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Old 07-11-2020, 02:23 PM   #1
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Hitch pin life

What is the expected life of a hitch pin?
What / how would you inspect it to insure it is safe to use?
Finally, how much wear (elongation) of the receiver hole is exceptable?
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:33 PM   #2
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RFuller,

This is interesting question, but I have a follow up question for you.

Elongation. Would you describe it as mostly in the front or rear of the hole. A pic could help too.

And a bit more info couldn't hurt for the community to comment. Like assuming it's the hitch pin hole in receiver or is it in the stinger?

Gary
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:08 PM   #3
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When I upgraded to a Class V Reese TowBeast with a 3" opening, welded in a reducer which doubled wall thickness.
No elongation in 15 Seasons.

I use a locking pin for a 3 inch receiver.
Bob
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:47 PM   #4
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I used an adapter (loose, not welded) and a pin with a 45 degree handle on one end.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Reese-Tow...yABEgKmmvD_BwE

The pin would go in far enough to allow it to wiggle under stress. I got elongation in the receiver such that I could not get the adapter out without banging on it.

I changed to a pin that has a diameter increase at one end and a locking sleeve on the other and ground down the hump in the receiver.
https://www.amazon.com/MaxxHaul-7005...a-569506303909

The result has been no further elongation. If you are using a pin that is bent on one end I recommend changing it.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:50 PM   #5
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Hitch pins are hardened spring steel or chrome moly. They are sized such that they never reach their endurance limit and therefore last indefinitely. The receiver will fail first, and hole elongation is evidence of that.

Those who are experiencing hole elongation are doing so because of excessive slop somewhere in the set-up. To prevent further damage, locate the slop and eliminate it.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:56 PM   #6
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Brian,

That's part of my question, locate the slop. Idea for example if the elongation is on the front side of the hole, suspect that the trailer brakes aren't working. SLAM BAM during braking.

Let's see if we get a follow up w/pic and details.

Show us the SLOP!

Gary
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:15 PM   #7
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You're on the right track Gary, allow me to step out of the way!
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Brian,

That's part of my question, locate the slop. Idea for example if the elongation is on the front side of the hole, suspect that the trailer brakes aren't working. SLAM BAM during braking.

Let's see if we get a follow up w/pic and details.

Show us the SLOP!

Gary
I can't do a picture of my hitch but look at the first pin in my post above. Draw a line from the bottom of the pin where the bend starts to the top of the pin. You will notice that the diameter of the pin at that point is effectively reduced. That allows the pin to pivot in the receiver. The other end of the pin has just enough clearance in the hole to allow the pin to go non-perpendicular to the receiver resulting in back and forth movement on the bent end of the pin.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:51 PM   #9
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You're on the right track Gary, allow me to step out of the way!


Please don’t we need all the thinking power we can muster these days.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:52 PM   #10
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Smile Sloppy Receiver

I know of what you are speaking about. My hitch stinger was sloppy in/out and up/down in the receiver. When accelerating or breaking you could feel a very slight bump. Receiver holes for the pin were becoming egg shaped.

A welder friend said to come to his shop. The receiver was shimmed on the bottom to tighten up the up/down movement. For the egg shaped pin holes they welded 1/4" steel plates to the sides of the receiver. I now have 9k miles since the fix with no reoccurring problems. About $75 of his time to fix.

I also recommend a visit to your local trailer supplier or online. Look for a hitch anti-rattle device. A "U" shaped rod with threaded ends that attach to a bar. Install and tighten the nuts. This is cheap insurance to ever have this issue return.

I was told the problem comes from US v/s metric sizing.

Gary W
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