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Old 09-26-2006, 05:40 PM   #1
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Are your wt. distributing (spring) bars bent?

I bought some used weight distributing (spring) bars for use with my Reese Dual Cam hitch the other day on EBay, and am not quite sure what to ultimately think about my purchase. I posted the whole story as a post in another thread, but now think the thread’s title may not have attracted readers to my particular question.

As you can see from the following photos, the 550 & 750 lb bars I now own have a certain amount of bend to them. Since my past experience has been with (what I now think is overkill) 1000 lb spring bars, I am curious as to if the bend I see is normal or the result of over-stressed spring bars.





If you have the old style spring bars like mine, have you noticed a certain bend to them?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:57 PM   #2
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Hi,
I have the old style 750lb bars and they don`t have the bend until I hitch up the trailer and tension is placed on them. If they are bowed without tension being on them then they could have been sprung at some point. With that bow/bend being already present it does not look like they would provide much weight distribution. Hope this helps. Davis
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:03 PM   #3
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It appears that the bent bars were too light for the load .In other words the tension it took to level the tv and trailer and or too much tongue weight caused the bars to bend .They should just bend a small amount when tensioned ,or loaded . i had an older 400# round bar setup before my current
750# round bar setup .the 400# bars were not enough ,they would bend up
quite abit when loaded ,i suspect the same deal on your bars there that are bent ,overloaded at some point .Can they be flipped and reused ? ,I think you
would be better off new or better used bars than those .I spoke with Adams RV today about the bars being bent ,they said no ,should not be bent. My old
400# bars are not bent .I was wondering if the reese bars had a tendency to stay bent as those are after tensioning.I don't know if the sqare bar is more
likely to bend than a round bar ,but I don't know ,seems it may be in the way the bars are forged.

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:16 PM   #4
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Are you sure those are real reese bars, and not some cheap knock off? I don't think you could bend them enough in any setup and have the steel pass it's yeild point.

They are either fake bars, or they were heated with a torch, or they were used for something other than their intended purpose.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:34 PM   #5
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I've owned several sets and the bends are from overloading. I've considered flipping the bars in the trunion casting but never attempted it. I think 750# bars are minimum for a 22-26' trailer and it seems like your avatar shows something longer , so maybe you should be running 1000's ?
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:58 AM   #6
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They look original

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Are you sure those are real reese bars, and not some cheap knock off? I don't think you could bend them enough in any setup and have the steel pass it's yeild point.

They are either fake bars, or they were heated with a torch, or they were used for something other than their intended purpose.
Interesting observation - I would not have thought there would be enough demand for spring bars for anyone to make cheap imitations.

But they look genuine in that "REESE" is cast into the trunnions, and the painted over remains of the original stickers were still there. Wear marks on the bars & trunnions indicate usage consistent with the design purpose.

It's a bit of mystery. I think I will try flipping them over - I've always got my old bars to fall back on.

Tom
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:33 PM   #7
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I'm going to give the 550's a shot

After converting the 550 pound bars from Reese SOB trailer to Reese "Sixties Airstream" (the bars were painted an aluminum color ), the installed spring bars, with all the bend I could manage while mounted on a 3/4 ton rated tow vehicle (notice yellow reference line), are pictured below.

Of note, the optimum chain link setting occured at an odd link which would have twisted the shackle too much for my comfort. So I used a breakable link to span the distance.

Without tipping my hat, does anyone see anything out of order in the picture below? I have two recovery plans sketched out to make sure we make it to Disney World at the end of this week, but would really like to hear if anyone else thinks recovery is necessary.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:45 PM   #8
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It looks like the angle of the ball mount is not tilted to the rear enough and that is why you ran out of chain . The bars should be parallel to the frame with the weight on it.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:52 PM   #9
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I agree.

But is there a problem with running out of chain?

Tom
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:03 PM   #10
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I'm not sure , but there may not be enough movement in the chain to allow a full turn and still keep the bar in the notch . It may jump out altogether .
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:10 PM   #11
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I don't think there's a problem w/ "chain", per se, but if the hitch head isn't tilted back, there'll be no torque on the frame (of the tow vehicle), which is what sends some of the weight of the hitch forward toward the front of the truck. The head looks like its straight up and down, in the pic.

also, I wonder how the dual-cam will work in that orientation. Its meant to work with the bars parallel to the frame. It may not function properly like that.

Reese has the installation instructions in a pdf on their website.
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
I'm not sure , but there may not be enough movement in the chain to allow a full turn and still keep the bar in the notch . It may jump out altogether .
You have hit upon my initial conundrum. What is not especially clear in the picture is that the cam follower on the spring bar cam sits perfectly on the cam in the straight-ahead position. Since the cam does not move forward/aft with respect to the Airstream, I am struggling with how to define potential issues.

One of my recovery plans deals with changing the issue you pointed out (kudos, by the way (there's a little something extra in your karma count )), but I would rather not take a drastic measure before a long trip.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
... but if the hitch head isn't tilted back, there'll be no torque on the frame (of the tow vehicle), which is what sends some of the weight of the hitch forward toward the front of the truck...Reese has the installation instructions in a pdf on their website.
Chuck,

There's plenty of torque on the TV frame as the only way the Overlander & Suburban could be made level was cranking up the bend until it was as you see it.

I saw Reese's installation instructions on their site a long time ago, but I'll be dogged if I can find them again with their site revamp.

Tom
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:29 PM   #14
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I take it that you have a welded head and cannot adjust the pitch . You may want to consider buying an adjustable hitch bar and head which would solve this problem and future ones if you have other trailers , or borrow one if you can.
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