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Posts posted by hobo

  1. On 3/15/2024 at 11:41 AM, 2008RN said:

    I also have the D35 Label.   Does that mean that I should not update to the Alcan 2,000# springs.  I run between 6,300 and 6,500 on the scales. I would not mind that little extra stiffness.  I replaced the original Monroe shocks this winter (3 were shot with 8,000 miles on the Oli) with Bulldog HD shocks. I haven't had a chance to take her out on the rougher windy 2 lane roads yet.  Darn, I was really hoping that I was going to have the D52 axles!

    Can you provide the specifics on the Bulldog HD shocks please?

    Thanks, (2 HOBOS) Hull 414

  2. OK,  First day on the road with the new ALCAN springs and can say there was no appreciable difference in ride.  That said, I did note there was slightly less side-to-side rocking of the trailer as we traveled down low speed side roads which is where I would normally detect that in the past.

    ALCAN warns that the 7/8 U Bolt nuts need to be checked and re-torqued at 50/100/600 miles.   I can attest that the nuts certainly needed tightening.  I have one more tightening to do.

    Easy to do BTW.  U bolts are easily accessible  just laying down next to the trailer.  Use 7/8" deep set socket and set torque setting to 90 ft lbs.  Ten minute job.

    Nothing inside the trailer appears to have been negatively affected by the upgraded springs thus far.

    I'll continue to report as we move along.

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  3. 4 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

    I’ll be interested in how they ride.  I’m close to giving them a call to order.  Mike

    Just FYI:  The new springs raised the trailer about 3/4".  Not noticeable unless you actually measure.

    My service tech was really impressed with the ALCAN springs once he had them sitting side-by-side with the Dexter springs.  In fact, another customer commented how the one set of old springs had flattened out.  My tech commented that was the reason I was having them changed out.

    I'll report on ride after I have a few hundred miles on them.

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  4. My ALCAN springs arrived yesterday (Wednesday) and my RV tech installed them yesterday PM.  

    His torque wrench failed so I brought him mine this morning so he can finish up the job.

    He liked the ALCAN springs and there were ZERO issues installing them.  He also confirmed that at least one set of the original Dexter springs were starting to flatten out.  Meaning (to me) they were on the way to failure.

    I will also state that the original springs had only about 5000 highway miles on them and ZERO off road miles. 

    We depart tomorrow (Friday) for a six week, 5300 mile trek around the US so I'll report back how they ride.

    I did lower my PSI in the tires to 48 PSI to help soften whatever uptick in stiffness there may (or may not) be with the new springs.

    I'll also report what difference (if any) there is on additional lift the new springs may have provided.

    Paul (2 HOBOS) hull 414



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  5. 9 hours ago, Mountainman198 said:

    I completely understand where you are coming from. 

    However, coming from a rock crawling and jeeping background I can understand the warranty period for their products as their main business is building custom suspensions for people who will take their 4x4 rigs to places like Moab and do things to them that a teenager wouldn't do to a stolen rental car. Over time and as ALCAN gets more into the RV suspension business, perhaps their RV spring warranty will split from their off-roading line and fall more in line with that which we are used to seeing in our world.   Until then and knowing what their rock crawling customers do to their products and that the springs I purchased for my trailer are built with the same raw materials and using the same process as their offroad springs I am confident of my purchase. 

    I absolutely agree.  ALCAN is noted for their off-road suspension work and in that environment, things will be tested beyond reasonable expectations and obviously fail occasionally.  

    I can fully appreciate why a business like ALCAN couldn't afford to guarantee their products not to fail over the long term when used for those purposes.  The potential liability alone would put them out of business.

    That said, I fully expect that if any of these springs failed within a few years, Mike would make good on them similarly like Oliver Trailers made good on a serious electrical failure in my trailer well after the warranty period had expired. 

    There are lots of reasons/excuses to not upgrade to the better (costlier) springs but there is one reason I did:  and she sits next to me when we're towing our trailer down the highways .

    Money well spent IMHO. 

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  6. 37 minutes ago, jd1923 said:

    This has been answered theoretically, but sure we all want to know what @Mountainman198 and @hobo experience. The 5200 LB axle makes no difference, except to be very happy they ran out of 3500 stock, and you got better bearings and brakes. 2000 LB rated 5-leaf springs vs. 1750 LB, like I wrote before is 14% stiffer, maybe a little more bang on occasion and less up and down.

    I think for a variety of reasons, I will be dropping my PSI in the tires down from the 60 PSI (probably too much anyway) that I have been using down to somewhere between 45/50 PSI.  I don't think the 14% stiffer springs will even be noticeable.

    I also have to keep in mind that Mike at ALCAN stated that (in his opinion), regardless of the spring quality issue, the 3500 lb springs used on the Olivers are too light.

    I'll have 5300 miles in the next 6 weeks to see if we notice any weird stuff going on in the trailer with the new springs. 

    • Like 7
  7. Mountainman198,

    Just to reinforce what you said above, I also  spoke to Mike this morning on the subject of center bolt concern and he advised that his own production department had brought this to his attention after I sent him a picture of my axle and springs late last week. They in fact noted that our trailers had an underspring set up which would require a change in the bolt application.  (Apparently, most TTs have oversprung setups.)  They had already changed the product production protocols for our trailers before anyone on our side contacted them on the issue. 

    Any YES, anyone ordering springs should specifically mention that they are being put on an Oliver TT.

    He also provided that "yes, they use a much thicker brass sleeve in their springs than the industry standard.  This in no way affects the reuse of our existing bolts.  It's just beefier, stronger, and longer lasting than what most use in their products.

    Relative to "other sources" for springs, he stated that there are no other manufactures of springs in the US that use the quality of metal that they use. (Take that comment for whatever it's worth).

    I will say this however, If you want the "best" of something, then it is by definition is a "sole source" acquisition (Oliver trailers are a good example of that. )

    Finally, Mike commented several times about how impressed he is with the Oliver TT owner community.

    Thus far, I am very impressed with ALCAN's attention to detail and their customer service. 

    My springs should be installed by the first of next week [18th(ish)] so I'll report back.

    Paul (2 HOBOS), hull 414

    ON A SIDE NOTE: The reason I sent him a picture of our axle assembly last week was that he suggested that perhaps I wanted to consider upgrading the equalizer (point where front and rear springs attach just between the tires) to a MorRyde equalizer which considerably improves the ride. 

    At that juncture I informed him that I had already been in contact with MorRyde and after much back-and-forth data swapping with them, MorRyde determined that their product was not applicable to our trailers since we have an undersprung leaf setup which doesn't allow enough clearance between the top of the axle and the trailer frame for their product use.

    Mike was confused by that until I sent him a picture of our assembly so he could see what I was talking about.  This is the pic that their production folks looked at and immediately realized our trailers were an  "underslung" design which caused them to change the bolt setup.

    Hope this was enlightening.






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  8. 1 hour ago, Mountainman198 said:

    I can confirm that these measurements match the OEM brand/model spring specs for Hull #898 as well as match the published specs for the replacements spring brand/model provided by Oliver Service for my trailer. I encourage owners to confirm the specs of their OEM springs to know what they are replacing before proceeding with replacement of any part as we know certain differences exist between out trailers based in hull# and date produced.

    My OEM Spring make/model was conveniently stamped into the retainer band towards the end of each of my leaf springs (see pic). From this info I did a google search and found the specs. The springs installed at the factory on Hull #898 were made by EMCO and are model #PR-4B.  The specs match what Steve provided above.  Added to the specs Steve provided is the bushing spec provided by Oliver.  The bushing is inserted into the spring eye and our wet bolts ride inside of them.  The specs for these bushings (whether plastic or bronze) is 1.75”L, 11/16 O.D.(outside diameter) and 9/16”I.D.(inside diameter).  

    It should be noted that the bronze bushing on the ALCAN springs is thicker walled than standard such that while it still has a 9/16”I.D., the spring eye into which it is pressed is larger than 11/16”.  The 9/16”I.D. Of the bushing is important on these metrics as our wet bolts (which are 9/16” must fit inside the bushing eye)  I hope this makes sense.  I have attached a pic for comparison  OEM spring in top, ALCAN on bottom.863D9518-41D6-4DEB-9EB1-4967357C85D9.thumb.jpeg.4e86eb08a4944a9a4fb886772058c4d2.jpeg


    Mountainman198.  Just want to understand what you are "noting".  Are you saying that I need to order the wet bolts from ALCAN or do the bolts I already have work?

  9. 40 minutes ago, Geronimo John said:

    I agree. 

    But I just don't generally like sole source procurements.   For most of us, there is plenty of time to run down some quotes from other USA Spring Manufacturers, who use the same steel, and have a great reputation as well. 

    Also, we have not heard a peep out of OTT about this topic.  Nor has Dexter been brought into the discussion either.  So I caution rushing into such purchases too early.  Now if you have a trip on the near horizon, then by all means buy now.  I certainly would based on what we think we know now. 


    We're departing in less than two weeks for a six week, 5300+ mile trip around the US which is what is driving us to make the spring change NOW.  I noted when I was doing my spring maintenance that the leading spring on the street side seemed to be flattening out slightly which, I am told, is the first sign of imminent leaf failure.

    Knowing my time constraints, Mike (at ALCAN) is expediting the production of a spring set for me to have them shipped in time for me to have my RV tech install them prior to our departure. (Yes, I could install them myself but I have a thousand other things I'm doing to prepare for this trip).

    As an aside:  I'll be talking to Mike today (Monday the 11th) about the center bolt on his springs and ensure that they are appropriately applied for the Oliver "underslung" setup. (I'll report back on this).

    Cost of springs (4 sets), 4 new U bolts, and shipping is somewhere in the $750 - $800 range.

    He initially suggested 4 new HD shackles and 8 new shackle bolts but when I informed him the existing shackles on the Olivers have 1/2" thick side plates (which are already HD) he was pleasantly surprised and waived off the need for new ones which is a $200(ish) savings.

    Expecting (hoping) no surprises and I'll keep everyone informed of results.

    2 HOBOS (hull 414) 2018 LEII



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  10. 48 minutes ago, John Dorrer said:

    So when ordering springs from Alcan, we should request bolt under for our replacements, so it matches the current spring install? I'm definitely not a mechanically minded person🙃


    I will be talking to Mike at ALCAN tomorrow (Monday) and ask him about that.  My springs are being produced on Wednesday so I'll get this straightened out before they are built.  I'll report back tomorrow after I talk to him.  The term for our springs is "underslung" (vs overslung).

    • Like 3
  11. 12 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

    Good catch.  A good example of why letting the first install with a few miles take place before opening up the flood gates.

    I would prefer to use a bench vice and two strong C-clamps.  Belt and suspenders with one of them (The bench Vice) for sure not going anywhere.... just in case.


    Since my springs are going to be produced on Wednesday, I will contact Mike at ALCAN on Monday morning and ask about this.  I'll remind him our springs are "underslung".  I'll provide feedback on Monday.

    • Like 2
  12. 12 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

    Shifting focus on the topic: 

    When the spring fails, does the tire or broken spring get into the wheel well fiberglass?

    Would the answer to the above be different if we were on a fire road with big bumps up/down?


    When I spoke to Mike at ALCAN, I asked about what happens when a spring breaks.

    He said generally the broken spring won't come in contact with the ground (which was my worst-case fear) but he said the real concern is if the axle with the broken springs moves into the stabilized axle causing the wheels to hit each other.  He said it can l cause severe damage to the wheels, tires and possibly the trailer.

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  13. 58 minutes ago, dewdev said:


    Did Mike at ALCAN give you more information on why he thught the 4 spring set was "inadequate for our trailers" ?


    He said they were just not appropriate for the weight of the Oliver trailer.  Basically the 5 spring version should be the standard for our trailers, not the 4 spring 3500 lbs springs.

    • Like 1
  14. On 3/7/2024 at 12:35 PM, jd1923 said:

    This discussion will get me under the Oliver again this weekend to inspect the leaf springs! It appears the failure location is right where the second leaf contacts the main leaf. Everything looked fine 6 months ago when I replaced the trailer wheel bearings, as you can see in the picture. I would assume there would be a slight bend at this location prior to failure.

    Why are we looking for new sources, when @Mountainman198 found this great USA made company? The springs look great! Will these be a good upgrade or too stiff? That's the only question I see. If these are truly rated at 8000 LBS GTWR that may be OK or perhaps a bit too stiff. Our Oliver sits about 6200 LBS when traveling. Could they remove one leaf to bring this down to a 7000 rating?

    OTT brakes Street Side Crop.jpg

    OK, a little more information provided by "Mike" at ALCAN relative to a four spring setup vs the five spring setup.

    I specifically asked Mike about simply swapping out our cheap, Chinese produced Dexter 4 spring set with a quality 4 spring set that they produce.  He highly recommended going with the five spring set. In his opinion, the 3500 springs used by Dexter are inadequate for our trailers.  That's good enough for me.

    I had asked about their 4 spring set as by yesterday (Friday) morning (the morning after Mountainman198) had posted the vendor source note, they had already sold out of the last 3 remaining stock of 5 spring sets to other Oliver owners.

    I was the first call Friday morning and he advised they were producing more next week (11-15 March) but wouldn't ship until NLT than Friday the 15th.  Well we're departing on the 22nd of March for a six week trip and that schedule was almost a guarantee that at best, I might receive the shipped springs in time  for the trip but wouldn't have time to install them. I of course would order them and have them with me just in case. So I locked in my order at 0700 yesterday morning.

    When I talked to Mike later yesterday he said based on my somewhat immediate need, he discussed with his production folks and they said they could have a set produced for me by next Wednesday (vice Friday) and they would be shipped that day.  That's GREAT customer service.

    He also mentioned to me to me that in the time between having talked to him in the morning (0700), and when I called back at around 2PM, he had sold five more sets to Oliver trailer owners.  He said "You Oliver trailer owners are a really tight knit group".  He actually was so impressed, he went on line and investigated Oliver Travel Trailers.

    I have my RV mechanic on standby to replace my springs once they are received.  He's having me bring in my trailer once I get the "shipped" notice so that it's already there in his shop the moment the springs arrive.  To that end, my new springs should be installed before our departure on Friday, 22 March.

    I'll report back my findings once installed.

    Thanks again to Mountainman198 for all his efforts.

    Paul & Donna (2 HOBOS) hull 414 (last trailer produced in 2018)


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  15. On 5/18/2023 at 10:49 PM, Patriot said:

    Today I received the first initial production mount of the new Honda eu3200i security mounting system. This came after weeks of collaboration, exchanging measurements and photos, emails and phones calls with fittingdesignsco@gmail.com.

    Note: You will need to modify your cargo box to use the key to unlock the puck mount. This will require drilling a hole in the side of the cargo box in order for the key to be inserted to unlock the puck mount. The base plate of the mount will also need to be be bolted down in the cargo box. I will add additional photos of mounting this gen security system when we return home from the rally. The unit pricing is $375.00 plus tax shipped to the lower 48. If interested, please contact the company at 530-913-2271 if you have further questions or wish to place an order.


    More photos to come.



    Curious;  do you happen to know if they are working on a device for the Predator 3500?  I did send them a note this morning but was hoping you might have some first-hand knowledge.  Thanks Paul (2-Hobos).

  16. On 2/13/2023 at 7:40 PM, Mike and Carol said:

    We’re in E section too and will stop by.  I’ll have my banjo but since I’ve only been picking for a couple of years I’m not sure I’m good enough to join in unless everything is in G with I, IV, and V chords!  🪕.  We haven’t had much owner music at past rallies.  Mike

    I mess around with a banjo too.  Probably need to pick it up and get back into it.

    Over time, I've discovered that I really suck at it, but the more I practice, I've discovered that I simply "suck" a little faster.

    Would be nice to hand my banjo to someone else who can make some nice sounds come out of it.

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