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Nan

Split: Trailer Hitch Question

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Hey Steve, I know this is not where I should ask this question, but I do not know how to start a new discussion on the forum. The ladies brought me the Oliver with the cable attached for towing. They did not use the chains. Is it your choice to use either cables or chains or are you supposed to used both? I have never hooked up a camper in my life, so was just wondering. Thank you.

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Nan, We are in Bangkok at the moment. You should use which ever is attached to the trailer currently; cables or chains. You do not need both. I removed the cables from our trailer and replaced them with heavy duty chains. To me, they are easier to hook up than the stiff cables.


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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Nan, I split this and gave it a new title so it would be more visible.

 

I’m a bit confused by your question. Do you have an Andersen hitch? If yes, the chains are part of the hitch and must be used. If you are talking about safety chains they also must be used. Not sure about the “cable” you’re referring to unless it is the breakaway cable for the trailer brakes. If you could post a picture of what you’re talking about it would be helpful.

 

Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Hi Nan,

Hope all is well. My wife Cheryl and I met you at the rally back in May. If you have the Andersen hitch option, the Andersen hitch has the 2 long, heavy weight distribution chains that run from each side of the frame of the Oliver to the “whale tail” bracket that is on the bottom of the hitch ball. The Oliver also has 2 thick heavy duty safety cables mounted to the Oliver frame that have to be hooked to the tow vehicle. Your tow vehicle should have large hooks, loops or brackets on either side of the hitch receiver to hook the safety cables to. And these thick safety cables should be crossed under the hitch when they are connected. Meaning the safety cable on the right side of the trailer should connect to the hook on the left side of the tow vehicle, and the safety cable on the left side of the trailer should hook on the right side of the tow vehicle. That way they cross under the hitch, so if the trailer comes un-hitched while towing, the tongue of the trailer will be caught by the safety cables instead of dropping all the way to the ground. Many states actually require that the safety cables (or chains) be crossed. Older Olivers had safety chains but the newer ones have the thick safety cables instead. The Andersen chains AND the safety cables should all be used. There is also a small cable that is the breakaway switch cable that will activate the trailer brakes if it becomes completely disconnected from the tow vehicle. This breakaway switch cable must also be connected to the tow vehicle by hooking to one of the brackets on either side of the hitch on the tow vehicle. Hopefully someone who currently has their trailer connected to their tow vehicle can post a couple pictures.


2019 Elite II - Hull #461


Tow Vehicle: 2019 Nissan Armada. 

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Nan, you should have documentation for the Andersen hitch, if not go here and look at the FAQ and other info. I believe your tow vehicle is a late model Tundra, is that correct? If so you probably need to set the chains with a small amount of compression on the big red bushings (item 13). Proper setup including ball height is important so that it works as intended. The Andersen comes with a big 1 1/4” special deep socket that you should have received. You must use a common 1/2” drive ratchet handle to turn it.

 

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https://help.andersenhitches.com/wd-help

 

Post pictures please.

 

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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Nan, just my 2 cents on this, the cable safety cables that come with the Oliver's today are hard to use and for myself I found them bulky and hard to hookup (stretch out) and then release. I also switched them out for chains after our first camp outing. I have no idea what I will use the old cables for, maybe to stretch barb-wire on the pasture fences.

 

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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That’s a bigger size coupling and Andersen ball than you have, and the newest style whaletail, but the older 2” ones hook up just the same. You must lower the open coupler onto the ball, latch it, and then lift the ball and entire back end of the truck up several inches using the electric jack to slacken the chains and make it easier to slide the whaletail in place on the extension below the ball. Once you do it a few times it will get easier, but it is always going to be a bit of a pain, there is no way around that. If you hitch up in this manner, hopefully you will not have to fuss with the big socket and adjuster nuts too often....

 

The black coiled cables are to catch the trailer if it should become disconnected. I have no trouble hooking them up.

 

The small red coiled cable is the electric brake safety switch lanyard, that will apply the brakes full hard if this happens. It should ideally clip onto the truck hitch receiver, not the hitch itself.

 

The intent is to prevent your disconnected trailer from becoming an uncontrolled projectile that could hit other vehicles. It would mess up your trailer and truck but hopefully not kill a bus load of people.

 

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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Thanks everyone for all of the helpful information. Hopefully I will have time Sunday to try to hook the trailer to the truck. The ladies brought Hull 267 to me on a Friday and I had knee surgery on Monday, so have not been able to spend much time with it. I may be wrong, but I don't think any chains were hooked up, just the black cables that are in John's picture.

 

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Oh, and not the big black cable, just the two smaller black cables.

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Nan -

The big black "cable" is actually for the electric connection between your tow vehicle and the Oliver. Its what allows the lights to work on the Oliver while you tow it down the road - this includes your turn signals, brake light, running lights, emergency flashers and also charges your batteries in the Oliver using the alternator in your tow vehicle. This "cable" gets plugged into a socket that is on the rear of you tow vehicle - this socket is many times covered by a little "door" that keeps it cleaner when you are not using it. A good rule to follow (besides your checklist for all these connections) is to make sure that all of your vehicle and Ollie lights are functioning properly just prior to departure. I even do this even when I've stopped for gas or a rest stop.

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill is maybe a little over the top when he checks his trailer lights after every stop. Typically I will check them every time I connect the harness to the TV and every morning before a departure if the harness was plugged in overnight.... . The most likely problems happens when plugging in, if one of the contacts is a little flaky or dirty you can wiggle the plug and it will start working fine. It is also prudent to walk around your TV while the lights, signals etc are on, to make sure you don’t have a blown bulb, tho with LEDs this is becoming much less common. Be sure to check the white reverse lights of the trailer, they are important in two ways - they light up a dark campsite but also alert following drivers that your are backing up, if you need to do that unexpectedly in a high traffic area.

 

I hope your knee gets better soon, when do you think you will be able to take your new Ollie for an outing?

 

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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Been out of touch at a high school foot ball game. John, I wish I could start camping now, but the truth is I will have to learn how to hook the TV to the trailer and then learn how to pull it. This is all new to me. I really do not know how to drive the truck yet. But, the weather may be coming down from the almost 100 degree reading and the knee is getting a little better, so hope it will not be long.

 

Thanks.

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Nan -

That is good news about the knee. As soon as you are able I trust that you will "get to it" regarding the truck and then the Ollie. As has been mentioned before, the whole process is really not that difficult. When you first are starting out, there is virtually nothing that is "over the top" particularly if you are doing it by yourself. Get a checklist and stick to it and you will be fine.

With regards to checking my electrical connection from the truck to the Ollie - it is part of my "walk around" at each stop. While the pump is filling my tank I simply walk around the rig looking at it from top to bottom. Specifically I look at all of the connections - if something looks wrong I inspect it further and I touch each of the wheel hubs (the center part of the wheel) to see if they are hot which might indicate a problem with the wheel bearings. Then when I start my F-150 there is a screen that tells me if the lights are functioning properly. That's all there is to it.

 

After being in two accidents where I've been hit from the rear because the other driver "didn't see me", this is the least I can do to make sure I've done everything in my power to prevent it from happening a third time. In addition, your stop lights and turn signals are the only way you have to communicate with others as you hurtle down the highway driving 10,000 pounds of machinery. Not only is it the law that these lights must function properly, but, it is in your own best interest.

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Thanks Bill. I need all of the instruction I can get!

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