Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer

   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer #1  

Sodo

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
3,198
Location
Cascade Mtns of WA state
Tractor
Kubota B-series & Mini Excavator
I sort of came into this travel trailer. It was a "hunting camp" but my girls wanted it for a clubhouse, so we made it a clubhouse. Now we are planning a trip to Montana, and the tranny on my camper crapped out. So we decided to drive my pickup, towing the "clubhouse". It's a '60s style trailer, which is currently "HOT" and people covet them, fix them up like new. But this one's not even a candidate to fix up except we put on some fresh Camo paint. It has brand new Michelin radial tires that are cracked all over, even the sidewalls, that hurts. And there are other things to fix, but it should be a fun trip. The girls are thrilled, their Mom's taking tome to Salvation Army to look for 1960s clothes.

I started to work on the lights, and then noticed the hitch is 'broken'. The front of the ball socket is broken off. How the heck does a hitch get broken like this? I wonder if they cut it to get more articulation, for when they towed it into the hunting camp. I had no trouble getting it out, but maybe back when they took it in there was no road? Or maybe it got relelgated to "hunting camp" because the hitch got broken.

Need to cut this thing offa the tongue and weld on a new one.

432614d1436667456-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch1-jpg


The front of the ball socket is broken off. How the heck does a hitch get broken like this?

432615d1436667456-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch2-jpg


432616d1436667456-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch3-jpg
 

Attachments

  • ClubHouseHitch1.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch1.jpg
    95.6 KB · Views: 2,371
  • ClubHouseHitch2.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch2.jpg
    54.6 KB · Views: 2,420
  • ClubHouseHitch3.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch3.jpg
    154.6 KB · Views: 2,251
Last edited:
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer
  • Thread Starter
#2  
OK all done (in true git 'er done style :D)

They really welded this thing on. Cutting it off was going to be more work than I wanted to do. Maybe OK for a torch, but decided to just cut off the broken part, and weld the new hitch to the old hitch.

432633d1436675835-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch4-jpg


Welded it all the way around, including the holes. This thing AINT coming off!

I welded most of it with 7018 rod because it was windy. But then ran into trouble because I'm no good at vertical or overhead, so did the verticals and underside with the MIG (which I can do pretty well)

432634d1436675835-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch6-jpg


I moved the jack 6 inches rearward, so my truck tailgate doesn't hit it. Tailgates are much taller than the old days, Ford is 24 inches tall.

432635d1436675835-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch7-jpg


Here's what the "clubhouse" looks like. I't would look the part towed with my old Willys, but the new pickup is a lot nicer to drive :cool:.

432636d1436675835-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch8-jpg


OK that's my repair story. Not very exciting, but hey there's not really a lot of action on this welding forum so ya gotta take whatcha get!
 

Attachments

  • ClubHouseHitch4.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch4.jpg
    120.1 KB · Views: 4,074
  • ClubHouseHitch6.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch6.jpg
    138.1 KB · Views: 7,532
  • ClubHouseHitch7.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch7.jpg
    101.4 KB · Views: 2,398
  • ClubHouseHitch8.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch8.jpg
    168.5 KB · Views: 2,561
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer #4  
I like it thanks for sharing
 
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer #5  
Cool trailer, Sodo!!
Hope you have a fun, safe trip.

Terry
 
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer
  • Thread Starter
#6  
Dang if I had taken more time to sit back and think about it,,,,,,,, I would NOT have added these 4 welds. They are all in a straight line, and violate the toughness of the new stamped metal part. A little too much git er done.

432666d1436718734-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch9-jpg


Welds are on underside, you can see them where the paint's burned. Just noting this because this is after all, a welding forum and this is a good example of "over-welding". Basically the final act of adding those four welds minimized the contribution of all the big welding behind them. Dang.

432667d1436718745-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch6-jpg


Heres the underside weld. Its OK, just doesn't deserve to be there.

attachment.php



Not the slightest bit worried about the strength or safety, just the brain fart, and the lost opportunity to optimize. Looking aft of the hitch, the frame is just a couple 3 inch channels - this trailer can't weigh very much.

Thanks Terry, will be a good trip! Wheel bearings were perfect, and if I can make it to the tire shop without incident,,,, everything else seems reasonable.
 

Attachments

  • ClubHouseHitch9.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch9.jpg
    123.6 KB · Views: 3,779
  • ClubHouseHitch6.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch6.jpg
    138.1 KB · Views: 1,955
  • ClubHouseHitch5.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch5.jpg
    87.1 KB · Views: 1,922
Last edited:
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer #7  
I'm sure you will get some second looks along I-90 but don't worry, they won't be looking at your welds. :D
 
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer #8  
Dang if I had taken more time to sit back and think about it,,,,,,,, I would NOT have added these 4 welds. They are all in a straight line, and violate the toughness of the new stamped metal part. A little too much git er done.

432666d1436718734-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch9-jpg


Welds are on underside, you can see them where the paint's burned. Just noting this because this is after all, a welding forum and this is a good example of "over-welding". Basically the final act of adding those four welds minimized the contribution of all the big welding behind them. Dang.
Personally I think those are the most important welds. Think pivot point, and leverage.
 
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer #9  
I think you were correct on including the forward welds, at least the vertical ones. Maybe you didn't need the horizontal line, but I don't think it hurt anything.
 
   / Repair hitch on 1960s travel trailer
  • Thread Starter
#10  
Hey Kenny the way this happened was I saw the welds ending on the flange and thought "hmmmmm a crack could start at the ends of those welds". Not likely on this trailer, but it thought tongue weight would put the end of those welds in tension. So welded the verticals for that. Then kept welding across the top just to see if I was better at MIG overhead than Stick overhead.

First of all, there is no chance this little trailer's gonna break anything - no cracks will happen ever. :D
This is only for the sake of discussion ,,,,, I'm interested in the opinions and expertise.

Personally I think those are the most important welds. Think pivot point, and leverage.

My point is that the rear half of this stamped couple can contribute "toughness" or resistance to cracking. And that welding across it at the front was unnecessary and negates the contribution of the rear half.

Heres a better pic showing how they welded the coupler on originally. they only welded o the flanges (of each part. They welded the aft end on the outside.

432790d1436801226-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch11-jpg

Dang this pic shows it wouldn't have been too difficult to cut off,,,,, :ashamed:
==================

Another way to look at it (with photoshop help :D ).

Cut off most of the rear half of the coupler and overlap ~3/4". Weld top and bottom.
Don't consider weld quality, just the construction. (Assume Shield Arc welded it :D )

432780d1436798620-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch10-jpg


432781d1436798620-repair-hitch-1960s-travel-trailer-clubhousehitch6-jpg



Do you think ----- these two options ----- are (just about) equal toughness?
 

Attachments

  • ClubHouseHitch10.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch10.jpg
    138.6 KB · Views: 1,713
  • ClubHouseHitch6.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch6.jpg
    138.1 KB · Views: 2,398
  • ClubHouseHitch11.jpg
    ClubHouseHitch11.jpg
    28.1 KB · Views: 1,841
Last edited:
 
Top