Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Towing an Oliver › MPG and Tow Vehicle Capability
- May 15, 2008 at 11:04 pm #11803
Paul and I got home from a couple weeks boondocking in the mountains of North Carolina, and we’re thinking about a different tow vehicle with 4 wheel drive and 4 seats for the dirt roads on the mountainsides. Our 2wd/5.3l Silverado does great on the paved mountain roads and on the interstate. Likewise, the Volvo does great on the interstate but is a little underpowered with its 2.6l engine when used in the mountains. We feel that we really need a 4WD to take the Oliver to the best views on the little dirt back roads with steep grades. The Volvo is 4WD and heavy (6000 GVW), but its small 2.6l engine doesn’t have quite the guts for towing in the dirt and gravel. We get about 14-14.5 mpg towing, with either the Silverado or the Volvo, combination of FL/GA /SC flat lands and North Carolina mountains. Better on the flat land only… We’d like to be able to at least match the 14.5, or do a little better.
So far, we’ve test driven a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the new restyled Jeep Liberty with tow package, a Toyota FJ,and a 2008 Silverado half ton with extended cab, all 4wd. The local dealer let us hook up and tow the Oliver with the FJ yesterday. Unfortunately, it looks like we only got about 11-13MPG during our test drive of 125mi with a mix of hwy and local driving. We lack mountains here to really get a feel for any of the vehicles in its intended environment… We spend quite a bit of time on the mountains. Any ideas from any of you would be appreciated.
We’d really like to stay with an SUV this time, and not a truck, but the Silverado 4×4 is always a fallback… or another brand….
2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4
2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12May 16, 2008 at 12:06 am #13924
When we started thinking about a camper, it was clear that we would have to get a tow vehicle. We had an Accord and a 13 year old pickup, neither up to the task. For a long time we were thinking SUV. I don’t know what changed that plan, but we ended up with a Honda Ridgeline. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it works well for us. It is the smoothest riding vehicle we have owned (not saying much now that I think of it). It is very versatile with trunk below the bed of the truck, etc. etc. Seems somewhat in between a truck and an SUV. We haven’t done the boondocking and dirt, gravel mountain roads with it; so can’t comment there. We went on a fairly long trip through the mountains of WV, and I thought it did fine. There were a couple of really steep grades where I certainly knew the Oliver was back there. Just Maybe something to take a look at – who knows.
TomMay 16, 2008 at 1:15 am #13925
Thanks for the reply. We haven’t made it to the Honda dealer yet, tho it’s in the plans. Is your truck a 4×4? If so, have you tracked mpg yet? I’ve seen the view from your "backyard" photos, so I know you understand what I’m discussing here.
2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4
2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12May 16, 2008 at 1:26 am #13926
With our new Oliver on the way, we were looking at tow vehicles also. We had a 2005 Yukon 4WD leased but that was up the first of this month and we turned it in. I have a 1992 Jeep Wrangler that would do a pretty good job of towing, but it’s 16+ years old and I don’t want to get too far out of town with it. We too love the mountains and have a big trip planned for this fall to the western states. With that in mind, we have ordered a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I’m confident that if it’s good enough for mountainborn, it will be good enough for us. We do plan to do a little off road camping so I think the Jeep will fill the bill for us…….Now, if we could just get the boys at Oliver to get our trailer finished…
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 16, 2008 at 7:35 pm #13928
The ultimate tow vehicle for you would be a diesel Jeep Liberty.
They only made this model for a few years, but I was able to buy a 2006 model last spring, and I love it.
Towing my Tab, I get 18-20MPG. I used to have the gasoline V6 Liberty, and I would only get 12-13MPG towing.
– Chris // http://www.technomadia.comMay 21, 2008 at 8:07 am #13959
Chris, Thanks for the info. I saw posts on other forums regarding the LIberty diesel. Have you taken yours into the mountains? It looks like a great vehicle.
2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4
2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12May 21, 2008 at 8:18 am #13960
Our Liberty has been "there, and back again"…
We traded in our V6 gas Liberty for the Diesel last spring… It was actually a rather unplanned for upgrade, but well worth it.
If you want to know what it is like to drive a Jeep and a trailer backwards down the freeway in the rain at 60+ mph, read this:
And here is the story of the new Jeep:
Anyway since then we’ve over the Rockies, all around the west coast, and then back eastward through Yellowstone and South Dakota.
The Jeep has handled pretty much everything we’ve thrown at it, and it has always towed great too.
– Chris // http://www.technomadia.comMay 21, 2008 at 10:23 pm #13962
A vehicle that I would have not thought would be a good 4×4 for towing is the Chevy TrailBlazer or GMC Envoy. Geri has one that she’s used to pull her 17′ Casita and we used recently to go to Withlacoochee River and I was impressed by it. Got 13-16 MPG and has a 4.2 liter six cylinder. Has better tow rating than my Silverado 1/2 ton 4.8 V8 by 400 #!!! Hers is the EXT so has bigger back doors and 3rd seat. Lotsa’ room! So Ill throw the TrailBlazer in as a candidate for consideration!
ChuckMay 24, 2008 at 5:38 pm #13968
At Pismo Dunes, CA and 4Wheeler mag has sponsered the fellow across from me, Joel Wolfe, to show his bio/diesel systemed 45′ Monaco motor home and diesel Liberty and knew you needed to see it!!!! They start on diesel and warm up then switch to filitered vegatable oil.
go to. They have him out here specifically for his new Duramax (GM) design for pickups/SUV.
Very clean and sophisticated system, has installed quite a few, next step is fuel stations.
regards, Chuck.June 3, 2008 at 8:26 pm #14042
That is a nifty veggie oil conversion – thanks for the link.
We run biodiesel when we can find it, but the cost and complexity of going for pure veggie oil has held us back.
Still – it is fun to find a B100 station and to drive around with french-fry exhaust for a while.
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