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Old 06-07-2002, 11:48 PM   #1
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83Excella's Avatar
1983 27' Excella
Airstreamville , Kansas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 410
Hitch inspections

While we were getting ready to go camping for the weekend I pulled the hitch shank out and set it by the front of the trailer and noticed a small rust mark along one of the welds and upon closer look it looked like a crack, sure enough after cleaning it and inspecting it with a magnifying glass it was a crack although a small one. I cleaned off the rest of the shank and inspected it with the magnifying glass again and found other small cracks in the metal most near the welds. I plan on buying a new hitch and shank anyway in a few weeks as I dont know the age and previous history of this one that came with the trailer, so for saftey's sake and peace of mind I am replacing it and should have checked the whole hitch system earlier in the season but I did'nt but I am thankful I found this before hand and avoided a potential disaster waiting to happen. So the moral of the story is get out there and inspect every inch of your trailers hitch system and inspect it often for any potential problems before they happen. The life you save may be your own.
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Old 06-08-2002, 12:19 AM   #2
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1965 20' Globetrotter
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Houston , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2002
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A-frame corrosion

Another thing to inspect for is...

Something I and others have noticed and have declared to be an Airstream design flaw is the way they run the trailers electrical connect lead through the inside of the Hitch/A-frame 2X4 steel channel. Although it makes a neater design, running the cable on the inside of the channel allows water to "wick" down the cable along the inside of the channel, letting moisture seep into the inside causing severe corrosion. In my case I am going to have to cut out the curb side A-frame member and weld in a new piece from the hitch to were it joins the frame. The power lead will then be rerouted on the outside to avoid this moisture trap. I am posting a picture to illustrate this design flaw.

Of course, it only took 37 years to manifest itself.

AIR# 123

-"You want to make it two inches - or, if you're working in centimeters, make sure it's enough centimeters for two inches."-Red Green
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Old 06-09-2002, 10:36 AM   #3
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1996 30' Excella
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Good recommendation. Several years ago I had a Reese adjustable ball mount head develope a crack in the plate at one of the mounting hole locations. This crack was half way around the hitch head before I discovered it. Reese replaced the hitch N/C which was about 10 years old at the time. Resse has a lifetime warranty on there bolt togeather hitch heads. I now inspect my hitch everytime I remove it from the truck. By the way I never leave it attached to the truck, even when camping I remove it and install it in the trailer hitch and put a lock through the hitch release lever.

I also recommend semi-annual inspections of the reciever and attaching hardware on the truck. I check all bolt torque and inspect all mounting locations for cracks in both the hitch and the truck frame. Many years ago (1975) I had a hitch reciever seperate fron the truck frame because of improper welding. I was lucky as the hitch came loose as I was unhooking the trailer.
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Old 07-09-2002, 03:05 PM   #4
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1984 29' Sovereign
Savannah , Missouri
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Hitching drop

OUCH..~Worse nitemare~!
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