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Old 07-02-2016, 07:03 PM   #29
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Tundras and Ford F Series with sloppy receivers must be common

This is fitting a 25 foot Airstream to a F350 Ford 4x4, 6.5 foot bed:

I am going to try Post #22 guskmg's using a bottom shim and try to get a half shim on the side. Cut for the full length of the receiver... and some. Will try to crimp the front of the metal shim so it does not slide back and out.

For four years I had this slop in the Tundra's hitch and was told it was a non issue. The Airstream RV Dealer selling us the trailer and hitch had 'no complaint'.

Several had suggested welding some spot welds and filing down to fit. I will try the shims first and see if they remain after some country pavement and see if the shims are still to be found.

Adjusted the Equalizer Hitch by dropping the ball to the lowest two holes on the shank section, five washers, measured the hitch/ball at 22 inches for level. Used a plastic shim that is usually used to wedge between floor joists to keep them level, trying it out as a temporary fix to the slop.

Front of the trailer was about 1/2" lower than the rear. Have the wheel well measurements in the garage if anyone is curious to read the before and after attaching the trailer.

Once I can get some shims to firm up the slop... we will take this onto the pavement to test everything out once I have 500 or more miles on the break of the engine.

I even wonder if the 2.5" shank is a snug fit. If I get the chance, I will check the fit if I find someone with the hitch to test it out for fit.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:35 PM   #30
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OK, what I was referring to on page two, is, what you will find on RVtravel.com web-site, under Tina & Russ De Maris (contributing editors); his column on hitch slop and how to get rid of it.
He published my 'article' and photos of how I managed the problem.

What I did was to measure the clearances between my receiver and shank at .064" using a feeler gauge. I then made two shims of .060" steel strapping, drilling a 5/8" hole in one for the pin, shoved them in and had .004" clearance.
No slop, no rattling,no wear.
I also grease the shank and shims to prevent rust, and facilitate installation and removal. It works, for the last seven years.
I also installed a .040" shim between the head 'clevis' and the drop bar, due to slop, that would prevent the bolts from maintaining their tension, after torquing.
I replaced the Grade five Bolts with Grade eight; Just Because.
I'm still using it.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:42 PM   #31
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I have the same issue and I am replacing the hitch. It too is a Ford.

I fabricated shims, well come to find out the reciever is flared, the stress from the WDS has opened it up. So the shims made it worse, it actually was snug at first, then it got sloppy again.

I think the entire concept of hitch and reciever is flawed. It's a moment connection with significant forces from the WDS It should be fully welded or at least well bolted. Look at the beef of the stinger, then it gets slipped into a loose connection ?
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:41 PM   #32
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The issue can easily be corrected with one of these -

http://www.hitchrider.com/nowobble.htm

D
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:13 PM   #33
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I, too, had a lot of slop in the 2.5" receiver in my '15 Ram 3500. This was greatly exaggerated by the fact that I have an AirSafe/Equalizer combination that puts the ball about 14" back from the receiver. The AirSafe shank was a 2"; and most of the slop came from between the reducer and the shank. After using shims for two 3,000 mile trips, I had the reducer sleeve welded to the shank, and also got the u-bolt shown in previous post. It seems to work, as there is little movement and no rattle on the most recent 3,000 trip. I am still curios as to how much actual weight distribution is being accomplished, but I would have to guess more than was happening before with the sloppy fit. I will check on that some time when I have some transit time on my hands and can tie up a CAT scale for 20 minutes or more...
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:24 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djarrett View Post
The issue can easily be corrected with one of these -

http://www.hitchrider.com/nowobble.htm

D
So how does it work???

All I see is is a receiver being clamped by the 'gadget', and nothing to hold the shank!
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:27 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Adiredneck View Post
I, too, had a lot of slop in the 2.5" receiver in my '15 Ram 3500. This was greatly exaggerated by the fact that I have an AirSafe/Equalizer combination that puts the ball about 14" back from the receiver. The AirSafe shank was a 2"; and most of the slop came from between the reducer and the shank. After using shims for two 3,000 mile trips, I had the reducer sleeve welded to the shank, and also got the u-bolt shown in previous post. It seems to work, as there is little movement and no rattle on the most recent 3,000 trip. I am still curios as to how much actual weight distribution is being accomplished, but I would have to guess more than was happening before with the sloppy fit. I will check on that some time when I have some transit time on my hands and can tie up a CAT scale for 20 minutes or more...

Ball 14" back from the receiver?? Way too far.
Andy at CanAm suggests that the shank be drilled such that it's closest to the receiver. It worked for me, rides better.
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:19 PM   #36
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No. 13: I purchased a StowAway Hitch Tightener about two years ago after rebuilding the receiver on my 2004 F150. The inside of the receiver was badly worn from equalizer shank movement during 10 years of towing my 25’ AS. The tightener works great, but it takes time to install and remove the equipment to which it is attached. I would suggest that using an equalizer hitch is a non-issue when it comes to movement of the shank inside the receiver. There are numerous products in the marketplace these days advertised to minimize movement of the shank inside the receiver.

As I side note, the StowAway saved my trailer and perhaps some lives. While parked for lunch, some “jokester” pulled (removed) the hitch pin and clip fastening my trailer and tow vehicle. That evening, about 250 miles down the road, I discovered the pin missing. The shank was held in the receiver by the StowAway. The U-shaped coupling was bent, so it was apparently under much stress from the small amount of movement due to there being no hitch pin.

I now have another StowAway Hitch Tightener. Cost $23.00 at:: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:32 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovereign85 View Post
No. 13: I purchased a StowAway Hitch Tightener about two years ago after rebuilding the receiver on my 2004 F150. The inside of the receiver was badly worn from equalizer shank movement during 10 years of towing my 25’ AS. The tightener works great, but it takes time to install and remove the equipment to which it is attached. I would suggest that using an equalizer hitch is a non-issue when it comes to movement of the shank inside the receiver. There are numerous products in the marketplace these days advertised to minimize movement of the shank inside the receiver.

As I side note, the StowAway saved my trailer and perhaps some lives. While parked for lunch, some “jokester” pulled (removed) the hitch pin and clip fastening my trailer and tow vehicle. That evening, about 250 miles down the road, I discovered the pin missing. The shank was held in the receiver by the StowAway. The U-shaped coupling was bent, so it was apparently under much stress from the small amount of movement due to there being no hitch pin.

I now have another StowAway Hitch Tightener. Cost $23.00 at:: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I hope you now also have a locking Hitch pin.

Ken
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:38 PM   #38
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Mel,

Correction: 17.75" from rear lip of the 2.5" receiver to the center-line of the ball. 12" of this is just the length of the AirSafe hitch, and the remainder is the Equalizer hitch. I've read all of the info about "closer is better", but would have to give up either the WD/sway control of the Equalizer or the shock suppression/suspension independence of the AirSafe. We've done three 3,000 mile RT trips from Mississippi to northern New York State with this combo and it has performed flawlessly so far. The Ram 3500 doesn't seem to know it is towing anything and not a drawer opened or pillow out of place on the AS (and that includes some pretty crappy stretches of interstate!).

I can't think of any better way of getting the benefits of these two hitches other than how I've done it, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of guidance or chatter about AirSafe/Equalizer combos on the Airforum or interwebs that suggest anything different. Anyone have experience with these?

BTW, my last CAT numbers were:

Truck only:

Steer Axle: 5300
Drive Axle: 4520
GVW: 9820

Truck & Trailer (with WD)

Steer Axle: 5100
Drive Axle: 5920
Trailer: 6560
GCVW: 17580

Any thoughts or insight?

Tim
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:56 PM   #39
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Problem SOLVED... sort of

My center of ball to end of receiver is 10.5". FYI if anyone was curious.

Problem Solved... well, sort of.

Have been experimenting with the 2" sleeve that fits into a 2.5" receiver on my new Ford F350. The 2" sleeve has slop, about the thickness of a 10 cent coin between the 2.5" receiver opening and 2" sleeve insert.

The 2" sleeve has about the thickness of a 25 cent piece of slop, between the shank and the 2" receiver. (Before reacting, read the above carefully, again.)

So a total of 25 cents plus 10 cents= 35 cents of SLOP total. (OK, pull out a dime and a quarter to follow this reasoning. And... afterwards I am going to have a few IPA beers and mow the lawn.)

IF you shim the shank to fit tight into the 2" sleeve, it is difficult to pull the shank out of the sleeve when you want to pull the hitch out. You must leave the 2" sleeve attached to the shank if you want to save yourself some extra effort.

If you want to shim the gap between the 2" sleeve AND the 2.5" receiver, also, you will need more than a crow bar to get that apart. The combination can be firmed up to a point I do not know how you would remove the shank and 2" sleeve from the 2.5" receiver. (This is going to drive me to drinking, and I do not own a Hot Rod Lincoln.)

IF you are aligning the holes for the pin to be inserted to hold the hitch to the receiver, it can become tricker with the tight fit of the 2" sleeve to the 2" shank.

(I had a half width shim on the right side, fitted below the pin hole, and saw that was going to get myself into more trouble than worth discussing.)

You may now have a tighter 2" sleeve to 2" shank, but now there is a gap of of a 10 cent piece between the 2.5" hitch and the 2" sleeve insert... creating, again... slop.

I might find that getting an Equalizer 2.5" shank will remove the excess slop from the 2" sleeve to 2.5" receiver.

If you find this a PIA to understand... be in my position of figuring out that you fix one problem and create two MORE. Need I say any more? I hope not.

Sometimes you have to sit on a five gallon plastic bucket, understand that no matter what... the 2" sleeve was intentionally made LOOSE, as all of Ford's engineers had no better solution and said... 'stuff it'.

Tomorrow I will take my Ford, my Hitch, my 2" sleeve adapter to 2.5" receiver in my truck to an Equalizer dealership in Littleton, Colorado. IF I can eliminate the 25 cent slop created by using the 2" sleeve and reduce the slop to 10 cent slop, less the addition of the 25 cent plus 10 cent slop creating 35 cents of slop... for only 10 cents of slop, I am ready to pay the $185 for the 2.5" shank.

I am going to take the easy way out of this entire debate.
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:18 PM   #40
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I like jimfa440's suggestion of tapping a hole and using a bolt
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:14 PM   #41
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Bolt hardness, Thread count, Receiver metal grade, etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by No. 13 View Post
I like jimfa440's suggestion of tapping a hole and using a bolt
******
The hitch ball washer assembly uses a threaded bolt to tighten it to the shank. This is high grade steel to drill, thread and it is thick enough for the threads to actually have some metal to hold. Also a large surface area in contact with the shank and two large bolts to secure everything, as well.

The grade of the bolt hardness is also something to consider if applied to the receiver. The thread count comes to mind, as well.

Then... you get to wonder if the threads of this bolt into the thin lower quality of metal of the receiver is enough. A 5/8" headed nut may be what the shank uses, as discussed above, is thicker and threaded through high grade steel. There is not that much metal on the hitch receiver to thread a nut securely to get this to work. The pressure of the shank and hitch, would hammer the threads and you would be unable to remove the bolt and may even distort the few threads possible.

l am being the Devil's Advocate here, as I have already tinkered with this while awake and asleep to find a solution that is 100% effective. There is always a caveat after each idea.

I will know tomorrow after checking out the fit of the 2.5" shank option. That dime's worth of slop will potentially cost me $185, or so. From looking at my hitch pin used on our Tundra for a couple years towing the 25 footer... it looks like there is a lot of movement grinding away on it.

This is all new to me. Someone already knows why the receiver has the slop built into the system.

Sometimes doing nothing is best. Obviously the provider of the hitch and the trucks that use them are not concerned. Although my 2006 Tundra with the 2" receiver and 2" shank were a snug fit... What happened since then?
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:03 PM   #42
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Would the sloppy fit cause trailer sway? Other than worry about wear, why is the slop a concern? Just curious. I'm trying to inderstand my new sway issue the past 600 miles. I've got a lot of slop with my Tow Beast with insert.
How about it...are you experiencing sway?
Thanks.
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