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I must be doing something wrong. Today unhitching on a slight downgrade, we got Jolli Olli level, set chocks and raised the tongue. The truck and trailer appeared to be lined up. When the bulldog came off the ball, the trailer lerched sideways close to 1-1/2' and back a foot, with the front jack block sliding and the front jack almost coming off the block. This is the worst I have ever seen. We have this happen on a regular basis (not bad like today, but almost every time we unhitch) and don't know how to stop the tension and lerching. I have to believe the bulldog should be able to lift off the ball smoothly. Thanks for any advice.

Edited by John Dorrer
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Posted (edited)

I assume that you had both sides of the Ollie's wheels chocked (passenger and drivers sides).

Can I also assume that you had already removed the "whale tail" from the bottom of the hitch?

Bill

Edited by topgun2
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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

I assume that you had both sides of the Ollie's wheels chocked (passenger and drivers sides).

Can I also assume that you had already removed the "whale tail" from the bottom of the hitch?

Bill

F250, no Anderson WD. We use Andersen jack blocks (round ones) and the Andersen ramp levelers for side to side. This is the 3rd campground in a row we needed to level side to side and all 3 times the trailer jumped. 

 John & Susan Dorrer, 2013 F250, 6.2 gasser, 4x4, 2022 Legacy Elite 2, twin beds, Hull #1045, Jolli Olli

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John Dorrer:     The same thing happened to me once on my relatively flat driveway.  It scared the bee-jeebies out of me for a moment. In my scenario there was a slight decline to the right of the Oliver.     Afterwards I investigated and believe that the problem was the way I placed the chocks.  I placed the chocks behind each of the Olivers back wheels.   Then as the tongue came up and off of my truck there was nothing to keep the Ollie wheels from coming forward.   The tongue came up and then moved about 10" suddenly to the right (towards the Ollie's right).  I believe that my Oliver "pivoted" on the right rear chock and because there wasn't anything on the left side to keep it from going forward.... it did.   Since then, I have put my 4 chocks front and back on each side.     It keeps both sides of the Oliver planted in place.   I also think that because I was on my concrete driveway...and maybe the hard plastic chocks didn't "grip" on my concrete well ... it was a scenario that allowed the Oliver to move even quicker than it might have on a gravel camp-site.  

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2 hours ago, John Dorrer said:

When the bulldog came off the ball, the trailer lerched sideways close to 1-1/2' and back a foot

What stopped it from going even farther?

I'm not trying to be snarky.  Whatever stopped it might expose what was "missing" when you decoupled.

 

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We camp on many campsites that are not level. Always put the level blocks under wheels on low side leveling Ollie (we use Camco Level Blocks) and chock the wheels on the opposite side. Then before jacking Ollie's hitch off of the ball, place the tow vehicle in neutral letting the trailer settle on the level blocks and chocks, next place TV in park and jack hitch off of ball without much movement.

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36 minutes ago, John Dorrer said:

We use Andersen jack blocks (round ones) and the Andersen ramp levelers for side to side.

OK - let's see if we can narrow this down a bit.

The "jack blocks" generally will not have anything to do with the trailer moving in the manner you describe.  If blocks are not placed flat on the ground (i.e. they are on edge) then some slight movement could occur.  But, with the Andersens shape and size this would be very rare if even possible.

The Andersen "ramp levelers" are another story though.  Obviously, even on flat ground, the curved shape of the Andersen levelers will cause those levelers to move unless the chock part of the system in put firmly in place.  I also use the Andersen levelers and early on I started carrying a rubber mallet and use that to give those red chocks a tap to make sure that they are firmly set.  I also use this mallet to set the regular chocks on the opposite side of the Ollie.  This is not only safer, but it is much easier on the hands or feet that I used to use to try to firmly set the chocks.

Finally, Rideandfly's recommendation of letting the Ollie "settle" with the TV in neutral is a good one.

Bill 

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13 minutes ago, rideandfly said:

We camp on many campsites that are not level. Always put the level blocks under wheels on low side leveling Ollie (we use Camco Level Blocks) and chock the wheels on the opposite side. Then before jacking Ollie's hitch off of the ball, place the tow vehicle in neutral letting the trailer settle on the level blocks and chocks, next place TV in park and jack hitch off of ball without much movement.

Important point!

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38 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

OK - let's see if we can narrow this down a bit.

The "jack blocks" generally will not have anything to do with the trailer moving in the manner you describe.  If blocks are not placed flat on the ground (i.e. they are on edge) then some slight movement could occur.  But, with the Andersens shape and size this would be very rare if even possible.

The Andersen "ramp levelers" are another story though.  Obviously, even on flat ground, the curved shape of the Andersen levelers will cause those levelers to move unless the chock part of the system in put firmly in place.  I also use the Andersen levelers and early on I started carrying a rubber mallet and use that to give those red chocks a tap to make sure that they are firmly set.  I also use this mallet to set the regular chocks on the opposite side of the Ollie.  This is not only safer, but it is much easier on the hands or feet that I used to use to try to firmly set the chocks.

Finally, Rideandfly's recommendation of letting the Ollie "settle" with the TV in neutral is a good one.

Bill 

You hit the nail on the head. My wife placed the plastic wedges on the wrong side of the Andersen Levelers. That was just a few of the errors that were made. Next time we will bring our "X" chocks

 We will also grease the ball. After watching several YouTube videos, I believe that might be a good reason the bulldog doesn't come off the ball smoothly.

 John & Susan Dorrer, 2013 F250, 6.2 gasser, 4x4, 2022 Legacy Elite 2, twin beds, Hull #1045, Jolli Olli

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Dennis and Melissa said:

What stopped it from going even farther?

I'm not trying to be snarky.  Whatever stopped it might expose what was "missing" when you decoupled.

 

Didn't have enough chocks and my wife didn't place the Andersen ramp leveler wedges in the correct place. It was a cluster of han error. I will also start greasing the ball. Watched a bunch of YouTube videos. I think this was a case of big time owner error🙃

Edited by John Dorrer

 John & Susan Dorrer, 2013 F250, 6.2 gasser, 4x4, 2022 Legacy Elite 2, twin beds, Hull #1045, Jolli Olli

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3 hours ago, John Dorrer said:

set chocks and raised the tongue.

 

3 hours ago, John Dorrer said:

When the bulldog came off the ball, the trailer lerched sideways close to 1-1/2' and back a foot, with the front jack block sliding and the front jack almost coming off the block.

Been there, done that, "got the T-shirt."    I learned that my ability to accurately determine which way the campsite slopes is limited.  So, I the started carrying chocks for both the front and back of each set of wheels.  Before disconnecting the coupler, I ensure that the wheels are chocked both front and back, and rubber-hammered into place.  So far, this has prevented unwanted movement.

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Lot of good points made here, have not thought of putting TV in neutral to let it settle but on more than one occasion have discovered there is a tension between TV and Oliver based upon how the last movements went, usually from backing up with a significant turn. What I always do now is take the tension away from the two by pulling forward usually a few inches or a foot max will do while straightening the TV front wheels.

Some ground can be difficult to read the slope certainly and in this case front and back chocks work well. Like a few of you I have always taken a big rubber mallet and pound the crap out of those things so they are in tight both for rubber chocks as well as the Anderson leveling blocks. As for the X Chocks the company warns they are not meant to hold the camper in place, only to stabilize it once setup claiming the device is not strong enough to hold most campers steady. That said I have no doubt a lot of people use them in this manner. 

Good luck in the future 

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Chasing an unchocked, or improperly chocked trailer, can be very scary.

Did that one time, dramatically. (Someone else's trailer, about to run backwards down a slight slope, through bushes, to a ten foot drop.) Fortunately,  a lightweight, small trailer, and three of us from neighboring sites got it stopped. 

Good chocks, well placed, follow instructions above. No issues.

 

 

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One last tip that I could add is that I always leave my safety chains (or cables if you have those) attached until the very end of setting up.
After a long drive, potential bad weather, and road weariness has set in, things can go sideways in a hurry! Lots of great tips above. Never put my van in neutral before but will start doing that. And always chock both sides of your wheels.👍

Dave

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4 hours ago, Dave and Kimberly said:

 Since then, I have put my 4 chocks front and back on each side. 

For sure us too!

++++++++++++++++++++

2 hours ago, John Dorrer said:

We will also grease the ball. After watching several YouTube videos, I believe that might be a good reason the bulldog doesn't come off the ball smoothly.

If I am reading that grease inhibits movement, that would not be the case.  For the Bulldog and the Anderson ball, I give both a short spritz from some white lithium grease aerosol.  When I get to the next stop, I wipe out the Bulldog and wipe off the Anderson ball.  The first is to help keep the Bulldog clean.  The latter is to help keep my jeans or leg clean.

+++++++++++++++++++

One more safety must when on any slope of a camp site:  PLEASE remember to have your TV in Park and Parking Brake Set, and most importantly always keep at least one of your safety chains attached until AFTER you have unhooked and leveled her.  If you have any problem at all, she will not be going far.   

GJ

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12 hours ago, John Dorrer said:

We will also grease the ball.

 

9 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

The latter is to help keep my jeans or leg clean.

I found this product a few year ago and really like it, been using their dielectric grease for 7 or 8 years, as well. It took a couple trips to work all of the old grease off of the Bulldog after initially wiping clean with paper towels, perhaps a thorough cleaning with a solvent would have been a better approach. Most of all, since it is clear/opaque there is no soiling of self or clothes. I also use a hitch ball cover when unhooked to help keep the ball free of dust and debris, as well as a clean hand when handling the hitch. 

IMG_6390.thumb.png.dec50504d56968eba9d5d53df3768616.png
 

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Edited by Ronbrink
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I share everyone's thoughts on this. I also have learned the hard way (just minor scares, no damage) about chocking front and back of both sides, as well as putting the TV into neutral and letting it settle into those chocks. It's really more of an issue boondocking than when on a nice flat campground gravel/concrete/asphalt spot. Also, I almost always pull out my hitch ball and place it somewhere safe after setting up camp. I've got one of those funky GMC tailgates that can dent if dropped down on the ball. 

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I fell asleep last night trying to analyze this using my "simple machines" physics from 50 years ago. 🙂
I think that goes like this....

Instead of an Ollie, we have a sled with 4 wheels that spin and roll frictionlessly across a plane.  If that plane is inclined, the sled will always roll down hill.  To keep it from rolling, put chocks (another inclined plane going the other way) on the downhill side of the wheels.   If held motionless, there will be force on those chocks equal to the force pushing the sled down the hill (sine of the angle of incline IIRC??? :classic_sad:, doesn't really matter). 

It's clear from this picture, the bigger the incline, the bigger the chock needed. (IOW, a little chock will just get run over before creating enough back pressure.)

It's also clear that, if you put a big enough chock on the downhill side, and drag the cart "up" it, eventually the cart will "roll backwards" when released.

So, how do you know when you are in the sweet spot?  How do you know if you let go of the cart, it won't roll?  How do you know if you have 0 tension on the hitch?

Honestly, I don't have an answer for this.  Unless there is some way to actually measure pressure at the ball.

It leads me to conclude that I have been getting really lucky, and that I don't live on a frictionless plane.  So far, friction has made my guesses "good enough".

Henceforward, I'm vowing to chock all 4 tires, front and back, before unhitching.  I'm even considering the advice to leave the chains on.  

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In "Love/Hate" category of wheel chocks is where "X-Chocks" fall...  We use them exclusively on fairly flat surfaces, and augment them with Anderson "double-chocks" where the terrain is stepper, uneven, and OTT needs leveling.  Just a suggestion, but it works for us...  There's nothing wrong with leaving the chains connected in these conditions, we've been there/done that, too!  Cheers!

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57 minutes ago, MAX Burner said:

In "Love/Hate" category of wheel chocks is where "X-Chocks" fall...  We use them exclusively on fairly flat surfaces, and augment them with Anderson "double-chocks" where the terrain is stepper, uneven, and OTT needs leveling.  Just a suggestion, but it works for us...  There's nothing wrong with leaving the chains connected in these conditions, we've been there/done that, too!  Cheers!

image.thumb.png.a889c0031979f320cb16ecbcc873d986.png

We use the Andersen levelers. I had kinda the perfect storm of owner error. I should have backed up onto them with the thicker end to the back.  

 John & Susan Dorrer, 2013 F250, 6.2 gasser, 4x4, 2022 Legacy Elite 2, twin beds, Hull #1045, Jolli Olli

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Posted (edited)

@John Dorrer posted this on FB this past Friday and I responded to it soon afterward.

My advice to everyone...buy yourself four real chocks. After parking, put one behind each rear tire and one in front of each front tire OR on both sides of the single axle tires. Kick them hard into place, up snugly against the tires. DO NOT ever place them only on one side. Raise the hitch off the ball BEFORE unhooking the safety chains. Unless you've accidentally parked on a sixty degree slope, the trailer should not move at all. Finish unhooking trailer and move the tow vehicle. Level front to rear with the 3000 pound capacity front jack. After placing at least six inches of blocking under each, level side to side with either of the 3000 pound capacity rear jacks. Your trailer will not move with these chocks. Yeah, I know they're from HF and they spell like a tire factory, but they're inexpensive, they work and I challenge you to be able to make that trailer move with these chocks properly set. Don't believe me? Try driving off after forgetting to remove them.

I do not care for the Andersen Levelers. They're too expensive for what they do, they're useless (and never intended to be used) as chocks and they will skid around on concrete.

Edited by ScubaRx
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6 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

they will skid around on concrete.

.... and on gravel, as I experienced 2 days ago! 

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Comparison of Anderson and Beech Lane Leveling systems:

The majority of our camping is in Federal and State Parks. We use the Camco leveling chock system, should not have said blocks earlier, for raising the Ollie's low side with rubber mats underneath to prevent slipping, Then chock the high side. When we purchased the leveling system, read reviews about slippage on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt, so started using rubber mats underneath.

 

The Camco Leveling Chock system we use, photo taken several years ago when we still had BF Goodrich LT tires mounted on Ollie:

IMG_3566-L.jpg

IMG_3571-L.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by rideandfly

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8 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

I do not care for the Andersen Levelers. They're too expensive for what they do, they're useless (and never intended to be used) as chocks and they will skid around on concrete.

 

Which is why we use Rophor levelers.  They are similar to the Andersens, but include rubber grip strips that are placed on the ground underneath the levelers.  After installing one or both of these levelers, as needed to level the trailer, we also hammer in Harbor Freight chocks.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09NJSXRRB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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