Oliver-Real Tow Weight - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2016, 10:18 AM   #1
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Oliver-Real Tow Weight

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
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:11 AM   #2
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Yeah a dry weight of 3,640 is pretty heavy.

Although all the photos show it being towed by an FJ Cruiser, which has a 4,700lb towing capacity, so, you know...

With a trailer brake, smart packing and careful driving, you would be fine. But most people around here seem to be more comfortable staying well within their vehicle's towing capacity. You could ask Oliver what they think, too. They probably know what almost everyone who owns an Oliver is towing it with.

I've got a Tacoma with a 5,000lb limit and a Bigfoot that's about 2,000 dry. It's very comfortable to tow. But that's the way I like it...

I could definitely tow more, but I like that it's well within my limits. On top of that, I haven't pulled it with stuff in it. Only propane. So once I get all my stuff in there, plus water, it's going to be a whole different deal. I'll be interested to see how much different it tows.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:13 AM   #3
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So far, the only Oliver Elite that has been added to the "Trailer Weights in the Real World" spreadsheet that I've been keeping up is a 17' (3900 lbs & 340 lbs).

If you (or anyone) can provide trailer & tongue weights on other models, I'd love to add them.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:39 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:52 AM   #5
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That (3640 x 1.25) keeps you within your limits, if you don't load yourself down too far with extra stuff.

You can also do the more complicated math...weight of water per gallon is a known amount. For the maximum you'd ever carry, figure out the capacity of the fresh water tank, get the weight, plus the weight of full propane tanks. Then figure out a general, educated guess of what your "stuff" weighs, camping gear and food. I mean that's actually pretty simple math, just takes the leg work to get numbers to plug in.

More work, but I'll bet you can get a pretty realistic idea of how much you'll weigh.

Seems to me that if you're comfortable being right up against your towing limits, you'll be ok. Asking around on a Toyota or 4Runner site is a good way to get a whole bunch of conflicting views on towing at or above weight limits. People tow over their weight limit all the time. You've just got to decide if you're one of those people...
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
That (3640 x 1.25) keeps you within your limits, if you don't load yourself down too far with extra stuff.

You can also do the more complicated math...weight of water per gallon is a known amount. For the maximum you'd ever carry, figure out the capacity of the fresh water tank, get the weight, plus the weight of full propane tanks. Then figure out a general, educated guess of what your "stuff" weighs, camping gear and food. I mean that's actually pretty simple math, just takes the leg work to get numbers to plug in.

More work, but I'll bet you can get a pretty realistic idea of how much you'll weigh.

Seems to me that if you're comfortable being right up against your towing limits, you'll be ok. Asking around on a Toyota or 4Runner site is a good way to get a whole bunch of conflicting views on towing at or above weight limits. People tow over their weight limit all the time. You've just got to decide if you're one of those people...
Based on the tank sizes listed on the Oliver website if all tanks were full you would need to add 718 lbs to allow for water weight.
Exceeding the tow capacity of the OP's vehicle would not be a difficult goal to obtain.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:12 PM   #7
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I think people generally underestimate the weight of their stuff, by quite a bit.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
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Yeah he's got about 600 pounds to play around with.

I think the "Oliver Family" is fairly small. It wouldn't be hard to be put in touch with other owners of the single axle model and see what they tow with, and what their experiences have been.

There was a package for sale on this site a while back that was a Legacy Elite/FJ Cruiser. Less tow capacity than your 4Runner.

Just because other people are doing it doesn't mean you should, but 90% of the photos I find online show small SUVs or Tacomas pulling Olivers, even the two axle variety.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I think people generally underestimate the weight of their stuff, by quite a bit.
I agree, when they use the "ah, let's see...my stuff probably doesn't weigh any more than..say...2 or 300#". But I think actually looking at your list of what you bring camping, and even weighing a bit of it on the bathroom scale, you could extrapolate the rest and actually get a good estimate.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:45 PM   #10
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Can't answer your question but I sure do like the Oliver trailers. If I had it to do over I would get the Oliver over the Casita. The Casita is nice and meets our needs but the Olivers sure are sweet little trailers. Hope you work out the weight issues. Make sure you get what you're going to be happy with.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Yeah a dry weight of 3,640 is pretty heavy.

Although all the photos show it being towed by an FJ Cruiser, which has a 4,700lb towing capacity, so, you know...

With a trailer brake, smart packing and careful driving, you would be fine. But most people around here seem to be more comfortable staying well within their vehicle's towing capacity. You could ask Oliver what they think, too. They probably know what almost everyone who owns an Oliver is towing it with.

I've got a Tacoma with a 5,000lb limit and a Bigfoot that's about 2,000 dry. It's very comfortable to tow. But that's the way I like it...

I could definitely tow more, but I like that it's well within my limits. On top of that, I haven't pulled it with stuff in it. Only propane. So once I get all my stuff in there, plus water, it's going to be a whole different deal. I'll be interested to see how much different it tows.
Zach0, from personal experience I can say your Bigfoot is probably heavier than the 2000 pound dry weight you state. The number Bigfoot states is a joke and it's not just Bigfoot that gives the very misleading numbers regarding weight. Mine "dry" weighs about 2750 and with a moderate load of water (black, grey and fresh) some food and gear usually tips the scale at 3450 pounds. 3000 on the axle and 450 on the tongue. Olivers are wonderful trailers but they are heavy as are Bigfoot. I'm sure you are still well within your towing limit but your margin is less.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:01 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:12 PM   #13
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Zach0, Some of the earlier Bigfoots did not have a bathroom and they are lighter. Your 91 should weigh somewhere close to mine. Mine should show up somewhere on the spreadsheet at 3450#.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:22 PM   #14
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Ok, thanks. I guess it wouldn't hurt to actually weigh it at some point. Since I do so much boon docking, having the water tank full, plus a few jugs of drinking water, it's possible I'd push the limits now and then. But I don't have AC, which must help.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
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, 02:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
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, 02:32 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, 03:12 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, 03:33 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, 08:42 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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