Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Towing an Oliver › Weight-distributing hitch
- May 11, 2008 at 12:59 am #11788
In an earlier thread, I asked if folks found it necessary to use a weight-distributing hitch (WDH) when towing their Oliver Legacy. Two people responded and said that they had not found the need for a WDH. However, more recently a couple of folks have posted on another thread in the Oliver Forums that they have added a suspension enhancement system of one sort or another to their tow vehicles, since the tongue weight of the Oliver Legacy was causing some rear-end sag in the tow vehicle.
My wife and I have recently ordered an Oliver Legacy Elite, so I would really appreciate it if those who have purchased an Oliver Legacy could reply with information regarding whether they have found it necessary to make any alteration to their tow vehicle or whether they are using a WDH. After we pick up our Oliver this summer, we will be making a 2,500 mile trip back home, and I would like to be prepared!
I am particularly interested in knowing whether anyone is actually using a WDH with the Oliver, since it looks to me like there may not be any way to install one without drilling some holes in the side of the tongue and having special brackets constructed. If you have installed a WDH or have tried, please respond.
SteveMay 11, 2008 at 2:48 am #13880
I put the Timbren suspension assists on my 2×4 Tacoma, because as I was following Robert out to the campsite the first night I noticed several cars coming in the other direction flashed their brights at me (even though i was in dim) and Robert mentioned how bright the lights were. I looked at my truck’s lines and could perceive an "upslope" towards the front. After putting the Timbren system on, all is straight & level . . .
The 2×4 Tacoma has a softer suspension than its off-road buddies. The tongue is rated at 650 lbs and there was no safety problem with the Oliver’s 400 lb hitch weight, there was just a slight raise in the nose, which is now fixed.
I’m sure each vehicle will have its own characteristics. Be sure to check the owner’s manual for towing specifications, stay within it’s limits and you should be fine. Modify later if you desire.
Pete & "Bosker". TV - '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV - "The Wonder Egg"; '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.
Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.comMay 13, 2008 at 3:05 am #13902
I believe that the WDH is more for smaller or Front Wheel Drive vehicles as its purpose is to shift tongue weight to the front. My primary tow vehicle is a V8 1/2 ton Chevy 1500 with an extra spring and my girlfriends Chevy TrailBlazer 6 cyl and neither one has shown a need for a sway bar or WDH. I believe that this is because of the sprung suspension. I have about 6,000 miles on ‘Ollie’ and it tows easier than my previous 2 Casitas with sway bars with the same vehicle. JMHO
What are you planning for a tow vehicle????
ChuckMay 13, 2008 at 4:49 am #13904
Thanks for your response! It’s good to hear that you have not noticed the need for a WDH towing the Oliver with your girlfriend’s Trailblazer 6 cylinder. Our initial tow vehicle will be a 2002 1/2 ton Suburban 1500. There’s plenty of towing ability there, I know, but it doesn’t have any additional springs or heavy duty suspension. What I am finding interesting is that several folks are not using WDH’s, but their tow vehicles either already have extra suspension aids (extra springs, air lift kits, etc.) for the rear, or they are getting them installed because they have decided that they need them when towing the Oliver, to handle the tongue weight, even though it relatively light. On the other hand, I haven’t seen anything on the Oliver Forums that indicates that anyone has considered using a WDH. I just wonder if the enclosed tongue of the Oliver would make it extremely difficult or impossible to install the clamps to capture the WDH bars.
Thanks, again, for your response! Anyone else?
SteveMay 15, 2008 at 10:25 pm #13920
I believe that your Suburban is built on the same frame as our Silverado half-ton. If so, the Oliver is less than half the weight allowed for towing and tongue for your Suburban (check the manual, firtst). I don’t believe that a WDH would be warranted …. at all. Sway control is up to you… but the Suburban is very heavy… compared to the Oliver. You might want to take the specs of both to a trusted local mechanic and discuss your options since you have a very long drive home. I think you said you added some tow package options…. You may want to beef up the springs with air bags or helper springs (my vote is the adjustable air bags like ours)… which will be cheaper to do at home than away from home.
Congratulations… We know you’ll love your Oliver as we do!!! We have a factory tow package on the Silverado, which includes slightly beefed up springs and additonal coolers. We do not feel we need either a WDH or sway control, and we drive a lot of varying terrain… and high speed interstates. We barely feel the trucks going by. We only added the airbags to accomodate the weight of our ATV in the truckbed…. otherwise, we wouldn’t have done anything other than the brake controller.
2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4
2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12May 16, 2008 at 3:45 am #13927
Thank you for your response, Sherry. Yes, I believe that the Suburban half-ton is built on the same frame as the Silverado half-ton, and the towing specs are probably the same or similar. We got the factory tow package, but that did not include any beefier suspension, or at least it was not mentioned. Nonetheless, the points you make about the relative weight of the Suburban versus the Oliver are well taken. Unless we hear something new on this within the next month or so, we will not be doing anything other than getting the brake controller installed.
Yes, we are very much looking forward to having the Oliver and to taking it some of our favorite high-mountain streams and lakes here in Northern California and into Oregon. Thank you for your advice and encouragement!
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