Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Towing an Oliver › Towing a Legacy II with Nissan Frontier
- March 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm #12953
I’m going through the motions of considering a Legacy Elite II.
I am currently camping in an Airtream 16 Sport. I tow it with a Nissan Frontier 2010, V6 Automatic. It does fine with that trailer.
But, as I look at specs, I suspect that I am under rated for the bigger Oliver. My Nissans curb weigh is 4480 lb., GVWR is 5815lb, max tongue weight is 610 lb.
I would appreciate any observations – am I in the ballpark, lost, or need a new truck?
DaveMarch 10, 2016 at 1:48 pm #20401
Mike and CarolModerator@mike-and-carol
Dave, I’m planning on towing with a Tacoma. There are a couple of owners out there doing it now, maybe they can offer some thoughts. I will post my towing experience after we pick in May and go on a 2 week trek back home. Mike
Mike and Carol Thompson | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
The Lone Star Oliver #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L HemiMarch 10, 2016 at 2:32 pm #20402
I would appreciate hearing about your experiences, Mike.
Thank you.March 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm #20411
I wanted to circle back to your original post. It sounds like you have been happy using your Nissan Frontier as a tow vehicle for your Airstream. It would be wise to understand the key differences between the Airstream and the Oliver. You mentioned your Airstream is a Sport 16. Within knowing if you added options to the base model, I simply began be using the metrics off the Airstream website. They give us four key numbers:
1. Hitch (tongue) weight = 350 lbs.
2. Unit base (dry) weight = 2860 lbs.
3. Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) = 3500 lbs.
4. Net carrying capacity = 640 lbs.
If we look at the Oliver Elite II metrics for the base model without any options. They give us four key numbers:
1. Tongue (hitch) weight = 420 lbs.
2. Dry (Unit base) weight = 4600 lbs.
3. Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) = 7000 lbs.
4. Net carrying capacity = 2400 lbs.
As you can see there is a significant difference between the two trailers. Please keep in mind, most Oliver Elite II owners load up their trailers with many options which add to the Dry Weight and Tongue Weight and lowers the Net Carrying Capacity. This is really not an issue for the travel trailer since the Oliver design can accommodate a larger GVWR and large Net Carrying Capacity as a starting point on the base model. The Tongue Weight on the base model is also relatively light when compared to other 23 foot trailers.
What you need to be concerned with in using the Nissan Frontier are three key numbers.
1. Towing capacity.
2. Payload capacity
3. Front axle weight as it relates to your rear axle.
I am not sure if you have gathered these metrics. Although each vehicle manufacturer will post values on door jam stickers, I have not seen towing capacity listed. That metric is best obtained from the Nissan website based on your specific make and model with any towing related options. Keep in mind, when you consider a tow vehicle which is “razor thin” in relation to the demands of the travel trailer, it is best to visit a weight station, such as a CAT Scales in your area in calculating your payload metric. The CAT Scales will also help you understand the front axle weight both before and after loading and hook-up so you can determine if you need a weight distribution hitch. Some travel trailer owners overlook the issue of front axle weight until it is too late and they lose directional control due to the understeer effect.
I suspect you have already worked through all your metrics gathering as part of your Airstream towing. The good news with an Oliver Elite II is the running gear and more specifically the tires. With the Airstream you would no doubt have to gather the “End-of-Axle” weight since I believe your unit has 14 inch, ST rated tires where the load capacity for the tires can be concerning. Not really an issue with an Oliver!
Dave, I know this is a lot of information to consider, but your efforts in this area will serve you well. Please feel free to write back with any questions or concerns.
BuzzyMarch 10, 2016 at 8:14 pm #20412
Thanks, Buzzy. I’ll do my homework.
DaveMarch 10, 2016 at 9:02 pm #20413
Good info Buzzy. To that it should also be pointed out that tongue and tow weights are published depending upon whether or not one uses a weight distribution hitch. The tow/tongue specs are cut in half ± a few % points if not using a WDH. I brought this up on another thread and also the FGRV forum a couple of years ago that created a bit of consternation to at the time.
This info can usually be found stamped on the underside of your factory installed hitch where they provide specs for both situations. So for instance on my F150 it has a tongue weight of 1000lbs, but only 500 if NOT using a WDH, while the towing is just shy of 10,000 lbs but cut to 5000 if not using a WDH. IOW’s I’m at my limit ± a few lbs on tongue and total towing weight. Personally I wouldn’t want any less than what I have for a TV for the Elite II.
With a WDH I could theoretically pull some 10,000 lbs and be at my limit, but with no reservations this is not something I would want to do other than hauling something a short distance across town. A long camping trip across country, no way.
Hope this helps.March 10, 2016 at 9:08 pm #20414
I too want some headroom; pushing up against limits is nowhere to operate on a daily basis.April 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm #20539
We decided to purchase a new Legacy Elite II later this year.
We currently tow a 2000lb LivinLite CampLite 11 TT with a 2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 4.0L 262HP with 6300lb max tow capacity and 630lb max tongue weight. The Frontier handles the CL11 easily. We camp all over the nation and towed the CL11 on steep grades out west to almost 10,000′, and happy we had the Frontier to tow the lightweight camper on steep grades. It really surprised us how the Frontier had to work on steep grades. We have not towed to the highest elevations in western US, yet.
We currently own a 1st generation 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 2.4L 142HP 4 cylinder and manual tranny. We like the durability of our Tacoma. After our positive experience with the Tacoma, we’re considering a Toyota Tundra with 5.7L gas engine, 10100lb tow capacity, 381HP to tow the Oliver Legacy Elite II with out west.
LE2 TundraApril 3, 2016 at 5:51 pm #20542
The Toyota Tundra 5.7L V-8 should be able to tow the Oliver filled with gold bullion! My tow vehicle is a 2015 VW Touareg TDI (diesel). 7700 GVWR and a maximum of 660 lb. tongue weight. I weighed my Olliver Elite II on a Iowa Department of Transportation scale and it tipped the scales at 5,100 lbs. It’s loaded with options and I had the galley fully supplied and gear and clothing for 1 person. The three tanks were all below 20%. My tow vehicle tipped the scales at 6,000 lbs–it was carrying 1,000 lbs. in gear and me.
The Touareg diesel has 225 hp and 406 lbs-ft of torque. I towed the Olliver from the factory into Mississippi and then north to Iowa–about 1,000 miles. The Oliver tows really well–no sway or issues with the standard bulldog hitch. The high torque allowed me to get to 55-60 mph pretty quickly. I haven’t been to the mountains yet, but I’m pretty confident that I won’t have problems with mountain passes.
2016 Elite II Twin Bed Hull #126
2016 VW Touareg TDI
States I've visited with my OllieApril 3, 2016 at 9:51 pm #20545
Looked up the 2015 VW Touareg TDI online, and it looks like strong TV!!!!!!
All I need now is some Gold Bullion?
LE2 TundraApril 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm #20550
The Fronty with 4.0L has 261HP and torque @ 281 lb-ft.
The Tundra 5.7L has 381HP and 401 lb-ft of torque.
The Touareg has 406 lbs-ft of torque, very impressive! My guess is the Touareg diesel is running closer to max torque RPM (probably lower RPM) at tow cruise compared to the Tundra gas 5.7L at tow cruise. Just a guess.
LE2 TundraApril 10, 2016 at 10:28 pm #20603
As noted on another forum, "Trailer Life" April edition featured a Toyota Tacoma towing an Elite II. Toyota lists specs slightly more optimistic than my Nissan, but the comparison is close. Both are pushing the limits to the edge.
As a side note, I started looking into the F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine – very capable. Then, I started measuring my garage and found that that truck, would have to be shoe-horned in. LAME.
I am now considering the Ford Expedition – featuring that capable 3.5, 9000 lb. towing capacity, and a lockable gear stash. At a svelte 206 inches, my days of hauling landscaping rocks and mulch might be over.
Any observations on the Expedition?
DaveApril 11, 2016 at 7:03 pm #20606
Sorry, I have no experience with the Ford Expedition. I suspect it will do a fine job towing an Ollie. I have been enjoying my 3.5L EB engine.
In addition to a capable engine you might consider a few features which could make your towing more enjoyable. I particularly like towing mirrors and an extended range fuel tank. I do not know if you can purchase them as options on the Expedition.
I also like an integrated trailer brake controller and rear view camera over the hitch. I assume you could obtain these with a tow package. If so, go for it!
BuzzyApril 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm #20607
All good features, for sure – some of those are standard on the Expeditions. The 3.5 Ecoboost; it appears to be the current "gold standard," doesn’t it?April 30, 2016 at 2:40 am #33527
Learned more about towing the 2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II with our 2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab with 4.0L and automatic transmission.
Purchased the Ollie in MO earlier this month and towed it home over 600 miles with the Frontier. We got 14.5MPG at 60MPH on I40 through TN & NC mountains. At 60MPH the Frontier indicates 2150RPM with overdrive off. Found a 3″ lift ball mount is needed to keep the Ollie level, on our stock 2WD Frontier. The 3″ lift ball mount measures 21″ from the ground to top of ball before connecting to the Ollie. Originally ordered a set of Firestone rear differential air bags, but they were back ordered, so placed an order for Timbren rear differential rubber suspension enhancement. Did have some bounce on rougher roads, Timbrens should reduce or get rid of bounce, will see.
Had one car to pull out in front of us during the trip home and the rig performed an emergency stop nicely. Really like the brakes on the Ollie and how stable it is while towing on the interstate passing or being passed by tractor trailers. Did not use WDH or sway bar, and probably will not use them in the future with this rig.
Weighed the Oliver & Nissan Frontier at the local county landfill, have not been on a CAT scale, yet. Included some of the Frontier capacities with Class IV hitch & ball mount:
2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 4.oL
GVWR 5730 pounds
GCWR 11,135 pounds
Maximum tow capacity 6300 pounds WDH hitch recommended over 5000 pounds
Maximum Tongue Weight 630 pounds
Frontier ready to camp with two occupants 4860 pounds
Our Legacy Elite II ready to camp with empty tanks including tongue weight 4940 pounds
Frontier & Ollie Rig 9800 pounds
Our Legacy Elite II Tongue Weight ready to camp with empty tanks 420 pounds
Our Legacy Elite II tandem axle weights ready to camp 4520 pounds
Frontier ready to camp with two occupants and 420 pounds of tongue weight added 5280 pounds
Frontier with 3″ lift ball mount and no rear suspension modifications added yet:
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.