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Chevy 1500 5.3 thru mountains


MSURRATT

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Hi,

I am picking up my new Elite II in October and will be driving straight to Pigeon Forge to Camp Margaritaville for 5 nights and then back home  to Greensboro NC. I have a 2017 Chevy Silverado 5.3 Z71 4 wheel Dr. with 3.42 axle. My question is do I have enough truck to keep me comfortable while towing in the mountains. I have 5 years before retirement and would probably jump to a 2500 then, we will be traveling the country after retirement but mostly weekends until then. 

Thank you,

Mark

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I had a 2016 Silverado 5.3 1500 with the tow package.  Towing in mountains here on the east coast wasn’t a problem (Blue Ridge for me). I didn’t use it out west in the Rockies.  I did use the Andersen WD / AS hitch and would recommend. You know the trailer is back there but the truck handled it no problem.

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Patrick and Danielle Wolfe / 2022 LE II Tail #22-1052 / 2023 GMC 2500HD SLT 6.6L Gas

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Welcome to the forum from North Carolina and Congrats on your new Ollie!

Many folks here have moved to 3/4 or 1 ton tow vehicles for the LE2 and love their rig's performance. We tow our LE2 with a 1/2 ton 2022 Tundra and very satisfied with the rig's performance.

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Bill & Debbie / 2015 LE2 #75 / 2024 F-150 5.0L / North Carolina

 

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I've towed my LEII with two different 1/2 ton trucks both here in the East and through out the Rockies out West.  Absolutely no problems .  However, you will need the Andersen weight distribution hitch AND you will need to pay particular attention to your payload capacity.

Bill

p.s.  picking up a new Ollie in October is fantastic!  You've got the better part of two months to do some serious camping and then you have the winter to do your mods plus get all those things you've learned that you want for that new baby.  Welcome to the family!

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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Great, I was hoping I would be able to hold off getting a bigger vehicle until closer to retirement. I did order the anderson hitch and I just finished installing the Tekonsha P3 for added braking. Yes, we have become youtube watchers and seeing all the must haves, trying just to get those for now....watchdog ems, etc.

Thanks for all the info...i'm sure I will have a tin more questions!!

Mark

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5.3 with 3.42 on a 2019 LTZ 2wd that we got new in 2020 with 22 miles on it.  We did extend the warranty to 100,000 and are looking to extend past that.  Over 90,000 miles at the moment and are in Glacier NP now.  No problems in the mountains and have been through Wolf Creek pass at 10,800 feet.  Of course 40 mph up and 30 mph down in 3rd and 2nd gear, 3500-3800 rpm.  Next truck will probably be a 3/4 ton as we are at 6800 lbs on the truck and 6800 lbs on the trailer (full timers).  Andersen wdh and added air bags for us.  

Best of luck,

John

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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13 hours ago, MSURRATT said:

seeing all the must haves, trying just to get those for now....watchdog ems, etc.

Thanks for all the info...i'm sure I will have a tin more questions!!

You do know that your new Ollie already comes equipped with an EMS don't you?  

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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22 hours ago, MSURRATT said:

Hi,

I am picking up my new Elite II in October and will be driving straight to Pigeon Forge to Camp Margaritaville for 5 nights and then back home  to Greensboro NC. I have a 2017 Chevy Silverado 5.3 Z71 4 wheel Dr. with 3.42 axle. My question is do I have enough truck to keep me comfortable while towing in the mountains. I have 5 years before retirement and would probably jump to a 2500 then, we will be traveling the country after retirement but mostly weekends until then. 

Thank you,

Mark

 Mark,

First off welcome to the forum NC neighbor and congrats on your new Oliver.

Yes, you presently have a truck that will tow an OLEll. As to whether you will be comfortable enough towing in the mountains only you can decide this.  No questions, you will absolutely notice and feel a huge night and day difference when you bump up to a 3/4 or 1 ton TV. When we initially took delivery we started towing our 2020 OLEll with a 2014 5.7 Tundra Crewmax Platinum. It towed our Ollie ok but not great especially in the mountains. You will know you’re towing the Oliver. Based on our needs and what we carry and how we travel “ready to camp” our Tundra was not suitable for us. Our 1 ton F350 diesel has been a game changer in safety, long range driving comfort, cargo capacity, mpgs, and we really like the diesel engine brake. 
With an 3/4 or 1 ton you won’t need to use an Andersen weight distribution hitch which is highly suggested for most 1/2 ton trucks.

No regrets bumping up to our Super Duty. 

Patriot🇺🇸


 

 


 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR”

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor 

North Carolina 🇺🇸

 

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Thanks to everyone!!

Yes, I plan on using the Watchdog EMS right at the Hookups and connect the 30 amp power cord to that for added protection.... I have seen where doing that was recommended Please let me know if that is overkill!! I am definitely moving up to a larger truck, I was hoping the chevy 1500 would work for now while I am still working. We will be weekend camping mostly until then. 

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13 minutes ago, MSURRATT said:

Please let me know if that is overkill!!

Yes, I believe that doubling up is unnecessary.  However, there have been other members here on this Forum that take the other view.

In the eight years that I've owned my Oliver, the on-board Oliver installed EMS system has never let me down.  Having said this though I should note that most of the time I'm not at commercial RV parks

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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1 hour ago, MSURRATT said:

Thanks to everyone!!

Yes, I plan on using the Watchdog EMS right at the Hookups and connect the 30 amp power cord to that for added protection.... I have seen where doing that was recommended Please let me know if that is overkill!! I am definitely moving up to a larger truck, I was hoping the chevy 1500 would work for now while I am still working. We will be weekend camping mostly until then. 

In 3 yrs of owning our Oliver I have not seen the need to double up with an EMS for added protection.  The Olivers built in surge protection has performed flawlessly. 
 

Patriot🇺🇸

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR”

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor 

North Carolina 🇺🇸

 

IMG_2879.jpeg

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On 8/3/2023 at 12:49 PM, MSURRATT said:

Thanks to everyone!!

Yes, I plan on using the Watchdog EMS right at the Hookups and connect the 30 amp power cord to that for added protection.... I have seen where doing that was recommended Please let me know if that is overkill!! I am definitely moving up to a larger truck, I was hoping the chevy 1500 would work for now while I am still working. We will be weekend camping mostly until then. 

I'm all about overkill, but a combination of two surge protectors (Surge/Only Portable at the pedestal and a Surge/EMS inside of your RV) will not interfere with each other, and will basically double your Joules of surge and spike voltage protection. And the inexpensive (under $100) portable Surge/Only protector on the pedestal becomes the sacrificial element that can be destroyed by a really big lightning hit in the area, or stolen by a thief looking to liberate you from your more expensive Surge/EMS protector.

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Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (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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2 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

I'm all about overkill, but a combination of two surge protectors (Surge/Only Portable at the pedestal and a Surge/EMS inside of your RV) will not interfere with each other, and will basically double your Joules of surge and spike voltage protection. And the inexpensive (under $100) portable Surge/Only protector on the pedestal becomes the sacrificial element that can be destroyed by a really big lightning hit in the area, or stolen by a thief looking to liberate you from your more expensive Surge/EMS protector.

Totally concur, 100%.  Maybe a bit off the topic of this thread, but...

We carry and use an inexpensive portable surge protector for all the same reasons @ScubaRx describes - plus connecting it first to the power pedestal will give you a reading of the nature of the power being provided at that point of usage.  We recently had a reversed neutral readout - it stopped us from connecting the Ollie and we notified the RV park office attendant.  Apparently, recent maintenance on the pedestal left this condition.  It may not have caused damage by proceeding to connect, and the internal Surge/EMS would have likely saved the day - but why gamble on it?

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used a 6.0 liter 2500 Suburban 4x4 to bring our 2022 up from Ft Lauderdale.  It handled great.  No sway bars.   And 60-70 on flat ground felt fine.  But when we pulled some hills around Chattanooga I really felt under powered.  I will just have to develop more patience I suppose.  I have an all aluminum mishimoto radiator and a 40,000 gvw aux trans cooler so my temps were never a problem .  Just ran out of power.  We will take a trip or two to see if this will work.  I hope so.  I really don't want to spend on another vehicle.

Ken and Sherrill, Middle TN

Elite 2, #1085

2007 GMC, 4x4, LBZ/Allison

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9 hours ago, New2Oliver said:

I used a 6.0 liter 2500 Suburban 4x4 to bring our 2022 up from Ft Lauderdale.  It handled great.  No sway bars.   And 60-70 on flat ground felt fine.  But when we pulled some hills around Chattanooga I really felt under powered.  I will just have to develop more patience I suppose.  I have an all aluminum mishimoto radiator and a 40,000 gvw aux trans cooler so my temps were never a problem .  Just ran out of power.  We will take a trip or two to see if this will work.  I hope so.  I really don't want to spend on another vehicle.

Welcome to the forum.

IT would be helpful if you filled out what your TV and Oliver TT is in your profile and/or your signature that appears below your text. It will help people to anwer questions you may have.

2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

Maine 

 

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On 8/2/2023 at 6:01 PM, MSURRATT said:

By the way....truck pricing is nuts right now!!!!

Yes, it is.  Our tow vehicle is a 2019 Tundra.  After installing a Veepeak OBDII sensor to monitor transmission pan temps (because 2019-2021 Tundras do not include an external transmission cooler with the tow package), we considered upgrading to a 3/4 ton pickup.  We've been shopping new trucks, but ultimately chose to stick with the Tundra for now because of the crazy truck market. 

That said, some of our local dealers are now offering small discounts off MSRP, where a year ago they were adding thousands in "market adjustment" to MSRP.  I expect that as supply slowly expands to meet pent-up demand, prices will eventually drop back down to pre-pandemic/chip shortage levels.  

 

 

Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

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

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On 8/6/2023 at 3:08 PM, MAX Burner said:

...plus connecting it first to the power pedestal will give you a reading of the nature of the power being provided at that point of usage. 

Our Watchdog has saved us more than once from a bad power connection.  We have been glad we used it.

 

Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

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

ARCOIDNMOKORTNTXUTsm.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bit the bullet as well.  Bought a 2007 GMC  Duramax LBZ with the Allison 6 speed.

I know a lot of people use half tons to tow.  And they use all sorts of accessories to just barely get the stability and control they need and they accept being marginally powered.  I get it.  Trade offs.  Expense.  Doing weight math ten different ways to make sure you are legal, safe, sane.

But I have a million things in my mind on these journeys.  I don't want to worry about whether I have just enough tow vehicle to be safe.  I would prefer to have the confidence of a safety and convenience margin. 

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Ken and Sherrill, Middle TN

Elite 2, #1085

2007 GMC, 4x4, LBZ/Allison

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4 hours ago, New2Oliver said:

I know a lot of people use half tons to tow.  And they use all sorts of accessories to just barely get the stability and control they need and they accept being marginally powered. 

1/2 ton trucks can be purchased that have more than enough power and brakes to handle virtually anything that North America can throw their way without adding "all sorts of accessories".

The main issue that can cause people "problems" with 1/2 ton trucks is relative to how much "stuff" can be carried on or in these trucks.  

Owners who can be classified as "minimalists" have no problems and owners that generally travel alone should have no problems.  But, if you add another person, plus a pet, plus a fire pit, plus bikes, plus, plus, plus, etc.  the carrying capacity of a 1/2 ton can soon be reached and/or exceeded.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

Owners who can be classified as "minimalists" have no problems and owners that generally travel alone should have no problems.  But, if you add another person, plus a pet, plus a fire pit, plus bikes, plus, plus, plus, etc.  the carrying capacity of a 1/2 ton can soon be reached and/or exceeded.

 

Very true...we started out with many trips to the CAT scales before leaving on this year's trip.  As full timers we carry everything we own with us and we have a topper on our truck bed.  We found we have to transfer 150 lbs (3 tool bags and 2 buckets of liquids) from the truck to the trailer every time we move on to our next destination and transfer it back when we reach our campsite.  A slight PITN, but necessary.  That puts us at 6800 lbs on the trailer for travel and reduces the truck weight to 6770 lbs (our GVWR is 6800 for the truck) with 10% tongue weight, full propane tanks, full tank of gas in the truck, and fridge/supplies stocked up.  So pretty much if we want to add anything, we have to get rid of something.  On a better note, I think we've lost 20 lbs each from all of our hiking :)  so a trim down on things we can get rid of in a couple of weeks when we get  back to SC and we may be able to add that battery/solar powered portable refrigerator or maybe a second awning for our Oliver.  All part of this wonderful deal :)

John

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

https://wenandjohnsadventure.com/

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On 10/12/2023 at 2:27 PM, MSURRATT said:

Thanks for all the advice!! Bit the bullet and bought a 2024 GMC 2500 diesel.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! now that's a TV! You truly are starting things off on the right foot! 🙂 

I guess you got your answer in your post. A HD Diesel truck is the best option, by far. Pics?

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

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