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Raspy

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Raspy last won the day on August 14 2019

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  1. Lanham, Don't say "crash"! Sheesh, once is enough! ? Good luck on your trip.
  2. Putting weight on the rear of an Ollie, in the form of tongue weight from a rear trailer is just not a good idea regardless of how one might stiffen the frame. This because the frame is not designed for that kind of load, and because of the way it and the body work together. Plus, making Ollie light in the front, as a result, would likely introduce a severe handling problem. But, it's not all bad news. When flat towing a vehicle, like a Wrangler, for instance, or a small car, a tow bar is used and they add almost no tongue weight. And if set up correctly, they apply their fore and aft load during acceleration and braking in a horizontal direction parallel to the ground. The frame is good with fore and aft forces, just not with a lot of weight on the rear. But I still think it is a very bad idea to tow another trailer behind an Ollie. Then we have the braking issues associated with the whole setup. And the resistance to cornering that flat towed vehicles bring to the party, which add more unfair forces to the frame. The negatives begin to add up to a long list. All must be addressed to be successful. And the reward is simply to have a Wrangler to make side trips in, instead of an F-350. The cost/benefit ratio is extremely biased toward don't do it, or, bad idea.
  3. John, Take a breath! Nobody is trying to argue that an F-350 is better than a Wrangler off road. Alex was just asking about towing two trailers, one a Wrangler. Given the legal, structural and logistical problems with that, it seems it's better to use the F-350 to make runs to the store or for sightseeing when disconnected from the trailer, and leave the Wrangler at home. This is not about extreme four wheeling in Moab, it's about not having to take the trailer everywhere.
  4. Looking at it in a simpler way, one of the big advantages of traveling and camping with a trailer is that you can disconnect. This leaves the tow free to wander with no trailer. So, the only benefit I see here is the difference between exploring in an F-350 vs exploring in a Wrangler, once disconnected. Then factor in all the legal restrictions, safety issues, inability to back up, special planning for everything, worse mileage, much more stress, and I would never consider a double tow. Why is it so bad exploring in an F-350, that you must have a Wrangler instead, to go somewhere? But if you do decide to do it, make your rear tow bar such that it does not apply any tongue weight to the rear of the Oliver. The Oliver frame is bolted to the body in such a way that they work together to form a unit. A straight fore and aft push/pull would probably be fine. But no up and down load. Of course, if you ask Oliver about how to do it, they will very likely say, don't! They have a discontinued 2" receiver for the rear of an LE2 that was for bicycles. It was not for a rear tow. And there were some failures while carrying bicycles. So, I think you are on your own if you decide to go for it. If so, you'll have to design the hardware, install it, and take full responsibility for the results. Then you'll have to wire for it too, but you won't have brakes on the Wrangler unless you really go all out with the hardware.
  5. John. All I can say about the rock sliders is that they are better than nothing. But they are not as strong as they could be, or should be, from what I can see.
  6. ahattar, You and I are pretty much on the same page. All trailers are a compromise. Some years ago I finished out a 42' fiberglass ketch, from a mere hull and deck, to a finished sailing yacht that I sailed to Mexico and back, among other places. The electrical plan that I devised turns out to be just what Black Series did and it worked very well for me while being simple. I've had three "stickies" and the electrical systems were all disappointing. The Oliver has been trouble free, with the exception of a couple of bad connections and a missing grounding cable to the frame, but I think the inverter/charger design is the way to go and should probably be standard equipment. The biggest drawback with the Black Series is freeze protection. I spotted that right off and had to resolve how to fix it sufficiently before committing to the trailer. Fixing it requires some work and expense, but I think it will be fine when I'm finished. Here is how I plan to do it. 1. The dealer, RVs of America in Lindon Utah, is installing a "winter package". This includes all insulated piping underneath, tank heaters and tank insulation. This is not the ultimate answer and would certainly not be sufficient for very cold weather, but it will help with what we do. 2. I am going to install a recirculating hot water system that will provide two benefits, while being very simple. The first thing it does is give instant hot water at the rear shower and sink, to save on water usage. The second thing it does, when turned on, is provide just enough heat to the lines, both hot and cold, to keep them from freezing. This draws about .5 amp of DC and will recirc water from the water heater to fight the cold. It will cause the water heater to fire up occasionally, but that's fine as the main energy source will be propane and not electrical. I also plan to put low point drains on wherever needed so I can leave it parked at home in the winter. Previously, with my stickies, I would simply hook up a compressor to the shore tie water port and blow out the lines. Then leave an oil radiator style heater set low inside. This worked for years. My Oliver spent winters in the garage which has radiant heating, so winter freeze protection for it was not a problem, but the HQ will not fit through the door. I'm towing with a Ram 3500/Cummins. Having enough power and weight in the tow vehicle is not a problem, but the HQ will be significantly harder to pull than an Oliver. I know it will cause a mileage hit with it's higher profile and 1,400 lbs more weight. The thing that really caught my eye with the HQ was the suspension. I will not be tearing across the desert at speed, but I have not been able to make a conventional leaf spring, equalizer setup do what it seems they should do, that is ride smoothly with little vibration. Going 60 miles or so into Death Valley on gravel rutted roads is not friendly to this arrangement. Every trip out there is painfully slow, or causes stuff to go flying, cabinets to open, screws to back out, window coverings and cushions to go adrift, and the microwave to try and escape. If I never strayed off the highway and paved roads, The HQ would seem like severe overkill. On roads, I'm sure the Oliver would be a much more friendly partner. Compromises, compromises. I'm sort of a restless type, I guess, and I also like the engineering aspect of designing and dialing things in. It's so much fun to be out there, have everything I need, and have everything working well. So we'll see how it goes. The whole Australian trailer concept seems like it will be a game changer over here. For years, I've been sorry we could not get stuff like that here. All the way through, there are differences in the trailers that make sense. It seems like every American sticky is just a variation on the basic theme, that are all built in Indiana with the same parts and at the lowest quality they can get away with. It's about time there were more options. Oliver has been a wonderful addition to the whole scene. Their frame and fiberglass work are outstanding. They are artists with fiberglass. Now, Black Series is a third option that is not a cheap sticky, and has game changing features. It's aluminum, but not fragile like an Airstream. Fiberglass is undeniably a fine material for trailers. And it has the advantage of being produced in such a streamlined shape. Me deciding on one, doesn't mean the other is bad. Thanks for your thoughts.
  7. I agree with this completely. Used to be, Oliver advertised the stabilizers as OK for jacking. And even now, I'll find one tire off the ground when I'm leveling. But I would never pull a tire off and climb under while supported by the "stabilizer" I also carry a small aluminum floor jack for tire changing. They slip right in under the axle next to the tire. I also see no reason why you can't run one tire up on a rock, or stack of boards to lift the other one off the ground. The shackle flipping around seems very unlikely. That uneven position happens a lot while driving on rough roads.
  8. ahattar, One of the reasons I went to the HQ19 (which I don't actually have yet do to a delay in production), is the suspension. If you thumb through various posts you'll find some of us wish the suspension was better on the Oliver. It has very limited travel and hits metal to metal as a stop. The vibration while traveling on rough roads seems to be something very hard to tame in all trailers with conventional equalizer/leaf spring suspension. HQ uses independent swing arm and coil suspension with large dual shocks on each wheel. It also has larger 265/16 LT tires with twin spares. Another point that figured into the decision was the outside kitchen. We do a lot of cooking outside, to help keep the interior clean, and because there is much more room to prepare the ingredients outside. So I always carried a table, a stove and a quick disconnect hose for this purpose. Not with the HQ. It has a large preparation area, a sink, drawers and stove. The whole thing pulls out like a large drawer, with no setup time. The Oliver is extremely easy and efficient to tow. The HQ15s don't tow as well (unstable), they have a very small refrigerator, and no counter space in the kitchen. The HQ19s tow well (stable), but have more wind resistance than an Ollie. The HQ19 really shines on interior comfort, so it will be very comfortable to live in for longer trips. The Oliver is much better in cold weather as it comes from the factory. Ducted heat, interior piping and interior tanks make the difference. The ducted heat is not so useful for interior comfort as it is for freeze protection. The HQ series have external plumbing and need a winter upgrade to do well in the cold. Mine will have that before I pick it up. The HQ trailers all have excellent ground clearance. They use standard 5200 lb axle bearings and 12" brakes. They have dual heavy duty off-road shocks on each wheel and they come with a parking brake. Olivers use 3500 lb axles and 10"brakes on the LE2. The heavy duty jockey wheel on the HQ is another plus off-road. It enables the trailer to be towed out when disconnected from the truck and it allows the trailer to be turned around in it's own length if you get trapped at the end of a one-lane road. Having rock sliders and two spares are also nice features for off-road. So, for traveling efficiently on the highway, using the toilet and shower mainly at campgrounds, and cooking mostly light meals, (with no oven or hood), the Oliver is an excellent choice. For living in the trailer comfortably, cooking larger meals, or cooking in an oven, traveling rougher roads where excellent suspension and ground clearance really count, and for unexpected recovery situations, the HQ is the better choice. The HQ17 is an interesting choice because it has bunk beds in the rear and a large fridge. This might be better for traveling with kids or to bring along a couple of buddies. One other interesting feature for off-road use, is the dual water system. 16 gallons of drinking water with a triple filtering system as standard equipment. Plus, a 50 gallon general water system for washing dishes doing laundry, showering and general cleaning. This can be filled with lake or stream water while keeping the drinking water entirely separate. The HQ19 also has a washing machine! Either one seems structurally superior to others with similar design. The double fiberglass body, with insulation, on the Oliver is excellent. The HQ uses a structural aluminum tubing frame for the body and composite aluminum walls that are very tough. It has a diamond plate lower area all the way around for even more strength, and rock rails. The frame is heavy steel box members and is hot dip galvanized for absolute rust protection. Then the whole underside is coated with a bedliner like material. Olivers have their famous aluminum frames that are also very nice. Both have long tongues that allow the truck gate to be opened while connected. The HQ has a front propane locker built into the body and the Oliver has a nice fiberglass shroud over the bottles. The HQ has a nice equipment and jerry can storage locker on the other side of the front, next to the propane locker. Very handy for wheel chocks, hoses, power cords, a shovel, fuel cans, ropes, etc. All the miscellaneous stuff that always goes along. The electrical system in the Oliver is a standard type system used across the RV industry. An inverter is optional and needs a transfer switch to tie it in. It has automotive type fuses on the 12v side. The HQ uses an inverter/charger combination that is very nice as standard equipment. Much more up to date in design. And it uses circuit breakers for the electrical, serviceable tank monitor sensors and Square D residential circuit breakers on the 120 volt system. These breakers are readily available at Home Depot or any hardware store. The HQ comes standard with 300 watts of solar. Oliver offers their solar as an option. Both have all LED lighting, but the HQ also has LED flood lights on the front and rear, as well as both sides. Oliver uses the high quality and very well proven Bulldog hitch coupler. The HQ uses a fully articulating hitch that is better for off road use. The movement of the trailer can never get to the extreme limit of hitch with the articulating system, as it can with a ball hitch. But again, for normal use with a ball system, the Bulldog is the best there is. Over the years, with Oliver, there has been some trouble with cabinet doors, and drawers, not staying closed. Various things have been done to fix this. The HQ series uses locking catches that will not open. I think either brand is the best in their areas. Molded fiberglass, Oliver. Non-molded, Black Series. Towing efficiency, Oliver. Ease of towing, Oliver. Living conditions, HQ. Off-road, HQ. Modern design, HQ Long term durability, ? Factory commitment to the customer and proven reputation over time, Oliver.
  9. John, I like your way of adding two extra bolts. It is better than only one on top and you avoided the pinching problem on the tongue by using two short bolts instead of one long through bolt. Nice job.
  10. I found that when replacing my Bulldog coupler with the 2 5/16" model, that the bolts as installed from Oliver had bottomed out in the nuts before clamping sufficiently. This meant that almost all of the torque was going into twisting the bolt, rather than tensioning it. With insufficient clamping force, the holes in the Bulldog coupler had begun to elongate. A couple of grade 8 washers added to each bolt,fixed that problem. Lubing the bolt thread with either grease or anti-seize increases the tension on the bolt with any given torque value on the nut. In the case of engine head studs, for instance, the bolts are clamping the head to the engine, and bolt stretch is the best way of arriving at the design clamping force. Nut torque is just an easy way to get there without special tools, but not exact. In the case of the bulldog coupler, we need bolt tension and we need shear strength. The shear is more determined by the bolt hardness and diameter, while the tension is determined by the nut torque. In a perfect world, we'd get the bolt stretch specs and go for that by adjusting the nut torque. But in the real world, we use nut torque. It never is clear how much we should reduce the torque based on the affect of the thread lubrication. But it is clear that lubing the threads increases the tension. It may be that John had a defective bolt. It may also be that any problem with the bolt was made more obvious by lubing the threads, which increased the tension while torquing. It may also be that there was an unfair percentage of torque going into twisting the bolt because of the threads bottoming, or nearing the end of the threaded section. Since those bolts are not designed to be removed frequently, and since they are plated for corrosion, and since they may have been defective, I'd replace them and install them with no lube, while making sure the threads are not bottoming. We want the unthreaded shank to carry the shear load, so get bolts that have a long enough unthreaded length. Then add grade 8 flat washers to make sure the nut does not bottom before reaching full torque. If you have two torque wrenches, work them against each other on a nut and bolt, to see if they agree on their torque values. If not, get the best one calibrated or replace one of them. But really, the torque should not have to be very precise to work properly in this case. If the bolt is near it's full capacity, upsize it. It seems grade 8 is a good choice for the bolts because they are primarily in shear, but I'm not an expert on the differences between grade 5 and grade 8 in that regard. The torque is just a way to keep things from moving around while under load.
  11. Mine is the 12.5' one as shown in the description. It is the only one I found rated for 330 lbs, so it will be less flexible. And it's long enough that it doesn't have to be extended all the way to easily reach the roof of the trailer. I have one of the folding type ladders too, but it is much more bulky and heavier. I wouldn't bring a ladder at all if it wasn't for the solar.
  12. Here's the ladder I recently got. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LAHCOQ4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  13. Taylor, Until recently, I was using a small 120 volt Senco compressor/tank unit that is for nail guns and quite portable I ran it on an inverter when out traveling. But now, I've upgraded to a Viair 400-P-RV. This has a shutoff and lots of hose options. It actually has higher CFM than the 120 volt model I mentioned. I also carry a pretty thorough tire kit so I can plug leaks, and fix bike tires. I'd really like to have an on-board system built around the Viair, but I never seem to get around to it. The new HQ19 has a set of high-amp wires and an Anderson plug that runs from the tongue to the batteries. I plan to run a set of large conductors to the rear of the truck for this, and then may install the compressor in the nose of the trailer, where it has closed compartments for the propane tanks, jerry cans, leveling blocks, etc.
  14. Good plan. But be aware that the tire charts list the maximum weight that can be carried at a given pressure, not the recommended pressure for that weight. Then, as a safety factor, consider the situation, such as towing at high speed in the hot summer. Or remember, that at the lowest acceptable pressure there is no safety margin for a slow leak as you go along. It seems Oliver installs their tires with 80 PSI because that is what the tires have when they com from the supplier. I would never run that much pressure because the tires are rock hard. I used to run 60 PSI on my Oliver and it worked fine. Then I needed to run them at 45 for a few miles once after leaving a dirt road in the desert, and that worked fine too, but a little warmer. I went to 55 PSI and it worked very well. A bit softer than 60 and no heating up. Then I went to 50 as an experiment, and found the tires were warmer than at 60, but not dangerously so. And I like them to be a bit soft to absorb impacts. As far as tire temp goes, if you can hold your fingers on them, they are fine. They would have to be quite a bit hotter than that before they might get into trouble. Bottom line: A warm tire is OK. A softer tire than one at full rated pressure is a good idea to reduce impacts. Pressures can be lowered when off road, and should be. 30-35 is a reasonable place to start on rough surfaces. This helps to reduce cuts from sharp rocks, reduce the pounding from the rough surface, and the trailer, or the truck, will skate around less since the tire can conform to the surface and absorb the irregularities better. 60 PSI is a good default pressure on the highway in summer, and as high as you'll ever need to go. 50 PSI will run slightly warmer, but will ride smoother, and still will not heat up. The minimum pressure that will carry the load, may be too low for practical use, in fact I think it is quite low. On tandem axle suspension systems, it seems both axles would carry the same weight, when the trailer is near level. But they don't. Side to side will also vary according to the layout of the trailer and the gear on-board. So, if you just weigh the trailer and divide by four to get each tire's load, you could easily be 100 lbs off. Start out at 50-55 PSI and adjust from there as you see fit on the highway. This gives you a safety margin if you get a slow leak, will ride well, and will run cool. By "cool", I mean, you can probably hold your fingers on it without getting burned. This pressure assumes you will set it when "cold". Make adjustments as you see fit, but use the cold inflation pressure as your standard.
  15. Taylor, If you think you'll get it to where you can't detect that it is back there, forget it. Putting an approximately 5,500 lb weight behind your truck and then going over bumps and through dips WILL cause some pulling and pushing. Nothing wrong with that and no way around it. It will always jar you a bit when hitting bumps, and it will always push or pull depending on the road. A favorite way for so many guys to describe how well Olivers or others tow is to say "I can't even tell it's back there" It's a cute saying, but the reality is, yes you can tell it's back there. And so can the truck as it pulls 2 1/2 -3 tons along over grades, bumps, driveways, pot holes, speed bumps, dips and corners. When on a perfectly smooth and level highway, and cruising along at speed, yes, you might forget it's back there, or it's impact on the driving experience will become minimal and unimportant. But in any other conditions, it will keep reminding you it's there by tugging, jarring the suspension, pushing and pulling a bit. Not violently, but noticeably. How could it not? And again, that is not a problem. The simple physics of the trailer weight, compared to the truck weight, the uneven surfaces, and corners, all mean, yes, you can detect it back there. You've done all that you can do to fine tune the entire setup, short of maybe a final tire pressure adjustment. Now go out and enjoy it. After a while you won't be troubled by how your truck drives differently while towing. It should and it will.
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