Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gooseneck Hitch and More Lights

This must be my week with dealing with heavy boxes. The last time I drove to Corvallis, I had picked up a gooseneck hitch for the truck. It has been sitting in the garage getting in the way for about 3 years and at 140 lbs, the boxes were a pain to move around. Last night, I finally bit the bullet and installed the hitch. The delay was partly having to drill a 4" hole in the middle of the truck bed. This was one of those "one chance to get it right" things. After measuring several times, the hole was cut with a 4" hole saw using a battery powered drill. I was somewhat surprised that it not only had enough power to turn the hole saw but that the battery wasn't drained in the process. Once the hole was drilled and the cut metal painted, my youngest son and I started installing the heavy pieces between the frame and the bottom of the bed. These were very heavy steel parts as the hitch is rated at 30,000 lbs with a 7,000 lb tongue weight. More than the truck is rated for (I like having plenty of headroom). We used a hand winch hung from a beam in the garage to support the main hitch plate through the hole in the bed. Fortunately, the truck is high enough to sit upright under the bed while bolting things together. Better than lying on the concrete.

The ball drops into the socket and when it isn't being used, you can flip it over so there isn't anything in the bed to trip on. I don't have anything to pull with it but the plan was to pick up a fifth wheel trailer some time and a fifth wheel hitch is available to fit the same socket. The silvery things at the bottom of the picture are spring loaded loops for the safety chains. These are also attached to the same heavy steel parts under the bed and attached to the frame and not just to sheet metal.

I picked up a pair of Piaa 530 LED fog lights and for now, installed one on the front of the sidecar fender. Hopefully, this will make me a little more visible. These lights draw only 6 watts each so you don't even need a relay. I'll have to wait until dark to aim it and see if it makes any difference. I haven't figured out where to install the other light. Ideally, it'll be on the left side of the bike somewhere. Or I might try and figure out some sort of light bar for the front of the sidecar. This location puts the light pretty far back and the sidecar body reduces visibility to oncoming traffic so it's not optimal.

 

Another shot showing the leaf colors. We have been getting rain pretty steadily for the last week or so. There is a "last ride of the season" scheduled for tomorrow afternoon out to Chena Hot Springs resort. I haven't made it out there yet this Summer so I'm planning to go on the ride.

Update Saturday Evening - Mounted the other fog light to the front lower sidecar mount. I think that I'm more visible now! And no glare to oncoming traffic.

 

15 comments:

Martha said...

I'll be. There is that yellow you talked about. Just like CO where most of the color is yellow because it's all aspen/cottonwoods. Is this aspen?

RichardM said...

Birch. Alder, Aspen, Cottonwood. Everything is yellow. Occasionally something else but mostly yellow.

Erik R said...

The leaf pic is a reminder to me that fall is coming. We are just starting to get a tiny bit of color on some of the leaves. It wont be long...

Nice hitch too.

RichardM said...

This morning, someone said that as far as they were concerned, it was officially Fall. It didn't matter what the calendar claimed. There are some areas that are completely changed and others that still have a lot of green. I think that the trees are as confused as everyone else.

SonjaM said...

Richard, is there one day that you are not puttering around? You must have an endless list of to-do's.
Fall has arrived as well in this part of the world. People say: too soon. But temperatures have dropped significantly and the trees start changing color as well. I wonder if the fall in the Black Forest will be as colorful as in Canada.

Trobairitz said...

Good job getting some projects out of the way.

The fog lights look good.

Have a great ride today.

Troubadour said...

The season seemed to change quite quickly, I was surprised one night to notice it was dark at 8 o'clock. Glad you got your lights mounted in time for fall/winter. (I'll try to push my bike outside for some photos tonight).

RichardM said...

Isn't puttering what many do on the weekend? That hitch install needed to be done if for no other reason than clearing out stuff in the garage. And putting stuff on the bike doesn't qualify as puttering. I've been looking for an LED light for the sidecar but didn't want to spend the big bucks for the Denali lights. And I ordered these fog lights before Troubadour's post.

RichardM said...

Gotta keep plugging away at those projects. I think the "list" (if one existed) would challenge War and Peace for page count.

It is a beautiful morning for the ride though a little cool at 28°F for some.

RichardM said...

Fall is definitely here and I've been light shopping for a while. I hadn't run across the ones that you used before. I may add one of those tied to the brights. I tried the ground clamp idea to clamp onto the sidecar bumper but couldn't get the angle right. But looking at them to hold a light bar onto the bumper. Thanks for the idea!

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Hitch looks great and sounds like a big job; I knew nothing about the 5th wheel receivers.

Looks like you should be fine with the light. Low wattage for others to see you should be more than adequate.

redlegsrides said...

Ya know Richard, now that you can tow more than what your truck is rated for.....perhaps a toy hauler is in your future....?

As to the lights, they can't hurt but don't forget some unwary cagers don't see police cruisers with their emergency lights on......continue to assume being invisible.

I've placed an H3 bulb into the socket used by the stock (read weak) stock bulb on the front marker light of the URAL sidecar. It runs really hot though, and has partially melted the plastic lens but no penetration so it's all good. It's damn bright, especially at night.

RichardM said...

Now just need to find something to tow…

So far, I like the lights. Cheaper than some but well made and they seem to be pretty visible.

RichardM said...

I don't know if we need a toy hauler. The truck has a towing capacity of about 16K and a tongue weight of about 3K. Should be enough.

I know that I'm still invisible but hope that the lights may help. I'm told that the pattern looks odd to oncoming traffic. Maybe that'll get a second glance.

redlegsrides said...

Fwiw, I believe sidecar rigs are unusual enough that they tend to catch a second look from cagers.....