Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Towing an Oliver › Newbie Questions
- September 29, 2017 at 4:29 pm #72670
We toured the plant last month and are pretty much sold on an Oliver Elite II…..keeping an eye on this forum to learn more from you guys & gals & decide on new or used.
In the meantime I have a couple of towing questions I’d like input from owners out there.
1) We have an F-250 diesel so towing capacity is not an issue – wonder if I need the weight distribution hitch? Anyone towing without it in a similar set up?
2) We are downsizing from a 5th wheel and while I am happy to get the bed of my truck back, I am not thrilled about needing help backing onto the hitch. I understand there are products out there to assist a single person hitch up – anyone using one and how does it work?
I have many more questions also but will periodically post them in the appropriate topic area (hopefully). Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
wdw0528 aka Darrell & Kathy
Darrell & Kathy
2013 F-250 Diesel 6.7
2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Hull #319)September 29, 2017 at 5:27 pm #72685
Darrell & Kathy,
Obviously you enjoyed your plant tour. Certainly you know why most of here are very pleased with our Olivers.
I’m guessing that you are fine pulling your Oliver without a WDH. However, keep in mind that there are two separate parts to that equation – 1 – what the tow vehicle (TV) can handle and – 2 – what the hitch can handle. With my F150 I can tow up to a little over 12,000 pounds. However, a hitch weight of over 500 pounds requires a WDH. Just to make sure – check your Ford Owner’s manual.
With my 2017 F150 I have an integrated backup camera with a seven inch on-board screen which allows me to back up to the Oliver’s hitch solo – it works great. There are numerous after market cameras of this sort and even some that will transmit the camera signal to your cell phone or tablet via WiFi – I have one of these that I placed on the back of my Oliver instead of purchasing the system offered by Oliver as an option. These systems are fairly simple – pick a location on the rear of the truck (such as the license plate holder/frame, bumper, tailgate, etc.) place the camera there, complete the wiring (into the backup lights of the truck if you only want the camera to work while backing up), “pair” the camera’s WiFi signal to the device you are using to view its output and start backing up. For the camera I placed on the back of my Oliver, I had the appropriate wiring and an on/off switch run by the guys at the plant during construction.
Hope this helps you.
2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"September 29, 2017 at 6:00 pm #72703
John E DaviesParticipant@john-e-davies
1 – You don’t need a WD hitch, any HD pickup will be fine with a regular 7500 pound rated, 2 inch ball with an appropriate drop to give you about a 24 inch height with a normal load in the bed. There are many folks here towing with big trucks and dead weight hitches. I towed with a Ram 3500 and it did not really notice the tongue weight. No noise either, but I used a clamp-on hitch quieter thing, to eliminate all the play in the receiver hole.
Notice that I used an extended shank ball, intended to go through a bumper, and I added a stack of Grade 8 washers. I thought I might want to fine tune the tongue height by rearranging them, but in this instance it wasn’t needed. It is nice to be able to adjust the ball in approximately 1/8 inch increments to get it dialed in 100%… Don’t use plain washers, they need to be hardened.
2 – Backup assist – There are many options. I used an iPhone temporarily mounted to a Ram Mounts 1 inch ball that I screwed to my canopy window frame.I attached a cradle and phone to it and I just called myself using Facetime, and watched the video on my iPad. It worked great as long as you had cell service. And of course you could not drive around with it back there.
An aftermarket camera would be a good choice, or go buy a newer truck;)
I elected to not buy the factory back up camera. Instead I installed a Garmin BC30 in back of the trailer. If I need to I can install additional ones, since my GPS will accept up to four video inputs. Since I switched tow vehicles, I do not ned an extra one since my Land Cruiser has one, tho it is off center on the hatch, and thus gives wrong visual cues when aligning the ball to the coupler. Frustrating, but usable.
If you decide to use a passenger for help, phones work great for communicating. I carry a set of handheld family sevice radios just in case there is no service. Either method sure beats arm waving, shouting and cursing. Especially in the dark or in inclement weather when your mirrors or camera are fogged up or dirty!
There are clamp on or magnetic guide rods but I have never tried one.
Did this help?
"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.
Attachments:September 29, 2017 at 6:44 pm #72718
If your hitch is up to the task, class 4 or better, then your TV is certainly stout enough to not need a WDH. But you need to assess the condition/age of your equipment. If in doubt, have everything inspected and qualified by a local shop specializing in hitches and the like.
Backing is doable without all the modern cameras and gadgetry. Although I will say when I get my new truck, it will have a backup camera! As it is now, I can hitch up just fine by myself. Straight back ins are pretty easy. Angled back ins require a bit more patience and care. It takes about 4 or 5 creeps up to the hitch. Have to get out of the rig and look each time. Go slow, you will be able to visualize your approach angle with practice. With the wife helping as spotter, it’s a lot easier for sure. Saw one of these for the first time last trip out, the owner liked it, but I have no personal experience with them.
2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107
1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 literOctober 5, 2017 at 3:39 pm #73672
Just came across this article that may be of some use:
Don’t bother with the comment section!
2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107
1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 literOctober 12, 2017 at 3:11 pm #74365
I second John’s comments. You do not need a WDH with a 3/4 ton truck. It will settle about 2-2 1/2″ or so with the approximate 450-480 lb tongue weight, ready to go. Plus maybe more if you load stuff in the bed. End up with about 23-24″ top of ball when loaded. There may be some variation on the ball height as the tongues were re-designed at some point in, maybe 2016.
You could get about three to four people to stand in the rear of your bed and see what you’ll need as far as a drop hitch.
My Ram has a factory backup camera that allows me to drive right up to the ball in one try. Excellent. You could add an aftermarket camera.
"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."
LE2 #92 (sold), Black Series HQ19October 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm #74383
We back up with the Ram truck watching the cam. We get out once when we are close. We want to be sure we are really lined up, and more important, we want to be sure the hitch is high enough. Usually when the ball disappears under the hitch we stop, lower the trailer, snap the latch and hook up. Don’t believe we would ever need a WDH with our set up.
It is so nice to be able to drive interstates, back roads and trails and not need extended mirrors. You can see down both sides with room to spare. With the wireless cam on the trailer, and its backup lights, backing into campsites or parking lots are a breeze. After a while you can almost forget you have a trailer back there, it tows so smooth. It is almost startling sometimes to look in the regular rear view mirror and see a large camper on your bumper…October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm #74404
Thanks – we’ve just returned to Atlanta from a trip out west pulling a 30ft 5th wheel and I can tell you I am looking forward to downsizing. I don’t have any trouble towing or backing the current rig but we saw some amazing places to camp if we had an Oliver….not to mention bumping my head under the camper. We have decided to get an Oliver already, just a matter of new or used and when. I am spending a lot of time on the forum learning what I can to make informed decisions.
Darrell & Kathy
2013 F-250 Diesel 6.7
2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Hull #319)October 12, 2017 at 9:24 pm #74407
We had a 27′ 5th wheel which was ok for those two week vacations and an occasional weekend. It would have literally fallen apart going some of the places we have been with the Oliver. The Oliver is a whole lot more practical for us, and we go for a month or more at a time. The trouble of finding a used Oliver is finding a used Oliver. Good Luck.October 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm #75292
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