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Old 12-27-2013, 01:36 AM   #15
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Did you take your 300? If so, how did it perform on the hills getting there?
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:29 AM   #16
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You are really lucky you made it to Stove Pipe Wells. When we came down Townes Pass a year ago, there was a big black spot burned in the road at the entrance to the campground. Some Japanese tourists had driven that long downgrade, riding the brakes the whole way. When they stopped to turn in, the big class-A pusher burst into flames and burned to the ground right in the middle of the road, along with all of their belongings, money and passports.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread, but Townes Pass is one of the longest, steepest (and fastest driven) downgrades I have encountered in the west. Some are longer or steeper, but not both. I just want to emphasize for those who haven't driven this road, exactly how lucky you are that you didn't lose your rig.

In any case, glad you made it down OK without any damage; and you didn't leave any permanent markers on the road like the Japanese tourists did.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:58 AM   #17
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Thumbs up Be thankful....very thankful.

I would.......email the 'installer' with a photo of how his 'installation' turned out, maybe include copies of all your receipts.

POI....I would not run the brake-away cable under and thru the chains. Attach it somewhere other than hitch receiver.

You could run the umbilical thru the D-ring.

Stream Safe....

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Old 12-27-2013, 06:13 AM   #18
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I had a similar failure a year or so ago with a Reese WD ball mount. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! My AS being held to my TV by a thread. Glad both you and property are OK.😀

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Old 12-27-2013, 06:28 AM   #19
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Yikes- so scarey- glad you averted disaster! My husband is a chess player, trying to think several moves ahead and bought this to have on hand in case something happened to the Hensley and we were somewhere in the boonies. Then we would just go back to the "old school" hitch until we could get the Hensley up and running again...Click image for larger version

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Old 12-27-2013, 06:36 AM   #20
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Our shop sells Equal I Zer hitches, and that drop bar does not look like anything they offer.

Now for my pet peeve... No one should ever, ever run the breakaway cable through the safety chain, ever, for any reason. Had that last weld let go, the safety chain hook could very well have bounced out of the hole for it, and the trailer would have become an 8,000 pound missile aimed at anything in its path. The proverbial school bus filled with handicapped kids and nuns comes to mind. Hook that cable somewhere not connected to the hitch or receiver, such as a 1/4" eye bolt in place of one of the license plate bolts.
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:59 AM   #21
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What Terry said X2...

Wanted to post a more recent photo of our safety chains.

I was never completely comfortable with the stainless chain link many of us use.

I doubled the chain and secured with a grade 8 bolt & washers.

Bob
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #22
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Glad you found it w/o the possible follow up accident report.

Back to identifying the shank. My Equal-I-Zer came with the rig, I didn't buy it personally so I really can't say I opened the box and can state that this is the factory shank. Also it was setup on a different truck so old witness marks aren't mine.

I did not see any mfgr marks on the shank. Notice the size of the weld fillet on the top.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:06 AM   #23
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That is the Equal-i-zer shank.Click image for larger version

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Old 12-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphonse View Post
Doug, I don't believe the photo has enough detail in it for anyone to comment definitively. You would have to see it up close and personal. With that said, the photo does appear to show that the welds at the 90 in the rectangular elements appear to be very shallow with very little filler material deposited and little penetration. Thank god at least part of the gusset was welded on well since it was carrying the day!
Those are the exact comments of two guys who examined it, and said they had experience as welders. Both men said there was absolutely no penetration into the solid material and that the weld looked like a simple bead on the surface. The edges of the horizontal piece had been beveled by about 3/16". The weld was then placed in that bevel.

I wish I could communicate how scared I was when I saw it. The grade we had just come down was 16 miles long and filled with sharp turns. The idea that this could be hanging by a thread without me knowing anything was wrong is worrisome. We had stopped for lunch about an hour earlier and is my custom, I did a full walk around before starting off. I feel quite defenseless against this sort of failure.

The shaft I bought looks very different. The weld material is well over 1" wide and has been ground flat over the surface. This is also true of the one Equalizer brand shaft I examined at the RV parts store (It was way too short).

BTW, the trip in Death Valley was none the less beautiful. No, we didn't do any swimming. The pool was 75, which sounds warm, but, not really! The night sky is something to behold.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
You are really lucky you made it to Stove Pipe Wells. When we came down Townes Pass a year ago, there was a big black spot burned in the road at the entrance to the campground. Some Japanese tourists had driven that long downgrade, riding the brakes the whole way. When they stopped to turn in, the big class-A pusher burst into flames and burned to the ground right in the middle of the road, along with all of their belongings, money and passports.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread, but Townes Pass is one of the longest, steepest (and fastest driven) downgrades I have encountered in the west. Some are longer or steeper, but not both. I just want to emphasize for those who haven't driven this road, exactly how lucky you are that you didn't lose your rig.

In any case, glad you made it down OK without any damage; and you didn't leave any permanent markers on the road like the Japanese tourists did.
First, this trip was still in our Suburban. The Chrysler 300 hasn't had the receiver installed yet.

Townes grade shocked the heck out of me. We thought we had been on all the bad grades in California, but this was a nasty one. It is very, very deceiving. Visually it doesn't look steep. I believe because the landscape is so vast and wide, you lose perspective. It was only 65F outside but I had to stop twice to let my trans cool. In some spots I could only manage 32MPH in 1st gear. It felt like I just didn't have the right gear to choose. 2nd was too tall, 1st was too short. Anyway, I think it is like 16 miles of up grade and 16 miles down. I got to the top and sighed with relief, but then the down grade started! I rarely find a grade that 2nd gear wont hold, but this didn't come close. So, much of the down had to be in 1st gear.

We loved DV so much we're going back in March to spend a week or 10 days. But, we will not go in on the Townes grade! The southern entrance through Death Valley Junction is much easier.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Our shop sells Equal I Zer hitches, and that drop bar does not look like anything they offer.

Now for my pet peeve... No one should ever, ever run the breakaway cable through the safety chain, ever, for any reason. Had that last weld let go, the safety chain hook could very well have bounced out of the hole for it, and the trailer would have become an 8,000 pound missile aimed at anything in its path. The proverbial school bus filled with handicapped kids and nuns comes to mind. Hook that cable somewhere not connected to the hitch or receiver, such as a 1/4" eye bolt in place of one of the license plate bolts.
Thanks, I will change it immediately. My original hitch installer recommended this connection for the cable.

None of the pictures of EQ brand parts shown in the posts here look anything like the one I was sold. Yes, I will send all the pictures of this to the installer of my hitch. I suppose in retrospect I should have driven back to the place in Pahrump and retrieved the defective part I had dropped off for welding. But at the time, we were so exhausted from hunting down a solution, then so happy to have found one on Christmas eve, we decided not to drive back and retrieve the part.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:15 AM   #27
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Quote:
We had stopped for lunch about an hour earlier and is my custom, I did a full walk around before starting off. I feel quite defenseless against this sort of failure.
You already did the best thing you could have done: a full walk-around. I have long advocated this practice to everyone who tows. Every stop.

And that's what saved you from disaster. The final break most likely occurred while traveling at low speed, perhaps turning a corner into the campground. Low speed, going over potholes, curbs, turning sharp corners, hitching up, etc. are the times when the most stress is put on the hitch, and that's when they tend to break.

In my travels I see a major failure like this on somebody's hitch about once a year on average. No one is immune. The best preventative measure is to pay attention to your hitch at every stop, and do a good annual inspection too.

Here's a photo of another failure I saw last Feb. Notice that the shank had a crack which was able to rust, indicating that it had been there a while. Eventually the small amount of remaining metal gave way. A careful pre-trip inspection might have revealed the crack before it failed. In this case, the hitch broke in the campground while hitching up.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:22 AM   #28
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Thumbs up

I know it's probably just my own apprehension but I like to eliminate as many bolts and butt welds as possible.

The design of many of the excellant hitches available today require adjustments for proper set-up. Adjustments necessitate inspections.

These help me remember...

Ever launch with your straps attached.

This should make you feel better.....
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=510555032957


Bob
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