Rapid Hitch / Convert-A-Ball Conversion
When I started to get my 1995 Chevy Astro ready to pull a trailer, I really liked the adjustability of the Rapid Hitch System, but I also liked the ease of changing the ball on the Convert-A-Ball System.
So what's a fella to do?
I purchased both, of course. But I quickly ran into a problem with the Rapid hitch because of its design. The two balls were really one piece, a longish cylinder with a 2" ball on one end and a 2 5/16" on the other end. It took a little web searching to find a picture of the Rapid Hitch completely apart so I could see this.
When the Rapid Hitch arrived, I tried it out on the van and liked how it worked. Then I took the ball assembly from the Rapid Hitch and the shank assembly from the Convert-A-Ball down to a local machine shop (the C-A-B shank was used as a reference for the machinist, as I didn't take the time to draw this all up for him.) I probably voided both warrenties on the two systems by doing the following, but it seems to have worked out just fine for this particular usage.
The Astro can only handle a maximum of 3500 lbs. of trailer, and a maximum of 350 lbs. in tongue weight. I'm only hauling a light trailer loaded with my casting cart and supplies to gaming conventions. That said, here are pictures of what I had done to combine both systems.
This is the modified ball assembly from the Rapid Hitch. I put the ball that was cut off back next to the modified assembly for a reference. The other ball was cut down into the shape of the Convert-A-Ball shank:
This is a side by side comparison of the Convert-A-Ball shank and the modified assembly. The groove cut into the bottom of the assembly was cut to leave clearance for wires should I want to install something on the "bottom" of the hitch:
This shows the bottom of the assembly. I had the groove cut, as well as two 3/4" deep threaded holes for mounting whatever I decide to mount there:
This shows the two assemblies rotated 90 degrees:
This is the assembly mounted on the van:
I had the work done at Cook's Machine Shop here in Augusta for $90.00:
Cook's Machine Shop
Thank you, Jon, for the excellent work!
I am pleased with how it turned out, though I imagine that the two manufacturers are shaking their heads at my presumption at having their products modified.
Now all I have to do is buy that enclosed v-front cargo trailer...
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