Hitch Added To Rear of Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2009, 05:13 PM   #1
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After seeing a number of people at the Oregon Gathering carrying their bicycles on the back of their trailers, and found unloading ours from our Odyssey a bit of a problem while on the road ("Oh look, a rails-to-trails bike path, let's stop and ride....oh wait"), we decided to have a hitch added to the back of our Casita to carry a bicycle rack (or other items that may come up in the unknown future!).

I have been collecting photos of how people have done this on the Casita, with its weak bumper, and presented the "typical" solution to a Tucson RV repair place that also did custom welding. They completed the job in two days at a cost of $300.

The hitch sticks out 3.5" from the bumper, and I had requested 0"-1", but I am otherwise happy with the results. The welder estimated the added steel weight at 35#. There is a cross-piece that goes from the frame on either side. The receiver is welded to this, and also to the bottom of the bumper, giving it additional support.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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When we had the hitch welded to our bumper, we loaded the bikes and Jim pulled the trailer while I followed in the car, for a test run. We had towed the trailer to a welder for the job and it was great.

However, we found that with our bike rack only attached to the hitch on the back bumper, the rack with 2 bikes on, moved back and forth and would soon possibly break the bumper.

Jim made a bar that goes from the belly band to our bike rack, now the bike rack won't move at all. The trailer and rack are one unit ... If you try to move the rack back and forth, the entire trailer moves with it.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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Carol, I actually have pictures of your brace (and others) in my files, and anticipate doing something similar just to keep it stable. In my case the connection to the bumper was only incidental to the construction, as the hitch is plenty strong on its own.

Some rear hitches I've seen are not touching or welded to the bumper. I was neutral on whether to weld it to the bumper myself, but the RV fabricator thought it was a good idea.

I'm going to do a brace like yours anyway, as I don't like the idea of it wiggling back there. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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Hi Patrick

You are welcome. we're happy to help.

Just wondering - did you have someone watch the bike rack as you drove around the block?


Carol
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:48 PM   #5
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We haven't tested it live yet, just static in the garage. And since we only have one car, I guess it will be me running behind to see if it moves!
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:46 AM   #6
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My God! Who in tarnation did your welding? some 10-year old kid? I never saw such poor welds in my life!
THIS is what a weld bead should look like:


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Run, don't walk to a REAL weld shop and get those brackets welded properly before your whole thing ends up laying on the road somewhere.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:31 AM   #7
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My God! Who in tarnation did your welding? some 10-year old kid? I never saw such poor welds in my life!
THIS is what a weld bead should look like:


Attachment 22538


Run, don't walk to a REAL weld shop and get those brackets welded properly before your whole thing ends up laying on the road somewhere.
I have to agree with Roger on this. I was appalled when I saw the welds. They look like I did it.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:27 AM   #8
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I agree the welds were crudely done, but are only slightly worse than the welds Casita did for my WDH. I'll let you know if they ever fail, as I've had my fill of having fabricators and welders work on my Casita.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:32 AM   #9
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Just my two cents worth, but I agree that a monkey trained with bananas could do a better welding job than what I see on your pictures. Further, if the guy who welded it up for you was worth a crap as a welder, he never would have attached a hitch to that tin foil sewer hose bumper to begin with. I'd go back and get my money back for such a crummy installation...and to charge $300 bucks for this is unbelievable. I'm not even a certified welder, and my installation (several times stronger and much neater), which by the way only cost me about $30 for the metal, and took about three hours to completely fabricate from scratch (including sawzalling off the tin foil sewer hose (i.e. totally useless structurally) bumper and welding on a 5 foot chunk of heavy walled 3" square channel tubing in its place. The first good bump you take with that thing, you'll probably find yourself stopping to pick up what's left of your bikes back up the road somewhere. I think you really should get that hitch burned off and your money back.
This is what I did for $30 bucks.

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Just thought I would add that I hope you don't take my comments as a personal attack on you, but I just get pissed when I see people being taken advantage of, especially by someone who charges good money for crappy work. If this guy is a "custom" weld shop, I shudder to think what he'd turn out with a project more complicated than a simple bumper hitch. Please forgive me if I upset you. It wasn't my intent here.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:21 AM   #10
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Thanks Greg, while its not pleasant to have criticism of what I hoped would be a useful mod for people, I share some disappointment over the results. However, I believe the hitch is structurally sound, albeit with ugly welds, and the minor bumper weld has nothing to do with the weight carrying capacity of the hitch.

Unfortunately, I am not a welder, don't have friends within a 1,000 miles that are welders, and thus had to rely upon the representations of the owner of the busy RV repair business (All RV Service Center in Tucson, if anyone wants to avoid or use them (as a last resort!)) that he and his employees knew what they were doing. As a result, I ended up with a hitch with ugly welds, at a price that I wish was $100 but wasn't. Perhaps others can make sure their welders do smooth welds or grind them smooth as part of the deal as a result of my experience, and can negotiate a better price.

But your job looks outstanding!
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:21 PM   #11
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I recently built one for my bigfoot for my motorcycle caddy or my 3 rail motorcycle trailer, also moved the spare tire up higher
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:14 PM   #12
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Thanks Greg, while its not pleasant to have criticism of what I hoped would be a useful mod for people, I share some disappointment over the results. However, I believe the hitch is structurally sound, albeit with ugly welds, and the minor bumper weld has nothing to do with the weight carrying capacity of the hitch.

Unfortunately, I am not a welder, don't have friends within a 1,000 miles that are welders, and thus had to rely upon the representations of the owner of the busy RV repair business (All RV Service Center in Tucson, if anyone wants to avoid or use them (as a last resort!)) that he and his employees knew what they were doing. As a result, I ended up with a hitch with ugly welds, at a price that I wish was $100 but wasn't. Perhaps others can make sure their welders do smooth welds or grind them smooth as part of the deal as a result of my experience, and can negotiate a better price.

But your job looks outstanding!
Patrick,

I am sure the welds are strong enough for your intended purpose, even if they are ugly gorrila welds, I have spent 25 years working with approx. 250 welders building offshore drilling rigs and have seen some beautiful bead welds that are not sound, and some ugly gorilla weld that will hold the world, judging welds from a picture is about as bad as doing a visual inspection of a weld in person...useless as well. Only MT,UT or x-ray will tell if it is truly a good weld, if this was a structural weld on a critical area I would recommend doing testing for a bike rack I would hook em up and go.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:57 AM   #13
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Patrick,

I am sure the welds are strong enough for your intended purpose, even if they are ugly gorrila welds, I have spent 25 years working with approx. 250 welders building offshore drilling rigs and have seen some beautiful bead welds that are not sound, and some ugly gorilla weld that will hold the world, judging welds from a picture is about as bad as doing a visual inspection of a weld in person...useless as well. Only MT,UT or x-ray will tell if it is truly a good weld, if this was a structural weld on a critical area I would recommend doing testing for a bike rack I would hook em up and go.

Well spoken Scott! We are not having a beauty contest for weld beads. I wouldn't anticipate someone laying under my RV, checking for weld appearance! Thank you to the original posters of this modification.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:16 AM   #14
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I recently built one for my bigfoot for my motorcycle caddy or my 3 rail motorcycle trailer, also moved the spare tire up higher
Looking good Mr. Phil!
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