Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Towing an Oliver › Tow vehicle advice asked for
Tagged: Used vehicle
- June 20, 2008 at 5:12 pm #11804
I have a question for you gentlemen out there. Let’s know that I am going to view used tow vehicles, cars and trucks… Not being savvy in veh. engines and such, especially diesel, how do I determine a good vehicle from a lemon? Who can I consult to examine what I find to determine if it is as advertised? I’m not sure if I should buy diesel or gas yet, so either is a possibility. Outside the just sold Toyota 89 4 cyl MH, I’ve never bought anything but new vehicles: My 300ZX lasted & looked like new for 18 years, a turbo yet. I never had one engine repair in all that time. So, I don’t want to get stuck with a lemon because I know nothing about used engines. I need some advice.. like who should I get to inspect whatever USED vehicle I’ve found.. whether gas or diesel.. I live in the Knoxville area of TN. Women have been notoriously gypped by sellers who know that we are not experts in engines and performance. Any comments, or advice?June 20, 2008 at 5:46 pm #14248
OK, buckle up. Here we go with my $0.02 on the subject!
At a very minimum if you are buying a used car you need to pull the CarFax report on that vehicle – see http://www.CarFax.com. You’ll need the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the car/truck in order to do this. You can buy just single car reports, but if you plan to do much shopping you can get a 30 day subscription to the service that allows for any number of reports to be generated. Understand that these reports aren’t perfect, but they will give you a good idea of how many owners the car has had and for how long, what the real mileage is, and a reasonably good idea of whether or not it’s been in a wreck, salvaged, etc. Numerous owners, major accidents, salvage activity, a series of dealer swaps, and any sort of mileage discrepancies are things that I would consider to be red flags about any given vehicle. It’s possible that the report somehow doesn’t include accident repairs (for example if the owner made the repairs themselves) so always have a qualified mechanic check the vehicle for any signs of body or frame work even if the CarFax looks clean.
It’s just my opinion but clean, low mileage, one owner vehicles bought from a dealer that specializes in that brand are *probably* your best bet. The optimum would be a local trade not bought via some form of auction. If you can actually talk to the prior owner so much the better!
Obviously just about any kind of warranty, especially CPO (Certified Pre Owned), included with the purchase is a good thing. Be wary of expensive aftermarket warranties that may or may not be a good value, though …
Find a good local mechanic, whether the dealer for that brand or an independent, and pay for a pre-purchase inspection (PPI). This won’t be terribly expensive but is very worthwhile if you’re serious about a vehicle. This should NOT be a mechanic employed by the selling dealership! This PPI should include a compression test on the engine given that you’ll be towing (and the former owner of the vehicle may well have towed as well). If you’re really paranoid you can pay for an engine oil analysis to see if there are signs of internal wear or failure.
I hate to say it, but consider buying an on-line subscription to Consumer Reports and check out their vehicle reviews and reliability rankings. I generally don’t see eye-to-eye with these folks but if you’re new to this game the information presented may be helpful. They’ll tell you straight up if there are certain brands/models/years that should send you running in the other direction …
Check out the towing guides published for that model and year (usually available on-line from the manufacturer but also published by Trailer Life on an annual basis) to make sure that it has sufficient hitch weight capability and towing weight capability. I know that it sounds like vegetable soup but you need to make sure that you’re within limits for both the GCWR and GVWR for the tow vehicle. Gross Combined Weight Rating is basically the maximum weight allowed for the loaded truck plus the loaded trailer ready to roll down the road. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is basically the maximum allowed weight for the loaded truck (truck + occupants + stuff + hitch weight from trailer). These ratings are a function of engine power, cooling capacity, transmission, tires, brakes, frame, etc. and are assigned by the manufacturer (and their lawyers). These ratings are not easily changed once a vehicle leaves the factory. The Oliver is relatively lightweight, so I doubt that you’ll see any issues here for a tow vehicle of any substance.
When all else fails, trust your eyes and your nose … I’d rather have a vehicle with some signs of good honest use vs. one that’s been dolled up by the seller in order to hide a problem of some sort. Steam-cleaned engine bays, for example, are one sign of recent major engine work. Overly perfumed interiors might be hiding a water issue or a smoking PO (prior owner). Fresh paint could signal a major accident. And so on …
1 user thanked author for this post.July 28, 2018 at 5:27 pm #142533
Tow Vehicle Advice: I am going to order a LE II in October. I have done my due diligence and believe that this is the best built RV around. I have made 2 trips to the factory and soon will make the purchase. Today, I went to look at tow vehicles. I am a GMC/Chevrolet person. I have owned a couple of Chevy Trucks. The one I currently own is a year 2000 that has 210,000 miles on it and it has treated me well for 18 years. Today, I drove a Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Truck Double Cab. It has the towing package, a 4.10 Gear Rear Axle, 6.0 Gas Engine. It can tow 14,200 lbs, capable tongue weight 1500 lb. Price out the door is $42,275. This price was written up within 10 minutes after the test drive. I did not negotiate because I told them I was going to buy in September or October. I am sure that there is still some room on the price going a bit lower with patience.
I believe that this truck is more than capable of doing what I need it to do with an Olive LE II. It also gives me a lot of flexibility in the future. This forum has always been very helpful to me and many others. My question is….. Does anyone see a reason that this truck could not be fully capable of towing an Oliver for many years. Thanks and additionally, I enjoy reading this forum every day!July 29, 2018 at 6:29 am #142563
Mike and CarolModerator@mike-and-carol
Sounds like a very capable truck to me. Should have no problem pulling and Oliver. Mike
Mike and Carol Thompson | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
The Lone Star Oliver #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L HemiJuly 29, 2018 at 11:43 am #142607
Some very good advice here. One thing I can add is to be very vigilant for “Flood Cars”. They are abundant. Have a trusted mechanic physically check as it may not show up in a CF report.
Cheers from Nashville,
Legacy Elite I
#240July 29, 2018 at 12:12 pm #142619
John E DaviesParticipant@john-e-davies
. My question is….. Does anyone see a reason that this truck could not be fully capable of towing an Oliver for many years. Thanks and additionally, I enjoy reading this forum every day!
Is it 4wd?
Since you tend to keep vehicles a VERY long time, getting 4wd would be prudent since you never know where you might be living in a decade, and there are definitely going to be times when the xtra traction will save your vacation… plus the feature makes it easier to sell in the future.
Otherwise, the specs are great and it should provide a reasonably effortless tow, except in the very steep high passes of the west, where you will have to work it hard.
"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.July 29, 2018 at 6:59 pm #142695July 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm #142698
I have a 17 F250 2WD crew cab. I got the 6.2 v8 with 3.73 rear end. Previous tow vehicle was a Tundra ( which is a great tow vehicle). My reasons for getting the 250 were
1. class 5 hitch – built-in sway control : Anderson not legally required. I have a back problem.
2. Safety equipment. Has look-back mirrors and radar in tail lamps. The older I get, the more careless I am.
3. Has 9 cameras which make backing up and hitching by myself a breeze. Cameras do have zoom.
4. 6.2 uses older technology, but it is reliable. Tundra had 4:30 rear end and 5.7 V8.
5. Bigger brakes, axles, tires, and wt carrying capacities.
The negatives are:
1. Bigger turning radius.
2.Parking spaces may be tight.
3. Rides hard.
I believe the new Chevys offer the same capabilities.
Came with tow hooks.July 29, 2018 at 8:26 pm #142701
The Chevy 2500HD, 4WD that I drove rode a little hard on the interstate as well but it is a truck. It was a double cab with more then enough room for our 2 Cairn Terriers. It did not necessarily scream buy me, buy me at this time. I hope that prices will decline a tad when the 2019’s start to roll in. I really should take a look at other manufacturersJuly 30, 2018 at 6:22 am #142748
The Chevy 2500HD, 4WD that I drove rode a little hard on the interstate as well but it is a truck. It was a double cab with more then enough room for our 2 Cairn Terriers. It did not necessarily scream buy me, buy me at this time. I hope that prices will decline a tad when the 2019’s start to roll in. I really should take a look at other manufacturers
It screamed at me when I test drove it. 🙂 A few 2019’s are starting to come in so some dealers with a lot of inventory are starting to offer some good deals. It does ride a little rough on the interstate when empty but when the Ollie is hooked to it and gear is loaded it feels a lot better. It does not ride, turn, or park like our Tundra but its a big truck and when towing it is a dream and we primarily use it for a tow vehicle.
Tom & Cheryl
LE II #305
2018 GMC 2500HD SLT DuramaxJuly 30, 2018 at 7:26 am #142758
A good thing is to check CarFax for the locations the vehicle was registered in versus dates. This may give a clue as to whether it was potentially in a flood. When looking at a vehicle for one of our daughters we came across a car that was in New Orleans in 2005 (Katrina). It has also been registered to multiple owners since 2005 and the time we were looking at it. Katrina was a well known event but there have certainly been plenty of other foods since. Not a gurantee that the vehicle wasn’t “just visiting” and got flooded but one more thing to look at for clues. – Randy
2018 LE2 STD #365
2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4July 30, 2018 at 8:45 am #142766
My two cents, having just gone through this decision making process. Having proved to myself my well traveled and always reliable 2004 GMC 4×4 5.3L, 1/2 ton was marginal at towing the bigger Ollie, especially where elevation is involved, I did a lot of research (for months as I waited on my ollie) on the 3/4 ton truck market. I ruled out Ram, nothing wrong with them, I just don’t like the way they look. I was strongly leaning towards a Ford Power stroke diesel, and having driven several, including a 2019, I was price shopping, looking for a used or new crew cab 4×4. ( The “used” owners as a group, all $Highly$ valued their trucks)
I considered a gas engine, in GM and Ford, but the fuel economy and power characteristics, just didn’t meet my objective. The gas engines rev much higher when meeting their upper HP/Torque ranges (what I would experience towing) and the gas mileage is never much better than bout 14mpg, and less than 10 when towing – as best I could determine. Despite the upfront cost of the Diesel engines and slightly higher maintenance costs, I decided on the diesel powerplant – I figured my breakeven between the two powerplants to be about 100K miles. Additionally, the better diesel fuel mileage should bridge the gap on price diff between regular unleaded and diesel. All the first hand accounts I had from current owners of each related about 14/15 towing, and up to 20 when unloaded, freeway driving. With a grain of salt, I will see where I end up. TBD
As the 2019’s began to arrive, the dealers in my locality began to come of the prices of the 2018’s, and a GMC dealer actually had a truck just like I wanted, and, at an attractive “beginning” price. Now mind you, I drove back and forth testing this truck against the Ford, and comparing. The GMC, I felt, was much nicer, and had a quality level in the interior that was superior to the Ford, (same trim levels). Power plants were comparable, Duramax vs the Powerstoke, however the GMC had a more robust payload rating (by 300lbs), and the GVWR and max towing were about the same. Compare the actual B pillar stickers, not the brochures, as options drive actual weight ratings.
The GMC rode slightly better on the road, country and multilane, and actually felt more torquey. I also preferred the looks of the GMC over the Ford. In the end I went with the GMC, as they were much more price competitive, as the Ford people were not as flexible.
Now to be sure, when my SO indicated she preferred the GMC, my fate was sealed. I purchased a 2018 GMC 2500 SLT Crew cab, 4×4 with the new diesel Duramax engine with Allison 6 speed auto (the powerplant was updated in 2017, basically 95% new design) The price ended up better than I had planned, and my first 300 miles have been satisfying.
There are many options out there, when properly selected most will adequately tow the Ollie, my decision was what fit my objective. Power to spare, chassis designed for heaver tow loads, engine exhaust braking, and comfortable ride characteristics and spousal approval.
What I settled for -heavy duty chassis, brake systems and powerplant that are more than a match for the Ollies 7k max load, and a fairly nice ride. Once I get the Leer 100 xlt topper installed I should be good to go…. well ok, I’m sure there will be more…..
Cindy, Russell and "Harley dog" , " Our 4 legged Chessie early warning/protection system".
Home is our little farm near Winchester TN
2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax
"Die young - As late as possible"
1 user thanked author for this post.July 30, 2018 at 11:32 am #142779
Wow, that’s a lot for a new person to absorb, I would be lost by now if it wasn’t that I worked for Chevrolet Motor Division for some 35 years giving me a pretty good idea what works and what doesn’t. A lot on good recommendations, but buying used is another thing and will require the knowledge of others that can help you with the decision process, were talking mechanical knowledge here and commonsense. Now, not that I might not buy a 3/4 ton pickup, but with the Oliver just about any 1/2 ton pickup with a 5.0/6.0 V8 should work just fine, but one with a tow package from the factory would be even better. Find one with a GVWR rating of around 8000 lbs. if you can, probably most will be in the 7000 lb. range, you will find the GVWR on most LF Door post. Some 8ply tires would also not be a bad thing to have, as many used vehicles could has lessor quality tires for replacements, consider higher rated tires as something you might want to upgrade to. Main thing is know your minimum requirements and don’t let sales personal sway you away from that. When you find what you are looking for, buy it, don’t spend too much time on haggling with the price, because it probably won’t be there when you really decide you want it.
Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.July 30, 2018 at 4:15 pm #142824
A diesel truck? Your research is solid. I have stayed away from them because I have heard horrible stories about injectors going bad early. Also, I hear stories about $100 oil changes. Yet, they still intrigue me. I don’t mind oil changes but injectors…. With that said, since I have never bought a vehicle and sold it until it had 200K miles, I should look and drive the diesels. Thanks for the solid info. Sometimes this research becomes not so fun!July 30, 2018 at 4:47 pm #142827
We HAD a 2014 GMC Sierra SLT with the 6.2L gasoline engine. It had the max tow package and could tow over 11,000 pounds. Combined with the Outlaw Oliver II we weighed between 14,000 and 15,000 pounds, ready to travel, going down the road. Fuel mileage was never greater than 12 mpg average.
Our current diesel Silverado 2500HD gets 15% better fuel mileage even though the combo now weighs between 17,000 and 18,000 pounds.
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 4x4
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