjust as needed to dial-in

It handled very well on the way home from the factory.  I have always had good trailer manners behind me when the tongue weight was between 12-15%

 

2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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48 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

That seems quite a bit high to me, for an empty trailer, when Oliver says 490 for a stripped model. I wonder if there is some significant error in your scale. What brand and model is it? Mine is a Sherline 1000 pound one. A heavier rated scale will be less accurate at the low end of the gauge. Do you know anybody who has one, so you can compare readings? Thanks,

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

 

700lbs is 13%. Well within the recommended 10-15% range. I dont have any issue with it but will measure total loaded and tongue on a CAT scale when I get a chance. 
 

490 lbs seems light for a trailer weighing 4,900-5,000 lbs. i have towed trailers with 10% (and less) tongue wt before and it could get whippy. Ill stick with 12-14% as my target

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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1 hour ago, Mountainman198 said:

30 lb. now that trailer is loaded tongue weight varies depending on front vs. real loading.

That makes sense that your propane tanks are the larger ones.

Even though I've never heard of an Oliver swaying it is still prudent to have the tongue weight between 10 and 15% as you mention.  

Bill

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

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I have paid close attention to tongue weight as I have a marginal tow vehicle.  My 2020 Elite II came out of the factory at about 5,500 lbs with full fresh water tank and a tongue weight of about 550-570 lbs (Shurline 1000 lb scale).  It had the front cargo carrier (since removed and stored) and 20 lb tanks plus the solar option.   I do not have a composting toilet.  Since every pound of cargo capacity in my tow vehicle is precious, I have endeavored to reduce my tongue weight to no more than 9% of fully loaded trailer weight which for me is about 520 lbs, and succeeded.  (I agree with others on this forum that 9% tongue weight is just fine for the LE II).  All I did to reduce tongue weight was remove the front basket (-35 lbs.), switched from 20 lb steel tanks to 17 lb composite tanks (-20 lbs) and switched to four 105 Ah Lithium Ion batteries (-100+ lbs). 

As others have said, how one loads the trailer for travel can have a large affect on tongue weight.  Anything loaded behind the door has a negligible affect on tongue weight, or even positive effect if loaded in the very rear of the trailer.  Anything loaded in the bathroom or closet has a significant effect on tongue weight, as do the contents of the black water tank.  I suspect those reporting tongue weights in excess of 600 lbs carry at least 50 lb. in the front basket, and have the 30 lb propane tank option.  This alone would add close to 100 lbs. of tongue weight on top of the 520 lbs that I now typically see when pulling my LE II.

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Steve and Lornie

LE II Standard  Hull #657  August 10, 2020

Oregon

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Islandgrl,

2019 Elite II twin with solar, (2) 100 amp/hour Battle Born batteries, 20 lbs. propane tanks and no front basket or rear bike rack.

With full propane and all our gear, food and clothes for a two week trip, our tongue weight is 400 lbs.  With full water it is 500 lbs.

These weights are from a CAT scale.

Hope this helps.

Andrew

 

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Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Mine is a Sherline 1000 pound one. A heavier rated scale will be less accurate at the low end of the gauge. Do you know anybody who has one, so you can compare readings?

 

 

 

Mine is a Sherline 2000 lb 

2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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Fully loaded with food and clothes for a month, solar, lithium, Truma, no basket or bike rack, full freshwater tank but empty gray and black tanks, our LE2 weighed in at 5,900 lbs.  Of this, 5,250 lbs were on the axles, leaving a 650-lb hitch weight.   Hitch weight is about 11% of total weight.

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2021 Oliver LE2
Ram 2500 diesel

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Thank you everyone for all the words of wisdom and for sharing your experience(s)!  We have a much better understanding now on what to expect and also moving forward how to mitigate some of our tongue weight to safely travel with our new PW tow vehicle and Oliver.  We are looking into composite propane tanks, not getting the front storage basket (didn't have it on the original order), sticking with getting the rear hitch for our bicycles (we love to bike) and have a much better idea on how we want to load our Oliver so as to lighten the tongue weight.  So much to learn but, we feel as though this forum has given us such a great supportive team of experts, with lots of experience to ease us safely into our (first-time) towing adventures.  Again, thank you or as we say here on the island, "Mahalo!"

M&K 

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Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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2 hours ago, Islandgrl said:

We are looking into composite propane tanks, not getting the front storage basket (didn't have it on the original order)

I would encourage you to look at the difficulty of refilling and recertification of composite tanks. And, weigh the benefits. 

We have a difficult time in our area,,refilling composite tanks. Drop down to steel 20# tanks, easy peasy.

Just my thoughts. There are places that will fill composite tanks that aren't on the map, but they are few and far between,  in our experience.  

https://www.vikingcylinders.com/support/find-filler/

We use our composite tanks on the boat, where propane use is minimal.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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That’s good new info to know on the composite tanks SeaDawg and thank you for the link!  We have 20# tanks and a composting toilet on our original Oliver order (not using black tank) that should help lighten the load also.  Other than our bikes and inflatable kayak we travel pretty light normally. Here’s to new adventures!  
Mahalo, M&K

 

Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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I don’t think Oliver would sell these trailers without a tongue tray but with a rear bike rack if they were concerned about sway. There are plenty of clueless owners who don’t weigh anything at all, and they heavily load the back. Most of their LE2 advertising USED TO show light tow vehicles such as a Sequoia, so that was perhaps misleading. Their current images rarely show a TV at all, maybe they got cautious about what those earlier pictures implied.

OTH as I pointed out, my LE2 with 480 pounds TW tows beautifully, with minimal Andersen chain tension, just enough to stabilize the vertical motion... I don’t think we should blindly use stick and staple 10-15% recommendations for these much higher quality trailers...**** IMHO ****

Of course a higher TW won’t hurt if you have a stout enough TV. And it would be beneficial if you are in an accident and find yourself in civil court. But I have never heard of a court case where they actually weighed the trailer as evidence…. As long as you don’t hang a motorcycle off the back, and stay within the recommended guidelines, no worries.

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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4 hours ago, John E Davies said:

I don’t think Oliver would sell these trailers without a tongue tray but with a rear bike rack if they were concerned about sway. There are plenty of clueless owners who don’t weigh anything at all, and they heavily load the back. Most of their LE2 advertising USED TO show light tow vehicles such as a Sequoia, so that was perhaps misleading. Their current images rarely show a TV at all, maybe they got cautious about what those earlier pictures implied.

OTH as I pointed out, my LE2 with 480 pounds TW tows beautifully, with minimal Andersen chain tension, just enough to stabilize the vertical motion... I don’t think we should blindly use stick and staple 10-15% recommendations for these much higher quality trailers...**** IMHO ****

Of course a higher TW won’t hurt if you have a stout enough TV. And it would be beneficial if you are in an accident and find yourself in civil court. But I have never heard of a court case where they actually weighed the trailer as evidence…. As long as you don’t hang a motorcycle off the back, and stay within the recommended guidelines, no worries.

John Davies

Spokane WA

I have a 2018 LEII that I pull with a Toyota Tundra 5.7L. I have the anti-sway hitch. As John eluded, I have never weighed anything. I have the front utility tray loaded with a big cooler full of beer and ice everywhere I go (It probably weighs 75 lbs by the end of the weekend just from melted ice). We also carry a bunch of mostly unnecessary camping gear in the bed (of unknown, but significant weight). I have never had a problem with sway or porpousing. 

I would say my biggest concern is with my brakes.

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We have researched over the past couple of days, read quite a few posts on this forum and are leaning towards using the Weigh Safe 6" drop hitch.  Because we will be shipping our Ram PW from Hawaii to the mainland we won't purchase the Weigh Safe until we pick up the PW in Long Beach, CA.  We like the idea of being able to see the tongue weight on the hitch.  After reading all of the comments we decided to be cautious and wait on the purchase of our bikes until after we see exactly what our tongue weight will be upon delivery, placing our "must-haves" in the Ollie and then shifting weight around as needed.  We are still on the fence with the purchase of the Anderson Sway Hitch.  Our neighbor (who has pulled a 40' fifth wheel all over the mainland with his 3500) told us we will be absolutely fine pulling with the 2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon without needing the Anderson hitch.  He said the Oliver will follow and pull like a dream.  He also swayed us away from the lithium batteries since we don't intend on doing a lot of boondocking and the because of the expense.  He basically said the bang for the buck wasn't there.  We never knew wanting to pull an Oliver E2 and camp across America required so much detailed planning and purchases.   We have a new found respect for our parents who did it for a couple of years after they retired and made it look so easy.  Here's to retirement and new adventures...CA to VA and back to CA...we're all in (of course keeping safety our number one priority for these two newbies).

Mahalo, M&K

Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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Our son in Colorado (born in Honolulu) has a 2021 Power Wagon and is towing a 23’ No Boundaries trailer.  He doesn’t use a WDH and has had no problems towing all around Colorado and Utah.  You should be fine without the Andersen.  We used an Andersen with our other smaller trucks, but with our Ram 2500 it really isn’t needed at all.  If you aren’t going to boondock much the AGM batteries should be fine.  We used them for 5 years while boondocking a lot with no issues.  Mike

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

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Thank you very much Mike!  Colorado and Utah are on our states to see so, that's a bonus the PW performed well in those states.  No boondocking for us, at least not for the first couple of years then, it's finding all the wineries/farms we can boondock at the follow-on years.  We want to ease into going from the luxury of a home to traveling in an Oliver on and off possibly half of the year.  *It's a nice break to get off of the island and see the mainland.  M&K

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Hawaii / 2021RAM 2500 Power Wagon 6.4L / Elite II ~Delivery May 2022

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12 hours ago, Islandgrl said:

*It's a nice break to get off of the island and see the mainland. 

The grass is always greener .....

With that beast of a tow vehicle you will not have any problems anywhere towing the Elite II.  And, you certainly will not have to deal with the weight distribution hitch unless (for some reason) you want to.

While all of this may seem confusing and perhaps difficult at this point, it really isn't all that hard.  Checklists are your friend, particularly when first starting out, when its raining, when you are in a hurry, when "stuff" happens, and, pretty much all the time.

The only reason(s) that lithium batteries make sense is if you want/need to be able to have air conditioning (without using a generator), you are a very large power user, have issues with the weight of the camper, or plan on boondocking extensively.  On this last point - I still have my original 4 lead acid batteries with the Oliver solar package.  I've been without being plugged into shore power or generator power for as long as 7 weeks and the batteries have never been below 82% FULL!  No worries.

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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