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AW1985

Double Towing

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Gentlemen,

 

This is sure to start a wild fire, so apologies up front. Back ground: I am an experienced driver, having driven professionally in my younger years (CDL). It is legal to double tow in all states and territories my wife and I plan to visit. I have done this with a stick build 5th wheel, and it was a non issue. This was over a decade ago with a less capable truck, inferior stick build 5th wheel, and arguably a less capable driver.

 

What are your concerns/wisdom with having a class 3 or 4 hitch installed on the rear of Oliver Elite II and flat pulling my Wrangler? I have a new F350 (SRW & 6.7) and would be within all gross weight limitations. Hitch would be installed by a personal friend who is a phenomenal craftsman/welder and we both feel with the superior craftsmanship of the Oliver's frame, it will handle the Jeep admirably.

 

My main concerns:

I know that a double bumper pull will react differently then the fifth-wheel double pull, and backing (unless straight) will be an event. Prior planning will be required. As it stands, my Ford truly doesn't even feel the Oliver. I feel this is said too often, but even at 6000' on a 110 degree day, my truck held gear and temps didn't rise. Towing in extreme x-winds up to 35 KTS were not felt either. I learned long ago, white knuckle towing is no fun, so I did it right and bought more truck than trailer.

 

I know that any issues or insurance claim would likely be met with resistance.

 

Worried about tweaking or straining Oliver's frame.

 

Swaying. I have been in some sticky situations, and got out of them, but the wife wasn't on board. Not sure how she'd handle it. I think I could all but avoid this by speed and energy management, but one can never avoid the emergency stop/maneuver caused by "insert crazy driver or event".

 

Mitigations:

 

Camera is installed on rear of Oliver tied into my F350s infotainment.

 

I would have a third party TPMS system installed on my Wrangler to monitor for flats while pulling.

 

The Wrangler would be prepped for flat towing to include braking, lights, etc.

 

No major cities. My wife and I are currently in Alaska and we rarely hit metropolitan areas with our Oliver. We prefer the boondocking, out in the middle of no where experience that Oliver provides.

 

Ok, let the arguments begin. I appreciate the wisdom and time!

 

-Alex

 

 

 

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What's to argue about?  The only likely problem you'll see is every single one that you listed.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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There is no way I would put the Oliver in the middle - The frame was NOT designed to be a tow platform. I thought about this possibility early on - for about two seconds. My wife would be driving the Wrangler, or the TV, or I would still be at the house.....

RB

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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What they said.

 

And then, how do you even plan to get to the lower 48, when I'm pretty sure neither Alberta nor BC allows double towing with a travel trailer. One allows it with a fifth wheel. (Didn't check YT, but can't say I've ever seen that type of rig in the Yukon) Assuming you make it that far...

 

Ferry landings are in Washington state. Expensive trip from Alaska with all that length. And no double towing in Washington state, once you land.

 

Hmmm...

Why do you want to make up this road train, anyway?

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Best rig I ever saw was a F-450 crew cab with a roll off-flatbed on the rear. The F-450 had an overhead rack over the cab and that is where he carried his bass boat, the flat bed part of the roll-off is where he had his Jeep Wrangle and motorcycle trailer with bikes on it and last he was towing an Airstream trailer, I would say it was a 30 footer. Everything was silver with blue trim, what could I say, it was one great rig. Looked like about $300,000 to me rolling along, I hope he was a full-timer.

 

trainman


Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Looking at it in a simpler way, one of the big advantages of traveling and camping with a trailer is that you can disconnect. This leaves the tow free to wander with no trailer. So, the only benefit I see here is the difference between exploring in an F-350 vs exploring in a Wrangler, once disconnected. Then factor in all the legal restrictions, safety issues, inability to back up, special planning for everything, worse mileage, much more stress, and I would never consider a double tow. Why is it so bad exploring in an F-350, that you must have a Wrangler instead, to go somewhere?

 

But if you do decide to do it, make your rear tow bar such that it does not apply any tongue weight to the rear of the Oliver. The Oliver frame is bolted to the body in such a way that they work together to form a unit. A straight fore and aft push/pull would probably be fine. But no up and down load.

 

Of course, if you ask Oliver about how to do it, they will very likely say, don't! They have a discontinued 2" receiver for the rear of an LE2 that was for bicycles. It was not for a rear tow. And there were some failures while carrying bicycles. So, I think you are on your own if you decide to go for it. If so, you'll have to design the hardware, install it, and take full responsibility for the results. Then you'll have to wire for it too, but you won't have brakes on the Wrangler unless you really go all out with the hardware.

 

 


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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Years ago, soon after the release of the Elite II, Robert Partee asked me to come up with a design for a rear hitch.  His goal was to be able to mount a bicycle rack, but, as I envisioned a way to do it, I realized it would be strong enough to pull another vehicle.  Understand, this never went beyond my most basic of thought processes. IF we had attempted it, our plan was to machine (or weld up) two lengths of STEEL tubing sized to fit the inside of the longitudinal frame rails.  We planned to make them as long as we could force them inside the rails and still stick out about 6-8 inches.  The rear bumper would have had to be removed and/or redesigned.  The rear body bolts would have had to be removed and then reinserted after the steel was slid into the frame. Also, new holes would have to be drilled after the steel was in place.  Way overkill to carry a couple of bikes. But, if I wanted to pull a forty foot stock trailer full of Percheron's behind the Oliver and could figure a way to overcome the tongue weight, this is the way I'd do it.

 

In the end we abandoned this idea as being too too much. I did draw him a sketch of what, years later, would become the (now discontinued) two inch, top of frame mounted, dual receiver bicycle rack that they ultimately built (for a while.) Like a lot of things in the world, after the attorneys got through with this, it was abandoned because of the fear that some idiot would overload it (despite the ubiquitous "warning label" to the contrary) and the world would end.  And I believe one ultimately did, so I suppose the lawyers were proven correct this time.

 

 


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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From an engineering standpoint, adding tight fitting heavy steel beams inside the aluminum frame rails is a very poor approach.... the huge difference in coefficients of expansion alone make this a non-starter. Plus the dissimilar metal corrosion hazard.

 

 I did draw him a sketch of what, years later, would become the (now discontinued) two inch, top of frame mounted, dual receiver bicycle rack that they ultimately built (for a while.) Like a lot of things in the world, after the attorneys got through with this, it was abandoned because of the fear that some idiot would overload it (despite the ubiquitous “warning label” to the contrary) and the world would end. And I believe one ultimately did, so I suppose the lawyers were proven correct this time.

 

I would be really interested to see pics of the failed rack and the cargo it was carrying. When you design stuff that will inevitably be involved in a collision, a rear-ender for example, you need to build in failure points, just like the car manufacturers do with front and rear crumple zones. You need to figure out the most likely direction of impact, and where the individual parts will give way, and where the major mass of the unit will end up. GM can afford to smash cars to see what happens, a home fabricator can only do research and use a SWAG - Scientific Wild Assed Guess.

 

When I built my rear rack I did so with the hope that, when hit, it and the cargo would fold upwards and forwards, into the (uncovered) rear spare tire. Which wouldn’t stop the hull from getting damaged, but it might provide a cushion of sorts for a minor crash. I intentionally mounted the rack fairly high, so it would be lifted upward (in addition to not affecting departure angle). And I epoxied additional heavy aluminum reinforcing plates inside the frame where the support arms attach, so the arms would tear out, and - fingers crossed! - not wreck the main frame beams. Finally I used a lot of much smaller fasteners on the basket so they would rip out of the crossbeam.

 

So I would really like to see pictures of failed Oliver racks. Do you suppose there is any chance they would send me some? It could be very educational. I really really don’t want to crash test mine....

 

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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. Why is it so bad exploring in an F-350, that you must have a Wrangler instead, to go somewhere?

 

1 - It will beat you up and wreck your kidneys on washboard.

 

2 - It will not fit on many secondary forest roads.

 

3 - It will not fit on all jeep trails (Moab).

 

4 - Driver visibility is very poor.

 

5 - Approach and departure angles suck.

 

6 - The odds of getting hopelessly stuck are much higher - the weight is double.

 

7 - Suspension design is inadequate - horrible articulation. If a diesel, there may be almost no front suspension travel.

 

8 - If a diesel, there is way too much weight on the front end, which ruins handling and destroys the ball joints.

 

There are probably half a dozen more reasons. I sold my Ram 3500 and use a Land Cruiser 200. It can tow OK and is simply stellar for exploring the back country and for driving forest and ranch roads.

 

A Power Wagon will work, except for the sheer size.... it is too monstrous  for narrower tracks.

 

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,

 

Take a breath!

 

Nobody is trying to argue that an F-350 is better than a Wrangler off road.   Alex was just asking about towing two trailers, one a  Wrangler.  Given the legal, structural and logistical  problems with that, it seems it's better to use the F-350 to make runs to the store or for sightseeing when disconnected from the trailer, and leave the Wrangler at home.  This is not about extreme four wheeling in Moab, it's about not having to take the trailer everywhere.

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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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From an engineering standpoint, adding tight fitting heavy steel beams inside the aluminum frame rails is a very poor approach…. the huge difference in coefficients of expansion alone make this a non-starter. Plus the dissimilar metal corrosion hazard.

 

It's amazing that you should mention those things.  They were two of the very reasons that we abandoned the project!!!


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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Putting weight on the rear of an Ollie, in the form of tongue weight from a rear trailer is just not a good idea regardless of how one might stiffen the frame.  This because the frame is not designed for that kind of load, and because of the way it and the body work together.    Plus, making Ollie light in the front, as a result,  would likely introduce a severe handling problem.  But, it's not all bad news.  When flat towing a vehicle, like a Wrangler, for instance, or a small car, a tow bar is used and they add almost no tongue weight.  And if set up correctly, they apply their fore and aft load during acceleration and braking in a horizontal direction parallel to the ground.  The frame is good with fore and aft forces, just not with a lot of weight on the rear.   But I still think it is a very bad idea to tow another trailer behind an Ollie.

 

Then we have the braking issues associated with the whole setup.  And the resistance to cornering that flat towed vehicles bring to the party, which add more unfair forces to the frame.   The negatives begin to add up to a long list.  All must be addressed to be successful.   And the reward is simply to have a Wrangler to make side trips in, instead of an F-350.  The cost/benefit ratio is extremely biased toward don't do it, or, bad idea.


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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Gentlemen,

 

Appreciate all the advice and information.  I have abandoned this endeavor based partly on your advice and partly on me knowing it wasn’t really a good idea from the start.

 

John, thanks for nailing down all the reasons the Ford can’t fill the off road gig.  I love your Toyota, and I think I’ve mentioned that I am a Toyota guy at heart, but my Tacoma wasn’t down for the part of tow vehicle due to our regular excursions being above 4000 feet (just because it’s legal doesn’t mean we should do it).

 

I think I’ve realized over the last year or so that there will never be a Swiss Army solution for camping/off roading/towing for my needs.  While a Land Cruiser is certainly capable, it will never pull a Rocky Mountain pass with the ease that a 3/4 ton diesel can.  A Raptor might have filled the niche but is too big for my needs on the trail and I am not certain that the 3.5 will be up to the task of 100k miles plus of towing over the next 5-7 years.  The diesel Wrangler was high in the list, but the 3.0 issues the Ram saw steered me clear, and 300-400 mile days in a Wrangler pulling Oliver doesn’t sound as relaxing as it is in my Ford.

 

The closest all around solution was the LC200 but I have reservations on pin-striping a $75k  rig? (I’d be sold if we could get the diesel, though?).  I have a side by side on a bed deck that we pull the Oliver with, but I think my wife is less then thrilled with it, thus my scatter brained idea of double towing.  The helmet, dust, and my high speed habits might have helped her negative bias.

 

I’m deployed currently, so I have ample time to research, and it just gets me in trouble.  I’ve been looking at Renegade class Cs but the longevity and quality just isn’t there yet.  I think that in the end, I am a fan of buying purpose built solutions that LAST.

 

-Oliver for camping

 

-ATV for off roading

 

-Diesel 3/4 ton for pulling

 

Unless you guys give me any other ideas?, I mean that’s how I got the Oliver.  Last deployment I stumbled upon this group and a year later we had one...and to my surprise the wife actually endorsed that idea!

 

Again, appreciate all the advice, cheers!

 

 

 

 

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If having something more nimble is what you want - I'd take a look at folks that are towing with more 4x4 friendly TVs like John's LC200, the Touareg mafia (it is a very capable offroad platform), and even the Jeep Gladiator if you can make the payload work.

 

We're still trying to figure out what to do if we go somewhere and I need to take off on a trip and don't want to leave the wife without a car.  It looks like Uber/Lyft/Rental cars will be the best option.

 

 


2019 LE2 #529 expected Sep/Oct 2019


 

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Aw1985

 

I would also agree triple towing may not be the best choice not that it couldn’t be done.  More so than the legal part would be the liability.  It wouldn’t be worth the cost of an accident The attorneys would have a field day with that.  I like the second thought, 25-30 yrs ago   I’d go with a 1ton  dually  4x4 diesel they make some really nice racks for the bed for side by sides and quads. Ollie in tow, Carry all the toys and still have decent fuel mileage

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