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Off Road Jack and Multi-Axis Hitch on an Ollie


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That looks good, for sure wouldn't effect departure angle build like that. Nice design. I don't know what you guys carry with you but adding mass up high is negligible. Also I'm guessing I'm younger than most of you so climbing up a ladder to get stuff I don't need on a daily basis is no biggy. We do a lot of different things during different seasons so being able to tuck away our backpacking gear, pack rafts, climbing gear, etc, etc. up on the roof would be fantastic. We'll be traveling full time for a couple of years so having it all with us is a must. I would argue that putting a couple hundred pounds on the roof towards the front of the trailer would have less effect on handling that cantilevering it off the rear. I would also argue that you won't feel either. It would be no higher than the A/C and quite a bit lighter than the A/C. Don't overthink this. Designed properly using thin walled rectangular aluminium tubing with dryboxes the entire rack would be less than 75lbs.

I'm also building a rack for the pickup that goes around my softopper. It will also have small dryboxes on the sides and will be able to carry my inflated raft on the roof. Dogs get the bed on top of my full length bed drawers which house fishing, hunting goodies, tools and other odds and ends. So storage abound. I promise I won't overload the roof gents, but thanks for your concern.

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BTW, what are they doing with those silly graphics! You guys got it right with the clean look. Takes it from the 80’s to being modern looking just by removing that swirly crap.

 

I am not sure if this is still possible, but it used to be when you ordered a trailer you could delete the swooshes, but they don’t refund any money. I do think having the trailer name on the side looks good and it stops constant questions about “what kind of Casita is that?”

 

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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  • 7 months later...

@Overland & @Raspy - Great information about this hitch and jack.  Thanks for your effort to write this up and share it with us.

Did either of you consider the Lock & Roll hitch?  (https://locknroll.com/)  I am interested in your thoughts or if others have installed on their Ollies.

Thanks again, stay safe.

Bill

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Posted (edited)

I don't really know anything about them, but they look solid enough and the attachment method seems reasonable.  The only thing that catches my eye is that the hole spacing says 3", vs 3 ½" on the Ollie.  Maybe they could make one with 3 12" spacing for you?  If they could, then those would definitely be easier to install, and cheaper by a good margin.

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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In the gallery photos on the Lock & Roll hitch manufactures website, only small trailers are shown.  The hitches appear to be rated for 11000# trailer weight and 1100# tongue weight, but I'm still wondering about the size of an Ollie.  

Jason and Sonja are located in western Wyoming near Pinedale, WY.

Oliver Elite II #609 (2020)

TV: 2017 Ram 3500

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I, too, have only see these articulting hitches on smaller trailers (offroad teardrops or teardrop-like trailers).  But, after looking at the McHitch - as described in this thread, I started thinking about it for an Oliver.  The Lock & Roll just seemed to be a potentially simpler solution, but honestly I have not researched in depth.

I am concerned about backing a trailer with these hitches.  How will the trailer respond?  I think one of the benefits of the small, lightweight trailer is that you can move the trailer by hand in a pinch.  Not happening with a 6k pound trailer.

I don't even own an Oliver yet, so I have a LONG way to go.  Thanks for your thoughts.

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I haven't had any issues backing up with the McHitch.  I guess that by the time you had the hitch at an angle that it might bind, your trailer would be on the brink of tipping over anyway, so probably not a situation you'd want to be in. 

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I think that for the average person who does not have a hard core rock crawling trailer, an offroad coupler provides peace of mind for that rare occasion when your stomach knots up and your sphincter does too. Most of the time a decent ball coupler will be transparent and trouble free.

OTH Andersen recommends that you disconnect the chains in these situations. if you keep the tongue weigh really low, that won't add any new problems. If your are carrying 700 pounds on the ball, expect your light duty tow vehicle to be unhappy and maybe unsafe if you remove the chain tension.

I towed a dinky little utility trailer maybe 30,000 miles over 12 years, I installed an Australian Treg polyblock coupler right way. It performed faultlessly and as a bonus, it looked very trick. I never had any issues backing that were due to the coupler itself.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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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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  • 2 months later...
On 7/28/2019 at 10:38 AM, Overland said:

So most are probably aware that I've had these since delivery, but I've never posted about them - much to the concern of some (lol).

 

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The hitch, as advertised, is from McHitch in Australia.  It's one of their automatic hitches in the 4.5 tonne (of the metric sort) version.  The jack is an XO 750, also from Australia.  You have to buy the hitch directly from their factory, but you can find the jack here in the US.  The hitch was $750 shipped; the jack, $250.  (The hitch price may have been Australian dollars - I can't tell from their invoice.)

 

To attach the hitch to the Ollie's tongue, you'll have to have an adapter made, like this:

 

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The hitch bolts into the adapter and the adapter bolts into the same two holes on the tongue as the Bulldog, making them interchangeable.  The female portion of the hitch will mount directly to any ball mount. IMG_2075.thumb.jpg.b2aada4c5bfb0808d173ff41dd6db7aa.jpg

 

The jack also requires a bit of work.  The bolt spacing on the jack's mounting plate actually aligns quite well with the Ollie's tongue, but if you mount it directly to the frame, then the wheel just doesn't quite clear when folded:

 

IMG_2073.thumb.jpg.f20f0ca824b46d442d176f8385a5e6e7.jpg

 

And there's no room to scoot the jack forward.  You can fold it back the other way, but then the wheel is far enough forward to hit the truck in a tight turn -

 

IMG_2070.thumb.jpg.fb0e3ac3502963426bd2904d67eaab16.jpg

 

So you have to make some spacers, or if the guys in service are still as unbelievably nice as they were when mine was being built, maybe they'll make some for you.  The ones they made for me are cut from 1" aluminum:

 

IMG_4386.thumb.jpg.5048dd2dd9fea338754fcdaa7abb1127.jpg

IMG_4389.thumb.jpg.4c019789036d9ae3ca0d4ddd6e24fa45.jpg

 

So that's what we're talking about and how it attached to the trailer, but people are probably thinking - What again?  Why did you spend money on this?

 

The hitch, first: a multi axis hitch allows much greater articulation between the truck and trailer when going off road.  Dips and twists in the road that would otherwise bind up a standard ball hitch are no problem with a multi axis hitch.  There's also zero possibility of the trailer coming loose from the truck, thanks to the safety pin.  The typical problem with these hitches, however, is that most designs are very difficult to align, and as such are commonly only used on small trailers that can be manipulated into place by hand.  The McHitch fixes that problem by being largely self aligning.  All you do is line up the hitch laterally when backing up to the trailer, then adjust the trailer height to match the truck's, then back into the hitch and it locks itself in place.  The McHitch has two locking mechanisms: the first is the lever bar that drops into the groove on the main pin.  That both holds the pin and lets you know that it's attached.  Then you slide in standard locking pin a safety.  Here's a video of how it works:

 

 

 

It really works as advertised, and I actually enjoy hooking up and unhooking because it's so dead simple and quick.

 

The u-joint on the hitch is from a Land Cruiser, so it's easy to source should it ever start to wear out.  Maintenance is just greasing the u-joint once a year and keeping the locking bar greased so that it moves freely.  I was a bit worried when I greased the u-joint that the pin would droop, making it difficult to hook up.  But so far the u-joint has maintained it's stiffness.  And it gets so little wear relative to what it was designed to do that it may never loosen up that much.  You can get a WD attachment for the hitch if you want - I don't have it, and so can't comment on how easy or difficult it would be to attach to the Ollie's frame.  There's also a keyed lock for the safety pin.  The caps on the u-joint mounts are magnetic, so I use the top one to hold a little Nitecore LA10 flashlight/lantern when hooking up in low light -

 

IMG_4394.thumb.jpg.700fccddc34a333dfbd0bf81fbc7750b.jpg

 

The XO jack serves three purposes.  First is that it absorbs the bump from when you back into the McHitch.  The Ollie's jack isn't designed to take that kind of force, so over time, either the jack or its mount are likely to get damaged.  And of course if you were to bump the trailer particularly hard, then you might just destroy the jack or its mount in one go.

 

The second purpose for the jack is that it provides an easy way to line up the trailer vertically with the truck, which I'll explain later.

 

And the final purpose is what it was designed to do - allow you to recover the trailer if it's stuck, or maneuver the trailer while not attached to the truck.  The jack is very stout, and strong enough to support the trailer while being winched.  I haven't yet gotten the trailer stuck enough to use it like this.  (I've gotten it stuck once, but was able to use traction mats on the truck to get both it and the trailer back to dry land.)  But I have used it to maneuver the trailer around in a tight campsite, and it works perfectly in that situation.  Here's a video of the XO jack in action:

 

 

 

Obviously, you want to use extreme caution when using the jack in that way.  It doesn't take much of a slope for the trailer to get away from you.  Likewise, you need to use caution if you use the jack while hooking up or unhooking your trailer.  I leave the safety chains attached until I've fully unhooked the truck from the trailer and placed the weight of the tongue onto Oliver's jack.

 

The bonus to using that method is that the XO jack remains set to the truck's height, ready to be hooked up again.   When it's time to hook back up, you just lower the tailer down until the XO jack is taking the weight, and you're all set to hook up.  In cases where you have to lower the trailer's tongue to level, then I first raise the tongue, then swing the jack forward or lift it using the height adjustment pins, and then lower the trailer down to level.  Hooking it back up would then be the opposite of that.

 

 

Overland,

Raspy here, (John)

I looked at this old thread again about your McHitch coupler, and am wondering if you'd mind if I copied your mount and used your nice drawings?  I am now distributing these excellent hitches and would like to produce a kit to install them on Oliver trailers.

I looked at yours at the rally, and was impressed with how nicely it fit.   Hope to see you at this year's rally, if we can get back to nearly normal and have it in September.

I put one on my HQ19 before I even pulled it out of the showroom, and began showing it.  Then it was featured in a video while being used at Moab on my HQ19.  Now, most of the Black Series trailers being sold in the US are getting them as an option, right from the dealers.  The Bulldog hitch on the Oliver is very nice, and sturdy, but the ease of hooking up makes the difference.     It seems most people get them for that reason, and not to go off road.  

Thanks,  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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52 minutes ago, Raspy said:

  I am now distributing these excellent hitches and would like to produce a kit to install them on Oliver trailers.

Hi Raspy, welcome back. This is great news and I wish you the very best in this endeavor. I am interested in learning about the weight distribution option, how it works, how it would attach to an Ollie.... I have not even seen pictures. I am very reluctant to abandon the lightweight chains of the Andersen for heavy steel spring bars - they are so horrible to hook up and store when not in use....

Will you also be selling the jack with its thick spacers? 

Please start a new thread about all this.

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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1 hour ago, Raspy said:

I looked at this old thread again about your McHitch coupler, and am wondering if you'd mind if I copied your mount and used your nice drawings?

Sure, let’s talk. Send me a PM. I’d love to know more about your plans. 

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Hi Raspy, welcome back. This is great news and I wish you the very best in this endeavor. I am interested in learning about the weight distribution option, how it works, how it would attach to an Ollie.... I have not even seen pictures. I am very reluctant to abandon the lightweight chains of the Andersen for heavy steel spring bars - they are so horrible to hook up and store when not in use....

Will you also be selling the jack with its thick spacers? 

Please start a new thread about all this.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

John,

Thanks for the kind words.

As you remember, you were the one who brought Black Series to my attention.  I made a mental note to stop in Utah and have a look at them on our way from Wyoming down to North Rim.  Then, I decided to cut the North Rim stay short and head back to Lindon Utah and have a second look.  We both really liked the Black Series HQ19 right off the bat, but loved the Oliver too.  I never intended to sell the Oliver, but suddenly, we were going to get a Black Series.  Glad we did.  But it hasn't been a perfect transition.  I've done lots of little fixes and modifications.   We've put about 7,000 miles on it now since November, been in all kinds of weather, off-road, etc.  It is definitely a keeper.  It is perfect for making it our own with some mods, very roomy and comfortable, and tows great.  

Having solar has really been nice.  I make electric coffee, carry no generator, and have plenty of power for lighting, charging, running the propane heat, etc.  

As much as I liked the Oliver, this is a different world.  A true luxury apartment sitting on a heavy duty off-road frame and suspension.  The best of both worlds. 

So now, I'm distributing McHitches across the Country and they are going on most new Black Series trailers. 

See what you started?

The WDH with McHitch on an Oliver isn't going to happen as far as I can see, without cutting some fiberglass covering the tongue.  I'm not even considering that at this point.

Here is a short video of us crossing Nevada and it shows the trailer in the rear view mirror running straight as an arrow.  

Comment back, or PM me if you'd like.

John (Raspy)

 

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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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