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DO THESE UNITS WORK WELL ?


zigzag

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I've seen Automated Safety Hitch in action, and I am considering it for my setup. The guy using it has an HDT with his jeep on the deck, and pulls his 5er with the ASH. He even has his Jeep with the hitch attachment so he can move his ASH/5er combination around tight campgrounds if needed. The YouTube link didn't work, but there is one other similar system, but looking at how it hooks up makes me wary of it.

Dan & Bree

2010 Freightliner Cascadia 125, DD15, 455hp, UltraShift (Yetti, For Sale)

2015 Grand Design Reflection 308BHTS Travel Trailer (For Sale)

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I've talked to a couple of owners and they love the units........"ask the man that owns one".

 

Drive on.........(hard to beat a good......hitch-up)

97 Freightshaker Century Cummins M11-370 / 1350 /10 spd / 3:08 /tandem/ 20ft Garage/ 30 ft Curtis Dune toybox with a removable horse-haul-module to transport Dolly-The-Painthorse to horse camps and trail heads all over the Western U S

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33Zigzag,

 

You might be asking the wrong crowd here, we can tow or configure our trucks to haul most anything. No need for apparatuses....

 

Curt

2001 Freightliner Century, 500hp Series 60, Gen 2 autoshift, 3.42 singled rear locker.

2004 Keystone Sprinter 299RLS (TT)

2 & 4 Wheelers!

2013 Polaris Ranger 800 midsize LE

Our motto "4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul!"

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33Zigzag,

 

You might be asking the wrong crowd here, we can tow or configure our trucks to haul most anything. No need for apparatuses....

 

Curt

Curt,

I know for a member here that does tow with one of these, he hauls his jeep on the back of his truck. He was at the ECR and National rally last year, I don't know his forum name.

 

Roger

GCTaaehl.jpg

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Rodger, you are correct. On the way to the ECR he put that unit to the test and had an emergency situation come up. I believe he bent a couple of plates on the unit but it withstood the event and he was able to make it to the rally. He had the manufacturer ship him some new parts while he was there. I did not get a chance to talk with him later to see if they came in and all was fixed.

 

I think the things you need to consider with one if these units is your overall length and if your state will consider it a multiple tow.

 

Dave

2005 Freightliner Century S/T, Singled, Air ride ET Jr. hitch
2019 46'+ Dune Sport Man Cave custom 5th wheel toy hauler
Owner of the 1978 Custom Van "Star Dreamer" which might be seen at a local car show near you!

 

Check out http://www.hhrvresource.com/

for much more info on HDT's.

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Lets take a look at a little history of why trucks/trailers have evolved into the present configuration, both in the commercial and RV world. Originally the first combinations were full tractor pulling a trailer with a pintle hook.. By definition, a full tractor has some of the freight(weight) of the load on the truck and the full trailer was configured to be able to stand alone, no landing gear.

This configuration was inherently unstable, because the weight distribution was not optimum. Usually too little weight on the towing vehicle.

The semi tractor/semi trailer solved that by placing upwards of 50% of the load on the towing vehicle, as stable as an articulated vehicle can be. Conversely, double trailers, utilizing a pintle hook/dolly arrangement for the second trailer are inherently unstable, hence the common term "wiggle wagons". I am sure you have seen them going down the road. Indeed lots of countries( Canada for one) utilize a B-train configuration to eliminate the pintle hook pivot point in favor of a full stable fifth wheel attached to the frame of the first trailer

 

In the RV world, everything was bumper pull to start. As units got larger and heavier, it's weight limitations and instability issues began to become known. The need to put more of the total combination weight not only on the hitch, but place the hitch in a optimum location(on top of the drive axle)became the design norm resulting in a very stable configuration.

Hence, the very popular and effective 5th wheel location on top of the axle in the pickup bed, allowing significantly higher percentage of the combination weight to reside on the towing vehicle, with resulting handling stability improvement.

 

This device completely reverses that trend, back to earlier designs. It takes the tongue weight of a 5th wheel trailer, places it on the dolly, adds another pivot point and worse removes needed weight on the towing vehicle, placed there for handling and braking purposes.

 

I realize it's attraction, to allow a larger vehicle on the bed of the towing tractor. My solution would be to stretch the frame of the towing vehicle instead. Does it create some problems? Yes. Every layout has it's tradeoffs. This configuration doesn't impress me.

Jeff Beyer temporarily retired from Trailer Transit
2000 Freightliner Argosy Cabover
2008 Work and Play 34FK
Homebase NW Indiana, no longer full time

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The Automated Safety Hitch does not pivot like a trailer or converter dolly behind the tow vehicle.

 

It attaches at two points approximately at the end of the frame rails and self steers when the tow vehicle turns so it acts like a tandem axle.

 

It extends the effective wheelbase of the tow vehicle plus adds 2 more tires and brakes to the combination.

 

Because it self steers the tow vehicle turn radius remains on the rear axle of the tow vehicle so the hitch point swings away in a turn like the ET mounted 6 feet back of axle on a HDT rv puller.

 

Because it self steers it does not add any turning scrubbing friction to the tow vehicle.

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 

 

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imho

not impressed at all

this looks like a ugly, complex, heavy, space wasting and expensive "bandaid" for a problem that does not exist if you pick your tow rig accordingly

 

again, just my personal opinion :)

" Diamonds R 4 ever " driver.gif

"class of`95" Pete 379 "Toterhome": Cummins N14, Super10, single axle, 278" WB, 162" sleeper ... sold
current project; 1952 Diamond T, Cummins 8.3l @ 375hp/ 800ft lbs
, single axle, 239" WB, 1954 Spartan 137" air ride sleeper ....

full timing in a 39 foot "sticks & staples POS" Toyhauler (planing to build an all aluminum 42-45 foot replacement soon) ...

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First time I saw one I thought bandaid. Thoughts of patches like air bags and such. It as a substitute to the proper way. But just my thoughts. I wouldn't like a long truck either.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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I stand corrected about the attachment method. The two points and self steer would eliminate a pivot point. The idea that the pivot point is 6 feet behind the end of the towing tractor presents it own set of handling problems, in addition to the removal of the pin weight from the towing vehicle.

At least when you extend the frame(or single out) and place the hitch 6' behind on an HDT RV you still are putting the pin weight on the towing vehicle, albeit at a lever position which presents it's own set of handling problems.

The only configuration that does something similar in the commercial world are car haulers with a "stinger" trailer. But weight distribution and center of gravity of issues have been carefully considered, the 5th wheel is only 12" above the pavement.

Jeff Beyer temporarily retired from Trailer Transit
2000 Freightliner Argosy Cabover
2008 Work and Play 34FK
Homebase NW Indiana, no longer full time

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A couple of observations.

Obviously the unit does solve a problem or no one would have bought one.

It does not seem very different than a travel trailer set-up.

If you have 4 children and a Suburban or pick-up, it would seem a solution without overloading.

The powered tow feature could be very useful.

Depending on the spring rate of the unit, you could bias the pin load +/- on the tow vehicle's rear axle.

"There are No Experts, Do the Math!"

2014 Freightliner Cascadia DD16 600hp  1850ft-lb  18spd  3.31  260"wb
SpaceCraft S-470
SKP #131740

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Jeff - I agree my first caution was lack of weight transfer to the tow vehicle - there might be a little bit there if the hitch point is ahead of the dolly axle... there might be scratchage of the driving wheels on a snow covered grade...

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 

 

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Perhaps equally important is, will the officer on the side of the road consider it a multiple tow?

I am foreign to that type of tow in RV application Out west against the ocean top to bottom, it is illegal to double tow. I believe you can in Idaho, but that's as close as you get to the ocean.

 

Curt

2001 Freightliner Century, 500hp Series 60, Gen 2 autoshift, 3.42 singled rear locker.

2004 Keystone Sprinter 299RLS (TT)

2 & 4 Wheelers!

2013 Polaris Ranger 800 midsize LE

Our motto "4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul!"

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The unit is very well engineered and quality built. As said if it didn't solve specific problems no one would buy it. If your puller is a bit skimpy against the fifth it adds the needed capacity brakes wise and pin wise. Behind an HDT with its massive brakes and engine most of its utility is lost or duplicated.

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