Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-08-2013, 09:23 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
mstephens's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Cat City , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 854
My Hitch Head Cracked Open

A walked around the back of my car and happened to glance at the hitch head. I was shocked. It was split wide open vertically at the point where the cast head is welded to the U-bracket which bolts to the riser. Both welds had failed.

We had just towed 360 miles the day before. I can't imagine what could cause this. The day before the trip I had made a small adjustment to the head to increase the WD.

To be sure we could get home on the weekend, I quickly searched out a welding shop and the guy did a great job of rewelding the whole head and installing gussets to even strengthen it more. I will keep my fingers crossed and check it frequently on the way home. I have contacted Equal-i-zer to see what they have to say about sending a new head. This hitch is only 14 months old.
__________________

__________________
mstephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
mstephens's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Cat City , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 854
Fast Service! I emailed the company last night, and this morning they got back to me and promised to send a new head right away. Thanks Equal-i-zer for standing behind the product.
__________________

__________________
mstephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,809
Images: 12
Can you post a picture?

This is how mine failed. Lucky we were parked in a church parking lot when it dropped.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Reese.JPG
Views:	146
Size:	29.4 KB
ID:	180448  
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 10:52 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Dear Howie,

Wow - that's a scary picture. I noticed that the hitch ball is loose. I've always been told to (a) inspect mine frequently because they do like to loosen up and (b) grease the ball so that when turning left, it won't bind and un-screw.

I'm thinking how the weight bars will naturally sort of bang around the upper and lower sockets they are set into. Would it be possible that a loose ball would make the hammering of the weight bars worse? It looks like the whole thing gave way rather than spreading a bit at a time. So glad you found the problem in a parking lot rather than ON the road.

Good point is to inspect it every trip out I suppose.

Sincerely, Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,809
Images: 12
This picture was taken some time after I got home and I had remove the ball to while on the road when I installed a new hitch. Not sure why I put a ball back on for the picture.

Yes one should check the hitch as ofter as possible I did find mine loose once when I got to Alaska.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 11:37 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
mstephens's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Cat City , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 854
We will be doing a lot more inspection too. We are pretty good about inspecting every hookup, but frankly, I wasn't looking for cracks in the hitch. I was looking for missing pins, loose nuts and the like.
__________________
mstephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,135
Images: 33
I do two complete walk-arounds after hooking up and prior to pulling out and at each stop give everything another good look. Preventive maintenance is usually easier than crises management after something goes wrong.
__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
I've gone through the NHTSA statistics several times. The most common cause of towing-related traffic fatalities is separation of the trailer from the tow vehicle due to structural failure of the hitch and related components. The statistics and data collection practices aren't especially detailed, but from incident reports and the like I surmise that there's not a single common cause. There are receiver weld failures, failures of couplers to stay on the ball due to wear, mistakes like using a 1 7/8 ball with a 2" coupler, and failures of shanks and wd heads.

I think it's important to inspect structural components, carefully, for cracks. Once a year is probably reasonable. I replaced the receiver on my Suburban due to cracks.

It's also important to use the safety chains and breakaway cable in an effective fashion that will control the trailer in the event of a hitch failure. The breakaway cable should be attached to something other than the hitch and receiver. I have a footman loop on the tailgate I use on one tow vehicle.
__________________
To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,928
Images: 2
The sweet taste of a "deal" is quickly swept away by the bitter reality of poor quality.
__________________
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member

 
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 446
Send a message via AIM to hhendrix Send a message via Yahoo to hhendrix
Can you post some pictures of the failure? I have the same hitch.
__________________
The ability to follow instructions is highly underrated.
hhendrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 09:11 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
mstephens's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Cat City , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 854
I didn't have my camera when it failed. And I wanted to find a welder asap, so we could get the trailer back home. Let me describe the failure, and I have enclosed a pic of the fixed head.

There is a U-shaped 8" high steel piece which has the two large bolts holding the head to the stem that plugs into your receiver. Now, the main casting with the ball is welded to this U-shape. Two welds on each side. When welded to gather, you have the whole hitch head. Both of the welds on one side failed completely. One weld on the other side failed. When I say failed, I mean the weld was wide open along its entire length.

The welder sealed up both side, then made the gussets and welded them in at the top.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN4933.JPG
Views:	97
Size:	670.8 KB
ID:	180520  
__________________
mstephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
mstephens's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Cat City , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 854
The people at Equalizer responded immediately to my email, and within minutes I had a new head being shipped to my house. He only wanted a picture and to know where I had purchased it. I was really happy with their "instant customer satisfaction." I noticed on the web site these are made in USA. Kinda nice to know that customer service still exists somewhere.

I can only assume it was a defective part. I can't think of anything that would cause that failure.
__________________

__________________
mstephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.