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Mountainman198

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Posts posted by Mountainman198

  1. On 6/17/2024 at 6:43 PM, topgun2 said:

    I believe that it was John Davies who did a post a few years ago concerning this very subject.

    As I recall, he encouraged everyone to "safety wire" these such they could not loosen.

     

    This is one of the first mods I made after bringing my new Ollie home. Drilled the knobs and installed zip-ties. Easy visual inspection to see of panels are still secured before hitting the road. They have not moved a mm since day 1. 
     

    thanks John Davies

  2. My objective when starting this thread was to cast light onto a significant safety problem that many of us have dealt with (and/or may deal with in the future), share my chosen solution and then share the results of that solution with other E2 owners. In doing this, I hoped others would develop and share their own solutions and their observed results following implementation. Any deviation to this objective is outside the intention for this thread. Please try and stay on objective and if you have found your own solution, please provide your reasons for your choice, including analysis and specs, where you purchased, the total cost and your observations during installation and direct observations of use after implementation. There will likely be more than one viable solution to this problem and that’s fine. Providing the details on how you arrived to that solution and real-life towing following install should be of great help to the rest of us. 

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  3. For those looking for alternatives made with US steel, here is the response I received from St. Louis Spring when posing the question  to them about whether they could fabricate a set of 4-leaf, 1,750 lb leaf springs for me. To this date, I am not aware of a Oliver owner who has gone this route. Very interested to hear if anyone has purchased springs from them for their Ollie and how they have worked. 
     

    One other source to check may be Deaver Springs in CAIMG_8614.thumb.png.fd77e5063dfd44400936d8ba7a519484.png

    IMG_8615.png

    • Thanks 1
  4. 4 hours ago, Minnesota Oli said:

    I been following this topic and it got me to look at my springs and sure enough 1,750 pound four leaf springs were failing. I was leaning to ALCAN five leaf for replacement but when Geromimo John came up with the Dexter 2400 pound rated 4-leaf I decided that would be a better fit. My thinking is keep the ride as soft as I can but have springs  strong enough not to distort them from the load that the Oliver puts on them. So this bumps the 7000 pound rating to 9600 pound rating and I think this should be sufficient for them to carry the load with out distorting the springs. I included a pic of the 2400# spring next to the worst 1750# spring.

    IMG_0361.thumb.jpeg.b40fba42117a822f2c3c90c8407a5010.jpeg

    This is the differences in thickness of the leafs.

    IMG_0357.thumb.jpeg.1d65b15ff2007e31ef447ddd5695948d.jpeg 

    The individual leafs are longer.

    IMG_0358.thumb.jpeg.3391dd36fd48efc3a812a30c27096c23.jpeg

     

    I didn't think to measure the height before I started the job but when I had one side installed I measured from side to side and there was 1-1/2 inches difference at the wheel wells.

    Thanks for sharing. Please let us know how the ride is after you have some miles on them. I believe you will be the first to test the 2,400lb springs as a full set of four. Always good to have proven alternatives.  

    • Like 4
  5. 5 minutes ago, Mountainman198 said:

    I mounted a led light whip to the front storage basket for “flair” but most importantly for ease of finding my way back to the Ollie in the desert at night. The whip is only 4’ tall but it displays strobing multi-colors so it makes for a nice homing beacon. To power its 12v power needs I built a 12v power source inside a small Harbor Freight “Pelican” case using a female 7 pin plug into which I plug my trailer’s male 7 pin plug (I wired the 12v and ground to a fused 12v female lighter socket and female usb combo).  Works great for powering 12v devices and the led whip from outside and at the front of the Ollie. 

    C6B3759B-50E8-4291-BE89-53B1D91D8538.jpeg

    A bit off topic, but the spring-mounted LED whip alerted me to a broken leaf spring when it started swaying from side to side. A bonus, unintended consequence of its installation

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  6. I mounted a led light whip to the front storage basket for “flair” but most importantly for ease of finding my way back to the Ollie in the desert at night. The whip is only 4’ tall but it displays strobing multi-colors so it makes for a nice homing beacon. To power its 12v power needs I built a 12v power source inside a small Harbor Freight “Pelican” case using a female 7 pin plug into which I plug my trailer’s male 7 pin plug (I wired the 12v and ground to a fused 12v female lighter socket and female usb combo).  Works great for powering 12v devices and the led whip from outside and at the front of the Ollie. 

    C6B3759B-50E8-4291-BE89-53B1D91D8538.jpeg

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  7. Found this little roadside park and free campground on iOverlander while driving across Kansas on US36. The sign in the park says overnights are welcome… and free, unless you need electricity, then it is $15/nt using the self-pay box.  There is potable water available.  While it is next to the highway, overnight was extremely quiet. Awoke to two deer grazing near the trailer and the sound of songbirds. Highly recommend this spot if you are on US36 near Kensington, KS.
     

    For a moment I felt transported back in time to the 1930s/40s when roadside camping on US highways was commonly practiced by Families making their was across the Country.
     

    US36 takes you past the geographic center-point of the US and not too far from the worlds largest ball of Sisal twine (my cat was pawing at the window to get out and try his best to play with it). 

    6E0CB698-D59A-410F-A27E-5C134566646E.jpeg

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  8. On 5/6/2024 at 8:04 AM, MAX Burner said:

    As the flexible solar module technology progresses - I'm thinking flex modules that contour to the roof lines would look cooler than the flat modules we have now.  It would be nice to have 400-600watts up there mounted in a "stealthy" fashion...

    Some of us like the “Flying Nun” look of the current solar panels (said the old guy)!  🤪

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  9. First day towing on Alcan springs update:

    -500 miles (Ubolts re-torqued at 50, 100 and 500 miles intervals to 90 ft lbs). Decreasing amounts of adjustment required as mileage increases)

    -ride slightly harsher during first 100 miles, harshness decreasing as mileage increases (finding nothing returning to the floor at 500 mile checkpoint).

    -running 45 psi in tires (was running 55 psi with stock springs). Monitoring tire wear at each stop. Likely will increase to 48psi at next stop. 

    -less observable side to side (roll) movement.  Very stable while underway (drove in high winds thru Kansas yesterday)

    -so far I am happy with the new springs

    I am very interested in reports from early hull number E2 owners who have purchased the Alcan springs. Wondering what their observations are as compared to stock heavy duty 5leaf springs they are replacing. 

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  10. 54 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

    There has been some unintentional misinformation posted in this thread about the 5-leaf Alcan Spring that is being sold to Oliver owners for retrofittiing. That being the weight rating of the spring packs. I've seen ratings posted varying from 2000 to 2400 pounds.

    During multiple conversations with Alcan Spring in Colorado, the owner Lew Weldon, has stated that the correct weight rating is 2750 pounds per spring for a total of 11,000 pounds. They supply exactly the same spring for both the 3500 pound and the 5200 pound axles, the only difference being the U-Bolts provided which is based on the diameter of the axle itself.

    The GVWR of both the Oliver Elite's is calculated using the weight ratings of the axles and the spring packs. The final rating is based on the weaker of the two. For those owners that have the 3500 pound axles, the installation of these heavier springs will not affect your GVWR of 7000 pounds. For those owners that either already have or have switched to the 5200 pound Nev-R-Lube axles you would now effectively have a GVWR of 10,400 pounds upon the installation of these heavier springs.

    This is unfortunate as many of us were quoted weight rating of 2k. Mine are installed so I am running them as I do not want to go back to the cake that Dexter installs on their axles. I know of at least two E2 owners who have towed with these springs (one for 5k miles and another for 1.5k miles with good results. I head out Thurs on a 1.5k mile trip with the Alcans. 
     

    Thanks for posting this after speaking to Lew, Steve. I guess at this point it is tow forward and observe.  Stay tuned. 

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  11. 14 hours ago, jd1923 said:

    Several members here, going back 12 pages of comments, were worried about going too stiff on replacement leaf springs. I had written earlier that 14% stiffer is a nice bump - perfect! You're suggesting 2400 LB rated springs which are 37% stiffer. That's a big difference, that personally I would not at all advise this option. 

    Wholly agree with this observation

     

    When my spring broke I was 250 miles from home.  I bought the only pair of springs that would fit and were geographically close to where I broke down.  they were 4 leaf, 2,400 lb springs as GJ describes above. While they did fit, I chose later not to replace the other two springs with 2,400 lb 4 leaf springs as the amount of stuff in my trailer which had stayed put during my prior 4,000 miles of travel on the stock springs had suddenly found its way to the floor during the 250 mile drive home (with only two 2,400 lb springs).  

    My E2 now sports 5 leaf, 2,000 lb Alcans  

    2,000 lb, 5 leaf springs will be more flexible and have better travel thru their range than 2,400 lb springs with only 4 leafs (less jarring ride).  

     

     

     

     

     

    14 hours ago, jd1923 said:

     

     

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  12. 1 hour ago, MAX Burner said:

    Just by way of an "UPDATE":  We pulled into a nice Harvest Host location yesterday afternoon at the "BAR-Z Winery" in Canyon, TX about 20 miles south of Amarillo near Palo Verde SP.  We've logged just over 1,400 miles since R&R efforts of the AxleTek and ALCAN spring packs.  A prior-to-departure torque inspection revealed no more "U-bolt stretch" as the nuts met target torque specs.

    For us, at least, our higher level of confidence in the running gear and general peace of mind knowing we've got 2k#-rated 5-spring leaf packs under our 3.5k# axles was worth the $'s, time, and effort in this upgrade, FYI.

    Cheers from a couple "Happier Campers"!

     

    Good news and thanks for the road trip update. My Alcans are installed and I have a 1,700 mile trip scheduled for later this month. I too am looking forward to the peace of mind over the poor performance of the EMCO spring packs that came on my E2. Did you notice any negatives from towing with the 2,000 vs. 1,750 rated spring packs?

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  13. 2 hours ago, Paul and Santina said:

    I also just ordered springs from ALCAN for my 2022 LE2. My existing U-bolts measured 1/2” diameter (thread) by 3” wide (axle diameter), but Lou mentioned that other Oliver’s U-bolts have been 9/16” diameter by 3” wide, or 1/2” diameter by 2 1/2” wide. Anyone else have the 1/2” by 3” U-bolts?

    IMG_4080.thumb.jpeg.9a7fed1decf25b492797300938aedaca.jpeg

    Mine were 1/2”x3” and the new ubolts provided by Alcan were 9/16”x3”. Fit perfect. Longer to accommodate taller Alcan spring packs. 9/16” fit thru spring retainer plates fine as holes are larger than 1/2”

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  14. Mike in Oliver Service had asked for the specs and contact info for the US made springs I had found as he said they were not aware of any US sourced suppliers and would be interested in what I had found. I told him I would send the info once I had them on my trailer. I forwarded the specs and some pics along with Alcan contact info to him today and he said he would pass it along within Oliver.

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  15. 5 minutes ago, Geronimo John said:

     

    How is it that we have Chinese springs in our Dexter axles?

     

    I think the answer you got is technically correct, but I do not believe the axle assemblies provided to Oliver by Dexter contain spring packs manufactured by the Dexter Parent company. For example, the springs on my trailer were stamped “EMCO”.  If you do a google search you will find that while EMCO is a US based company, they have a 200,000 sq ft Spring plant in the Hebei Province in China which serves the US market.   At least for my trailer, I am fairly certain this was the manufacturing plant for my Springs. 
     

    https://emcoind.com/about-us/

  16. First side is swapped. Old Chinese Dexters will go to the recycler and bring scrap value…maybe enough for a soda pop.  A few observations:

    1) I put a set of calipers to my 3500# Dexter axles and they are 3” dia. Ubolts provided by Alcan are for 3” dia axles  fit perfect

    2) Alcan ubolts are 9/16” rod vs. the smaller (1/2”?) that were stock on my trailer. No worries installing as the holes in the spring retainer plate are large enough to accommodate the larger bolt diameter

    3) Alcan ubolts are longer to accommodate increased spring pack height (5 vs. 4 leafs). About 1-1.5” of thread extend below nuts. I plan to leave but you could cut the excess off if it bothers you

    4) Torque specs from Alcan for 9/16 ubolts is 90 foot lbs. See attachment

    5) Two of my shocks were blown so I am replacing them  A Irwin squeeze clamp works wonders for compressing and installing the shocks after the springs have been bolted in

    6)reversed the wet bolts so that the zerks point inward  even with a 90 degree lock-n-lube fitting it was a PITA before  hoping this will be easier  

    7) the front springs were still in “ok” shape but starting to flatten.   one rear spring had snapped and the other was bent  

    8)the parts for my trailer were sourced during COVID and at the height of demand for RVs. I cannot help but ponder if the RV frenzy and skilled labor shortage during this time played some role in my broken spring and the quality of the other one that was bending.  Oh well, just glad to be safe and be replacing the stock springs  before heading out in a month for another Season of seeing this great Country

    Very straight forward swap. Heck, I did it on a tarp in melting CO permafrost. Cannot imagine doing the swap inside on concrete. 🤪 That would be Lux. 

    446FFC66-A236-42E6-8499-C7E5A184702B.jpeg

    96E1E994-09D2-40FC-9198-886BD42A18B9.jpeg

    660F6EF5-F555-4964-9BC2-FCE21845B40A.png

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  17. 39 minutes ago, Geronimo John said:

    Only concern I have is trailer height changes.  Reason is that I have only about an inch clearance on the barn door frame. 

    If it is possible and not already too late to do so, can you get an accurate trailer height difference that the new springs result in?  

    Many thanks.

     

    I will not be able to get the measurement as rear springs have already been changed day after my rear two springs failed in Feb. I believe Hobo reported a 3/4” change (higher) at the bumper after his change to Alcan (but this may be partly due to flattening of old springs over time?)
     

    1” clearance, WOW. You gotta be doing some serious glute squeezes through that opening in/out at stock height. 

  18. 4 minutes ago, MAX Burner said:

    UPDATE:  The 500-mile torque inspection was actually a 527-mile torque inspection at a QT in Wichita Falls.  The process is now taking only a couple minutes longer than it takes to fill up our 30+gallon tank in the Tundra.

    Still amazed how the new U-bolts stretch - each nut took several quarter turns to reach the target torque value!  We'll be check them every 1k miles for a while.

    Interesting Side Note:  Speaking with Mike/Alcan yesterday on a particular boring stretch of HWY 287 somewhere near Electra, TX, we learned how springs are "weight rated."  Evidently, there are several algorithms used by spring manufacturers that rate springs once several parameters are uploaded.  Keep in mind that ll algorithms are not exactly the same - some are more accurate than others.  Values for steel type, width, thickness, alignment pin size, eye-to-eye length, etc., all determine the weight rating.  Alcan uses a highly rated program with a reputation in the industry as being very accurate.  Turns out that virtually all RV manufacturers, industry-wide, use spring packs that either just barely meet RVIA standards or don't meet them at all (depending on the algorithm program used to rate the springs).  When Alcan ran the dimensions of the Chinese-made AXLE TEK spring used on my Oliver, it was "quite a bit less than the rated 1,750# target", according to Mike.  

    IMO, this issue goes back to DEXTER and not necessarily Oliver - because, as I understand - but could be wrong, the axle kit (including the spring packs) are supplied by DEXTER.  But even if the AXLE TEK spring packs were tested to and achieved the 1,750# target at manufacturing, after some time (not necessarily road miles, but age) - those springs will flatten (all 4 of our's did) and they will not be able to meet the target rating going forward.  This is due largely to the low quality metallurgy of Chinese steel.  Labor costs, environmental regulations, and manufacturing standards in China are much less, if exist at all, as compared to the US steel industry.

    With a suspension travel of barely 2" (just measured it) before the top of the U-bolts smack into the my Oliver's aluminum frame, I want to be sure the springs are doing what they are there to do.  So owners that find themselves crawling around underneath their rigs, this is another inspection point - if your suspension ever "bottomed-out" it will leave an imprint on the frame from the top of the U-bolt.  That's a good indicator your spring-packs have flattened and need attention.

    Also IMO, the choice between Chinese-made and US-made leaf springs for travel trailers depends on the specific needs and priorities of the manufacturer or end-user, including considerations of cost, quality, and supply chain reliability.  For businesses emphasizing cost control, the Chinese-made springs may be appealing, whereas for those prioritizing quality, safety, and supporting domestic industries, US-made spring packs might be the preferred option.

    So, mindful owners should think about: (1) having their running gear/suspension inspected, and/or (2) upgrading their suspensions if needed, or (3) never approaching their 7k# OTT max GVWR, or (4) towing slowly only on pristine roads, or (5) not worrying about it and see what happens down the road.

    Sorry in advance for my rant, it's just my $0.02...

    Trusting that RVIA has the consumers interest and safety at forefront is akin to expecting that NADA (North American Automotive Dealers Association) has the end consumers interest at heart. 

    Prepping to finally install my Alcan springs today now that the snow has melted.  😀

     

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  19. 11 minutes ago, rich.dev said:

    Wish they were, but mine is definitely 3500lbs 😔
    image.thumb.jpeg.b2389847d258498a46723e07ebd82cdf.jpeg

    Please correct me of I am wrong, but the suspension arrives to Oliver as an assembly and is rated as the assembly (springs plus axles) and given the lower of the two of axle rating or spring rating. It appears you have D52 (5200lb) axles with 3500 lb springs which as an assembly are correctly rated at 3500 lbs. 

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  20. 16 minutes ago, John Dorrer said:

    I may have missed this, but I'm guessing that those that have recently purchased the new Alcan 5-leaf springs will be putting them on older trailers with 3,500 Axel's, versus the 2022 -2024 and 5,200 Axel's.

     

    Did this come up in conversations with Alcan? 

    What difference do you think there will be in the stiffness/ ride?

    A 3,000 spring X 4 = 12,000 on a 3,500 axel

                               vs

    A 3,000 spring X 4 = 12,000 on a 5,200 axel

     

     

     

     

    Mike from ALCAN assured me that the springs they sold me were 2,000lb springs. So, 2,000x4= 8,000.  3,000 lb springs could be a issue. 
     

    For full disclosure, my E2 is a 2021 with approx 25,000 miles towed. 99%+ of miles were on paved roads, 80% of those miles is West of Mississippi, remainder of miles is in the Summer. Never on either Coast.  Dry weight of my trailer is just over 5,250 lbs. 

    All three tanks are empty whenever I travel. Trailer rides level using Andersen hitch. 

    • Like 2
  21. On 3/12/2024 at 2:32 PM, Roger said:

    When we bought our Oliver they offered couch cushions which we opted not to get.  I just spoke to Anita and they no longer sell them. 

    I often find myself camping alone and really wish I had a comfortable way to sit on the unused bed with good back support etc.  What solutions has anyone found for this? Does someone with the couch give me the cushion measurements if I decide to make my own?

     

    They did not offer the couch cushions in 2021 when I ordered either.  I use a set of four down throw pillows which allow me to create different shapes for sitting/leaning differently

  22. 5 hours ago, AlbertNTerri said:

    Is ALCAN just a manufacturer or do they also do installation?

    I believe Hobo has posed this question to ALCAN. I dont know the answer, I would PM him or give ALCAN a call. They may be able to recommend a local installer. Please report back your findings

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