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New HDT owner, commercial hitch question


Darkhorse

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Hello all, new to the forum and just bought an 06 387 Pete to pull my 3950 Voltage toy hauler. I have skimmed through the threads and search feature but couldnt find anything directly related to my issue.

I have a trailair pin box on my 5er, I am still planning on installing an RV hitch on the Pete to allow for side to side pivoting but its not in the budget atm. I think the trailair pinbox will help me in the interum. My problem is this:

I was installing my Hayes air/electric break controller, hooked the trailer up and was doing a few brake tests under 5 mph. The trailer would jerk and I could here a clunk, I repeated one more time and figured out that the commercial hitch was pivoting back and hitting the stop. This obviously makes a highly undesireable lurch and clunk when stopping. How do I overcome this? I could brace something in between the frame and back of the hitch but I dont care for the idea of that for one and it would aslo prevent fore and aft pivoting which would make the hitch completely rigid.

I have read most of the airhitch threads and as I said that is in my future, however I have seen some do use the commercial hitch so how did you overcome this issue? All your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

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What may also be causing you grief is if there is slack in your hitch jaws. There should be a threaded rod sticking out the front of your commercial hitch with a nut on it. If the nut has already been backed all the way then your jaws are probably worn out. If not....back off that nut on the rod. This will tighten the hitch jaws.

 

Mike

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As I recall those can be rebuilt but unfortunately I don't know of a kit, etc. for doing so. I have just heard owner operators talk about it. Something to look into if the adjustment does not do the trick. Perhaps HDT junk yard to fine the bits and pieces to rebuild yourself as well maybe possible. Good luck.

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The problem with the Trail-Air Pin and the standard hitch is the lateral motion that is not provided for. The effects is that in an unlevel site, you can build a torsional twist in your trailer frame.

 

I have seen the torsion to be so high that the trailer could not be disconnect from the hitch. It a mater of breaking your frame or getting the proper hitch.

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I am aware of what the commercial hitch can do and have looked at the pictures in other threads thats why I stated a few times that an RV hitch is in my future. I appreciate everyone re itterating to me though, I know your trying to save me headache and trouble down the road.

 

The bag is properly inflated and good idea with the go pro, I have one in a drawer somewhere :lol: and thank you for the welcome

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DARKHORSE WELCOME ABOARD!!

This past winter while hanging out at the Kenworth Dealer I asked about a rebuild kit for a commercial 5th. wheel. The answer was yes very repairable but to me very pricy. The jaw kit for a Holland 5th. wheel was in the neighborhood of $500. Sorry I don't remember the price for the pivot pins. I'm not sure but I would think you could pick up a used wheel for less than that. Some time ago I priced one to get a feel for what to sell mine for. It does pay to shop around!

 

GOOD hunting and happy trails with your new sweetheart.

 

roadfitter

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As previously stated hitch rebuild kits are available, the best price is probably from a non dealer supply source such as NAPA. If you go the rebuild it yourself routine make sure that you get the jaws and lock mechanism adjusted properly or you could und up with a dropped trailer event. just sayin

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I understand the money issue. I'd evaluate the plate you have--as long as it isn't going to come unhitched I'd probably try to live with it until you can find something better. You may try strapping a wood block or piece of rubber mudflap or something under the hitch tail to help limit the clunk.

I'd seriously be scouting e-bay and craigslist for a used RV hitch. You would be better off even with a rigid RV type than the OEM, and some of them can get pretty cheap on ebay. DO not sink any money into the OEM hitch if at all possible. Been there, done that once. Then I found a Binkley 2 axis head locally on Craigslist for $500. All I had to do was make the hitch! :rolleyes: Just make sure any hitch you find is rated for your trailer weight.

The play in the pin box is working with the wear in the oem plate to create issues. You want clunk...you should hear my Grain semi everytime I shift gears empty. THe pin on the old trailer is worn just enough....

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Worn hitch jaws will cause that. FWIW, I'd leave them that way to minimize lateral damage until you can replace the hitch. I'd also encourage you to make hitch replacement a priority. Fixing a bent trailer frame is a lot more expensive than a hitch.

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One other idea most of us removed the commercial hitch when we installed the RV hitch. Perhaps you can get one of those especially if they are close you can pick it up? I know I gave mine away to a local trucking company with 6 trucks for free just to get rid of it. :)

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Do you still have the original pin box for the trailer? If so, put it back on.

 

Also, do you have a plastic wear plate on the pin? If so, put your landing gear down and chock the wheels of the trailer, then pull the jaw latch and move the truck forward a few inches so the jaws open and see if they are correctly engaging the pin. You can see this from directly behind the plate.

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That is a nice rig. Try your local salvage yards. I came across on at pick a part a while back. it was not an air hitch but if I remember correctly it did articulate 2 directions, They said they would sell it for $250. never hurts to look.

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Check the Fastenal website, they move some private freight on their trucks to offset fleet operating costs, you have to palletize the item and drop off and pick up at your local stores, freight moves when their is room on the truck.

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OK, I have to jump in and ask the following since I see that you have twin screws on your tractor/toter, even though its off topic a bit:

 

How are these [twin screw] toters being insured for "private not for hire non commercial use" and getting non commercial insurance rates?

 

When we retired our Kenworth super sleeper and left the trucking industry, we approached both the State of Florida to reclassify it as a private use truck to pull our fiver, and the insurance companies. Let me note that we are Florida resident and have all of our vehicles/trailers registered here. The several (top shelf to middle) insurers we approached said their underwriters absolutely would not write a policy to insure the Kenworth for private use as long as it had more than a total of two axles (inclusive of the steer axle). We were told as long as it had the twin screws, the commercial insurers would be the only ones that would write it.

 

1. Commercial insurance is extremely more expensive per year.

 

2. one must have the tractor/toter leased to a commercial carrier or have their own commercial carrier's authority to get a commercial policy.

 

I know because I've been in the trucking business for decades. That's why we ended up selling it and buying Marv and Connie's Volvo. The Kenworth was just to big and valuable as a twin screw to single out.

 

Oh, and what we're paying Alliance Insurance Co. for the annual policy on the single screw Volvo equals a month and a half's insurance payment on our Kenworth!

 

Florida would allow us to register it as a motorhome, which was easy enough since it already had a 170" fully equipped living quarters, but they require the fifth wheel to be removed and the "motorhome" truck not be used to haul a fifth wheel Rv or Gooseneck trailer (more specifically a trailers who's weight rest upon the motorhome). What? That's what it says in the regulations Florida handed us to read.

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I needed a microwave, fridge and inverter to register in NM. No one questioned the twin screws from the state or insurance companies and all ran the VIN and had the model number. Both Progressive and Allied would have insured it. Progressive was more expensive by quite a bit but allowed more driving scenario's. Allied you can only drive the truck with 5er attached, going to/from getting your 5er or getting maintenance done but dare I say it was "cheap".

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We contacted both Progressive and Allied. Neither could right a policy for us as long as it had the second drive axle on it. I do know that the laws governing insurers and what they can write varies from state to state. Even the company we are with which is underwritten by Nationwide Insurance could not write it with twin screws. The tractor did weigh 26,400 lbs and with our Redwood our gross combined weight (which is what Florida requires it to be registered by would have been 44K. We are registered at 34999K with the Volvo.

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