Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Towing an Oliver › Elite vs Elite II – Too long for boondocking?
- April 30, 2016 at 3:09 am #33533
I am a recent Ollie convert and am planning to order one this year. As it happens, I already have the perfect rig to tow it, a 2006 low-mileage Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel with the Allison 6-speed. Problem is, it was the longest one they made at the time, extended cab with the full 8-foot bed. It rocks on the highway but isn’t exactly a maneuvering machine in tight spaces. I was considering the Elite II since I am considering living in the thing for extended periods, say three months or maybe more. But I am just one person and the Silverado will provide for plenty of storage (it has a topper and a bed slider). My question is, will the Silverado and the 23′ Ollie make some back roads or campsites inaccessible to me because the whole rig is just too long? I will be camping almost entirely in the West where there tends to be a lot of room. But if I get too hot and work my way up into the mountains, I might want something I could thread into the trees a little better. Backup camera or not, I will be mostly traveling alone, and 23′ plus feet and the Silverado might just be over the top. Any opinions on my first major Ollie decision would be appreciated. The little egg or the big egg?
Idaho-based Ollie of the Future (probably a 2017)
Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel with Allison 6 Speed
JaqueApril 30, 2016 at 3:56 pm #33546
Jaquelyn, first welcome to the group.
I can’t answer your question exactly but will offer some relevant info. We have a F150 with Eco Boost engine and with the 6.5 long bed. Wheel base is 157″ if memory serves me correct. Don’t know how much longer your WB is but would guess it to be approximately 12 inches ± a few. For the most part we don’t have too many issues getting in and out of places but much of this will depend on where you camp of course. Tight boon docking could get iffy but I’ve also seen some very small and cramped spaces in the USFS, BLM and NP campgrounds too. The long and short of it is for 98% of your camping most likely you will not have too many issues.
That said personally I might prefer a slightly smaller TV but if you’re attached to the one you have use it and enjoy it.April 30, 2016 at 4:28 pm #33549
You’ve made the right decision about getting an Ollie in lieu of a bunch of condos all over the place. With your Ollie, you’ll be able to experience an infinitely large number of vistas throughout this beautiful land. A long bed Silverado 2500HD attached to an Elite will be just over 37′ in length and if you attach it to an Elite II, you’ll be over 42′ in length.
As far as living in the smaller Elite for and extended period of time, my pup, Oscar, an I spent 6 1/2 months straight in The Wonder Egg last year and never felt constrained by space. From the inside, the numerous windows, polished fiberglass interior that gives a sense of “depth” when you look into it, and the full length mirror on the bathroom door add a mental sense of space that makes it feel much bigger on the inside than would otherwise appear from the outside. Besides, the outside sitting room is absolutely huge!
Owning a heavy duty work truck, I take it you have experience maneuvering trailers around into spaces. An Elite II with your truck might preclude you from parking in line within a smaller camping site, but you could simply disconnect and park the truck sideways, like many do. I believe the main difference would be maneuvering the entire 42+ feet around a parking lot whenever you fetched the groceries, etc. but you could always park on the fringes and enjoy the exercise as you hiked into the store.
Perhaps some Elite II owners can chime in on any issues of maneuvering in campgrounds with a large truck.
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.comApril 30, 2016 at 11:31 pm #33570
Well that’s encouraging. Sounds like the extra 5 feet woukd increase the degree of difficulty for some campgrounds, but not be too rediculous. I am planning a fairly elaborate porch setup, outdoor kitchen, hammock and so on, so I expect to be living out there a good bit. I saw some people pull up in beautiful campground in Arches years ago. They leveled the rig, twirled the satellite dish around, fired up the generator and went inside to watch TV. Never even came out for the sunset, and it was a good one. If I Ever turn into those guys, just kill me.
I had the truck to run around with my geology stuff to drilling rigs, so I didn’t pull a trailer. I have pulled moving trailers and utility trailers with river trip gear. My backing skills are so-so, but I will get one or more cameras, choose my spots wisely, and back slowly. I already park at the outer reaches of big parking lots to avoid door dings, so that will be nothing new. Thanks for the encouragement.
JaqueApril 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm #33573
That is helpful and encouraging information. The Silverado is a bit over the top I admit, but it is low mileage, paid for, and already tricked out perfectly for me. So I’m kind of locked in to that monster. I’ll be careful at first to head for more wide open places and work up to threading the trees when I see what the rig will do. Maybe a hitch in the front would help? I have seen those, but I think they were for boats.
JaqueMay 1, 2016 at 12:04 am #33575
If you get a moment go to your profile and post a few pics of your truck. I always enjoy truck pics. I posted a few of my truck (Bubba) on the profile wall located under the activity tab. (This new Forum is amazing!)
BuzzyMay 1, 2016 at 12:34 am #33577
Good suggestion. I could only found one pic of the truck last night, a side view I took up near Banff somewhere. The image was too big I guess, so the site cropped it to just the cab. I’ll try for some better pictures so I will have at least half of my rig posted. The bed slider is the bomb! And I love the expanded metal side steps. They let a few rocks through, but they never iced up and were great for scraping mud off my steel-toes. I’ll work on new pics.
Future Ollie Owner (a 2017 perhaps)
2006 Chevy Silverado Duramad Diesel with Allison transmission and tow package
JaqueMay 1, 2016 at 1:07 am #33579
Do you know what the wheel base length of your truck is, as well as the overall body length?May 1, 2016 at 1:58 am #33583
The wheelbase in 167″. From the bullrail to the bumper is 22′. I gues is is actually a crew cab, the 4 door, even bigger than the extended cab, with the 8-foot bed.
1 user thanked author for this post.May 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm #33596
I think you will be fine, as long as you don’t need to turn on a dime. Our overall length on the F150 is right around 22′ also, but with a shorter wheel base by 10″. There have been some tight spots but we usually manage. We also have what ford calls the Super Crew cab 4 door affair, about the size of a basketball court in the back… eh, maybe not but its large and roomy.May 1, 2016 at 4:05 pm #33597
Thanks. That makes me feel better. It will be a pretty long rig, and maybe some places I will have to give a pass. But that would still leave about a million places I can get into. And that truck is a dream on the highway. If I am pulling a trailer I have to be careful not to forget it is there. I will get at least one backup camera and maybe find a big parking lot to do some practice maneuvers so I will know what the rig will and will not do.
JaqueMay 1, 2016 at 4:17 pm #33598
Good idea regarding practicing on large empty parking lots, it will definitely help to gain some confidence.
Regarding backup or rather rearview cameras. The backup camera we have on our TV is invaluable and makes it so easy that I can do this by myself, love it. We also opted for the rear view camera on our Oliver and my enthusiasm for it is not so positive, though it is still helpful to some degree. This might be the one and only complaint I have about our Oliver. Image quality on this thing is abysmal especially when compared to the factory installed Ford backup camera. Perusing the manufacturers website one would think this thing has crystal clear vision and image quality, nothing could be further from the truth. Worse yet is there are no guides to tell you how close things are and given the very wide angle lens you can’t depend reliably on your own judgement. And the monitor is a technological cruel joke that only a troubled mind could have invented. After this last trip I came home and started shopping for an alternative that can be used with our iPhone, turns out there are quiet a few options available. Haven’t purchased one yet but probably will.
I hope the good folks at Oliver read this and make plans to change to another more capable rear view camera for future customers.May 1, 2016 at 4:56 pm #33600
We tow with a 2014 Sierra crew cab. It has custom heavy duty bumpers on each end with a front receiver hitch making the total length 21 feet. The Outlaw Oliver’s frame was extended during construction by 18 inches making her length 25 feet. So we are a total of 46 feet point down the road.
It would appear that the length of your set up with an Oliver Elite II and your current tow vehicle would be about the same as we are. Realistically I would not expect you to have any difficulties in getting into places that you desire.
We have camped in many tight spaces from the East Coast to the West Coast but have never been unable to get into a place we really wanted.
Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4May 1, 2016 at 5:06 pm #33601
That is just what I was hoping to hear. I am considering an Elite II and possibly a tongue extension as well to accommodate a generator basket. It’s good to hear that someone else has had good success with such a rig. Thanks so much!
JaqueMay 1, 2016 at 5:23 pm #33609
I had read some similar posts about the camera. Many owners seem to be opting for having Ollie run the wiring and then provide their own camera of choice. The technology on that sort of thing changes so fast that I am reluctant to build something in that will be obsolete before I take delivery. Since I will usually to always be backing the thing by myself, I was even considering a two-camera setup with one at each corner. And I will shop around for my own camera system. I am also toying with the idea of a front bumper hitch so I can push it around looking forward. Lots of options still on the table (except buying the Ollie camera system I think). Thanks again.
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