Custom receiver hitch for bike rack on Flagstaff 228d

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by Caravaner, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Needed a way to carry 2 bikes and don't want to put them on top of the minivan, so welded a 1-1/4 receiver and bracing on the 228'd frame this weekend.
    Used this 24" long receiver: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GN6MRA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Along with 1/8x1" flat bar and 1" angle iron to add support and resist twisting.
    Finally, hit everything with POR15. Went ahead and did the whole rear bumper and tongue to cover some surface rust.
    Total weight of receiver, rack and 2 bikes is 115lbs so net reduction in trailer hitch weight of ~80 lbs (440lbs before, 360lbs after).
    Also welded a bracket on the tongue to store the 11 gallon gray water tank, which adds abut 15lbs back and puts the tongue weight ~13% of loaded trailer weight.
    The $150 Titanium 125 flux-core welder from Harbor Freight did a great job. Neat little machine!

    Image3504836088412967637.jpg Image6666260630249045662.jpg Image4124080148738614761.jpg Image8982375187050541822.jpg Image7473948074924912040.jpg Image2574774805042606327.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  2. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a good job.
     
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  3. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    What bike rack did you use?
     
  4. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    thanks bheff - I'll be keeping an eye on it in the rear view camera for at least the first couple trips. Trust my welds but the flimsy c-channel frame not so much ;)

    Econ: this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075MTH9NS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Has been working great for the past 6 months on the minivan. Use this to secure bikes if needed: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0776SGHFD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Doesn't tip back far enough to pull out the bed with bikes on it, but shouldn't need to do that much if at all.

    Some more pics. The gray water tank is fairly secure, I may weld another eye bolt and/or a support on the frame to tighten it up better.
    Image8593655733969747512.jpg Image4543930809543908333.jpg Image1781817587133256463.jpg Image1145466588006186622.jpg Image694731682063101850.jpg
     
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  5. jeeper88

    jeeper88 Let's go Camping and Jeepin

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    Lot of xtra weight on the back. I did something a little different and the weight caused sway pretty bad. I had to lower my ball and that helped.
     
  6. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    We'll see how she does this weekend on a ~30 mile trip. Don't plan on breaking any speed records ;)

    How much did you lower the ball? I'm sure there's an online calculator somewhere to crunch the #s, but short of lowering it a couple feet don't see how this would make an appreciable difference.
     
  7. jeeper88

    jeeper88 Let's go Camping and Jeepin

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    I flipped the ball mount so about 2"
     
  8. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I recently bought that little flux core welder as well. I used it to weld some light boxes onto my boat trailer. Very nice for the price.
     
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  9. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Got back today from our first camping adventure. 2 nights at a nearby Jellystone park. Bike carrier worked great. It is a little loose in the receiver, rocking around quite a bit over bumps so may try shimming it.
    Going out again in 3 weeks, this time a little further away at Huntsville state park where there will be more trails to enjoy riding. 76693387_10215160880191032_721140462290731008_o.jpg
     
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  10. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I made my own version of this.....I keep a 9/16 ratchet wrench in the back. Works perfectly to keep the rattle down. 41UPdz6++vL._AC_SY400_.jpg
     
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  11. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Cool, hadn't thought to look online for a solution turns out there are several options out there.

    $13 for this:
    upload_2019-11-19_10-7-4.png

    $25 for this:
    upload_2019-11-19_10-6-0.png

    $13 is definitely worth a flyer. Ordered!
     

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  12. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Before leaving I checked the hitch weight, which came out to 345lbs at the front support or ~325lbs at the TV's ball 10" forward. Comfortably >10% of the trailer's total loaded weight, but I don't feel the need to remove the 12V battery.
    Tracked straight no swaying noted, at least up ~70mph I hit on the way there. Normally cruised at 65mph which felt nice and relaxing.
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  13. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    How did your weight go down from the support to the ball coupler?
    And what is the picture showing? Edit: I see you have it on a fulcrum.
     
  14. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    ball coupler is ~10" further away from the trailer's axle i.e. another fulcrum so 132" vs the support's 122" or ~8% less gravity at the coupler.
     
  15. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    And what is the picture showing?

    There was an old Etrailer video that has been taken down. How do you weigh a 500 pound tongue weight with a 300 pound bathroom scale? Caravaner is using a 2X scale. Mine is a 3x scale.

    Image a 3' long 2x4. Put a fulcrum at "0". At the one foot line place a large nail laying down so all the force is concentrated at the 12" mark. Put the ball receiver there. Place the bathroom scale at 36". Put a large nail sideways so all the force is concentrated at 36". Read the scale and multiply by 3. Or in his case it is a 2' long 2x4 and multiply by 2
     
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  16. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    In my head I'm doing the book analogy. Hold a book close to your body it's easy, stretch your arm out and it gets harder.
     
  17. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    think of it another way: hold your arm straight out with nothing in it, flexing your muscles to try keeping your arm level with the ground. Would it be harder for me to move your arm up if I was pushing on your elbow or your wrist? The further away from the fulcrum, the lower the force required to move/hold something.
     
  18. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    By that theory if we all extended the tongue several feet the tongue weight should reduce, putting less strain on the TV rear suspension, reducing squat and keeping more weight on the front wheels?
     
  19. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Absolutely. Except that extending the trailer's tongue adds material and weight, and the structure would need to be stronger/larger to resist bending, and the entire "train" will grow in length (no more storing in your garage or fitting into a small camp site!).
    I understand that it's a little tricky to envision since the direction of forces is opposite what we normally think of when dealing with levers (i.e. pushing against a force on the other side of a fulcrum rather than the same side), but it's a law of mechanics not a theory that given a fixed torque (in this case, gravity trying to twist the trailer around it's axle until the tongue hits the ground) the required equal, opposite vertical force is reduced the further away from the fulcrum that force is applied.
     
  20. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    You could throw a cheap sway bar on it too just to be extra safe in case a gust of wind hits just right or something. Since you have a welder, it would be cheap and easy to install. The Harbor Freight one can be had for really cheap with the ubiquitous coupon.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/trailer-sway-control-kit-96462.html
     
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