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Old 12-08-2007, 01:52 AM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
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Industrial Utility bed / hitch attachment question

Okay . . . lets say this is all hypothetical . . . .

WHAT IF I was getting a TV that was equipped with a Utility bed (say, something like this: http://tinyurl.com/2go75v) and it had a thick, 1/4 steel integral bumper on it that looked something like this: http://tinyurl.com/2fkoj5 ) and I already had a monstrous ball mount with a Reese Strait-line hitch with dual cam sway control . . . what would be the best way to mount the existing Reese ball mount to the bumper?

Here are the only two options I see:

1. Purchase a frame-mount trailer hitch for the specific model vehicle and hope that the utility bed does not occupy the factory frame mount bolt holes;

2. Weld a receiver tube such as this one http://tinyurl.com/247eqw onto the bottom of the utility bed.

I will have the additional problem of dropping the hitch ball to the appropriate height, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it. I have all of the Reese documentation for determining proper height, etc., for my particular TT but I'm still not sure of the height difference with the prospective TV.

Hypothetically, that is.

Thoughts, opinions, etc., would be much appreciated.

Regards
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:18 AM   #2
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Bill, I would take a sawazall to the industrial-strength bumper where the ball mount is, and mount a factory-type receiver on the frame of the truck so I can use the dual-cam head. Alternately, I would cut a 2 1/2" square hole in the bumper where the head would go with the frame mounted receiver, and slide the head through the hole to attach.
You can readily get 6"+ drop mounts at your local hitch supply store.
Hypothetically, of course...
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:13 AM   #3
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Reese Dual Cam

Given the suspension under a truck outfitted like that, would there be enough weight on the cams at the end of the spring bars to really let the dual cam do it thing and prevent sway?
After all, the reason the dual cam worked so well with the old cars that it was designed for was because you really needed the weight distribution function to keep the rear bumper from dragging the pavment. You literally had all the tongue weight presing the spring bars onto the cams.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:15 AM   #4
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He would want no more than 750 pound bars, and preferred 500's--if he could find them. He needs to have enough deflection in the bars to use for sway control, without beating the trailer to death.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:25 AM   #5
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Well I will let you experts figure out how to make this work safely. It appears to be f350 or greater so being careful not to jar the trailer to death is important.

What looks interesting is all the secure water tight storage he will have. I bet those on a tight budget would find these for sale in fleets at the right price with decent history and maint programs. For the all the diesel lovers in this forum it maybe a cost effective way to get into a power stroke. Not for me, but different strokes for different folks. No pun intended.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:33 AM   #6
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Hypothetically, a bumper hitch like the one shown in your examples is designed for a heavy industrial load, but not for the open highway.

If that were my rig, I would add a class V receiver and make whatever adjustments are necessary to get it mounted. For weight distribution equipment to work properly, you will need a properly installed receiver.

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Old 12-08-2007, 09:29 AM   #7
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Hypothetically with a TV that heavy would an equalizer hitch be necessary, perhaps a standard class V + dual friction sway control would carry the load safely. Hypothetically of course.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:33 PM   #8
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Trunnion bars, new ballmount, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
Hypothetically, a bumper hitch like the one shown in your examples is designed for a heavy industrial load, but not for the open highway.

If that were my rig, I would add a class V receiver and make whatever adjustments are necessary to get it mounted. For weight distribution equipment to work properly, you will need a properly installed receiver.
Thanks to all. In war-gaming this in my mind, I'd never thought of using the existing ball on the bumper . . . apart from it likely being entirely too high, I would not be able to use the Reese ball mount (which has the provisions for the trunnion bars). My TT came with an old skool Reese Strait-line hitch with the trunnion bars that have replaceable friction points (as opposed to none, as the new ones are).

So, I had expected to have to get a frame-mount hitch (though I had assumed Class IV would be sufficient).

As far as dropping the height of the ball to within the specs offered by both Airstream and Reese, my existing ball mount is this glorious beast:

http://www.lassendas.net/temp/ball_mount_1.jpg

http://www.lassendas.net/temp/ball_mount_2.jpg

Which, while intimidating and massive in its bulk, is not adjustable. Likely I will have to buy a replacement Reese ballmount hitch which allows for height adjustment on the hitch bar (as well as angle of ballmount).

Hopefully, I can find one locally, that is, if I were to get a beast of a truck.

One last question: does anyone have the measurements for the older Reese trunnion bars? I do not know if I have the 500 b. or the 750lb. and I know it makes a difference. If I recall, their length is different by a matter of a few inches.

Regards,
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by team_no
One last question: does anyone have the measurements for the older Reese trunnion bars? I do not know if I have the 500 b. or the 750lb. and I know it makes a difference. If I recall, their length is different by a matter of a few inches.

Regards,
The weight distribution capacity is measured by the thickness (height) of the bars. 55 pound bars are thinnest, then 750's, and 1000 pounders being thickest.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by team_no
my existing ball mount is this glorious beast:

http://www.lassendas.net/temp/ball_mount_1.jpg

http://www.lassendas.net/temp/ball_mount_2.jpg

Which, while intimidating and massive in its bulk, is not adjustable. Likely I will have to buy a replacement Reese ballmount hitch which allows for height adjustment on the hitch bar (as well as angle of ballmount).

Regards,
Wow, those welded ball mounts are worth their weight in gold and are getting hard to find. Many of use use and preferre this type of ballmount over the bulky, adjustable models.

In many ways they are the best ball mount because they allow the ball to be as close as 3 inches from the back bumper (reducing flex).
They are actually adjustable. A good welding shop will cut them apart and reweld them to your specifications. This process can be done up to 3 time without affecting the integrity.

As far as your hitch goes I would find a good old fashion hitch shop and get them to fabricate you a good hitch/receiver, for that vehicle.

Good luck with the project.
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