A hitch in my plans.

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A hitch in my plans.

Postby mlawrence » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:58 pm

Hi,
I am at the point where I am ready to buy a trailer and start my build but I need some collective wisdom to help me decide which trailer to use. I've narrowed it down to two of the usual suspects; the 5x8 Ironton or the 5x8 Ultratow aluminum. I like the weight savings of the aluminum but here is the literal hitch. I would like to put a receiver on the back of the TD to carry a couple of bikes, roughly 80-90 pounds for rack and bikes. I know I could have one welded on the Ironton but could I affix one safely to the aluminum trailer? Also I wonder about how that weight will affect how the trailer tows. I could scrap the whole plan and go back to the roof rack for the bikes but they tend to get pretty 'bugged' up, that is the reason I got the hitch rack in the first place. Thanks for your help.
Mark
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby tony.latham » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:01 pm

mlawrence wrote:Hi,
I am at the point where I am ready to buy a trailer and start my build but I need some collective wisdom to help me decide which trailer to use. I've narrowed it down to two of the usual suspects; the 5x8 Ironton or the 5x8 Ultratow aluminum. I like the weight savings of the aluminum but here is the literal hitch. I would like to put a receiver on the back of the TD to carry a couple of bikes, roughly 80-90 pounds for rack and bikes. I know I could have one welded on the Ironton but could I affix one safely to the aluminum trailer? Also I wonder about how that weight will affect how the trailer tows. I could scrap the whole plan and go back to the roof rack for the bikes but they tend to get pretty 'bugged' up, that is the reason I got the hitch rack in the first place. Thanks for your help.
Mark


I've got a receiver welded to our chassis and occaisionally we will slip a bike rack in and load the bikes.

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Anytime we are off the pavement, there's a lot of vibration and bouncing back and forth with the bikes. I think it's kinda like the tip of the whip.

I suppose one could have a receiver welded up that you could bolt to your aluminum chassis but I'd watch for stress cracks like a hawk. :thinking:

Tony
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby Shadow Catcher » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:28 pm

Aluminum, less weight, does not rust. Down side finite modulus of elasticity, they can fail, however there are 70+ YO aircraft still flying.
Our bike rack is on the tongue of our aluminum frame trailer.
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:40 pm

I think the original question was whether you can weld a receiver hitch to an aluminum frame. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Not unless you really know what you're doing. If you go with the aluminum frame, you could drill holes in the receiver tube and cross members and bolt/screw the receiver to the frame. If you plan to carry a decent load on the hitch, consider extending the receiver tube to the second cross member.

Don't worry about the modulus of elasticity stuff. That matters on a welded trailer. Not so much on these bolted ones, and particularly when the camper shell will provide all the rigidity anyway.
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:42 pm

On another note, though, I think those aluminum kits still use zinc-plated bolts? You might consider dipping the bolts in a dielectric grease to prevent galvanic corrosion. That might be overkill .... but in theory, it's a good idea :)
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby swoody126 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:59 pm

this unit can be bolted to the rear frame member if you feel the frame is strong enuff

http://www.bing.com/search?q=Reese+Towp ... 995CC5D42C

i do think i would do as recommended above and connect with the next fwd frame cross member
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby KCStudly » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:43 am

Andrew Herrick wrote:...you could drill holes in the receiver tube and cross members and bolt/screw the receiver to the frame.

Seems merely obvious, but I will throw it out there; if you just have a short receiver tube (not the nice flanged one shown ^), then if you drill thru to bolt it to the frame the bolt heads will be inside the tube and in the way of whatever you plan to slip in. At least that is what I pictured when I read this; perhaps I misinterpreted. :roll:
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby Dale M. » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:01 am

Also short tube mounted to single cross member will tend to put more twisting motion on the single cross member and cause failure from metal fatigue really fast... Suggest if you are going to add any receiver to rear of trailer you treat it same as front tongue and have it extended forward to grab at least two cross members.... Remember the longer the rack and the more weight (load) on rack the more it going to have twisting motion ....

Another aspect is how stout is rear of trailer, some trailers may not even support the extra "load" very well and cross members may need to be stiffened or replace with something more robust...

In my mind its not quit as simple as "just bolting something on"...

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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby aggie79 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:17 am

Dale M. wrote:Also short tube mounted to single cross member will tend to put more twisting motion on the single cross member and cause failure from metal fatigue really fast... Suggest if you are going to add any receiver to rear of trailer you treat it same as front tongue and have it extended forward to grab at least two cross members.


How about using a long receiver tube through bolted to an interior cross-member...

http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Accessories/Draw-Tite/2852.html?feed=npn&gclid=COy0kZPNstACFdgPgQoddkENLw

KCStudly wrote:
Andrew Herrick wrote:...you could drill holes in the receiver tube and cross members and bolt/screw the receiver to the frame.

Seems merely obvious, but I will throw it out there; if you just have a short receiver tube (not the nice flanged one shown ^), then if you drill thru to bolt it to the frame the bolt heads will be inside the tube and in the way of whatever you plan to slip in. At least that is what I pictured when I read this; perhaps I misinterpreted. :roll:


...with a square u-bolt at the frame's outer cross-member?

http://www.sturdybuiltonline.com/Galvanized-Square-Ubolt-12-inch-x-2-58-inch-x-3-916-inch_p_737.html
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby drhill » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:43 am

Mark - I put a receiver on the back of my trailer but have never used it. I built the trailer with a longer tongue so the bikes can be carried on the tongue. The back end of the trailer is the end of the whip as somebody said. A bike rack will tend to bounce up and down a lot there and will eventually break an aluminum frame. I also like having the bikes between the trailer and tow vehicle where I can see them and know they are riding fine. Also the bikes aren't in the way to open the galley. There is a thread here in the bicycle section with some examples of bike racks.
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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby tony.latham » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:45 pm

Also the bikes aren't in the way to open the galley.


I think that is a major good idea. I drag my feet on taking the bikes for this reason.

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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby mlawrence » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:05 pm

Thanks for all the insights. I'm starting to lean away from the idea of carrying the bikes back there, just too many variables and the 'end of the whip' argument may have sealed the deal for me. I can put up with some smashed bugs on our bikes, extra protein if we need it while we are out riding!

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Re: A hitch in my plans.

Postby drhill » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:11 pm

Tony - I also made the tongue long enough that the tow vehicle hatch can be opened without disturbing the bikes. I was about to build a regular top opening tongue box when my wife suggested doors in the ends instead. This allows the bikes to stay in place, locked up, until I want to use them. She had a great idea!

Mark - if you do go with a steel trailer it would be easy to upgrade and lengthen the tongue. I went with a 3x3 but you could use a 2x3 with the 3" dimension in the vertical. I would be hesitant to use just a 2x2 tongue for a rack mount unless it is just 2 light bikes.
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