Hitch storage

When we purchased this trailer in early 2013 we also purchased an Equal-i-zer hitch to go with it. During the course of 3 different tow vehicles, the hitch has been reconfigured and a couple of different shanks have been used. It is current iteration (2.5″ shank) the entire combination is very heavy:

I can manhandle it with my favorite hitch tool, the Hitchgrip. I talked about it in another blog post. Here it is in action:

But this post is about storage. That is where to store the hitch and equalizer bars. I normally just store them like I see others. Balancing them on the ‘L’ brackets:

As you can see above there is no security for the bars and they do tend to fall off when the trailer moves (normally this is about 2 am and it makes a very loud noise). I am looking for a better solution.

I normally will store the hitch in the trailer’s ball receptacle. I put a padlock on the latch and a receiver lock on the shank to make things a bit more difficult:

The huge problem with this is it requires two people. I lift up the hitch with two hands and Roxie slams down the latch. Also, I am not sure of the security of this setup (it can also be a real shin buster!), as I would much rather use this:

Here is my solution. It took me a bit to find a welder to do this for me. Essentially it is another hitch receiver with a location for the bars:

This is with the hitch slid into the receiver and secured:

Then the torsion bars slide into the top. They have holes in the so a deadbolt will fit right in to secure them:

Here is the final setup with all components:

This will make things so much easier as I can use my Hitchgrip to transfer easily between the two locations. The bars will not fall off or be stolen. Thanks to Gary’s Welding in Visalia and Amazon for getting the receiver to me overnight! I hope this helps others with their ideas.

Toy-hauler flavor

One of the trade-offs we had to do with our solar install was to remove our front battery compartments from the trailer to give us more room under that couch for our 4 batteries and electronics. However, I could not remove the doors for the batteries (not enough time) and had to caulk them sealed. It was not pretty, in fact, it was so ugly I never took photos of it. Time to do something about it! I decided to cover up the holes but try to make it look nice.

I decided to take a page from the toy-haulers. I ordered some diamond plate. Now that the trailer is back (after 43 days) I can work on it. The first step is taking off the old doors. I guess you get to see the old ugly one in this sequence.

Above you can see the original door, the door opened, the door removed, caulking around the edge, a piece of aluminum to cover the hole, and the cover riveted.

The next step is preparing and installing the diamond plate. With guidance from Vinnie Lamica of Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair. He concurred with my plan of using 3M VHB tape for securing the diamond plate. I know that many solar companies use the same VHB to mount the solar panel brackets to roofs. Vinnie also recommended that I apply a bead of Trempro 635 around the edge to protect the tape. I also put on some finished edges to make the diamond plate look nicer.

This is the diamond plate, reversed and cut. I have markings for my orientation.

This is after placing the VHB tape and finished edges but prior to the bead of Trempro:

The installation was easy to do alone. Once one part of the VHB grabbed on it was just a matter of pushing on the panel where the tape was and it was done.

Here are some shots:

I am very pleased with the results. My son said to me, “It looks surprisingly professional”. Not sure how I should take that…

A quick trailer repair update. We got our trailer back on 2/9 after 43 days in the shop. We are glad to have it back and ready to get moving again.