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Here's another approach to bike rack carriers for Oliver Travel Trailers. Before going any further, I must say this might not be ideal for folks with a desire for maximum rear clearance ... and I've seen a post where an owner scraped one the rear cross supports. With 12-inches clearance on level ground, we haven't had that problem even with a steep driveway. Our old Airstream did drag when we attempted parking in that driveway. I'll acknowledge some folks may need more clearance, so for those folks I recommend going with an above bumper mount or tongue mount. We've been toying with ideas for a bike rack receiver for Dickens (OLEII 397) since the day of our factory tour last summer. At that time, Oliver had discontinued the model previously sold and we wanted a way to securely carry bikes outside the pick-up truck bed. After looking at ways other folks approached this and thinking about receiver hitches on various vehicles, we came up with essentially what you see in the attached photos. A big difference from the prototype ready for installation the weekend before the 2019 Rally is that the frame attachment points are inside the frame rails instead of outside. Once I had the diamond plate cover off it became evident that we could mount the support plates up between the sheet metal pan and the frame rails. That would shorten the receiver cross member (making is stronger) and much more importantly preclude cutting the diamond plate thereby improving the outward appearance. So, I reinstalled the diamond plate and prepared Dickens for the trip to Alabama ... without bikes. I should say that my original desire was to fabricate this receiver from aluminum to be consistent with the awesome Oliver frame. However, since my bike rack (1UP-USA.com) uses a 2-inch tube I needed a 2-inch receiver. Unfortunately, my metal supplier wasn't able to locate the necessary stock. We could have had it machined from bar stock but decided to just go with readily available steel. I have the design drawings in both aluminum and steel, with both analyzed to ensure adequate strength. While my intent is to remain below Oliver's limits (even with two bikes), the analysis shows the receiver can withstand far greater weights. By the way, you may note there are no safety chain attachment points on this receiver! Last point, for those possibly concerned with license plate visibility, 1UP-USA racks have an accessory for mounting the plate. We haven't gone that route because the tag is visible through the bike frames. If we decide to put a cover on the bikes, we'll get the plate holder. Okay, enough typing. Take a look at the pictures and please feel free to comment or PM me if you'd like more information. Thanks for your interest. Update: Attached is a copy of the design drawing from which the receiver was fabricated. It is offered for information only; therefore, no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, applies. The receiver was drawn to measurements taken from our OLEII. Anyone using this drawing and photos for fabricating one for their Oliver travel trailer are advised to take their own measurements and use them accordingly. Dickens-Hitch.pdf
Andersen Hitch Inc. has designed a new ball, cone and triangle plate for the weight distribution hitch. This new design was to create a ball that would not lock up inside the collar and/or cause noise when turning. For more information or data on results and testing you would need to speak directly with Andersen. Any customer who has an older Andersen Hitch setup can upgrade to the new design for $100 by contacting Andersen directly and asking about part# 3332 and explaining the issue that you are having with the current ball. The $100 upgrade is a discounted price but it will not last forever. Andersen Hitch Inc. 208-523-6460 800-635-6106