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MarkC

Dexter ez flex

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I understand the Dexter ez flex suspension is standard.  I think I read where someone is installing a different one. I'm thinking Oliver trailers has researched this and thinks Dexter is satisfactory. I'm wondering if anyone has chosen a different suspension and why?

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Mark, I don’t know of any Ollie that has a different type suspension..... the EZ Flex was an option for a while, but it is way superior to the standard junk trailer shackles and plastic bushings, so now it is standard equipment. Yay!

 

The problem is that there is no travel, you have maybe THREE inches total, and only 1.5 inches up travel, before the ubolts slam hard into the steel subframe. That is fine for well maintained asphalt, but a single deep pothole, or a rough dirt road, soon demonstrates how poor this is. Wham bam, thank you mam, the trailer will get really beat up and it can wreck tires and wheels unless you slow way down.

 

A fancy independent off road a-arm suspension (like the Black Series trailers) with coil springs or airbags is way superior when the road turns bad, but it is also prohibitively expensive since most buyers won’t pay the big premium for a niche feature. It also can be tippy on the highway if it doesn’t have anti-roll bars...plus it does not have “load equalizing” between axles so you need really stout tires and wheels.

 

2D98E4B9-732A-402C-91A7-10F12473EACC.thumb.jpeg.f84d756004cc9fb1e359858a0822d99a.jpeg

 

A compromise that has been discussed (and which IMHO should be STANDARD ON ALL OLLIES) is to switch to a spring over axle configuration,

 

F9DC2531-1510-44CA-B590-746C8C430256.jpeg.2a0600f3031d8179229963635901e068.jpeg

 

which gets you a ton of room between the frame and axle, but that will get the trailer way too high off the ground, it looks dumb and it would very unstable. So you change the axles to a 4” (or 2”) drop version, which has a dogleg that positions the axle stub above the tube, effectively lowering the frame back down.

 

[attachment file=A9BE9506-0D50-46D1-B2B2-655AC563E315.jpeg]

 

Now you have a stock height (or 2 inch lifted height) trailer, with a bunch of room so you can install rubber bump stops to prevent the springs from over traveling, which can break them, but just as importantly, to provide a gentle, progressive slowing of the upward motion. No more banging.

 

Easy peasy, it would be much more refined, and would only cost a few dollars more for the four bump stops..... spring over axle assemblies can be ordered from the supplier, no welding or reworking needed....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

A9BE9506-0D50-46D1-B2B2-655AC563E315.jpeg.bb889d774eba2475b53f07fd60040c96.jpeg

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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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Mark,

 

The EZ Flex became standard about a year ago after some of us had been discussing it.  I forgot who it was that Oliver awarded for promoting it.

 

As John pointed out, it is much better than the standard utility trailer suspension that has light duty shackles and nylon bushings.  But the rubber bushing part really does nothing on Olivers because it is designed for a stiff suspension with lots of shock loads.

 

The alternative to the EZ Flex is the Heavy Duty Kit from Dexter.  This gives you the larger shackles and pins,  greaseable bronze bushings, and a heavy duty equalizer, but deletes the rubber bumper.   Plus it costs about $100. less than the EZ Flex.

 

Either one does nothing to increase travel.

 

The red swing arm suspension John posted pictures of, is the system used on a lot of Australian off road caravans.  Specifically, the Black Series HQ19.  We've been discussing ways to improve the Oliver suspension, which is fine for highway and around town, but not for off-road.  Two options are possible.  One is the drop axle with spring over, that I suggested to John.  And the other is to get a Black Series HQ19.  I have opted to get a Black Series so that I can confidently go off road to places like Death Valley.  My favorite spot is over 50 miles in on a gravel road that is rough and sometimes washed out.  Then six miles across the desert with no road.

 

The Oliver is really good compared to many normal trailers with it's additional ground clearance and no hanging down sewer pipes.  This has allowed us to go many places we could not have gone otherwise.

 

I love my Ollie, but don't want to take into Death Valley and overdo it.

 

A simple and affective suspension upgrade, that should be done if you don't have it,  is to simply install the Heavy Duty kit from Dexter.  I'll give you the part number if you'd like, I'll have to look in my records to find it.  This gives you a long term system that can be maintained and not get loose with worn parts.  A good time to do it would be when you grease the bearings next time.

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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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Raspy,  I would like that part # too when you find it.

 

Thanks, Hobo


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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"I have opted to get a Black Series so that I can confidently go off road to places like Death Valley. My favorite spot is over 50 miles in on a gravel road that is rough and sometimes washed out. Then six miles across the desert with no road.

 

The Oliver is really good compared to many normal trailers with it’s additional ground clearance and no hanging down sewer pipes. This has allowed us to go many places we could not have gone otherwise.

 

I love my Ollie, but don’t want to take into Death Valley and overdo it."

 

Raspy, you'll always be part of the family..a lot of people have enjoyed and learned from your posts. Don't be a stranger when you get that Black Series.

 

I wouldn't want to take my Ollie to your favorite spot, either. Reminds me of the TV series I watched as a kid...sponsored by 20 mule team Borax. (Now I am telling my age, huh?)

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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As John mentioned, we tried the spring over axle mod and it didn't work, for the reasons he mentioned.  And I agree that the drop axle idea is worth exploring.

 

Another option is the MorRyde kit that many RVers swear by.  I don't think that any Oliver owner has seriously looked into that as of yet.

 

My personal leaning is the Lippert Centerpoint suspension.  It seems dead simple to install, gives you about an inch lift, and has probably the softest ride of the above options, which, imo, is really what you need.

 

I've changed my tune on suspensions since having the Ollie, and I no longer think that big travel suspensions are needed or even desirable. When you take a trailer off pavement, size and soft surfaces are the limiting factors.  I have yet to find a road where terrain is what stopped us - it will be mud or sand or the inability to get back out that stops you first.  I think the Black Series trailers are cool and all, and I'd love for someone to buy one and report back; but my opinion is that regardless how tough they look, they're still honking big trailers that aren't going through mud or sand or tight roads any better than an Ollie can (worse in some cases since they're as wide as an Airstream).  And even in situations where they're better off road, I think you're buying a very narrow slice of capability while giving up a lot of highway stability.  Yes, the Ollie could stand a bit more compression travel, but more for on-pavement potholes and such than for off road travel.  You just don't travel fast enough off road to really require much suspension travel - the trailer will rock back and forth with the terrain, and since the wheels aren't driven it's not like you're trying to maintain traction.

 

So, for off pavement suspension mods I think it's better to think in terms of reducing vibration; i.e., try make your trailer a gravel eating machine rather than a rock crawler, which is why I think something like the Centerpoint is likely to be the sweet spot in off pavement performance vs cost vs highway stability.

 

My strategy for dealing with terrain that's too rough for the Ollie is to pack a tent.  Then you can really go places.  Much cheaper than buying a separate trailer for a few roads ;) .

 

Your suspension won't move this wall any further away -

 

IMG_3282.thumb.jpeg.091d8ec2cda59e112cfe180be69ae4d7.jpeg

 

Nor help you around this bend -

 

IMG_3269.thumb.jpeg.3be2ea66af2fdb36b35b3d715b0ceb14.jpeg

 

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I have looked at the MorRyde IS system when looking at previous trailers.  It seems to have very positive feedback, but mostly on-road from larger trailers.  The upside is each axle has its own springs and it comes with really good brakes.  Only 2-3" of travel still, but probably a more controlled bottoming out from their rubber springs. Cost is about $6000 installed at MorRyde in Elkhart, IN.  For off-road applications where the current suspension doesn't work, I don't think the IS or any is really going to help with capability (I don't think I am going to get the trailer to crawl over rocks while towing), so much as maybe improving the quality on rough/washboard surfaces.


2019 LE2 #529.   

2018 Navigator L   2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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Great comments. I disagree that the rubber EX Flex equalizers don’t work. I think they offer extra dampening of high speed vibrations. I have had a couple of big tandem trailers with the heavy duty (non rubber) shackle kits and they were not as soft riding as my 6000 pound Ollie. The rubber ones do offer four extra failure points, and the rubber pads should be inspected regularly for deterioration. If I stored the trailer long term in full sunlight I would probably figure out some sort of sun guard for the side that gets blasted by UV rays....

 

I have no plans to tow at 50 mph on unpaved roads, as I have in the past with a little offroad utility trailer, but I need something to cope with those unseen potholes and dips that appear out of nowhere, when you can’t slow down or evade. I ran over a really nasty hole at 45 mph because it was unmarked and there was a vehicle in the oncoming lane. I really thought I had broken something..... it scared me.

 

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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Overland,

 

You've nailed it as far as what a more off-road suspension might really offer.   Speed is not really the issue and rock crawling is out of the question anyway.  I've walked my Ollie along in 4 lo until the truck was near it's limit and Ollie dutifully followed along and never touched bottom.  It's extended tongue is one of it's best features and allows sharp turns, at those walking speeds, the suspension is adequate and possibly even desirable.

 

The seven foot Oliver width is an advantage too.  Every trip I remind myself how important that is when towing.  The HQ19 is 7.5', so I've made a compromise of 6" there.  Airstreams, with their 8' width, and extremely delicate body, are out of the question for me (besides the many other issues that take them out of contention).  Ollie's wheel track is about 3" narrower than my Ram, so it tracks in almost the exact same lines.  The HQ is 6" wider overall and may be an exact match on wheel track.  This is nice on the highway, but narrower is better while turning on dirt tracks.

 

The HQ is about 14" taller than an Ollie and I'm hoping it is a very stable platform.  A friction style sway damper might be a good option after testing.  I'm going to a McHitch 6 ton fully articulating hitch too.  This is a better hitch than the HQ comes with and will allow a WDH if needed.  I'll resist using one of those and my 3500 Ram has plenty of capacity.  I'm expecting a drop of about 1 mpg, with the HQ, and possibly a slightly slower cruise speed.  It will net about 1,000 lbs more, all geared up, and is less streamlined.  But power is never a concern with my Cummins.

 

Traveling along on dirt roads at a moderate speed, of 20 MPH or so.  Not pushing it, but just cruising, I've had a hard time finding a sweet spot that Ollie likes.  We live out here in the vast West and the wilds of Northern Nevada.  I've tried airing down to various levels too.   But invariably, when we stop after a few miles, the interior has suffered.  This was the situation where my microwave tried repeatedly to escape and lead to my microwave cabinet conversion.  Things actually turned out more secure and more useful in that area.  But the window coverings fall off, the cushions are on the floor in spite of being set sideways to lock them in, and a few of the overhead cabinets are open.  I've shimmed the cabinet catches and pretty much solved that problem too.  Somehow, the damping, limited compression travel, natural harmonics and vibration are working against us and the trailer.  We hit a big bump at a concrete ford area on a paved road at Little Sahara. The truck handled it better than I expected.  We found the coffee pot had jumped out of the sink and a glass, one quart bottle, in the pantry,  had jumped up and turned upside down.  I was glad the shower door survived.  The spring U bolts had contacted the steel frame truck hard enough to make little dents in the steel.

 

My previous Thor toy hauler was about the same size and weight of our Ollie.  It had identical suspension.  I figured it would be fine in Death Valley, but it wasn't.  Screws kept backing out of the floor and all indications were that it would destroy itself in a few trips.  It was a poorly made and poorly designed sticky.  So I decided it was time to get an Oliver.

 

The streamlined Oliver, with it's very stable highway towing has really opened up a new world and we've crossed the country twice, as well as made a number of shorter trips to Oregon, Yosemite and around the Eastern Sierra.  The recent heavy winds and rain/hail in the Texas Panhandle were just part of the fun.

 

We are toying with the idea of taking off for a number of months at a time.  This might be far and it might be not so far, where we simply spend a lot of time exploring  a place.  We'll find ourselves living in the trailer as though it's an apartment.  Studying, reading, writing and being at home.  And possibly taking on projects where we spend time at certain locations for a week or a month.  I'm seeing Ollie as better for traveling and the HQ as better, for us, for living.  I see these monster, fifth wheel stickies everywhere and I can't imagine taking one of those anywhere.  In my view, Airstreams are bulbous, delicate, fair weather apartments, for weekends.  Again, the HQ fills the gap.  It's a durable luxury apartment on a heavy duty frame with off-road capable suspension.  More water with a interesting dual tank fresh water system and triple filtering system, solar, an outdoor kitchen, queen bed, excellent shower/bath, oven, washing machine (!).   A bit more room, without being ridiculous and a very durable exterior.  While it's size can limit some situations, it invites exploring and staying out there.  One of the things we do too, is simply stop for the night at truck stops and rest areas.  I like to just pull in and crash for the night.  Being stealth is important in those cases, because we may stay for 18 hours if the place is nice and we are in no hurry.  No slide outs, pop ups, no generators and nothing to indicate we are doing anything more than just parking for a short time.  Arkansas, Texas and New Mexico have some of the best places to stop and we've never been questioned.  Big Piney Rest Stop in Arkansas is so nice is comical.  A beautiful park.  The picnic area about 20 miles north of Big Bend is a place to plan to stop.  A gorgeous mountain top with views forever, nobody around, picnic tables and wifi. We spent some time there and were treated to a powerful thunderstorm.  I only stopped giggling long enough to shake my head in wonder.

 

Ollie is in pristine condition and even improved in a number of ways.  Getting so much as a scratch on it would be devastating.    HQ is ready to kick-ass and take names.  While being a longer term home, if asked to.  Luxury and tough at the same time.

 

Ha!  As far as the Oliver rally is concerned, we've had a wonderful time there twice!  Making great new friends and using the trip as an opportunity to see much more of the country.   Here's the plan.  Shhhhh.  (as I glance both ways to make sure nobody is listening).  We have already named the new trailer "Ollie".  We're planning to attend the next Oliver Rally and not mention the change.  Maybe nobody will even notice!  Or, maybe we'll be politely asked to leave!  What if we win an accessory at the big dinner drawing and it is designed for an Oliver?  Will Scott Oliver slam the door as we approach the dining hall, giving us a disgusted glance?  I can hardly wait to find out!  "It's heresy, I tell you!"  or, just one more friend attending the party, as it was at the two Casita rallies we went to in Oregon.  I don't see having the right brand of trailer as part of the price of admission.

 

We're starting to get serious about getting Ollie emptied, photographed and in the classifieds.  The next chapter begins.  And I hope to cross paths with the new owner at various places over time.  We'll be at Quartzsite in January, for instance, and the Oliver rally next year.

 

I fully intend to be lurking here too, and jumping in with my two cents now and then.

 

John

 

 

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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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"Raspy, you’ll always be part of the family..a lot of people have enjoyed and learned from your posts. Don’t be a stranger when you get that Black Series."

 

Sherry,  Thanks for the kind words


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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Well I'm excited for you.  Suspension aside, there is a lot about the Black Series to like.  The layout, separate shower, exterior storage, exterior kitchen, dual spares, more rugged exterior, etc.  Like I said in one of our previous conversations, if I were still in the planning stages, it would be high on my list.  I'll be very interested to hear how it tows, how it does in cold weather, etc.

 

When do you get it?


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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[postquote quote=175539][/postquote]

 

Here is a link to the Dexter Heavy Duty suspension kit.

 

This can be installed in a couple of hours, doing one joint at a time with the wheels off on the side you're working on.   I didn't remove the shocks or touch the U bolts.  The rear jacks were down.  Two floor jacks and a concrete floor work best.  The bushings can be pushed in with a large C clamp or with a piece of threaded rod, a few washers and and nuts.  Or a sleeve can be arainged so the bronze bushings push out the nylon ones on their way in.  A large tapered punch helps align the holes.

 

Probably best to put Locktite on the threads.    Try to set the cross drilled grease holes in the pins, in the horizontal position to aid in greasing.

 

https://www.amazon.com/DEXTER-AXLE-K71-359-00-Heavy-Suspension/dp/B004RCRA6O


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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[postquote quote=175761][/postquote]

 

We get it at the end of August.  60 days lead time and 14 days max to install the winter package which includes insulation and  heaters on the tanks, and fully insulated water lines.  The insulation goes between the aluminum cover and the tank.  A  sticky back foil/bubble sheet material.  The pipes are wrapped and fully taped.

 

I am already considering a mod or two to the water system, and, as mentioned, I'll be replacing the coupler with the McHitch 6 tonne unit.  It appears to be the best, and easiest to adapt to design I've ever seen.  I wanted one based on a U joint, and finally found it.

 

We have also upgraded to four factory installed batteries, instead of two.  I was pleased with their wiring and battery brackets, so I had them do it.

 

Finally, it seems it may come with only one 20 lb propane bottle, but the bracket is set up for two.  A nice over-centering strap arrangement.  I'll upgrade to (2) 30 lb bottles.

 

The rear has (2) 2" receivers that mount the spare tire bracket system.  I may build a new rack for bikes back there and put the tires in the pickup bed, stacked and laid flat in the front of the bed  That would make the rear overhang a touch lighter and make the bikes easy to access.  We'll see.

 

There is also a nice Anderson plug set up at the tongue, with heavy gauge wire running to the batteries. I'll adapt the suitcase solar to this and consider routing a wire from the truck battery back for charging. My seven pin charges, but not with a lot of power.

 

Sheesh!  I wonder if I'll have any time to go camping!?


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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Raspy,

 

(little off topic) Will be very interested to hear your impressions of the Black Series.  The I had been eyeing the new HQ21 but wasn't sure of the build quality and it doesn't appear that it would work well in winter.  Everything else about it checks off the right boxes: suspension, separate/dedicated sleeping area, lounge in back, pretty serious kitchen, outside storage, rear lounge with big windows, and it should do alright on washboard.  Oh and the door is on the wrong side...also which direction does the toilet flush?

 

 

 

 

Interior-0_1558329455.thumb.jpg.7f702792bc2d199db7c5ae1013f96b62.jpg

layout-hq21.thumb.jpg.dcf28495cec34be02951c48d38958d89.jpg


2019 LE2 #529.   

2018 Navigator L   2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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WhatDa,

 

The 21 is an Australian model, not available here.  All US trailers have the door on the  normal curb side in the US.

 

Some of the older comments on these are outdated and not relevant.  They are talking about the ones in Australia. Look up RVs of America or rvsofamerica.com and look at their many videos.  You can find them also on U Tube.  I can't find anything wrong with the quality control or general design, and I looked at them in person.

 

Big money and a lot of expertise has gone into the factory and they are totally RVIA certified.  These are going to make a big splash here in the US.  Some things are a bit quirky on them, but that is how they do it in Australia.

 

Also, the numbers, like HQ17 and HQ19 don't match up with the length very well.  The 19 is 25-26' overall, with the rear tires and the tongue.  All prices shown on the Australian sites are Australian dollars.  The HQ 19 retails here for $59,000., but it was offered at $50,000. USD.   This is fully equipped with the roof 300 watt solar, inverter/charger, exterior kitchen, electric awning, Anderson charging plug wired to the batteries,  twin spare tires, power steps, dual fresh water systems with triple filter system, washing machine, etc.    The works.

 

On June 5th there was a 10% increase on all new orders.  But we got in under the wire.

 

 


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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John, that’s great news! I hope to see you at the rally next year as well as out on the road somewhere. I really look forward to seeing that new trailer, they look great!


ALAZARGAINKYMIMSNMNCOHOKTNTXVAWVmed.jpg

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"I wouldn’t want to take my Ollie to your favorite spot, either. Reminds me of the TV series I watched as a kid…sponsored by 20 mule team Borax. (Now I am telling my age, huh?)"

 

 

 

Sherry,

 

Yes, Death Valley Days.  I remember seeing the black and white show, with  the 20 Mule Team out in the middle of nowhere.  That whole area seemed so off limits and out there.  But visualize a warm oasis under a beautiful blue sky.  Absolutely clear air.  Rustling palm trees and gurgling water.   Beautiful concrete lined pools full of warm water to lounge in. The closest town about 70 miles away.

 

Here's one of the 10 or so pools fed by a hot spring:

 

 

 

 

 

 

unnamed-10.thumb.jpg.0006d5a433e782d3d72abc90e22c0ae7.jpg


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 looked on RVs of America at the US HQ19 - nice.  Now they just need to bring the 21 floor plan and insulate/heat the bottom.  I am a huge fan of the rear dinette area.


2019 LE2 #529.   

2018 Navigator L   2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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[postquote quote=175514][/postquote]

I bet with some digging and research you could have the black series suspension made to fit the Ollie since the suspension is separate from the frame.  $$$$$$

 

 

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Putting a swing arm suspension under an Ollie is not gonna happen.  And it's not needed, to significantly improve what Oliver is doing now.

 

As John has pointed out, and I agree, the very limited suspension on the Oliver needs help.  I designed an identical upgrade to a similar trailer years ago, to fix the same problem.  A spring over design with drop axles.

 

This gives the clearance for twice as much travel, stops the metal to metal limit, and adds a Timbren rubber stop to change the last half of the travel to a rising rate system that acts as a soft stop.  The riding height would be less than a simple spring over design, but more than now, and would be designed to make sure the wheels don't bottom out in the wheel wells.  In other words, it could be designed to be the best overall compromise and end up with twice the suspension travel.    Probably about a 2" lift with much higher quality travel.  No more metal to metal suspension stop.  And no changes to the body structure or the suspension truck would be needed.

 

I suggested this design here, some time back, in our quest for better suspension, and so far, it seems like the best compromise we have come up with.  John seems to like it too.  Plus it is easy and cheap.

 

The typical tandem axle leaf spring system, with equalizers, is a good system.  It allows the forward and then the rearward wheels to step over bumps, or go through dips, without compressing the springs, so it rides well.  It also allows the tongue of the trailer to be above or below level without affecting the weight distribution between the two axles.  This must also increase stability as the point of effort against the ground remains centered between the axles.  These features are not part of the design with tandem swing arms, or with tandem torsion axles.  I don't know of any manufacturer's that are doing it.

 

But in Oliver's case, the travel is severely limited and the stop is metal to metal.   The system bottoms out a lot and leaves small dents in the suspension truck frame from the U bolts hitting the frame. This is crude and damaging.  It adds a lot of stress to the whole system and jars the trailer and it's contents.  It's just too crude to be under an Oliver.

 

Oliver stepped up and got rid of the nylon bushings in the system, that are the same ones used in utility trailers, and went to the EZ Flex system with bronze greaseable bushings.  A nice upgrade, but mainly for it's improved service life and not for quality of suspension travel.   EZ Flex does nothing to increase the travel or to help with metal to metal bottoming.  And it is designed for trailers with much stiffer springs that are experiencing shock loads caused by those stiff springs. Olivers have soft springs and it's not the initial shock from inflexible springs that is the problem, it's the limited travel and metal to metal stops that need to be addressed.

 

Now it's time to go to the next level, with a cheap further upgrade of doubling the travel, reducing damage and improving the ride.  This could lead to less interior chaos and less stress on everything.  It would only require a change to drop axles, instead of straight ones, and the addition of Timbren rubber stops, as well as possibly different shocks.  Overall, a very small investment for a significantly improved suspension that would put Oliver another step ahead of the competition.  This improvement would retain the benefits of the equalizer tandem axle system, while adding good quality travel and reduced damage.  It would continue to use off-the-shelf parts, and not require a major redesign.

 

Oliver could advertise it as their new, "industry leading", "Soft Ride" system.  Or their  "rough road" upgrade.  And just like with the EZ Flex upgrade, everybody will want it.  It could be another option offered at the time of order, or just adopted as the new system, across the board.  I would certainly opt for it if offered at the time of order.

 

Come on Oliver!  Check it out and try one for research!  Or, maybe someone will talk them into doing it on a new order.  Or maybe someone will retrofit their own trailer an show it to Oliver, where they will like it so much that they'll adopt it. A simple spring over change was already tried and they decided against it because the lift was too much and likely unstable, but this mod only raises the trailer about 2" instead of 5".

 

I was getting ready to order new drop axles for mine, and do this for proof of concept, as well as the improved performance,  but decided to go in another direction, with a different trailer.  I've had a long term business relationship with a trailer equipment supplier and built, or modified, a number of trailers in the past.  It would have been interesting to show up at the next rally with this mod on and working.  And I would have, as I see no reason it can't be easily done.

 

Another change that was going to happen during the build, was a change to 12" brakes.  That isn't really important, but while in there, a good idea. Oliver did the 12" brakes for a sort time and touted it in their literature as an "upgrade".  After three years with mine, I agree.

  • Thanks 2

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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What is the bearing service interval? The Aussie owners manual requires it to be done ONLY by a certified shop and the interval is ludicrous - 300 km. I hope that was a typo. But maybe that was for a monsoon summer where it gets submerged in Cape York swamps.... How is the USA warranty and terms?

 

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 believe the warrantee is two years on appliances and 5 year full warrantee on the structure.  The bearings appear to be the normal setup as we see here, and a spare set is provided.  So I'll have some part numbers and a set to look at soon.  I'm expecting  standard 5200 lb axle bearings to match the 5200 lb 12" brakes.

 

You're right, 300 km maintenance would be crazy.


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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Hi John.  How much do you think a retrofit like this would run?  I'm in the process of purchasing a 1-yr old LE II and this idea sounds worthwhile.

 

Where in Northern NV?  I'm in Caldwell, ID....maybe not too far?

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Greg

 

 


Greg


USN Retired


ARS AB7R


 

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Greg,

 

A rough estimate would be about $1,500.  Some details would still have to be worked out.   Specifically, is the ID of the Dexter axle drop section wide enough to clear the frame rails and still keep the wheels on their original track?  Will that measurement be affected by the larger, 12" drums, and if so, we might have to stay with the 10" drums.   A different offset wheel might be required to make all of this work, but that is doable too as there are factory Chevy wheels, for instance, with a 1" additional backspacing.  The specific amount of drop is still unclear as the tire can never make contact with the top of the wheelwell, but the overall ride height needs to be kept low.  It looks like the trailer would sit about 2" higher when it's all done. This would approximately double the compression travel in the suspension.  I need to know the maximum recommended travel the springs can handle and the various shocks available.   Once all of the measurements and spring requirements are worked out, it will be clear if this is an easy job or not.  The springs are one of the considerations here, as they will be flexing farther than they are now and Dexter will know if that is OK or not.  I've looked a some of Timbrens rubber donut helper springs and they seem perfect for this application.  Not just a rubber stop, but a crushable bumper that gives a rising rate spring affect, while acting as stop too.

 

These are just some details to work out. I was planning to get ahold of Dexter and send them a drawing of the frame, spring center, and required drop.  They could provide the flange to flange width relationship to the ID of the drop sections, etc.  Dexter is the one to deal with since they are a good company and the one Oliver uses for their axles.  I'd like this to be an easy transition for Oliver, if they become interested.  Once a parts list was developed, it would be a bolt on project easily done in a garage, or at a trailer shop.  We'd probably have to drill and tap a few holes, but no welding on the suspension truck.

 

In my case, I was going to leave Oliver out of the loop and just do it while working with Dexter and my trailer equipment supplier, and Timbren,  as needed. Then show it to Oliver at the rally.   I would only need Oliver to get some part numbers and contact names at Dexter.

 

I'm in Smith Valley, NV.  Southeast of Minden/Gardnerville about 20 miles as the crow flies.  I'll be coming through Winnemucca on the way to Salt Lake at the end of August.  Looks like you're about 230 miles north of Winnemucca.


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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[postquote quote=176376][/postquote]

I think you should do it. Get it done and show everyone how great it will be.

 

change is good.

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