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Old 10-19-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
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Idea Department

Rigging our new toad for towing has been a real challenge. One problem has been play in hitch components. Coach receiver, six inch drop receiver, Readybrake and finally tow bar. End result - several inches of up down and side to side movement/sloop at end of tow bar. Looked at several commercial products designed to stabilize tow bar connections and decided there has to be a better and cheaper way and I think I've got it figured out. "Shim stock" in receiver bar connect. Finally settled on using plain old galvanized sheet metal. Cut some test strips, hammered tin snip edges smooth on an anvil and simply pushed em in. Movement reduced. Added second layer and even better yet. Encouraged by test results I decided to make some real ones. Cut strips about 7 x 1.5 inches, hammered edges smooth, bent one end 90 degrees about one inch from the end. Simply set one or two strips on top of bar with 90 hooked on end and push into receiver. Viola - vertical play almost gone. Shims on side will be a bit more difficult due to pin holes. I'm working on it.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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Interesting idea. I too am using a drop hitch (actually as a riser) so I have slop at the two connections. Just bought two BlueOx hitch stabilizers but haven't connected them yet.

My bigger issue isn't the cost or connecting them, but rather that I have to remove my tow bar every time I store my coach. It's a 40' coach and a "45" foot storage garage. But that 45' is really closer to 43', and my coach is closer to 42' including he front mirror so with the tow bar installed, I can't close the garage door. :-(

Thus... Your idea could be beneficial (ie market if you are inclined) for situations like mine, where it could be easily removed and replaced.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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Shims definitely work, and I used them at first. I found that after an extensive tow, they tended to migrate, either out or in and I lost some of my tightness. I then laid two welding beads around the square tubing that makes up the hitch male part. One was at the end and the second set so it was just between the pin and outer edge of the receiver. Then it took some careful work with a 4 1/2" grinder to work the bead height down to just a few thousands less than the size of the hole. Worked like a charm. One down side is that the pieces need to be disassembled every few months as very fine sand and dust accumulates in the receiver tube. If you let it go too long, getting the hitch out can be a problem. We've been pulling this way for over 120,000 tow miles and no problems at all.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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I have drilled a hole in the bottom of the receiver and welded a nut in the drop bar. I used 1/2 grade 8 bolt and nut.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:43 AM   #5
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i use 2 roadmaster hitch tightening devices.
imho this blue ox immobilizer device would work better.

Receiver Immobilizer II for 2-inch Hitch - Anti-Rattle Devices - Blue Ox Towing Accessories
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:05 AM   #6
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I also use the RoadMaster Quiet Hitch™. Works great and I've never had to tighten it.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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One that would reduce side to side movement and not expensive.
No-Rattle Trailer Hitch Wedge for 1-1/4" and 2" Trailer Hitches by Boone Outdoor Hardware Boone Outdoor Hitch Accessories 93347
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
Shims definitely work, and I used them at first. I found that after an extensive tow, they tended to migrate, either out or in and I lost some of my tightness.
OP Here: I ended up making them almost two inches longer than needed. Bent one end at 90 degrees and used that to push shimin with bar and then I bent excess on other end up, forming a Z, that should prevent loss or migration. Hint held slims on bar with rubber band until most of the way in, then just broke rubber band to remove it.
Is it a good idea? Only miles and more miles will tell.
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Rich and Cork, I like your idea, simple, inexpensive, and effective!
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