Oliver-Real Tow Weight - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2016, 01:02 PM   #15
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Name: Diane
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
A simple rule of thumb I learned from a friend of mine who was an automotive engineer for Ford and GM was to multiply the listed dry weight / tongue weight by 1.25 to get an approximate weight when the trailer is loaded . My trailer has a listed dry weight of 2560 lbs
2560 lbs x 1.25 = 3200 lbs . My trailers actual weight when loaded for travel is within 20 lbs of the calculated weight.
Steve...Your 1.25 calculation came out to almost exactly my numbers (4550). This is why I'm so concerned. What about the 80% rule. Others have claimed that is the safe max. Toyota also said that's considered safe.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:15 PM   #16
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Interesting. Ok. Somewhere on this site I read that Bigfoot is/was actually better at listing realistic dry weights than the other manufacturers, so I was going on the assumption that it was pretty accurate. I've also heard the older ones are lighter. And that in general they are lighter than Casita and Scamp. They just don't tow any better because of the shape and size. Looking at the trailer weights in the real world thread, there are only two 17ft Bigfoots that I saw. One was under 3000# total weight, at a campground with gear. The other was 4400#. Huge difference...So that doesn't help me

But yeah, I'm definitely within my limits either way.

The OP can look at it this way: You can tow the Oliver. It is within your limits. But not by much. Going with a lighter trailer means less concern about weight. Going with the Oliver means you'll always want to be very conscious of what you put in it. You'll always be concerned with being overweight. Not a big deal, just something you'll need to always be aware of. Also, the closer to your limit, the more wear & tear on your vehicle.

If you always camp at sites with hookups, then there's no reason to ever have more than 10 gallons of water in your tank. Just enough for cooking one meal, maybe a shower. 10 gallons is overkill. That gives you another couple hundred pounds to play around with, as far as your gear.

So the simple truth is that the wet weight of an Oliver is within the tow capacity of your 4Runner. But you can easily push it up over that limit depending on what you put in there.
Thanks, Zacho. So I can potentially burn-out my 4Runner if I'm not careful or buy the Landcruiser I've always wanted but can't afford. Lil Snoozy (half the price and about half the weight) and stay at hotel on cold days. Hmmmm.....
No one said it would be easy.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:32 PM   #17
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Diane, I'm curious on why you are only considering Oliver and Lil Snoozy ? They are both fine products but they are so very different in size and amenities.There are so many fine choices. What about Escape, Scamp, Casita and all the others. If you want something larger than a Snoozy but lighter than an Oliver, you do have lots of other options.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:12 PM   #18
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That is true. Lots of trailers, but we don't know what "bill" they would need to fit, so it's hard to make other recommendations. At this point we're just assuming you've done your research, and these two are what you've come up with. But they are very different.

I'll say that Bigfoot was not on my list when I first looking around. I was completely set on a Scamp or Casita. But the more I looked, and thought about what it was I needed, the more Bigfoot made sense. But I'll admit, they don't look as cool...

Any time you're hauling weight, it's hard on your vehicle. That's just the way it is. The more weight, the harder it is. Toyotas can handle a lot of abuse. But it will wear out faster pulling and stopping a lot of weight. That's just the reality of using a vehicle to tow. It's a compromise. Just keep the speed down and don't make it work too hard.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Bernese Bunch View Post
Steve...Your 1.25 calculation came out to almost exactly my numbers (4550). This is why I'm so concerned. What about the 80% rule. Others have claimed that is the safe max. Toyota also said that's considered safe.
Some people choose to use the 75% /80% rule ,others believe that if the vehicles manufacturer says you can tow X than you can tow 100% of X and others believe that the manufacturers under rates their tow numbers for legal and warranty reasons. It is up to you to decide which school of thought you wish to believe. I choose not to push my vehicle to or over the limit. Towing puts added stress on a vehicle . I think Glenn is correct when he states that most people underestimate the actual weight of their trailer when loaded for travel . It is difficult to accurately estimate the weight and tongue weight of any trailer short of weighing it on a scale. As far as I am concerned any weight numbers given on this forum including mine are speculative at best.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:42 PM   #20
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OP mentions wanting the 18.5 which is a single 5k axle, everyone says won't take long to exceed his limit, but that would also be overloading the trailers axle too, Oliver takes every trailer they make to the weigh station upon completion (with selected options installed) so the plate is exactly correct, just call them and ask what they've been. Unless he plans to criss cross the Rockies the Toyota should handle it without too much trouble.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:57 PM   #21
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OP mentions wanting the 18.5 which is a single 5k axle, everyone says won't take long to exceed his limit, but that would also be overloading the trailers axle too, Oliver takes every trailer they make to the weigh station upon completion (with selected options installed) so the plate is exactly correct, just call them and ask what they've been. Unless he plans to criss cross the Rockies the Toyota should handle it without too much trouble.
Actual weight! That's very professional ! Wish every manufacturer did that.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:01 PM   #22
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Diane, I'm curious on why you are only considering Oliver and Lil Snoozy ? They are both fine products but they are so very different in size and amenities.There are so many fine choices. What about Escape, Scamp, Casita and all the others. If you want something larger than a Snoozy but lighter than an Oliver, you do have lots of other options.
After closely examining what I believe will be my camping style, I decided on the Ollie because I will probably do some cold weather camping. I like New England and will probably spend some time there. Also, the Ollie is a beautifully designed trailer!
If I must take a step back to a 2-3 season trailer, the Snoozy is the most suitable for me and my dogs. Wide aisle width, big bed. However, not for winter! Also the Snoozy plant will customize it for me.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:41 AM   #23
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I decided on the Ollie because I will probably do some cold weather camping. I like New England and will probably spend some time there. Also, the Ollie is a beautifully designed trailer!
I have found that they are completely capable in cold weather. Went down to 0F without issue connected to 115v, on just the coleman heat strip, when it dropped to -10F the heat strip in the coleman couldn't keep up, so the automatic switch to the furnace took over and maintained it, no problem. With the entire interior gel coat and easily replaceable cushions, it can stand up to any dog use too.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:37 AM   #24
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For the record, because I think I made this mistake too, OP is a she, not he Though I shouldn't be so presumptuous as to assume all Dianes are women.

Any of the fiberglass trailers can be 3 season. Almost any trailer claiming "all season" will not be truly all season without modifications.

I camped in a 1978 Toyota Chinook, which had giant single pane windows, drafty gaps in the door and windows, no insulation around most places. I camped in it down into the low teens, with no problems.

Don't assume that you need an "all season" to camp in all seasons. People tent camp in the winter. Just having a hard sided, insulated camper is extremely luxurious compared to that. Insulated water tanks, double paned windows etc is just icing on the cake.

"Winter packages" aren't exactly "hype", but the idea that you need them in order to camp in cold weather, or that they actually even cover everything you need for true winter camping, is hype. If by "all season" you're expecting something you can be warm and comfortable in, in teens or twenties, any fiberglass trailer with a heater fits the bill.

Having said all that, Olivers are really good trailers from what I can see and I think you'll be really happy with it.

I just don't want you to be thinking "I either need an "all season" camper, or I need to be in hotel rooms in cold weather". I didn't even turn my heat on at night when it was in the teens, with no insulation. Just slept under a nice fluffy down comforter and turned on the heat when I got up in the morning. Dog did just fine.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:53 AM   #25
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Hi, everyone. So glad to be a part of this community. I've been online researching travel trailers and have narrowed my selection down to two. The Oliver and the Lil Snoozy. I believe the Oliver is at the very maximum of my towing capacity. I have a 2014 Toyota 4Runner and will not sell it for another TV. Must work around it. Love the Ollie, Legacy Elite 18.5 but believe it may be something I cannot tow safely. Like the 4 season use. Lil Snoozy is certainly light enough but not 4 season. What am I to do? Does anyone have real tow weights for this model Ollie? My GCWR is 11,300 and towing capacity is 5000. Need help! Thanks
The 4Runner comes (I think) standard with a trailer hitch, so you know it is good for towing. Don't be shy. There is always some margin of safety in those rated capacities. As the trailer gets heavier, just be sure to add air to your rear tires.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:58 AM   #26
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My 2002 BF has a factory stated dry weight of about 2700 lb. A couple of years ago I measured loaded weights of 410 lb hitch weight and 3108 lb axle weight (CAT scale).
I personally think you'd be okay as long as you don't overload your trailer. I would add a transmission oil cooler (not very expensive) and get the trailer weighed on a CAT scale when it's loaded for a trip, to help evaluate your load capabilities. Most truck stops (e.g. Pilot) have CAT scales.

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Old 03-05-2016, 09:04 AM   #27
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Shape and frontal area are persistently ignored, as if weight were the only consideration. Fact is, they are at least equally important.

All else being equal, you will likely find a lot less stress on a tow vehicle towing an Oliver with its aero shape than say a Bigfoot which is square.
That is Airstream's legitimate claim to fame in the world of stickies.

Remember that a large parachute weighs so little that a healthy adult could lift and carry it, but once deployed, try towing one down the road.

There should be a "drag coefficient" rating on trailers, but the Tow Vehicle's shape and frontal area affects the trailer enough to make such a thing impractical. There is however commonly an overall frontal area rating for most TVs.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:13 AM   #28
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I completely agree, except that though I'm not very experienced, when someone asks "can I tow this?", I tend to give an answer based on safety. Which means braking and handling, I think. I saw an early model Tacoma pulling a full size Airstream once, and it also had it's bed completely full of camping gear, bikes, boats etc.

Vehicles can pull all sorts of stuff. It might just damage the vehicle, and that's up to the owner of the vehicle to decide. But what kind of weight you can safely stop seems to be more important to me.

That's how my Chinook was. They built it to be right at Toyota's weight limits, wet. But not including any of my stuff. So that camper was driving around the last 30+ years, almost always slightly over it's weight capacity. It would go down the road 80 mph (on flat ground). That thing could move. But evasive maneuvering? Emergency stopping? No way. In that sense, it was kind of a death trap. I think that's where someone needs good advice. I mean yeah, you should know about wear & tear on your vehicle. But if you're inexperienced, you should really be warned "no, you shouldn't tow that" based almost strictly on what your vehicle can safely stop and control.

Only thing you're doing pulling too much wind resistance is making your engine and tranny work really hard, and spending a lot on gas. Important, but only "at least equally important" in a general sense, not a safety sense.
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