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Comfort Ride Hitch, how to mount, between rails or on top?


mr. cob
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Howdy All,

I am in a mad scramble going to look at a truck, hopefully buying it and then getting a hitch mounted on so I can drive it home before Christmas.  I have decided on a Comfort Ride Hitch and would like you folks who use a Comfort Ride Hitch, to voice your opinions on how yours is mounted and if possible photos of how you have the Comfort Ride Hitch mounted.  PLEASE don't turn this thread in to a hitch war, I am ONLY interested in how to mount the Comfort Ride Hitch, in the easiest most economically, SAFE way.  Thanks for any information and photos you can share.

Dave

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12 minutes ago, mr. cob said:

Howdy All,

I am in a mad scramble going to look at a truck, hopefully buying it and then getting a hitch mounted on so I can drive it home before Christmas.  I have decided on a Comfort Ride Hitch and would like you folks who use a Comfort Ride Hitch, to voice your opinions on how yours is mounted and if possible photos of how you have the Comfort Ride Hitch mounted.  PLEASE don't turn this thread in to a hitch war, I am ONLY interested in how to mount the Comfort Ride Hitch, in the easiest most economically, SAFE way.  Thanks for any information and photos you can share.

Dave

Hi Dave,

There is two fellows that have a Comfort Ride hitch. I hope they will see this thread. One of the guys is Rich or Richard (heavymetal) and the other fellow is Norm with a green Volvo that has a huge trailer hitch ball on the back of his truck. The ball is for a joke. The ball must be about 6" in diameter. Maybe someone here knows where those guys are at right now might get a hold of them for you. I just thought of one more guy. That person is Roger (hewhoknowslittle).

Al

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3 minutes ago, alan0043 said:

Hi Dave,

There is two fellows that have a Comfort Ride hitch. I hope they will see this thread. One of the guys is Rich or Richard (heavymetal) and the other fellow is Norm with a green Volvo that has a huge trailer hitch ball on the back of his truck. The ball is for a joke. The ball must be about 6" in diameter. Maybe someone here knows where those guys are at right now might get a hold of them for you. I just thought of one more guy. That person is Roger (hewhoknowslittle).

Al

Howdy Al,

Thanks for your post, I have been in contact with Norm, he has sent me photos of his hitch which is mounted between the frame rails. 

I have an extremely small time window to get this all done, mounting on top of the frame rails seems to me it would be much easier, cheaper, quicker, but doing so may place the top of the hitch to high from the ground.  Once I actually see the truck and take real measurements from it this will all come together I am just trying to gather as much information as I can to so I can make the best decision when the time comes.

Dave

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18 minutes ago, HERO Maker said:

Dave, what is your height requirement on your trailer?

Howdy Rocky,

If I remember correctly the hitch when hooked up to the trailer, with the full weight of the trailer on it, the top of the hitch plate was 47 inches off the ground.  It's been pouring down rain for the last three days or I would go outside and take a quick measurement.

Dave

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I believe most truck frame rails are at about 40" from the ground when bags are aired up. To get 47-48" hitch head you will most likely have to drop the hitch between the frame rails.

Has comfort ride given you any dimensions on how tall their hitch is loaded from the mounting surface and what is needed to fasten it to the truck?

Dave

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3 minutes ago, Star Dreamer said:

I believe most truck frame rails are at about 40" from the ground when bags are aired up. To get 47-48" hitch head you will most likely have to drop the hitch between the frame rails.

Has comfort ride given you any dimensions on how tall their hitch is loaded from the mounting surface and what is needed to fasten it to the truck?

Dave

 

4 minutes ago, Star Dreamer said:

I believe most truck frame rails are at about 40" from the ground when bags are aired up. To get 47-48" hitch head you will most likely have to drop the hitch between the frame rails.

Has comfort ride given you any dimensions on how tall their hitch is loaded from the mounting surface and what is needed to fasten it to the truck?

Dave

Howdy Dave,

I have the brochure that Rick handed out at the National Rally, I have talked to him on the phone and through email, but I don't have any hard numbers.  I was kinda hoping he would see this thread and participate in to give all more information about his product.  I am almost positive that to achieve the proper hitch height the hitch will have to be installed between the frame rails, but until I actual look at the truck and put a tape measure to it I won't know for certain.

When I built my straight down pin box, I made it so the bottom surface of the pin box that mates to the top surface of the hitch was at 47 inches when the trailer sits level.  So that is the number I'll be shooting for however the hitch ends up being mounted.

Dave

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1 hour ago, HERO Maker said:

Sorry if I missed it, did you have Trey and Susan weigh your rig this year at the National Rally?  And if they did, were your axle weights pretty even front to back?

If that was a level ride for your trailer while hitched, then 47" sounds like the target.

Howdy Rocky,

I had the whole rig weighed when I attended the first rally a few years ago, at that time the print out the gave me showed that the weight was distributed very evenly when the trailer sat level and the hitch height was at 47 inches.

Dave

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The hitch has so many adjustments I think you can mount it above the frame, I have mine mounted above the top of the bottom frame rail on my Volvo, but have the head set to the highest setting and the mid mount for the head, so I think you can mount it to the top and set everything low and it will work for you.

I'll be in Indiana next week, and If we can meet up you can see my setup.

Roger 

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According to their website it looks like all of their hitches are adjustable from 12-19" high. If you want 47" I think you will need to lower it between the frame rails at least 5", but maybe mounting it to the bottom flanges of the frame rail and then adjusting up like Rodger did might be easier. You could probably mount it that way now with a thick plate that sticks out past the end of the frame rails and then extend the frame rails once you get back home.

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3 minutes ago, Hewhoknowslittle said:

The hitch has so many adjustments I think you can mount it above the frame, I have mine mounted above the top of the bottom frame rail on my Volvo, but have the head set to the highest setting and the mid mount for the head, so I think you can mount it to the top and set everything low and it will work for you.

I'll be in Indiana next week, and If we can meet up you can see my setup.

Roger 

Howdy Roger,

Thanks for your input.  My thinking and I may be wrong, is that installing the hitch so that it can be set at or very near it's lowest setting would be the most "stable" location.  Some of the hitches I have looked at had the heads mounted so high it looked like that would be an awful lot of sideways stress put on the hitch, maybe I am seeing a problem where there isn't any but I wouldn't be comfortable with a hitch mounted in such a manner.

Dave

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9 minutes ago, Star Dreamer said:

According to their website it looks like all of their hitches are adjustable from 12-19" high. If you want 47" I think you will need to lower it between the frame rails at least 5", but maybe mounting it to the bottom flanges of the frame rail and then adjusting up like Rodger did might be easier. You could probably mount it that way now with a thick plate that sticks out past the end of the frame rails and then extend the frame rails once you get back home.

Howdy Dave,

I'll work with the man Rick recommended to do the hitch install, once I have a truck, measurements and the hitch I am sure it will all come together.  Just attempting to gather information on how others have mounted this particular hitch, photos of the installed hitch would be most appreciated.

Dave

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According to Scrap that truck has "Low Air Leaf" suspension.    The shocks are behind the axle housing canted in and mounted to a crossmember in the frame.     Unless the hitch is pretty short front to back I think you will need a frame extension to mount the hitch below the top rail., the shocks are just ahead of the bevel on the frame.       Just a guess but 20-24" extension.

 

Steve   

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Hi Dave 

Top of frame rail to the road dimension of the Peterbilt should be: 1/2 of tire diameter from mfg data sheet plus 9 inches Low Air Leaf ride height plus 10-3/8 inches frame rail.

If you inverted a Comfort Ride hitch with a plate and pin on it and made it the pin box and used a simple Holland FW001 on the truck... naaa never mind...

 

 

Edited by noteven
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Howdy Tom

I don’t plan to tow anything home but I need the truck ready to tow in case my Freightliner sells before the weather gets decent 

I don’t have a shop to work in its miserable outside and will be until May my first big trip is planned for April 

I won’t be taking the Smart Car on the April  trip I will have time to build the Smart Car deck before the next big trip in June 

Dave

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Honestly,

 

Perhaps strapping the hitch on the frame and heading home may be your best bet.    A few things to consider, being under the gun to get "something done" is fraught with peril.    You may want to change other things once you get home and see everything in relation to each other.     There must be at least a shop or two near you that could do frame work on truck frames.      

 

I would suggest full fenders along with the hitch as far as truck mods.    Maybe deck plate between your ramps and hitch.    There are several things that won't be apparent when you take delivery of your truck.    Doing mods before you have a clear plan may confound the situation.      An example, you mount the hitch now, later you want to add fenders, the fender mounts go where the hitch is.       While big trucks may seem like a blank canvas there are a lot of things hidden between the rails.

 

Steve 

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18 minutes ago, Steve from SoCal said:

Honestly,

 

Perhaps strapping the hitch on the frame and heading home may be your best bet.    A few things to consider, being under the gun to get "something done" is fraught with peril.    You may want to change other things once you get home and see everything in relation to each other.     There must be at least a shop or two near you that could do frame work on truck frames.      

 

I would suggest full fenders along with the hitch as far as truck mods.    Maybe deck plate between your ramps and hitch.    There are several things that won't be apparent when you take delivery of your truck.    Doing mods before you have a clear plan may confound the situation.      An example, you mount the hitch now, later you want to add fenders, the fender mounts go where the hitch is.       While big trucks may seem like a blank canvas there are a lot of things hidden between the rails.

 

Steve 

Howdy Steve,

You make good points, many of them.  However, I don't want or need a fancy deck, all I want is a couple of large channel irons to support the Smart Car, and will probably want full fenders at sometime.  Having the hitch mounted by someone who has experience with THIS hitch will better suit my needs then having someone who hasn't dealt with it and charging me for the time it will take to figure it out is not part of my plan.  Future fender mounts will be taken into consideration, as I drive a lot in mountains the fenders will be mounted high enough to allow simple installation of chains if nessisary, I DON'T want or plan to drive in conditions that require chains but sometime stuff happens.  Most of the nice decks I have seen such as the one now on my Freightliner make using chains very difficult if not impossible, I have to use tire socks on my truck, the next one will be able to use chains.

Dave

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Mine is flat bed with boxes. Left plenty of room for chains. I may be going to Denver area in January. Will need them. I really like the storage the boxes gave us. If you need extra room for the hitch I would get some heavy angle iron, 6" or so, 1/2" thick, and bolt to chassis. Drill holes and mount hitch. Should be plenty of holes in chassis for this. Could put a plate on it but I don't see the need. Hitch heavy enough to support itself.

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Dave, I was parked next to Rick and in front of Heavy Metal at the 2017 ECR and spent considerable time measuring my truck and the hitch Rick had on display.  Like what has been shared, you have a considerable range of height adjustment on either style of the Comfort Ride hitches.  In my case, it would have worked with my Volvo and fiver if I set the new hitch to one of the lowest positions and mounted it on top of the frame rails where I currently have a piece of 1/2" steel plate for the present hitch.  My trailer pin is at 50" off the ground when leveled.   Tires on my Volvo are 22.5".  Ride height is "normal" (whatever the heck that is).  I would have needed to drill appropriate holes into the plate for the new hitch bolt pattern and used grade 8 bolts to secure it.  My plate is mounted to the outside of the frame rails with 4" x 3/8" thick steel angle drilled into the side of the rails - not drilled into the top.  I did have to cut off some huck bolts that were attached to an internal brace to mount the angle and replaced them with new grade-8 hardware with matching holes drilled in the angle iron.  With the plate attached I probably could have omitted the OEM brace (but did not).   I don't think you will be able to mount the hitch without the plate.  So, IMHO, get a plate cut to size before you go, take a big drill with cobalt bits, a 4-12" grinder with plenty of cut-off disc's for huck bolts, a big hammer, a stash of 1/2" to 5/8" grade-8 bolts and some heavy angle iron cut to the length of the plate and pre-drilled for the angle iron to plate holes.

If your trailer has LED rather than incandescent lighting you can simply wire the trailer lights to the rear truck lights without doing the split tail/signal light conversion routine.  I would suggest an inertia brake controller like a Prodigy for temporary get-it-home safely use.

BTW - let me ask.  Does the truck have a commercial hitch installed?  If you are doing Interstate travel and not roads that cause a lot of side-to-side movement you should be able to slide the commercial hitch all the way back and use it to get the trailer to your destination.

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Howdy All,

I know some folks who have just joined this discussion have NOT read the entire thread, that's common when one gets this long but not reading the whole thread leads to asking questions or offering advice that has already been covered or is not needed.

I am NOT trying to be a "Cob"  ( Crabby old ba$tard ) so I'll say it again so its clear, I would like for folks who have mounted a Comfort Ride Hitch, to their rigs to post photos of their setup if they can or give their opinion on if it should be mounted on top of or between the frame rails.  I am NOT towing a trailer home, I want the truck to be ABLE to tow a trailer before I get it home.

Thanks for all the suggestions and the information that has been shared.

Dave

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OK, Rick is the last word on all this stuff. But we routinely mount Comfort Ride hitches and it does vary based on the truck. On a Volvo 730 that has standard frame height we mounted a 308HD, set to its lowest position ON TOP of 1/2" plate on the frame rails (on top). It is at around 51", so after there trailer is on it, it will be 49". The air cells depress about 2" for each 900 lbs on an individual cell. I'm not near any hitches/trucks at the moment, but you do have to measure YOUR truck carefully before mounting.

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