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HOW TO: Upgrade the Bulldog coupler and Andersen Hitch to 2 5/16"


John E Davies
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A little OT, but how did you install the cross bar on the trailer side of the stone stomper?

When the cargo box was on the tongue I clamped a section of aluminum tubing to the back of it. With the box moved to the rear bumper, I had this welded up by my local shop. It works even better...

 

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I still use Schedule 80 conduit (UV rated, heavy wall, 1” diameter) to hold up the Stone Stomper mesh. The u bolt is one from the cargo box and it goes through two existing holes, so I did not have to drill new ones in the dog house.

 

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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So, I hope my 2” ball isn’t putting me in danger.  I do think I’ll upgrade to the new hitch before we leave for our fall adventure. Mike

 

Mike,

 

I would argue that your 2" ball is absolutely not putting you in any danger.   The ball is rated for the full gross weight of the trailer.  The 7,000 lb load rating is a working rating and not a predictor of when it will snap off.

 

The ball wear is not indicative of an overload or impending failure. It's a result from the Bulldog coupler having a rough interior and not being perfectly spherical, while dealing with the severe forward load applied by the Anderson hitch.

 

I suppose, if your trailer was loaded to 7,000 lbs, and the Anderson was cranked up to an extreme force on the ball, and you ran into something at a pretty good speed, you might have a failure.  But it might have a 4-1 safety margin and nothing would fail.  I just don't know what the margin is.

 

I really don't think it is worthy of your concern.

 

I switched mine to a 2 5/16" just because I like that size, like overkill beef, and have other trailers that use that size.  Plus, I got rid of that stupid catch that tripped me every time I stepped over the tongue!

 

Next year, to the rally, bring the new 2 5/16' coupler and the ball.  We could change it right there.  But we might have to act like we knew what we were doing.  ?

 

 

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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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So, I hope my 2” ball isn’t putting me in danger. I do think I’ll upgrade to the new hitch before we leave for our fall adventure. Mike

Mike,

 

I would argue that your 2″ ball is absolutely not putting you in any danger.

 

I really don’t think it is worthy of your concern.

 

John, I agree.  I have great confidence in my set up.  We do travel light and I don’t think we’re anywhere near the limits.

 

Next year, to the rally, bring the new 2 5/16′ coupler and the ball. We could change it right there. But we might have to act like we knew what we were doing. ?

 

 

Hmmmm, you’ve got got me thinking about this..... I’ll bet there would be no shortage of others who could gather round and act like they knew what was going on too!

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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For those of you that installed the 2 – 5/16 bulldog, did you have to get a different model hitch or tong lock for securing your trailer?

 

If yours has a ball that goes up inside the coupler, of course you do, it would fall out otherwise. I have The Collar and it works on all sizes of Bulldogs, since it secures the back of the sliding sleeve.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HL2NM0K/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

This is a great device when combined with a GOOD quality padlock (not a stupid $10 disc lock as shown in those pictures). Highly recommended. It has a high theft deterrent value too.

 

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 wish OTT used inserts for 5/8″ vice 1/2″ bolts. I was reading some older threads about 1/2″ grade 8 bolts on the telescoping tongues shearing off. Scary stuff.

Jitters,

 

I have never heard of this. Where can I read about it? The main cross bolt on the telescoping tongue is very large and cannot shear off because the tongue telescopes. It only sees stress from braking and acceleration and the bolt seems stronger than the material around it. The smaller 7/16″ cross bolts in the bulldog hitch are under a shear load. Mine were beginning to elongate the holes in the coupler because the nuts had bottomed out on the threads before pinching the coupler tight to the tongue. The fix, while installing the 2 5/16″ coupler, was to add a couple of grade 8 washers on the bolts

 

I have never heard of any of these bolts shearing off.

 

 

Hi Raspy!  Granted this was a while ago....

 

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/trailer-tongue-bolt-failure/

 

 

 

Greg

 

 

Greg


USN Retired


ARS AB7R


 

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Greg,

 

Interesting.  I have never seen that discussion.

 

The telescoping tongue went out of production before hull 200.  This lead to some grumbling by those that wanted it, and some who were surprised on delivery day to find it missing.  Mine is Hull 92 and has it, but the cross bolt is a 3/4" grade eight bolt with nylock nut and large washers.  I've had it out and it looks fine.

 

The trailer being discussed in the link was hull#32 (don't know if it was an Elite, or Elite ll).  And that was nearly 9 1/2 years ago.

 

Oliver continues to make small incremental changes over time and this must have been one of them.  Yikes!

 

The issue is certainly not a problem now, with the non-telescoping tongue that looks incredibly strong.

 

 

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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Understood.  Being retired Navy and working for NAVFAC for 15 years I am always thinking about safety.  When everything is connected by those two bolts on the coupler it seems a safer bet would have been 5/8 or 3/4 in bolts rather than 1/2 inch.   I'm sure the 1/2 is fine...but.... :)

 

 

Greg


USN Retired


ARS AB7R


 

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  • 2 months later...

The price to have Oliver upgrade to the 2-5/16" Bulldog Coupler is pretty reasonable when doing a new build. For some reason this change needs to be done post build by the service center but given the cost, I didn't complain.

Does anyone know if they are still using half inch bolts to secure the coupler?

2019 Toyota Land Cruiser

2021 Oliver Elite II, Hull #748

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First, thanks to John for the incredibly detailed install photos and notes on the Bulldog upgrade.  I’ve been considering doing this update to the larger Bulldog coupler.  Still undecided.  I’m under 6,000 lbs for my loaded weight, but I’m always a fan of overkill/big safety margins.  For me the one worrisome single point of failure in the whole towing setup is that EVERYTHING is held to your tow vehicle by a single 5/8” diameter hitch pin holding your hitch into your tow vehicle receiver.   So no matter how large the bolts on the Bulldog, or whether you use the Andersen hitch, etc., we all still have to trust that one single hitch pin (with safety cables as the backup in case of failure).  And I’ve found that a lot of the off-brand hitch pins don’t even list a weight rating.   I’m using an Andersen stainless steel locking hitch pin and Andersen claims a shear strength of 30,000 lbs. so I guess I’m ok there.   Maybe the Bulldog upgrade at my next service visit to Oliver. 

Edited by FrankC
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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Hi John

I am in the process of upgrading to the newer Anderson hitch, which I ordered with the 2 5/16” ball.  The upgrade is still offered for $100 by Anderson.  I now have to get the 2 5/16” bulldog coupler and use your detailed post to guide me through the installation.

Can you supply a link or description of where I can order the correct bulldog coupler.  I have a 2017 LE II.  
 

Thanks



 

Bob G

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9 minutes ago, Rleog said:

Can you supply a link or description of where I can order the correct bulldog coupler.  I have a 2017 LE II.  
 

Hmmm, I wonder why I did not add that in the first post….? Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I ordered from Amazon, but there are plenty of sources, just look for the best deal.

https://www.amazon.com/Bulldog-028462-Trailer-Rectangular-Straight/dp/B00ZRVQPVK

Good luck, post pics when you are done!

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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Update on ball wear, after 3000 miles of towing, with a greased ball, it is very minor, quite unlike the 2” ball which was trashed in under 1000.

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I am happy with the upgrade.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a bit of a delay coordinating with a friend to use his drill press.  With the aid of John’s detailed instructions, here was my installation.

First a couple of pics of the receiver, showing how the steel channel sides are not strictly parallel and the top is slightly bent or shallowly “U” shaped.  Another pic shows the weld at the rear of the reinforcement steel tube.  That weld prevents the Oliver aluminum tongue from sliding forward to directly contact the steel tube within the receiver hitch.  If you force the receiver onto the aluminum tongue the forward section of the receiver is raised by the height of the weld.  Good luck getting accurate measurements for drilling if that occurs.

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To measure for drilling I set the receiver onto the tongue in a stable manner then scribed lines onto the aluminum tongue along the bottom and rear edges of the receiver.

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Measurements to center of the bolt holes were then made and recorded.

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After a friend drilled the receiver holes with a drill press, I found that the rearward holes lined up well but the forward holes were ~2 mm off on street side and ~1 mm off on curbside.  Then it was a matter of enlarging the holes for a proper fit.

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Once aligned there was priming,

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final paint coats and installation.

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  Thank you, John Davies for this two year old valuable thread.

 

 

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Bob G

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Rleog, nice job, that looks great. Just a word of caution, this doesn’t really matter on the Ollie tongue beam which is massively oversized, but generally you should not scribe or scratch lines into a stressed aluminum part, for example a bike rack mount. That could lead to a crack forming after several years. This mostly applies to aircraft, where parts tend to be smaller/ lighter/ and thinner, but it is good practice to just not do it. For steel parts, no worries.

Thanks for the kind words, enjoy your bigger safer cooler hitch.

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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