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This has been discussed before, but I am not sure if there is a thread dedicated to the topic. I am in the process of working with Jason to convince him to do this before delivery. He states that Dexter does not recommend the mod, which is odd, to say the least.

 

Before after

 

Axle lift: Dexter makes simple no-weld spring-over kits for $60 MSRP per axle. I have never read anything about them not recommending this mod. ...

 

Dexter

 

Welding is not necessary, though it is recommended. I do not see why it would be needed since the kit ties into the existing bracket using spacers.

 

If I have this done locally or do it myself (easy) I understand that it will might affect my axle warranty. Will it affect other parts of the Oliver warranty?

 

Negative consequences:

 

It will increase the CG by raising the cabin about 4 inches.  I can live with that - it is already supremely stable.

 

4 inch spacer blocks under the three jacks will be needed, or I can cut off the pads and fabricate bolt-on extension tubes. I prefer blocks, to keep the jacks higher off the ground for clearance, the front one mainly.

 

Mudflaps will be required (though they should be installed by the factory on the standard trailer).

 

Aerodynamic drag will increase.

 

The steps will be higher off the ground when deployed, making entry a little harder.

 

Brake wires might need to be cut and extended using waterproof (heat shrink) splices.

 

Bump stops need to be installed to prevent over-travel. I am still researching this, I am not sure they are really needed. On my utility trailer I have not seen any problems.

 

Neutral ones:

 

The lift is very easily reversed if a new owner wanted to lower the ride height.

 

The lower shock mounting plates can be relocated to the top of the axles, so the original shocks can be retained.

 

The coupler and ball height will be increased (OK for my tall heavy duty truck, probably an issue with smaller tow vehicles).

 

Positive ones:

 

The steps will be higher off the ground (more ground clearance when stowed).

 

The departure angle and clearance under front jack will be greatly improved, reducing risk of dragging, expensive damage and a possible tow bill.

 

Clearance under the springs is improved (less hardware is hanging down, the ubolt nuts are now located up high.

 

Cost is minimal ($120 plus labor) and can be done by any shop or skilled owner. It would by far be best to do this when upgrading the shackle bolts.

 

It will look cool. This is important, LOL.

 

I can understand Oliver not wanting to do this for liability reasons, but it is definitely a mod that some customers would greatly appreciate.

 

Please discuss. Would you order a trailer with this as a factory option, for say $500?

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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As an owner of one of the early "Stripper Pole" (woohoo!) high lift Ollies and someone who flew jets and helicopters for a living, I am very familiar with issues regarding center of gravity and dynami

There were three reasons that it didn't work - 1) they said the stability was questionable just moving it around the factory, 2) because of my hitch config, the trailer already travels nose down a bit

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This has been discussed before, but I am not sure if there is a thread dedicated to the topic. I am in the process of working with Jason to convince him to do this before delivery. He states that Dexter does not recommend the mod, which is odd, to say the least...

 

Would you order a trailer with this as a factory option, for say $500? John Davies Spokane WA

 

Right now, I don't think so basically because it would mean changing my tow vehicle over to the Hummer full time, but I do take the trailers off-road a bit, but not in places where needing it any higher really come in to play because that's why I have a trailer instead of a Motor home. I can disconnect the trailer in a nice flatish camping spot and go do what I need to do with out worry of destroying something in or under the trailer. I have no problem going down dirt roads or crossing streams or winching it up steep inclines in the Hummer when needed, but I'm not seeing a need for an extra 4" right now. As far as paying $500 for it, personally it could be an inexpensive $200 option. I would think maybe a 2" lift would be a good option that I would pay extra for but I just don't see a need for  a 4"  because I'm not out to taking the trailer on the Rubicon Trail :) I have used all of my blocks to get the trailer over a dip in the road once but it was for putting the trailer into the perfect spot and I've dragged it up a hill in 4wd low range but I'm all about keeping my Olli on even ground even if I need to do some shoveling. We move rocks and fix dirt roads as we go but when the woods start coming in on the road to a point that I can't push through, it's time to unhook the trailer before scratching it up for life. If your steps hit and get bent then a porta-power works great for straightening them back out. I had to do this a few times on my Casita because Karen insisted on the double step like in the Olli. I tried to get a single step put into ours and if it becomes a problem, I will change out the double step myself, but over all it sits a lot higher then the Casita and the steps are tucked up inside a lot better, so only time will tell.

 

Reed

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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John, thanks for starting the topic.

 

I've requested this modification on ours as well, so at least two of us are pushing for it.

 

A few notes:

I don't know how much additional stress this mod would put on the spring mounts, but intuitively they seem a bit marginal to me anyway.  I would want to strengthen those with perhaps an extra plate welded to them.

My wife and I paid special attention when we were there a few weeks ago to the steps and what it would be like when we raised the trailer.  Our verdict was that if we didn't lift the trailer that we'd want the single step anyway, for clearance, so we'd need a small step stool regardless.  It is quite a step down, though getting in isn't a problem.

The brake wire issue is 'easily' solved with hydraulic disk brakes.  That's also on our list.

I think that the bump stops are important.  You can think of the lift in two ways - as just a lift, or as a way to get extra suspension travel.  We feel very strongly that the suspension needs more travel if you're going on rough roads.  As it is, a pothole or bump at even moderate speed is going to bang the axle on the frame, and hard.  So to us, one of the main advantages of a lift is the ability to fit a bump stop of some sort.  I think that you would want to weld an extra angle across where the stops are mounted to distribute the impact load.

I'm not sure about reusing the same shocks due to the added compression travel.  You may find that your shocks are your bump stops and that would be an expensive and inconvenient discovery to say the least.

You might consider the need for a sway bar with the lift.  The only way to know for sure if it's needed it to try it and see, but you might at least want to keep that potential need in mind.  I'm talking with a local machine shop to see what they can do in that regard, and also about the possibility of just manufacturing an entirely new subframe to replace Oliver's.

Personally, I think that Oliver would do well to offer all of the above as a "high clearance suspension package".  I'd pay for it.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Reed,

 

For us, the mod is less about difficult terrain than is is about rough roads and potential water crossings.  The Oliver's suspension is set up for the highway, and if you're going onto gravel, you have to take it really slowly to avoid bottoming out.  With just 2" of compression travel, really slowly.  We're into this trailer for the long haul, so anything we can do to ensure it's durability, we'll do.

 

As far as water goes, we want to keep it out.  And you can't even get into some national parks without going through a water crossing.  The current clearances, by my measurements, are 18.5" to the weeps, and 23.5" to anything obviously important.  Of course, those clearances go to zero when you dip that long overhang, furnace and all, into the water on exit.

 

Another potential advantage is that the lift kit provide opportunities for under frame storage, like an additional spare, or the storage drawers that Jim Oliver has on his own (lifted) trailer.

 

In fact, I may be mistaken but I've seen enough photos of the original stripper pole Olivers to wonder if at one point they all came from the factory with an overslung suspension.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Reed, For us, the mod is less about difficult terrain than is is about rough roads and potential water crossings. The Oliver’s suspension is set up for the highway, and if you’re going onto gravel, you have to take it really slowly to avoid bottoming out.

 

JFYI,  the single step is not an option according to Jason -

 

Jason Essary

 

"Hey Karen,

 

The double step is the only thing we offer. The single step is what we use to install but changed to the double step because it was too high and hard to reach that first step."

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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In fact, I may be mistaken but I’ve seen enough photos of the original stripper pole Olivers to wonder if at one point they all came from the factory with an overslung suspension.

 

Ahhhhhh, those were the days . . .  "stripper pole" conversations.  Ha!  I had just gotten over the occasional nightmare envisioning Mountainborn, camo-thong and all, using the stripper pole for his middle of the night walks to the front of the trailer. (shudder)  Thanks a lot, Overland.

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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JFYI, the single step is not an option according to Jason – Jason Essary “Hey Karen, The double step is the only thing we offer. The single step is what we use to install but changed to the double step because it was too high and hard to reach that first step.”

That's interesting because I've been told by two different people that it was an option.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Ahhhhhh, those were the days . . . “stripper pole” conversations. Ha! I had just gotten over the occasional nightmare envisioning Mountainborn, camo-thong and all, using the stripper pole for his middle of the night walks to the front of the trailer. (shudder) Thanks a lot, Overland.

It's clear that the original Oliver owners had more fun.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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JI’m talking with a local machine shop to see what they can do in that regard, and also about the possibility of just manufacturing an entirely new subframe to replace Oliver’s. 

That is a grand project, and the results could be astonishing, but I would not like to be the beta tester. What sort of suspension design are you considering? Please keep us all informed.

 

There are some great trailer suspension systems in Australia, I don't know a lot about all the variations, but I do know that if you go with a fully independent A-Arm type tandem design, you will have to grossly upsize the tires in load capacity since there is no load equalization and you will overload a tire in many situations.

 

It would be very cool to have a foot of well controlled wheel travel...... have you seen this Adrenaline trailer "test"? It is insane.

 

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Ha! I wanted an Adrenaline trailer for a while but my wife was never convinced. I don't think I would want to test my own trailer like that, but if Oliver wanted to donate one for science, I'd oblige.  I'm mostly impressed with the strength of the hitch in that video.

 

I wouldn't do anything extreme with the suspension. I do like the trailing arm, coil spring suspensions, but I think that unless you go all the way with adjustable airbags like the Kimberleys, that it's not really necessary. Not for what we'll be doing.

 

I'd keep the same general arrangement but beef up the subframe and suspension hangers, and add cross members to support a sway bar front and rear.  It's really such a simple design that once you say you want new springs and spring hangers, the only thing left are the two frame pieces anyway.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John,

 

Just a few more thoughts to throw in the mix:

 

I had a spring over on my toy hauler of the same length and with tandem axles .  it was more of a pain than  benefit with the higher steps, higher hitch and extremely limited times I really needed it.

 

Ollies are really good in stock form when off road because they have no hanging down pipe and are tandem axles.  I've already taken mine over some surprisingly rough roads and watched very carefully how it did.

 

The springs on these axles are just really for utility trailers and are very low tech.  They don't seems to be able to take a lot of abuse in other situations and bending them farther than designed is not a good plan.

 

Asking Oliver to accept responsibility for reducing the stability is asking a lot.   It is probably better if you do it yourself or have it done somewhere else.

 

You might try it out first in stock form and see if you really think it's necessary.  A relatively short trailer with tandem axles is very good on rough roads.

 

Given all of that, it would be a cool mod for more extreme use.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Asking Oliver to accept responsibility for reducing the stability is asking a lot. It is probably better if you do it yourself or have it done somewhere else. You might try it out first in stock form and see if you really think it’s necessary. A relatively short trailer with tandem axles is very good on rough roads. Given all of that, it would be a cool mod for more extreme use.

Since it appears that my request for a factory lift is going nowhere, I will have to do it myself. It will be a while, and I will definitely try out the stock suspension first on unimproved forest roads.

 

I'll fully document the lift process, when I do it.

 

I forgot earlier, I also plan to carry a couple of replacement spring packs. They are inexpensive and if you bolt them to the frame somewhere, out of the way, they take up no cargo space and they are there when you really, really need one. I've had a full set bolted to the back bumper of my utility trailer for 13 years and have never needed one.

 

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Suspension/Universal-Group/SP-218275.html

 

3b750024.jpg

 

Stories from the Outback:

 

"I reckon over the years I must have seen at least 50 trailers broken down on the side of the road while out touring, I know a few personally that have issues and have spoken to a few on my travels that have suffered a breakdown. In every single case I can think of it was suspension / Axle problems."

 

... http://www.pradopoint.com/showthread.php?27716-Camper-trailers-What-stops-them&s=2904af9b8126a863ef26d5ef4a1a515f

 

Good general info about leaf springs and maintenance: .... http://www.suspensionspecialists.com/tech0004.html

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, are those the correct springs for the Elite II?

 

You might consider carrying an extra U bolt or two, bolts for the shackles and maybe even some spare shocks.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John,

 

Question to you or anyone about the link you posted to Suspension Specialists, great info there btw. As far as maintenance goes, is it recommended that the U-bolts be re-torqued every so often? And if so, does anyone know what that torque number is? According to that link, the torque value is based not only on the diameter of the bolt, but its grade as well.  So a 1/2-20 U-bolt could have anywhere from a 36 ft.-lbs to 129 ft-lbs depending on its grade. I have no idea what grade U-bolts are used on our rigs. All I know is that I have a 1/2" bolt with (I assume) a 20 thread. Would like to keep up with any maintenance on the suspension. Thanks.

 

Dave

2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Yeah, that'll be me.  Pay attention, Oliver - this is where the market is growing.

 

That's a big trailer, 30'.  To my eye, it looks like their 'lift' is putting them about even with a stock Oliver.  I wonder how heavy that beast is - a 30' Flying Cloud is 6,400 dry, so maybe 7,500 loaded up?

 

Sparky and Snowball will have to meet someday.

 

Those guys maintain two threads on ExPo, one of their trip videos and another of their van build.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Just to update, Oliver was willing to experiment on our trailer to see how the Dexter over/under kit worked and if they might consider offering it as an option.  Unfortunately, according to Scott and Jason there are two issues.  First, adding the kit required some changes to the Oliver suspension itself.  I'm not sure exactly what the issue was, but Jason told me that they had to fab new suspension mounts, which I believe he said were taller and made the overall lift in the neighborhood of 8".  I don't understand the issue so I'll need to ask the person who actually did the work what exactly was replaced and why.  I can't really see anything different in the photo below (though the finish on the subframe certainly raises some questions).  My suspicion is that they needed to relocate the shock mounts and that in turn required other changes.  When I find out, I'll update.

 

The other, more important, problem is that with the trailer up that high, Scott said that it was wobbly even wheeling it around the shop.  With that in mind, he decided they weren't comfortable selling it like that.  So, it sounds like if someone were to do this that they'd need to fab an anti sway bar of some sort, and that, combined with the other suspension changes means that this has become far more than a bolt-on project.

 

Oh well, it is what it is, and cheers to Oliver for giving it a go.  Poor Snowball looked a bit ungainly standing up on its tiptoes anyway.  Those wheels suddenly look so tiny...

 

B348E102-B559-4C0F-90ED-2AE571C75B57.thumb.jpg.a9934a99a5745e3618f835df6c301462.jpg

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland,

 

What is that behind the rear tire at the 11 o'clock position?

 

I wonder what the drawn arrows above the Truma are reminding someone of?

 

Edit- oh and 1 o'clock on front, guess shocks are outside frame.

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Randy -

 

I would guess that those are 12 volt outlets (and/or USB outlets).  I had one of those placed in that position when I ordered Twist except mine has a white cover.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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The red arrows mark blemishes in the finish after inspection. Then the team goes back over the exterior and cleans them all up and gives the trailer it's mirror finish. Ours wasn't finished when we got there and there were red arrows all over, but by the end of the day, we drove away happy :)

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Here’s another option. Slightly used. https://earthroamer.com/pre-owned-127/

Lol.  Actually if I had to do it over again - considering the price of the trailer, tow vehicle, all the extras, and all the troubles with production - I'd just bite the bullet and go with an Earth Cruiser, which I think is a much better vehicle than the Earth Roamers, and much less expensive.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Yes, those are the shocks sticking out around the tires.  The arrows, like Reed/Karen said are blemishes, and there are two 12v outlets above the 120v.

 

Can anyone comment on the state of the finish on that subframe?  It looks like they found an old one at the dump and rattle-canned it silver.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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