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Heavier Duty Axle Available?


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With all of the amenities available for the Oliver it seems to be getting very close to the gross vehicle weight rating if all of the storage tanks are full. Is it possible to have it made with a heavier duty axle?

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I've been thinking about your idea and I can't think of why there would need to be a time when all the storage tanks (fresh water, grey water, and black water) would be full at the same time, especially while towing the trailer. I have never experienced such a condition in any of my RV's over a 20 year period of time.

 

When my black water tank is full, my fresh water tank is near empty. When my fresh water tank is full, my grey water and black water tanks are near empty. When both my black water and my grey water tanks are full, my fresh water tank is near empty and I am headed to the dump station, which is usually nearby. At the dump station, I empty the black and grey water tanks and put some water in the fresh water tank for the trip I am about to take that day.

 

I see no problem with a higher rated axle, but I don't think it would be necessary in a 17 foot trailer like the Oliver. What I would like to see is an axle that requires no lubrication of the bearings, which has to be done about every 10-12 thousand miles on most axles.

 

With just a little planning you can avoid towing when all three tanks are full. I would never do that. If I had to I would drain my fresh water tank to near empty until I could dump my waste tanks. I rarely travel with more than 10 gallons of fresh water in my tank, and my waste tanks have been drained to empty.

 

Doug

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The Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) of the Oliver is about 1,000 pounds, which is remarkable for a trailer with an empty weight of about 2,500 pounds. There are 30 plus foot fifth wheels and trailers that don't have much more CCC than the Oliver, and if you fill up all their holding tanks at the same time, they would be way over their GAWR.

 

Doug

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The basis for my question is that my Bigfoot 17.5CB started out with a dry weight of around 2900 lbs. While returning from a recent trip we weighed our trailer and found it to be about 3700 lbs. with the tanks empty. The axle weight rating is 4500 lbs. on 17.5 Bigfoots. It's hard to believe we had 800 lbs. of gear on board because most of the heavier stuff was in the pickup bed but nonetheless the differential between dry and loaded was 800 lbs. We still had capacity for full tanks but not by much.

 

Besides allowing for greater load capacity I believe the heavier duty axle also comes with 6 bolt wheel mounts. The corresponding wheels have a larger load carrying capacity, which in turn allows for greater load rated tires. Not positive but I think I'm mostly correct on all this.

 

Back to my original question though. Is it possible for the Oliver to be fitted with a heavier rated axle?

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I would think it would be, simply because there would be no reason I can think of that it wouldn't be possible.

 

To get a definitive answer, however, you would have to talk to the Oliver people and they might have to do some research on the matter.

 

The problem Oliver would be faced with is that such an axle would itself add more weight and might put the Oliver in a higher towing category from where they are drawing their current market share (highly fuel conscious RVers).

 

Most RV manufacturers and retailers are dying from the high fuel prices. Oliver is not, but I'll bet money that you could have any single axle you wanted put under an Oliver. However, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of a travel trailer is not only a function of the axle, but also of the frame. You could mount an oliver on any frame and axle set up you wanted.

 

Doug

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A 6000 lb. rated axle only weighs about 30 lbs. more than a 3500# rated axle of the same design according to a catalog from Croft. They didn't have one rated at 4400 lbs. to draw a more accurate comparison with the one used by Bigfoot but it probably doesn't weigh more than the 6000 lb. rated one. Besides more load carrying capacity the heavier duty axle comes with larger brakes.

 

I thought it was interesting that prior to 2005, Bigfoot used 3500 lb. rated axles on their 17 ft. trailers. They were called 1500 Series at the time. Then, in 2005 when the 17 ft. trailer was redesigned and the length increased (a little less than a foot) they began using a 4400 lb. rated axle. The dry weight of the 1500 Series trailers were about 2600 lbs., not much heavier than the Oliver and their storage tanks were smaller. Just seems to me that a heavier axle on the Oliver is worth looking into.

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You could mount an oliver on any frame and axle set up you wanted.

 

I don't think it would be possible to mount an Oliver on any other frame. The frame is fully custom, and the fiberglass shells nestle right into it.

 

There may be more flexibility with the axels and shocks though.

 

- Chris

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Has anyone ever weighed their Oliver Legacy Elite?

 

I was wondering just how much one weighed. The specification sheet says 2,400 pounds with a tongue weight of 240 pounds, but I'm guessing that is not the Elite, but a Classic without any options (no AC, awning, microwave, one battery, empty propane bottles, no satellite dome, no retracting electrical cord reel, etc.).

 

I see Chris has already asked this question, but he never received an answer that I could tell. Maybe he can weigh his and tell the rest of us?

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With all of the amenities available for the Oliver it seems to be getting very close to the gross vehicle weight rating if all of the storage tanks are full. Is it possible to have it made with a heavier duty axle?

 

They are actually doing this. Jim has some 5800 pound (ok. I might be wrong about the exact amount, I just saw them once, but at least 5000 pound) rated axles that he says they are going to be putting on the Oliver in the future. He said that they looked into it because of the rock collectors that had Olivers.

 

He has some at his house here that we are going to swap onto our trailer. We are just waiting for the weather to cool down before we do, and then I can tell you more details and post pictures.

 

The factory probably has more information about them.

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It is also my understanding that they are currently using 5000# axles, which is probably overkill, but I'll gladly take it.

 

However, I would not necessarily assume that the frame is designed for more than the GVWR of 3500#. I don't know that the frame strength has been quantified yet.

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