removing part of hitch for 5th wheel - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2016, 03:49 PM   #1
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Name: Delores
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Cool removing part of hitch for 5th wheel

I have a 2004 Scamp 19' 5th wheel. I do not use it much in the winter, and would like to make my 2010 2500 Dodge pickup bed a little more usable by removing the crossbar part of the hitch that holds the ball. The hitch is an odd looking contraption to most 5th wheelers. It consists of a 5' bar where the ball is mounted, and that bar is bolted to two end plates that are bolted to the frame of the truck. I was thinking of unbolting the ends of the bar. When I rebolt it in the spring, I will need to know what torgue to use to reset those bolts. Does anyone have any experience of doing this?
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:06 PM   #2
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That sounds like the old Scamp hitch, a lightweight contraption, but good enough for the Scamp. Now they install a removable hitch and only the rails remain in the bed when that is removed. I would not be concerned about removing that crossbar for the winter season. I would expect that they use 1/2-13 bolts (.5 inch diameter). When you replace the bar, torque the bolts as hard as you can, by hand, with your 1/2 inch socket set, and you will be fine. Just don't use a 3 foot lever extension or some such.
The torque numbers for 1/2-13 bolts are from 47 foot-pounds to 119 foot-pounds, low carbon steel, grades 0,1,2 with no marking, to medium carbon alloy grade 8, with six marks on the head, respectively. I don't dare guess what grade bolts Scamp used, but you can see the grade of bolt on the head - if you replace it, look for the same grade.
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
That sounds like the old Scamp hitch, a lightweight contraption, but good enough for the Scamp. Now they install a removable hitch and only the rails remain in the bed when that is removed. I would not be concerned about removing that crossbar for the winter season. I would expect that they use 1/2-13 bolts (.5 inch diameter). When you replace the bar, torque the bolts as hard as you can, by hand, with your 1/2 inch socket set, and you will be fine. Just don't use a 3 foot lever extension or some such.
The torque numbers for 1/2-13 bolts are from 47 foot-pounds to 119 foot-pounds, low carbon steel, grades 0,1,2 with no marking, to medium carbon alloy grade 8, with six marks on the head, respectively. I don't dare guess what grade bolts Scamp used, but you can see the grade of bolt on the head - if you replace it, look for the same grade.
The bolts used for my Scamp hitch are grade 5. I never use a torque wrench, but tighten the nuts as tight as I can with my 14" long 1/2" breaker bar. Since the stress on the bolts are in double shear and not tension, I believe that they need to be tight enough for them so the nuts don't come off. Since I use ny-lock nuts, I don't believe torque is an issue. This method has served me well for many thousands of miles.
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:52 PM   #4
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Adequate torquing of bolts in any connection is important. Properly installed bolts are only loaded in tension and any shear forces should be taken up by the friction between the bolted parts. If for some reason the connection gets loose, the bolts may be sheared, but they basically failed long before this happened.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:32 PM   #5
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Adequate torquing of bolts in any connection is important. Properly installed bolts are only loaded in tension and any shear forces should be taken up by the friction between the bolted parts. If for some reason the connection gets loose, the bolts may be sheared, but they basically failed long before this happened.
I stand corrected. You are indeed right! My bad! Apparently, I am able to generate adequate torque with my flex handle and socket, as the bolts have never shown any sign of loosening.
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Old 11-13-2016, 08:52 AM   #6
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If it were me, I would use the nylon lock nut to make sure it does not loosen.
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