Recent posts

#1
Nice job! Good follow-up. I bet Charlie will talk you into side bolts. :)
#2
A good amount of discussion has been occurring with CharlieM at Coupler Replacement Side Bolts

Now that I finally have the hitch coupler installed it seemed appropriate to wrap things up here.  I think that the hitch coupler may have cracked since the bolts were put in at an angle (see first picture).  Since the holes went entirely through the frame, I didn't have much choice other than to put them back in at the same angles. (Yes, Charlie... this may be a good reason to put in those extra side bolts!)

CharlieM said that he got his foamy tape at an auto parts store.  I went to one and found "nitrile camper tape".  It was a little wider and thicker, but seemed to be made of the same material (see second picture). 

I've attached a picture of the final install as well (third picture).

#3
Yes... I agree that it is a small risk.  I also agree that it's not likely that I'll be able to "fix" the coupler once it shows signs of fatigue.  If the problem comes back, I'll install a new coupler with the additional horizontal bolts.  Thanks again.
#4
Trailers for Sale / Re: 2018 CampLite 21RBS PL fo...
Last post by Scott Gillespie - February 27, 2024, 09:49:55 PM
Sorry about the double photos. Struggled with the process a bit. Don't know how to eliminate the first batch.
#5
Camplite and Bearcat Travel Trailers / Re: Coupler Replacement Side B...
Last post by charliem - February 25, 2024, 10:42:16 AM
Quote from: RV Squirrel on February 24, 2024, 10:51:38 PMI finished drilling the holes for vertical bolts.  At this time, I think that I will refrain from drilling the holes for the horizontal bolts that you (Charlie) used.  This may be a good idea, but at this time I'm leery of drilling additional holes in the frame.  If I have problems again in the future, it is a comforting thought that I can use this approach.

Adding holes near the end and near the vertical center of the frame is zero risk. There is essentially no stress in the frame member forward of the coupler. Note that once the coupler begins to bend such that you can see it it will be almost impossible to straighten it. You will be back to starting over with a new coupler.
#6
I should have thought of going to an auto parts store!  After reading this post, I went to an Advance Auto and bought "nitrile camper tape".  It was a little wider and thicker that what was originally used, but I used a C-clamp to compress the foam a bit while I drilled the holes.

I finished drilling the holes for vertical bolts.  At this time, I think that I will refrain from drilling the holes for the horizontal bolts that you (Charlie) used.  This may be a good idea, but at this time I'm leery of drilling additional holes in the frame.  If I have problems again in the future, it is a comforting thought that I can use this approach.

I hope to finish tomorrow or Monday.  I'll post pictures when it's done.  I'll probably post them in my original post to close it out.

Thanks for the help, Charlie!
#7
Camplite and Bearcat Travel Trailers / Re: Coupler Replacement Side B...
Last post by charliem - February 23, 2024, 01:45:10 PM
On second thought, I may have used a foam tape from the auto supply store. Thinking would have been: Doesn't cost much and better safe than sorry. Memory fades with age  ;D
#8
Camplite and Bearcat Travel Trailers / Re: Coupler Replacement Side B...
Last post by charliem - February 23, 2024, 10:32:34 AM
Squirrel,

The idea was to get the side bolts as far forward of the point of maximum bend as possible. That point is just forward of the vertical through bolts so the side bolts needed to be as far forward as possible. The access inside the frame was an added benefit.

I think the replacement coupler did come from LivinLoite. They were already using it, with side bolts, on their larger trailers. It's been a while but I think I remember the spongy strips. With the zinc plating and the other aluminum to steel contacts of the bolts I think I ignored it. I don't think it will be an issue.  The reason LL originally used the bolt on coupler is they could not find a strong aluminum weld on coupler. They needed the strength of steel but you cannot weld steel to aluminum. I think the spongy strips were just a cautionary measure (good practice, why not) but not really needed.
#9
Charlie,
Thanks for sharing!  Merlin had mentioned that you had put bolts on the side, but I had imagined that they were further back, near where the vertical bolts were.  I like that since the holes are closer to the front, you only had to drill half-way through the aluminum frame, and that you could reach inside and insert to get to the end of the bolt that was inside the frame. 

Thanks for the detail that you provided in the MSWord document as well.  You didn't mention any spongey tape in it, so I assume that you did not have any in your original install, and/or that you did not care to replace it.  It looks like the coupler is zinc-coated... if you got it from LL, then I take it that they think that it is okay to mount a zinc-coated coupler directly onto an aluminum frame.  If I'm missing something, please say so.  Thanks again!
#10
Camplite and Bearcat Travel Trailers / Re: Coupler Replacement Side B...
Last post by djsamuel - February 21, 2024, 10:49:06 PM
Charlie,

Thanks for this info.  I was just thinking of this the other day.  I'm still on the 2" original hitch with the added side bolts that Don sent me.  After 11 years now, just want to be ready in case I need to make a change and this is a big help.

Doug