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Old 08-12-2016, 06:46 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
When not hitched up, I can rotate the ball with my bare hands. That said, there is no way I could undo the nut that holds it on without substantial tools, so I've done nothing about it.
Not sure if it should have a couple washers added or if it's better this way.
Allowing the ball to turn risks wearing the ball mount's hole or the ball's stud.

It doesn't need another washer, unless the nut is bottoming out on the threads, which would only occur if the ball mount platform is thinner than the stud of the ball is designed for. If the thread is not bottomed out, it presumably just needs to be tightened to take out the slight slack. The usual problem is holding the ball to keep it from turning, and while I usually find that not to be a problem, solutions include using a wrench on flats on the ball's base flange (if it has them), using a ball with a hexagonal flange that fits in a matching recess in the top of the ball mount (the Reese Interlock system), and if necessary using a pipe wrench or groove-joint pliers on the base flange of the ball.

I don't like lock washers (they are not used on well-designed critical fasteners), so I only use them with tow balls if the ball comes with one... but it usually does. A self-locking nut (either with a plastic insert, or all-metal) generally works better, but is not common with towing balls. Certainly don't use two lock washers of any kind, and once you add a flat washer I think the value of any lock washer is questionable.

I would take it apart, see what the problem is, and put it back together appropriately. It could be that by now the movement has messed up the end threads of the ball's stud and it will not tighten properly without adding a washer (or just replacing it with an undamaged ball). If I didn't have the tools, I would use this as an excuse to buy them, or arrange to visit a helpful and mechanically inclined friend... bearing something such as beer. Of course, a hitch shop can take care of this in minutes, but I trust myself far more than a random hitch shop.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:27 AM   #82
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More on Escape vs Oliver

After reading a lot of great things about Oliver trailers on this forum I was surprised to hear a serious tale of woe from an owner. We encountered a 17 ft Oliver trailer in Gila Hotsprings Campground in New Mexico and were asked by the owner if he could tour our Escape. I mentioned to him how I had heard the Oliver was a very deluxe trailer and asked to tour his as well. He loved our Escape 21, but couldn’t stop ranting about how disappointing his Oliver was.

Apparently he bought the unit just after Oliver stopped production for a while and based on what he read he got into a bidding war for a used Oliver. The new price was apparently $32,000 and he ended up paying $46,000. Then, as he used the trailer he discovered a host of issues he wanted to share with me. I toured the Oliver and watched and listened as he showed me the trailer and the issues. There were more issues than he had time to show me. Here are several I remember.


1. Sewer hose and connection in back bumper. The tolereances between the holes and the pins that secured the bumper were so tight that he struggled to get them open even as he showed us. The tolerances for the bumper end to close were also too tight and he found it very difficult to reclose it. Finally, the hose connection within the bumper was recessed and difficult to screw the hose fitting onto.
2. Propane tanks were mounted so close to the front of the trailer that the gel coat was worn through to the fiberglass from friction.
3. The plastic sliding doors on the ring of cupboards at eye level weren’t big enough to allow larger objects to be easily removed. They were definitely on the small side.
4. Of the two drawers in the kitchen area, one was roughly 12 inches wide and about 20 inches tall, far too deep a drawer for using the space effectively.
5. The hitch pin was under designed and had sheared on him, where after he was informed of a recall for a stronger pin.
6. Despite the double walled sides, the inside wall came away to form cupboards and so the single wall in the cupboards sweated when it was cold, making his clothing wet.
7. Electrical issues that had yet to be resolved.


He summarized the Oliver as having been designed by someone who was good with CAD design, but without the experience or common sense required for functionality.
When he learned the weight of our Escape 21 fully loaded he was envious, as his much smaller trailer almost weighed the same. Oh, and he had nothing good to say about the factory’s attempts to fix things on his trailer. Could it be that most of these issues were resolved when Oliver began production again with newer models?


Besides a few photos of the Oliver, I am including a video of the Gila River before and after the thunderstorm hit us on our second night. Apparently around every 5 years the little Gila River swells to the point that it scours the valley and wipes out the hot pools, campsites and leaves a ton of debris. A ranch house in the area is on stilts. I spent the night periodically peering out at the river with a flashlight, watching the waters rise. By morning we saw trees the size of telephone poles floating by, sometimes even stacked 2 and 3 deep. I wouldn't have been surprised to see a house or car float by if it were a populated area. The campsite below was partially under water by morning. We left ASAP and managed to cross a couple of dips in the road where streams run across as a WASH. Yikes! I thought we might lose the trailer that night! Despite the scary night, the previous night was idyllic, as we had a perfect evening with one of the hot spring pools to ourselves. And the Gila National Monument cliff dwellings were great as well. It was a real adventure, to be sure.


Bob K
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:09 AM   #83
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Photos and video.
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File Type: jpg IMG_4825.jpg (306.4 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4827.jpg (264.2 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_8356.jpg (341.4 KB, 66 views)
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:35 AM   #84
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Different video format
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:04 AM   #85
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Wow...glad everything turned out okay and you got out safely. It is amazing how deadly some rivers in the southwest can be as they can rise so quickly.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:25 AM   #86
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unable to load video message.....
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:28 AM   #87
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I uploaded the video as MOV format and then as MP4 and got the same error. I wonder if the website has a problem?


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Old 10-14-2016, 11:48 AM   #88
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I uploaded the video as MOV format and then as MP4 and got the same error. I wonder if the website has a problem?
I'm on a PC and can view the video in post 84.


Scary!
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:53 AM   #89
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he ended up paying $46,000 for that used Oliver 17!
no wonder he ain't a happy camper

the video was ok on this pc

vigilance certainly paid off and being able to get out before you started surfing the creek....another downside of flash flooding is all the misplaced critters that slither into camp with a bad attitude.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:58 AM   #90
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I'm the owner of the Oliver Elite II that was the subject of the photos at the beginning of this thread. I contacted Oliver Travel Trailers and received some information that may be helpful. The photos show 30 lb. propane tanks. The trailer was designed for 20 lb. tanks. The larger tanks created the clearance issue. Oliver no longer uses the sliding door on the Elite--they use the same type of drop-down door that is in the Elite II. The bigger drawer in the Elite was designed to fit a trash can inside. The used Elite that was the subject of the post was one of the first few built and Oliver has made significant changes over the years. I've not experienced any sweating in my Elite II. Oliver says they haven't seen any sweating in any of the newer models (this may mean that it was a problem in the past--I don't know). I visit the Oliver forum multiple times per week and the forum participants typically write very positive posts about their campers. Of course, there are always suggestions for improvement and based upon the changes Oliver makes each new model year, it's obvious that Oliver pays close attention to the comments on the forum.
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