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Old 02-21-2016, 10:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
It's unanimous, at least among the trailer owners. Replace it immediately.
I may not be a trailer owner, but that doesn't mean I've never pulled a trailer. And even though I'm retired, I haven't quite forgotten everything I ever knew about engineering, either.

The hitch does need to be replaced, no one is denying that. I just believe tható given the apparent age of the crack and that it seems as if it's not getting worseó it's not necessarily as urgent as you guys seem to think. I'm not recommending that he use it for the next couple of years, just that it should last long enough to get back home so he can replace it at his leisureó unless he's a full-timer and has no home to get back to.

He wasn't scared to use it yesterday, or the day before, when it was already cracked. He shouldn't be scared to use it tomorrow as long as the crack doesn't get worse. And daily inspection will tell him if it's getting worse.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:20 PM   #16
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IMO, once you are aware of the crack you are obligated to replace it, even if it is just a moral obligation, before towing. Anything less is putting everyone else at risk. Sure, the risk may be low, but it is there nonetheless.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:01 AM   #17
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Looks like there were stresses left in the metal from when it was made into a hitch. Also the top was tilted back towards the trailer at some point. Was the tilt an adjustment or did something force it to tilt back? If it was forced that may have caused the cracks to form. Now is when an unconditional lifetime warranty comes in handy!
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ijustlee View Post
Looks like there were stresses left in the metal from when it was made into a hitch. Also the top was tilted back towards the trailer at some point. Was the tilt an adjustment or did something force it to tilt back? If it was forced that may have caused the cracks to form. Now is when an unconditional lifetime warranty comes in handy!
The hitch is made to tilt as a method to adjust the bars.
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:36 AM   #19
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This looks to be a crack where the weld material meets the metal plate. From the pic you have welds on three intersections of the two pieces being attached. One of those is possibly failed leaving you as much as 2/3 of the strength. Without a penetrant or X-ray inspection there's no real way to know the severity of the crack. Don't risk your trailer for the price of a hitch bar. Replace it now! Great catch by the way.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:16 AM   #20
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Get it replaced
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:30 AM   #21
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First of all - good for you! You inspected a critical component and have taken the step to get input on it. If more people would do that there would be many fewer operator errors that happen year to year. For me it comes down to peace of mind. It's probably the pilot training in me but when I'm towing my trailer I constantly think through my checklist of items that could fail and try to have a contingency plan just in case something happens. The trailer unlinking from the TV is on the catastrophic events list and, while extremely rare, it does happen and when it happens nearly 100% of the time it was avoidable. This defect would be on that list for me and I would count it as "cheap insurance" to spend the couple of hundred $ to replace the hitch assembly. Peace of mind is worth extra time, effort, and cost.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:39 AM   #22
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Regardless, if there is a warranty or not, get a replacement before you go any further. You are looking at an "accident" that hasn't quite happened.....yet! Also, now that you are aware of the problem, it won't be an accident any longer, it'll be neglect...

For whatever it's worth

Larry
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:46 AM   #23
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Yep, it's cracked. There's rust in there too. That means it's been cracked for a while.

Replace it ASAP. You can weld it. But, consider the weld a temporary fix. If the worst should happen, you'll regret it.

Remember, you want performance, not compromise.

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Old 02-22-2016, 11:48 AM   #24
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Call equalizer. I have the same hitch and have had a few questions for them and they've been great. I've even sent them pics to show some wear on the hitch head that I was worried might be excessive, they confirmed it was fine but I did ask about replacement if it gets worse, they said no problem.
I had been curious about other hitches and thought if I had to replace, I might try a different kind but with the support they've provided, I'm sticking with them.

And no, I wouldn't tow with that crack either, the other poster saying it's not urgent is wrong.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:56 AM   #25
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While we're just looking at one pic (on my phone anyway) how about trying to see if the ball is tight too. Looks like might be a gap but it's just from the pic not a first hand inspection. Try sliding a piece of paper under the ball and maybe run the tongue jack up lifting it s bit.

If I'm whistling Dixie sorry bout that.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:41 PM   #26
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I have heavy duty farm equipment, tractors, mowers and such that get used a lot. Many heavy steel parts welded together. I have seen cracks like this in parts that carry a lot of stress and vibration from covering rough terrain.
There are usually multiple welds that share the load. When one cracks, there is more stress on the remaining welds. My experience has been that whatever circumstances existed to cause the first to fail, apparently also exist in the others nearby, and they eventually fail too. Sometimes I weld over the crack to repair the joint. But in 2 cases I had the crack reappear next to the new weld and the joint failed again.
I would not recommend getting the part re-welded as a repair. Because so much is at risk, I would drive gently and replace the hitch component at the earliest opportunity.
Safe travels!
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:03 PM   #27
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It is a weld stress; improper melt between the weld and the base material. Get the head to a decent welder and he can fix it for you. It needs to be ground out, and proper choice of weld rod and heat used to fix it. The rust might indicate the crack has been there for a while or it might be fairly new and recently exposed to rain. Either way if the other side is similar in length you have only about 1/3 of the needed weld holding that bracket to the head. You are close to losing it in my opinion. I would take it to a shop and see what they say. If you get it fixed it will at least get you home. Then you can work on choices.
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:26 PM   #28
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As an old mechanical engineer and after many years as a plant engineer I would not move my rig with that hitch. I would not take a chance with that hitch on the road. On farm equipment maybe yes, but on a public highway where a failure could be fatal to you or someone else...NO WAY....

My reasoning is that the crack you can see may be half the size of the crack you can't see. The cracks (you indicated there are two of them) may have begun inside the welded assembly out of sight and then propagated to the surface where they became visible. I have seen that happen on industrial equipment. Yes, lots of rust indicates it might have been that way for a while, but rust also spreads into the crack causing further deterioration and you don't want to learn how close it is to catastrophic failure by taking it on the road. I have safety chains on my rig, but I have no desire to test them with a hitch failure.
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