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Old 07-25-2015, 08:46 PM   #1
Dazed and Confused
 
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Got hitched

We took a trip to Kingston with my new BBQ cargo carrier and the bike rack loaded with bikes. It didn't go well.

When I had built the new BBQ carrier I was concerned at how far the bikes which were behind the BBQ, would be that much further back from the receiver, but you don't know until you try, so try I did. When I first mounted the carrier with the bike rack into the receiver I bounced up and down on the back of the carrier. There was quite a bit of flex in the hitch but I couldn't see where the flex would be. I found out.

Pic 1 shows a close up of the bent bottom C channel; note C channel is NOT boxed in for strength. The hitch is made by Reese and is bolted with two bolts to the C channel and then welded at the end of the C channel. You can just see the bolts and the weld.

Pic 2 shows entire hitch; note no gussets attaching C channel side frames to front beam of hitch.

Pic 3 shows no welding on the interior part of the C channel where it meets the horizontal part of the horizontal front beam.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:58 PM   #2
Dazed and Confused
 
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Off to the welding shop where C channel was pressed back into place, 1/4" gussets were installed, C channel was boxed in and the inside of the C channel was welded. Then back to my shop for sandblasting, a two part epoxy primer and a coat of Valspar rustproofing paint.

Pic 1 shows hitch with gusseted front beam and boxed C channel. The gussets clear my spare tire carrier by 1/2"

Pic 2 shows gusset and interior weld, so front beam weight is now transfer to the vertical part of the C channel as opposed to the flat part of the channel.

Pic 3 shows how far I took the boxing of the C channel as the first bolt is just behind that plate.

I did contemplate adding steel rods from the front beam back to the frame but was talked out of it by the welder who has done hitches all his life as being very much overkill for what I needed. It was his concern that in a rear end collision, the hitch would not be able to buckle and absorb the impact, transfering that energy to the frame and causing far more damage.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:54 AM   #3
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Nice

I find it amazing what motorhome manufacturers use for hitches. I realize they don't really want you towing anything but a hitch like that is just an accident waiting for a place to happen.
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