Originally Posted by 73shark
So was the nut a different mat'l than the U-bolt?
I'm still trying to figure out what it does.
Concurrent with your question, I got an off-Forum question about departure angle and how might a contraption like ours impact an EXT?
So I put both clarifications on one diagram. The inset shows the position of the hitch tightener, which basically keeps the whole contraption from slightly rocking back and forth due to the play in the fit between shank and receiver. It's a good addition - when I step on it, I don't want to feel it go CLUNK! That seems so gauche in an otherwise-elegant design.
The question about departure angle was a good one. When we were mocking this thing up in half-made form, my knee jerk reaction to LB_3's initial frame design was, "Nope - raise it up!" because if it were set at the original level of the hitch step (which was our first idea), it might have impacted departure angle, especially if there were a non-planar surface involved (which describes pretty much every travel surface in my home province of Nova Scotia).
So we vaulted it slightly so that its upper surface sits just below the top of bumper. It's also not as wide as most commercial carriers, so that also minimizes potential impacts on departure angle.