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John E Davies

Off-pavement recovery - equipment and best methods

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I sent in this request to Oliver, I thought that it would be good to also discuss this in the open forum.

 

Hi, I plan to do a lot of travel off pavement in National Forests this summer. I have not read a word from Oliver about safe and effective methods of recovery, using a tow truck and also using more primitive methods..... (self rescue - jeep with a winch).

 

Where would you hook up a recovery strap or chain in back to prevent damage to the aluminum frame? In the front?

 

Would it be possible for me to add strong steel recovery hooks or rings in the back? if so where and how?

 

Please let me know what the factory feels about this, and issue a bulletin for other owners. I don't plan on getting stuck, but if it happens I would like to know how to deal with it and minimize damage.

 

Would it be OK to mount a pair of these on the aluminum frame just forward of the rear bumper?

 

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Discuss.

 

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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I discussed this at length with Jason and he didn't have an answer for pulling from behind.  The frame just isn't made to be pulled in different directions.  Best shot is probably to pull from the axles if you have no other choice but to pull from behind.

 

If you're going to try to move it at all with tow straps, I strongly suggest a strong jockey wheel like the XO Jack, and a hand brake.  I don't have a brake hooked up to mine yet, but I've maneuvered the trailer around a bit on a flat site.  It doesn't take much to get some momentum going.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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All good advice.  I wasn't familiar with the Lewis winch, but I like that you could have a chain saw that does double duty.  That, or a capstan winch would be great for light pulls, like just getting your trailer turned around in a tight spot.

 

I've had the ARB X-Jack on my amazon list for a long time but every time I think it's time to buy it, I look at the price again.  I don't know if you've seen it, but they have a new hi-lift style jack that looks really interesting.

 

Here are some of my choices for a few of the things you mentioned:

 

Traction mats - I have both the maxtrax and a pair of bridging ladders from crux offroad.

 

Shovels - We carry a Crazy Beaver shovel, and also two of the knock-down snow shovels off Amazon.  I really like those shovels - lightweight and great with sand and mud as well as snow.  I drilled several holed in one to make it better for mud.

 

Deadman - a Deadman, of course.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I sent in this request to Oliver, I thought that it would be good to also discuss this in the open forum.

 

Hi, I plan to do a lot of travel off pavement in National Forests this summer. I have not read a word from Oliver about safe and effective methods of recovery, using a tow truck and also using more primitive methods….. (self rescue – jeep with a winch).

 

Where would you hook up a recovery strap or chain in back to prevent damage to the aluminum frame? In the front?

 

Would it be possible for me to add strong steel recovery hooks or rings in the back? if so where and how?

 

Please let me know what the factory feels about this, and issue a bulletin for other owners. I don’t plan on getting stuck, but if it happens I would like to know how to deal with it and minimize damage.

 

Would it be OK to mount a pair of these on the aluminum frame just forward of the rear bumper?

 

 

The Oliver Elite II trailer was not designed or ever intended to be any kind of serious off road trailer.  If that's what you wanted, perhaps you should have chosen one of these or maybe some of these.

 

Just sayin'...

  • Thanks 1

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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 I plan to do a lot of travel off pavement in National Forests this summer. 

The Oliver Elite II trailer was not designed or ever intended to be any kind of serious off road trailer. If that’s what you wanted, perhaps you should have chosen one of these or maybe some of these.

 

Just sayin’…

 

Well, I never once mentioned serious offroad, that was never my intent. Mark went into that area. I do appreciate the effort he took to provide all those cool links. I used to do that and learned how hard it can be.... when the road just ends in a rockfall.

 

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If I wanted to go offroad in my travelling home, it would be in an Earth Cruiser. I chose Mouse because I decided that my strategy would instead involve setting up a base camp and exploring further into the back country in my highly capable Land Cruiser.... so maintained forest or ranch roads are the worst I would tow upon.

 

I won’t tow over icy packed snow or wet clay soils, so the worst mishap I envision is sliding off a gravel shoulder or perhaps getting hung up crossing into an undeveloped camp site beside the road.

 

All the scenarios I would attempt should be within reach of a commercial tow truck, using my AAA RV coverage (200 mile ) .... and I can use my SPOT to summon assistance if required.

 

NO OFFROAD, I just need to know how to get unstuck, not unbogged, without causing further damage. I think some factory guidance is appropriate, especially since the trailer is heavily marketed as a boondocker, and I know that they are taken routinely off pavement...

 

For those who may not know this, your RV “roadside assistance” insurance becomes invalid once you get off maintained roads. Think about that if you are considering going across country to a remote site, the White Rim Road in Canyonlands, for example. You could easily get your Elite 1 back there if you have an excellent TV, but any rescue or repair costs will come out of your own pocket...!

 

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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It's really a question of trying not to be stupid, taking it slow and patient, keeping in mind how big the trailer is and what it takes to turn it around, and then being prepared for when you don't do one of those things.  As far as punishment goes, on the short few trips we've made, I've rattled the trailer around far more on bad paved roads than on gravel.

 

And the worst stuck I've ever been, not with the trailer, was 6' off the road on what looked like the perfect grassy little camping spot.  Turned out it had rained there for a solid week and the soil was saturated.  Buried the wheels up to the axles.  So you just never know - I'd rather carry around all that stuff for years and never use any of it, than to need it once and not have it.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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If I were Oliver, my stock response would be "we can only recommend towing the trailer from the hitch on the front"

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I'm sure it is.  But it's worth having the conversation, and if Oliver can't help with a solution then that's what these boards are for.  Not sure what the negativity is about.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I think if you were to pull from the breakaway chains, then you'd be O.K. as far as applying any weird torque to the tongue - they're pretty much dead center and if you're pulling from the cables you aren't going to apply any twisting forces.  I don't know what the cables and those two shackles are rated for, though.

 

I don't think it would take much to collapse the factory tongue jack.  I'd be more inclined to just drag the tongue on the ground if that's your only choice.  Better would be the XO Jack like I mentioned above.  It's stout, and mounted directly to the tongue.  I'd have no problem at all pulling that through sand or mud.  In fact if you go to their website, they have a few videos of doing just that.   Personally, I think it's one of the best improvements I've made to the trailer.

 

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Can't wait for the campfire and a few beers!

 

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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Better would be the XO Jack like I mentioned above. It’s stout, and mounted directly to the tongue. I’d have no problem at all pulling that through sand or mud. In fact if you go to their website, they have a few videos of doing just that. Personally, I think it’s one of the best improvements I’ve made to the trailer.

 

 

I would really like to see a detailed thread describing the XO Jack and also your McHitch coupler. If I still had my HD Ram I would order one of those couplers in a heartbeat, but I really need the Anderson with my Land Cruiser. I used to use a Treg coupler on my old trailer, those are neat too.

 

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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Yes, there's a number of things I need to post about.  I was going to do so after Christmas, but I let it slip and then work got busy and here we are.  Soon.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks for posting about the XO, it's exactly what I've been looking for, and hadn't come across. They seem reasonably priced for their ability, installation on the old frame might be interesting, we'll see once it gets here.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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You guys might ask Oliver if they can make you a set of the aluminum blocks they made for mine so that the wheel clears the fiberglass when folded.  It will work without them; but at least on mine, I would have needed to cut a square out of the fiberglass for it to clear.  I think it would be the same on other trailers, since the saddle that I have for my hitch is essentially the same size as the bulldog.  Oliver has my trailer right now, #256, so they should be able to take the measurements if anyone asks.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland, Is your trailer the one with the Cripple Creek Farms logo on the front?


Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax

 

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No, mine is incognito at the moment.  When I get it back from Oliver (soon, I hope), I'll get the logo on.  It will be the same as my avatar.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I can't imagine Oliver being able to tell someone how to "recover" their trailer without knowing the specifics of the problem.  For instance, up to the frame in sand, one side in a mud hole, one side off the edge of the road, etc.  And if someone is asking Oliver, the owner must have an idea of the problem.  If you have an idea of the problem, you can likely avoid it in the first place.

 

The tow vehicle is a huge part of the recovery.  If you have a 4X4 truck, you can pull very hard compared to a 2WD SUV, for instance.  If the truck is stuck too, a winch is probably your best friend to extract both at once.

 

A winch can also be used to turn the trailer around in it's own length if you have a tongue wheel like boats use.  Just disconnect and then hook the winch or a tow rope to the tongue to pull it around.

 

If, for some reason you have to pull the trailer out backward, and you already have the truck out, the best thing would be to wrap a chain around the axle/spring/Ubolt area.  Then attack a tug-em strap to pull with.  Don't get a run at it, but just increase the pull until the trailer moves, either with a winch or a truck.  Beast would be to attach on both sides and make a bridle.

 

A long tow rope could also be attached to the hitch and lead back under the trailer to a assisting truck.

 

It's also very affective to attach a come-a long to a wheel to act as a radius arm.  This means the trailer or truck cannot slip farther off an edge when moving forward.  Once hooked up, you just drive forward and the trailer comes back up on the road.

 

So, basic recovery stuff is likely to be:  A shovel and pick, good quality come-a-long, several chains with grab hooks, tug-em strap, several shackles, a snatch block,  some heavy yacht braid or nylon to pull with, a few smaller pieces of yacht braid for tying off the snatch block to a tree or rock, or for tying the come-a-long to the trailer wheel, various pices of 2X6 and a wheel for the front tongue jack.

 

If you have to disconnect from the trailer and are worried about it rolling while you are recovering it, just pull the emergency disconnect cable to activate the brakes while you work.

 

The tongue wheel should be as large and as wide as is practical.  I have already removed the "foot plate" on my front jack and I don't use it.   This is quite easy with a 5/8" wrench and allows the front jack to slip into the wheel socket.   This wheel will allow the trailer to roll along without being attached to a tow vehicle, or turned around in it's own length.  It can be dragged along with a come-a-long or tow strap.

 

The rear frame members are not designed for heavy recovery or any pull not directly in-line with the frame.  I would never install any kind of recovery "eye" for such use.  Only apply force where it is designed to handle such forces.  The wheels, axle mounts and hitch are the strong areas designed for heavy forces from different angles.

 

 


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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I meant Crooked Creek Farms instead of Cripple Creek Farms in my earlier post. Anyway, I saw a trailer in the service department on February 19 with that graphic that had an interesting looking hitch and a jack with dual rollers and I thought it might be yours.


Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax

 

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I know of at least one other person who has installed the same hitch, though I’ve shown it to quite a few interested owners.  A jockey wheel is pretty much required for the hitch, since you bump the trailer when hitching up and it would be easy to damage the factory jack that way.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I am all about being prepared for unforeseen complications. But, I can't envision a scenario where I’ve discovered a need to get the OO-II unstuck from a bog, quicksand or any other quagmire into which I've suddenly driven.  Presumably the truck would have entered first and that should have forewarned me that greater trouble was eminent.  I don’t feel the need to concern myself with everything I might need to extricate myself from every situation.  (I do, however, like that idea of having an excavator on hand just in case.)

 

I believe a far more likely conundrum would be finding that you’ve driven into an area where you can’t go any further forward and there is no room to turn the trailer around.  At that point, you’re left with backing up.  This is the easiest choice and usually will not be a problem.  But, if you have just gone a mile or so down a narrow, twisty road with steep drop-offs on the sides and weeds and bushes so close that you can’t see down either side of the trailer, you may find yourself up poop creek with no apparent means of locomotion.  (I can show anybody interested this exact place in West Virginia.)

 

Luckily, I had been concerned about that very situation and had come prepared.  All the vehicles that I might tow with are equipped with a front hitch. Watching the rear camera on the trailer you can push that sucker back down the road till you get to a place where you can turn it around.

 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Steve,

 

I agree.  The front hitch would be a nice addition for a long reversal of direction on a narrow path.  The jack wheel might be useful in some cases to turn the trailer around in it's own length too.   We went about 7 miles up a very narrow path where it was not possible to turn around and all the way up I was hoping for a spot to turn around or an intersection.  Finally found a wide spot at the top.

 

Sand is another concern out in Death Valley.  A spot we go has about 6 miles of flat sand to cross to get to our spot.  I'm not against airing down the trailer and the truck and keeping the momentum up.  I'm not going to install a winch, but a winch and a Fortress anchor could be handy there.  I always shave a compressor on-board.

 

Another good piece of recovery gear is a heavy duty brush guard front bumper, like the one on your truck, to help "recover" from a deer collision that could easily disable an unprotected truck.    Forget about getting stuck in the mud, a bashed in radiator, in the middle of the night, way out on a lonely road, is not fun.

 

I just can't plan and prepare for every imaginable problem.  Pretty soon we would have so much gear we couldn't go, and I could still imagine more potential problems to prepare for.   Much better to be prudent about what we venture into, than planning on getting stuck and bringing all the gear needed to get out.  Even stranger is expecting Oliver to tell us how to get out.  An impossible question for them to answer.

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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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...Sand is another concern out in Death Valley. A spot we go has about 6 miles of flat sand to cross to get to our spot....

 

Have you ever been out to the Racetrack Playa?  I've wanted to go but am reluctant to do so without someone else to go with.

 

...I just can’t plan and prepare for every imaginable problem. Pretty soon we would have so much gear we couldn’t go, and I could still imagine more potential problems to prepare for. Much better to be prudent about what we venture into, than planning on getting stuck and bringing all the gear needed to get out. Even stranger is expecting Oliver to tell us how to get out. An impossible question for them to answer.

 

Agree x 10.

 

I already carry so much gear that we are unable to buy any souvenirs for lack of room to put them!


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Have you ever been out to the Racetrack Playa? I’ve wanted to go but am reluctant to do so without someone else to go with.

Steve,

Yes I have.  Going there as a kid, we could drive right out onto the plaza, but now, thankfully, it's blocked against vehicles and you can walk out there to look around.

My favorite place to camp is Saline Valley.  Near the South end of that valley is the Lippencot Road that is a 4WD road and is often washed out.  It goes up out of the valley and ends up near the Race Track and there is another way to get there if you are not in Saline.  Farther north in Saline Valley and off to the east, is Saline Valley Hot Springs.  A delightful place to camp and hang out.  It is truly a one of a kind oasis with burros, coyotes and lots of hot pools to enjoy.    Probably won't last much longer as the Park Service wants s to buldoze it back to what they imagine it looked like a hundred years ago and close the access to it.  Wipe out all the pools and any evidence that people have been there.  A tragedy if it happens.  Meanwhile, hot clean water is pouring out of the ground and filling the pools.  The Race track is a nice day trip from the Springs.

All of this became part of Death Valley National Park in about 1994 and the whole flaver of the place changed significantly.

One of these days we could meet near Big Pine or Olancha, on 395, and venture in with out rigs.


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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The XO has been received and mostly installed. There is no room on the old frame, in the outside area, which was fine as I planned to install it out of the way anyways. This thing is seriously robust and will add some tongue weight. The only real drawback to this location is the extension crank handle won't work, the mechanism is smoooth enough working though that I can turn it with my fingers at this point, I will come up with something that will work with it though. The only adjustment I had to make was to move the propane tank mount about ¾" forward so it could rotate cleanly.

 

Now I'm just waiting for a piece of aluminum stock to come in to fill the gap between the frame and bolts. The unit has 3 or 4 different frame fits and the old frames are 3½" square which fell between two fits, this is clear in the last photo. The bolts it comes with are also too short, so I upgraded to class 10.9 and 210mm length with all metal lock nuts.

 

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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