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John E Davies

Extend the tongue - best methods?

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For a number of reasons I would like a little extra towing clearance. The easy solution would be to order a custom Anderson hitch bar with a longer shank, but that increases tongue weight. I personally avoid easy solutions because I prefer the best solution, and do not mind the extra work getting there.... as long as it is not too costly.

 

How would one go about  lengthening the tongue on an Elite II? Preferably with a square 2 inch receiver so the actual tow bar with coupler could be removed, or a different type swapped.

 

I understand that the early trailers had this feature. Was it discontinued for any particular reason? Anybody have pictures they could share?

 

Here is pic of the tongue of a custom utility trailer that I sold a year ago to make room for Mouse. It had a 3x5” aluminum tongue, so it was relatively simple to insert a 2x2 steel receiver inside it. Something similar to this would be great. Since the Ollies have a 2x7 tongue, I just can’t quite figure out how....

 

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On that particular trailer I could extend the coupler bar up to 30 inches for long loads, or swap out the Treg offroad coupler for a light duty ball coupler. I would not need a wide adjustment range on Mouse, just “longer than stock” or “removed for storage” modes.

 

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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You may be able to slip a length of 8 x 4 x 1/2 steel over the tongue and then weld a 2 ” receiver tube to the bottom or top. If welded to the bottom and left open at the rear, you could possibly run your 30″ stinger piece through as needed, as long as it clears the bottom of the OTT frame. If you don’t have the welder or chop saw, any competent local shop should be able to fabricate it up with no problem. The tough part would be match drilling the current frame holes, but with some precision measuring, templates and patience, not a problem. I would bump the bolt diameters up. You would possibly need to fit internal spacer for the bolts as the internal ID of the steel probably isn’t going to be as close a fit as you would like. But if Oliver has welded in any crush spacers internally on the tongue, stick with the same diameter bolts. So basically, instead of what your picture shows (internal tube), think external.

 

I do like articulating hitches, but messing with the Oliver may be more work than you wish to tackle. Without a trailer on hand to look at, my thinking cap is a bit loose on this challenge.

 

I would be reluctant to have a local shop cut and re-weld a new aluminum tube so you could go internally like your old trailer. I don’t trust some of the aluminum welding results I’ve seen. If you have a local semi-truck/trailer repair shop, you may run it by them, but I would really want someone with credible experience on structural aluminum welding. I believe I read somewhere on here Oliver uses 6065-T6, but don’t quote me.

 

Mark, thanks for the comments. I would NOT want to do any permanent cutting/ modification to the Oliver frame. I would want to (relatively) easily be able to put it back to the standard configuration for resale.

 

I’m not sure about having stuff hanging below or above the frame, but having a 2x2 steel receiver tube inline with the existing tongue, but extending say 8 inches out to the front, would work. As I mentioned, I do not need a wide adjustment range, just a little longer.

 

I would like to see some closeup pics of the original Oliver tongue, if somebody could post them.

 

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,  I have hull #193 which was picked up by the original owner on 06/14/17. My tongue frame member is 3x5” external and 1.75x3.75” internal. I wonder when they went to a 2x7” frame member as my trailer was ordered or started before yours.

Doesn’t really matter though as you could still mount your coupler bar internally. I would think either Bulldog or Treg could engineer an internal bar out of steel to the additional length you desire. If not a local welder should be up to the task.

 

Good luck, I know you’ll find a solution.

Mike

 


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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John, you might be able to work out something similar to what I had to do to mount my hitch, but make the saddle longer and weld the receiver tube inside.  It bolts into the existing holes for the bulldog, so you don't have to do anything to the trailer at all.  You could also extend the saddle back to give it more leverage against the tongue and take some stress off the bolts.  Whether you can extend it far enough for what you need I couldn't say.

 

 

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Screen-Shot-2018-03-25-at-4_30.07-PM.thumb.png.8a07bcdc07b44eeb430bf032a4ebd24c.png


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Here's a photo of the old tongue - I can't remember who's trailer this is.  It think overall it was no longer than the current one.

Screen-Shot-2017-01-16-at-8_18.48-AM.png.4cbfb1d240dc84f8c495befba4d8aacd.png


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Attached are a couple pictures of the tongue on my Oliver. The 3” section which the bulldog hitch attaches to is 54” long when pulled completely out! Besides the hole in use for bolting that section to the frame in it’s shortest position, there’s another hole 10” back. Is it acceptable to extend and attach to the frame using the 10” hole? Is that there for for use when a customer selects the optional storage basket and therefore needing more space on the tongue?

Are there any benefits or drawbacks when towing with a longer tongue?

 

Darren

35400EB7-A7DC-4EBF-9168-60F8CF0A081F.jpeg

035B8B4B-6F3A-4852-B242-52CBA7F667D3.jpeg

B2640222-6611-40BC-9495-7F1E945E591B.jpeg


2014 Oliver Elite II, Hull #62

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for those pics, I have not the “insides” before. I am sure the second hole would be fine to tow with. I would use it preferentially, depending on the length of your TV.... A longer tongue makes the trailer more stable (not that an Ollie really needs this), lightens the weight on the ball slightly, and makes maneuvering in reverse a little easier, at the expense of longer overall length and a bigger turning radius.

A big advantage of this setup is you can remove the tongue and throw it into your truck which makes theft really difficult. Or if you need the space in a garage or storage unit, remove the tongue, slide it under the frame, and eliminate the “shin knocker“ coupler.

Try towing with yours extended, see how you like it.
 

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies

"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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Thanks John. What would your thoughts be about mounting the bike rack pictured below to this extended (additional 10”) section?  Besides preventing corrosion between the bike mount and trailer, would this put undue stress on that section of the tongue? I’m trying to avoid mounting our bikes to the rear of the trailer so I’m looking at options for the front.
 

https://store.lci1.com/hitch-it-double-bike-carrier-system-731138.html
 

 

62DAB648-75EC-4BAA-B13E-773B3F94CCCD.png


2014 Oliver Elite II, Hull #62

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Posted (edited)

I think that would be fine. I would want it as far back as,possible, right next to the frame. You would need to make sure that the bikes will clear the TV in a reverse jacknife turn, and that you can access your bed or cargo area. This is no good at ALL..... I see this and think “Idiot!”.

82D35FF4-2D9F-4752-BED5-F97A2A42029B.jpeg.6dc5f6e1389b8c4a8221e7a9fb2a7711.jpeg
And consider installing stainless bolts, of the correct length, and self locking nuts and heavy flat washers. I have no knowledge of that rack type. I have always used trays with locking skewer mounts. If this works, please start a new thread with pictures.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

Edited by John E Davies

"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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Will do. Thanks. 

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2014 Oliver Elite II, Hull #62

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A related question:  I recently purchased and installed an Andersen Hitch ... in the process, discovered that the Oliver's tongue is loose where it is inserted into the frame's receiver, secured by only a single pin-thru bolt.   Based on this thread, I learned that the tongue bar is designed to be movable (slide in or out to preferred length) ... but, does it fit snugly or is it somewhat loose and able to rattle? ... and, is it correct to be secured by only the single pin-thru bolt?, or is there supposed to be more than one bolt securing it to the trailer frame receiver tube?  Someone please advise as I'm about to launch on my first long-distance trip and fear that a loose tongue may be an issue (I think there's an old WWII phrase about loose tongues but can't remember it at the moment).  Thanks, all, in advance ... Cheers, -Dan 

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1 hour ago, drfaux said:

A related question:  I recently purchased and installed an Andersen Hitch ... in the process, discovered that the Oliver's tongue is loose where it is inserted into the frame's receiver, secured by only a single pin-thru bolt.   Based on this thread, I learned that the tongue bar is designed to be movable (slide in or out to preferred length) ... but, does it fit snugly or is it somewhat loose and able to rattle? ... and, is it correct to be secured by only the single pin-thru bolt?, or is there supposed to be more than one bolt securing it to the trailer frame receiver tube?  Someone please advise as I'm about to launch on my first long-distance trip and fear that a loose tongue may be an issue (I think there's an old WWII phrase about loose tongues but can't remember it at the moment).  Thanks, all, in advance ... Cheers, -Dan 

I would PM ScubaRX (Steve Landrum #50).  The early Elite II’s had the adjustable tongue, the later ones are fixed so I really don’t have an answer but he will.  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

I think that there is only the one big bolt. But personally I would feel much better if there was a second one, for redundancy. The safety chains are connected to the extendable part of the tongue, so if the one bolt should somehow depart, then the trailer will take off with only the breakaway cable connected. It will activate its brakes, hopefully, but I would not like to experience that.... OTH with the Andersen installed, those parts should stop a major disaster.

As far as torque, I don’t know except that the nut should be really tight. Movement between the two parts should not be a problem unless it rattles on rough roads. Again, the tension of the Andersen chains will stop that.

Maybe an Original Ollie owner can chime in here.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"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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Thanks guys ... I'll PM ScubaRX and I think I'll check in with Jason at Oliver as well ... will post what I come up with.  Cheers.

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OK ... just spoke with Jason at Oliver ... keep in mind my hull #69 is a 2015 model ... he tells me the tongue design for that vintage is a simple insert (slide-in) with two bolts ... one main bolt horizontal on the outside near the bulldog, and one vertical under the LP tanks (I'll check that one on mine) ... this set up allows for easy extending of the tongue if preferred - simply unbolt and slide outward to the next set of bolt holes.  And ... given this arrangement, it could appear a little loose and allow a small amount of rattle. To eliminate the rattle, he suggested drill a second horizontal hole set further back (thru both the heavy frame member and the inserted tongue) and cinch down with a bolt - this would eliminate any pivot point and make more secure. He also indicated there is enough strength in the frame that this would not violate the strength and integrity of the frame.  Otherwise, if I can live with the small amount of play (rattle), there's no problem.  Thanks Jason! ... Cheers group!

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Posted (edited)

BTW - Jason's conversation matches with the pics provide by djpinaz earlier in this thread ... thank you djpinazExcept that in djpinaz's pics I don't see the vertical hole that Jason had mentioned ... not a big deal I suppose, but worth noting.  Cheers

Edited by drfaux

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Posted (edited)

Thanks drfaux. I'll take a closer look under the propane tanks to see if there's at least a pre-drilled hole in the frame to install a bolt vertically. If the two forward horizontal bolts are for two pre-determined tongue lengths you would think there would be two vertical holes in the rear section of that tongue.

I purchased the bike rack mentioned earlier in this thread and should receive it this week. I plan on installing it this week so I'll look at the tongue and bolt configuration more closely then. I'll report back as well as take some pics if I find anything of value.

Edited by djpinaz

2014 Oliver Elite II, Hull #62

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So ... just talked with ScubaRX (great guy! ... & his wife was perfectly pleasant too!) ... first, to confirm, my tongue does not have the second bolt (vertical under the LP tanks) ... ScubaRX informs me that the 2nd bolt came into play later around 2016 when someone reported the nut had come loose from the bolt on the main tongue bolt ... only happened once, but in being cautious the Oliver folks began using a 2nd bolt for safety thereafter. Otherwise, Scuba too indicated a small amount of play/rattle is not unheard of.  So, again, I think I'm good to go.  Thanks all!  Cheers

 

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