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Old 02-26-2014, 06:28 AM   #449
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1967 17' Caravel
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(slingblade voice) "I like the way you talk..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
Chuck, your driveway situation might be a good example of the idea of a front mounted hitch on the Jeep to take the A/S up the driveway to it's parking spot.
GMW, You're one smart cookie as everything I see you post is spot on! I was going to suggest the same thing but read a little further & saw you did.

My driveway has a double curve in it and a steep grade...I had them put the double curve in to soften the steep hill. Much to my wife's and my amazement, i have returned from a trip numerous times, backed it up the double curve and all the way into the garage without ever pulling forward.

At one point, I did put a front mounted hitch on one of my prior tow vehicles and it is BY FAR the easiest way to get the camper spot on...as well as reducing the park time thus reducing the all important heat it generates on an automatic tranny. I installed a temp gauge on a friend's Suburban once that he towed with...within a couple of minutes of trying to get his SOB into a spot at a campground the temp would soar on the tranny temp. I then installed a tranny cooler (stacked plate coolers are best), ...it helped some but with no airflow on the tranny cooler sitting stationary while trying to park trailer, it really didn't help much. Next, we installed an electric fan just for the tranny coooler and a manual switch. When you turned that fan on, you could see the temp dramatically drop.

As a side note, I bought a new front mount hitch for my Ford Ranger years ago but haven't gotten around to installing it. Here lately, when we retun from a trip, I'm able to just pull my tow vehicle and camper straight into a different garage, plug, unload at leisure or leave things till the next day.

Bottom line...front mounted hitch are the ticket in a situation like that or be advised that someone is potenially cooking their tranny.

Thanks, G
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:22 AM   #450
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Oh, yeah, front hitch on the Jeep has been considered. Can't do an aftermarket receiver, because there's a plow frame there...But that frame has a stout cross-member in just the right place where I could weld a receiver tube, and it won't interfere with the connection points for the plow blade or with its function or movement, so I'll probably do that.

I did overheat the tranny on the pickup once, early on. 500' backwards isn't the problem; (they made us do that on the commercial truck-driver's license test...and then park 90-degrees to a loading dock). There's no wiggle-room here, because there is a stone wall on the right, (you can't really see it in the pic, but the car is right up against it), so when the trailer is turning left, the truck is swinging out to the right, and it'll hit that wall. So you have to be centered in the road way just so, and start the turn at just the right spot, and just the right rate....goof up, and you have to pull down the hill, and start again...and again...and again...and "oops, whats that funny smell? ding ding ding--red light on the dash. "
Then it hit me: This is a 4x4; I have low range ! /face-palm
Since then, I always stop at the base of the hill, and pop it in low, and it idles backwards up the hill like there's nothing attached. Amazing what pulling that triple-your-torque lever does! (rarely use it, otherwise. even plowing snow, it isn't necessary (most of the time)...easy to forget that its there).
Anyway, whatever the replacement tow vehicle is going to be, it'll be much shorter than the pick-em-up, and therefore much easier to maneuver that trailer into its spot. If it feels like its straining to do it, I'll just use the Jeep, (with either a rear or front mounted ball), and I did have that very thing in mind when making the decision to acquire it.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:08 AM   #451
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All of my old Land Rovers used to have the ow range option. Amazingly useful.

I used to live on top of a steep hill, come winter there always was a long line of cars at the bottom that had just slid down, were in the process of sliding down, were worried about trying to get up.

The Landy always run up that hill like it was on rails, no matter the conditions. I even towed a couple of people out of the bush on occasion.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:18 AM   #452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
If there was ever a pickup truck that was actually designed to tow, it would look like that.
maybe move the rear axle aft a little bit more. Oh, and add a back seat.
There is a pickup that is actually designed to tow, has a back seat and is 4WD.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:34 AM   #453
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Quote:
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My tow vehicle has a 5000 lb. rating from the factory and a little 430 to pull the Airstream along. We don't talk about gas mileage, but it's probably better than some of the monster truck TVs.
Wow, very nice! I bet that also gets a lot of looks! Again, either the tow vehicle or the trailer on its own gets a lot of looks, but put the two together and I bet it gets a ton of looks. Two great American icons! And that Lincoln is from the days when people towed with cars, so I'm not surprised it has a 5000# towing rating from the factory. Back then, I believe pickups were still primarily gas powered and driven by tradespeople and farmers. About 15 years ago - when gas was cheaper (that's subjective, I know), I was seriously considering buying a black '64 Lincoln Continental sedan as a weekend car. Never did. Every time I see one, I wish I had. It's still on my bucket list of cars to own at least once in my life.

PS: Although it's a convertible, I think it might be just a bit too large to qualify as a "small tow vehicle" But I really enjoyed seeing it nevertheless

Quote:
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There is a pickup that is actually designed to tow, has a back seat and is 4WD.
Yes, but the Honda Ridgeline doesn't have the cachet or wow factor of the SSR. Still a good truck. I believe it's based off the Acura MDX/Honda Pilot platform. Comfortable, reliable and capable, but mainstream enough that it still blends in. It's part of a surprisingly dying breed - the "sport-utility pickup" like the Ford Explorer Sport Track and Chevy Avalanche.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:49 PM   #454
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Originally Posted by ggoat!!! View Post


Hell Yeah!!! Mr. Douglas painted his car!!!
Remember how he picked the apple trees with it?
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:26 PM   #455
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Took my first "test" cruise with the Trailblazer and my new Pro Series WD hitch and the Overlander in tow.
First off- the big bolts that go the the hitch and shank were a B**** to tighten!
OMG they use a large 1 1/4" socket which was bigger than anything I own. I used two open end wrenches. Tough on the hands of this old guitar player.

Next- Geven mentioned a 20.5" hitch height. Well I was luck to get to 18" but at that height my chains don;t drag, even pulling out of my driveway which they always did with my former set up.
It seems level-- or a bit forward angled on the head..not sure
Anyway the first tow was excellent. The truck pulled great and everything felt stable. I am surprised at the torque of the 6 cylinders. It a pleasure to drive something a bit smaller and lighter too.
Mission accomplished.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:47 PM   #456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
Took my first "test" cruise with the Trailblazer and my new Pro Series WD hitch and the Overlander in tow.
First off- the big bolts that go the the hitch and shank were a B**** to tighten!
OMG they use a large 1 1/4" socket which was bigger than anything I own. I used two open end wrenches. Tough on the hands of this old guitar player.

Next- Geven mentioned a 20.5" hitch height. Well I was luck to get to 18" but at that height my chains don;t drag, even pulling out of my driveway which they always did with my former set up.
It seems level-- or a bit forward angled on the head..not sure
Anyway the first tow was excellent. The truck pulled great and everything felt stable. I am surprised at the torque of the 6 cylinders. It a pleasure to drive something a bit smaller and lighter too.
Mission accomplished.
A couple of comments from the cheap seats here:

1. that head looks wrong. Should be tilted to where it is leaning "back"
2. if that first pic was taken with the truck and trailer straight....I believe the chain should be straight up and down ?
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:50 PM   #457
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thats what I need to know...so I would have to move the chain attachement thingie up some. As for the head, I still have not tightened that top bolt that adjusts the angle all the way yet.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:05 PM   #458
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Tilting the head back, as in probably almost all the way back, will angle the bars down at the rear. Then, when you "pick up the ends of the bars" under tension, that is what will transfer weight to the steer axle of the truck, and the axles of the trailer.
Check the set up manual for the hitch, and it will likely spell out approx how many chain links will be correct to pick up.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:10 PM   #459
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the manual is not too great but etrailer has some info on their site
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:09 PM   #460
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I guess I am a bit behind here. You got a new TV, looks like! As previously pointed out, it looks like your head is tipped in the wrong direction and your chains are mounted too far to the rear.

You want the head tilted downward toward the ground and you want this chains going up vertically.

Good luck there!
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:18 AM   #461
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Hi Alan

Just a few things on your set up.

1) The others commenting here are correct you do need more reaward angle on the ball mount. When putting it together you set the angle with with the small bolt or pin in the center before you tighten the large bolts. You want the ends of the torsion bars 4-5" off the ground without any tension on them but with the play lifted out of them.

2) On the pro series you may also need longer chains, this is due to the slightly different shape of their torsion bars. You can get chains at a hardware store etc.

3) When you have it appart take the shank portion to a machine shop and have them drill a new hole in it so the ball mount can slide in all the way to the gusset. Sounds picky but this is really important.

4) Add two friction sway controls, currently we are using Husky brand which you can order from any RV dealer.

If you think it handles good now wait until you make these changes.

Feel free to send me any questions.

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Old 03-02-2014, 08:14 AM   #462
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Thanks all. I can tip the head back some and will see about the other changes.
Tghe propane tanks have a welded brace that is on the a-frame so I won't get too much movement towards the front from the chain hooks.
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