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Old 07-08-2012, 11:28 PM   #1
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Drop Hitch problem

A week or so ago there was a thread about using a drop hitch so the tow bar assembly would be fairly level.

I stated a concern that with the drop hitch your hitch could drag on the ground and apply a force of 10,000 to 15,000lb on the hitch assembly, exceeding the manufacturer's weight limit.

Another forum showed the result of this overload.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/26199267.cfm

I tow a Miata and the height difference exceeds the tow bar recommendations, however, I don't want a drop hitch causing this problem.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #2
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There is an option however it can be hard to find.

I have seen some tow bars that are "Curved" that is the design is such the motor home end is higher than the car end when the bars are "level" they combine the drop hitch and the tow bar into one device, in such a way that the kind of thing you describe won't happen.

Frankly. I like the looks of that product.

Sadly, it is not a "remains on motor home when not towing" bar, it is an "A" Frame" type tow bar.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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Arch.....You'll probably see that I got beat up by a couple of people on the other site for recommending that you weld a second receiver to the bottom of your current receiver. Even though it will lower your hitch height, it won't be as dramatic as the drop receiver. The second receiver gives you 3" more drop. I asked the welding shop to rework the slide in components on my base plates so that they were taller, but they said it would not be safe. Both my BIL and several others we associate with have had the second receiver added.

You can't do it with the Lexus, but on all three of my trucks (4x4's) I added a 2" lift kit to the front and was able to make all tow bar connections sit dead level, with the added receiver.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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Don...The other site beats people up everyday, I've taken my lumps......

My Lexus is level but I pull a Miata sometimes and on it I'm not even close to level. However in 10,000 miles of pulling it I never had a problem so I'm not worried about it.
I do check my receiver hitch on a regular basis though.

I think the second receiver is a good idea. Looks more solid.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
I pull a Miata sometimes and on it I'm not even close to level. However in 10,000 miles of pulling it I never had a problem so I'm not worried about it.
Arch,

When I towed the silver NB, my tow bar to RV hitch connection was 5" higher than the tow bar to baseplate attachment points.

In 35,000 miles I never had a problem either.

Tim
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
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The pictures featured in the OP's link are pretty stunning and made me think.

I finally took a tape measure to my hitch set-up and found that while EZE-Tow wants my hitch to be 12"-16" off the ground, my hitch is sitting at 18" high at the base of the plate (almost 21" at the top of the ball, 26" at the hitch receiver and I use a 8" drop hitch).

So, that made me look at the angle of the dolly frame (no pan or turn table on the EZE-tow) and, sure enough - it is high in the front.
I have only dragged the hitch 1 time. It was a commercial driveway that I took wrong due to traffic. The dolly tows well and I've never had any problems being a bit "nose high."

But this is a real problem...I visualized 2 possible mods that could overcome the drop hitch nightmare above and also address the possible problems of the dolly being too off level:

1. A new custom curved towing bar or dolly tongue...that could be pricey and wouldn't really work for me, with the surge braking hardware, but possible for other flat tow or other dolly designs.
2. A drop hitch that brings the low point of the hitch closer to the rear axle and therefore reducing the "angle of departure" at the back

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Does anyone have any other ideas?
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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so, are you guys in agreement that it is better to tow your dolly a little high in the front rather then get a drop receiver?
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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NO, but if you do use a drop receiver make sure you Derate the hitch, like half or more depending on the drop.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
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I use a 6" drop receiver. It is rated at 6000 tow and 100 TW. I use a Blue Ox tow bar @40lbs. So essentially I only have 40lb of TW, since the tow bar swivels up and down and side to side. So far, have experienced no problems. I take extra care not to bump the hitch as I see this is the only way to cause it damage.

Am I wrong here?
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #10
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If it's a fairly light tow behind a fairly heavy coach, I wouldn't worry if the dolly tongue was a few inches high. It's not going to affect coach or tow very much at all. But if it was the opposite, I would want it as close to level as I could get.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:07 PM   #11
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If it's a fairly light tow behind a fairly heavy coach, I wouldn't worry if the dolly tongue was a few inches high. It's not going to affect coach or tow very much at all. But if it was the opposite, I would want it as close to level as I could get.
☺I agree completely with Gary.
If you have brakes on your toad/tow, the height issue is negated due to pressure, the toad/tow is stopping too, at the same time as as the coach.
Also, for a towed dolly of vehicle (say 4000#) to either "climb" or "crawlunder" it's much heavier host coach would take an incredible amount of stopping acceleration (yes in physics, stopping is acceleration, as it is in fact a change in velocity and has nothing to do with speed).
In this case, I would be most concerned why the coach may stopping quicker than my brakes can stop it (see above)...can you spell wreck...? At that point I would not concern myself with what the tow is doing due to a hitch height concern.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:10 PM   #12
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so, are you guys in agreement that it is better to tow your dolly a little high in the front rather then get a drop receiver?
NO.
Under braking the MH front drops, rear rises, that raises the receiver and makes the problem worse.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:13 PM   #13
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Better off letting it dive under the Coach then over the top.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:22 PM   #14
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The problem with the drop hitch is not tong weight, it is torque.

The hitch is not designed for torque.

So let's say you drop it six inches, you put 4,000 pounds (to make the math easy) behind it, Now you are going up hill such that even rolling you are pulling 1,000 pounds of that 4,000 pound ride (Again number choisen to make math easier) that is 500 foot pounds of torque on the brackets at the end of the cross bar.. Which is what failed on mine.

Only difference, 4" drop.
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