Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
Adjusting the B&W Companion Hitch?

I just picked up a used-once Companion hitch for my '03 Dually Quad-Cab Dodge, and was wondering, aside from the height to keep my 5er level w/ the ground and 6" min above my bed rails, what the IDEAL fore/aft position for the king pin is.

There are 3 positions available for the brackets (tilted forward or aft to move the pivot point).

My B&W Turn-over ball is fixed a few inches forward of the rear axle, and since I have a long bed, there is no clearance problem, so the position that provides the best balance ride, and handling would be the one I'd choose.

I'm just not sure whether adjusting the pivot forward of the ball, or behind it, would provide the best ride and handling (or the easiest handling when backing up*).

The 5er is a light (7000# dry weight) 25ft Wildcat single slide unit, so is not a challenge pin or overall weight for the truck.

Also, B&W says that a drop-in bedliner requires removal, or a full cutout so the Companion rails contact the steel bed is necessary, yet I've heard that mounting on a bedliner, or a bedliner with a heavy rubber mat (as I use) is fine as long as the mounting is properly torqued down to 40ft-lbs prior to tightening the "U" bolts to the hitch frame. Anyone tried towing w/ a bedliner, and/or heavy rubber mat in place?

Suggestions?

Thanks,
Bob

*With a long WB truck, and a short king-pin-to-trailer wheelbase, backing has to be done carefully as beyond a very moderate angle, it's easy to run out of steering to where one cannot straighten the rig, and jack-knifing in reverse is all-too-easy,
__________________

__________________
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
RustyJC's Avatar


 
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Cypress, Texas USA
Posts: 8,854
Most hitch manufacturers want the kingpin bore 2" to 4" in front of the rear axle centerline.

Rusty
__________________

__________________
2016 Ram Longhorn 3500 Dually 4x4 CCLB, 385/900 Cummins, Aisin AS69RC, 4.10
2014.5 DRV Mobile Suites 38RSSA #6972
Come join us on a TEXAS BOOMERS rally!
RustyJC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2012, 06:57 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 186
I agree with RustyJC. Here is a link to the manuals for all turnoverball products. You can download a set for your companion. Support for B&W Trailer Hitch Customers | B & W Trailer Hitches
__________________
camper33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2012, 09:59 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
Yes, I downloaded the manual, but it unfortunately doesn't address setting up the hitch in an optimum way other than the proper torquing and lubing of the assembly.

While I would like to have the king pin forward of the rear axle of the TV (my turn-over ball is located about 4"-5" forward of the centerline of my rear axle in my bed), the adjustments (bolt holes and tilt of the triangular "RV Pivot Arms") do not allow the poly bushings onto which the coupler attaches to position the king pin of the 5er far enough forward to place it forward of the axle. At the most forward position, the king pin seems to be about 6" behind the turn-over ball post that secures the Companion to the PU bed.

I guess the best I can do is to tilt the RV Pivot Arms forward as far as they will go and live with the result. I can't imagine that anyone else is set up differently (unless they mounted their B&W turn-over hitch much farther forward than my dealer), so I guess it should work OK like that, with the king-pin farther back than the goose-neck ball position.

Bob
__________________
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 05:54 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
RustyJC's Avatar


 
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Cypress, Texas USA
Posts: 8,854
That does sound strange. My truck (see signature) is sitting outside the window right now. By my calibrated eyeball measurement, the kingpin bore on our Companion hitch is 4" or more AHEAD of the rear axle centerline.

Rusty
__________________
2016 Ram Longhorn 3500 Dually 4x4 CCLB, 385/900 Cummins, Aisin AS69RC, 4.10
2014.5 DRV Mobile Suites 38RSSA #6972
Come join us on a TEXAS BOOMERS rally!
RustyJC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
That does sound strange. My truck (see signature) is sitting outside the window right now. By my calibrated eyeball measurement, the kingpin bore on our Companion hitch is 4" or more AHEAD of the rear axle centerline.

Rusty
Ah, yes, but where is the Gooseneck Ball located in your bed?

Perhaps they mounted the gooseneck frame farther forward of your axle than they did in mine, so the king pin is ahead of the axle as well?

My gooseneck ball is about 4"-5" forward of my axle, and the closest the king pin can be adjusted to the square tubing (that sits in the ball mount) is around 6" (I didn't measure-that's a ball-park guess), which would lut the king pin about over the axle +/-.

Now, I am assuming that with the Companion coupler sitting on top of the base unit, the king pin is aligned with the polyurethane swivel mounts, so sit where the poly mounts sit?

What I need to do is lift the Companion into the bead and actually set it up and take better (more exact) measurements.

I've decided to remove my drop-in bed liner and to spray in a DIY bed liner

Amazon.com: U-POL 0820V-GUN Black Truck Bed Liner Kit With 726 Gun: Automotive
or
Al's Liner Buy Online

I may wait to try the hitch until after I get the liner in.
__________________
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
RustyJC's Avatar


 
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Cypress, Texas USA
Posts: 8,854
In hopes that a picture is worth 1000 words, I went out and took some photos of my installation. Perhaps that will answer some of your questions. I tried to get the bed stake pocket in all the photos as a reference point. The front of the truck is to the right.


Rusty
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	100_7456 (960x1280).jpg
Views:	199
Size:	519.6 KB
ID:	19800   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_7458 (960x1280).jpg
Views:	190
Size:	542.3 KB
ID:	19801  

Click image for larger version

Name:	100_7457 (1280x960).jpg
Views:	270
Size:	628.0 KB
ID:	19802  
__________________
2016 Ram Longhorn 3500 Dually 4x4 CCLB, 385/900 Cummins, Aisin AS69RC, 4.10
2014.5 DRV Mobile Suites 38RSSA #6972
Come join us on a TEXAS BOOMERS rally!
RustyJC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
In hopes that a picture is worth 1000 words, I went out and took some photos of my installation. Perhaps that will answer some of your questions. I tried to get the bed stake pocket in all the photos as a reference point. The front of the truck is to the right.


Rusty
Thanks-

Here's what I mean. On your photo I labeled the Ball Pocket (used by the Companion for the square tubing) with a RED arrow, and about 6" behind it (6" spacing shown by the double-ended Yellow Arrow) the King Pin Location, also marked with a Red Arrow.

On my truck, the Ball Pocket is about 5" in front of the axle, which would put the King Pin 6" BEHIND it, or about 1" BEHIND the axle.

In YOUR truck, if the stake pocket is aligned w/ the axle, it appears your ball pocket is more forward in your bed than in mine, allowing your King Pin to still be IN FRONT OF the axle.



Just curious... Did you place angle iron under the bottom pads (feet) of the Companion to help spread the forces of the hitch out over a longer portion of the bed? I heard that the short "feet" of the Companion can cause flexing of the bed, so the angle iron would act as "rails" to improve the situation.
__________________
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 05:00 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
RustyJC's Avatar


 
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Cypress, Texas USA
Posts: 8,854
Yes, the angle iron just lies in place sandwiched between the frame of the Companion hitch and the bed floor when the pull-down bolt is torqued. I first started using the two (2) angle iron pieces, one (1) on each side, on my 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 dually (as you can probably tell, I've been using this Companion hitch since September 2001). They greatly reduced any tendency for fore/aft surging when braking on washboard pavement by spreading the forces over the entire length of the bed floor as well as prevent damage to the bed floor caused by localized loading.

The angle iron pieces slide out when the Companion hitch isn't in use.

Rusty
__________________
2016 Ram Longhorn 3500 Dually 4x4 CCLB, 385/900 Cummins, Aisin AS69RC, 4.10
2014.5 DRV Mobile Suites 38RSSA #6972
Come join us on a TEXAS BOOMERS rally!
RustyJC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Yes, the angle iron just lies in place sandwiched between the frame of the Companion hitch and the bed floor when the pull-down bolt is torqued.

They greatly reduced any tendency for fore/aft surging when braking on washboard pavement by spreading the forces over the entire length of the bed floor as well as prevent damage to the bed floor caused by localized loading.

The angle iron pieces slide out when the Companion hitch isn't in use.

Rusty
I like it. I was thinking of doing the same, actually, since my main complaint (and reason to buy the Companion) using my gooseneck adapter* was the "chucking" I get when traversing transitions (road-to-bridge, or different pavement level) and things presumably flex a bit. Is this a common practice among Companion users?

Those using a true 5th hitch claim zero shaking or chucking with proper 5th hitches, so any movement I can suppress/eliminate will obviously make the towing experience more pleasant. One of the negatives of the Dodge dually is the harshness that is transmitted because of the stiff rear suspension, not aided with my "Stable Loads" and even deflated air bags (both of which I installed when carrying a 4000# Lance truck camper). I suspect the compliance of a 3/4ton suspension, or even a 1 ton SRW would make the ride (and hence shake/chuck) much less a problem.

Are you using 1/8" or 3/16" thick angle? I'd think the 3/16" would be a good compromise?

Bob

*I know GN Adapters are said to be dangerous for our 5er frames, but mine is only a 25ft unit weighing about 8000# the way I load it, and damage seems to be more common w/ heavier units.
__________________
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 09:09 AM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
RustyJC's Avatar


 
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Cypress, Texas USA
Posts: 8,854
3/16", IIRC. If I can remember to do it, I'll measure the angle iron when I get home from work tonight.

I guess they must have softened up the rear springs on the 4th generation Dodge Ram duallies. Ours rides as soft as one could expect a dually to ride (much softer than our 2002) towing or running unloaded. Even my wife thinks it's very comfortable. It does seem to squat a bit more than the 2002, but is still running level when towing our 16,000 lb GVWR 5th wheel.

Rusty
__________________
2016 Ram Longhorn 3500 Dually 4x4 CCLB, 385/900 Cummins, Aisin AS69RC, 4.10
2014.5 DRV Mobile Suites 38RSSA #6972
Come join us on a TEXAS BOOMERS rally!
RustyJC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 09:33 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
Must have (softened up).

Empty, with the rear seats folded up, those parcel trays under the rear seats (that fold forward to make a flat cargo area behind the front seats) jump up and slam down (when not extended forward, and fastened down w/ the elastics provided) over the slightest pavement lip or bump. Anything over 1/2 walking speed over a speed bump in a parking lot is absolutely unthinkable.

I have Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks all around, and the rear ones make NO difference even set to the softest setting (since the springs might as well be welded together, even before the stable-loads contact the helper springs). The fronts, if set soft, give a very compliant (almost floaty) ride, while the rear pounds the vehicle into submission, so I set the fronts a bit stiffer to sort of match the rear.

I LOVE the truck overall (esp. the engine and the 6spd manual), but I do wish the rear were a tad softer. That said, with my Lance in the back, before installing the Stable-Loads and the air bags, even the slightest bumps the rear suspension would bottom on the rubber bump-stops with a punishing "thud" and make the truck lurch/pitch uncomfortably, which prompted me to add the Stable Loads, and then the air bags so it wouldn't bottom.

Bob
I also like the 16+MPG I get towing my 5er, and on 1000mi of local around Phoenix city driving on our recent trip I averaged an almost unbelievable 29.6mpg, besting the usual 28mpg I get empty on the highway if I stay at 60mph. My old SRW 1-ton Powerstroke was fortunate to do 20 highway and 16 city empty (auto trans on that one) the way I drove (conservatively).
__________________
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 05:38 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
wingnut60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wherever the Suites is
Posts: 2,984
If you move the legs at all, the factory suggests using new lock washers. I can attest to the validity of this--after moving my mounts, the nuts kept working loose til I replaced the lock washers. But I also replaced the bolts and nuts with new grade 8.
Joe
__________________
'15 38RSSA Mobile Suites
'05 36TK3 Mobile Suites--retired but not forgotten
'17 F450--trying one more Ford
'09 F450--died, replaced with '10--retired
wingnut60 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
If you move the legs at all, the factory suggests using new lock washers. I can attest to the validity of this--after moving my mounts, the nuts kept working loose til I replaced the lock washers. But I also replaced the bolts and nuts with new grade 8.
Joe
New Grade 8 Lock Washers are certainly justified. I have the instructions in hand, and though I can't find the warning about the washers, it makes perfect sense. I've seen lock washers distort badly (undoubtedly losing their ability to "lock") after being torques, and then loosened.

I haven't looked to see if the OEM fasteners are Grade 8 (vs. Grade 5), but if they are not Grade 8, they will be soon!
__________________

__________________
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recently saw a post on pads placed under coach tires to protect from the ground! Clayobx Class A Motorhome Discussions 45 10-19-2016 12:30 PM
Clean the carpet roof in a MH david2499 MH-General Discussions & Problems 11 04-25-2012 10:03 PM
cellular usage in the US by Canadians WannaFTit Technology: Internet, TV, Satellite, Cell Phones, etc. 11 04-22-2012 09:53 PM
Another MH Accident Makes the News! Shardan1 iRV2.com General Discussion 35 04-10-2012 07:49 PM
The toughies of the services. mick Military / Veteran RVing 18 04-10-2012 10:17 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.