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Old 04-03-2014, 06:46 AM   #1
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Sloppy fits

Ever since the first time I hooked up the toad to the MH I have been bothered by the "sloppy" fit of all components. I have a 8 inch drop mount in the receiver then the Blue Ox bar into that, and the pin attachment to the tow bar. ALL these components fit sloppily, with excessive, in mho, movement in the receiver sleeve, in the sleeve in the drop mount and last the pin connection at the toad, about the only thing that fits well is the inserts to the base plate to connect the tow bar to.

What I am wondering is if anyone has heard of any type of shim or spacer that can be used to first, snug up the fit, and secondly to reduce the wear that will be inevitable as all these parts move within each other. I sort of picture a thin nylon sheet, or other had plastic that would fit around the mount bracket and go into the receiver sleeve. Am I the only one that has been bothered by this.

In stop and go traffic I can feel and hear these component clunking back and forth.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:21 AM   #2
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The play in the components are especially amplified with a drop receiver. I had a similar situation using an 8" drop receiver inverted to handle my lifted Jeep. The pendulum effect of the drop receiver movement was causing the Jeep to weave back and forth. The solution is a receiver immobilizer. I bought one made by Blue Ox. It is a pretty simple device and anyone with a welder can make their own. Works like a charm and totally eliminated the movement of the hitch components and the Jeep.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:09 AM   #3
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Camping World sells them... Looks like a big u bolt. You can buy them cheaper in a good hardware store. Look them up on their website and you will know what to look for.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:32 AM   #4
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There is an easy fix. Every place you have a hitch pin, replace it with a hitch pin that will remove the slop. They are available just about anywhere hitch pins are sold, including Amazon. They usually consist of a nut with attached spring that fits inside the inserted hitch. The spring keeps the nut in place at the through-hole. Once you line up the holes, the pin threads into the nut. You tighten up the pin and put the lock on the other end. Voila!
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trode View Post
Ever since the first time I hooked up the toad to the MH I have been bothered by the "sloppy" fit of all components. I have a 8 inch drop mount in the receiver then the Blue Ox bar into that, and the pin attachment to the tow bar. ALL these components fit sloppily, with excessive, in mho, movement in the receiver sleeve, in the sleeve in the drop mount and last the pin connection at the toad, about the only thing that fits well is the inserts to the base plate to connect the tow bar to.

What I am wondering is if anyone has heard of any type of shim or spacer that can be used to first, snug up the fit, and secondly to reduce the wear that will be inevitable as all these parts move within each other. I sort of picture a thin nylon sheet, or other had plastic that would fit around the mount bracket and go into the receiver sleeve. Am I the only one that has been bothered by this.

In stop and go traffic I can feel and hear these component clunking back and forth.
Trode,
As you can see, there's a few ways of remedying your issue. Camping World sells a "hitch tightener" as well as other RV supply stores/service centers too. They run about $30-$40 each. It's a pretty good design and, I've not heard any complaints about them. Now, I did it sort of the hard way. I too have a couple of components "in line" between the coach and the toad. I have the hitch/receiver on the back of the coach which, a riser fit's into. Then, I have a Ready Brake actuator that fits into the receiver on that riser. Then, I've got a Blue Ox tow bar that fits into that actuator.

So, talk about SLOP! Yep, I had some serious slop. But, what I did, simply because I could because I had the tools and materials to do this was, I drilled all the receivers for a 1/2" bolt. I tapped the holes so the bolt would thread into the side (and the top) of the coach receiver, and then, I welded a 1/2" nut over the holes I drilled and tapped.

Now, when a slider is installed, I simply tighten the 1/2" bolt against the slider and, there's a lock nut installed too so things can't back off on their own. It's basically great big "Set screw" to tighten the receiver/slider connection. It's just another way of a remedy for this situation that you, me and many have and want to do something about. I've also hammered a steel shim, in a tapered fashion, to slip into the gap and tack welded it in place. That worked for quite a while. Good luck on yours.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #6
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Even better than the fancy hitch pins are these:

Blue Ox - BX88224-BX88227 Hitch Immobilzers

http://www.rvupgradestore.com/Receiv...-p/bx88224.htm

Get two of them, put one where the drop receiver goes into the RV receiver, and one where the tow bar goes into the drop receiver. No more slop.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:26 PM   #7
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I'd like to forward the notion that slop in the connection(s) between your RV hitch receiver and your towed, frame attached, baseplate CAN BE a good thing.

Assume that with the RV and the towed on flat ground, your tow bar is perfectly level. As you drive, the hitch receiver, being attached to the rear end of the RV, travels up and down as the RV goes over bumps, etc. and the front end of the towed also moves up and down.

As the rear of the RV goes up and the front of the towed does not at the same time, the formerly flat line between the RV and the towed becomes a right triangle.

Because the length of the tow bar (hypotenuse) does not change, as the short side of the right triangle increases, the length of the long side of the triangle also changes = shortening.

Because that side of the triangle shortens, the distance between the RV and the towed becomes less, pulling (sometimes sharply) the towed towards the RV.

When the rear of the RV drops, and the base of the triangle decreases, the length of the long side increases, pushing (sometimes sharply) the towed away from the RV.

Some slop in the receiver to tow bar to baseplate connections can serve to absorb minor changes in the distance between the RV and the towed and can serve to cancel the RV "tugging and pushing" the towed.

I felt less "tugging" with my old tow bar than I feel with my brand new one.

Tim
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:42 PM   #8
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You're right that loose connections will "absorb" some of the geometry changes involved with going over bumps. But, IMO, that doesn't compensate for the fact that the wear induced in those connections due to the slop is greatly increased. If you let the connection points beat on the pin holding them together (which they will if there's significant slop in the connection), then that pin is going to fail much sooner.

Towbars are designed to compensate for the up/down motion. IMO, if the bump is large enough to cause significant geometry shifts, then you just need to take it a lot slower.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
You're right that loose connections will "absorb" some of the geometry changes involved with going over bumps. But, IMO, that doesn't compensate for the fact that the wear induced in those connections due to the slop is greatly increased. If you let the connection points beat on the pin holding them together (which they will if there's significant slop in the connection), then that pin is going to fail much sooner. Towbars are designed to compensate for the up/down motion. IMO, if the bump is large enough to cause significant geometry shifts, then you just need to take it a lot slower.
My toads and MHs fought over the same hitch bar and pin for 14 years and over 70,000 miles. The pin is still fine (harder metal) but there was a slight ovaling (fore and aft) in the hitch bar by about 1/16th of an inch. Replaced hitch bar. Kept pin.
It just aint no big deal.
Nuff said.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full.Monte View Post
There is an easy fix. Every place you have a hitch pin, replace it with a hitch pin that will remove the slop. They are available just about anywhere hitch pins are sold, including Amazon. They usually consist of a nut with attached spring that fits inside the inserted hitch. The spring keeps the nut in place at the through-hole. Once you line up the holes, the pin threads into the nut. You tighten up the pin and put the lock on the other end. Voila!
Never saw a pin like that. Did a search on Amazon with no luck. Any chance you could provide a link?
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:03 AM   #11
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I use two 061 Roadmaster Quiet Hitch devices, one on the drop receiver and one on the tow bar.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #12
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Towbars are designed to compensate for the up/down motion.
I have a brand new, in the box, Roadmaster tow bar. Being an engineer, I looked for the "compensator" of which you spoke. I didn't find anything in the hardware or in the design that would do that.

How are they designed so as to compensate for the up/down motion?


Quote:
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IMO, if the bump is large enough to cause significant geometry shifts, then you just need to take it a lot slower.
Slower... I don't know how I can go any slower. It takes me a week to go over a RR crossing as it is....

The amount of "tugging" that is imparted on the towed is related to the overhang (= distance between the rear wheels and the hitch). Our previous 22' Class C has almost no tugging.

Our new 30' Class C has much more.

Tim

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Old 04-04-2014, 10:30 AM   #13
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I have a brand new, in the box, Roadmaster tow bar. Being an engineer, I looked for the "compensator" of which you spoke. I didn't find anything in the hardware or in the design that would do that.

How are they designed so as to compensate for the up/down motion?
Maybe I should have said "deal with" rather than compensate. In that the pivot points allow the tow bar to move without imparting up/down movement on the baseplate of the toad. Doesn't do anything for the for/aft movement, though.

Quote:
Slower... I don't know how I can go any slower. It takes me a week to go over a RR crossing as it is....

The amount of "tugging" that is imparted on the towed is related to the overhang (= distance between the rear wheels and the hitch). Our previous 22' Class C has almost no tugging.

Our new 30' Class C has much more.

Tim
Yes, related to the overhang because of the leverage from the longer arm from the displacement point (the rear axle) to the hitch end of the tow bar. Shorter overhang or longer wheelbase would both reduce them movement.

But to be honest, since those measurements are in feet and the slop in the hitch joints is fractions of inches, how much for/aft movement is actually avoided by having that slop in there? Using a 4 inch speed bump as the initiator, how far up is the hitch actually moving? If the rear axle was half way between the front and the tow bar front pivot, the pivot point would move up 8 inches (assuming no other suspension movement). How much of that 8 inches are you reducing by 1/4" slop in the hitch? Is it significant?
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:05 AM   #14
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Diver,

Good points.

According to THIS Triangle Calculator web site, given a tow bar length of 48 inches (hitch receiver pivot to towed baseplate pivot), a hitch rise of 4" from horizontal will yield a distance shortening (between the RV and towed) of .17".

A rise of 8" from horizontal will yield a distance shortening of .67".

A rise of 12" from horizontal will yield a distance shortening of 1.57"

MY towing set-up has 9 connections/pivots between the RV hitch and the towed chassis. While I have not measured the accumulated slop, I think it entirely reasonable that there could be 1/2" to 3/4" of slop in the towing line.

IF that assumption is correct, it is entirely reasonable that that slop could absorb/negate the "tugging" from a 8" hitch rise.

In addition to the factors that we have listed above, an additional factor related to feeling the tugging would be the weight of the RV and the weight of the towed.

I tow a 2,500# Miata, so I'm probably not feeling what I would feel if I were towing a Suburban.

Tim
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