Jump to content

Towing with vehicles that really don't do the job safely


Recommended Posts

After reading most of the post on here, I feel many purchase tow vehicles and then go find a trailer that works for them, which is what I would call doing it in reverse. I started pulling travel trailers some 40 years ago. I worked for a Chevrolet Dealer and we sold many Suburban's with 454 engines, 3.73 rear axles and it was the vehicle of choice for the Airstream, Avon, Silver Streak, crowd. I finally purchased a Suburban 454 and it towed wonderful, Wolf Creek Pass was not even an issue and we got 8 mpg with, or with out the trailer, towing was a non issue. So for me today I still want a vehicle that can tow, I actually think there's more safety in power, them less power. So for those who want to skimp on a tow vehicle I feel you are not really thinking it through, your either looking at a tow vehicle size, yes 1/2 ton pickups are large,  cost of the tow vehicle, or just don't understand what works safely. I think many on this forum have given good comments on what works and what doesn't, but what about those who read them, them do what they want to anyway. My favorite thing is walking around the campsites and see rigs and wonder how they got here with there setup, obviously the tow vehicle doesn't match the trailers size. PS, and no I don't want another 454 Suburban. 

trainman

 

  • Like 5

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Would you provide the towing and cargo capacity of your Ram 1500 for guidance purposes?

Mossey

  • Like 1

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I worked for a few years in a NF campground and yes, it's true, many people have no idea how unsafe and unmatched their tow vehicle is to their trailer.  The inhibiting factor for most people including myself is that people usually have the tow vehicle BEFORE they buy a trailer and end up having eyes  bigger than their stomachs!  My Tundra would have worked fabulous for my Casita but is right on the hairy edge for my ILOVHER.  I can't afford to upgrade at this time, nor are there any trucks available...so I will settle for packing light and ALWAYS using the Andersen...AND of course steering clear of the swaying train wreck trailer combo doing 80mph in front of me!!

  • Like 5

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport 5.7L V8 

2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Hull #184 ~ "ILOVHER"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great post, you can sort of get away with a marginal TV if you live and camp in the East, but once you start stressing it really hard in the Western mountains, passes, headwinds and hot deserts, it simply isn’t acceptable. Too much trailer for too little truck

I had a 1984 Suburban 3/4 ton 2wd with the 454 gas carbureted engine. It was an underpowered brute (just 360 ft lbs) but with some engine intake and and exhaust mods and a different distributor advance curve it was wonderful. In spite of only having three gears. I pulled a 9500 pound boat/ trailer combo and found that the factory axle (3.5 ish? ) was very inadequate for mile high elevation, and I had a 4.10 Detroit Locker installed in SLC, mid way to my Lake Meade destination. That fixed it but there were still times when it would vapor lock and quit at the top of a long steep hot grade. I had to install an electric inline fuel pump that I could turn on manually to feed the stock engine driven pump, which would overheat otherwise. I put a 40 gallon tank in place of the stock 25 gallon one. Ah the good old days; carburetors, points and distributor, spark plug wires, frequent tuneups, oil leaks, crappy build quality, and too many roadside breakdowns. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 2
  • Wow 1

"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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

it would vapor lock and quit at the top of a long steep hot grade

Ah, memories. My dad had an International Travelall that we used to tow a 27' Holiday Rambler travel trailer. I remember "vapor lock" well. It was my Dad's nemesis, much like the furnace was for the dad in the Christmas Story movie.

  • Like 2

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

Ah, memories. My dad had an International Travelall that we used to tow a 27' Holiday Rambler travel trailer. I remember "vapor lock" well. It was my Dad's nemesis, much like the furnace was for the dad in the Christmas Story movie.

It was an easy fix for maybe $30 in parts (in 1990 dollars) but in those pre-Internet days, nobody knew anything about mods. You had to figure stuff out yourself, or chance running across an article in a truck magazine . It is mind boggling how long manufactures used engine driven fuel pumps, it makes no sense. whatsoever. I had to replace the Sub’s once when I came out to find a pool of gas under the engine, the diaphragm had ruptured, fortunately it took only twenty minutes to replace. Now imagine that part failing while towing up a mountain with a glowing hot exhaust manufold six inches away😳

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 1

"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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, csevel said:

I worked for a few years in a NF campground and yes, it's true, many people have no idea how unsafe and unmatched their tow vehicle is to their trailer.  The inhibiting factor for most people including myself is that people usually have the tow vehicle BEFORE they buy a trailer and end up having eyes  bigger than their stomachs!  My Tundra would have worked fabulous for my Casita but is right on the hairy edge for my ILOVHER.  I can't afford to upgrade at this time, nor are there any trucks available...so I will settle for packing light and ALWAYS using the Andersen...AND of course steering clear of the swaying train wreck trailer combo doing 80mph in front of me!!

I would think your Tundra could handle an Oliver just fine, is it a V6, or V8. I think the new Tundra's are only offering a V6 now, not sure about that, but the new V6 is probably a Turbo and has plenty of torque just like the F-150 Ford pickup. We also had a Casita before our Oliver and we towed it with a Honda Ridgeline and it did just find, wish I could have used it with the Oliver.

trainman 

  • Like 1

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Tundra 5.7 comes with much better gears (4.30 ratio) than my Land Cruiser (3.90) and it tows just fine. The payload is the big limiting factor. My 2013 LC 200 is rated at 8300 pounds towing, the 2013 Tundra 5.7 is up to 10,400. It s all about the axle gears, which give you that lovely torque multiplication at the wheels, which also greatly reduces the stress on the engine and transmission. And theoretically gives better towing mileage, as long as you don’t compensate for the extra power by just driving faster everywhere….

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, mossemi said:

Would you provide the towing and cargo capacity of your Ram 1500 for guidance purposes?

Mossey

Private message sent to you, trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Trainman said:

I feel many purchase tow vehicles and then go find a trailer that works for them, which is what I would call doing it in reverse.

2 hours ago, Trainman said:

I think many on this forum have given good comments on what works and what doesn't, but what about those who read them, them do what they want to anyway.

 

My case is likely one of those posts you refer to.

January 2021, I picked up a new Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition that I'd ordered in September; the one and only aspirational vehicle I've ever had. Yes it is crazy expensive for a model with the last major upgrade in 2008, and has practically no bells and whistle that are standard on vehicles 1/3 this price. It doesn't stand out, doesn't say "Look at me!!", and pretty much flies under the radar. It is often mistaken for an older Sequoia or Highlander.

But I absolutely love it! It is my only car (other than a non-running 1958 MG in the garage), and the last vehicle I will ever buy. All of the oft quoted detractors are exactly what I want in a vehicle. It'll last 30,000 miles easily on routine maintenance. And I spent way more than I ever should have to get one when it was announced that Toyota would discontinue the Land Cruiser line in North America. And the new Land Cruiser available in the rest of the world now is a technology loaded turbo V6 with questionable reliability. Due to the timing, I bought mine at $9000 under sticker price. I could now easily sell it for $30-40,000 more than that. But I won't, because there's nothing else out there like it.

So, yes, I'm looking for a trailer *after* already having a tow vehicle. That's not going to change. And being in our late '60s, I'm not going to get a cheap starter trailer before eventually getting one of the best available. Both of my brothers have gone through umpteen larger trucks and larger trailers; now both with dually diesels and 37' and 41' unwieldy monsters. That's not me.

I've been warned. Both @John E Daviesand @mossemi have similar Land Cruisers (albeit both with the 6-speed transmission with a better gear ratio than my 8-speed) and have mentioned the limitations of pulling an Elite II with one. I'm willing to live within those limitations. Will it be a choice that I regret down the road? Maybe. But I'd rather regret it later than not having had the experience of finding out.

We will be visiting the Oliver factory and show room sometime during the week of July 10-15. Unless something completely unexpected rears its head (and if I get an all clear on a medical concern), we'll be ordering one.

  • Like 4

-----
Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin on order - due March 28, 2023

Facebook - Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Steve and Deb said:

I've been warned. Both @John E Daviesand @mossemi have similar Land Cruisers (albeit both with the 6-speed transmission with a better gear ratio than my 8-speed) and have mentioned the limitations of pulling an Elite II with one. I'm willing to live within those limitations. Will it be a choice that I regret down the road? Maybe. But I'd rather regret it later than not having had the experience of finding out.

Depending on your location, it will cost about $3500 plus tax to install better gears, and since this is a new “forever” truck, in your shoes I would do that in a heartbeat. Being new there is no worry about hidden costs like replacing bearings. It WILL affect your factory warranty for the axles. With 8 speeds and proper ring and pinions your truck will be a towing beast. Your Heritage model already has the best features, no third row, no running boards, and All Terrain tires. All that is left is a set of airbags and those gears. But as I mentioned before, I think this truck would be a simply brilliant match for the smaller trailer as your truck is now, for many reasons.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

  • Like 2

"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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Trainman said:

I would think your Tundra could handle an Oliver just fine, is it a V6, or V8. I think the new Tundra's are only offering a V6 now, not sure about that, but the new V6 is probably a Turbo and has plenty of torque just like the F-150 Ford pickup. We also had a Casita before our Oliver and we towed it with a Honda Ridgeline and it did just find, wish I could have used it with the Oliver.

trainman 

My 2020 is a V8 and is ok for the ILOVHER but has a few bells and whistles (including a 36 gallon fuel tank) which lowers its payload to a paltry 1300# and that makes it a bit difficult when going on extended trips.   

  • Like 1

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport 5.7L V8 

2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Hull #184 ~ "ILOVHER"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, csevel said:

I worked for a few years in a NF campground and yes, it's true, many people have no idea how unsafe and unmatched their tow vehicle is to their trailer.  The inhibiting factor for most people including myself is that people usually have the tow vehicle BEFORE they buy a trailer and end up having eyes  bigger than their stomachs!  My Tundra would have worked fabulous for my Casita but is right on the hairy edge for my ILOVHER.  I can't afford to upgrade at this time, nor are there any trucks available...so I will settle for packing light and ALWAYS using the Andersen...AND of course steering clear of the swaying train wreck trailer combo doing 80mph in front of me!!

In reading the forum for the last year,  I have learned a lot.   I didn't know about payload,  GVRW, GCVRW,  etc.   It will be eye opening to see rigs this summer where the tv isn't matched even closely to the trailer. 

John

  • Like 1

John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
2 hours ago, csevel said:

including a 36 gallon fuel tank

It does reduce payload, but it's really nice to be able to look ahead for cheaper gas. And, stay on the road longer between gas stops.

  • Like 3

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since Tundras are being discussed, I thought I’d put my two centavos in.  We have a 2008 with the 5.7l engine and tow package.  I got it to pull a boat which probably weighed 8000 pounds or so including trailer.  The boat was wider and longer then the Ollie II.  The truck never cracked a sweat though I didn’t enjoy pulling something that big, hopping curbs in filling stations, etc.  With our current trailer - Casita 17, I can almost forget its back there.  We have hull 1227 coming in August and I intend to start out with the Tundra.  I’ve owned Fords, Chevies, and Dodge pickup/service trucks.  The Tundra has been, hands down, the most reliable and comfortable truck that I’ve owned.   We do spend a lot of time out here in the West with mountain passes, etc. and we are getting the Anderson sway hitch.  I am a cautious driver and go slow.  That being said if the truck doesn’t seem to be a good fit, we’ll do something different but I hope to get a few more years out of it 🙂. After all I’m 68 and the boss hasn’t traded me in, yet.

  • Like 7
  • Haha 2

image.jpeg.7fccb45a33615b2deaeeaeedc4bbbfcb.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Boonter Jeff said:

Since Tundras are being discussed, I thought I’d put my two centavos in.  We have a 2008 with the 5.7l engine and tow package.  I got it to pull a boat which probably weighed 8000 pounds or so including trailer.  The boat was wider and longer then the Ollie II.  The truck never cracked a sweat though I didn’t enjoy pulling something that big, hopping curbs in filling stations, etc.  With our current trailer - Casita 17, I can almost forget its back there.  We have hull 1227 coming in August and I intend to start out with the Tundra.  I’ve owned Fords, Chevies, and Dodge pickup/service trucks.  The Tundra has been, hands down, the most reliable and comfortable truck that I’ve owned.   We do spend a lot of time out here in the West with mountain passes, etc. and we are getting the Anderson sway hitch.  I am a cautious driver and go slow.  That being said if the truck doesn’t seem to be a good fit, we’ll do something different but I hope to get a few more years out of it 🙂. After all I’m 68 and the boss hasn’t traded me in, yet.

I absolutely love my '20 Tundra (The Beast) and I've long been a Toyota fan owning three V8 4Runners since 2003 and the hubby drives a '16 Avalon.  His 2006 Avalon is still on the road driven by his mother~ 235,000 miles!     My Casita towed fantastic behind the Tundra while traveling out west but I can totally see the need for a larger truck if we decide to do trips out west with the ILOVHER.   We primarily camp here in the east so I'll travel light until the time arises.   The omission of an exterior tranny cooler on the '20 has me a bit concerned and larger brakes are definitely in the future. 

  • Like 3

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport 5.7L V8 

2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Hull #184 ~ "ILOVHER"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Trainman said:

Private message sent to you, trainman

Info sent per private message, trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mini Cooper Camper Trailer - Mini Cooper Cars

 

All this talk about TV makes me wanna drink .

  • Like 2
  • Haha 5

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

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would love to have a Land Cruiser and wish I had bought one before Toyota announced the end of production for the U.S. market.  That being said, I think my 2011 Tundra is probably a better vehicle for towing our Elite II - better towing capability and capacity, plus more room for storage.  I've upgraded the Tundra with a Magnuson supercharger, EBC brake pads and cryo treated rotors, OME shocks/struts and springs.  Given how overbuilt Toyota trucks usually are, I think we have a pretty capable package for towing the Ollie - even if we end up being a bit over the published payload numbers.

Would a big diesel provide better towing and payload?  Absolutely, but I'm not unhappy with what we have (and it's paid for).

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Depending on your location, it will cost about $3500 plus tax to install better gears,

I haven't checked specifically, but I know that with folks on iH8MUD with larger tires, regearing is fairly common. I think that 2018 (or 2016) and on models need not only ring and pinion front and back, but also a pre-2018 (or 2016) front diff housing. If I end up brining a trailer home and not satisfied with the power, regearing is an option I can look at.

As for the Elite I, I know it is a better fit, but unless the redesign includes twin beds, Deb would nix it immediately.

  • Like 1

-----
Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin on order - due March 28, 2023

Facebook - Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Referring back to the OP, I couldn't agree more. I am of the persuasion one cannot have enough tow vehicle, well within reason but like @Trainman have all too often seen people with poorly setup outfits from undersized tow vehicles to the actual hitching of the trailer, ie nose pointing extremely down or vice versa back down nose up. I would also bet dollars to donuts a large percentage of people towing campers are completely unaware of their towing/load capacity with and without weight distribution hitches. Regardless it never ceases to amaze me how people want to utilize the least amount of tow vehicle they can get away with for their respective camper vs a safely adequate or even overkill tow vehicle.

Several years ago on the Fiberglass RV forum this same subject came up which resulted in somewhat heated debates at times. Apparently there is a Canadian company who regularly outfits small TV's with larger trailers claiming if done correctly the smaller TV is much safer and had videos to illustrate their POV. One video illustrated a Mini Cooper pulling an Airstream and not the Basecamp model either, I'm not making this up. A couple of years later my wife and I were camping down below Moab on some BLM land close to another couple with Tacoma pulling a 25 Flying Cloud Airstream, again I'm not making this up. They were full timers to boot, although this was their first year at it. Very nice people, we enjoyed chatting with them but have often thought of them and their setup wondering if anything has changed. At one point in the conversation the lady said they tend to do 45 mph while traveling. Curiously the fellow made a somewhat bold statement claiming Tacoma's were all superior to Tundras. Odd even to this day Tacoma's still have drum brakes (the last time I checked) on their rear wheels vs disc brakes. Part II of towing is also being able to stop, sometimes in emergency situations. 

In an effort to be polite we made no response or comments. Perhaps this begs the question though, should there be more stringent traffic or DOT laws that govern and police towing safety guidelines? It certainly appears to be that way with commercial transportation. Thanks

  • Like 2
  • Wow 1

Legacy Elite II #70

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...