5.0TA "chucking" question - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-21-2016, 01:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by darrentoma View Post
The Mor/Ryde system is really meant to eliminate/reduce chucking in much heavier fifths. It adds significant weight and defeats the purpose of going light with a 5.0 TA.

Some hitches might give you more chucking than others - but it should be pretty minimal compared to what the big rigs experience. If concerned with the minimal chucking opt at looking at hitch designs rather than the added weight and expense of a Mor/Ryde type setup.

I really like the Curt design. I am using a Q20 on my current fifth which is slightly larger than the 5.0 TA (4,400 lbs empty, 22' long X 8' wide). The Q16 wasn't available at the time I got mine .. but a friend has the Q16 in a larger fifth application and loves it so far.

Both the Curt Q16 & Q20 are an articulated type of 360 deg pivot vs the 2 way axis pivot all (or almost all?) others have. The Q20 further pivots on a spherical axial cushioned bearing - making it quiet and smooth - I really like it so far. About the only problem reported wth the Curt hitches are problematic hitching/unhitching. I had the same problem at first until I found out the solution is an annual greasing per the owner's manual instructions. Well into my 3rd year with the hitch and no more problems with this. I would buy it again over everything else out there at this point.

There is obviously a lot of love with the B&W's. What I didn't like about the design is all the load being placed at one point being the pin that locks the handle in place. If it were to ever shear you are in trouble (perhaps not likely especially with a light 5.0 TA application - but something to inspect now and then). And definitely don't drive away without putting the pin in place or the trailer will come crashing down on the truck rails. As always a thorough visual and a pull test are very important prior to pulling up land gear .. but just something you have to be very cautious with a B&W vs almost every other design where the pin is used to lock the handle in place rather than bearing ALL the weight. Most other designs will let you drive away for at least a little distance without putting the handle lock pin in place... obviously not a good idea but it could save that unfortunate rushed forgetful moment. Then again if you want the trailer to fall on the truck bed - perhaps it's better if it happens while stationary rather than down the highway!

Anyway just one thing I dont like about the B&W is that pin bearing ALL the weight of the trailer. I could probably live with it's 2 axis pivot and quite honestly don't know how much difference my Q20's spherical/articulated design makes. I couldn't imagine a quieter ride - perhaps the beefier jaws on the B&W make it compatible to what I experience (?).
Always do a pull test!

Okay, full disclosure. Hopefully my experience will save someone from having to buy a new tailgate.

It was a cold dark morning, rain mixed with sleet, just ugly weather, didn't even want to be outside. We had a rather severe uphill slope backing the truck to engage the kingpin. The kingpin engaged, the handle came forward. In the dark I put the safety pin in the handle, clipped the breakaway cable, plugged in the trailer, raised the landing gear and called it good. This was THE ONLY time that I have not performed a pull test since we got our trailer.

Leaving the campsite the slope was downhill with a curve at the bottom. We enter the curve, and hear a loud "clunk", look in the mirror and see the trailer sitting on the tailgate. Luckily no damage to the truck or trailer, just my pride.

It turns out, in the dark I missed engaging the handle fully onto the hitch plate. Purely my fault and not the B&W Patriot. This was first time that I did not perform a pull test and I got off very easy. Still love the hitch. Scott

Scott and Lori
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The Curt "Q" designs with a spherical bearing do pivot in three axes, but that's actually not desirable, or even permissible in a pin-and-plate fifth-wheel, so they have additional elements to constrain the head so that it can't rotate very far around the vertical axis (because that needs to be around the pin, not the bearing). That adds some clunking and potential wear points. Ideally, a fifth-wheel hitch head would have only two rotation axes, with no play and smoothly damped motion.
You might be right about this design pivoting on 3 axis - in which case the word spherical would be misleading as would the below portion on etrailer's website:

Unique spherical axial bearing allows easy pivoting of hitch head
Smooth, 360-degree movement - not just front-to-back and side-to-side tilting
Built-in cushioning absorbs road shock
https://www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel/Curt/C16130.html

If it does in fact involve a 6 directional pivot, perhaps the spherical term (and otherwise) is more of a marketing thing (rather than a direct intent to mislead). The 'Built-in cushioning' aspect would relate to your comment of this design needing 'additional elements to constrain the head'. When you mention this aspect adds clunking (and potential wear points) - I think you would have to actually test the hitch - there is absolutely no clunking at all in my application - I find it super quiet; as does my friend with the Q16 (probably 7500+ fully loaded vs my 6,000 +/-).

Further to this if one reads through the various reviews on this design, any talk of clunking is minimal if not non-existant (perhaps some very large weight applications but not even sure of that). Almost always the opposite is the case where people comment on how smooth and quiet it is. Smooth and quiet = little possibility of wear.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrentoma View Post
You might be right about this design pivoting on 3 axis - in which case the word spherical would be misleading as would the below portion on etrailer's website:

Quote:
Unique spherical axial bearing allows easy pivoting of hitch head
Smooth, 360-degree movement - not just front-to-back and side-to-side tilting
Built-in cushioning absorbs road shock
https://www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel/Curt/C16130.html

If it does in fact involve a 6 directional pivot, perhaps the spherical term (and otherwise) is more of a marketing thing (rather than a direct intent to mislead).
There is literally a spherical bearing in the middle of this design. It sits on a lateral (horizontal, side-to-side) non-rotating shaft; this is the "bearing shaft" in Figure 10 of the Q20 installation manual (CM_16130_INS.PDF). It may sound good for marketing, but it is technically valid.

Certainly "360-degree movement" is false. The head can't (and should not anyway) rotate more than a small fraction of a turn in the lateral axis (pitching nose up and down), even though the spherical bearing itself would allow unlimited rotation in that axis. The head also can't (and again should not) rotate more than a few degrees in the longitudinal axis (rolling side-to-side), and the spherical bearing would not allow more than that anyway. Any rotation in the vertical axis (yawing as when turning on the road) is undesirable because that's that the pin does, and the extra parts of the design prevent this rotation. I think the "360" terminology was likely a marketing fabrication, because people wouldn't understand a multi-axis pivoting joint. Referring to "not just front-to-back and side-to-side tilting" is taking a disadvantage of the spherical bearing design and implying that it is beneficial, which is classic marketing spin.

I'll give Curt Manufacturing the benefit of the doubt and assume that the "360" references are earnest marketing and sloppy governance, rather than deliberately misleading.

The "road shock" claim is pretty shaky, as the rubber only cushions rotation limits. If you hit a bump in the road, the vertical shocks goes through the hitch metal-on-metal and is not cushioned. That's normal, and I have no problem with it, but I question claiming that the design's "Built-in cushioning absorbs road shock".

Quote:
Originally Posted by darrentoma View Post
The 'Built-in cushioning' aspect would relate to your comment of this design needing 'additional elements to constrain the head'. When you mention this aspect adds clunking (and potential wear points) - I think you would have to actually test the hitch - there is absolutely no clunking at all in my application - I find it super quiet; as does my friend with the Q16 (probably 7500+ fully loaded vs my 6,000 +/-).
The extra parts to prevent vertical rotation run into rubber bumpers, limiting both the vertical axis rotation and the other axes of intentional movement. In the same Q20 installation manual, Figure 13's diagram to show the right-side grease fitting also shows two heavy steel loops hanging down from the head; they are there to ride against rubber blocks to prevent vertical axis rotation and limit longitudinal axis rotation. Since it's not metal-on-metal sliding or banging the result is quiet, as everyone who has one seems to say.

I understood this design from the diagrams in the installation manual, but it's probably easier to see in person. It took a few minutes looking at one on display at a local RV dealership to be sure that I got how it worked.

Just a side note: anyone planning to use a Reese Sidewinder (which I am certainly not suggesting) should be aware that is incompatible with the spherical-bearing Curt hitches; apparently the Sidewinder overloads the hitch's vertical rotation stops.

And all of this is only about the head pivoting design; the jaw design is another subject entirely. Interesting, since not so many years ago a recreational 5th wheel hitch was like a commercial hitch, pivoting on the lateral axis only, with bare shaft ends in greased sockets - no side-to-side tilt, no rubber cushioning, no extra parts.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
And all of this is only about the head pivoting design; the jaw design is another subject entirely. Interesting, since not so many years ago a recreational 5th wheel hitch was like a commercial hitch, pivoting on the lateral axis only, with bare shaft ends in greased sockets - no side-to-side tilt, no rubber cushioning, no extra parts.
I hear you about the fifth hitches of the past. In my previous truck I had a DSP made locally but now out of business. It had no sideways tilt but was built like a tank. It was rated at 16k but by today's standards much higher comparatively. It had a bar design that started to show a little wear after I retired it 16 years later. It was noisy for sure. Even though there was no tilt when on uneven ground there were things one could do to hitch up with few problems (boards under truck wheels etc when hooking up). Right or wrong today's designs are meant to be quieter, easier to hitch and lighter leaving more space in the bed which I really notice vs the DSP.

So with less steel these days comes more parts - I agree. There are probably downfalls in all the current jaw designs - pick the devil you are most comfortable with. For me, I have never been a fan of Reese and as for the B&W Patriot I coukd never get comfortable with all that load placed at one single point (the latch pin).

Whether the Curt can last 16 years like the DSP did - the verdict still awaits. For now it has almost 3 years with probably more use ... So time will tell.
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by darrentoma View Post
... Even though there was no tilt when on uneven ground there were things one could do to hitch up with few problems (boards under truck wheels etc when hooking up). Right or wrong today's designs are meant to be quieter, easier to hitch and lighter leaving more space in the bed which I really notice vs the DSP.
I agree that the more complex current designs are functionally improved. I think the roll axis compliance is useful and appropriate for modern light trucks towing a few tons of trailer, because that situation is substantially different from heavy commercial tractors towing semi-trailers, which continue with fifth-wheels which tilt in only one direction

The trick is to include modern functionality, without excessive complexity.

The space issue is interesting. Traditional fifth-wheel hitches had frames (often "bows", like the Reese 16K still uses, but sometimes further apart and even over the wheel wells. They took a lot of the box width, but on the other hand they had a substantial opening under them; I have long thought that it would make sense to use a drawer (or just long and appropriately sized sliding box) to fit right under it, and you can't do that with modern designs.
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by darrentoma View Post
I hear you about the fifth hitches of the past. In my previous truck I had a DSP made locally but now out of business. It had no sideways tilt but was built like a tank...
Every time I go down 91 Street I see the same sign advertising clearout specials on DSP products. I see that the Diversified Steel Products website says they're still going, with a "We Are Still Open" Sale, so if anyone wants a throwback fifth-wheel hitch, it looks like there's still time to get one. But seriously, the catalog shows a modern selection hitches with dual tilt axes, wraparound jaws, and multiple mounting systems including an under-bed alternative to conventional rails.
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