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Old 08-13-2006, 09:32 AM   #15
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By the way, who's the manufacturer of this hitch? I've looked all over my hitch and the lift bars on the Argosy, and I haven't found a name nor a logo. (I guess I'll be installing a dual-cam on the Argosy so I can use it with the same hitch the Excella uses.)

I've also been trying to imagine exactly what type of force was required to bend the shank of the receiver tube UPWARD. Or maybe that's looking at it backward. Maybe the question should be what kind of force was RELIEVED by bending the shank upward?

I have an adapter on my Reese hitch that looks just like that one. The part number is Reese 54970 and it's placarded for 12,000 lb weight distributing and 1,000 or 1,200 lbs nose weight, depending on which holes are being used.

Lamar
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:18 AM   #16
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HI Barry,
Real sorry to see this damage to your classic Porsche and trailer. I just can't get over how badly damaged and bent the hitch is. That must have been some violent sway. Thank God you're OK. I got to imagine from your description you were thinking we're going to roll. That is really scary! I've been following your project and hopefully you'll be able to get her back together again. What is your tow vehicle? I noticed you said a work truck but curious what you were using?
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:44 AM   #17
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Thank heavens you two are unhurt! Having seen your skill I know you can fix the trailer.
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:05 PM   #18
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Barry,

If you are contemplating replacing your hitch with the Equal-i-zer.....just don't buy it from the manufacturers webpage. GO to RVwholesalers, they sell them starting at $399.

http://www.rvwholesalers.com/catalog...&cat=74&page=1
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:03 PM   #19
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Sorry to read about your mishap. But you’re unhurt and perhaps we can all learn something from your unpleasant accident.
I have a very similar type of assembly, and although I have all the installation literature, I don’t know who manufactured it. I bought it from U-Haul when they set-up my old Van for towing and now I use it with my Suburban.
Last fall I saw a unit come into the campground dragging one of his round torsion (or spring) bars. I stopped him and offered to help. He said he hadn’t noticed any difference towing and had no idea how long it was dragged. It appeared that the stainless steel spring clip was damaged by something hitting it and knocking it over. That clip probably shifted enough to cause the pin to disengage from the round bar’s grove. I wondered how he was going to fix it before moving on.
And if repair parts are available, who sells them?
I often thought about this problem and was going to start a tread on the forum, but never did. However one way to prevent the bar from falling out (for whatever reason) could be to attach some kind of chain or cable to that end of the bar. Is that reasonable?

The Question is: It is a design flaw or a manufacturing flaw?
In your case it appears that the pins were not made to spec. Or is it possible they wore down after years of use? How long have you used it? Obviously the spring clip & pin assembly is a potential problem for all of us with a similar hitch system.
Some kind of pre-hook up inspection is necessary.
Now if it is a design flaw, we could consider replacing it with something better.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:22 AM   #20
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Barry ,again so sorry for your mishap .

The hitch head is bent to the direction of the bar that was still attached?
it appears that it was leveraged during the sway and the impact ,bent sideways, as the other bar had dropped out ,yet the other bar under heavy tension and impact along with a ultra long ,heavy trailer .Remember that
your bars on those type of hitches (I have one like it ) need grease to
prevent extreme wear and scoring of the bars as yours show ,not the cause
of trouble, but keeps the setup lubed .The old round bar hitch that I had
on the travelall had bars that needed to be installed in the socket at an angle
,then turned into position to lock it in ,they could not come out.I myself will
look at my hitch head to see what the clips are doing and looking like in the
sockets ,making sure of a positive locking in .

Scott
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:59 AM   #21
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Barry,
As I read your story I could not help but remember your earlier post about wanting a Classic MH to pull your trailer. This experience should convince you and everyone else why the Classic is not a tow vehicle. You were able to avoid further damage and most of all injury by skillful driving and having a vehicle which allowed those skills to be used.
I am sorry to hear of your "threes" but thankfully all is repairable and no one was hurt.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
Barry,
As I read your story I could not help but remember your earlier post about wanting a Classic MH to pull your trailer. This experience should convince you and everyone else why the Classic is not a tow vehicle. You were able to avoid further damage and most of all injury by skillful driving and having a vehicle which allowed those skills to be used.
I am sorry to hear of your "threes" but thankfully all is repairable and no one was hurt.
I agree with Chaplain Kent. There is no telling what kind of damage might have occurred to the frame/rearend of a Classic Motorhome if you had been towing your trailer with one when this happened. Not to mention that your might not have been able to control the tow vehicle at all if it had been a Classic Motorhome. Just be glad that there was no physical injuries noted.
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:59 PM   #23
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Sorry Barry....

you know, I have that same brand too.. It's made by EZ lift. I had been happy with it until last year, when it too dropped the driver's side bar. I found that the metal spring lost it's "sprong"... allowing the bar to pop out. My secret failure mode was / is going slowly, taking a sharp left, with a driveway or other hump, allowing the streetside bar to unweight and drop. My new 'solution' was to tape the spring tight to not let it come out.... I know, McGyver at best... but I really didn't see the problem of the bar coming out at slow speeds.... until now. As an aside, I've towed with this hitch over 6000 miles, only dropping the bar three times, each time it was as I was leaving our campsite.

You can bet I'll be buying a new setup soon!

You mention getting chain tension correct. I'm not inferring at all that this was not done correctly, I'm just stating how I do mine. I have a 1 ton van, so sag really isn't noticible, but the weight transfer is (I've CAT scaled weighed the setup, so I know my weight is distributed well). With onlly one chain loose, my steering was light, with two loose, the weight is evenly distributed (only 10% more on the rears). To get that cam to close though, requires me to hitch up the trailer and van, and then use the tongue jack to lift the rear of the van/trailer tongue combo - allowing me to easily swing up the chain tensioner.

Again, I'm so glad you guys are ok, but man, I feel your pain.

Did you ever CAT scale weigh your setup? I remember that your trailer can balance on it's wheels with it's airspring setup. I'm curious about what tongue weight it has when towing.
Marc
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:16 PM   #24
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To bring you all up to date. I appreciate all your concern.The hitch is a Round Robyn. Avoid it at all costs.

I posted this thread on the Lincoln Forum and, believe it or not, someone loaded up their prize Lincoln on a 20 foot trailer, attached it to an F-250 and intentionally left one round-bar off just to see what happened. He said that the load acted so strange that he had to stop and put the bar back on. Imagine losing a round bar at speed.

Kudos to Hagerty insurance. They didn't say boo about the claim. On the Porsche their attitude is, "Whatever it takes". The car is so rare that they know that there are very few people capable of repairing it properly. Most mechanics at that level will not bid their work, they works strictly on an hourly basis.

The Porsche suffered some severe suspension damage but luckily the attachment points were undamaged. As you can imagine, parts are very rare. The car has sleeved aluminum brake drums and two are bent. The real tough part to obtain is the front spindle. This mechanic just happens to have the last known NOS spindle. The whole front suspension folded when the front wheel impacted the wheel well. Both wheels are bent, too.

He said he likes working on my car bcause it's a fresh restoration and there's no rust and very little dirt. It's only been driven in the rain once.

The engine and transaxle are being pulled. The transaxle will be shipped to another expert as they suspect that there might be some internal damage and a bent axle. The car will be further disassembled by the mechanic, removing all trim, windshield and interior in preparation of a complete paint job. The insurance company is paying for 2/3 of the paint job so I'll get it back looking better than new.

The body shell will be attached to a rolling jig and sent off to Autometrics, in Pontiac. The owner is a friend and fellow Porschefile and recently had his shop restore a 356B for him. They normally only do extreme high end cars at this shop (he has 7) so it will be in some mighty fine company. I should see it home about next Spring.

The trailer. The insurance company sent out an independent adjuster who, luckily for me, happens to be a pilot and immediately recognized the airplane technology used to build the Royal Spatranette. He insisted that the trailer needed to be rebuilt by an air frame mechanic. I said OK.

His original guesstimate was $80,000. He had an air frame mechanic come out and write and actual bid to do the work in my facility. His bid was $42,500. The only requirement for a settlement was proof that there were no leinholders on the title. They are cutting me a check for that amount less a $250.00 deductible.

As you may have guessed, I'm going to do the repairs myself. I was hesitant at first, but, unlike an airplane, a failed rivet won't make it fall out of the sky. My skills are sufficient to make proper body repairs. It also lets me think real seriously about adding that '40 Continental convertible to the collection.

In fact, I started today. In about two hours I had accomplished what the mechanic had set aside 4 days to do. I stripped the FRP from the damaged areas, pleased to find it firmly bonded to the wood structure. This revealed broken wall studs about a foot above the base of the wall. I removed the wood inner wall and removed the rigid foam at the base of the stud spaces.

By removing the broken pieces of stud and freeing up a couple of bent aluminum supports I was able to push the wall back into its original position. When I did that the rear opening kind of righted itself and the upper door fit properly again.

Cosmetically, I only need to replace the bottom 24" of aluminum from the rear of the fenderwell back. The hard part will be locating the curved aluminum trim pieces on both lower sides. I'm sure I can have some made but it would be nice to find a junkyard trailer to take them off of.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of a 1948-51 Spartanette, Spartanette Tandem or Royal Spartanette that's being dismantled, please let me know. I can't use a piece from a '52 because they switched to steel.

I'm going to start posting in the "Toybox" trailer thread again. Please feel free to lend your assistance, as always.

Thanks again for your concern,

Barry
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
you know, I have that same brand too.. It's made by EZ lift. I had been happy with it until last year, when it too dropped the driver's side bar. I found that the metal spring lost it's "sprong"... allowing the bar to pop out. My secret failure mode was / is going slowly, taking a sharp left, with a driveway or other hump, allowing the streetside bar to unweight and drop. My new 'solution' was to tape the spring tight to not let it come out.... I know, McGyver at best... but I really didn't see the problem of the bar coming out at slow speeds.... until now. As an aside, I've towed with this hitch over 6000 miles, only dropping the bar three times, each time it was as I was leaving our campsite.

You can bet I'll be buying a new setup soon!

You mention getting chain tension correct. I'm not inferring at all that this was not done correctly, I'm just stating how I do mine. I have a 1 ton van, so sag really isn't noticible, but the weight transfer is (I've CAT scaled weighed the setup, so I know my weight is distributed well). With onlly one chain loose, my steering was light, with two loose, the weight is evenly distributed (only 10% more on the rears). To get that cam to close though, requires me to hitch up the trailer and van, and then use the tongue jack to lift the rear of the van/trailer tongue combo - allowing me to easily swing up the chain tensioner.

Again, I'm so glad you guys are ok, but man, I feel your pain.

Did you ever CAT scale weigh your setup? I remember that your trailer can balance on it's wheels with it's airspring setup. I'm curious about what tongue weight it has when towing.
Marc

Please explain CAT scale.

I don't know the tongue weight. A little late, but I just bought a hydraulic tongue scale. I do know this. I had enough tongue weight. The truck is an F-450 with a 12 foot box. It sat down about 2" when the weight of the trailer was put on it. I saw the rear end of the truck rise slightly when I applied tension to the round bars.

I followed the instructions exactly. They clearly said that the bars are to be parallel to the trailer frame and the ground when properly tensioned. One addition link of 2" chain produced a noticeable upward sweep to the bars. I've also noticed on the bars that failed that they are bent to a 90° angle. I think they should have been bent at a 95°+ angle to preload some tension when parallel. I believe this to be another manufacturing flaw.

I believe that, in the final analysis, I have found that I loaded the Porsche too far rearward. Although I believe I had proper tongue weight I had positioned too much mass behind the rear axle. I believe that the operational round bar system masked the sway potential. The crazy experiment confirmed that steerring inputs went haywire with only one bar attached.

This condition was confirmed by a trailer engineer with many years experience. He agreed with my assessment that I had quite effectively created a pendulum that simply obeyed the laws of physics. This was one dynamic that I was unaware of.
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:37 PM   #26
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Thanks a bunch for the update, Barry. Looks like you're going to make out all right. Let us know what hitch setup you end up running with when it's all back together.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:30 PM   #27
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Berry2952: Kudos & Karma for posting your professional analysis of the accident. It was interesting to read a well researched and documented report and with favorable results with the insurance company.
Your ‘lesson learned,’ recommendation is to avoid that EAZ-LIFT ‘Robin Round Bar Weight Distributing Hitch’ assembly. I would like to know if the problem was caused by a poorly designed clip & pin assembly or by poorly manufactured & inspected pins? Or was that WD hitch well used and perhaps the pins were warn down over the years?

Why? It appears I have a very similar hitch and although I’m only towing a 7300 pound (max.) 25’ Safari with a ¾ ton Suburban, there is no other known independent source which evaluated that hitch. As posted earlier, I’ve once noticed someone’s failure of the unit’s clip & pin assembly. (They hold each spring (torsion) bar in place.) The thought of losing a round bar at highway speeds is quite sobering.
It appears that such critical parts need to be periodically inspected and routinely replaced.
I would guess that someone sells those parts, but who & where?
When you replace that hitch, please tell us which one you choose?
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:47 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStanley
Berry2952: Kudos & Karma for posting your professional analysis of the accident. It was interesting to read a well researched and documented report and with favorable results with the insurance company.
Your ‘lesson learned,’ recommendation is to avoid that EAZ-LIFT ‘Robin Round Bar Weight Distributing Hitch’ assembly. I would like to know if the problem was caused by a poorly designed clip & pin assembly or by poorly manufactured & inspected pins? Or was that WD hitch well used and perhaps the pins were warn down over the years?
It's Barry, not berry. Berry is a fruit.

The hitch was brand new. I believe it was cumlulitive manufacturing error that led to a cascade failure. Look at some of the pictures I've posted and listen to some of the people that have posted their experience or observations of other people's wd hitches. Upon close inspection I'd say it's a pretty stupid design and I fault myself for not recognizing it. I know what to look for now.
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