Jump to content

While I still have a GM employee discount …


Recommended Posts

Hello,

   Retiring guy, new RV’er though I did ton of it and boating with my Dad when younger. As an engineer I’m attracted to good design, and as a digital artist I’m attracted to good visual design, and so the Oliver is looking like a good fit on both fronts. But TBD …

    Anyhow I’ve got a couple years left, and meanwhile my company has a perk where we get basically any GM vehicle at employee cost, as if we were GM employees. I have an EV and an old Sienna van my son will probably get (tows 3500). So to do this I need a vehicle and a RV. So I’m thinking of getting something through the GM perk program - no negotiation, at cost and little hassle (I did it once before, the guy in the back room still tries to jerk you around). 

I’d get a BEV truck - if they weren’t nosebleed prices, and if you could get one, and if the towing range was 250+ miles. My desires …

  • I’m a musician so I need a spot for my (digital) piano to keep my chops up
  • Amateur astronomer so need storage for my 16” dob
  • I have a Honda 7000is generator so will bring that (250 lbs)
  • Otherwise a hiker, photographer and and no need for bikes, toys, kayaks etc
  • I’m a election pusher so like to get pushed by electrons, so don’t want to spend much $$ on an ICE vehicle while I wait for BEV trucks to mature
  • < $40k ideally

Options

  • Chevy Colorado 1500 - the 2023 is a big redesign and it looks good 2WD/4WD, 8k lbs towing
  • Chevy Silverado 1500 - same design, looks fine
  • GMC - well their trucks are available but look too chunky for me <various>
  • GMC Savana Cargo Van - this actually looks like a serious contender, 10k towing, < 35k, 2WD. I could set up a studio in the back. $35k. 

So weirdly the GMC seems like a great choice, except that it probably won’t be great on dirt roads. But it’s cheap, boring (which I like), and can hold anything, but it has no tech (the trucks have towing assistance tech). 

Other choice that seems good is the Colorado, probably can get it for 40k (the ‘23’s aren’t on the spec sheet yet), and it will hold extra stuff, but I’ll need to get my piano in the camper in some way. 

Thoughts?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome. We can’t make serious recommendations until you tell us what model trailer, and how you plan to spend your travels - hooked up, State Parks, boondocking - and where. Since you are wanting dark skies, and by your forum name, you probably will need the boondocking options..,

I know nothing about GMs but you do most definitely need 4wd.

Why would you even consider dragging a 250 pound generator all over the place? You would have to mount it onto a heavy steel slide tray to be able to operate it, and it will suck an awful lot of gas. You would need to carry extra fuel, unless you have a propane kit on it. Even that is going to seriously compromise your limited propane supply, especially in cold weather with the furnace running.. Trade it in on a new EU3000iS that weighs about 60 pounds dry. That will do anything you want with either Ollie. The weight savings will allow you to install a fiberglass canopy and bed liner or rug with no additional weight penalty.

How big is your piano? Just the keyboard or full sized with pedals? If the latter, it won’t fit in either model.

How big is the scope and tripod, ready to travel?

FYI the smaller Elite is not in production, pending a redesign. That might be worth waiting for….

These are small trailers, you need to See an Ollie in person before you commit. They don’t have very much storage space compared to a big square boxy one.

Have you considered a big truck camper on a 3500 SRW 4wd truck? That will get you to a lot more dark sky campgrounds than any trailer. Have you seen the big Cirrus camper?

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 5

"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

Thanks John (my Dad lives in Spokane - been there many times).

Boondocking, state parks and conventional, I’m going back to Canada, Yukon and AK, and we have plans for all the states. It would be the bigger Ollie. 

No the EU7000IS beats all others by a mile actually, fuel injection and on eco mode goes 18 hours at a whisper. We travel light otherwise so the 250 is nothing, and I need the 7kW as house backup power which is what I originally got it for, it’ll be just dandy. 

Piano is a Doepfer stage piano with Fatar action in a stage case. Not big for an 88 key, not much bigger than the keyboard. I’m thinking under the king size bed. 

Telescope goes in back of the truck, dobs are made to travel it breaks down. 

Anyhow thanks for the thoughts, but I am looking mainly for truck advise, I’ve owned several light duty truck only and never got into the bigger ones and towing. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, DanielBoondock said:

Piano is a Doepfer stage piano with Fatar action in a stage case. Not big for an 88 key, not much bigger than the keyboard. I’m thinking under the king size bed. 

It could easily travel there, you would have to add tie downs of some kind, however there is very minimal floor space to play it and still be able to move around.

I just want you to fully understand the details of an LE2, because if it doesn’t work for you, you might have bought the wrong tow vehicle. “Not enough truck” is really common, the truck should be bought after the trailer is bought, or at least after the final trailer decision has been made.

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

  • Moderators
2 hours ago, DanielBoondock said:

Options

  • Chevy Colorado 1500 - the 2023 is a big redesign and it looks good 2WD/4WD, 8k lbs towing
  • Chevy Silverado 1500 - same design, looks fine
  • GMC - well their trucks are available but look too chunky for me <various>
  • GMC Savana Cargo Van - this actually looks like a serious contender, 10k towing, < 35k, 2WD. I could set up a studio in the back. $35k. 

So weirdly the GMC seems like a great choice, except that it probably won’t be great on dirt roads. But it’s cheap, boring (which I like), and can hold anything, but it has no tech (the trucks have towing assistance tech). 

Other choice that seems good is the Colorado, probably can get it for 40k (the ‘23’s aren’t on the spec sheet yet), and it will hold extra stuff, but I’ll need to get my piano in the camper in some way. 

Thoughts?

 

Boondocking, state parks and conventional, I’m going back to Canada, Yukon and AK, and we have plans for all the states. It would be the bigger Ollie. 

The Chevy Colorado or the GMC Canyon are not 1500 pickups and their towing capacity is not 8K pounds. The cargo capacity of the Colorado or the Canyon rules them out and they are not up to pulling the weight of a ready to camp Elite II. They would be great for an Elite. 
 

The Silverado 1500 is just “adequate” for an Elite II. Because of all the gear you plan to carry, your problem will be cargo capacity. 
 

GMC, same as Silverado. 
 

The Savannah Cargo Van would probably meet your needs for room and cargo capacity. For the type of travels you state you’re intending to do, as John said, you need a 4WD.  Unfortunately, I don’t think this platform is available in anything other than RWD. 

  • Like 6

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

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm retired from GM and now I drive RAM's and Lexus, just thought I made a better choice and the GM discounts just didn't work out for me. One thing to think about I would never drive a midsize truck when the full-size is so much more compatible in every way when towing. If I had to pick one on your list it would be the full-size GMC, or Silverado V8 gas engine, crew cab, 4X4, why because it would have the best resale and will do the job, period. The Van would be a brick to drive, both with and without the trailer.

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

10 hours ago, DanielBoondock said:

Boondocking, state parks and conventional, I’m going back to Canada, Yukon and AK, and we have plans for all the states. It would be the bigger Ollie. 

I looked hard at the GMC Sierra 2500 gas 4x4 with the 6.6L engine as a potential tow vehicle for an Elite II.  In your shoes, I would take advantage of the GM employee discount and would not buy any less truck than a Sierra 2500 to tow an Elite II.  Given the relatively small upcharge for the Sierra 3500 (at GM cost), and with the stuff you want to take along, I would seriously consider the 3500.

With a 1500 you will need a weight distribution hitch to tow an Elite II.  With the 2500 or 3500, no WD hitch required.

  • Like 4

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mentioned “we have plans”. How many people will be traveling? Each additional person doubles the personal stuff and camping items like chairs that you have to store and it reduces your TV payload dramatically. The LE2 is fine for a couple, but barely  adequate for a couple plus a bigger dog in terms of storage and being able to maneuver in the very narrow center aisle. If traveling solo, the LE2 is wonderful for storage, but has a bunch of negatives otherwise. I would not have bought the bigger trailer if I were single. I keep coming back to trailer choice because it is so important and you may not have considered certain limitations. These Ollies are wonderful, but VERY compact and heavy. A typical LE2 has a tongue weight of 650 pounds, trailer weight depends on the options and fluid load, mine is around 6000. 

For loooong trips into north Canada, and normal travel into the desert back country for BLM primitive camping on dirt roads, you need a high payload because you cannot “travel light” in those situations. You must have enough capacity to bring emergency gear, basic recovery gear (there could be no cell signal where you get stuck) tools, extra water, extra fuel for generator and TV (the latter depends on your towing range), chains for the TV and trailer for mountain passes in the shoulder seasons, heavy All Terrain or mud tires, and two sets of clothes for everybody. A pickup needs a tonneau or canopy, the latter is 200 pounds or more. People pull trailers to these places all the time without enough of this gear, but a prudent long distance boondocker will carry it, because unfortunate events occur when you are far from any help. A satellite communicator is valuable, but calling a tow for help could be very costly to recover a truck and a trailer.

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 5

"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

  • Moderators

Leave the 7000is at home.  Way too big, and unnecessary.  Good for home power failure,  though.

One person, or two?

Our elite 1 is lighter,  smaller than a 2, but it is very compact, and heavy (though pretty rugged) for its size. We're in 15th season, with a 1. Life in miniature suits us, way better than a big tent. We're just average sized people, so the 1 is fine. The "crawl over" bed, east/west, is ok, for us. Yes, I'd rather have a queen, but unlike others, we'd rather just have three tires to maintain.  

A 1500, any brand, with a 1, is great. A midsized is ok in flat land, but you'll have unhappy moments in mountains.  I wouldn't do it, personally.  I love vans, but, yeah, other issues. (Like storing fuel inside, etc.)

What are your goals? 

  • Like 3

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own a 2021 Silverado 1500 4x4 with the 3.0L deisel.  I tow our Elite II with it and it works well for our needs.  Been very pleased with the 3.0L engine and 10 speed transmission.  We make mostly boondocking trips of 3 or 4 nights and don't bring very much "stuff."  It sound like you will be served better with a Chevy/GMC 2500.  The payload on my truck is around 1500lbs and if there are two people + 500# hitch weight + 250# generator you are already running out safe load capacity.  I really woudn't want a Colorado/Canyon.  The smaller wheelbase and weight would make me nervous on the mountain roads I travel and the truck bed is smaller capacity (unless you are considering an Ellite I)

  • Like 4

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody, good thoughts here and I really appreciate the help. No firm plans yet but rough ideas and am information gathering and figuring what will work best for us.

Really good info on trucks, I’ve learned a lot here. Maybe here’s the question I should ask, if you were Boondocking with a typical amount of equipment in a Elite II, of the trucks above available from GM what would you recommend, and any options you know of? I heard above that 2500/3500 are probably a good choice for this. Say I get a Silverado 2500, what are you thoughts on that in this use case, and any particular options I should be looking at?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
7 hours ago, DanielBoondock said:

Say I get a Silverado 2500, what are you thoughts on that in this use case, and any particular options I should be looking at?

Make sure you order it with the highest GVWR available so that you will end with a greater cargo carrying capacity.

  • Like 3

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

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ScubaRx said:

Make sure you order it with the highest GVWR available so that you will end with a greater cargo carrying capacity.

 Great tip thanks! I saw that but misinterpreted it to indicate the truck weight or something.

Based on all the great feedback here I’m looking at

  • Silverado WT (work truck) or equivalent 2500 or possibly 3500 (which seems overkill)
  • Crew cab short box
  • 6.6L V8 Gas engine 4WD 3.73 rear axel
  • Highest GVWR I can get (only option is a lowered 10k GVWR)
  • Trailering package (electrical, hitch etc)
  • Cruise control, good/bad idea?

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you be happy in a stripped work interior? The higher trim levels give you so much more comfort and emotional support on long road trips. Make sure the seats are very good, you will be spending lots of days in them, staring at the bland interior and hating the sound system. Resale value will be very poor, I once had a new 1988 Chevy 1500 Scottsdale, with very basic interior with rubber mats and cloth seat. I traded it in later and the dealer didn’t like it “Nobody wants a Scottie!”

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

51 minutes ago, DanielBoondock said:

Silverado WT (work truck) or equivalent 2500 or possibly 3500 (which seems overkill)

I second John Davies' recommendation to avoid the "work truck."  Buying a high-end travel trailer like the Oliver, then towing it with a work truck makes no sense to me.

Also, given what you want to haul, I don't view the 3500 as overkill.  You will never wish you had a less robust suspension, or less payload capacity. 

  • Like 2

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

51 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Will you be happy in a stripped work interior? The higher trim levels give you so much more comfort and emotional support on long road trips. Make sure the seats are very good, you will be spending lots of days in them, staring at the bland interior and hating the sound system.

Thanks John, yes I’d like a better interior but not the price. The truck would be for trailering and odd jobs, I don’t otherwise need it and when home will have to drive it just to keep it lubricated. And also I want to replace with a high end EV truck when that’s more feasible with a >200 mi towing range (only problem is range now, the US is blanked with fast chargers now and they’re investing more billions of public and private money. We do lots of road trips in our 230 range mi boring EV no problem)

And between a truck and trailer this is a very expensive proposition! I’d rather have pedestrian vehicle instead of a pedestrian trailer, for now

16 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

Also, given what you want to haul, I don't view the 3500 as overkill.  You will never wish you had a less robust suspension, or less payload capacity. 

I guess I wasn’t clear enough that there’s what I want to haul and what I will haul. But you make a great point, I’ll look closely at the 3500
 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, DanielBoondock said:

 Great tip thanks! I saw that but misinterpreted it to indicate the truck weight or something.

Based on all the great feedback here I’m looking at

  • Silverado WT (work truck) or equivalent 2500 or possibly 3500 (which seems overkill)
  • Crew cab short box
  • 6.6L V8 Gas engine 4WD 3.73 rear axel
  • Highest GVWR I can get (only option is a lowered 10k GVWR)
  • Trailering package (electrical, hitch etc)
  • Cruise control, good/bad idea?

 

This sounds like a great package to me. I’d op for a 2500 w/o the plow or camper package. Rides a lot smoother unloaded or with a smaller trailer and still has a lot of available payload. Costco just started the extra $1k off Silverado HD pickups. That will stack with the employee discount and any other available rebates.  Around these parts contractors et al are always looking for HD work trucks for their crews that are in good condition.  Used trucks demand top dollar. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
2 hours ago, DanielBoondock said:

between a truck and trailer this is a very expensive proposition! I’d rather have pedestrian vehicle instead of a pedestrian trailer, for now

I get that. The budget stretches only so far. If the truck is a tow only, not a daily driver, another consideration. 

Just, look at the differences between your upgraded wt, and what comes standard in trims up the line.

Fwiw, I hated driving my mom's 2008  ford wt. Seats were terrible.  Visibility awful. No amenities. 

My 2005 Silverado, LS,  is great. I  get people every year in parking lots, asking me if I want to sell my stepside. (4 times, this year alone.) As old as it is, it still has a great trade-in value, because, well,  it's cute.

Do your projections and math. Look at mileage, comfort, etc. You'll figure it out.

I hate buying vehicles.  It's a pita. Nice that you can configure everything on the website, and check it all out, without dealing with dealership hassle.

I would encourage you to try drive a wt, though. Before you decide.

 

  • Like 1

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, DanielBoondock said:

 Great tip thanks! I saw that but misinterpreted it to indicate the truck weight or something.

Based on all the great feedback here I’m looking at

  • Silverado WT (work truck) or equivalent 2500 or possibly 3500 (which seems overkill)
  • Crew cab short box
  • 6.6L V8 Gas engine 4WD 3.73 rear axel
  • Highest GVWR I can get (only option is a lowered 10k GVWR)
  • Trailering package (electrical, hitch etc)
  • Cruise control, good/bad idea?

 

You will get many who say a WT is a bad idea (less tech, no leather, heated steering wheel and seats, etc).  If you are the person who loves a lot of tech and luxury, you will absolutely hate a WT.  My 2018 Tundra is a SR WT.  It has vinyl seats, rubber flooring (under the rubber floor mats), towing package, steel wheels, cruise control (adaptive at that), bluetooh phone and several other items which my older truck does not have.  I LOVE this truck and considering a SR5 was $10-15k more at the time I don't feel the additional cost was worth it for me.  Cleaning the truck interior is a breeze and I am not one for a lot of tech in my vehicle.  I plan to keep my truck until it dies and cannot be repaired so resale is not a factor.

 

Go with your gut.  

  • Like 4

2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note that as you compare “work truck” versions of any given truck brand/model to the loaded “Platinum” or “Limited” top end full featured versions, you’ll find that all those features on the top end loaded models typically means you’ll lose some payload / cargo capacity of the truck for what you can carry in the truck bed.

We’ve seen Oliver owners buy a fully loaded luxurious high end 1/2 ton pickup only to find out the payload/cargo rating barely covers the trailer tongue weight plus the driver and one passenger.

My F-250 is an XLT edition “work truck” version, reasonably equipped and comfortable for long trips (but certainly not luxurious), but it has an insanely high payload/cargo rating of 3,334 lbs. so I can pretty much carry anything I want in the truck bed, even while towing.

Look for a truck based on towing capacity, tongue weight limits, payload/cargo limit, 4 wheel drive, a heavy duty towing package, and a TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER.    Not all trucks have a trailer brake controller (as some owners have discovered).  
 

DB1178FB-2F92-45B6-AAAB-3D6D4D68BBFE.jpeg

  • Like 5

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Mountainman198 said:

You will get many who say a WT is a bad idea (less tech, no leather, heated steering wheel and seats, etc).  If you are the person who loves a lot of tech and luxury, you will absolutely hate a WT. … Go with your gut.  

Love it. I’ve owned 3 low end light duty trucks from past years, the new WTs actually have touch screens and cruise, I’m already upgrading

15 hours ago, Mountainman198 said:

another bonus of a WT is that a white tow vehicle goes well with a Oliver.

My wife always picks white, we have two white vehicles already. We’ll probably do another white 🙂

14 hours ago, Frank C said:

Note that as you compare “work truck” versions of any given truck brand/model to the loaded “Platinum” or “Limited” top end full featured versions, you’ll find that all those features on the top end loaded models typically means you’ll lose some payload / cargo capacity of the truck for what you can carry in the truck bed.

Great point. Also, if it’s a work truck I’ll worry and fuss over it less which is a big bonus. I’m happy to fuss over a premium trailer though

  • Like 3
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...