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


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That looks like ¾" clearance at most.  Seems...less than ideal.  

Originally, the little Ollies all had flipped axles.  Or, unflipped, I guess, since they were first.  Oliver flipped them for the Elite II and then at some point decided to flip them on the Elite 1's as well.  But it looks to me like they did that without consideration of the clearance.  

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This is our first Oliver, Hull #026. There was a heck of a lot of clearance on it.  I was never carried away with the look. Our current Oliver, Hull #050 has 1-5/8" clearance from the top of the U-Bolts to the frame.

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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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28 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

This is our first Oliver, Hull #026. There was a heck of a lot of clearance on it.  I was never carried away with the look. Our current Oliver, Hull #050 has 1-5/8" clearance from the top of the U-Bolts to the frame.

Hull 26 had a spring over axle configuration, correct? I agree that it is a too tall, but if it also had a 2” drop axle (with spindles offset upwards) it would be perfect. That is what the LE2 needs IMHO..... then there would be tons of room for soft stops.....

Do you have  a good pic of the underside that you can share? Thanks,

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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Thanks for the additional photos QM.  It looks as if you have about 11/32" of clearance, 3/8" at best.  I am curious to learn of what Jason says when he gets back to you.  I just can't imagine that this is design intent.  

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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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LongStride,

I am surprised I have not heard back from Jason as he normally responds within a couple of days.   Perhaps he is on spring break this week.   I have included a couple of more pictures of the spring brackets as from my reading, the brackets used impact the amount of "bump clearance" the axle has.   Here is a cut and paste from the "Dexter Applications Manual" they have online (dexteraxle.com)

"Leaf spring type axles must have sufficient clearance to the frame to operate properly (see Bump Clearance definition). If the spring hangers are too short, the axle may contact the frame during articulation of the suspension and result in overloading of the axle and possible damage. If the spring hangers are too long and provide too much clearance, the springs may be damaged if excessive loads are encountered and the axle is allowed to move too much. If this condition exists, bump stops should be used to prevent over travel."

I am by no means an expert on trailer axles or suspension systems but I just saw this when looking under the trailer and thought I would ask as it seems odd to me.   Perhaps it is exactly as designed and has not given others a problem or there was something done incorrectly on my trailer that will need to be corrected.   Only time and/or feedback for fellow experts or Oliver with tell.  

 

First two photos are the front bracket and the last two photos are of the rear hander bracket.   Perhaps others can look at their brackets and advise if our trailer is different than what was used on their 2019/2020 model.   Not sure when they changed the suspension system from the "under" to "over" axle so prior year trailers might be substantially different by design.

 

 

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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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30 minutes ago, QuestionMark said:

"Leaf spring type axles must have sufficient clearance to the frame to operate properly (see Bump Clearance definition). If the spring hangers are too short, the axle may contact the frame during articulation of the suspension and result in overloading of the axle and possible damage.

Your research is interesting.  A compelling reason to investigate this topic further.  When I see photos showing evidence of contact with the frame, it tells me that there is a problem assuming that it was a result of normal use.

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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1 minute ago, LongStride said:

Your research is interesting.  A compelling reason to investigate this topic further.  When I see photos showing evidence of contact with the frame, it tells me that there is a problem assuming that it was a result of normal use.

Just normal highway use.   Travel from picking up the trailer and a few state parks here in Texas.   We do have plans to go to Utah this summer so we are looking to go to somewhat rougher roads hitting the BLM sites.   

2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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I would be afraid to go down an unimproved road with the clearance that you have.  You would need to go painfully slow, and even then you may strike the frame.  Not only does Dexter caution that it may damage the axle, but it does no good to the frame of the trailer.  The flange on structural beams is where the strength is and dents/damage are not at all good for them..

Hey, it is not a perfect world.  Perhaps there was a mix up with components and you have some wrong brackets installed or something.  Vendor could have shipped wrong parts etc.  If that happened it is something that could easily slip by QC.  If the condition is a result of design, then Oliver's engineers need to bang heads with Dexter and work out a solution.  From what I have seen on this forum Oliver will make every effort to find a fix.

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 thought I would post these pics to educate folks who don’t fully understand the suspension....

BABBBFDF-222B-44FC-85C5-A925A817DDF9.thumb.jpeg.9d501101282b8e79a2585aea57ffa37b.jpeg

The shackles provide front to rear motion as the springs compress and extend (since their length changes). On a single axle setup there is one at the back, and it points down from its hanger (bracket). On a tandem setup there are two in the middle at the equalizer unit, and they point up. So on a single axle, if you install longer shackles it will lift the trailer frame up further away from the axle, increasing the clearance, but the opposite happens with the tandem, the clearance would actually be reduced.

So it is really important to mention which model trailer you have when talking about this stuff. And this shows what a “spring over axle” conversion does....

B4A41BD2-7C58-474A-9932-3BE43565F237.jpeg.4889578d29be07af582965bbe83b5b1c.jpeg

The SOA mod provides around 5  “ of lift (using the original axles) and also a huge increase in frame clearance, so it is necessary to install rubber bump stops to protect the springs from damage from travelling too far. When you do the mod, if you instead buy new axles with a 2” or 4” offset upwards, you can decrease the lift without actually altering that wonderful gap at the tube. So you could end up with an Ollie that is lifted 1” or 3” over the stock height, with tall progressive bump stops.

DF304676-91BD-4BD4-819A-48F936F589B5.jpeg.2842a676dbbc0c6ee5b3b367d6e197c7.jpeg

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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Thanks JD.  You are a research machine and a wealth of information.  We appreciate your input.

If I am not happy with the clearance on my 2021 Elite I will see what it is like after installing the K71-358-00 kit.  If that does not get me where I want to be, I will look at a drop axle.  Good to know that option is out there.  I did not know that they made such a thing. 

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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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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Elite I Oliver Owners,

Jason confirmed with their QC/Engineering department that the LE1 trailers should have 1.5" of upward travel.  Therefore the upward travel on our trailer was not within the design specs.  Jason offered to have our trailer inspected by their shop or a local provider to determine what might be our issue.  Upon further discussion with Jason and a few more photos sent to him, we quickly determined the source of our issue was the incorrect Dexter Heavy Duty Kit Shackle was used on our single axle setup.  The correct shackle kit (K71358) has shackles that are 4 5/8" in length whereas ours was the shackles you would have used on a dual axle trailer with a length of ~ 3 5/8".   Ergo, our trailer is sitting ~ 1" lower that it should.   I requested he send me the correct kit with new bolts, nuts, bushings, and shackles for me to install sometime next week.   

My best guess is someone in the factory just picked up the wrong shackles and installed.  I am sure Jason will provide them with the feedback required to establish a QC process that inspects this area so it never happens again.   I would however, recommend other 2020 LE1 owners out there inspect their shackles to ensure the correct ones were used on their trailers.  

IMG_2338.jpg.62c97c06615cff8f8a62c76bc0983fd7.jpg

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IMG_2342.thumb.PNG.b42784efa5184282a28a7b74b5c0ef1d.PNG 

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

Good news QM !

I am happy that you have got to the bottom of this and will soon be getting the issue corrected.  I am relieved to know that my Elite will have more than a half inch suspension clearance.  I will check this upon delivery to ensure lightning did not strike twice 😉.

 

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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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Qm, really glad your problem will be resolved, and very sorry it happened. 

I'm glad that you reported this to Oliver, and were patient and persistent in your quest for a response. Some things do take time, to get the right answer.

Opening a ticket  is an important first step. Discloses issues to Oliver, so they can be resolved.

It helps keep the best "best." No one can fix an unknown issue.

 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Hi QuestionMark:

Thanks again for the heads up PM on this topic, I appreciate it! I subsequently checked our 2020 EI and found that (1) the 3 5/8" shackles were used and (2) there are no bushings on the top zerks. Clearance between the frame and suspension is less than 1". I'm already in touch with Jason, he's offered to ship out a replacement Dexter HD kit or have the work done there at Oliver (I don't have the skills to do the work myself or I would).

 
QM, JD, All: Your comments and those of other experienced Ollie owners here and elsewhere in the forum are invaluable. . .  I'm a first-time travel trailer owner and have never even towed before so suffice it to say the learning curve is steep. In this case, I likely would have had no idea anything was amiss with the suspension until a failure, which easily could have been catastrophic. Many, many thanks to you all for taking the time to share your knowledge and research.
 
-Brian
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Brian and Maria | and furbabies Lucas and Joie | Western NC
2020 Elite I | Hull 583 | February 6 Delivery
2018 F150 XLT 4x4 Supercrew | 3.5L V6 EB | Max Trailer Tow | Undercover Elite Tonneau

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Posted (edited)
On 3/20/2021 at 11:23 AM, John E Davies said:

I thought I would post these pics to educate folks who don’t fully understand the suspension....

BABBBFDF-222B-44FC-85C5-A925A817DDF9.thumb.jpeg.9d501101282b8e79a2585aea57ffa37b.jpeg

The shackles provide front to rear motion as the springs compress and extend (since their length changes). On a single axle setup there is one at the back, and it points down from its hanger (bracket). On a tandem setup there are two in the middle at the equalizer unit, and they point up. So on a single axle, if you install longer shackles it will lift the trailer frame up further away from the axle, increasing the clearance, but the opposite happens with the tandem, the clearance would actually be reduced.

So it is really important to mention which model trailer you have when talking about this stuff. And this shows what a “spring over axle” conversion does....

B4A41BD2-7C58-474A-9932-3BE43565F237.jpeg.4889578d29be07af582965bbe83b5b1c.jpeg

The SOA mod provides around 5  “ of lift (using the original axles) and also a huge increase in frame clearance, so it is necessary to install rubber bump stops to protect the springs from damage from travelling too far. When you do the mod, if you instead buy new axles with a 2” or 4” offset upwards, you can decrease the lift without actually altering that wonderful gap at the tube. So you could end up with an Ollie that is lifted 1” or 3” over the stock height, with tall progressive bump stops.

DF304676-91BD-4BD4-819A-48F936F589B5.jpeg.2842a676dbbc0c6ee5b3b367d6e197c7.jpeg

John Davies

Spokane WA

JD,

Excellent post.   Just wondering if it might be worth mentioning that the Oliver factory might have incorrectly used the longer shackles on the some LE2 trailers thereby, reducing their upward travel as it is just the opposite situation than using  the shorter shackles installed on the LE1.   Do you think it might be worth it for  the LE2 owners to check their shackle length?  Perhaps you can advise as you clearly have a detailed understanding of the LE2 suspension and have put a lot of thought into the design.

 

Edited by QuestionMark

2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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1 hour ago, QuestionMark said:

Excellent post.   Just wondering if it might be worth mentioning that the Oliver factory might have incorrectly used the longer shackles on the some LE2 trailers thereby, reducing their upward travel as it is just the opposite situation than using  the shorter shackles installed on the LE1.   Do you think it might be worth it for  the LE2 owners to check their shackle length?  Perhaps you can advise as you clearly have a detailed understanding of the LE2 suspension and have put a lot of thought into the design.

Thanks for the kind words. Since we now know definitively from the Mother Ship what length shackles “should” be installed on each model, it just makes sense to me to crawl under and measure them. I have not yet done that, but I will soon. A new thread with a poll should be useful, for folks to report their findings. If there is a significant percentage of wrong parts installed, it would be time for an official tech bulletin.

Edit: that was easy, on the LE2 you don’t actually have to lie down. Mine are correct at about 3 5/8” overall length (not hole to hole, which would be a much better way to measure.)

A4287FB4-57C7-490F-A592-C40D35810D79.thumb.jpeg.49ceb5118d56bc0c595b86e1bb56b9ad.jpeg

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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Our 2019 Elite II Hull 461 has the correct short shackles on both the street and curb side suspension.   Hopefully Oliver reaches out to their Elite I customers to have theirs checked to see if the short shackles were mistakenly installed.  And that could be a tongue twister.  She sells short suspension shackles on the street side.   

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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On 4/9/2021 at 2:31 PM, QuestionMark said:

Elite I Oliver Owners,

Jason confirmed with their QC/Engineering department that the LE1 trailers should have 1.5" of upward travel.  Therefore the upward travel on our trailer was not within the design specs.  Jason offered to have our trailer inspected by their shop or a local provider to determine what might be our issue.  Upon further discussion with Jason and a few more photos sent to him, we quickly determined the source of our issue was the incorrect Dexter Heavy Duty Kit Shackle was used on our single axle setup.  The correct shackle kit (K71358) has shackles that are 4 5/8" in length whereas ours was the shackles you would have used on a dual axle trailer with a length of ~ 3 5/8".   Ergo, our trailer is sitting ~ 1" lower that it should.   I requested he send me the correct kit with new bolts, nuts, bushings, and shackles for me to install sometime next week.   

My best guess is someone in the factory just picked up the wrong shackles and installed.  I am sure Jason will provide them with the feedback required to establish a QC process that inspects this area so it never happens again.   I would however, recommend other 2020 LE1 owners out there inspect their shackles to ensure the correct ones were used on their trailers.  

 

 

 

I had a very detailed response  - but never mind - This is not something that should be occurring. Oliver relies on Jason and crew to carry the day for the manufacturing foibles.

Glad to see the problem is on the fix. 

Best in class - well it is a low bar....

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 

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On 4/9/2021 at 2:31 PM, QuestionMark said:

Jason confirmed with their QC/Engineering department that the LE1 trailers should have 1.5" of upward travel.  

I've heard about this engineering department.  

Out of curiosity, I googled (ducked?) 'recommended suspension clearance for trailers'.  The only relevant result I got was a comment from an eTrailer rep who said that they recommend 3". 

 

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Well, opinions are like.... you know, everyone has one. Found this, also at eTrailer:

“Typical spring deflection is up to 1-1/2 inches when at capacityThe recommended clearance with leaf spring suspension on an unloaded trailer is between 2 - 2-1/2 inches. You should have sufficient clearance with your loaded trailer, as leaf springs only tend to deflect 1-1/2 inch when carrying a load.”

https://www.etrailer.com/question-171401.html

And from the Dexter Mother Ship itself:

F8AE9AAE-A396-405B-9DCD-326AA44F9140.thumb.jpeg.e3a11eb1b67dec89a65e5c4655cb132b.jpeg

However, Dexter pretty much leaves it up to the trailer manufacturer to decide what is “sufficient”. Or not sufficient. 🙄

Dexter Applications Manual

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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Our 2018 Elite I is finally out of winter storage... our axle ubolt-to-frame clearance is 1-1/32" on the curb side and 1-1/8" on the street side (with trailer "dry", level front-to-back, and no gear loaded). Rear spring shackle is the proper "longer" Dexter HD variant for the single axle Elite I (3-1/8" center-to-center bolt holes, 4-5/8" overall length). Bushing is installed on the leaf-spring end of the shackle only.

I'm not sure what the reason is for the discrepancy in clearance height between street-side and curb-side. Our driveway is slightly out of level side-to-side, so maybe that influences it. May also be a difference in the trailer's side-to-side weight distribution. I'll measure again when its on more level ground. It will also be interesting to see how the clearances change with a tank full of water and our standard load of camping gear. Definitely less than the 1-1/2" quoted above from Oliver QC/Engineering dept.

Tom

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

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All,

 

Quick note back to the other Ollie owners out there to let everyone know the new "longer" shackles arrived on Friday and were installed on Saturday.   Happy to report that the installation went fairly easy and the upward travel is now ~1.5" as designed.   Thanks again to Jason and his team on getting me the new shackles in a short timeframe and working with me on getting the trailer ready for our next trip.   

 

 

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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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