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OK to drill into frame, or weld brackets?


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I have a couple of winter projects scheduled:

 

Rear mudflaps

 

Stone Stomper gravel guard

 

Both require substantial aluminum brackets and/ or channels secured crossways to the frame. In front I may be able to use square stainless ubolts such as are used to hold on the cargo basket. In back, near the jacks, the hull prevents anything from going over the top of the frame rails.

 

Any suggestions? Welding on some angle brackets would probably be the simplest and strongest ... I do have a local welder who is very good .... but I am a little leery of welding the frame for a few reasons.

 

I could drill sideways through the rails and hang angle brackets by passing 3 inch long stainless bolts and nylock nuts through the frame. I am leaning toward this method.

 

Any suggestions or warnings?

 

Do the frame sections have moisture weep holes installed or are they sealed up tight? If so I would drill a small hole near each bracket, on the bottom, just in case any water got in through the new holes.

 

Any pictures or designs for mudflap brackets that you would care to share?

 

Thanks,

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"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, Did you get a stone stomper!? I’m jealous ..

Nope, I have all the measuring and ordering info, but I want to design, fabricate and install the cross piece that will support the rear of the mesh panel BEFORE I order. “Measure twice, order once”, or something like that..... I will start a new thread on each of these projects as I complete them.

 

Don’t expect anything right away, I won’t need it until April ;(

 

BTW, Stone Stomper is willing to offer a price reduction and reduced shipping (in bulk) for a group buy, but I have no idea how big the savings, and the odds of getting ten or so Ollie owners to agree to buy at one time are slim, I think.

 

Have you contacted them and asked for the Information Packet pdf? There is lots of great info there, but they specifically prohibit publishing it online or forwarding it. They are rightfully concerned about guarding details about their well developed and tested design.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"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

 

When I purchased my Ollie, I wanted outriggers on my trailer.  I needed brackets installed for the outriggers.   I was told by Oliver sales that modifications such as I requested may void the warranty.   You may want to contact Oliver to make sure there is no adverse impact regarding warranty, service issue, etc.

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The aluminum frame is a new idea on a new trailer brand.  No history of what might be a problem and no clear guidelines from the manufacturer. They have even made design changes over the model years and are probably just winging it.  The front section seems incredibly strong and well thought out, while the rear is minimal.  If there is a devil in the details, it's the welding.

 

I want to lean toward less modifications and holes in the frame.  It seems really well built, but I have wondered about the welds, and the frame does a lot of flexing.  It's also interesting that the frame acts in a different manner than any other trailer frame I've seen.  It supports a relatively stiff  structure (the trailer body) and transfers the towing strain from the tow vehicle to the steel suspension subframe that the whole system is sitting on.  This system is more like a boat on a boat trailer than a conventional travel trailer frame.

 

One of the reasons I did not want to install a propane quick disconnect somewhere other than in the front, was my aversion to drilling holes in the frame.

 

The only way I can conclude that the frame has no weak points is to give it lots of time and see no cracks.  But I'll never say "go ahead and drill where you want, no problem".  It's impossible to determine the margin of safety at any given point.  Please be careful and I understand your concern.

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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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  • 2 weeks later...
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John, Oliver had no problem with welding on a bracket for our hydraulic brake actuator, and they stuck it about where you'd want to weld your crossbar for the stone stomper.  Nor did they have any qualms about drilling holes for the electrical or hydraulic line supports.  I doubt any true engineering input went into those decisions, of course.

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John, Oliver had no problem with welding on a bracket for our hydraulic brake actuator, and they stuck it about where you’d want to weld your crossbar for the stone stomper. Nor did they have any qualms about drilling holes for the electrical or hydraulic line supports. I doubt any true engineering input went into those decisions, of course. 

 

It doesn't look like they had proper penetration on that one rear weld from the picture. I wouldn't expect to see the burn on the front weld being that it's so short, but aluminum, being a great conductor can be a pain. Did they use 100% Argon? Or is it just the pic? I wonder if they use a hand roller for their tig... Or did they just grind away the rings :) It looks nice.

 

IMG_20171116_075209.jpg.369a744fe3d584b34503b31e46d4c4ee.jpg

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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Yeah, I was surprised a the burn marks too but I'm not a welder and can't really comment (other than to say that the whole bracket was completely unnecessary and the location of the actuator is unsafe and that had they used the components I asked for it would be safer and far easier to install.)

 

I can also comment that though the photo was taken while the trailer was on the assembly line, it was delivered pretty much as shown, with three hand tightened nuts and one missing one.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Yeah, I was surprised a the burn marks too but I’m not a welder and can’t really comment (other than to say that the whole bracket was completely unnecessary and the location of the actuator is unsafe and that had they used the components I asked for it would be safer and far easier to install.) I can also comment that though the photo was taken while the trailer was on the assembly line, it was delivered pretty much as shown, with three hand tightened nuts and one missing one.

+1 on what Mark said, plus check out this video, it's pretty good and shows exactly what I was talking about... It looks to me like the guy kept the heat low to keep it away from the Fiberglass, so the weld isn't actually penetrating the frame. If this is correct then that bracket will just fall off eventually. Super glue would have been the same. Obviously, I'm just looking at a picture, so it may be a perfect weld, but... If your not sure - take it in and get it looked at.

 

 

 

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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Just to comment.   When I was at the factory, a tech was cleaning the black smoke residue around the frame welds with acetone.  If If it still looks like that, you might put some acetone on a rag and see if it cleans up. Might make inspecting the welds easier.

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