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Old 06-13-2014, 05:14 AM   #1
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B&W Hitch Fail! Not too bad tho...

Greetings everyone! Well, it's been a hurricane for us after taking delivery of our new 38RL! All good tho, having a ball. Tired as one-armed paper hangers! Not only did we take delivery, but we also MOVED OUT of our home and into our new workamping gig at a local county park! It's been crazy.

About the hitch: 2014-06-09 15.48.12.jpg

So, we only towed home from the dealership, and then over to the park which is only about 2 miles away from our home. After removing the hitch from the truck, we found (to our great dismay) a sheared-off bolt with the nut attached (in photo) lying in the truck bed. After some inspection, we easily found where it came away from the hitch. LUCKILY it wasn't something critical as far as safety goes, but it sure makes you think.

So those of you with 2014 RAMs getting the B&W hitch that fits it, know that we had this problem. We called B&W and they are sending a new one out right away (it's the coupler head) and said that it is actually safe to use the hitch if we remove the broken part. It's a shock absorber. They SURE SEEMED FAMILIAR with the problem we were having, I am thinking it isn't the first time. SO heads up on that. Lots more to tell, but I will put each in it's proper thread, of COURSE!
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:34 PM   #2
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Ouch!!!
Sorry but a sheared off bolt doesn't seem MINOR to me!!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:49 PM   #3
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YES! Believe me, we felt pretty weak-kneed when we saw the bolt lying in the truck bed and thought maybe we had used up one of our 9 lives! The guy on the phone at B&W assured us it was not a mission-critical bolt, but we are going to wait for the new hitch! It was very scary at the time. Glad we found it after the RW was safely landed somewhere because we wouldn't have wanted to tow it another inch!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:02 PM   #4
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I would have been a little more than weak-kneed

When we first got our 38gk, the dealer moved our Pullrite Superglide capture plate from our trade in and put it on the rw...

by the time I towed it the 10 miles or so home,
the too small bolts holding the capture plate to the bottom of the pin had sheared off and were in the truck bed !!!

Thank goodness the weight of the 5er and the pin hitch held it sandwiched in there or it could have turned ugly.

Dealer didn't tell us we needed a different capture plate for the rw triglide !
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:42 PM   #5
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We have a B and W hitch too and I am not sure if it is the hitch on the truck or the part on the Redwood but we get a lot of chucking I think it has been referred to on this forum. I would like to change the hitch on the RW but the expense has kept us from doing that. Any other suggestions would be appreciate. Our truck is new and we put the B&W hitch on because it was recommended by the dealer.
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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Well, this story is scary enough to make you stop and think ... And then check every nut and bolt on yer rig! We pick our unit up in a couple of weeks. First stop: an RV park about six miles from the dealer, for a thorough owner's inspection. The trip home from there is about 300 miles, so I'll stop at mile 50, then again at mile 150 to make sure all the most important bolts remain tight and secure. I'm not paranoid, just cautious. Bad things occasionally do happen, but most of those can be prevented by a little preemptive inspection. After that, just the usual travel inspections. A thorough inspection of the hitch components before and after every haul seems like time well spent.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:28 PM   #7
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John ~ after being at Mor/Ryde, I think I would put their hitch on and if you haven't already, Airbags are a must.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:05 PM   #8
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As to the failure, some amount of failure is expected unfortunately especially with a new product. Being that they are in KS and build them right there they handled this with some sense of urgency. I would expect a slight adjustment to the design to prevent this in the future. In the end they are only as strong as their weakest link which in this case appears to be a bolt. Guessing that bolt wasn't manufactured by B&W but rather a supplier. Either they increase the size of the bolt, change the load on the bolt or change suppliers. This is assuming it's just not a freak incident.

Short answer, I wouldn't assume this is cause for everyone to abandon their B&W hitches. I still love mine and have had no failures whatsoever. However I only have about 3,000 miles on mine in just over a year (about to put another 1K on over the next two weeks).
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:28 AM   #9
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My B&W has approximately 10k on it now & no problems & wouldn't part with it, yours looks like someone with a high torque impact got a little over zealous.
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:45 AM   #10
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The OP by Todd and Theresa noted that it seemed like the manufacturer was aware of this potential problem. If that is the case shouldn't they be initiating a recall
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriana View Post
The OP by Todd and Theresa noted that it seemed like the manufacturer was aware of this potential problem. If that is the case shouldn't they be initiating a recall
X2...excellent point.
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriana View Post
The OP by Todd and Theresa noted that it seemed like the manufacturer was aware of this potential problem. If that is the case shouldn't they be initiating a recall
I Agree!!!
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:39 PM   #13
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the reason we thought they were familiar is that he didn't ask me very many questions and already knew what the problem was. He was also confident enough to tell me that it was safe to use the hitch for towing after we removed the broken part. That seems like a lot of assumptions if you were not sure where the hitch was broken right? and just to be clear, we love our B&W hitch also. I just think that it's possible they had a bad batch come out. They are not recalling them probably because it is not a safety issue. Wait and see which ones break and which ones do not.just a guess on my part. The hitch seems awesome though.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:49 PM   #14
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Same Situation different Manufacturer

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNTBaker View Post
the reason we thought they were familiar is that he didn't ask me very many questions and already knew what the problem was. He was also confident enough to tell me that it was safe to use the hitch for towing after we removed the broken part. That seems like a lot of assumptions if you were not sure where the hitch was broken right? and just to be clear, we love our B&W hitch also. I just think that it's possible they had a bad batch come out. They are not recalling them probably because it is not a safety issue. Wait and see which ones break and which ones do not.just a guess on my part. The hitch seems awesome though.
The more these firms add bells and whistles to make hitches more comfortable for the user the more things break. We too had a Hitch failure with our brand new Reese R20. Like this situations when I called Reese they seemed all too familiar with the problems and quickly replaced the whole unit. I believe the moral of the story here is to be vigilant in our inspections of this vital piece of equipment.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:59 PM   #15
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Agreed. I just wanted to put it out there so we can watch for the same issue with someone else. hopefully it will not appear! B&W handled the issue very very well.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:06 PM   #16
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You Know I wonder

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Originally Posted by TNTBaker View Post
Agreed. I just wanted to put it out there so we can watch for the same issue with someone else. hopefully it will not appear! B&W handled the issue very very well.
It would interesting to know how many other Hitch Failures are out there! While B&W and Reese, stepped up and backed their products I wonder if this is a bigger issue that people should be aware of. I agree the more people are aware of the possibly of a failure and remain vigilant the less there will be.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:45 PM   #17
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B&W are the go-to hitch on the ford truck forums since they mesh with the ford provided underbed puck system...
and no one has reported any issues with them over there...
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:57 PM   #18
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Johnboy - interesting information, as I was told only the Reese would fit the Ford under bed prep. Not that I am concerned, as I'm happy with the Reese 25K
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:11 PM   #19
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Yeah, I think they recommend the B&W companion ???? not sure, as I already had a pullrite superglide for my shortbed...
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:50 PM   #20
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I too was told that Reese Elite was the only hitch comparable for our Ford???
Regardless, I'm very happy with our Reese 25K.
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