Weekend trip cancelled. Rusted hitch. How to fix? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:49 PM   #43
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Bryan L.'s Avatar
Trailer: 1991 Scamp 16 ft
Posts: 294
Thank you all for reassuring me that what I cobbled together will work in a safe manner. My wife didn't want me to touch this project so I had to show her all of your replies and she feels much better about it now.

I also appreciate the feedback on my welding job. This is really the first time that I have ever used gas in my MIG welder and probably the biggest welding job I've ever done. Before this, it was usually quick welding shots and no long runs. There's definitely a steep learning curve with welding and a lot to learn.

I'm going to go to Northern Tool tomorrow and see about picking up a new trailer jack. I'd like to find one that I can bolt right in to the large hole in the coupler plate since I left the hole accessible. We'll see what I can find.

"The babbling that I brook." - Pink Floyd

1991 Scamp 16'
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:50 PM   #44
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Trailer: 1991 Scamp 16 ft
Posts: 294
I finally finished!

I ended up not putting the sloping piece back and installed a center mount jack there instead. I was going to go with the side-mount that is usually welded on but with the new coupler extending back so far, the handle was going to hit the propane tank every turn so I decided against it.

I welded on some angle iron to attach the safety chains to. I didn't want to attach them to the coupler since that's the part that I'm worried about falling off at some point! Now we're ready to go to Branson for the latter half of the week! There's a new wooden roller coaster at Silver Dollar City that goes upside-down three times. We need to try it out!
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"The babbling that I brook." - Pink Floyd

1991 Scamp 16'
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:11 AM   #45
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Francesca Knowles's Avatar
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Looks bee-you-tee-full, Bryan!

I'm still having trouble visualizing the finished angle, though- would you mind posting a sideview of the whole trailer ( body leveled front-to-back) for my poor old eyes/brain?


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Old 04-06-2013, 11:51 PM   #46
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
Undermount couplers

If someone else hits this problem - needing to mount a coupler to the bottom of an A-frame tongue - it may help to know about couplers intended to mount this way. An example: Atwood A-Frame Undermount Trailer Coupler.

The angle of the slope down the top of the tongue would need to checked.

These are commonly used on very long trailers such as park models, which are high because of their length, so undermounting makes sense. They are also very heavy, which again is well supported by the undermoint design. Since they are for heavy-duty use (13,000 pound trailer capacity for my example), these couplers are heavy and work with a 2 5/16" ball, which prevents their use with typical class 1 and class 2 hitches.

Although I had forgotten about these when Bryan's problem was posted - I was reminded of them during an unrelated search for couplers - it wouldn't have helped anyway... the undermount design wraps up the sides of the tongue, and the vee angle needs to be right to fit.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:48 PM   #47
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Name: Myron
Trailer: 19' Escape
Posts: 651

Great stuff! I sure wish I had seen this post a few weeks ago, before I tackled a similar coupler issue. We were on the road 25 miles into a one-way trip across the country when my coupler jumped off the ball on I-78.

There was no shoulder to pull over on, so the coupler dragged on the pavement, nested on the too-loose safety chains for a hundred yards, before I could safely stop. It looked then like no way we could continue safely. The cup was mauled. I was able to nurse us to a Home Depot where I bought a length of heavy braided steel cable and cable clamps, and wrapped this snugly around the grinded up coupler. Re-spliced the wiring, and decided to give it a go.

When driving over some bridge seams, this jackass emergency solution held, (Holy Moley!), so decided there was no turning back, and we made it to NM with some sweating but without further issues.

Now the repairs: After considerable thought, doubt and fear I finally had a plan. Cut off the bad coupler. Bought a new, 2-inch coupler. At a junkyard, got 3/16th thick sheet steel, which I then cut two matching triangle pieces to use like a "sandwich" around that angled tongue. Welded first piece to the coupler, then welded that to the underside of Scamp tongue. I welded the second triangle shape to the top of the Scamp angled tongue, as an extra precaution. Was also going to run a 1/2-inch grade 8 bolt through, like a toothpick through the sandwich, but, ain't done it yet.

However, I did brush everything with fiberglass resin and then painted it (not shown here).
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