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Tire Sizes and 2 vs 4 Wheel Drive


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This is not a recap of all the existing tire pressure threads ... No one needs that. 🙂

Looking for advice on tire sizes. We are currently specing out a new truck which is really dedicated primarily as a tow vehicle for our LE1 with the idea of future proofing for a future LE II.

18 inch wheels are standard - with gas milage and performance in mind do the 20- or 22-inch wheels make sense? Will they increase or decrease the mileage?

Additionally - looking at the tow power charts and payload charts, two wheel drive gives more towing power and payload. Any reason to go with the 4-wheel drive. I know on trucks its not a "full time" item like on my Ascent.

Any advice gratefully accepted.

New Tow Vehicle: 2023 Ford F-150 XLT 3.5L EcoBoost /w 3.55 axle and Maxtow Package "Name TBD"
Original and still available Tow Vehicle: 2022 Subaru Ascent "Blue Moose"
2022 Oliver Elite I - Hull #1030 "
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Home Base Duncanville, TX

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I would not want to have only 2WD for a TV for the Ollie.  There have been multiple times at muddy campsites or sloping uphill gravel roads, and even on the slight slope of my grassy yard when wet that the 4WD on my truck was necessary to be able to move the Ollie.  

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicle: 2019 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4, 6.2L Flex-Fuel engine  

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It all depends. If your travels are groomed  rv park to rv park , and you always stay on paved roads, and usually travel in flatter country, 2wd is fine. But, chances are, you'll someday, somewhere  wish you'd spent a bit more, and bought the 4x4.

Our experience is similar to @Frank C . The 4wd in our ram has "saved the bacon" many,  many times, and on our camping property in WNC,  there are areas that simply  require the 4wd (gravel, steep inclines, mud, etc.) As much as I love my 2wd Silverado, it's not a good fit for our camping style, as we discovered early on. (It's still great for local towing in Florida.)

The payload difference is basically the added weight of the 4wd drive train. 4x4 trucks are simply heavier than 2wd. 

I do get minimally better gas mileage with the Silverado  than the Ram,  especially in town. 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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Larger wheels are purely for looks on a truck, they give a harsher ride, are more prone to rim damage (less sidewall to cushion the impact), and replacement tires (and wheels) are more expensive. So unless you love the look of bigger wheels, stick with the base ones. You can always install aftermarket wheels in the future.

Bigger wheels are heavier, so the extra rotating mass can add up to a significant amount, that will slow your accelaration very slightly, but won’t measurably affect your fuel economy.

Get the 4WD now or regret it later. Some trucks offer shift in the fly 4WD which is as convenient as full time All Wheel Drive (and it is a lot more effective). You just have to push a button when things start to look messy. The Bad Olde Days when you had to stop, get out, and manually engage the two front freewheel hubs is very thankfully long gone.

Where do you live? Please add that info to your signature.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II 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, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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I towed my 2008 single axle Elite 70,000+ miles without an issue with my Toyota Tacoma 2WD . . . THEN . . . going up a steep gravel slope in the northern tip of Nova Scotia, I thought I wouldn't  make it to the top. 

Not. A. Good. Feeling.

When I got home, i had my local mechanic replace the rear end differential with an Eaton Industry limited slip version.  Next best thing to actual 4 wheel drive.  It helped me several times over the next 40,000 miles.

My current TV is an F150 with 4WD. 

I will not go back to 2WD.

 

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.

 

Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com

 

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Oversized wheels, yes agreed, not on a TV, those are for kids and looks. Do they really look better? Sometimes I see truck and cars this way that look awful, but to each their own! Also, stay away from anything lifted, since this truly thows off the suspension geometry, not for towing.

I had a 4x4 Ram Cummins for 18 years, and the 4WD came in handy at times (living in VA, TX and AZ). I just bought an older 2WD Ram Cummins, solely for the purpose of an Oliver TV, knowing well the difference from years of experience. I was looking for more highway stability. When you consider a TV, the majority of weight is on the rear axle, making 4WD an option used less often. The 2WD model sits approx. 6" lower, so it's an easier climb to get into as we get older. The lower profile certainly provides more highway stability. We just climbed up to a 7600 ft elevation campsite in AZ, crossing 25 miles of washboard dirt roads and the final stretch included off-road riding, with no issues. But yeah, I will admit I miss the 4WD low-gear setting!

We don't RV in bad weather by choice. When the weather is bad, we'll just boondock another day. We have our wonderful Lexus GX470 at home with AWD for off-roading around AZ and for when it snows.

Edited by jd1923
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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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Tires for my Silverado (17 inch pirellis, currently) vs my husband's  michelin 20's on his ram, are significantly less costly. 

Unless you plan to do off-roading, independent of the trailer, anything that exceeds the Ollie clearances is pretty much a waste, imo.

And, my 87 year old mom can get into my truck, (with running boards)  but no way can she get into my husband's (even with running boards.) 😃 It can be a "dance" somedays for me, with my shorter legs, to get in and out of the Ram, but ok for now.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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2 hours ago, jd1923 said:

The lower profile certainly provides more highway stability. We just climbed up to a 7600 ft elevation campsite in AZ, crossing 25 miles of washboard dirt roads and the final stretch included off-road riding, with no issues. But yeah, I will admit I miss the 4WD low-gear setting!

I wouldn't want to try that with my Silverado 1500. Even though I have the lighter Elite.

Your 2500 def gives you more ability to"power through," in lowered gear.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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I personally don’t feel awd is necessary on cars/minivans/SUV’s that come standard with fwd.  However, I would never buy a (new) truck without 4wd.  The few $’s you save will cost double when you try to sell.  Even on levelish ground wet grass can be a problem with a 2nd truck. Think of it this way, you’ll have four axles that need to move. Engine axle might have 3.5-4k on it, drive axle might have 2.5-3k, and both of the trailer axles will have almost 3k on them. You are asking the lightest axle to provide the traction for the entire rig…which might only have a fraction of that if the truck is lacking a locking dif.  If you’re trying to future proof the truck, 4wd is the best way to start. 

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2 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I wouldn't want to try that with my Silverado 1500. Even though I have the lighter Elite.

Your def 2500 gives you more ability to "power through," in lowered gear.

Yes, for sure SeaDawg. The extra weight of the diesel up front and hitch weight in the rear creates an excellent balance, rarely requiring 4WD. These Ram Cummins by far ride better pulling a 7K Lb trailer, than riding empty! 

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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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Thanks very much everyone - since I can't find the truck I want and I'm ordering one, I wanted to get the best advice on specs so I didn't have to kick myself later. I appreciate the info on the tires and on the 4x4. I

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New Tow Vehicle: 2023 Ford F-150 XLT 3.5L EcoBoost /w 3.55 axle and Maxtow Package "Name TBD"
Original and still available Tow Vehicle: 2022 Subaru Ascent "Blue Moose"
2022 Oliver Elite I - Hull #1030 "
Reset"
Home Base Duncanville, TX

ALARKYMSTNTXmed.jpg

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1 hour ago, jd1923 said:

These Ram Cummins by far ride better pulling a 7K Lb trailer, than riding empty! 

Agree completely. Unloaded the Cummins is almost 1500lbs heavier on the front axle vs the rear.  It’s one aspect I really don’t like with the oil burners, especially when I’m trying to mount an 800 lb plow on the front. 

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Growing up in Chicagoland, when winter was coming, you'd put 600 +/- lbs. of whatever you could find in the truck bed (wood, rock, sand, softener salt) and your 2WD 1/2-ton truck would make it down the road and through the season!

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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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32 minutes ago, jd1923 said:

Growing up in Chicagoland, when winter was coming, you'd put 600 +/- lbs. of whatever you could find in the truck bed (wood, rock, sand, softener salt) and your 2WD 1/2-ton truck would make it down the road and through the season!

I loaded a bag of sand in the trunk of my little Maverick in the winter,  in Iowa and Minnesota. Plus shovel, etc.. 

We always carried "something " heavy in the pickup bed, in winter.

Thanks for the memories.  I fortunately don't need that stuff anymore, in Florida winter. I really hate driving in snow and ice, now. Since Mom moved to Florida,  I don't have to, anymore! (And, I'm very happy about that.)

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

I loaded a bag of sand in the trunk of my little Maverick in the winter,

Do you mean the original Ford Maverick? 

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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10 hours ago, jd1923 said:

Do you mean the original Ford Maverick? 

Yes. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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My Mom bought a '70 Maverick new, in awful mustard, when I was 15. I always preferred to borrow my stepdads '67 Catalina. 3-4 years later, it burnt more oil than gas. She was happy, when I called her from the Ford dealer, who offered us a check for $600 to buy it back! Probably be worth much more than that now.

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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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I'll apologize for the thread drift, and we can get back to the op's question. 

My Maverick was a plain jane, small six, bench seat three on the tree, "Wimbledon white" (your mom's was probably the Freudian Gilt color 😃) , economical and easy to maintain little vehicle. I could do much of maintenance and repair myself. 

Certainly underpowered,  it probably saved me a lot in speeding tickets, as I had a pretty lead foot in college days. I got $1000 trade for it on my Dodge Dart special edition, after 4 1/2 years and 75000 miles. Never a lick of trouble, other than replacing the clutch, as I taught the next younger three how to drive a manual transmission with my little Maverick.  (My next younger sister was a tough pupil. She eventually got a Maverick,  too, but the cooler "upgrade" with the automatic trans and reclining bucket seats. She may even have had a glove box, as opposed to the cubby 🤣.)

The three on the tree was great for rocking out of snow banks. Mine was never garaged. A lot of great memories.  Wish I still had it. 

I did save a badge, after a lady drove 3 or 400 feet across an almost empty school parking lot to crash into my little car. The kids in commons study hall went wild, and two rushed to my room to "tell on her." The other great feature was the heater. It always worked well, as opposed to the vw bugs many of my friends drove. We had to keep blankets in their cars. 

Those were the days. Simplest is better, for me. 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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Thanks SeaDawg, and I believe DunnYet, got the answer requested, now ordering a new truck!

You have great memories, of a long-gone Maverick. Honestly, the pic looks way better than I remember, though no fancy black racing stripes on ours! I'm sure we had basic steel wheels too. 😉

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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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More apologies, but funny stories about my little Maverick. 

I, and four of my friends,  drove from Iowa to Denver to visit friends doing an internship on a college break. With luggage for a week.

I was stopped in Nebraska for speeding, on the highway.  I told the officer, politely,  and straight faced, that I'd been trying for  over a hundred miles to even get it up to the speed limit, with the human and luggage weight I was carrying.  He checked my license, registration,  and let us go on our "merry" way  down the road. 

Once we got to Denver, we took the obligatory trip up the mountain.  It was a huge struggle, and I thought at one point that we'd have to get out and push,  or stick our legs out and pedal push.  🤣🤣 (just kidding, but you know, when youre 19, and thinking crazy stuff...) We finally made it, without extraordinary measures. 😆😆😆 Those tiny six squirrels were "barely" up to the challenge. Good thing we were all pretty skinny in those days 

Downhill was almost as scarey. I took advantage of pullouts, calling out viewpoints, lol. . Not a ton of braking power, nor downshift braking, in a 1970 Maverick, three on the tree. Oh, and pretty lousy emergency parking brake.

Still, I loved that little car. Quite possibly because of the many road trip memories.  It wasn't much, but we sure had fun.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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@DunnYetTell us about the truck you ordered. 

 

A four door straight six Maverick was my college car too.  It was as basic as a car could be, and I could work on it.  It lasted on into my first year of work.  It had no A/C and the hour long summer commute was too much for me in the Houston heat.  It was a good car.

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TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax

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Carol’s parents owned a Maverick, same Orange-like color as above.  We did some dating in it in high school when I couldn’t get my dad’s ‘66 Mustang.  We didn’t care which car we had at that time!  Mike

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, HDRider said:

@DunnYetTell us about the truck you ordered. 

At the risk of really taking this thread off track and turning it into yet another tow vehicle discussion.... (Asbestos suit on)

This has really turned into a journey through trucks. For context, we have driven Subarus for about 20 years. Trucks are a bit out of my comfort zone, so of course I did a ton of research. We started out with Ford vs Ram, and Ram 1500 was an early front runner. However, after going through three different Ram dealerships in the Dallas area, we decided that if we purchased a Ram, we would never want to take it back for service. All three dealerships made me wonder how Ram ever sells a single truck. I'm sure there are dealerships out there that are good - however fighting through the "we don't have what you want but will gladly have you overpay for what we have" and "I know the website says you can order but we really prefer to have our money on a sale today"  we went back to one of the Ford dealers that we had really enjoied working with initially.

So - with no paperwork signed yet - we are currently looking at a F150 XLT (ducks) 3.5L V6 ECOBOOST 4x4 3.55 ELECTRONIC LOCK RR AXLE short bed with the Max Trailer Tow package and the 2KW onboard power. 36 gallon extended range tank, box link bed package, 360 cameras etc. Not willing to go up to the Laramie for the Parking Assist -I will just have to learn how to park the beast. 🙂

I don't have the door tag on this one yet - it's being transferred so I need to go look at it - but based on a similar one without the second alternator it should be 1,800 lbs. available payload capacity. Spec HP @ 6k RMP is 400 on the 3.5L Ecoboost V6, and with the 3.55 axle setup should have approx. 11,200 towing. Given the a LE II axle max (per spec, not counting the hidden 10k rumored spec) is 7,000 lbs and that's the only thing we have in our future to tow, should be sufficient.

Inspired by several others on the forums I have been building a gear weight spreadsheet. We currently have an LE I - likely two to three years out from the LE II - so I have that to work with as well. 

In all seriousness - glad to get thoughts on this plan from those with more experience. We have been looking at the 250 (in theory, very few actually exist that are not diesel) but availability seems challenging. We don't want to go diesel due to the fact that this is primarily a tow vehicle - I have too long a commute for it to be a daily driver - and everything we have been told is that diesels that sit, quit.

For context we hope to be able to take longer trips in the 4 - 5 year time horizon. Dream trip is Canada, Newfoundland, etc. If that makes a difference in any advice.

Again - thanks so much for all the quick thoughts around the 4x4 and tire size!

Finally - Rebecca said I should include a photo of the type of car she had in college. This is why she has the Mini Cooper Clubman 6 speed manual now. Her car was a 1979 Datsun 510. Mine was a 1979 Mustang Hatchback, no photos because it was the embarrassing unfortunate Mustang, part of Ford's wandering in the wilderness design period. It's taken 40 years to get over that and look at another Ford, 

1978_Datsun_510.jpg

Edited by DunnYet
Forgot the car stuff
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New Tow Vehicle: 2023 Ford F-150 XLT 3.5L EcoBoost /w 3.55 axle and Maxtow Package "Name TBD"
Original and still available Tow Vehicle: 2022 Subaru Ascent "Blue Moose"
2022 Oliver Elite I - Hull #1030 "
Reset"
Home Base Duncanville, TX

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That photo makes me smile. The Japanese invasion is really what brought on the little cars from Ford ( and others.)

Back to the original discussion.  (And I truly apologize for the thread drift. )

4 x 4, for sure, if gravel roads and northern Canada are in your plans. If you're like us (and I suspect you are) we make the big purchases thoughtfully,  and for the very long run.

Our 2008 4x4 ram doesn't have many of today's features.  That's mostly ok with us. We can add backup cameras, avoidance cameras, etc, should we desire. I would want those, though, in a new truck. Safety features  are a big deal.

Big tires? No. Great seats, yes. Long trips to Canada make you appreciate great seats, for sure. I replaced the foam and covers in the Ram a few years ago. But, they did last a long time. For my husband,  they're very comfortable.  For me, (short) the driver seat, with all its adjustments,  just doesn't ever give me a great comfort, especially for my left leg. No armrest on the right I manage with a pillow. 

I've driven my brother's f150 several times, and I agree with my (even shorter) sister in law, the seating is awesome.  With its multitude of adjustments. It's great for my brother,  too.

Ford had an interconnect for camera on the trailer, which is great.  

I'd pass on the hybrid,,as of today. Two systems to maintain is two times the problems,  imo. Others may say different. 

I'd ask others, what features could you not live without, in your newer trucks? 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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12 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

…what features could you not live without, in your newer trucks? 

After the baseline stuff - towing package, trailer features, stuff that makes it a tow vehicle - we were focused on what would make it comfortable and safe on longer drives. Yes, I know I should be able to do all that without the fancy trailer knob, but if I’m buying a truck for towing those things were top of the list.

After that:

  • Advanced cruse control with lane keeping alerts and following speed and braking. I’m just so used to that I don’t want to not have it. When I am traveling for work and get a rental car without it I miss it.
  • Cross Traffic detection and reverse warnings - basically all the you are about to hit something or it’s about to hit you warnings.
  • Apple Car Play - because the in car navigation is out of date when you pick it up 🙂
  • Bucket seats - because (a) height difference and (b) that way the passenger can reach things placed in the back seat like water bottle refills and lunch. The highly adjustable seats are a definite bonus.
  • Strange as it sounds - the bed lighting option. I know I can put that on aftermarket, but it’s a Saturday I don’t have to spend.

The power adjustable pedals on the Ford were a light bulb moment. Rebecca claims she will never drive the truck - but she may need to someday and that will help her greatly. Same with the tailgate step. Again - good aftermarket options that we may still add to the sides.

360 Cameras - is it just the geek in me that I did not want to give up the 360 cameras? I think it’s that “first time truck buyer” security blanket, given that I have yet to park one of our test drives between the lines at the dealership when we came back. Cones and an open parking lot are in my future while I figure out the spatial relationships of the larger vehicle.

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New Tow Vehicle: 2023 Ford F-150 XLT 3.5L EcoBoost /w 3.55 axle and Maxtow Package "Name TBD"
Original and still available Tow Vehicle: 2022 Subaru Ascent "Blue Moose"
2022 Oliver Elite I - Hull #1030 "
Reset"
Home Base Duncanville, TX

ALARKYMSTNTXmed.jpg

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