Equalizer WD hitch on an Oliver Legacy Elite II - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2015, 05:31 PM   #1
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Equalizer WD hitch on an Oliver Legacy Elite II

The Oliver factory sells Andersen Weight distribution hitches but I presently own an Equalizer and would prefer to not switch brands. It appears to me that the parts that attach to the frame are fairly similar. However, on my present trailer I drilled a hole through the frame and placed a bolt through the frame parts to prevent this assembly from "walking" (or moving) along the frame with use. I'm at least marginally concerned with drilling through the aluminum frame and with the potential for "galvanic" corrosion (steel and aluminum in close contact.

Anyone out there use an Equalizer hitch on their Oliver and can tell me what their experience has been?
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:04 PM   #2
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If you're only worried about galvanic action from a steel bolt going thru the aluminum frame, that's been covered by the factory's addition of anodes at several points on the frame. If you feel the need for an equalizer hitch, then I would have the factory mount your brackets on the frame during the build. On an Oliver there are no parts of the frame (where the brackets need to be) that are not covered by a fiberglass shroud. It would be difficult to mount them after the fact. On the other hand, there are not too many Oliver owners using these hitches. I've had two of their trailers and have never felt the need for one. However, you need to feel comfortable and there is no right or wrong in using/not using one.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:23 PM   #3
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I would think that almost anyone with a 23 foot Oliver would need a WD hitch. My '11 F-250 is rated for towing 6,000 pounds and tongue weight of 600 pounds before a WD hitch is required. Since the GVWR of the Oliver is 7,000 pounds I must use one if I had an Oliver.

The hitch I use for my boat is Reese SC Weight Distribution System w Sway Control - Trunnion - 10,000 lbs GTW, 800 lbs TW Reese Weight Distribution RP66153 . The two trailers that interest me are the 23 foot Oliver and the 25 foot Bigfoot. What seems to me to be a very bizarre aesthetic goal is to shroud the frame with plastic. Why? I don't get it. That certainly interferes with using the hitch I already own.
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:32 AM   #4
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Steve and Minke - thanks for the responses!

Steve - I'm not overly worried about the galvanic action as I already knew about the anodes - I am just curious if anyone has seen anything in the area. Certainly the "fit" under the shroud is a concern and your suggestion of shipping the frame parts to the factory during the build is a good one. Perhaps you are right on the "need" for a WD hitch, but, since I have one I might as well use it.

Minke - Interesting numbers on your F-250. I believe my 2011 F-150 Ecoboost with tow package is rated higher - but, I'll now recheck. Perhaps the tow package spells the difference. I believe the reason Oliver "shrouds" the frame in fiberglass is to increase the structural stiffness of the unit, for aerodynamics, and, to further lower the center of gravity. Perhaps there are other reasons?

Overall I am just hoping that some Oliver owner has used the Equalizer and can give me some first hand experience.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topgun2 View Post
...
Minke - Interesting numbers on your F-250. I believe my 2011 F-150 Ecoboost with tow package is rated higher - but, I'll now recheck. Perhaps the tow package spells the difference. I believe the reason Oliver "shrouds" the frame in fiberglass is to increase the structural stiffness of the unit, for aerodynamics, and, to further lower the center of gravity. Perhaps there are other reasons?
...
Just in case, the label in the doorjam has only GVWR, and front and rear GAWR. The towing weights are only on the hitch.

Before buying a Bigfoot or Oliver I'd need to know if there is some good reason preventing me from cutting the shroud. I will change the boat trailer's coupler to 2-5/16 so I don't have to change balls. If I knew then what I know now the boat trailer's coupler would have been 2-5/16 when it was made.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minke View Post
Before buying a Bigfoot or Oliver I'd need to know if there is some good reason preventing me from cutting the shroud.
Not exactly sure why you'd want to, but there is nothing preventing you from cutting the shroud. If you need to attach the brackets for your hitch, you will not need to cut the shroud. In this area, it is purely decorative anyway.

Also, I'd have the Oliver outfitted with a 2-5/16" bulldog coupler to match your boat trailer.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:31 PM   #7
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Not exactly sure why you'd want to, but there is nothing preventing you from cutting the shroud. If you need to attach the brackets for your hitch, you will not need to cut the shroud. In this area, it is purely decorative anyway.

Also, I'd have the Oliver outfitted with a 2-5/16" bulldog coupler to match your boat trailer.
The possibility that the friction pads that the trunions run on might be attached to the frame and there might be sufficient clearance below the shroud for everything to fit hadn't occured to me. When I see an Oliver face-to-face I'll look.

I guess I mis-communicated the characteristics of my boat trailer. It's coupler takes a 2" ball which might as well be a hen's tooth.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by minke View Post
The possibility that the friction pads that the trunions run on might be attached to the frame and there might be sufficient clearance below the shroud for everything to fit hadn't occured to me. When I see an Oliver face-to-face I'll look.
I took a look at several You-Tube videos of your hitch and the way it mounts to the trailer frame. I don't see that there will be any need to cut the shroud. That piece of the fiberglass is an extension of the lower part of the propane tank cover and is purely decorative. It only comes to the bottom the frame. It sits about 3/4" away from the frame and would allow plenty of room of the heads of the bolts that mount the brackets. The brackets that hold the friction pads should end up sufficiently below the bottom of the frame as to not cause any problems. These brackets would best be installed during the build as getting the bolts placed would be impossible without removing the entire propane tank cover (you don't want to have to do that). I would be happy to provide you with some pictures and measurements if you need them.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:29 AM   #9
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Thank you Steve. Thank you both for taking the time to analyze the problem and for the suggestion to mount the brackets before the shroud goes on.

Brake batteries are (in my limited experience) generally mounted on the frame in the front. Mine tested low last week and I need to decide how I wish to re-charge it. What is the provision on the Oliver?. I bet it is either easily visible under the shroud or located in some convenient elsewhere.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
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Oliver battery box

Menke,

The battery box on the Oliver is located about 2/3 of the way back from the hitch on the street side of the camper. The batteries are behind a lockable door on a sliding tray. Even with 300 pounds of battery loaded on this tray it can be moved in and out easily. Note that the standard battery(s) on the Elite II are two group 27's. But, one can order it with four 6 volt batteries.

I hope that is the question you were asking.

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Old 08-29-2015, 04:54 PM   #11
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No Topgun2, I was asking about the brake battery. The one that engages the brakes when the break-away cable is pulled.

thanks though
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:56 PM   #12
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There is no need for a brake battery when trailer has 12V battery anyway.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:02 PM   #13
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Drilling a hole in a frame

There is an old rule that you never drill a hole in a structural frame or any other structural member. You can use beam clamps to limit movement or provide attachments. Check them out in the electrical debt at Home Depot.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:05 PM   #14
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Sergey:

That does of course make sense. Sometimes laws that make sense 30 years ago remain in force.

If the brake battery isn't there is doesn't need to be easy to read!

thanks,,, Alan
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