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MarkC

Bulldog Hitch size, 2" or 2 5/16

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I read John Davies post from 2017 regarding the 2" Bulldog hitch and Anderson ball and sway system.  Am I correct in assuming that the wear was normal and was caused by the Anderson system.  And,  if you eliminate the Anderson system there will be no wear.  I will be towing with a 1 ton pickup and have been told that I won't need the Anderson system.  I guess, just hook up ball and safety chains and go.  My next question is...would I be smart to go with a 2 5/16 bulldog with this TV rather than the 2" setup?  I think I read where the 2" bull dog hitch just meet specs.  I'm thinking the 2 5/16 would give a better safety margin, or am I thinking too much.  Thanks for any thoughts!

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With a one ton you won’t need an Andersen.  I think the 2” bulldog would be fine.  If I had the bigger truck I probably would move to the bigger bulldog.  Several Oliver owners have upsized and are happy.


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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MarkC -

I do not believe that John's wear was "normal" for the Andersen system and as I recall, I posted pictures of my hitch ball that didn't have any of the same type of wear patterns as John's showed.

However, your real question is do you need a weight distribution hitch with a one ton truck and the answer is no. 

As far as "being smart" in using a larger ball - I agree with Mike.  The standard 2 inch ball is fine and I've never heard of even one failure with it.  Is the larger ball better?  Certainly if someone were to give me the larger ball, I'd take and use it.  But, for my needs - what I tow, where I tow, how I tow - I would not pay for it.  Obviously, if you plan on loading your Ollie to the max, tow on very rough roads, otherwise plan on abusing (meaning rough treatment) the hitch system, then the larger ball just might be a better way to go for you.

Bill

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

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A couple of years ago we had an Andersen hitch thread, with an Andersen company service rep actively participating. Her specific comment, which she refused to change even when (rather strongly) challenged by me, was that the deep groove wear on the trailer side of the ball was “completely normal”. 

While some owners don’t experience the same amount, the side wear is the result of the design of the Bulldog and its uneven contact - only by going to a bigger diameter will it be minimized. But not 100% eliminated.

Mine was worn to a point that during certain maneuvers the coupler would pop out of the groove and then back in again with a disturbing bang.

My big ball only has a couple of thousand miles on it and it shows only polishing marks.  HOWEVER , I lightened the TW by 220+ pounds and backed way off on the chain tension. So my data is no longer really valid since I nearly eliminated the side load.

OTH if your ball does get worn you can rotate it 180 degrees and use it a lot longer.

For the same money outlay I would not hesitate to recommend  the bigger coupler. Is it needed for additional safety? It does offer a larger margin. But only in your head. Only you can decide its importance. I have zero regrets. It makes me feel good, like having a TPMS, and that makes me feel better about towing.

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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My reason for going to 2 5/16" coupler, was that I had other trailers with a 2 5/16" coupler.

Factory order/install process:

At time of order, I said I wanted to upgrade.
I was put in email contact with Jason Essary in Service. 
Jason provided a quote and the upgrade to the 2 5/16" bulldog coupler. 
The coupler was put on in the service department after the end of manufacturing.
It was on the trailer on my delivery day.
(Oliver also pre-installed the Anderson Hitch on the frame of the trailer which was a really nice benefit to ordering the anderson at the time of the trailer order.)

Reason for using the weight distribution hitch: 1/2 Ton Truck Receiver Specs

I tow with a 1/2 ton F150 that has a receiver rating of 500# weight carrying (dead tongue wt) or 1200# if using a long with a weight dist. hitch.
Image below of the "F150 Receiver tag.

image.png.c0c0e59ddd64844d56588a0884ce23ca.png

Since my tongue wt is about >600#, I need to use the weight dist. hitch.

With 3/4 ton and above trucks, the factory hitch receivers can handle the tongue wt...no problems.

CS

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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2018 F150 EcoBoost, King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
GVWR 7,000#, Payload Sticker 1557#, Truck GCWR=18,100# ,Tow capacity: 12,200#

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1 hour ago, ctshort09 said:

Factory order/install process:

At time of order, I said I wanted to upgrade.
I was put in email contact with Jason Essary in Service. 
Jason provided a quote and the upgrade to the 2 5/16" bulldog coupler. 
The coupler was put on in the service department after the end of manufacturing.
It was on the trailer on my delivery day.

Do you mind sharing the cost of the factory upgrade?

Did that price include a credit for the 2” one that was removed? If not, did you take it with you?

FYI, I just sold my well used 2” one on Craigslist for $20. I think a brand new “take off” coupler would sell for $40. (Amazon Prime cost is $70.)

Thanks.

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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Hard to separate out specifically as I had ordered a couple of extra hangers and the bulldog coupler swap. 
Total for all was $200.00   
For the coupler I think they allowed a $55 credit.   
So the majority of the cost was labor for doing the drilling and install of the coupler and the hangers etc.
I also found it very convenient as the coupler was already in place when we went into the pickup center.

On E-trailer the coupler current costs rounded to the $ are:
$63  - For the 2"
$85 -  For 2 5/16"

Keep in mind, couplers  on E-Trailer are UN-Drilled and the factory has to drill for the positions they need...so that's part of the labor.

Hope that helps.

Craig

 

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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2018 F150 EcoBoost, King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
GVWR 7,000#, Payload Sticker 1557#, Truck GCWR=18,100# ,Tow capacity: 12,200#

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Does anyone have pics of the Anderson Trailer ball wear?  I have only taken mine less than 1000 miles so far and it certainly has worn very fast.....

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Here are a few.  At this point, the ball had about 5,000 miles on it.  I checked with Andersen said it was normal.

Andrew

Ball.JPG

Ball Top.JPG


Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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Posted (edited)

Here is a comparison pic, you can see the wear on the old ball. And the very obvious size and strength difference.

6D145FE3-1804-4AE6-A1A7-67C37764E786.jpeg.e69dd58bc573dadcaed76e6b96ef9202.jpeg

The ball wears very fast initially and then slows down. But the wear never stops entirely. The higher the tongue weight, and thus the higher the chain tension, the faster the wear.

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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Any one put a micrometer on one - yes it looks worn, but what does the data say???

Under the Anderson system, wear seems to be a designed in parameter. The physics of the design leads to the inevitable. 

RB


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"

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During the summers of 2018 and 2019, I put over 17,000 trailer miles on my Elite II.  After many discussions with John D, I had OTT up-size to the 2  5/16" ball and Bulldog at the factory.  My observations are:

  • During the summer of 2018, I was using a Toyota Sequoia as my TV.  For the Sequoia, I required all 7 threads of tension to get the weight distribution needed.  During the summer of 2019, I was using a new F-150 Supercrew FX-4 with max trailer tow package as my TV.  For the F-150, I required only 3 threads of tension to achieve the weight distribution needed. 
  • As stated in posts above, I observed that chain tension makes a big difference as to ball wear regardless of the ball size.  But the larger ball displayed much less wear than others had documented with the 2" ball.
  • With the Sequoia, the anti-sway part of the Anderson WDH system was important.  With the F-150 it is much less so.  With both vehicles, the weight distribution part of the Anderson IS very necessary.
  • With the Sequoia, the cone self-destructed after only about 6,000 miles.  I replaced it and started using a heavy grease on the cone and ball.  So far with 11,000 miles on this set-up, the cone is still good and the larger ball has shown only minor wear.  
  • The extended life of the cone with the use of lubrication was significant.  Granted, the loss of most if not all of the Anderson sway dampening is something each owner needs to consider for their set-up.  But on my F-150 with 640 pounds of tongue weight, my Oliver has not demonstrated any sway what so ever.  
  • In summary, for my tow vehicle and trailer set-up, I believe that the good far outweighs the bad, and I will continue to lubricate my cone as well as ball.

If I were to become a new OTT Elite II owner again, and were to use either the Sequoia or F-150 (As specified) for my TV, I would:

  • Purchase the Anderson WDH System to meet the factory hitch weight limitations.
  • Upgrade to the larger Bulldog and Ball.
  • Use lubrication on the cone and ball to reduce wear of the hitch systems.

I hope this is helpful.

 

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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Back of Beyond:

There is some really good posts on the wear issue from the 2018 time frame. 

Also more pictures and observations about the then current Anderson WDH design.

GJ


Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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