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Old 05-03-2009, 06:23 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
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1978 31' Sovereign
Jackson County , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 60
Valley Hitches: good hitch but cheap bolts

Howdy Folks:

Heads up on something-I just installed a Valley Hitch receiver out of Lodi, CA. I went up to class 5 from the stock Ford receiver.

I bought a Valley hitch from Lodi, CA. Good hitch, bad bolts. Careful with this one folks.

The factory bolts I took off my Ford truck were bigger and stronger than the aftermarket replacement bolts Valley sent me.

The bolts in the Valley hardware package were smaller bolts for a bigger receiver than the factory bolts I removed. Their choice of bolts were so small, they rattled around in the bolt holes. These Valley bolts are even grade 5, not grade 8. Cheap bastards!

I chose to retain my bigger better stronger factory bolts. I even had to get out the die grinder and hog out the receiver hitch a little to make my grade 8 factory bolts fit in their holes.

This is why I do my own labor and work on my own stuff. You gotta catch stuff like this so you don't put your life and equipment at risk. A standard truck\trailer\hitch place would have had some punk installing this unit on my truck without second thought.

The Valley hitch receiver was a good unit. Their bolts were junk. Bad company or manager. I wrote them a nasty-gram to let them know how I felt about this. Just wanted to let you all know this little situation. Check closely your mounting hardware. Make sure you get the best. Your trailer and your legal liability are at risk with some folks.

Best Regards,

page crow

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Old 05-03-2009, 06:43 PM   #2
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Lodi , California
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1
Valley Hitches: good hitch but cheap bolts

I am the Valley Product Manager. It disturbes me to hear that you are having issues with the hitch you purchased and that you have sent a "nasty gram" that I have not seen. Fisrt, let me address the safety concerns you have. Valley tests all of it products. With regards to hitches, we go above and beyond the competition when it comes to testing. Initial testing may be done by computer simulation but it is followed up physical testing for static loads (vertical, horizontal, and transverse). The final test performed is a fatigue test. That fatigue test is a rigorous cycle test that exceeds the stresses normally applied to a trailer hitch for weight carrying and weight distribution. It is this test that will identify any issues with stress fractures or bolt breakage. We not only supply hitches to the aftermarket but we are also an OE supplier to all major auto manufacturers and most RV manufacturers. Your claim that we are cheap bastards for using grade 5 bolts instead of grade 8 has nothing to do with cost since we buy a large volume of fasteners. It has more to do with tensile and shear strengths and thread size. Keep in mind that the higher the carbon content the more brittle a bolt can become. This goes for the steel we use in our hitches as well.

As a company we take safety seriously and the last thing we would want to happen is to cause injury or property damage from one of our products. I would be interested in knowing what the part# was of the hitch you have installed and on what year and model of truck.

Best Regards,

Gary Ambrosini
Valley Product Manager

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:24 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
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1978 31' Sovereign
Jackson County , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 60
Glad you are here Gary. I am glad you confront this issue. I did indeed send a nasty-gram cussing you all out for inferior-grade bolts.

I found it important to post this message here because I am cynical you all would actually fix this issue. The only way to help out fellow trailer-sailors is to warn them. They need to see this for themselves. The Valley bolts are puny and inferior grade to the factory bolts I took off the truck for the smaller receiver hitch.

Grade 5 bolts? How can you justify using cheap grade 5 bolts on a receiver that could end up haulling 15,000 pounds? Let me be real exact here: 3 lines on a bolt-head mean grade 5 bolts. Yes? Then 5 lines on a bolt mean grade 8. Your bolts are for putting together a child's wagon, but not for holding back my trailer.

I went up in size to a class 5 hitch, so I would have expected to go up in size in bolts, or at least maintain the same size bolts, but new, in grade 8. Your kit downsized the bolts and downsized the hardness level. I'm calling you out on this observation. I had to get the die-grinder out and open up the Valley hitch holes a little to go back to using my stock HUGE bolts. Those factory bolts correctly fit the frame of the Ford truck. The Valley package bolts rattled around in the frame. Can you say "hitch-shift"?

Most folks wouldn't ever see this because some young guy at the hitch place does the install on their truck. I wrench my own because I catch errors like this.

The hitch is good. The bolts suck. There is no defending this. The fix is easy. Upgrade Gary. I challenge you guys to make a better product and upgrade your bolt package.

page crow

ps: The hitch is for a 2005 F-250. It fits the truck perfectly, so we got the right hitch.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:57 AM   #4
Site Team
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,461
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I put a "Kolossus V" by Hidden Hitch on my Tahoe. I dinna get no stinkin' bolts or nuts at all.

Guess I'm the lucky one.
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class 5 hitch, valley hitch

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