Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-27-2022, 01:49 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Florida 55's Avatar

 
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Pfafftown , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 913
Images: 42
Blog Entries: 4
Reese Replacement Weight Distribution Bars

My Reese straight line dual cam hitch was purchased by the first owners of my 2008 Safari when they acquired the trailer in 2008. I continued to use it after I bought the trailer in 2011.

After approximately 80,000 miles of towing the trunnion weight distribution spring bars are showing considerable wear so I ordered two 800 pound replacement bars to replace the original 800 pound bars. I falsely assumed the new bars would be a direct replacement, since the bars were described on the e-Trailer website as "replacement" and there was no mention they might not be a direct replacement for older bars.

I have attached two photos of the new and old bars. In the photos the old bars are larger than the new bars. It may also be noteworthy the beefier old bars were made in USA and the old bars are labeled "made in China". Could it be the quality of the product has been reduced over time as the company outsourced production? Why else would the size of a replacement bar be smaller than the original?

Needless to say the "replacement" weight distribution bar is not really a replacement, it is a different product and will require a complete readjustment of my hitch in order to use them. I've seen so many instances of manufacturers cheapening products over the years so I'm wondering if safety will be compromised by using this different 800 lb bar, even after readjusting the hitch. I worry the imported steel may not be as strong as the original USA steel. Instead of using these replacement bars I could return the bars and buy a complete new hitch (Reese or another brand). Safety is my #1 concern.

In the each of the photos the original 800 lb. bar is to the left and the new 800 lb replacement bar is to the right. The first photo is a top down view of the bars. The second is a side view.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Reese 800 lb bar top.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	572.9 KB
ID:	416595   Click image for larger version

Name:	Reese 800 lb bars side .jpg
Views:	14
Size:	569.6 KB
ID:	416596  

__________________
Chuck
Airstream - 2008 Safari 27FB SE (Sweet Pea)
TV - 2011 Ford F250 Lariat, 6.7 Diesel, 4X4 (Brutus)
TAC FL-55 | WBCCI 3823 - Unit 12 | AIR 48265
Florida 55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 07:11 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
2003 25' Classic
Houstatlantavegas , Malebolgia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18,879
Images: 1
Well, if it's the ware on the trunnion 'knobs', why not just replace it?

Bob
🇺🇦🇺🇸🇺🇦
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 07:50 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1973 23' Safari
Arroyo Grande , California
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 79
Greetings
We use the same hitch and bar with our Safari. The design change is interesting but maybe not a cause for concern. Designs can and do evolve typically to address cost, weight and performance issues. As an engineer, you have a winner when you can improve all 3 at the same time. My guess is that if you bought a new Reese hitch, it would be supplied with those same new bars. The new bars may actually be better; Reese has pretty good products.
On the topic of Chinese steel, I recently went shopping for new safety chains and wanted US steel. Finally gave up and bought Chinese and they were “name brand” chains.
StevenD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 09:11 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
57Vintage's Avatar
 
1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 801
Images: 22
Perhaps I'm missing something in the photo. Is there an issue besides being slightly shorter? I'd try the adjustment process as if you're installing the hitch from scratch. It appears to me you may have to adjust the length of the cam arm assembly and maybe the position of the hanger bracket. I use the same hitch.
__________________
Harold & Rebecca

Our thread:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f97...er-172124.html
57Vintage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2022, 04:35 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
JJTX's Avatar
 
2018 19' Flying Cloud
South of Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 509
After 10 years of use, I would have replaced the whole thing. Not one part of the hitch. And that is what I will do at or before 10 years.

That said, just because design changes, does not mean the product is not rated to accept the load.

If I were you, I would return the item un-used if they allow it, maybe for restock fee or shipping or something, if not put it up for sale on local forums or here etc and go buy a complete new hitch. Its time.
JJTX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2022, 09:00 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Florida 55's Avatar

 
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Pfafftown , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 913
Images: 42
Blog Entries: 4
Bob,

My first attempt was to replace only the trunnions as you suggested. They were in short supply last year and it took me 6 months to obtain a set. The trunnions are removed from the bars by pushing out the spring steel pin holding them onto the bars. This is accomplished by pounding them out with a hammer and punch. I purchased some quality steel punches (Starratt), in several sizes, but was unsuccessful pushing the pins out, no matter how hard I hit with the hammer.

I addressed the problem with the online vendor's technical support. The vendor had no other suggestion for removing the pins and suggested I order complete new bar assemblies, telling me the complete bar assembly is a drop-in replacement for my existing bars. I returned the unused new trunnions and ordered complete new bar assemblies. As the photos demonstrate, the new bars are not a drop-in replacement. They are shorter than the old bars and will require me to spend the time going through a full hitch setup. Obviously a setup can be accomplished but it will be time consuming.

As to quality, my concerns come from my personal, and considerable, experience in the business world with outsourcing manufacturing to factories outside the US. I observed many US companies move product overseas and cost reduce the components of the product, or the product design, at the same time they moved manufacturing to a contract factory overseas. This product "reengineering" allowed the US company to realize material cost savings, in addition to the labor savings. Note it makes sense to implement product changes at the time new production lines are being established to also save on future tooling and machinery costs when product designs are changed. Sometimes substitution of materials was done because the overseas vendors could not source the same type of raw materials locally, particularly in the early years of the outsourcing era when non-US raw material suppliers had limited product offerings and production capability. I also observed and experienced situations where the overseas contract factory over time substituted lower quality components without advising the company sourcing the finished product. This situation is quite common when the company doing the sourcing does not put its own employees in the overseas contract factory, to monitor quality and procurement, instead trusting the offshore factory to adhere to standards.

Every situation is certainly different and I have no knowledge of why Reese changed the design of the torsion bars or if the Chinese bars and old US bars are made of the same quality steel. All I have is the comparison of a US made bar to a Chinese made bar as shown in the photos. I do not possess the engineering knowledge or testing equipment to assess the quality of materials in the bars or to evaluate the safety of the new versus old bar.

The quality issue/concern comes to mind from life experience, not from any specific knowledge of Reese and its current product line. Unfortunately Reese simply claims the new bars are a "replacement" for the old bars. It does not disclose the new bars are shorter and require a new setup. Nor does it provide the buyer with material specifications.

Sometime in the next few weeks I'll do a new setup on the hitch with the new bars and see how they perform. Hopefully it will be a non-issue other than the time I spend which could have been used doing something I enjoy more than tinkering with a hitch.
__________________
Chuck
Airstream - 2008 Safari 27FB SE (Sweet Pea)
TV - 2011 Ford F250 Lariat, 6.7 Diesel, 4X4 (Brutus)
TAC FL-55 | WBCCI 3823 - Unit 12 | AIR 48265
Florida 55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2022, 09:14 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Florida 55's Avatar

 
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Pfafftown , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 913
Images: 42
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
Perhaps I'm missing something in the photo. Is there an issue besides being slightly shorter? I'd try the adjustment process as if you're installing the hitch from scratch. It appears to me you may have to adjust the length of the cam arm assembly and maybe the position of the hanger bracket. I use the same hitch.
I agree with you a cam adjustment will be required. My beef with Reese is the new bars are sold as a "replacement" with no advisory they are not a drop in replacement. Doing a new hitch setup is time consuming and not something I particularly enjoy doing.

I also have concerns about safety. US companies have gone through a 30 year cycle of reengineering products to cut material costs, and outsourcing production to foreign factories to cut labor costs. I spent much of my business career involved in both exercises. Many companies, in cost reducing, cut the margins of safety and performance on their products. There have also been numerous instances where offshore factories substituted cheaper materials than specified, without the knowledge of the US company.

Needless to say, I have no idea why Reese changed the bars. Was it cost reduction, which reduced the margin of safety, or product improvement? Usually when a company improves the quality, convenience or performance of a product it highlights the change in product descriptions and advertising. In this instance Reese is silent so the ultimate consumer does not know. Let's hope for the best.
__________________
Chuck
Airstream - 2008 Safari 27FB SE (Sweet Pea)
TV - 2011 Ford F250 Lariat, 6.7 Diesel, 4X4 (Brutus)
TAC FL-55 | WBCCI 3823 - Unit 12 | AIR 48265
Florida 55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2022, 09:51 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,505
Blog Entries: 1
I bought my Reese straight line hitch in 2008. It came with 1000 lb bars. After a few months I changed to 800 lb bars. The 800 lb bars looked the same but were shorter. I had to re setup the hitch.
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2022, 07:16 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Florida 55's Avatar

 
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Pfafftown , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 913
Images: 42
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I bought my Reese straight line hitch in 2008. It came with 1000 lb bars. After a few months I changed to 800 lb bars. The 800 lb bars looked the same but were shorter. I had to re setup the hitch.
I am aware of the differences in length between different different pound rated bars.

In my case the original is 800 lb and the shorter replacement is 800 lb. Reese is the manufacturer for both.
__________________
Chuck
Airstream - 2008 Safari 27FB SE (Sweet Pea)
TV - 2011 Ford F250 Lariat, 6.7 Diesel, 4X4 (Brutus)
TAC FL-55 | WBCCI 3823 - Unit 12 | AIR 48265
Florida 55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reese weight bars Tom S Airstream Classifieds 3 02-27-2014 04:07 PM
How Are Reese Weight Distribution Bars Rated? Eagle & Bear Hitches, Couplers & Balls 3 04-14-2012 06:58 PM
weight distributing bars/trunnion bars teutonik Hitches, Couplers & Balls 2 12-04-2003 06:58 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.