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Old 07-01-2016, 07:17 PM   #1
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Equalizer Hitch: SLOP of Shank into Receiver

This is an offshoot of the Equalizer Hitch adjustment of something I had been told was a non issue, but no other information to explain 'why it is not an issue'.

*******
I had another 'issue' with the Equalizer Hitch, that has not been considered, since my last post on the 'hitch adjustments' to my 2012 Tundra. I have been following this earlier Thread and could not resist to add some additional information, but separate.

- The 2" Equalizer Shank once inserted into the 2" Tundra Receiver fits very... sloppy. Although the Equalizer Shank is built within 1/2000th of an inch tolerance, it fits very loose in the Tundra's Receiver. Obviously it is the Tundra's receiver that is out of tolerance... more than necessary.

The receiver is manufactured to make it easier to insert the shank. In the process, this creates a loose fit of shank to receiver.

Today I found that the Shank when inserted into the Tundra's Receiver has the thickness of a 25 cent (US Quarter Dollar) of... slop. That is, you can move the Hitch up and down, left and right the thickness of a Quarter Dollar.

My shank is 10" long to where it connects to the vertical adjusting section of the hitch (I forgot name). By taking a tape measure when the hitch is inserted:

The hitch from one point was 12 5/8" from the pavement.
My wife pulling UP on the hitch was measured from the same point at 13 1/4".
A total of 7/16" movement from hanging to lifting the hitch.

I am trying to imagine the amount of 'stress' this would put onto the tow vehicle's receiver and all hardware. The longer the 'shank' the more 'slop travel distance' and more leverage on the tow vehicle's assembly.

Has anyone a suggestion if this can be a serious issue on unlevel roads and washboard roads and other unlevel surfaces?

Can this be shimmed and reduce the slop?

Has anyone noticed this when attaching the hitch to the tow vehicle?

WHY you ask did this come up? I purchased a 2016 Ford F350 4x4 Diesel this week and noticed... the same SLOP. This is with the F350 having the 2 1/2" receiver with an insert to use the 2" shank. The measurements were made from the Ford F350, but is exactly the slop noticed with the 2" Tundra receiver.

Is this a NON issue? Can this create metal fatigue on uneven roads when on dirt and gravel forest service roads?
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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The slop seems to be consistent on most hitchs. I'm not sure why but its there.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:33 PM   #3
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I used an equalizer for a while. I'm fairly sure that once the weight distribution is properly adjusted, there will be enough force acting on the shank and receiver that there will not be any movement to speak of.

Ken
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:36 PM   #4
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Thanks SpletKay06. You would think if it were a chronic situation, it would have been... fixed.

My 2006 Tundra pulling a 23 foot Safari DID NOT have this slop. The hitch provided by the dealership was the one with the bars and chains (I was never told what kind is was by name). The shank fit snug into the 2006 Tundra's receiver.

That is why I was surprised with the slop of the Equalizer Hitch into the 2012 receiver. I had expected it to fit snug.

I am communicating with Customer Service at Equalizer to figure out how to resolve this slop. I would believe this slop can cause stress and metal fatigue when tow vehicle and trailer are at different angles while traveling over uneven surfaces.

This obviously is NOT Equalizer's creation. It is who ever is the supplier of the tow vehicle's hardware. These all seem to be from the same source.

Once I can resolve this question from either the Customer Service representative, or some Airforum member who already found a reasonable solution to what I consider a problem of fit. It has to be a big improvement over what I find chronic.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag&Au View Post
I used an equalizer for a while. I'm fairly sure that once the weight distribution is properly adjusted, there will be enough force acting on the shank and receiver that there will not be any movement to speak of.
Ken
********

This was what I heard, but no explanation.

WHY not have the fit closer to 2" and made snug? Are some other brands of hitch shanks that out of tolerance? I did not have this with an older Tundra receiver and the shank slid in and out without any difficulty, yet snug.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
********

This was what I heard, but no explanation.

WHY not have the fit closer to 2" and made snug? Are some other brands of hitch shanks that out of tolerance? I did not have this with an older Tundra receiver and the shank slid in and out without any difficulty, yet snug.
I'm not sure, but my guess is that sloppy is cheaper than precision.

Keep in mind Toyota has to save money to pay for new airbags.

Ken
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:49 PM   #7
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Ray...same problem...bought a large heavy duty up clamp on line...I think m.hony recommended...will send pic if you want...no issues at all afterword
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:23 PM   #8
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Meant U-clamp
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:45 PM   #9
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Equalizer Hitch: SLOP of Shank into Receiver

I do not like the idea of a sloppy receiver hitch. I had a Curt class V receiver on my truck before I had a custom rear bumper made with a receiver built in. The original receiver was nice and snug, and the custom bumper/receiver was even more so. The fabricator had to grind a little here, a little there on the hitch to not jam in the receiver. He mostly ground through the powder coat to make it fit..... Rounded the edges of the shank just a bit.

On the Curt website, they have a "how to adjust a weight distribution hitch" video. Even on that video, you can see a lot of play in the tow vehicle's receiver.

Maybe you could check on a stronger add-on receiver from a business like Curt? Probably built to tighter tolerances.

I have never been impressed with receivers that come on a vehicle from the factory.

Otherwise, maybe a good welder could add some material to your existing shank and grind it down to fit snuggly?


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Old 07-02-2016, 04:47 AM   #10
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I took out almost all of the slop in my setup with full length stainless steel shims.

One shim covers the bottom and left hand sides, one piece bent at 90 deg and carefully fitted. Has hole for hitch pin too. Other covers the top side. Significant reduction of sloppy fit.

The SS stock I used was from a door kick plate. That stuff is tough stuff to work with.

It made a big difference. They are not hard to fit while installing and minimizing all of that beating and banging I think has kept it from getting looser.

No I haven't tried that collar clamp, I bet under load that the other end is wiggling.

Several years of use on the shims.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:57 AM   #11
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Ray: We have towed for over 40 yeas. We have an F350 and tow a 30' FC with an equalizer for the first time last year. I too noticed slop and being a type A could not and would not accept it. The slop comes from the stress and the reducer actually bending within the receiver, at times to the point after 10,000 miles where I had trouble pulling the reducer out.

I called Equalizer and spoke to two different people. I was told by both that this is a problem at times of a factory installed receiver on several truck brands and that Equalizer sells a 2-1/2" hitch bar. I bought it, re-attached the head etc. and so far we traveled about 1,000 miles this year with no slop and the head assembly pulled out with no issues and no force needed.

We head out next week for an extended trip to your part of the world and expect no problems with the new draw, but if there are I will post.

Bud
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:20 AM   #12
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I don't remember what it is called, but most rv stores have a u clamp with double nuts that eliminates the slop. I've used one for years and it works great. It goes over the shank and receiver end and is tightened down. Has to be checked at least once after a few miles. It's another thing to do to hitch up but it works fine. On edit I use the roadmaster quiet hitch. Bought it at my AS dealer. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:49 AM   #13
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:13 AM   #14
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Shank is Right / Receiver not Tight

I am much like paiceman. I am a A, B, C and D personality. There is a time to RUN and times to sit down and figure out WHY personality.

Coming to Colorado? Bring swimming clothes. The Monsoon rain, hail and lightening is the norm at the present. We are... all wet during this drought. Prepare for a very wet higher elevation experience. Castle Rock had large hail breaking out car and home windows yesterday. Lucky for us, it missed us by a couple miles and our Airstream and vehicles are in our garage. Just watch the weather forecast.

Shimming and then using the Post #12 and #13 clamp.

After following the Bicycle Rack on the back of the oscillating Airstream on the Forum... this is no worse. After seeing their hitch being bent, it was time to figure out this slop in the 2" plus a 25 cent coin slop built into the receivers.

It is not the Equalizer shank, as it is within tolerance. It is the receivers being made a bit large... maybe to fit Metric Shanks outside the USA? There is just some chronic problem going on here. If it is an issue... nobody in the hitch industry is saying much. But... when someone's receiver fails because of this slop, nasty consequences will happen throughout the industry.

Finding an insert that slides into the receiver to correct this slop would be the best solution. I am going to find out WHO is manufacturing these hitches on the Toyotas and Fords and see what their reaction may be.

Probably.... silence of the lambs. They know. But why is it oversized?

Has anyone discovered an insert for the 2.5" that slides into it and has a snug fit for the 2" shank? Sure would be easier to work with, but then my next option is to have my neighbor cut some metal to take the slop out before our next long trip in August.
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