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Thread: off road hitch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sedro Woolley Wash.
    Posts
    453

    Default off road hitch

    I have gotten a full size wooden mockup of my fully articulating off road hitch built! WOOHOO! I have been working on this design for over a year now and finally have been able to put together a working mockup. I will post a Youtube link so you can see how it works. The finished unit will all be built out of solid steel, all machined from bar stock and flat steel bars welded together. The pins will be made from allen bolts which have a shear strength MANY times greater than this trailer/Jeep package together will weigh! If memory serves me, a 5/8 allen has a shear rating of right about 20'000 lbs, far more than will ever be called on.The part that goes to the trailer will be threaded into a 2 inch solid bar that slides into a receaver tube like the tow vehicle unit. It will be 1 1/8 inch threaded, fully greasable. The pins the hitch swivels on will be 5/8 allen bolts. All moving parts will be brass bushings, fully greasable. I hope this gives some idea of what this will be like when finished.


    YouTube - wooden sample of articulating off road hitch
    Last edited by backwoods3; 02-28-2011 at 04:38 PM.
    Anything you do in the great outdoors, CANT be ALL bad!
    As long as you can do it in the back country!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Rainier Beach, Seattle
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Hmmm, interesting concept Mark.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, WA
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    Excellent concept, great mock-up and and a very professional video and naration, Mark. Many thanks for sharing your ideas with the rest of us. I am looking forward to seing the finished product.
    Jerry Horn
    Exploring PNW Backroads
    K7PNW

  4. #4

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    VERY nicely done! That looks like a winner! I would be interested in one if/when you build some.
    N7GS

  5. #5

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    That looks like a reasonable articulating coupler.

    Any thoughts on being able to increase the ground clearance at that pivot point? The receiver tends to be the place that drags and keeping that pivot point higher has advantages. Trying to keep the vehicles CG low and using factory hitches means the receivers are a low point on the declination angle.



    Here is the coupler that I made for my trailer:



    Urethane bushings, 5/8" pins , 1.25" threaded shaft, 1" bolt w/teflon washer. Extends 20".

    Rattle free and about 2k miles on it now.

    If I need to raise or lower the hitch height it is as easy as buying the hitch that fits the ride height.

    Just food for thought.

    Get yours done and lets spend some time talking about them around a campfire.
    "Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sedro Woolley Wash.
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    453

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    The receaver for my hitch is in the middle of my rear bumper. I dont have a tape tp measure the height, but I'd venture a guess it's close if not over 30 inches off the ground. My bumper will hit before the hitch even comes close to the ground. Take a look at the link and let me know what you think. I can figure out something if need to! I should be getting my new welder in the next couple months, so I will be able to get the trailer and hitch done before summer. THen we can take all our trailers out and play! LOL check out the thread before this one and see my trailer, it will be over 6 inches higher when done than it is now.



    http://www.pnwadventures.com/forum/a...ad-bumper.html
    Anything you do in the great outdoors, CANT be ALL bad!
    As long as you can do it in the back country!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    3,035

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    Cool stuff, you guys!
    Jerry Horn
    Exploring PNW Backroads
    K7PNW

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by backwoods3 View Post
    The receaver for my hitch is in the middle of my rear bumper. I dont have a tape tp measure the height, but I'd venture a guess it's close if not over 30 inches off the ground. My bumper will hit before the hitch even comes close to the ground. Take a look at the link and let me know what you think.
    I am a little slow , but starting to make the connection now.

    I think your articulating hitch mounted at the level of your receiver is great. That will keep it out of harms way and out of the mud.

    From this picture I see you are using what appears to be a 4" drop hitch to get to the trailers level:



    Are you incorporating a "dog leg" in your hitch , or do you plan to raise the drawbar for the trailer?

    It may seem like this vehicle will last forever, but don't count on that. I was very sure my last two trucks were perfect and would be forever. Stuff happens and you end up making changes. Plan for future adaptations to make the change easier. Anything you can do to make it adaptable to a different hitch height would be an advantage.

    I really like the receiver tube on my drawbar. The ability to lengthen the bar, or swap out to a different coupler is very nice.

    What welder are you getting? Are you an experienced welder?

    The threaded rod. I think you mentioned machining it yourself? Do you plan to temper or surface harden it? Twisting motion is not a problem , as lubrication will take care of that. I do worry about the vibration and shock loads on the thread though. That is where some surface hardness may be an advantage.

    Mine has a hardened roll pin through the end of the threaded shaft past the portion that threads onto the receiver tube. This does two things. It is a safety to stop the threaded portion from pulling through the threaded receiver and with a stop on the inside of the tube it limits my horizontal articulation to 270°.
    I think that this area could be simpler. I had plenty of the threaded shaft, so this is what I used. If I build another I might follow the design of the Lunette mounts and use a bushing / shaft design, but then I would need to decide how to limit and adjust for thrust.
    The cross bolt at the front of my coupler passes through that shaft via a slightly over sized hole. The bushings to the sides isolate the bolt from the shaft. Passing through it like this offers a safety that a pipe welded to the end of a shaft would not.

    I'm headed a little off track here, sorry.

    Looking at your design and trailer, a "dog leg" up from the trailer may be the best KISS answer. I hesitate to add the raise in the hitch to the latching end of this coupler as it would be the more complicated of the two to replicate, but perhaps that could be turned around. You trailer and load should be light enough to handle a raise like that in 2" hitch tube.
    I would add a receiver tube to the front of the trailer and put that ball coupler on a tube. I carried mine as an easy swap in coupler for a while when testing and confidence building were in progress.
    "Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sedro Woolley Wash.
    Posts
    453

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    Yes I am a journeyman machinest and a journeyman weldor(since 1976)

    No I will not be using any drop legs or offset hitches or offset tounges. The trailer will get a set of 31 inch tires and new springs to raise the trailer frame about 6 -7 inches from the height it is now.

    The welder I am getting is a Miller 211, so I can use it on 110 with my generator to make it portable or 220 in my shop.

    Any engineering questions I have on this project, I discuss with the engineers at work(we have a full staff in house)

    Yes I am planning on case hardening the threads on the new coupler. It wont be welded in, it will be machined out of the same piece of solid bar stock as the trailer end of the new coupler is made from. The threads will have around 2 1/2 inch of engagment in the female mating part.

    Yes I plan to put my "ball" type coupler on a stinger tube so it can be swapped out easily.

    The trailer will get a 2 inch receiver tube on the tounge frame as part of the new mods I have in the works for it this spring.

    ALL pins and bolts will be made from heat treated Allen bolts, a 5/8 allen bolt has a shear of around 18-20000 lbs, far more than I need.

    All hinge/swivel points will have grease fittings and brass bushings and O-ring seals.

    The drop hitch in the trailer photo is just about 7 inches! the bumper is 5 inch tubing.

    I hope this clears up any confusion I may have caused in the last post! LOL I have a little trouble sometimes getting my point across as I intend! Goofy old minds dont work like they used to work! LOL
    Anything you do in the great outdoors, CANT be ALL bad!
    As long as you can do it in the back country!

  10. #10

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    You have no problem getting the idea across. It is just , I that need the picture painted clearly and then hammered in to understand

    The picture is deceptive. It looks like you only need to raise about 4" to be in line with the receiver. Will your rear ramp be functional after raising 7" , or do you plan to extend it?
    Sounds like you have all the resources lined up for this project. Take pictures along the way. Mine was a quick build and I did not take the pictures along the way. It will be fun to see the process unfold.
    Last edited by HenryJ; 01-15-2011 at 07:00 AM.
    "Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond

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