Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-15-2014, 02:32 AM   #1
S&K
Senior Member
 
S&K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 295
Reese Hitch Failure?

So, a friend of ours sent us bad news about Reese hitches failing.
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/27647785.cfm

This is what was stated:
"I've read many threads that dropped trailers are a result of operator error. I believe that, but I've now come to believe that equipment can and do fail from time to time. I have a Reese Pro Series 20K hitch that I use to tow my 37ft Keystone Raptor. Both trailer and truck are within manufacturer specs; pin weight, rear axle weight, GVWR, you name it...I'm in compliance because I've weighed everything on Black Cat scales.

So here's what happened:

I hitch up, raise the landing gear and visually check hitch and pin. I note the hitch jaws correctly wrapped around the kingpin. I engage the latch and lock with a Reese small brass pad lock. During my visual inspection I note the pin is not "pin high," I plug in my trailer electrical cable and close the tailgate. I shake the gate; it's secure and I ask my wife to double check the pin and hitch. She does, gives me the thumbs up and we both jump in the cab. I release the parking brake, grab the brake controller and pinch lever to full close; thus fully engaging trailer brakes and give the truck a little fuel. The truck moves forward, and I get the familiar "clunk" of the kingpin tapping the rear of the hitch jaws. Test complete!

I engage the "tow mode button" on my 2011 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax 6.6, press the exhaust brake button and say to the family..."and they're off!"

I roll up 25ft, say "standby for brake test" and conduct brake test. Trailer breaks engage, we again fell the familiar lurch of brakes engaging and the "clunk" and I say "brake check complete: sat."

I roll up our street, stop at a stop sign and begin my familiar left turn at the top of the hill that I have made a gizzlion times and BAMMM! The kingpin separates from the hitch and the trailer falls on my bed rails! I immediately stop, place truck in park, engage parking brake and hop out of the cab.

I see the trailer resting on my truck bed side rails and think I screwed this up, but every one is ok. I'm in the middle of the intersection in the midst of left turn and I note the safety latch, padlock and jaws are closed and intact. I look at the pin box and kingpin and I see no damage and no failure. Immediately, I think I did something wrong and I caused this. I even mentioned this to my wife who is watching with a horrified look on her face. I lower the landing gear on the trailer so that pin box and pin clear the tailgate of the truck, by the way - has been severely dented and bowed, so that I now cannot drop the tailgate. I disconnect the pad lock, throw back the latch, pull on the jaw release lever and the jaws spring open. I realize that I need to clear the intersection, so I maneuver the truck to place the hitch directly under the pin box and lower the kingpin back in the hitch. I close the hitch jaws by the jaw lever and note the jaws close around the pin box. I note about a 1/2 inch gap between the jaws! I raise the landing gear and manage to get the trailer back home after I make another left turn to arrive home in less than 3 minutes.

After closer inspection and after many jaw lever actuations, the jaws never fully close leaving a 1/2 gap between jaws, even with the safety latch engaged and pad lock in place. I surmise the cause of the accident was that the jaws never fully closed creating a very loose gap around the kingpin and the left turn on the hill as the truck rolled down while the trailer pitched up, gave the kingpin the perfect path to release."


We had a Reese 25 Elite installed by the RV dealer as part of the package.

Have any of you had a situation like this happen to you? or to anyone you know? I keep telling my hubby that we need to compare "apples to apples", and not rely on what happened to a certain individual ESPECIALLY since I cannot find another instance of the hitch failing in internet searches.

Thoughts? Should we be concerned?

Thanks,
__________________

2014 RW36FB
2014 F-350 CC DRW, 25K Reese, Roll-n-Loc, Rhino Liner
'Half-timer' - Full time retired, tho!
Ken & Shelley
S&K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 03:57 AM   #2
Site Team
 
piper guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,793
I have the same hitch as you. If you look at the hitch, the jaw is one piece that curves around and locks the pin. I think the hitch that was referred to above is the style that has two jaws that cone in from the sides.

I don't see any way it could release when properly locked with the pin.
__________________
Vaughan & Tracy 2013 RW 36RL, 2013 F350 DRW CC, 2016 Focus. MorRyde IS, MorRyde pinbox, disc brakes, Comfort Ride Hitch. "Life is to be embraced, Grab it with both arms ! "
piper guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 12:50 PM   #3
S&K
Senior Member
 
S&K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 295
Quote:
Originally Posted by piper guy View Post
I have the same hitch as you. If you look at the hitch, the jaw is one piece that curves around and locks the pin. I think the hitch that was referred to above is the style that has two jaws that cone in from the sides.

I don't see any way it could release when properly locked with the pin.
Thanks, appreciate your input!
__________________

2014 RW36FB
2014 F-350 CC DRW, 25K Reese, Roll-n-Loc, Rhino Liner
'Half-timer' - Full time retired, tho!
Ken & Shelley
S&K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 332
We have a signature series Reese hitch which I believe has a similar jaw mechanism to your hitch. I had some difficulty getting the jaw to "trip" when hitching up until I re-read the instructions to have the head at a slight angle so the trailer pin goes slightly uphill when it enters the hitch head. If you don't do this the jaw won't trip, I had to bang on the handle to get a trip.

Once I changed the procedure the jaw trips and locks every time. I always thought that having the hitch and trailer pin perfectly at the same level was best but this doesn't work with the Reese.
__________________
2013 Redwood 36RL, 2011 F-450, Sat Internet, Sat TV
almcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 02:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Adamsvr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc View Post
We have a signature series Reese hitch which I believe has a similar jaw mechanism to your hitch. I had some difficulty getting the jaw to "trip" when hitching up until I re-read the instructions to have the head at a slight angle so the trailer pin goes slightly uphill when it enters the hitch head. If you don't do this the jaw won't trip, I had to bang on the handle to get a trip.

Once I changed the procedure the jaw trips and locks every time. I always thought that having the hitch and trailer pin perfectly at the same level was best but this doesn't work with the Reese.
X2! That's exactly how we hook up. My problem is unhooking. The arm often doesn't want to release. Have to find the sweet spot by pulling forward after backing and raise our 36RL just above the hitch plate before I can get it to open.
__________________
2012 Redwood RL with Slide-in-the Slide; 2011 F450; Onan 5.5 Gen; G614 Wheels
Adamsvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 02:16 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamsvr View Post
X2! That's exactly how we hook up. My problem is unhooking. The arm often doesn't want to release. Have to find the sweet spot by pulling forward after backing and raise our 36RL just above the hitch plate before I can get it to open.
Yes, we've seen this as well. I attribute it to the higher speed at which the hydraulics lifts the trailer compared to the electric jacks on other RVs (you can lift too high and force the bottom lip of the pin groove against the hitch jaw preventing the release). Also, if the campsite is on an angle the pin is sometimes hard against the jaw. I find that most times putting the truck in neutral from park (then back into park!) after I set the front landing gear solves the problem.
__________________
2013 Redwood 36RL, 2011 F-450, Sat Internet, Sat TV
almcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
mhs4771's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,336
You have to keep reading that thread, the general thought that something was missed, even tho the poster says there wasn't.
Another thought was that during their tight left hand turn, the underside of the 5er hit the release handle and caused a release.
Most of the other posters agree that if properly hitched there is no way to come apart.
Plus read closer, in the beginning the OP says the jaws were closed, then later says there was a 1/2" gap in the jaws, so which is it.
For me, I'm not going to loose any sleep over such a post.
__________________
Michelle & Ann
2018 Chevy 3500HD Crew Cab High Country DRW, D/A, 2016 RW39MB, Dual ACs, Auto Level, Auto Sat Dish, Stack W/D, King Sleep #, 17.5" Sailuns w/Disc, MORryde IS & Pin, Comfort Ride Hitch, 5.5 Onan, Res Fridge & Induction Cook Top
mhs4771 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
johnboytoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,054
Anything man-made can fail.... especially if man is involved in the use of it

You do your best, and buy insurance for the rest !

After many times, I can tell from the sound when I back into the hitch that it's latched, but I still go back and STARE at my superglide hitch jaws and pin every time I hitch up,

even using a bright flashlight in the middle of the day to ensure it LOOKS ok!

even been known to paint the pin or jaws so I can more easily see the wrap around jaws

but this comes from years ago dropping my first 5er on the bed pulling up the hill from my storage area
__________________
Ours: '11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT followed closely by '14 Jeep 4 dr Wrangler.
Hers: '13 Explorer Sport - AWD 365hp twin turbo scooter!
Previous: '13 Ford F350 CC Platinum and '13 38GK
johnboytoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 03:29 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
atom ant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 7,101
It looks like the "Pro Series" 20K actually had jaws rather than the locking bar or wrap-around, but Reese confuses me with all the different models most of the time.

http://www.amazon.com/Reese-30120-Se...20k+pro+series
__________________
Brad & Dory - Lone Tree, CO
CURRENT - 2013 Itasca Meridian 42E/2013 Wrangler 4dr Sahara
SOLD - 2014 Redwood 36RL/2014 F350 DRW
atom ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 03:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
5th_Time's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,121
Me neither Michelle, I have the Reese Elite 18K that I installed myself. One day, I hit a bridge seam that the recoil practically pulled the dualies' rear wheels off the ground, but the removable hitch stayed locked down & jaws closed. I have total confidence in their products.

BTW, I thought that story was written a little too "cutesy" to be a "this could happen to you..." warning. I would use the same style if I was trying to CMA.
__________________
Mike & Pam '12 36RL, Kodiak Discs, 17.5" G114s H-Rated, SRE4000 w/HD Shackles, Joy Rider Shocks, Flex Air, 5.5 Onan, W&D, DW, 4 Scare Lights, (2) 6V Trojan T-145s; Progressive EMS-HW50C, Winegard DTV Sat, Sony/Denon 4K Home Theater, WiFiRanger EliteAC Pack, weBoost 4G-X Cell Booster.

'18 GMC Denali 3500HD CC, 4x4, DRW, DuraMax, Allison, Curt Q25 w/OEM Prep, Intellihaul Cameras, Transfer Flow 70gal Aux Tank/Toolbox.
5th_Time is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Redwood RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.