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Have Airstream 2 5/16" Ball, Equalizer Hitch 2.5 inch Shank... Oliver has 2" Ball and Anderson Hitch 2 inch Shank


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I am use to the Airstream and Equalizer Hitch.  The Shank to the F350 is 2.5 inches and the Anderson I am replacing has a 2 inch shank.  Using the shim on the 2 inch to fit the F350 sleeve of 2.5 inch leaves a lot of SLOP.  Yes, I know some welding adaptions to remove the "Shank Slop", but with the 2 inch, sleeve to 2.5 inch... a lot more SLOP.

What options, if any, do I have?

I would Prefer... a 2.5 inch Shank and 2 5/16 Ball to connect to the F350 and attach to the Oliver II.

The Ball on the Anderson is rough and I tried to force the 3382 WD Tapered Ball out and it is... STUCK.  It is best I just do one of two options.

1-  Replace the Hitch and the Ball and the Shank that is presently STOCK ANDERSON to the Oliver II.  It needs to be replaced... all of it.

2-  Substitute a 2.5 inch shank system to fit the F350 factory Sleeve, which fits my Airstream and purchase a System for the Oliver that will convert everything to a 2 5/16 inch Ball and attaches where the Anderson is attached to the Oliver.  AND... the Shank of 2.5 inches fitting the F350.

I photographed my Equalizer shank and ball that I currently use with the Airstream.  Since the Airstream and Oliver 'may' be different heights when the trailer is properly attached, I may find it easier to have a Ball and Shank to fit the Oliver and use the current Airstream unit for only the Airstream.

I realize the 2.5 inch shank is overkill... but this is a F350 Diesel 4x4... and even the Airstream needs to Weight Distribution... can tow on the Ball and no Sway.  I include a photograph of the Equalizer Ball and Shank with numerous adjustments possible.

Among those who experiment with or have already done this change, I value your advice.  I am an Airstream owner for 16 years and an Oliver owner for 36 hours.  Any advice, pro or con, will be greatly appreciated.

Ray, Nancy and Dingo the Oliver   🙂

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You do not need the Andersen hitch with an LE2, a simple fixed drop ball mount is fine with an F350! Whatever it takes to get level, the Ollie coupler is just under 24 inches. A mount and ball will be less than $100. Rather than spending a ton of money, I would go that route, and also consider converting the Ollie coupler to 2 5/16" so the trailers match, plus it gives you a lot more reserve capacity and reduced ball wear.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/3483-how-to-upgrade-the-bulldog-coupler-and-andersen-hitch-to-2-516/

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, Safari snorkel.

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1 minute ago, John E Davies said:

converting the Ollie coupler to 2 5/16" so the trailers match

... and no Anderson hitch necessary .... as recommended to me by my Oliver sales team, for my future Chevy HD 2500.

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Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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With a diesel you need to get the weight off the front wheels not add it back.  If you want to use a 2 1/2 inch fixed ball mount you’ll probably need a 2 inch ball with a 1 1/4 shaft like this .  

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I quit using the Andersen when I upgraded to my Ram 2500 diesel.  I had used it with both half tons.  I concur with everyone else, no Andersen is needed with your F350.  I’ve got probably 20,000 miles towing now without the Andersen and never had even the slightest issue, it’s a very well behaved trailer!  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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I will rephrase my question.

I WANT to USE my current Equalizer shank and 2 5/16 inch BALL to tow our Oliver.  I will make what shank adjustments necessary to do that.

What do I need to purchase to attach TO THE Oliver so I can?  Has someone done this?  I need to know what to purchase, removing the Anderson 2", and bolt on a 2 5/16 inch receiver ball to the front of the Oliver.

So... I do not want to use the Anderson 2 inch coupler.  I want to know where to get so the coupler on the Oliver to 2 5/16 inch receiver. I have everything needed for my Airstream and want to use it on the Oliver, but need to remove the 2" system and bolt on a 2 5/16" coupler assembly.  Where can I find a source to purchase?

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https://www.bulldogproducts.net/products/trailer-couplers/straight-couplers

There are two choices, depending on what type of lock you want. Etrailer.com is probably the best source. I used the P/N 028462, which is similar to the one Oliver installs. Did you look at the HOW TO link I posted above?

IMG_8975.jpg.ac866e95ce073399eefeef96aee08a98.thumb.jpg.536f1faf6276729b8a3b6ba6922685b9.jpg

I don't have a clue how you will mount the Equalizer brackets, you will have to cut away some of the doghouse to access the outer frame members.  That will be unsightly and will definitely affect resale value in a negative way. I don't know how much a new one would cost, if the future buyer doesn't like your holes, but I know it would be a whole lot more expensive than a brand new Andersen hitch. Getting the doghouse off requires opening up the bath vanity hatch, to gain access to the nuts inside, that hold the back of it to the hull.

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, Safari snorkel.

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Anderson - WD hitch that works well with the Oliver. 
Bulldog - Coupler that is currently installed on the trailer. 

You can upgrade both components to work with 2 5/16. You will end up with a more desirable result if you go with just a ball hitch or use the anderson system you received with the trailer. 

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John Davies and ChrisMI... The photographs are great and it appears that I can use an Anderson Bull Dog 2 5/16 system, which I did not know existed.

I would just remove the current 2 inch system, purchase the 2 5/16 inch System?

From John's photos... do I have to Drill the Holes that the bolts on the front of the Oliver secure the latch assembly?  Or does an Oliver company parts have the holes predrilled and hardware to mount?

I am beginning at point zero and the learning curve right now is... taking straight off, thanks to those giving me my options.  I should, then, be confident that I can purchase the 2 5/16 Ball assembly AND the bracket with the locking mechanism... DOES NOT NEED ANY HOLES DRILLED AND WILL HAVE THE PROPER DIAMETER BOLT AND NUTS?  John and I think the same when it comes to hardware.

I knew the Equalizer weight distribution system / unit would never fit an Oliver.  I showed the Ball and Shank as an example for size differences. 

So I do have:

- The option to use a 2 1/2 Inch Shank to fit the F350 and Anderson hardware. Or have to use the 2 inch Anderson Shank only and no 2 1/2 inch and add the sleeve?

-  Have an Anderson 2 5/16 inch Ball and assembly and Ball Latch attached to the Oliver Frame and the 2 1/2 Inch Shank purchased as a Set?

(This is a bit awkward for me after 16 years using the cup and ball system and MOST Oliver use Tow Vehicles that the 2 inch shank and 2 inch ball is never thought as the only option.)  

I will be OllieStreamed... fast.  I began looking the Oliver over this afternoon and already found one common problem that Airstream and Olivers share.  I will post that once the 'dust settles'.  I am so impressed with the fit of exterior components and the interior of the Oliver II.  Bear with me on my 'learning curve'.  I appreciate everyone's time and help... it will be easier to understand when I physically do this change... and then... like John Davies... know each detail very well.  I hope....  🙂

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READ 

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/3483-how-to-upgrade-the-bulldog-coupler-and-andersen-hitch-to-2-516/

If you have one of the several OLD Andersen designs, you may be able to trade it in for the new design pictured above for about $100, you would have to contact their customer service, and you need to say “It gets wet and is crazy loud, it sounds like the Spawn of Satan when I turn, it wakes up everybody in the campground and the dogs start barking!” Or something similar 😬Regardless, do not rebuild your old one if it is that bad design, the new  design with the retaining ring and moisture seal is way better, because water and grit won’t rust the tapered shaft and  tear up the friction cone.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/2418-fyi-andersen-wd-hitch-ball-locking-up-or-load-noise/

https://andersenhitches.com/pages/contact

PS, I still think this is a waste of money and your time, though you could get your Andersen hitch updated and then sell it for $300, then buy the fixed ball mount. That will work perfectly with your HD truck, but if the rear end bounces on choppy pavement, it just means that your truck shocks are worn out.

PPS, for boondocking on those rough dirt roads you would be lots better off without the Andersen, it binds up and has very VERY limited articulation when the chains are tight. You can just snug them a little, but a dead weight ball mount, or better yet an off-road coupler setup, doesn’t have those built in design flaws. Maybe overland can post pics of his….

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, Safari snorkel.

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Ray

This is what I use and I use it for all my trailers that I have and It has the ability to switch to what ever ball size you need. It's great to know at a glance what your tongue weight is especially when positioning equipment on flatbed trailer . I bought my Oliver gently used and it came with the Anderson hitch system. I pull with a Chev 3/4 ton so I do not use the Anderson and I kept the 2 inch receiver on the Oliver and it pulls like a dream.

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  1. Trailer Hitch Ball Mount
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Weigh Safe 2-Ball Mount w/ Built-In Scale - 2-1/2" Hitch - 4" Drop, 5" Rise - 18.5K

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Weigh Safe Trailer Hitch Ball Mount - WS4-25

  • Fits 2-1/2 Inch Hitch
  • Adjustable Ball Mount
  • Drop - 4 Inch
  • Rise - 5 Inch
  • 2 Inch Ball
  • 2-5/16 Inch Ball
  • Two Balls
  • Class V
  • 18500 lbs GTW
  • Built-In TW Scale
  • Weigh Safe
  • Aluminum Shank - Silver
  • Stainless Steel Ball
 

Measure your tongue weight to determine if you can safely tow by simply coupling your trailer to this ball mount. Ball platform locks to shank. Tow up to 8,000 lbs with the 2" ball and up to 18,500 lbs with the 2-5/16" ball.

 

Features:

  • Ball mount with included hitch balls lets you hook up your trailer to your tow vehicle
    • Shank slides into hitch receiver
    • Ball provides connection point for trailer coupler
  • Tongue weight scale built into the ball mount platform helps you balance your trailer
    • Promotes safe towing - lets you know if your load needs to be adjusted before you tow
    • Simple operation - automatically provides a measurement every time you couple your trailer
    • Efficient and hassle-free - eliminates the need for separate or commercial scales
  • Adjustable height lets you tow trailers of different heights with the same vehicle
    • Slide ball mount platform up or down shank and secure in place with included dual locking pins
      • 2 Keys are included
  • 2 Different-size hitch balls let you tow trailers with different coupler sizes
    • To switch ball, simply remove the ball-retaining lock pin from the platform, insert ball, and reinsert pin
  • 6061 T6 billet aluminum shank and mounting platform provide superior strength and durability
    • Solid block construction provides greater strength than hollow steel competitors while also maintaining a light weight
    • Rustproof for a clean finish that stands the test of time
  • Stainless steel hitch balls are corrosion resistant
  • Hitch pin and clip or hitch lock sold separately
  • SAE J684 certified and VESC Regulations V-5 compliant
  • Made in the USA
 

Specs:

  • Application: 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" trailer hitch receivers
  • Gross towing weight:
    • 2-5/16" Diameter hitch ball: 18,500 lbs
    • 2" Diameter hitch ball: 8,000 lbs
  • Tongue weight: 2,200 lbs
  • Distance from center of hitch pin hole to center of hitch ball: 8-3/4"
  • Maximum drop: 4"
  • Maximum rise: 5"
  • Incremental height adjustment: 1"
  • Scale gauge diameter: 1-1/2"
  • Warranty:
    • Limited lifetime for ball mount
    • 1-Year limited for scale gauge


Weigh Safe ball mount coupled to a trailer
 

This Weigh Safe ball mount has an easy-to-use, built-in scale that measures your trailer's tongue weight every time you tow. If the scale indicates that your tongue weight is too low or too high, you can adjust it before you head out so that you can complete your journey with the peace of mind that your setup is safe.

 

What is Tongue Weight?

Tongue weight (TW) refers to the weight that the fully loaded trailer exerts downward on the hitch ball of the tow vehicle. Tongue weight is typically 10 percent - and should not exceed 15 percent - of your gross trailer weight. For example, a 10,000-lb trailer should have a tongue weight between 1,000 lbs and 1,500 lbs. You can adjust the tongue weight of your trailer by removing or adding cargo, or redistributing the load on the trailer. The tongue weight should not exceed the capacity of your tow vehicle, your hitch, or any of your towing components.

 

Why is Tongue Weight So Important?

Weigh Safe helps ensure proper trailer tongue weight
 

Simply put, too little tongue weight can cause trailer sway and too much tongue weight can cause the tow vehicle to perform poorly. You may have difficulty steering, gaining traction, or braking when driving a setup that has too much weight pushing down on the rear of the vehicle. Ultimately, towing with an improper tongue weight can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or cause your trailer to separate from the vehicle.

 

Built-In Tongue Weight Scale


The gauge of the Weigh Safe built-in tongue weight scale
 

The Weigh Safe ball mount's built-in scale signals you to adjust your load before you hit the road, resulting in a much safer and enjoyable towing experience. Before this ball mount, gauging your trailer's tongue weight was a hassle. You had to rely on inefficient bathroom scales, make a trip to the weigh station, or purchase a separate tongue weight scale. But with the Weigh Safe's built-in scale, measuring your tongue weight is as easy as coupling your trailer to your ball mount. Simply hook-up your trailer to the Weigh Safe ball mount just as you would any other ball mount. The weight of your trailer will push down on the hitch ball, which in turn pushes down on an internal hydraulic piston that sits on a bed of oil. When the piston drops into the oil, the pressure reading is sent out to the scale.

 

Easily Adjusts to Fit Your Setup

Weigh Safe ball mount has adjustable height
 

Adjusting and setting up the Weigh Safe ball mount to work with your specific trailer is easy. First, unlock and pull out the dual pins and remove the platform from the shank. Next, pull out the hitch ball retaining pin from the back of the platform and insert either the 2" or 2-5/16" hitch ball. A 1-7/8" hitch ball (WSB-L - sold separately) is also available. Then reinsert the retaining pin to secure the ball to the platform. Replace the platform and slide it along the shank to the desired height. Insert the dual pins and use one of the included keys to lock the pins in place.


Weigh Safe ball mounts installed in drop and rise positions
 

The Weigh Safe ball mount can be used in either the drop or rise position to best suit your application.

 

Superior Aluminum and Stainless Steel Construction

From the first moment that you lay eyes on the Weigh Safe ball mount you'll see that you're getting a superior, well-made product. The Weigh Safe's shank and ball mount platform are made entirely of 6061 T6 billet aluminum, which is the same material that is used to build aircraft components, automobile frames, and freight liners. This type of aluminum is known for having superior strength while maintaining its light weight, which makes it highly desirable over hollow steel components. 6061 T6 aluminum is also rustproof, which means the Weigh Safe hitch will maintain its clean, shiny, and impressive appearance for years to come. And the hitch balls are made of solid stainless steel, offering far greater protection against rust and corrosion than other steel hitch balls that are only painted or plated on the surface.

 

The Weigh Safe ball mount meets VESC V-5 regulations and is SAE J684 certified. These regulatory bodies - the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission and the Society for Automotive Engineers - create standards for the design, construction, and performance of automotive and towing accessories. Weigh Safe has had this ball mount thoroughly tested in simulation to ensure that it complies with these standards. The result is a strong, safe, sturdy product that is built to last.


How to Measure Drop on Adjustable Ball Mount

 

WS4-2.5 Weigh-Safe Trailer Hitches with Tongue Weight Gauge - 2" x 2-5/16" Ball Combo - 4 Inch Drop - 2-1/2 Inch Hitches

 

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MNOlie... The shank and ball  system is easier to find.  It is interesting how many companies are into the Trailer Hitch business.

It is the Ball Latch on the Oliver and apparently this can be purchased, but without the holes drilled for exact fit.  I will be calling Oliver to see what their options may be.  I do not run a machine shop... or have a handy drill press... or even the desire to fabricate the Oliver Ball Coupler on my own.

I have a number of shanks.  One for U Haul 2 inch.  Others that come with a trailer I did not use, since buying a complete shank to trailer is best.  Dexter supplies it all and you can vary what accessories you need.  The F350 can easily tow on the Ball alone... and I am going that route.  No Weight Distribution or Sway Control problems.

It will be interesting how this works out... once the dust settles.  The current 2" Anderson has the Ball frozen into the shank portion and the ball is a mess. So I also figure the Coupler is shot, as well.  I like the KISS... keep it simple stupid.  I am the stupid... at the present time, but will be using everyone's assistance on this Thread and work through all of the information, thinking this all out what works best for me.  

 

 

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We have the Weigh Safe hitch, too. I like the construction and ability to swap balls easily. Don't really need the scale, per se, but with the new Ollie am interested in seeing how shifting contents and various full tank combinations will affect tongue weight. It is a nice hitch.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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With help from Steve Landrum, Minnesota Oli and confirmation of Steph and Dud B... I can SEE the simplicity with this shank and ball assembly.

Was it necessary to replace the used Anderson Ball Coupler so not to damage the new 2 inch ball?  If you did replace the Coupler, did YOU have to drill the holes for the two bolts, or did you order with the two holes predrilled?

The Oliver Anderson hitch is not something I am familiar, so want to get everything figured out in advance.  I have no issue with the 2" Ball and Coupler as the weight of the Oliver is nothing like my Airstreams.  Having Oliver towing hardware for 2 inch and my Equalizer Airstream towing hardware would be wiser.  I do not need Sway Control or Weight Distribution towing with an F350 Diesel.

I see 'light at the end of the tunnel'.  Not just headlights of oncoming traffic...  🙂  Thanks for any additional information... especially about the pre drilling of the Anderson Coupler.  I have already thought of making a template of stiff paper off of the current Anderson 2" Coupler and transfer it over to an Undrilled Anderson.  Is THAT the way to go?

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I had looked at a Bulldog 028462 Trailer Coupler for 2 5/16 in Ball, Tongue Mount Width 3 inch... for $109.24, 12,500# (tow Two Olivers at the same time).

Big Balls and Couplers are stronger... in my opinion, even if it is overkill, it harms nothing. ?  It is shown UNDIRLLED.   Any commments why, not?

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5 minutes ago, BoondockingAirstream said:

Was it necessary to replace the used Anderson Ball Coupler so not to damage the new 2 inch ball? 

There is no such thing as an Andersen coupler. The BULLDOG coupler is very hard forged steel. The Andersen ball is intentionally made from a softer steel; according to Andersen this is so it will wear out, rather than the coupler. I personally see no logic in that. So I think that:

Your coupler is not in fact damaged, probably it is very rusty from not having been greased by the previous owner, and that corrosion might be cleaned up enough to be serviceable by using a 2” ball and valve grinding compound. …. OR

It is permanently damaged, perhaps poorly forged, and will have to be replaced.

Only you or a mechanic can answer this question. I will point out once again, these hitches by their very design wear the ball because the chains thrust forward on the rear surface of the ball. The Bulldog has very little contact area because of the swinging side piece. If you want to reduce future damage, replace the parts with a 2 5/16” pair, so that there is more surface area. I think that this should be standard during production, the cost of the parts is no different.

Just abandon the Andersen completely, get a fixed dead weight hitch and stop worrying about it.

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, Safari snorkel.

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1 hour ago, BoondockingAirstream said:

I had looked at a Bulldog 028462 Trailer Coupler for 2 5/16 in Ball, Tongue Mount Width 3 inch... for $109.24, 12,500# (tow Two Olivers at the same time).

Big Balls and Couplers are stronger... in my opinion, even if it is overkill, it harms nothing. ?  It is shown UNDIRLLED.   Any commments why, not?

Yes bigger is stronger. Undrilled because 99% of trailers  have steel tongues and the couplers are welded on. You cannot weld steel to aluminum.

I am off this thread now, I can’t contribute anything else.

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, Safari snorkel.

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Ahhhh Yes... Some find it that THEIR CHOICE's  are always the BEST for everyone. 

As more information comes, all is taken under consideration.  I ask questions when ideas conflict.  With Minnesota Oli's post I have TWO options and find his option and choice to fit more into my original 2 5/16 inch ball and coupler.

Had I all the options and the owner's reasoning in front of me at one time... that would be the best.  Minnesota Oli's works for him and me.  Now to sit back and get comfortable with the idea.

 

 

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"I don't have a clue how you will mount the Equalizer brackets, you will have to cut away some of the doghouse to access the outer frame members.  That will be unsightly and will definitely affect resale value in a negative way. I don't know how much a new one would cost, if the future buyer doesn't like your holes, but I know it would be a whole lot more expensive than a brand new Andersen hitch. Getting the doghouse off requires opening up the bath vanity hatch, to gain access to the nuts inside, that hold the back of it to the hull."

A previous option that mentioned the Equalizer Weight Distribution Bars and the  Sway Control of the Equalizer Hitch.  Nowhere did I say I wanted to use the Equalizer Hitch, nor components to the Anderson Bulldog system... etc.

I have 120 posts. Not opinions.  I was told over and over that 16 Inch LT Michelins, versus the 15 inch Goodyear Tires, would DAMAGE my Airstream because the tires are too stiff.  Much like this discussion /debate/options my choice was 16 inch the first week I purchased an Airstream with six lug Sendel wheel 0 offest and 16 Michelin Tires.  Today... many Airstream owners have gone to 16 inch Michelins and Airstream in the High End 30 foot+ use 16 inch Michelin tires.

Anyone following this Thread notices it has EVOLVED.  I do not personally find the Bulldog Hitch, at first, comfortable.  I am only familiar with my Airstream system for three lengths since 2006.

Much like Bicycles.  I care less about what anyone is using.  I am not concerned, but if I needed a bicycle... it would go the same question and response system I have used always.  

I decided on finding an Oliver II to compare with my Airstream experience.  I am keeping my 27 foot 2019 Airstream as it is NOW perfect after tweaking it.   Now with a 2019 Oliver II... I have already began to 'tweak' the Oliver... gently... (the exterior Dometic area) and tweaked the Spare Tire mounting.  If someone does not agree with me, express it and I will not be upset, get frustrated, take my marbles and leave, etc..

These are ongoing, living discussions from experiences from different sources.  When I finalize my Anderson Bulldog system... I will explain what I did and why.

Some members think I have owned an Oliver for a decade... maybe three days now.  So far... my wife loves the Interior layout and myself... Getting the EXTERIOR up to what I am comfortable.  Sixteen inch Michelin tires and Sendel Wheels.... Ahhhhh.  Wonderful.  Now the HITCH.  For those who understand, thank you for being patient.  For those who do not understand... post anyways.  I WILL eventually do it MY WAY.  Worked for 72 years... and maybe 18 more if I use my own instincts.

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You will find some very helpful people on this forum. Some may come from backgrounds where they need extreme attention to detail and problem solving skills in order to keep their customers happy and alive. Use this time to act like a sponge and pull in as much helpful information as possible. 

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On 2/9/2022 at 12:28 PM, BoondockingAirstream said:

I am use to the Airstream and Equalizer Hitch.  The Shank to the F350 is 2.5 inches and the Anderson I am replacing has a 2 inch shank.  Using the shim on the 2 inch to fit the F350 sleeve of 2.5 inch leaves a lot of SLOP.  Yes, I know some welding adaptions to remove the "Shank Slop", but with the 2 inch, sleeve to 2.5 inch... a lot more SLOP.

What options, if any, do I have?

I would Prefer... a 2.5 inch Shank and 2 5/16 Ball to connect to the F350 and attach to the Oliver II.

The Ball on the Anderson is rough and I tried to force the 3382 WD Tapered Ball out and it is... STUCK.  It is best I just do one of two options.

1-  Replace the Hitch and the Ball and the Shank that is presently STOCK ANDERSON to the Oliver II.  It needs to be replaced... all of it.

2-  Substitute a 2.5 inch shank system to fit the F350 factory Sleeve, which fits my Airstream and purchase a System for the Oliver that will convert everything to a 2 5/16 inch Ball and attaches where the Anderson is attached to the Oliver.  AND... the Shank of 2.5 inches fitting the F350.

I photographed my Equalizer shank and ball that I currently use with the Airstream.  Since the Airstream and Oliver 'may' be different heights when the trailer is properly attached, I may find it easier to have a Ball and Shank to fit the Oliver and use the current Airstream unit for only the Airstream.

I realize the 2.5 inch shank is overkill... but this is a F350 Diesel 4x4... and even the Airstream needs to Weight Distribution... can tow on the Ball and no Sway.  I include a photograph of the Equalizer Ball and Shank with numerous adjustments possible.

Among those who experiment with or have already done this change, I value your advice.  I am an Airstream owner for 16 years and an Oliver owner for 36 hours.  Any advice, pro or con, will be greatly appreciated.

Ray, Nancy and Dingo the Oliver   🙂

DSCN5149.jpg

The way you worded your question, you got a lot of answers. All of them good, from people who have  used the equipment they recommended (experience),  and no one suggested it was a "must" for everyone. The photo got, including chains,  a bit of comments about wdh.

The bulldog coupler has been standard equipment on the Oliver, since inception. (It is not part of the Anderson system. Instead,  the Anderson  is the one wdh currently available that works with the Bulldog and the Oliver configuration. )

Our Bulldog coupler has been bulletproof for 14 seasons. It won't close if not properly aligned, but when it does close, it stays closed. No guesswork. It's made of forged steel, not stamped. It's heavy, and extremely sturdy, and attached to our 2008 LE aluminum tongue with two grade 8 bolts. (You'll know they're grade 8, by the markings, 6 hash marks in a pinwheel.) As John e Davies said, mechanical fasteners are required in this instance. 

The Bulldog MUST be completely centered over the ball to close properly.  As John E Davies said, you may also have had problems because the mechanism was dirty or stiff. We check, clean, and lube ours every year, more often as necessary, with a spray lubricant that doesn't attract and hold  a lot of dirt. (Take your pick).  We also lightly wire brush and repaint the exterior body,  as necessary. We live on a saltwater bay, so probably more often than many. If your coupler disengaged easily when you backed it into the slot, it's likely  fine. But still, important to perform normal annual maintenance. 

 Most people who upped to the 2 5/16 coupler from the 2" either had the skills and tools to do it themselves, or they upgraded from day one, at the factory.  You could put in a service ticket ( complete with your model and vin) to see if Oliver will sell you one, predrilled, and ship. I don't know if they will, or not. Ask.

Otherwise, my suggestion would be, find a reference for a good local welding and machine shop. Most local welding shops can drill the required holes. 

Order the 2 5/16. Then,  get out the wrenches, remove the existing bull dog, take it, along with the new Bulldog to the shop, so they can use the old as a template, to drill the new holes. (You may need some penetrating oil to remove the bolts on the old coupler. Have some patience. ) We could do it, my nephew also, for free. My local shop would probably charge somewhere between $50 and $100. 

I'd take at least one bolt to the shop, too, just for reference.  If you strip one bolt  in removal, they'll likely be able to tell you what you need as a replacement,  if you don't have measuring equipment. 

Good luck in your decision.  Me? I'd lube and repair the existing 2" bulldog, and get on with life, for the first few trips. (My opinion. )  I'd buy a drop hitch, with a 2.5 inch drawbar, if your Airstream supplied hitch won't work, with a 2" ball, at proper level.  I wouldn't use sleeves or spacers, for the drawbar. No way. Too much slop.

Nothing beats the camping experience.  I'm sure we can agree on that. 

Good luck in your decisions. 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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This is what I love about Oliver forum, topics get summited and people may or may not choose to  partake in the discussion but a lot of people take the opportunity to learn or confirm or disagree with what gets discussed with out having to be part of the discussion,I find it to be a great tool.

 

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As I had said earlier, the Ball is excessively worn and like SeaDawg said may need some... help seating the coupler onto the ball.  I mentioned that the previous owner pushed it with his hand, but he kicked it and it set the ball.  I used a hard rubber mallet to 'set the ball into the coupler' the first hour I owned the Oliver.  

I do not want to use the current or new Bulldog 2 inch.  As I also said, the ball cone is frozen into the aluminum.  I tried, after WD40 and still no luck.  I do not have a press and from the looks at the aluminum housing, it has nicks and I filed some of the bottom of the Ball cone to remove an impact, from being dropped. The previous owner had a 40 pound or so Rock Tamer attached to the 2 inch shank... and I do not need to use it.

Get on with Life?  I thought this was to discuss options and get advice... not psychological help.  

I like Minnesota Oli's option.  I also read that Bulldog said Not to Grease the Ball... and someone said To Grease the Ball.... on the Forum.  I am fully aware of working on trailers.  I have been greasing my Ball and Equalizer Hitch on three Airstreams. Some use wax paper, some use nothing... I grease.  I know how to clean the Coupler mechanism.  I do not let my hitches Rust or Corrode.  I wipe everything down after use and during use when camped.  

Monday I will be ordering parts, if possible.  I do appreciate help, but my introduction was for a 2 5/16 Ball and Coupler setup.  Not a 2 inch, but now I know the larger assembly must exist, from Minnesota Oli.

Once done... if anyone is curious as to the effort needed to get this done, ask and I would be more than happy to show photographs on MY PROJECT in progress.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, BoondockingAirstream said:

As I had said earlier, the Ball is excessively worn and like SeaDawg said may need some... help seating the coupler onto the ball.  I mentioned that the previous owner pushed it with his hand, but he kicked it and it set the ball.  I used a hard rubber mallet to 'set the ball into the coupler' the first hour I owned the Oliver.  

Frankly, I never said that.

Your issues have zero to do with the worn Anderson hitch ball, in my opinion, if I can understand your issues, after reading this thread, at least 5 times.

What I said, is, the wing mechanism to close the bulldog coupler requires some regular cleaning , lubrication, and maintenance.  Like any other coupler, the bulldog requires minor but regular maintenance.

The other alternative might be, as I said before,  you didn't have the hitch ball truly centered under the bulldog coupler.  It's very important.  Centering can  be done with the truck at various angles, but the ball must be centered under the Bulldog cup.

You tend to confuse some basic terms, in reference to hitches, couplers, balls,  "shanks" and receivers. It's all ok, but please don't get upset when we ask questions to understand what you're talking about. We know you're new as an Ollie owner.

 Was it difficult to release the bulldog, at your home, when you backed straight in? (Great backing skills, btw.)

I  don't really care which system you choose. Get a bulldog coupler. Get something else. You'll pick what you like, anyway, as we know from your comments. Pick what you like, and "get on with life." No psychological inferences. Just a phrase many of us use, time to time.

You can easily replace the 2" bulldog with a 2 5/16" bulldog. You've been given at least three sets of directions. Step by step.

If you find a better solution,  we're all ears. Truly. 

With the rugged roads you seem to love, an articulating hitch, like some of the Aussie campers might just be your ticket. Idk. Take your time. You may want to research beyond our forum,  as well. Google mchitch.

Like John E Davies , at this point, I'm out.  At least for awhile.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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