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Timbren Independent Rubber Suspension


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Posted (edited)

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Here is a really interesting discussion of this rugged kit. I wonder how well it could be adapted to an OL2? Because the frame already has a stout steel subframe it should be an ideal platform.... the 3500 pound units use 6000 pound rated spindles and bearings. Woohoo!

https://www.off-road.com/blog/timbren-axle-less-trailer-suspension-review/

These sell for $760
per axle at eTrailer.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Leaf-Spring-Suspension/Timbren/ASR35HDS02.html

I would go whole hog and add disk brakes at the same time. OTH I would be very reluctant to be the first to do this, from cost and liability reasons. I wonder if the factory would consider building a test mule for high speed highway stability testing and off- pavement testing....?

Any idea how hard it would be to completely remove the subframe, do this mod and then reinstall it? It doesn’t appear to be difficult, if it is not bonded too ferociously to the aluminum.

I think this would turn an Ollie into a stellar gravel/ washboard trailer. Because the stock springs are incredibly lame for this use. Discuss please.

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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Posted (edited)

Looks like you’d have to take the subframe off to mount those, which I’m pretty sure means that you have to lift the tub off the frame.  Possible, but Oliver would have to do it, which means it’s impossible.  They’d never go for it.  I think you’d want to beef up the subframe, too, while you’re at it - I don’t think I’d feel comfortable that the existing cross braces are strong enough to take the twisting forces that these would add.  

I still think the Lippert Centerpoint is the easiest upgrade.

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Posted (edited)

I guess I need to go out and lie down on a piece of cardboard and look closer. Why does the hull have to come off?That seems like a really awkward design feature.... You wouldn't necessarily have to remove it, though fabrication would be a whole lot easier with it upside down on supports. You would have to grind off the spring hangers and  maybe the shock mounts. 

It is super easy to reinforce the Timbren units - you just add a length of 2x3” steel tubing between the existing sockets. It fits up high, giving about 5 more inches of clearance than a straight axle.

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The Lippert system will not do a thing to correct the severe lack of vertical travel of each wheel. On my trailer there is just 1.5” of up travel before the ubolts contact the subframe. The Timbrens have about 3” up and (the article says) a total of 4”. Not great by offroad standards, but way better than the Dexter springs. And it is progressively dampened, so no more banging and crunching....

I like simple, low maintenance designs. The Timbren meets that criterion. A tandem installation has just four grease fitting, for the pivot bushings. The Dexter EZ Flex is really complex with its 20 zerks and four leak prone shock absorbers. it is a messy PITA.

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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Posted (edited)

 You’re right. For some reason I was thinking that the bolts on mine faced outward, meaning you’d have to pull the hull to get them out of the hole. But I just checked and they face in. 
 

The Centerpoint does add 1” to the travel. 

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Overland said:

 The Centerpoint does add 1” to the travel. 

Does it actually provide a lift? Because that is the only way you would gain any extra upward travel on an Ollie

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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Posted (edited)

That’s what they say.  eTrailer says it’s actually 2”. 

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I would be willing to install this just to eliminate all the grease zerks.

 

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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 

 

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Posted (edited)

I just looked closer at “Mouse”, and the subframe mounting bolt heads are facing out, so they are blocked by the fiberglass. I sure wouldn’t pull off the hull, tho, I would just drill access holes in that lower fiberglass lip. But in reality, I think having the trailer up high on a hoist in a proper shop would provide very easy access, to cut off the shackle and shock mounts, and to trim some of the cross angle-iron braces. Counting the removal time for the straight axles, I bet the entire conversion could all be done by a pro with a plasma cutter in half a day. It could all be done by the owner with a saber saw and angle grinder while lying on the ground, but that is a job I probably would not enjoy, not even a little bit. 😳

Oliver could  easily do this at the factory as a pre-build option. They would just need to have a few extra subframes lying around, ones with galvanized finish but without the brackets and hangers.  Installation labor on the production line would be minimal. Considering that they buy the parts at wholesale and the buyer would get a credit for not installing the EZ Flex axles, springs and four shocks, I think a $2000 price tag for a factory Timbren option (with Dexter electric brakes) would be very reasonable.

Would you pay $2000 for this setup? I definitely would.

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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That’s interesting. I thought I remembered seeing a photo of an Oliver with the bolts facing the other way, which is why I was surprised to see that mine weren’t. I guess Oliver just wasn’t  consistent with how they were installed. 
I wonder if it would be possible to get a grinder between the hull and frame to cut off the bolt heads then pull them through. 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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  • 2 months later...

Jason, Oliver sales rep, sent the standard email after I downloaded the build sheet for the Elite. I provided the timbren web site. Stated I would be happy to purchse an Elite built with the Timbren units. 

No further contact from Jason. 

 

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Highly unlikely that you'll get Oliver to make that change.  It's a DIY job for sure.  Besides, Oliver's m.o. for the past two or three years has been to carefully study what owners want, have researched, implemented, are satisfied with, etc., and then do something different.

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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21 minutes ago, Overland said:

Besides, Oliver's m.o. for the past two or three years has been to carefully study what owners want, have researched, implemented, are satisfied with, etc., and then do something different.

😀 Well said, but we should keep trying with stuff like this. At some point, maybe when RV sales are in a deep slump, they will decide to offer more “adventurous” options for us, the fringe market. It certainly does NOT hurt to keep asking.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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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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40 minutes ago, FJV said:

No further contact from Jason. 

You won't find any production trailer manufacturer willing to make one-off modifications this extensive. Oliver and others have limited to no engineering capabilities, instead relying on component suppler services, like Dexter, for this expertise. For an Elite, you're talking about a complete sub-frame redesign.

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

It certainly does NOT hurt to keep asking.

I agree.  But putting my snarky comments aside, I think there are many other areas that Oliver could and should put their efforts into before they ever try to tackle the offroad market.  And even if I limited my wishes to just offroad and boondocking related items, the suspension would be pretty low on my list. 

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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11 minutes ago, Landrover said:

anyone is that serious to have a extreme off road trailer. Do as Raspy did buy a Black series trailer. 

Actually, for serious Aussie outback, I  like everything about the Bruder,  except the 100k+ price tag, of course. 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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The Bruders are definitely interesting, but I’ve never figured out how their kitchen arrangement works for both inside and out, height wise.

We seriously considered importing an Aussie trailer before we bought an Ollie.  But then we ran across some owners with bad experiences and no options for a remedy - structural issues that couldn’t be fixed without sending the trailers back to Australia. Prior to that, we were looking into a heavily hyped teardrop that looked the part in every way; but as it turned out, the owner was taking big deposits left and right without any skill in how to actually produce them. Fortunately, in both instances we found out before parting with any money. Both companies later went bankrupt. 

Just goes to show that the basics really count. There’s a lot of eye candy out there but always ask two questions before you buy: one, is the company stable, experienced, reliable, and do they stand behind their product; and two, do they make a product that is at the most basic level solid, durable, and thoughtfully designed?  If you can answer both of those questions with an unconditional ‘yes’, then give them your money. The details will work themselves out. But if the answer to either question is ‘no’ or ‘no idea’, then give it a hard pass.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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