Dingy Towing Level Importance on Hitch

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Murphcrud

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Joined
Nov 11, 2017
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152
Location
Ontario
Good Morning,
I am just about to embark on a 'new to us', 'old to you',  adventure of towing a vehicle behind our 30 ft 2008 Fleetwood Jamboree.  We will be towing a small 2007 Nissan Versa, with manual transmission.  We have purchased a Blue Ox BX1838 Base Plate and we also have a BX7445 Tow Bar (yes, the tow bar is overkill for this vehicle, but what will we tow next???).  We have a braking system as well and the electrical harness for it.  All will be installed this weekend.  The RV has towed a vehicle, by the previous owner, and is ready to accept the new tow bar and be plugged in, ready to roll.  I hope that I have given enough info for the knowledgeable Guru's in our midst, to answer my questions as follows:

It would seem to me that low positioning of the base plate on the small Nissan, will create a fairly steep angle  when the tow bar is attached to the RV.  Is this setup acceptable or is there some sort of a drop bar 'step down' attachment required to level out the tow bar and base plate points?  What would be an acceptable angle (if there is one) from the attachment points of the base plate to the RV hitch?  I realize that the base plate attachment points can accept the tow bar arms at various steep angles, but how steep is safe?
 

Rene T

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May 20, 2011
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17,326
Location
Farmington NH
If you think the angle will be too steep, just get a drop down hitch with the offset you need:

https://www.amazon.com/Curt-Manufacturing-45110-Class-Mount/dp/B0007M308A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1534421875&sr=8-3&keywords=10in+drop+hitch
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
Your tw bar will have a spec for angle.  In general, the dinghy should never be higher than the hitch because it will tend to "climb the hitch" in a hard stop and can actually rise up and hit the back of the coach.  A slight down angle, 2-3 degrees, is usually not a problem, but a greater angle is to be avoided for best towing manners.

Check the instructions that come with the tow bar (and make sure the dealers gives them to you).
I found the Blue Ox Aventa LX instructions online and it says 3" high or low is OK.  I still feel that 0" high  and up to 3" low is a better range to strive for.    If yours receiver is higher than that, get a "drop hitch" of an suitable size to get the angle within range.
The one in the link below provides a 4" drop and they are available in sizes that give up to 12".https://www.amazon.com/Meyer-FHK45054-Receiver-Hitch-Extension/dp/B007448NC2/

BX7445 instructions:

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/v/vspfiles/assets/pdf/BX7445-Instructions.pdf
 

blw2

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Aug 9, 2012
Posts
3,325
Location
Saint Johns, FL
I'd suggest also giving the hitch a good looking over...the hitch, where it's attached to the RV's frame, etc....
  You have a higher confidence I'd guess, because the hitch has been used and tested before.... but still, I'd inspect things first.

I bring this us mainly because of a recent discussion over on the manufacturer specific forum I follow.  A couple folks have been having problems with the hitch failing and discussions are leaning towards the problem being poor hitch attachment design that is overloaded by the bending moment from using a drop hitch....the idea being when accelerating or braking, the pull or push on the lowered hitch want to bend it back or forward....the longer the drop the greater the bending moment.
I don't want to raise too much concern because I think this is a rather isolated issue with some of Thor's stuff....but it is something to consider I think.
 

Murphcrud

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Joined
Nov 11, 2017
Posts
152
Location
Ontario
I haven't purchased the drop hitch.  It will be new when I do.  My tow bar is used but only sparingly.  I did a very thorough inspection of the tow bar (even gave it a few hard whacks with a 4 pound sledge hammer).  The previous owner insisted that I abuse it, so I tried.  I am quite confident in it.
 
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