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I've Towed RV Trailers for over 50 years all using WDH. We are considering an Oliver Elite 2 now and are curious about which Hitch to use.

We will either be using a Mercedes Benz SUV ML 350 Diesel or a GMC Yukon (Wheel Base Short/Long?)

I never heard of the Anderson Hitch until we started researching the Oliver Elite 2, not really sold on it. We prefer a more conventional WDH.

Does anyone use another WDH other than the Anderson on Oliver Trailers?

Please let me know if you do! Thanks Pat

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Pat,

Welcome to the forum.
My understanding is that the Andersen is the only WDH system recommended for use on the Oliver LEll due to the fiberglass cowling area covering the lower area of the  “dog house” aka propane tank housing. This is also what we were told by Oliver. 
We tow with the Andersen WDH and so far it does what it’s suppose to do. 

- David

Edited by Patriot

2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat “Tremor”  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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The early versions of the Andersen had some issues, with excessive wear on the friction cone causing really nasty squealing and groaning when they got wet. Also, because of the coupler used (Bulldog forged), there is a tendency for excessive wear on the back of the ball because of the heavy forward thrust of the tension chains. I upgraded from the 2” size, which is rated for 7000 lbs and is marginal IMHO, to the 2  5/16” version which has a huge safety margin. This latest model has an effective moisture/ dust seal to protect the cone and it has been trouble free and effective. Ball wear is very minimal. I think the bigger ball should be standard equipment, but so far Oliver has resisted, but they will do the upgrade at delivery if you ask, for a price. Some buyers bring the bigger hitch and coupler and they simply swap the latter.

I much prefer towing the LE2 with a HD truck and a plain dead weight hitch, but for my Land Cruiser the Andersen works fine when adjusted correctly. It is highly effective at reducing jounce on undulating highways  but a little  less effective at actual weight distribution. The sway feature is a plus but it is not at all needed with an Ollie.

This might be of interest ..... https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/3483-how-to-upgrade-the-bulldog-coupler-and-andersen-hitch-to-2-516quot/

Welcome to the forum.

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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I wasn't a real fan of the Anderson, for what reasons I don't know, but after having one, it's great. Very easy to use and most of the work is done by the trailer tongue jack, I normally do not have to adjust the chains each time I hookup and unhook. If you don't want to deal with a WDH get a 3/4 ton pickup and you won't need one. 

trainman

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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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9 hours ago, Pat Maundrell said:

I've Towed RV Trailers for over 50 years all using WDH. We are considering an Oliver Elite 2 now and are curious about which Hitch to use.

We will either be using a Mercedes Benz SUV ML 350 Diesel or a GMC Yukon (Wheel Base Short/Long?)

I never heard of the Anderson Hitch until we started researching the Oliver Elite 2, not really sold on it. We prefer a more conventional WDH.

Does anyone use another WDH other than the Anderson on Oliver Trailers?

Please let me know if you do! Thanks Pat

Traditional WD hitches won't adapt to the Olivers due mainly to its composite tongue design, layout, dimensions, and geometry.  This "Y frame" setup leaves the Andersen No-Sway as the only viable solution, limited WD capabilities aside. I have looked into incorporating a pole tongue adapter but integration complexities were unacceptable and the additional weight counterproductive. 

Having "experience" with the Andersen since it was first introduced, I elected to forego one on my LEII even though it means being on the edge with certain tow vehicles.  Sway is a rarity with the LEII and bounce happens, both are easily manageable. These are two conditions where the No_Sway is supposed to excel, but I find most of Andersen's other claims overstated or questionable.

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To my knowledge, no one has ever really tried to make a traditional WDH work.  I asked Raspy if he could get me a WD kit for my McHitch since he's the rep now, and told him I'd try to make it work, but he never replied so I guess he wasn't interested.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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58 minutes ago, Overland said:

I asked Raspy if he could get me a WD kit for my McHitch since he's the rep now, and told him I'd try to make it work, but he never replied so I guess he wasn't interested.

That is interesting, I messaged him about this and never heard back. I would like to try the McHitch but not without the WD function. My Land Cruiser is simply too bouncy without it, even with rear airbags. OTH it probably weighs twice as much as the Andersen, which is less than 60 pounds.

Another plus for the Andersen is how the chain brackets clamp onto the frame members. It is very solid and at the same time (almost) non-destructive. A typical steel WD chain hanger would absolutely wreck this frame if attached in the usual manner, which is simply hung over the top and the set bolt is tightened down. I never had any luck with those, on two trailers they always slipped. I ended up having them fully welded which completely fixed the problem, but that is simply not possible with an aluminum frame.

 

75C04219-F967-4F9B-BB5F-A38D37942298.thumb.jpeg.5ac33733f780753d0f990fcf1896e8d6.jpeg

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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3 hours ago, Overland said:

To my knowledge, no one has ever really tried to make a traditional WDH work.  I asked Raspy if he could get me a WD kit for my McHitch since he's the rep now, and told him I'd try to make it work, but he never replied so I guess he wasn't interested.

He is planning on attending the fall rally with his Black Series.

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Thanks, all good comments! 

I've seen only one Oliver Trailer and wish I had inspected the Front End of the Frame more to get more familiar with it's design. I would prefer a traditional WDH because I believe the Weight Distribution Characteristics (ability to transfer weight to the Front Axle of the Tow vehicle) of them are better, although the Swag Control maybe okay on the Anderson. I plan on having at least one and maybe two Honda Generators mounted on the front of the trailer, so the tongue weight would be higher than normal. Additionally, I hope to use a Mid Size SUV, so the ability to correctly balance the weight is very important to maintain Road Feel/safety!!  

I'll try to contact Oliver to get better pictures of their Frame etc.

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Thanks for the pictures, they were helpful! 

I have contact Oliver to ask them the question regarding WDH options. I would like to consider the Hensley Swift Cub ( light duty version of their Arrow Model) as well as the Equalizer WDH. Hopefully there will be options available. 

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16 minutes ago, Pat Maundrell said:

I have contact Oliver to ask them the question regarding WDH options. I would like to consider the Hensley Swift Cub ( light duty version of their Arrow Model) as well as the Equalizer WDH. Hopefully there will be options available. 

The Swift Cub is too light (6000 pound rating) for an LE2, but in looking at the Equalizer brackets, I think those could possibly be attached to the outer Oliver frame members, depending on how long the spring arms are.
 

759EB346-86B4-4493-A6D9-29FB2C5D47A6.thumb.png.1f29368719e1fc2f5789167b9ef39814.png


It would require removal of a portion of the fiberglass cover on each side. I have considered cutting off the entire section that covers the frame, leaving only the actual “doghouse”. I would rather look at that pretty frame than the cover.... for the same reason I removed the spare tire cover the day I got home from delivery. I prefer to see more of the trailers “bones”.

Please keep us updated on this, I am sure other owners are interested.

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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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

...depending on how long the spring arms are.

I think that's the key, and unfortunately it's a difficult dimension to find for a lot of kits.

In my case, I have the added complication of the jockey wheel.  I have an idea that I could come up with something that would allow me to run the spring arms of any WD hitch just straight back, somehow attaching them to the tongue itself rather than the diagonals.  You'd lose much of the sway control that way, but I'm more interested in strict weight transfer personally.  Don't ask me how that attachment would work, but I'm certain that something could be designed.

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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22 hours ago, Pat Maundrell said:

Thanks, all good comments! 

I've seen only one Oliver Trailer and wish I had inspected the Front End of the Frame more to get more familiar with it's design. I would prefer a traditional WDH because I believe the Weight Distribution Characteristics (ability to transfer weight to the Front Axle of the Tow vehicle) of them are better, although the Swag Control maybe okay on the Anderson. I plan on having at least one and maybe two Honda Generators mounted on the front of the trailer, so the tongue weight would be higher than normal. Additionally, I hope to use a Mid Size SUV, so the ability to correctly balance the weight is very important to maintain Road Feel/safety!!  

I'll try to contact Oliver to get better pictures of their Frame etc.

I think the key words here are, Mid Size SUV, now I see where all this is going. 

trainman

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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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Make it simple, make it safe, and forget it - go buy an adequately sized TV.

 

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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Posted (edited)

I remember Reed and Karen Lukens towing their Elite II with an ML350 for the first year or two. I don't know if they used a wdh. Theirs was a diesel.

What year is yours?

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Pat,

Your ML should tow the Elite II quite well but you will have to pay close attention to your vehicle's carrying capacity.   You may not be able to carry as much as you think on the tongue.

Great ride, great brakes and great gas mileage!

If you have concerns, I would suggest you contact the towing experts at Can-Am RV Centre in Ontario, Canda.  

https://www.canamrv.ca/

The Andersen weigh distribution hitch has worked well for us.

Andrew

 

Edited by AndrewK
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Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


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

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

I remember Reed and Karen Lukens towing their Elite II with an ML350 for the first year or two. I don't know if they used a wdh. Theirs was a diesel.

What year is yours?

This picture is from the Oliver website and shows the Lukens towing with their MB and I don’t see a WDH.

Mossey

image.thumb.jpeg.1b485da9fc0c92b1edf49d2533fc9f69.jpeg

Edited by mossemi
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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I don’t think they did but then they also bought a pickup shortly after so maybe send them a PM to ask how well their Merc towed and why they switched.  I do know that the issue with a lot of unibody vehicles is that they specifically say not to use WD hitches with them, so that can potentially be a problem. 
 

Mercs aside, I believe there are several Ollie owners who tow with the larger Audis without a WD hitch, and who seem to have uniformly good reviews about their towing performance with the OE2. 

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I realize the Hensley Swift Cub is rated at 6000lbs, I told the Hensley Rep that the Elite 2 had a GVWR of 7000lbs, but I doubt I'll ever Tow at that weight.

The cost of the Hensley is $1860.00 compared to an Equalizer at $860.00. Since I am considering a Mid Size SUV with a Towing capacity of I believe 7200LBS, Hensley seemed to say it would be okay. The alternative would to go up to their Arrow Model rated at 14,000lbs, and costing around $2700.00, way overkill. I've admired the Hensley Hitch's design for over 25 years, but they are very expensive, maybe a used hitch might work. However, in reality, the Equalizer may be the best reasonable choice from a cost/performance point of view as well has being able to adapt to the Oliver's Frame and LPG Tank Shrouding with the cleanest installation.

We had a 25 foot Airstream 15 years ago and I remember them stressing the important of the relationship between the Tow Vehicle's Wheel Base and the Overall Wheel Base to include the Tow Vehicle and the Trailer. In "Layman's Terms," that means that even though a Mid Size Short WB SUV-Tow Vehicle may have a 7200LBS Tow Spec, it doesn't automatically means it the best Choice. You can end up with a situation where the "Tail (Trailer) wags the Head (Tow Vehicle). This is why 1/2 ton vehicle SUVs and Pich Ups are so popular for TV.

The above is why I am considering  such a WDH in the first place! IMHO, the Hensley's characteristics take the "Tail wagging the Head" scenario out of the picture.  

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I think you’ll find that with an Ollie, sway really isn’t the issue so much as just getting the weight back on the front wheels for better steering traction.   

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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