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Old 07-03-2008, 09:59 PM   #1
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WD hitch weaknesses?

Hello,

With a few trips under my belt now, I think about all the "what-if" failures that could ruin my trip. I tow with a 3/4 ton Durmax Chevy and the trailer is a '07 25FB International. The hitch is a Husky WD hitch with two torsion bars and a sway control bar. I've noticed that when the parking spot is not level, one side of the hitch can be a real bear to let off when letting the torsion bar chains off the trailer tongue.

Has anyone ever had a torsion bar or chain break? We have a site that we frequent where my TV is backing downhill, with the trailer going uphill into this spot. I never scrape the A-frame, but it is certainly close. (I remove my sway control bar when I check in at the campground). I imagine there's some added stress on the hitch when backing on uneven ground/grades? Has anyone ever snapped a bar or chain while backing at odd angles/inclines?

I'm just wondering if I should start carrying extra chain with me? I'd hate to have to find heavy duty chain in rural Pennsylvania on holiday weekends.

Thanks,

yakman
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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I have never heard of a chain breaking, but I am not saying it hasn't happened. I doubt anyone carries an extra chain because the odds of one breaking are so low.

Do you jack up the tongue and rear of the truck with the trailer jack when you remove the chains? That will remove most of the tension from the arms.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:16 PM   #3
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I have never heard of a chain breaking, but I am not saying it hasn't happened. I doubt anyone carries an extra chain because the odds of one breaking are so low.

Do you jack up the tongue and rear of the truck with the trailer jack when you remove the chains? That will remove most of the tension from the arms.
Yes, I do jack up the tongue. On level ground both sides let off real easy, but when the site is a little out of level, one side can still get you with the tension on that chain. No scars yet, but I almost broke a nail one day.

yakman
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:30 PM   #4
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Yes, I do jack up the tongue. On level ground both sides let off real easy, but when the site is a little out of level, one side can still get you with the tension on that chain. No scars yet, but I almost broke a nail one day.

yakman
I bet the other one came off very easily.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:42 PM   #5
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Yak;
put a 2X something under the low side TV rear tire when you're leveling. I know more stuff to do.Might save you from a nasty black and blue on the thigh when that spring loaded bar lets a rippin.
OR disconnect the soon to be low side as you approack the launch pad.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:57 PM   #6
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i would carry chain.

but i carry spare parts for virtually every item on the hitch...

i a pinch one of the safety chains could be removed and used.

as for failures...

shear bolts broken,
strut bars bent,
mounting brackets cracked,
screw jacks broken,
u-brackets ON the jacks have broken,
w/d bars have fallen OUT and been damaged...
hitch boxes cracked and over stressed.
bearing caps/covered smashed.
grease zerkes are eaten by the dozens...

oh and pounds of orange paint falls off too!

we've reported ALL SORTS of issues like these over in hahaland...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ide-26279.html

one of the most interestng aspects of the thread, that is also very useful,

are the many reports and pictures of various parts that wear out, change shape, crack and so on...

it is good info for anyone considering a purchase.

real users, with real issues and real solutions or workarounds...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by yakman View Post
Hello,

With a few trips under my belt now, I think about all the "what-if" failures that could ruin my trip. I tow with a 3/4 ton Durmax Chevy and the trailer is a '07 25FB International. The hitch is a Husky WD hitch with two torsion bars and a sway control bar. I've noticed that when the parking spot is not level, one side of the hitch can be a real bear to let off when letting the torsion bar chains off the trailer tongue.

Has anyone ever had a torsion bar or chain break? We have a site that we frequent where my TV is backing downhill, with the trailer going uphill into this spot. I never scrape the A-frame, but it is certainly close. (I remove my sway control bar when I check in at the campground). I imagine there's some added stress on the hitch when backing on uneven ground/grades? Has anyone ever snapped a bar or chain while backing at odd angles/inclines?

I'm just wondering if I should start carrying extra chain with me? I'd hate to have to find heavy duty chain in rural Pennsylvania on holiday weekends.

Thanks,

yakman
Yes, chains can break.

If you have chains hooked directly to the torsion bar, then ordinary use over a period of time, causes the chain link to wear at the bar end. Eventually, that link will snap.

Andy
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:37 AM   #8
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Rough Ground

Hi Yakman

When going into a spot that you know will be extremely off level with a truck like yours you could just remove the torsion bars as well when you remove the sway bar. On a vehicle with softer suspension the torsion bars will collapse the front springs easier but the up side of your stiff suspension is that you can manuever a slow speeds without the bars on.

I would not worry about the chain but doing that saves considerable stress on the hitch receiver and the front shell of the Airstream.

Andy
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:17 PM   #9
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I could be wrong, but it sounds like to me you're overstressing the bars. I think that it's time to weigh the vehicle and trailer while hooked up - with and without the bars - to see just how much weight you're shifting between the axles. I'll defer to others for recommendations since my own rig is a bit unusual - but, IMHO, a 3/4 ton Duramax pickup has a substantial dead load capability and it doesn't need a whole lot of assist from the equalizer bars. You didn't say whether your pickup was a long bed crew cab or what - and that can make a big difference in how much weight is removed or restored to the front axle in various towing configurations. If it's a short bed standard cab I'll definitely defer to the experts!
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:07 PM   #10
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I could be wrong, but it sounds like to me you're overstressing the bars. I think that it's time to weigh the vehicle and trailer while hooked up - with and without the bars - to see just how much weight you're shifting between the axles. I'll defer to others for recommendations since my own rig is a bit unusual - but, IMHO, a 3/4 ton Duramax pickup has a substantial dead load capability and it doesn't need a whole lot of assist from the equalizer bars. You didn't say whether your pickup was a long bed crew cab or what - and that can make a big difference in how much weight is removed or restored to the front axle in various towing configurations. If it's a short bed standard cab I'll definitely defer to the experts!
Long bed, crew cab. The WD hitch set up was done by the dealer's certified RV tech. Pulls like it's not even there.

yakman
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #11
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Yakman:

I would still want to know the loaded and unloaded weights of the rig's axles - with and without the equalizer bars being tensioned, as well as the actual hitch weight. In my case, I only transfer about 200 lbs to the front axle of the truck when I tension the bars - with a hitch weight of about 940 lbs (---via a Sherline scale.) The dead weight of the trailer barely unloads the front axle before I tension the bars. For the record, and without referencing my weight slips, my setup only leaves a reserve of about 400 lbs for the front axle with just my wife and I onboard. The 2003 3500 series Duramax, with A/C and 4wd, doesn't have much front axle capacity. I'm not sure if that changes much for the 2500 series in later years but, for me, if I add a couple of hefty adult passengers I could be pushing the front axle limit - especially if I heavily stressed the equalizer bars. As far as "ride" goes, even using the third chain link - rather than the second - has a noticeable negative effect in the form of vibration and road noise.

Knowing your actual weights makes for interesting conversation with the tech heads around the campfire - if nothing else! Your 2500 Duramax with the long bed and crew cab should be, IMHO, a perfect tow vehicle for your Airstream!
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