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Old 08-02-2010, 08:55 AM   #1
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Hitch Damage

I've been towing with an Equalizer hitch for about three years without issue.

After finishing our last trip (RMNP to Denver), I unhitched and found that the pins that connect the weigth distribution arms to the hitch were slightly bent.

Anybody experience this or have any idea what could casue this?
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
I've been towing with an Equalizer hitch for about three years without issue.

After finishing our last trip (RMNP to Denver), I unhitched and found that the pins that connect the weigth distribution arms to the hitch were slightly bent.

Anybody experience this or have any idea what could casue this?
The design of the hitch, causes the problem you experienced.

Andy
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:23 AM   #3
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You have encountered more rough roads during your trip than the designers of the equalizer hitch had designed for. The hitch W/D bars on Equalizer hitches are very strong. They are strong enough to bend the pins that attach the bars to the receiver head. These loads were likely also strong enough to do damage to your trailer. Make sure to check over the trailer and correct any damage found.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
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Been using the Equal-i-zer on all four trailers. Never experienced a bent pin. But did experience bent "L" brackets a couple of times on the 28'. That was apparently due to very sharp turns. No problems with the following three trailers.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:41 AM   #5
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Contact Equalizer about your bent pins or other parts. They need to hear from a bunch of people about the problems you are having with their product. If they do not hear anything, they think everything is great and they do not need to improve their product for the future. Most of these small companies do not have sufficient funds to have an extensive market use testing department. Things will not get better unless they know you have a problem.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
I've been towing with an Equalizer hitch for about three years without issue.

After finishing our last trip (RMNP to Denver), I unhitched and found that the pins that connect the weigth distribution arms to the hitch were slightly bent.

Anybody experience this or have any idea what could casue this?
I actually bent the bars on a 600# tongue weight Equal-I-Zer.

I had to back up an incline to a camping spot. The rear wheels starting spinning in the gravel, so I simply selected 4 wheel drive and continued up the hill.

It did not register what was going on until I discovered that the hitch was out of adjustment when I hitched up to leave and found both bars bent. It was then that I realized that as the trailer started up the incline, the trailer and hitch bars were acting as a lever and were raising the rear of the Tow vehicle taking the weight and traction off the rear wheels.

It did nothing to the pins however. The only way I can visualize the pins bending is if the bars were a size smaller that the head.

This was with a 21 foot SOB. I think, with my air stream, the rear of the trailer would have dug into the gravel long before the wheels got a chance to start up the hill.
regards,

Ken
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:31 AM   #7
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The design of the hitch, causes the problem you experienced.

Andy
Thats doesn't seem to be particularly helpful answer Andy. What are the forces causing the problem?

Ken
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:59 AM   #8
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Thats doesn't seem to be particularly helpful answer Andy. What are the forces causing the problem?

Ken
I am not a mechanical engineer, therefore I do not know "why" that damage happens, other than simply using the hitch.

In most circles of engineering, I think the vote would go to a "design fault".

Andy
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
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I can't imagine how the pins could bend, but obviously they did. The bare metal L pins (they don't look like pins, but they function sort of like pins) do bend and Equalizer will tell you that's normal.

The roads from Denver to RMNP are not rough, or weren't the last time I went that way. Hyp', when was your hitch last adjusted? Who did it? Ours was put on by a Denver dealer and badly adjusted, not enough to bend the pins though. I finally re-adjusted it and the trailer rode better.

The assembly mounted on the sides of the tongue can slide and knock adjustment out. Ours slid forward at the end of our last trip, about 16,000 miles after I adjusted it. I will have to do the adjustment again. This can happen on other hitches too—I just saw a Reese hitch where the brackets on the side of the tongue had moved and one had bent far out of shape. We tried to bend it back and only were partly successful. The forces on these hitches are many, many pounds and maladjustment can cause some strange damage.

Gene
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:36 PM   #10
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Ive been using equalizer over the past four years and on two different airstrams, a 19 and now a 27FB. In the 19 my L brackets kept bending and therefore bacame loose. After trading emails with equalizer i discovered my dealer installed it wrong. In that, the lower bolt holding the bracket snug to the frame was too low (to accomodate the gas line) this put too big a gap and leverage bent the L bracket. So on my new trailer i informed the dealer and they bent the gas line down a bit to make room for the bolts to be snug up to the frame. Havent had a problem since.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:35 PM   #11
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Terminology gets confusing. There are 3 pieces to the black sway control brackets on the side of the tongue. Two bolt together (inside and outside link plates) and are supposed to stay in place. I was told by Equalizer to torque those bolts to 50 lbs. I have not bent my gas line, but that part did not move as much as the other side. There is an L bracket that bolts to the other parts and is supposed to move a little on older models. The newer versions (since 2009) are a little different. Then there is bare metal L pin that holds the bars in place. The bars are officially "spring arms".

There is a good thread on Equalizer issues, but it would take me a long time to find it. Try searching to learn more than you thought you could know about them.

Equalizer's website has a lot of info too and if you call them they will answer stupid and intelligent questions—I have asked both, mainly the stupid ones.

A thought, Hyp': Could the bars be mismatched with the receivers ("sockets") on the hitch head? The 1,200 and 1,400 lb. bars are the same size, but all the others are different by 1/8" or 1/4". If a smaller bar was placed in a larger receiver, there could be enough play to bend the socket pins (they look like clevis pins to me). If the dealer was putting on two Equalizers at the same time, the bars could have gotten mixed up. The Equalizer site, under product specs, gives the diameters of each bar.

Gene
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:26 PM   #12
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I thought the Equalizer bars had a square cross section, not a diameter.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
I thought the Equalizer bars had a square cross section, not a diameter.
Yes, my bad for fitting a round peg in a square hole.

Gene
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:27 PM   #14
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Yale and Gene are not to be questioned

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
I thought the Equalizer bars had a square cross section, not a diameter.
From:

Fractal Geometry

Quote:


The diameter of a set is the maximum distance between any pair of points in the set.
For example, the diameter of a circle is just the common notion of diameter; the diameter of a square is the diagonal length of the square.
Some diameters
Because all the IFS rules are contractions, the diameter of a region of address length N goes to 0 as N goes to infinity.
We illustrate this with the four transformations
T3(x, y) = (x/2, y/2) + (0, 1/2)T4(x, y) = (x/2, y/2) + (1/2, 1/2)T1(x, y) = (x/2, y/2)T2(x, y) = (x/2, y/2) + (1/2, 0)
As an IFS, these generate the unit square, S. We see



  • diam(S) = sqrt(2)
  • diam(Ti(S)) = sqrt(2)/2
  • diam(TjTi(S)) = sqrt(2)/4
and in general
  • diam(TiN...Ti1(S)) = sqrt(2)/(2N)
Consequently, diam(TiN...Ti1(S)) -> 0 as N -> infinity.
End of quote

Ponder that for a while.

Regards,
Ken
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