Couplers and ball mounts

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Couplers and ball mounts

Postby QueticoBill » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:53 pm

I'm juggling the NT tongue extension, changing from overslung to under slung, allowing for a change from 12 to larger rims in the future.

So tongue extension is most likely 2 x 2 (1/8 works by spread sheet in design resources but will use 3/16, or 1/4 if I can get that for free). The NT coupler is designed bolting to 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 tube.

A "clean" and simple design simply replaces the coupler with a new one designed to bolt to 2 x 2, and I replace the (free) ball mount with an adjustable one. The least expensive of those two from from etrailer is about $45 together ($15.09 and $28.95) so it all seems simpler than attaching the NT coupler with shims and/or offsetting a piece of 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 on top of 2 x 2. And then its still wrong if I changed from the stock 12" rims to 14 (or 15?).

So, first, what are the negative consequences of using an adjustable ball mount? Even the least expensive is rated 5000# and I estimate #1200 loaded (or less since I have made it a foot shorter since calculating weight).

Second, comments on differences between different brands of couplers and ball mounts. SInce they are all rated for loads 3-5 times what I predict, are there significant differences? And if so, will any be an issue for a few years?
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:20 pm

The negative is if not adjusted correctly can come off as ours did, In the rebuild repair I switched to a bulldog hitch

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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby G-Mac » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:11 pm

[urlhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J0ABNHU/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1][/url]

I used this one to start with. Built like a brick-$hithouse, but lighter than a non-adjustable. Rated to tow a house.

ANY hitch can fail if not setup properly. I used locking pins in all locations and checked them every time I connected the camper.

After the lift, I put it in my wife's truck. I went to dedicated drop, but not for any safety reasons.
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby bobhenry » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:15 am

level the trailer and measure into the ball cup from the ground. This less and inch to and inch and a half should be the optimum towing height measured to the top of the ball. Then I would get a dedicated mount with the correct drop or rise to get me close to that height.
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby swoody126 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:44 am

Bill, i don't see where'bouts you're at...

down here in Texas we have farm stores called TRACTOR SUPPLY, GEBO'S & ATWOODS that carry couplers in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of those w/ different tongue dimensions

for leveling i prefer changing the stinger(flipping or different drop/rise) in my receiver to changing the sling of the coupler

i suspect virtually any farm store in your area would have similar offerings knot to mention offering undercarriage & lighting options

just a caution, when retyring w/ larger diameter rims the act of re-fenderizing can get sporty...

PICS would be nice

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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby QueticoBill » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:02 am

bobhenry wrote:level the trailer and measure into the ball cup from the ground. This less and inch to and inch and a half should be the optimum towing height measured to the top of the ball. Then I would get a dedicated mount with the correct drop or rise to get me close to that height.


Good help - thanks. Since I'm basically building the tongue I've got to use this in reverse a bit. What I can measure is (current) tow vehicle and ball mount (without ball at the moment) and then figure out in drawing the tongue and coupler mount. I was trying to avoid welding but may have to bite it and weld a piece of 2 1/2" tube atop the 2" tongue. I don't know what happens if I change rims later but will deal with it I guess.
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby Dale M. » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:39 am

I know you can get the 2x2 for free but all the bolting and brackets that are in kit are already designed for the 2-1/2 x 2-1/2.... As the larger web will be stronger than the 2x2... Personally I would actually go to 3x3 inch if you are going to extend tongue...

Just follow the diagram to determine offset (drop or raise) in ball mount... And get standard mound, adjustable ones are big and clunky and another place for something to come loose...

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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby H.A. » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:53 pm

This [/url]
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby QueticoBill » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:23 am

So I measured parts and receiver on current tow vehicle - a Curt aftermarket bar on a RAV4 - and came up with this:

147381

I also in looking around found a slight different measuring system to determine drop, this being to the bottom of the coupler rather than the bottom of the ball flange:

147382

I'm inclined to think I'm OK with my current ball mount that seems to be 2 1/4" drop.

I could modify the tongue extension to raise the coupler a bit - 1/2 to 3/4" easily - more with difficulty. I will probably do that the easy rise.

The nice thing is if I do change to larger wheels it looks like I can use the same ball mount inverted - so the 2" drop becomes a 1" rise.

PS: I like that Euro-chassis HA. In surfing here I've never seen anything like that.
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby aggie79 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:03 am

To make things even more confusing you need to factor in the "squat" of the vehicle due to the tongue weight of the trailer. Your reference should be the "loaded" height rather than unloaded height. If you base your drop upon the unloaded height and a level trailer, the drop will be too much causing the trailer to be pitched down at the front.
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby QueticoBill » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:04 pm

aggie79 wrote:To make things even more confusing you need to factor in the "squat" of the vehicle due to the tongue weight of the trailer. Your reference should be the "loaded" height rather than unloaded height. If you base your drop upon the unloaded height and a level trailer, the drop will be too much causing the trailer to be pitched down at the front.


Good point - thank you - I was trying to imagine how loads - both trailer and tow vehicle - would affect this. WIth the current design I'm actually making progress on, the ball is less than an inch high with both no-load tow vehicle and trailer with tires perfectly round - no deflection. I think I just have to build it and look at it with some kind of normal load and if I have to replace the ball mount, so be it. It looks like between the various brands there are options that vary by increments less than an inch in this range. I'm only estimating 100-125 pound tongue weight on a current tow vehicle with a 350 pound rating - but in fine print I think that is part of and not separate from the total tow vehicle weight. Of course if I drive in Europe, it's magically more.
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby dancam » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:29 pm

Just put 125 pounds in the trunk and measure how much it drops. Probably 1/4inch or less...

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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby QueticoBill » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:22 pm

dancam wrote:Just put 125 pounds in the trunk and measure how much it drops. Probably 1/4inch or less...

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Wouldn't the car top carrier, canoe on top, and back with seats rear folded (RAV4) filled with gear make a difference? Max payload is 1043 - maybe just load it up with that. I bet I exceed that when I have myself, 4 Scouts, and a lot of gear.....

:)

Good thought - I think I need to build the tear and load it all up.
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby working on it » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:31 pm

QueticoBill wrote:
dancam wrote:Just put 125 pounds in the trunk and measure how much it drops. Probably 1/4inch or less...

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Wouldn't the car top carrier, canoe on top, and back with seats rear folded (RAV4) filled with gear make a difference? Max payload is 1043 - maybe just load it up with that. I bet I exceed that when I have myself, 4 Scouts, and a lot of gear.....

:)

Good thought - I think I need to build the tear and load it all up.
  • In the case of a smaller vehicle, loading up both the tear and the tow vehicle should give an accurate picture of coupler to ball matching heights. But, since I am using a 2500 HD truck, with overload coil-over rear shocks (added when I was carrying 1000-1500 lbs in the truck bed. and towing a 4000 lb car on a 3000 lb trailer), the little (1700+ lb) TTT that I'm towing now, has little effect on tongue angle or coupler to ball matching heights.
  • I usually carry 200-300 lbs of gear/spare gas/extra coolers of ice in my truck, and load the front inside cargo area of my trailer with 200-250 lbs of coolers/water jugs/side table(s) (included in my calculated total & tongue weights), for travelling. Add to that is the contents of my tongue box, with battery, three or four extension cords and spare trailer parts (including two heavy containers of nuts, bolts, & screws). Even all this added weight hardly changed the tongue angle and disparity between coupler and ball heights very little, thru various trips and equipment mods, as seen in the photo collage.
  • tongue weight progression; angle still upward.png
    tongue weight progression; angle still upward.png (350.42 KiB) Viewed 318 times
  • I tow everything with my Weight Distributing hitch, set at its' lowest point, never changing, for all three of my trailers. The nose angle of my tandem-axle car hauler is almost level with the hitch, my wife's Puma 20-ft business trailer is slightly nose-down, and my TTT is slightly nose-up. I use the WD system on all three trailers, with a sway control on the two larger ones. For the TTT, I made an attachment for a single spring-bar, to add "apparent" weight to the tongue, and to level-out the slight upward angle. So far, there has been no sign of sway from it, and I'll continue to travel like that. P.S. I can hardly lift the tongue now, when empty, and with great effort, when the cargo is loaded (I think I'll load up AFTER I put the coupler on the ball, next time).
  • A little bit high or low, the angle of the trailer's nose matters only a little, if the trailer weight balances are in proper ratio, and if the tow vehicle is a good match (or in my case, an over-match) for the trailer (weight-wise). And a good WD system will make it all work better!
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
  • 147697148333
  • 148599125895148106
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Re: Couplers and ball mounts

Postby dancam » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:15 pm

QueticoBill wrote:
dancam wrote:Just put 125 pounds in the trunk and measure how much it drops. Probably 1/4inch or less...

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Wouldn't the car top carrier, canoe on top, and back with seats rear folded (RAV4) filled with gear make a difference? Max payload is 1043 - maybe just load it up with that. I bet I exceed that when I have myself, 4 Scouts, and a lot of gear.....

:)

Good thought - I think I need to build the tear and load it all up.


Well sure, maybe i didnt word that well, I was just trying to point out that you dont have to actually build the trailer first to find out how much it will drop the back end of the tv.
If you want to you can figure out how much all that weighs, put an equivilant weight in the same spots and measure how far the reciever drops.
I used 5 gallon pails and tires that i weighed but use anything with a known weight. You should have a good idea of what your trailer will weigh and if your 20-30 pounds off on the tongue weight that wont make a difference. Thats all i was trying to say.

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