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Old 04-01-2016, 03:50 PM   #1
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Adding a 2nd Receiver Hitch

We haven't yet pulled the CR-V with this coach and really didn't like the 8" difference between the attach points. I didn't like how lose everything got by adding a 4' drop receiver, not to mention the extra length. I got an idea of adding a second receiver under the first one, just didn't know quite how easy it would be to attach.
I took a tour of a local salvage yard, picked out some possible parts and went back home to measure. On the next trip back I got the receiver off a Ford Pu and a set of rear axle U-bolts from a Dodge. The ends were cut off the receiver & welded up, 1 1/4" spacers were made to go between the hitches. I made a clamp to go on the Blue Ox and put a weld bead on the leading end of the hitch tongue to remove nearly all the slop on the end when it's in the receiver. With the clamp tight, it's solid as a rock.
This drops the tow receiver 4" and leaves the top receiver for things such as a bike rack.
Thought some of you might get some of your own ideas that would work for you from this.

OK, so what happened to the pictures?

2015 Itasca Sunstar 36Y w/2012 CRV toad
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:55 PM   #2
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Hope the pictures are here.
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2015 Itasca Sunstar 36Y w/2012 CRV toad
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:24 AM   #3
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What grade were those u bolts that you used. Because I see that as your mag or week point first if they are aluminum they'll stretch and break from fatigue. I would have went with grade 8 steel bolts nuts and lock washers using a plate welded to the top of the top tube i.e. Receiver anther plate welded to the bottom of the tubes on the top receiver then weld the plates to the lower receiver the same way then clamp them in place and drill straight through all the plates so you are able to push the bolt from the top plate through all plates and no play then put the lock washer on the nut tighten the nut to the same recommended ftpds that is used to tighten the same size, diameter, as one used on the original receiver. You should have at lease three full thread showing on the nut when properly tighten. The bolt should be equal to the largest on the original receiver if not a size larger. You don't want a two dollar bolt to cost you your $40k toad or you Motorhome. Retighten after first leg of trip as they will stretch some.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:19 AM   #4
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From the photos, it doesn't appear that the spacers are welded in place. It also seems that the top plates the ubolts go into are already bending, due to the torque on the ubolts. If the ubolts stretch under the towing loads or the top plates bend more, the spacers could fall out. If they do, a disaster could ensue!
Fran, Mary & Zoey (silver Cocker)
2006 Itasca Sunrise 35A, 2005 W-22, Allison 1000 5 speed
'13 Ford Focus ST or '10 Prius on Master Tow Dolly 80THD-SB or '00 Jeep Cherokee 4-down
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:21 PM   #5
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That is not safe at all. Everything is in bending and will shift and loosen up while towing. I am not sure that welding would help what I am looking as the cantilever beam for the bottom is going to put a big bending moment into this.

I strongly suggest that you rethink this design and get some engineering help before you loose your toad or worse.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:28 PM   #6
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Nope! Not a good idea.
The loose fitting of the connection points on the original system is normal and not a problem.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:39 PM   #7
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I'm sorry but I would not trust u bolts. I would weld it! Trailers are pulled but toads must be forced to steer, BIG difference.
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:39 PM   #8
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Use a good quality 2" or larger rise / drop receiver to get the hitch to the correct height for the toad. My blue ox tow bar wants the difference to be less than 3" when both are on level ground.

The forces at the hitch are very high. You don't want to underestimate them. If it comes apart you'll be buying a new tow bar and a sizeable repair bill on the RV and the toad.

To keep it from rattling, get a couple of hitch immobilizers. They seem to work fine. If one of these were to fail the worst that would happen is it would start rattling.
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:34 PM   #9
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This is what I did to my Monaco Diplomat to lower the hitch. I took it to a hitch shop and they welded a second receiver under the OEM receiver. He plated both sides. Strong enough to pull a train. Towed my 6K Silverado for 5 years before I sold the coach.

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Old 04-20-2016, 12:21 AM   #10
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I like the system you are looking for, however using U-bolts for this application is only a temporary solution.

In time they will allow movement of this mounting system and you will have to fix that.
As mentioned above, the only safe way to finish this project off is to have it welded in place.

In the process you could lose some of the extra material by plating the center receiver directly under the mounted hitch receiver on the coach now.

You may not have run into this issue yet, but you will, and thats ground clearance. If left the way it is, you (will) drag it onto a surface that (will) damage it.

Weld it and add a skid plate or wheel on the bottom and you're done brother, but for a start, nice work but just a little more refinement and you got it.

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Old 04-20-2016, 07:58 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your concerns, comments and suggestions. We just did a 500 mile run over a long weekend and everything was still solid as it was when we left. I'll keep an eye on the hitch for any issues but all is good for now. We drug the Honda around a really short corner I got into at a station, even with two short backups, and all held up well.
There was a lot of concern about the U bolts coming loose. I' m not saying they can't, but these are drive axle U bolts from a Dodge truck and I think they have taken a lot more beating on the truck than they will see here. I've never known of anyone to routinely check the tightness of their drive axle U bolts on anything to see if they are coming loose. The spacers have lips on them that come up over the round corners of the square tubes top & bottom so they do lock the parts in place to some extent.
It's hard to tell what the black pieces are on the center picture, but on each end of the original hitch is a skid plate that hangs down lower than the additional hitch. Hope I never really use the skid plates but I know it can happen. Those skid plates are only a inch off the street when I pull into my driveway.
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
2015 Itasca Sunstar 36Y w/2012 CRV toad
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:28 AM   #12
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Please give us an update in six months. You are right on the no need to recheck axle unbolts, when mounted on axles and fitted in the proper shaped slot.

I think the concern was more for the plates undergoing distortion and allowing a little movement later.

That 500 mile test was a good start, but please let us know how it holds up for another six months to a year.



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