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Small Light and Cozy?


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I am just starting to shop for a tow behind RV trailer and am new at this!  I live at 7,000ft above the sea and want a small trailer of 3,500 Gross Max that I can tow behind my Subaru Outback Turbo (this is the max weight it can tow).  I would also like to use the trailer as an extra bedroom so it needs to be very well insulated!    Can anyone recommend an Oliver (New or Old) model that would work for me?

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Sounds like you’d really enjoy the smaller Elite I, but I hate to say that I think even that will be too heavy for your Subaru, especially at elevation. I think to be comfortable towing the smaller Ollie at higher elevations, you’d want a tow vehicle with a 5,000 lb limit at least. Ollies are definitely cozy, but light they are not. 

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My daughter has a 2007 Outback XT (2.5 turbo), it is rated for just 2700 pounds, and I can guarantee you that it won’t work for even the small Ollie. I personally would not try towing anything over 2000 pounds behind it. Especially at 7000 feet! Even the big Ascent is only rated at 5000 pounds. That would be acceptable for the single axle Elite, but wouldn’t have any real margin of safety. These trailers are double shell, and they are indeed heavy little tanks. They need a very substantial tow vehicle.

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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11 hours ago, Francesca said:

Can anyone recommend an Oliver (New or Old) model that would work for me?

NO!

All Olivers are too heavy for the vehicle you mention.

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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Oliver only offers two models:

The smaller Elite I with a dry (empty) weight of 3,700 lbs. 

The larger Elite II with a dry (empty) weight of 4,900 lbs. 

And when the trailer is loaded with some options, tanks full, and camping accessories you can probably add 500 pounds or more to each of those weights. 

So even the smaller Elite I is too much weight for your vehicle.  If you are really intent on towing with such a small vehicle like the Subaru, you need to be looking at trailers with a dry weight of less than 2,000 lbs. Or consider getting a bigger tow vehicle.   

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4, 6.2L Flex-Fuel engine 

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

visited-united-states-map.jpg

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Also remember as you shop: the "tow rating" is calculated based on an empty vehicle with only a driver. If you have a 150 pound passenger and 50 pounds of camping gear in your car you just reduced your tow rating by 200 pounds. 

Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.e6391b9064a3f8f0951751f985664135.jpg

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A pre-owned Casita 16’ might be doable for you.  Still at your vehicle limit, but folks regularly do it with the Subaru, though I wouldn’t. . 

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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The big problem with other brands of  trailers is their lack of insulation. The cold weather ability of an Ollie comes at a price, a bunch of extra weight. You either need to replace the Subie with a significantly larger tow vehicle, such as a Tahoe or 1500 pickup, or consider an alternative option like a Northern Lite or Lance four season camper on a Heavy Duty pickup truck. Buy a nice used truck with a stout payload, and continue to use the Outback as a daily driver. Truck campers offer a lot of benefits compared to a trailer, like effortless reversing, especially for a newbie owner, and if you leave the camper on it all the time, they do not take up any more parking space than a LE2.

https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/buyers-guide/hard-side/northern-lite-camper/

I have seen used camper/ truck packages offered on Craigslist and by RV dealers,  that is a very painless way to buy and drive one home. You don’t even have to go through the hassle of mounting the tie down hardware. Though you should always have a pre-purchase inspection performed first. 

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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Our 2008 Elite's tongue weight is 420 pounds, loaded for a short camping trip. That's 70 pounds beyond your specs, unfortunately. Loaded for camping, we weighed over 3900 pounds.

Even if you stripped out heavy options, like the ac you probably don't need, carried only one propane tank, traveled with empty tanks, and opted for a single lithium battery, you'd still overload the Subaru.

To make camping an enjoyable and safe experience,  you'd need a larger suv, or a small truck, at the very least, to tow an Elite. We've towed ours with three different vehicles, the least of which had a 4900 tow capacity,  and that was ok on the flats, but not fun in the hills.

Tongue weight for a Casita 17 is also too much for your current tow. You need to stay below 350 lb tongue weight, I believe.You might look at an Escape 17 a or b, if you want to stay in the molded fiberglass world. With a single hull, it's a bit lighter, especially if you can live with a portapotty or composting toilet  instead of a full bath, in the 17a. Escape offers a winter package as an option. A Casita 16 is an option, if you don't mind the short head height. So is a Scamp 16, if they still make them. Or, one of the 13 footers 

If you want to go beyond molded fiberglass,  you might look at the smallest Lance, without the slide, and option carefully. Or a small Alto condo safari. Be wary of anything that doesn't have an aluminum cage, and a one piece roof. 

You'll need to be very careful as you look around, as most trailers advertise a dry weight that doesn't include many of the options that an Oliver features as standard.  Some don't even include the very basic necessity of a furnace. Many don't include an awning, ac, etc. Every option adds weight, at least 50 to 100 pounds or more, and it all adds up quickly. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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You need a bigger truck. What you're considering is basically impracticable, not safe and probably illegal in most states.

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all 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 SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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

 

 

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