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Trailer Hitch Thoughts??

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Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:34 pm


Well, it's about time for me to put a hitch on the ol' girl (not Cindy--she's already hitched). I've been to a couple of hitch shops and they don't want to touch it unless it's completely welded on, which may make it a smidge difficult to remove the engine. If anybody has any thoughts (or pics) on those you've put together, maybe I won't have to re-invent the wheel. At this point, I just need enough hitch to pull a Honda sedan.

Our coach is a Model 15 with the hydraulic drive fan, so I have about 6-8 inches between the rear bumper and the crank pulley with nothing else in the way. A penny for your thoughts and maybe a buck for a good idea!

Art
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:52 pm


I'd have to go look at mine to be sure but I thought it welded to a cradle that comes out with the engine. Maybe not though. I haven't looks at it in a while.
Dale Houston
1993 Eagle 15-45
Nashville, TN
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:31 pm


Hi Art.

Pictures of my hitch would not help you because of my unique motormounts (Series 60)

Eagle engines are mounted on frame rails with large bolts. It should be very straight forward to fabricate a hitch using one set of the bolts and probably another set of holes drilled for a second set of bolts. I would go ahead and make (have made) a receiver type hitch (2 inch square receiver hole). That way you can adapt up or down to get your tow bar parallel to the ground (very important).

You will want to make the hitch pretty hefty. Not so much for the Honda, but for larger loads you might have later.

Eagle construction will handle reasonable load **IF** the down tubes are not rusted significantly (many are). Anyone considering towing a trailer with more than 500 pounds tongue load might want to take a look at a page I of my bus project page (see signature)

At least two people on this board have towed large trailers (10K or better) with their Eagles with out an auxiliary tow dolly to take the tongue load off the hitch (Clifford Allan and Joe Laird). From an engineering standpoint that scares me, but it does say that a properly designed hitch for an Eagle can be mighty strong.

If you can't do the work yourself (don't use a small mig welder), go to a good general welding shop who will work with you. Have a general idea of what you want, and you will be surprised what they can whip up.

I would go to a wrecking yard a pull a heavy duty receiver hitch off a truck or SUV and have them modify that for your Eagle by cutting off the ends and adapting. That will save a ton of labor. Recall the fact that the engine rails are offset to the driver side, so the hitch will not be centered in the rails.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
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Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:44 pm


Art, with you having a 6v92 there is 2 holes in the frame that was put there for the 8v92 engine I have no welds attaching my hitch to my bus Van will be here Friday and will take some photos for you if you like they are simple to build for a Eagle.Jim, Doyle the Texas Border Dude tows a 32 or 36 foot trailer behind his Eagle the same hitch Doyle and Coffee travel over the US with no problems
Clifford
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:31 pm


Hi Art. I recently completed my hitch assembly. I'll email pics to Dale and see if he can post them here. The 1/4" steel L&R brackets are bolted to the frame through the factory tubed holes with 3/4 grade 8 bolts. The cross tube is also 1/4, rectangular for strength. The male and female reciever is drilled for two positions so I can "stretch out" an additional 10" for more turning clearance if I ever need to. The male part is solid steel shaft instead of tubing, that way the pin will not wear. I also drilled for double pins for redundancy. My tow car only weighs 2,400# but I built this to handle much more. Go as heavy as you can. Lastly, I had the unit powder coated. Hope this helps.
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:38 pm


I've got to redo my hitch. Whoever did it put it about 8" too far to the driver's side. Apparently lined up with the engine instead of the center of the bus.
Dale Houston
1993 Eagle 15-45
Nashville, TN
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:44 pm


Here you go, guys. This is a good looking hitch. Depending on what I have to do when I redo mine, I may follow this example.

rennerhitch1.jpg
rennerhitch1.jpg (32.36 KiB) Viewed 142 times


rennerhitch2.jpg
rennerhitch2.jpg (67.19 KiB) Viewed 142 times
Dale Houston
1993 Eagle 15-45
Nashville, TN
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:34 pm


Thanks for posting my pictures, Dale. My original design had gussets from the cross tube to the brackets, but by using a rectangular cross tube I did not think I needed gussets. By the way, I hope nobody ever welds their hitch into the bus. Kinda hard to pull your engine if you ever have to.
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:54 pm


Thanks to all for the info and pics. . .please keep 'em coming! I was scratching my head and was thinking along the same lines as Boomer's hitch, but I'll need to do a little tinkering. I have the 6V92 with the hydraulic drive and thought I had about 6-8 inches between the inside of the bumper and the crank pulley. . . after actually looking at it closely, I have about two inches. Also, the muffler is tucked close to the rear of the bus and the pipe is snugged-up against the frame rail.

From the inside of the bumper to the motor mounts on the frame rail, there's about 4-6 inches. . .I'm thinking about using angle (similar to Boomers) and bolting to the 1/4" plate that's just outboard of the rails where the hydraulic pump sits on one side and where the AC compressor used to be on the other.

One way or another, I'll get something lined-up. . .thanks to everyone's help!

Art
Art Wales
1988 Eagle 15
6V92/740
Riverside County, CA
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Re: Trailer Hitch Thoughts??
Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:21 am


Those photos really show what the hitch should look like.

Repeating myself, you can go to a wrecking yard and pull a receiver hitch off of a BIG vehicle. It will have a 2 or 2 1/2 inch heavy square cross tube with the 2 inch ID square receiver welded in. If you think about it, there is a lot of work in the fabrication of that part. You then cut off the ends and weld on the angle iron that bolts to the engine rails. You may have to extend the cross tube on the passenger side, but that is easy to do. If you have to extend that side, I would put and inner tube inside the cross piece so that the butt weld is reinforced.

Also, I feel the need to restate that you MUST NOT use a small mig welder for this job unless you are an EXPERT welder and make several passes. Even a large 220V mig welder can be an issue if you are not experienced. Mig welders in the hands of an inexperienced person can produce beautiful beads with almost no penetration. If a small mig welder is all you have, do some heavy tack welds and then take it to someone who can weld it properly. We are talking about a safety issue here. **end soap box rant** :D :D

Dale, someone might have fabricated that hitch configuration on purpose. I have talked to a couple of folks who have built offset hitches (always seem to be offset to the driver side) so that they can see the toad in their mirror. One person I talked to said the toad pulled just fine and he had less tendency to "curb" the toad on tight right turns. I thought about building mine that way, but could not force myself to "buck the trend".

One last thought. Do not weld on a bus with a DDEC ECM unless you disconnect all of the cables. Some folks do the same with their inverter connections. ALWAYS put the ground right next to the part you are welding. Even then, electronic parts can still be damaged.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net (Please email me rather than use the PM process)
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