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Old 08-29-2006, 10:19 PM   #1
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Trailer hitches??

I have read all that I can about trailer hitches. Went to three different stores to try to measure some receivers for mounting on my skoolie. However, I have yet to find one that will fit. Closest I have found is one for an import SUV, lexus or toyota I think. Only problem is that the mounting angle gets wider as it goes towards the front.

Does anyone have a part number or a manufacturer's number that has one that will fit a 95 IH bus. Measurements are 34 1/8" from outside to outside of frame, and 27 7/8" from between frame to frame.

On my skoolie, there is a 7" x 2" c-channel running from one frame to the other with the "c" facing up, and it has two huge tow hooks bolted to it. Is it a good idea to remove this "c" channel and bolt the hitch directly to the frame, or to leave it alone and use spacers between the over hanging parts of the hitch. I dont like the spacers idea.

Anyone?
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:38 AM   #2
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95 IH 72 passenger transit school bus w/ DT466 and 545 Allison.
79 IH Scout II/392 (0.030 over) Hamilton Injected/727/D300/Full size axles/36" Swampers/Lockers/OBA/38 gal Custom fuel tank, roll bar, tube doors.
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:26 AM   #3
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I also have an international

I have a 92 international and I wanted a class 5 reciever for it. It turns out that the 34 inch spacing on my frame is the same as the 2000 and later Ford F-350's and F-450 cab and chasis pickups. After looking around I purchased a Putnam class 5 reciever with a 15000 lb capacity and a 1500 lb tongue weight limit from hitch-web.com for $280 which was $150 cheaper than the Reese hitch that had a lower weight limit, and the Putnam came with a 2" reciever not a hard to find 2-1/4" reciever. here is a link to the hitch: http://www.hitch-web.com/proDescrip.asp ... 5245&OID=8
and here are some pics of my installation: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skooli ... ?g2_page=2
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
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I took off the tow hooks because they were bent to all hell. The metal that held them on was twisted badly. I just bolted the hitch to the frame rails. I perfer not to weld on them.
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:04 PM   #5
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Trentet,

Lucky guy. Not 1, not 2, but 3 Emergency Exits.
The possibilities with floorplan layouts!!
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:14 AM   #6
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the better to escape with

Actually my bus was a dedicated handicapped bus so it had seating for 8 little kids and the rest was tie downs for wheel chairs. I guess there weren't a lot of handicapped kids in Humbolt cause it only had 12,000 miles on it. I have one of the emergency exits partly blocked by the combination bunk/bench seat, so it's not that usable but it's still possible to access.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:39 PM   #7
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I used a Chevy pickup hitch and had a welder add extensions to the mounts.



I haul a fully loaded stock car trailer with it and it works awesome.
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:02 PM   #8
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I used a step bumper hitch and upsized the mounting holes for 5/8" grade 8 bolts.



(the original 1/2" hardware is shown in the photo.)

More here: http://www.vonslatt.com/bus-body.shtml

Jake.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:27 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I knew there had to be a pretty much bolt on application out there somewhere. Will probably be using the SD Ford hitch.

Jake, I like the ease that your idea takes, but I think its a bit undersized for my application. Loooking to haul a 5500# Scout on a 17" flat bed trailer. I think the total weight is around 7,000#. Quite a bit more than a small car.

Again, Thanks everyone for the ideas.

Jeff
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Old 09-02-2006, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggman
Jake, I like the ease that your idea takes, but I think its a bit undersized for my application. Loooking to haul a 5500# Scout on a 17" flat bed trailer. I think the total weight is around 7,000#. Quite a bit more than a small car.
The bumper/frame members on my bus are certainly good for +10,000 lbs but yes, I'd want a beefier receiver for that kind of weight, I'd probably just bolt on one of these forged pintle/ball combo hitches from Northern Tool.



http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/ ... _7808_7808

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Old 10-01-2006, 03:30 PM   #11
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Here's what I used on my Thomas SaftLiner

http://www.hitchesonline.com/rv_hitch.htm

Jay



http://jsbird69.zoto.com/user/lightb...aded-desc/0-90
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:37 AM   #12
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i am totally in love with the pintle hitch. It is a far superiour design than a standard ball. I really wish my trailer had a pintle on it.

not only can you pull tons of weight, but the angle of the trailer in relation to the tow vehicle is never a concern as far as popping the trailer off of teh ball.
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Old 10-02-2006, 12:25 PM   #13
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Pintles are cool, but they do suffer from one major disadvantage over a ball hitch....they are loud. I don't think that it's an issue for a bus just because we have so much noise anyway and the hitch is 30 feet behind you, but they are popular on offroad campers and they get downright annoying.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:47 PM   #14
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I would seriously qestion the ability of the bumper itself to hold that weight. The bumpers are just meant for little....well.....bumps. The actual crash protection and frame strength comes from the crossmembers. Jake has the good fortune of having a rather solid looking crossmember right at the back of his bus, most likely due to his engine. It iwould takea whole lot of calculations to determine if one is strong enough for a given load, but commonsense can probably prevail. If it's questionable, add more steel

Personally, I'm still keeping my eyes open for a class 4 hitch that will work. It's not that one of the other bolt on solutions wouldn't work, but the receiver style will give me some drop and will allow me to use a dropped ball mount on top of that. I don't know about the frame heights on othre peoples' buses, but I know mine is too high to allow the use of one of those bolt on pintle hitch assemblies on a regular trailer.

One other thing....when you make your move, be careful. A trailer weighing more than 10,000 lbs and you'll be needing a CDL. You'll also need trailer brakes of some kind in most states. I'm not sure if having a combined weight of over 26,000 is going to matter as long as you have RV plates. I would research it all bery well though. Some states DO require even motorhomes to weigh up at the port of enry and I can't imagine that would be a pleasant experience.
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:37 PM   #15
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One advantage I found having a pintle hitch trailer is that someone looking to borrow a trailer takes one glance and looks elsewhere.
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Old 12-24-2006, 12:29 AM   #16
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34" is a standard width for truck frames.

In a small town, a local welding shop can probably do you a good deal
on a custom weld-in. Mine cost $300, which included cutting off the tow
hooks and related extensions and cross member.

Welding it on is not final. When I switched to a newer bus, I cut the
welded hitch off with a cut-off saw. I rented a big commercial one
because I had other cutting to do also, but a $40 angle grinder and a
few blades will do it -- and now you own a very handy angle grinder.

How long a rear overhang do you have? If your engine is in the front,
you have a long rear overhang and your trailer may scrape on the
ground. I mashed my trailer landing gear in a filling station driveway.
On my new bus, I'm putting the hitch all the way up in the frame.


If you plan to move the hitch to another 34" frame, then have the shop
fabricate it to be bolted in.

Mass produced hitches are usually made to bolt to the flanges of the
frame. I sure prefer to bolt to the web of the frame.

Good luck, and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2006, 01:41 AM   #17
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Now that you put it up higher how will this effect the rear of the trailer?
Wouldn't that bottom out now? Or do you use a drop hitch on it?

I have drivin a couple 40 foot school buses with maybe a 25 foot band trailer on the back and even with the hitch below the bumper using a straight hitch insert the back and the hitch would bottom out if I either wasn't careful or the parking lot or road design was not real good and I couldn't avoid it.
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Old 12-24-2006, 04:20 AM   #18
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The trailer I've been using has a short rear overhang; I moved the axle rearward
on it. But I am also going to flip the axle to under the springs for more ground
clearance. That will make it harder to roll vehicles up on it, but I am tired of
smacking the ground.
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:52 PM   #19
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DO NOT EVER WELD ON A FRAME! Many are heat-treated, and will be severely weakened by the heat of welding.
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:59 PM   #20
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I believe that the tags say "DO NOT CUT, WELD OR DRILL FRAMERAIL FLANGES". Although I agree that welding on framerails is not a good practice to get into. It is better to fabricate brackets and then drill and bolt thru the web, with properly sized grade 5 bolts. Grade 8 bolts have high tensile strength, but are hard/brittle, less shear strength. Grade 5 bolts have high shear strength, but are more elastic, less clamping force. If you look at the supplied hardware in a store bought hitch package you will find grade 5 bolts, its an engineering/application issue, not an accounting/cost issue
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