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Old 12-11-2005, 01:42 PM   #1
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Reese Hitch Problems

I tow a 2004 25' Safari with a 2004 F 250 Power Stoke using a Reese weight distribution hitch. After about 30,000 miles of towing the holes that hold the weight distribution bars in thehitch bar are badly worn. They have become oval rather than round and there is a groove wearing around the top holes.

The hitch was supplied by the dealer where I purchased the trailer. At the time I had never towed a trailer so I didn't know if it was what I needed. Does anyone have any ideas about what is causing my problem?
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfowler218
I tow a 2004 25' Safari with a 2004 F 250 Power Stoke using a Reese weight distribution hitch. After about 30,000 miles of towing the holes that hold the weight distribution bars in thehitch bar are badly worn. They have become oval rather than round and there is a groove wearing around the top holes.

The hitch was supplied by the dealer where I purchased the trailer. At the time I had never towed a trailer so I didn't know if it was what I needed. Does anyone have any ideas about what is causing my problem?
Lack of lubrication.
You're supposed to oil the bars when you hitch up, with a drop or two of suitable oil.
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Old 12-11-2005, 03:12 PM   #3
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I use the Reese hitch ball grease and it seems to work fine too.

Frederic
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StingrayL82
I use the Reese hitch ball grease and it seems to work fine too.
"High-pressure", waterproof grease (such as Reese's) would be best. Amzoil (sp?) synthetic grease works well.

Tom
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:34 PM   #5
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I've been using the same setup and use the Reese grease that has been suggested in this thread. So far, in thousands of miles, no similar issues.
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:57 PM   #6
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any hi temp wheel bearing grease works well.

a popsicle stick kept in the can is a non messy way to apply it.

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Old 12-11-2005, 06:23 PM   #7
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I would compare it to a new one,measure the differance.see what ya have,You might be ready for a new hitch and bars,they need grease,
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:13 PM   #8
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I use wheel bearing greese. It sticks where you put it. I usually remove and reapply it after a long pull.
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:42 PM   #9
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Red face Whew... thanks

I just started towing in March, and while I greased the ball, I haven't done it to the bars. Learned something new tonight. Will lube them up good next outing.

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Old 12-12-2005, 07:28 PM   #10
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You know about 'to much of a good thing'. A little grease goes a long way.
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:09 PM   #11
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lubing the joints

We follow advice of one of our club's very experienced members -- we use hypoid oil (you know, the smelly SAE 90-150 gear lube) in a squeeze tube we picked up at our great little local hardware store. Easy to dispense, easy to store, and we wipe off and replace after each tow. Costs one paper towel each hook-up. Keeps from galling the ball and coupling for each joint.

Lots of good ideas in this thread. I really like the popsicle stick and wheel bearing grease -- easy to use and store and won't run or smell like ours does.
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:57 PM   #12
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Wheel bearing grease

I use a Reese twin cam system and use wheel bearing or sometimes white grease. The psi load on the bearings of the w/d bar are actually higher and more subject to galling than the hitch ball. I do not want my bars or hitch to wear out. Reese used to give you new cams for the twin cams when they wore out. They told you not to grease them because the wearing friction helped dampen any sway which might occur. They no longer give away cams, so I have started to put a little grease on mine. Have not noticed a difference in performance yet. New design twin cams do not have replaceable cams. You have to replace the whole bar. Forged bars may be harder and more wear resistant than the old cast cams.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
Reese used to give you new cams for the twin cams when they wore out. They told you not to grease them because the wearing friction helped dampen any sway which might occur. They no longer give away cams, so I have started to put a little grease on mine.
Don't use wheel bearing or Reese hitch grease on the cams. If they're noisy, use a little Vaseline... a VERY little. The Vaseline will quiet the cam assembly without affecting the friction required to make the system work. Wheel bearing grease reduces friction, which is what you DON'T want on the cams. The cam assemblies are 'consumables', just like brake pads. After they wear to the point that they're not effective, replace them. You don't lube brake pads, even if they squeal, 'cause friction is what makes them work. The cams work the same way.

Roger
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:32 AM   #14
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I used my Reese hitch for 20 years with no major wear in this area. One thing to remember, and this goes with lubing the hitch ball also, is to keep it clean. Use of a lube will also attract and hold abrasives to the lube. If you don't do an occasional wipe down and clean the lubed surfaces, the debris that gets imbedded into the grease will grind away the surfaces it's supposed to be protecting.

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Old 12-22-2005, 08:11 AM   #15
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Reese sells a hitch ball lube "OnThe Ball Lube" which you can find at Camping World. It is about a 140 weight lube and should be used on the ball and daily on the trunions where the mount to the hitch head. In fact if you look at the head there are lube holes over the top trunion. My old instruction sheets say to lube daily even if you don"t unhook. The current hitch head is 20 years old and I would guess has 100,000 tow miles. I clean the head where the trunions run and the ball every time I hook up and use the "On The Ball Lube" every day at the trunion locations and the ball when I hook up. Don't forget to clean out the hitch cuppler on the trailer on a regular basis also.
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple 1
In fact if you look at the head there are lube holes over the top trunion.
My hitch says "oil" where these holes are located. I have been useing the Reese lube you refered to, I think. Is it the white stuff?
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:51 PM   #17
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The stuff I have is black, however a bottle of On THe Ball Lube lasts about 10 to 15 years and the last time I putrchased it was 7 or 8 years ago, so it may now be white.
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:53 PM   #18
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The suggestions you've gotten so far generally appear to be good ones, but you may also wish to have a qualified person check your hitch installation also. From the amount of wear you've described, it sounds to me as though your hitch may also be incorrectly installed - a number of dealers are negligent in that regard. Two different Airstream dealers did a terrible job installing my Reese High Performance Dual Cam Hitch last year, and I finally took my trailer to a non-Airstream dealer who correctly adjusted the hitch.

Reese has good technical assistance via telephone, and thier website @ reeseprod.com also has quite a bit of information.

Here's some pertinent quotes from their website:

What kind of maintenance do I need to do to the weight distributing hitch
WDH and sway controls?


Lubricate the ballmount sockets and spring bar trunnions to prevent rapid wear. When hooking-up, place one drop of oil on the top and a second drop on forward side of upper trunnion. Place a third drop on the rear side of lower trunnion before inserting trunnion into ballmount. Use a heavy oil such as "REESE ON THE BALL". Don't forget to lubricate the hitch ball with one or two drops also. Trunnion should be lubricated each towing day. It is not necessary to unhook the spring bars however, as there are two oil holes in the ballmount top plate for upper trunnion lubrication. Lubricate lower trunnions with one drop at contact point between trunnion and lower socket. Excess oil, dirt, and grit should be wiped out whenever trailer is uncoupled.


Can I grease the Dual Cam Sway Control (DCSC)?

Do not grease the cam and cam arms. The Dual Cam was designed to use metal-to-metal friction. Heavy greasing of the cam and cam arm surfaces with affect performance. If noise is offensive, a very light coating of lubricant, such as Vaseline, may be used. Tongue weights over 1,200 lbs. may require a light coating of grease to reduce friction and prevent excessive wear. The Dual Cam Sway Control DCSC is not to be lubricated on the cam arms when the tongue weight is under 1,200 lbs. Instead you will want to apply a thin coat of a petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline. This will act as a poor lubricant, but works well to dampen the sound. For trailers with over 1,200 lbs. tongue weight you should apply a couple of drops of an 80/90 gear lube to the cam arm to prevent excessive wear caused by the increased tongue weight.

John
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