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Towing liability- Your advice or opinion


Roger P
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Hi everyone,

We’re from Eastern Canada and new owners of an Elite 2, #1120 and towing with a RAM 3500 Laramie Diesel, SRW 2022. We are snowbirds, and we travel, each winter, across USA for 6 months and we just downsized from a 35 foot Fifth wheel to an Oliver. We read many topics on towing and the WDH required or not and noticed that most of the owners of 3/4 or 1 ton trucks do not used the WDH. When i look in my RAM owner manual, they « recommend when towing a trailer over 5k pounds, to use a WDH « . I know that » recommended « is not «  required » but i would like to have your opinion or advice on the liability in case of an accident that we can be involved in USA if we are not using the WDH when RAM recommended to use it? I know that it will depends on how a lawyer will present the case…… but we are struggling if we’re gone a use it or not!


Sorry if there are  typo, i’m french Canadians!
 

Thanks in advance for your advice.

 

Roger,

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Elite2 2022, #1120. RAM 3500 Laramie 2022 diesel SRW

Quebec, Canada

previous rig:  35 foot fifth wheel with Ford f3500 2018 diesel DRW 

 

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Are you sure you are reading your specs correctly?   5,000 lbs seems like a very low number for a 3500 (1 ton) truck.  My F-250 SRW (a 3/4 ton) can tow up to 12,600 lbs without requiring a WDH per the specs in the Ford towing guide for my truck.  

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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 

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Yes, when towing a trailer over 5k  pounds, RAM recommended a weight distribution hitch…….

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Elite2 2022, #1120. RAM 3500 Laramie 2022 diesel SRW

Quebec, Canada

previous rig:  35 foot fifth wheel with Ford f3500 2018 diesel DRW 

 

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"Recommended" and "Required" are two entirely different things. It's similar to an engine should use 91 octane for best performance but it is fine with 87 octane. It is up to you to decide, but personally I think it would be crazy to use an Andersen hitch with your heavy duty truck. Any decent defense lawyer would immediately show that your Ollie is perfectly fine with a dead weight hitch. I do recommend that you make sure your tires and brakes are always in good shape. That will have more effect on any possible accidents than the kind of hitch you are using.

Your English is fine....

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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Roger,

I agree with @John E Davies and others here. As a former Law Enforcement officer, you should be more concerned with things like overloading, bald tires, lights not working, etc.  If you are involved in an accident, regardless of fault, Law Enforcement and your insurance company will look at those things, especially an improperly loaded trailer.

US Law Enforcement is sometimes more reactive than proactive when it comes to trailers but I have seen many accidents where the trailers were grossly overweight and had other faulty equipment and the operators were cited heavily if not taken into custody (in the case of injury or fatality).

With your experience towing a 5th Wheel and your 3500 truck, you should be more than prepared. You won’t even know the Ollie is back there. Hope to see you on the road sometime.

Travel Safe!

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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3 hours ago, John E Davies said:

"Recommended" and "Required" are two entirely different things.

I am a retired lawyer.  I concur with John Davies' statement.

In contrast to the "recommended" language in your Ram 3500 owner's manual, my 2019 Tundra owner's manual states that for trailers over 5K lbs.,  weight distributing hitches are "required."  From a legal standpoint, the difference between those two words is huge.

As an illustration, if I failed to use a weight distributing hitch on my Tundra when towing an Elite II, I would expect that failure to be considered negligence per se. As a result, I would likely be held liable, per se, in an accident where I lost control of the vehicle/trailer.

If you choose not to use a weight distributing hitch with your Ram 3500, any plaintiff seeking to prove that your decision to not use a weight distributing hitch was negligent would be looking up a very "steep cliff."  Night and day difference in a courtroom.

If I had a Ram 3500, I would not use a weight distributing hitch towing an Oliver Elite II. 

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

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

 

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I’ve towed my Elite II with four trucks.  A 2012 Toyota Tacoma (supercharged), a 2016 Ram 1500, a 2020 Ram Rebel and now a 2020 Ram 2500 Diesel.  The first three were all with the Andersen WDH.  When I got the 2500 the WDH was sold.  We’ve towed about 20K miles without the WDH.  The 2500 definitely does not need any weight distribution assistance.  As far as sway, there has been none.  If I had a 3500 I wouldn’t even think about a WDH.  Mike

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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7 hours ago, Roger P said:

Hi everyone,

We’re from Eastern Canada and new owners of an Elite 2, #1120 and towing with a RAM 3500 Laramie Diesel, SRW 2022. We are snowbirds, and we travel, each winter, across USA for 6 months and we just downsized from a 35 foot Fifth wheel to an Oliver. We read many topics on towing and the WDH required or not and noticed that most of the owners of 3/4 or 1 ton trucks do not used the WDH. When i look in my RAM owner manual, they « recommend when towing a trailer over 5k pounds, to use a WDH « . I know that » recommended « is not «  required » but i would like to have your opinion or advice on the liability in case of an accident that we can be involved in USA if we are not using the WDH when RAM recommended to use it? I know that it will depends on how a lawyer will present the case…… but we are struggling if we’re gone a use it or not!


Sorry if there are  typo, i’m french Canadians!
 

Thanks in advance for your advice.

 

Roger,

Like many others here, I have gone through many tow vehicle iterations with our Hull #050. A Tahoe, Sierra 1500, Silverado diesel 2500 and now a Silverado diesel 3500 SRW. We’ve never used a WDH (probably should have with the first two). 
 

I don’t know of any reason to have one with your big ole truck. The attorneys that weighed in are reassuring and my opinion is that you’ll be just fine without it. 
 

As far as your English is concerned, you’re doing great. I’d like to hear most of us trying French-Canadian!

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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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There is an entirely opposite side to this subject. 

I have seen three trailers with frame damage due to weight distribution being used on 3/4 and 1-Ton trucks with trailers that were designed to be pulled by lightweight vehicles. 

These frames cannot counter the stresses that a 1-Ton truck produces by the time the weight distribution system is torqued enough to level it out and it destroyed these trailers and campers ended up stuck here until they had repairs done or purchased another trailer. 

I agree that a one ton does not need a WD system to tow an Oliver I will leave the litigation stuff to the pros in that department.

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3 hours ago, fairmontrvpark said:

These frames cannot counter the stresses that a 1-Ton truck produces by the time the weight distribution system is torqued enough to level it out and it destroyed these trailers and campers ended up stuck here until they had repairs done or purchased another trailer. 

I agree that a one ton does not need a WD system to tow an Oliver I will leave the litigation stuff to the pros in that department.

The fact that trailers can actually be damaged by use of a weight distribution hitch with too heavy a tow vehicle is an excellent point.  It would be important evidence supporting a defendant in a personal injury suit, driving a 3/4 or 1-ton tow vehicle, arising out of a trailer towing accident.   It supports using a WD hitch when it is "required, and not using one when it is only "recommended."

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

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

 

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  • The title was changed to Towing liability- Your advice or opinion

Hi,

i want to thank everyone for yours good advices. I really appreciate it.

MERCI A VOUS TOUS!

 

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Elite2 2022, #1120. RAM 3500 Laramie 2022 diesel SRW

Quebec, Canada

previous rig:  35 foot fifth wheel with Ford f3500 2018 diesel DRW 

 

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