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Old 03-30-2003, 08:27 AM   #1
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I added a picture of the TrailerSaver Hitch that we mounted onto the existing Fontaine air slider base plate. This should allow me about 24" of front-to-rear hitch movement. I did this because I don't have the 5er yet and I'm mounting a ToyTrax motorcycle lift right behind the sleeper. Since I can slide the hitch, once I get the 5er, I can set the position of the hitch pin to provide the best jack-knife clearance. I can also move the pin to facilitate getting into and out of right spots in RV parks. Comments? Joe

1998 Volvo VNL64T610 N14Cummins
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Old 03-30-2003, 08:31 AM   #2
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Forgot to add this - To see the picture, go to the forum home, select photos, go to the MDT sectoin of the Truck Conversions album and scroll down to the shot. I will be adding other pictures of Bart as we progress on the bed build. Joe

1998 Volvo VNL64T610 N14Cummins
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Old 03-30-2003, 02:40 PM   #3
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Hello Joe -- --

I took a look at your picture -- and have these comments ....

First question -- will this work? Yes

Are you satisfied with your design -- Is it engineered properly -- fastened securely -- and do you know how to operate?

History lesson -- the PRIMARY reason for a sliding 5th wheel hitch -- Is for weight distribution. So this does not apply to us. The second reason for a slider -- some owner/operators have the ability to open the "Dogs" while traveling and slide the hitch forward/rearward while under way. This is for ride comfort. Hardly anyone does this anymore.

Do you know how to slide the hitch forward/backward? May seem like a rudementary question -- But .. you must be in a straight line -- and stopped. Sometimes the "Dogs" don't release -- and their's a bit of friction on the steel surfaces.

Here's a hint -- carry a bottle of dish soap with you -- and squirt the "Dogs" and steel sliding surfaces -- as this lubricates the friction surfaces. Always remember -- NEVER use a petrolium product to lubricate -- as this does not wash off and grit adhears to oil.

In commmercial driving -- To make the Rig turn with less off-trackinhg ..... The driver slides the Tandems forward. Does not apply to our application.

To put it another way -- in our application -- If you wish the Rig to turn with less off-tracking ...... Move the hitch pin location further behind rear axle centerline. You now have a cantelevered effect. If there is logging in your area -- study a log truck -- and pay close attention to the "Reach".

You are also giving up valuable "Deck" area.

You mentioned a motorcycle carrier. A bit difficult to get one up that high -- You may need a hand crank crane to assist. Another solution -- There are 2 - 2" receivers on the front of the Volvo -- an easy job to fab-up a cycle carrier and it would be closer to the ground -- easier loading. The front axle has at least 1500 pounds you can load to it -- depending on your engine. Need more -- move the hitch further rearward of the rear axle centerline with the 5th wheel hooked up -- and you take weight off the steer axle.

What is your height of the hitch with NO air in the hitch air bags ?? You will now tow a 5th wheel with the "Nose" elevated. You might want to review my posting/pictures of how I solved this. Your's is going to be more severe -- with the slider -- but .. It can be overcome .. but opens up yet another problem. I'd like to see how you may have addressed this.

I don't mean to be critical of what you've done. I applaud you -- Here's an example -- If I'd of done that to mine. I'm 62' overall. In a 60' pull thru ..... I "Hang Out" by 2'. If I had a slider -- No problem -- simply shorten up!!

I wish to thank you for sharing with us -- what you are doing .....

OLDphoneman
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Old 03-30-2003, 06:57 PM   #4
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OLDphoneman - How could you write that much and then say you don't mean to be critical? How can you ask questions like: "Are you satisfied with your design -- Is it engineered properly -- fastened securely -- and do you know how to operate (it)" and then say your not being critical? Your being critical. But, that's great. I've picked up a couple of important pointers from your post. Thanks! I went out this afternoon and greased the heck out of the slider rails. Wish I'd read your post first. Guess I better get that stuff off and buy a bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid. As far as loosing important deck space goes, it's not important to me. As far as the motorcycle lift goes, please go to the same photo album and take a look at the three pictures of Jim Gehlan's Volvo. That's the truck I'm using as a model. My hitch is going to sit 1/8" higher than Jim's does. (The bed will be built up 5" above the frame to allow for a complete dump of the air suspension system.) Jim said his Alfa sits about three inches high in the front (when compared to the back) but he has had no problems. Most of that can be corrected by adjusting the pin itself if I get a trailer that sits that high. Take a look at Jim's ToyTrax motorcycle lifts on the front of his bed. They pull the motorcycle onto the bed from the side. I've got a few more pictures that show a bike being loaded and in position on the bed if your interested. If so, let me know and I'll email them to you. But, there's no way I'm sticking my 800 pound, $25,000 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra-Glide "luxury touring motorcycle" out there at the point of initial impact with Bambi. Joe

1998 Volvo VNL64T610 N14Cummins
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Old 03-30-2003, 07:41 PM   #5
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Hi Joe --

Like I said -- I ment no offense -- I'm not real good at putting thought to words.

Let me start again -- now that you've given me more information -- along with the one picture.

As I look at the picture -- you've cutoff the base plate of the hitch -- as it was shipped from Jerry Clark. That's what prompted my remark about engineering. I can only "assume" your intentions are to weld then to your new steel plate. Hope your welder is certified.

You'r frame is "Beaver Tailed". This does not lend itself well for a bed. there is simply no frame material behind the hitch to support the rear of the bed. I'd perferred to have seen the frame "square Cut" like a truck -- much easier to support the bed.

You'r bed is going to be 5" above the frame? This is unusual -- I'm wondering what type of material you're going to use between the frame and bed? Usually a thin strip of hardwood is used.

As far as towing goes ...... You can tow nose up/down with no problem -- so long as you keep in mind .. If you'r up in the front -- You're down in the rear. You'll drag the tail sooner -- compared to level towing.

You're right on the pin box as being adjustable. I adjusted mine all the way up and gained an additional 2".

I to like Jim's Tractor. He was kind enough to send me his build pictures .. Doonan's did a great job on the bed.

I to thought about doing the same thing -- having a slider air hitch. But for me -- I dropped the idea. Although it would work. My reason -- I've slid hitches and sliding tandems for over 33 years -- fixed works for me.

Keep posting pictures Joe -- this is how we all learn ......

OLDphoneman
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Old 03-31-2003, 02:53 PM   #6
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Those two 2" receivers on the front of the truck are METRIC. I have the 49cc scooter mounted there and when we went to put it on, the 2" square stock did not fit. Also, when the scooter is mounted on the front, watch your headlights. The rear tire of the scooter blocks about 1/3 of the right headlight. Not much of a problem as we don't tow at night if I can help it.
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:35 PM   #7
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Oldphoneman - instead of writing words, I'll post more pictures. My bed is being built by a full-blown machine shop. They put out quality work. Kevin, the guy who is building my bed has been around trucks all his life and is also an RVer. He's excited about building the bed and he's damn good with the tools of the trade. I gave him detailed drawings and he's using his knowledge of metalworking to bring those drawings to life. But, I'll let the pictures speak for me. I should post one or two more tomorrow night. And, I do appreciate your concern. I know your trying to help a newbie. Thank you - Joe

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Old 04-30-2003, 07:18 PM   #8
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Joe - When I saw those pictures I almost blew an o-ring. I should send you a copy of my notes just so you can see how well you put the better part of my thoughts into a real world example. I was amazed - I love what you've done. With little difference you've designed what I've wanted to accomplish. I sure wish I was closer to your builder. I've been wanting to retain my air slide holland - but for now am also retaining the hitch itself. excellent looking work. BTW - my manufacturers manual recomends lubing the slide w/WD-40 type lube. Either way though - I can only say I haven't had a problem with it in my limited experience using it. Only comment is to make sure the "pins" are engaged and its really locked.

You've encorporated some major items I wanted such as retaining the slide, encorporateing removeable panels, inframe boxes and also the fact that it bolts to the truck frame.

Excellent - my compliments and admiration. I dream of finding someone that can do similar for me now that I have made the decision to try and keep toe ole 770.

My major difference is 2 things. 1) I miss my pickup bed and want sides on my bed for hauling material when necessary. 2) I like the look of my rear body work and catwalk and want to keep that - so the bed would only go up to that point - not needing the front panel section. I haven't measure yet but I guess an item #3 would be that I'd like to add a deck box between the bed and the catwalk if I had room. I figure when the kids get older and I get back into bikes I can add a rig like Jim G. has then in my catwalk area.

I imagine my ramblings are of little value to the group. I'd love to exchange an email or two to avoid attempting to reinvent the wheel. I primarily wanted to congradulate you and support requests for more pictures as well. great work

Kevin E. Silva
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Old 05-01-2003, 04:09 PM   #9
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Hello, Kevin. That's for the compliment; but really all I have done is use Jim Gehlan's Volvo bed as a template and make a few modification. I've exchanged a lot of emails with Jim since I bought my truck from Larry (onezman). There's a couple of things I would have liked to have done - the most significant would have been to have the tailpipe turn back and run along the length of the bed (lake pipes as we used to call them). Too late now because the bed sides are built and I can't just hang a chrome pipe on the side or I'd be overwidth. As far as top storage goes, the four back D-Rings will allow me to tie things down if needed. I never really gave sides a consideration. Take care - should have a few more pictures tomorrow. Joe

1998 Volvo VNL64T610 N14Cummins
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Old 05-01-2003, 05:48 PM   #10
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Could you install stake pockets and a rubrail around the bed like they do on flat beds? That way you would have tie downs where ever you want or you could put short sides into the stake pockets to haul dirt, gravel, etc. You could even put up stock racks with top cross braces to haul livestock like we did on the farm.

I'm just dreaming here, but I'd sure like to get a class 8 and do a RV conversion sometime. Please keep the pictures and ideas coming.

Gene

'96' Dodge 3500, 5-speed, 3.54 LSD, Ext. Cab, 205,000 plus miles, K&N RE-0880 air filter, Jannety heat shield, TST #10 plate slid forward 1/8", AFC spring kit, 16 cm exhaust housing, Jardine 4" exhaust w/5" stainless steel tip, South Bend Clutch, SPA digital EGT and boost gauge, relay controlled back-up alarm and rear facing halogen tractor flood lights, air horns, bed liner, Tonnou cover, Geno's manual trans. filter, brite box. Dyno run 1-27-02; 375.6 hp and 798.3 ft. lb. torque at the rear wheels.
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