Fifth wheel hitch modification - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2013, 04:55 PM   #1
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Name: JW
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Fifth wheel hitch modification

I have seen a couple fifth wheel conversions on the internet where they put a conventional kingpin on the scamp and removed the cheesy 2" ball hitch.
No one mentions the procedure of welding the "Hardened" pin to mild steel as they have done. This has to be done correctly by pre heating the (hardened) welding area with a torch prior to welding to avoid cracking I am told? Anyone done a hitch modification?
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
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I did on mine, there's too much mass on the kingpin to heat it up with just welding.

I located it, put a few tack welds on, then heated one side up, burned a few bigger welds in, heated the other side and burned a few welds in (to stop warping), then went and burned it all in. I installed mine in a non-standard way also, so I did a triple pass on it. I'm not worried about it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gihuff View Post
I have seen a couple fifth wheel conversions on the internet where they put a conventional kingpin on the scamp and removed the cheesy 2" ball hitch.
No one mentions the procedure of welding the "Hardened" pin to mild steel as they have done...
The kingpins which I have used for these conversions are intended to be welded in, so it must be practical. They are also not being used as intended: they are to be inserted through a plate, not used as the plate, but a Scamp 19' is so much lighter than the capacity of the kingpin that - as long as the spacing issue resulting from the missing plate is handled - it seems to work out.

Nita's conversion: Conversion of Scamp 5th Wheel Hitch
Jared's conversion: New to campers 19' scamp "fifth wheel"
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Fifth hitch..................

Would a propane torch heat it up enough or would a guy have to obtain
acetylene?
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:03 PM   #5
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Since Scamp started back in the 70's and have used the same hitch. I will just stay with the old style. Not to say new isn't better, but now at my stage in life I say If it's not broken, don't fix it. LOL Good luck with the hitch. If it gives you peace of mind; then go for it. One thing is you need to feel confident in what and how you tow.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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Brian's right. These aren't standard installs. They're made to go through 3/8" plate, which leaves the weight of the trailer sitting on the pin itself instead of the ate when you mount it like we did. Nita fixed it with doubled up lube plates.

I wanted the wider base it should have (probably completely irrelevant for these campers), so I fixed it by welding a 3/8" steel plate underneath.





Her way costs $10, mine cost me $200 if you include buying the circle cutting jig for my plasma cutter. In this case, I think either way would work fine for these, I just have issues being a wee bit anal.

A propane torch might work, depending on what welder you have. Mine is only 175 amps.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
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My take is that, unless you have some reason why your TV needs a true 5th wheel hitch (like having more than one trailer to tow), there's really no advantage to having a traditional 5th wheel pin & plate. The gross weight limit on the current Scamp 5er's is around 3500 lbs, and only around 700lbs of that sits on the hitch. That's nothing compared to the horse and utility farm trailers that have used goosenecks for years.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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I agree that capacity is not an issue. Both ball-and-socket and recreational pin-and-plate systems are available with several times the capacity needed for a Scamp 19'.

Even if you do have multiple trailers, a ball hitch works fine, as long as (unlike Scamp) you use the common ball size (2-5/16") at a reasonably common height (not far above a typical full-size pickup box floor). I think a typical farm has more than one trailer.

Regardless of the number of trailers interchanged, a fifth-wheel hitch does have the advantage - as Jared mentioned - of back-in coupling. I've never towed with one, but it seems easier, and big rig drivers certainly do it quickly and easily.

Unfortunately, even the lightest available fifth-wheel hitch is much heavier and bulkier than a ball and coupler. Just to confuse the choice further, there are couplers for balls that also couple by backing in like a fifth-wheel; the Quick-Bite that Jared mentioned is the one I've seen for conventional trailers (which could be fit to a Scamp 19'), and I recently noticed a much heavier unit for more typical "gooseneck" trailer structures.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:37 AM   #9
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Name: Juan
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Pics from structural attachment

Hi, Great Mod. Could you post some pics of the underside of the sleeping area to show how your added support connects to the frame? Thinking about doing this to my '19.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
Brian's right. These aren't standard installs. They're made to go through 3/8" plate, which leaves the weight of the trailer sitting on the pin itself instead of the ate when you mount it like we did. Nita fixed it with doubled up lube plates.

I wanted the wider base it should have (probably completely irrelevant for these campers), so I fixed it by welding a 3/8" steel plate underneath.





Her way costs $10, mine cost me $200 if you include buying the circle cutting jig for my plasma cutter. In this case, I think either way would work fine for these, I just have issues being a wee bit anal.

A propane torch might work, depending on what welder you have. Mine is only 175 amps.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by KINETA View Post
Hi, Great Mod. Could you post some pics of the underside of the sleeping area to show how your added support connects to the frame? Thinking about doing this to my '19.
Unfortunately Juan, Jared hasn't posted since 1-2015. You may be able to do a search of his build thread and find your answer. He did a fantastic reno job.
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