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Question to the Team: Suspension Upward Travel - Legacy Elite I (Answered)


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Quick question for other Newer Elite 1 owners out there:  Have you looked at your suspension and noted the distance between the upper u-bolts and the frame of the trailer?  When looking at mine, I measure about 1/2"  between the u-bolt and the trailer on ours with the trailer empty.  Does this sound correct to the other "experts" out there?   I noticed where the u-bolts have hit a few times but with the trailer only having 3k highway miles on it , I am not sure it will be indicative of future wear when boon docking more.

The picture I had on this computer was from when we first got the trailer and I am not sure if the springs have sagged a little since then as the pic has the gap appearing a little more that the 1/2" we have on both sides now.

 

IMG_2116.jpg.a0caf029b35daf079a78da2f8d6fc270.jpg

 

 

Edited by QuestionMark
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2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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That does seem low, it is worse than my LE2. I wonder if simply installing longer custom shackles would help the LE? (They would make it worse on an LE2.) I just do not understand why these are made with so little clearance there.... whacking an unseen pothole at speed will really wake you up inside the truck, it makes a horrible bang.

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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I am soon to be a new owner of the Elite l.  Your post has me very concerned.  

1/2" travel on the suspension is not much at all.  

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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I am a bit surprised that there has not been much reaction to this post.  Leads me to believe that perhaps this condition is NORMAL and no one is getting too excited about it.  It gives me pause because we intend to leave the pavement from time to time on two-tracks and unimproved roads.  Nothing aggressive, and we won't be in a hurry.  I would be pretty sad if we were limited to pavement.

I think that if this were a problem on the older Elites that I would have seen it elsewhere on the forum.

Is there really just a 1/2" of travel before the U-bolts hit the frame?

Someone please let me know so I can sleep tonight, or stare at the ceiling wondering  if I made a mistake.

Thanks.

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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5 minutes ago, LongStride said:

I am a bit surprised that there has not been much reaction to this post.  Leads me to believe that perhaps this condition is NORMAL and no one is getting too excited about it.  It gives me pause because we intend to leave the pavement from time to time on two-tracks and unimproved roads.  Nothing aggressive, and we won't be in a hurry.  I would be pretty sad if we were limited to pavement.

I think that if this were a problem on the older Elites that I would have seen it elsewhere on the forum.

Is there really just a 1/2" of travel before the U-bolts hit the frame?

Someone please let me know so I can sleep tonight, or stare at the ceiling wondering  if I made a mistake.

Thanks.

LongStride,

My intention was not to question the overall design of the suspension system as Oliver has been making these trailers for several years without a bunch of complaints from other owners out there.   When we bought ours, we realized we were not buying an overland rig to take to the "outback" so to speak.  Like you, my wife and added the options needed for us to take some off the beaten path to boondock from time to time.   We have utilized our trailer for multiple trips and have not really had any major problems with any suspension systems other than a squeak we developed after traveling through a rain storm one day.   Some dry lube and addition of grease solved the problem.   I have bumped this question to Jason to see if it is common across all newer LE1's or something might be incorrect with ours.   I will report back when I hear back from him or the Oliver team.   

 

 

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2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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Relax guys, this is not a major issue. I've owned two different Oliver's over the past 13 years. Both an Elite and a Elite II. If you hit a big enough bump or drop into a deep enough hole, the suspension will probably bump the frame. I have noticed evidence of contact on both trailers thru the years. Other than cosmetic, there was no damage to the frame.

The Elite's are supplied with 5200 pound axles with larger brakes and bigger spring packs than the two 3500 pound axles on the Elite II's.

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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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Thank you for the reassurance Steve.  I am new to the travel trailer scene and I am ignorant to many aspects of their construction.  Sounds like the suspension travel will be just fine.

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820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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The travel on our EII is not that much longer, approx 2.5 ". In the 18k miles its been towed on good, bad, and ugly surfaces- we have not had any issues. As long as you speed is appropriate for the conditions all remains well.

Like others, I am sure we have seen SOB's with large air gaps between the axle and  the frame surface -  why so different - I don't know. My Ollie is good on the road, works for me.

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"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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Good topic.  I just climbed under my 2017 LE1 and measured 1.625 in. clearance between the top of the U-Bolt and the underside of the frame. Also noticed no interference evidence after 20K miles of pleasant towing. I have recently installed the Dexter zerk fitting kit which includes new heavy duty shackles that are longer (center to center) and provide some additional lift of maybe .5 - .75 in. An improvement might be the addition of a rubber bumper pad which OTT may want to consider.

 

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Legacy Elite I

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Skalywag, your 1.625 in. clearance sounds much more palatable to me than 0.5 in.  Which Dexter kit did you use?

Was it this?

image.png.3b27ef8ea7d5a80b6ba843b4a15f7f93.png

image.jpeg.580e9cd45cd21787243f89f87bb34b02.jpeg

image.jpeg

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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Sorry folks.  Did not mean to include the large image as well.

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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19 hours ago, skalywag said:

An improvement might be the addition of a rubber bumper pad which OTT may want to consider.

Some sort of progessive (variable force) bump stop would be a great upgrade, unfortunately there needs to be a whole lot more clearance to fit one that would be thick enough to be effective. Just adding a 1/4” pad of dense rubber won’t do it.... 

If you don’t want to do a spring over axle mod, then installing custom springs with a higher arch is a viable option.... https://www.murphysframeandaxle.com/custom-leaf-springs/

A 2 inch lift would be plenty and would allow enough room for a low progressive bump stop. Most major cities have a company that does custom work this, or you could order them. Then you could easily fit something like this.

661B5373-001D-45C7-9AC1-42B2AEFD3E03.thumb.jpeg.350ccdd2a240c3a03c0f18003e36ee44.jpeg

Lots more types to choose from .... https://www.energysuspensionparts.com/universal-bump-stops.asp

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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In regards to axle(s) bumping the frame, it is not just a bother, it is potentially very damaging to lots of parts, inside and outside the hull, including the hub spindles and bearings. A “hard stop” is extremely stressful to bearing rollers. It is also one way that axles get bent, though gross overloading is probably the biggie. Any potholed forest or ranch road will force you to drive dead slow, because a 6” deep hole with only 1 inch of upward travel means the suspension will bottom out repeatedly UNLESS you crawl slowly. Which gets old really fast if the road is more than a couple of miles long. Those owners who never get west of the Mississippi probably will never notice the lack of travel because roads like that are very rare in the East. Where I travel, they are literally everywhere.

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 can't measure right now as our 2018 Elite I is currently in winter storage. Looking at a couple of photos from 2019, it looks (at least from the angle taken) that we have a bit more clearance than the 1/2" described above, but not a lot. There is some evidence of minor "bottoming out" events visible. Over time we have become better at anticipating such events and adjusting speed and trailer positioning relative to obstructions accordingly.

 

IMG_5126-a - Copy.jpg

IMG_5132-a - Copy.jpg

Tom

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite #409 - 2017 Silverado 1500, 5.3L, 4x4 Z71, Dbl Cab, Std Bed

2020-12-18 Oliver Camped States (small).jpg

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I live in northern Indiana where the freeze thaw cycles destroy roads.  Occasionally, one simply cannot avoid a pothole without a swift abrupt manouver.  The result of that would likely be far more dangerous.  Bump stops briefly came to my mind but they would limit travel to just about nothing (if you could find ones to fit).

I do not expect to have my rig pothole proof or "off-road" capable, I just want more than the 1/2" of clearance that started this discussion.  I reached out to the community to see if that was common.  If so, I would deal with it because I don't believe that I can find anything better than an Oliver to suit my wants and needs overall.  I just find it hard to swallow that an engineer would design the system with so little clearance. 

 

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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LongStride, Rideandfly is correct - yes that is the kit I installed. I also notice the price keeps going up as well.

John, that is a good point about how much travel to allow. I have some 1/4 in. rubber that I could bond to the underside of the frame over the U-bolts which may prevent damage. That is a place where I would not want to introduce a "buckle" condition.

At the very least, I will pay special attention to how I load our Ollie.

Legacy Elite I

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ADKCamper, just doing a visual on your photos comparing the size of the individual leafs on your spring to the space above the u-bolt and the frame; I would guess that you have 0.75" or more clearance.  Thanks for your input.  By the way, I like your logo.  Loons are soooo cool.

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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8 hours ago, ADKCamper said:

I can't measure right now as our 2018 Elite I is currently in winter storage. Looking at a couple of photos from 2019, it looks (at least from the angle taken) that we have a bit more clearance than the 1/2" described above, but not a lot. There is some evidence of minor "bottoming out" events visible. Over time we have become better at anticipating such events and adjusting speed and trailer positioning relative to obstructions accordingly.

 

IMG_5126-a - Copy.jpg

IMG_5132-a - Copy.jpg

Any one have a GoPro to put under there to see  how much the springs flex while traveling?

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Thanks, Longstride! Love to hear the loons calling in the evening when sitting around the campfire or drifting off to sleep.

We have our share of pot-holes here in central NY State as well 😞 Our Ollie should be out of storage in 2-4 weeks and I will be able to measure the clearance then. Will also check out our spring shackle dimensions compared to the Dexter K71-358-00 kit referenced above.

Hoping to get camping again soon... we definitely didn't get in enough "Ollie Time" in 2020!

Tom

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite #409 - 2017 Silverado 1500, 5.3L, 4x4 Z71, Dbl Cab, Std Bed

2020-12-18 Oliver Camped States (small).jpg

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Your efforts are appreciated Tom.  I look forward to finding out what you discover.

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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I wonder  - on a similar shiny SOB - what is the similar suspension travel?

Given that the Oliver is fitted with shocks to dampen the travel forces, and the progressive spring rate of the leaf springs and the ez/flex it seems the available travel may be  fine for the average road. I would be curious to see just how often my axle bottoms during my longer trips. I don't recall many  oh shoot's!!

Approaching 20k miles -  I am not at all interested in changing the system. Replace a few worn items sure- 

Good tidings to those that push the envelope.

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"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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Just picked up the trailer for another outing this weekend and thought I would included some more recent photos for others to compare with their trailers.   As you can see, it has hit a few times and made its mark on the trailer frame bracket.   Still waiting on hearing back from Jason on the normal gap.   I will advise once I hear something.

 

MarkIMG_2276.jpg.ce013d089ace7e4cf5e80fcc82213c8d.jpgIMG_2274.jpg.9a1b1062a842290ce8277db47383594e.jpgIMG_2277.jpg.0f74bcfeac7118d8e3bed2c0e73edd45.jpg

IMG_2273.jpg

IMG_2275.jpg

2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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  • The title was changed to Question to the Team: Suspension Upward Travel - Legacy Elite I (Answered)

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