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Old 07-27-2008, 12:31 PM   #1
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Heads up! Always do a thorough walk around before moving the rig!!

This was a very sad thing to observe (pictues here.) This fiver that just pulled out of a campground apparently didn't fully secure his hitch. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hitch failure. He apparently didn't have a retainer pin installed or secured. Sorry - I don't know anything about gooseneck hitches to be more specific.

Good news is nobody was hurt, there wasn't major damage and the owner learned an important lesson.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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Heads up! Always do a thorough walk around before moving the rig!!

This was a very sad thing to observe (pictues here.) This fiver that just pulled out of a campground apparently didn't fully secure his hitch. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hitch failure. He apparently didn't have a retainer pin installed or secured. Sorry - I don't know anything about gooseneck hitches to be more specific.

Good news is nobody was hurt, there wasn't major damage and the owner learned an important lesson.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #3
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Examining the pix fairly close, I notices the drivers side pin looked "Tweeked", and the passenger side, missing. my best guess is the Carter pin that retains the passenger side went missing, allowing the retainer to slip out. This allowed the 5th wheel hitch to pivot out of position, and into the bed of the truck. I currently have bolts where his pins are at, so no carter pin to get lost. Looks to be an expensive fix... Truck bed, tail gate, new hitch, 5er legs, + front end damage to the underside of the trailer.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #4
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Whoa...pays to check and double check all connections before towing. Also noticed that he was towing what appears to be a pretty large (3 slide) trailer with a single rear wheel truck.

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Old 07-27-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TXiceman:
Whoa...pays to check and double check all connections before towing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
And also when you've been parked someplace and out of sight of your rig. You never know when someone will come along and think it's great fun to pull a few pins!
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:34 AM   #6
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I've heard about people pulling a pin on a toad tow bar. I always check mine and keep an eye on things in the rear monitor.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:20 AM   #7
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I have installed pad locks on all my hitch pins. One time with someone fooling around (I caught it and had more clips) was enough to convince me I didn't want that again. Besides, a hitch is pretty expensive - - at least those locks will slow them down if they seem to like my hitch. The other things idiots love doing is jerk your disconnect cable out. Grrrr

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Old 07-29-2008, 04:57 AM   #8
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From your pictures I see several things that sound alarms. The hitch appears to have been overloaded by the way the U brackets are bent. I know of no quad-slide 5er under 15K lbs, which is normally what sliding hitches are rated to safely withstand.

The missing hitch-pin from the curb-side U mount, even though the holes are intact, is a sure clue to failure to perform a "pre-flight check".

I fail to see the "gooseneck hitch" you wrote of, what did I miss?

The owner/operator surely failed to observe standard practice and perform a "tug-test" before raising the jacks fully.

Too cause that amount of damage,the driver must have not been watching the hitch in the rearview mirror when slowly beginning movement.

I'm sorry, but "pilot error" is the accident cause in my opinion.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:27 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ray,IN:
--snip--I fail to see the "gooseneck hitch" you wrote of, what did I miss?--snip-- </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Like I said in my original post, I know nothing about these hitches - I use 'gooseneck' as a catch-all phrase to describe any pickup truck bed trailer mount point. My phrase serves me well and I will continue to use it

Your analysis of operator error is apparently spot-on based on what I overheard from driver's comments.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:41 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by John_Canfield:
I use 'gooseneck' as a catch-all phrase to describe any pickup truck bed trailer mount point. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Actually, 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches (both mounted within the confines of the pickup truck bed) are distinctly different designs with differing characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. The hitch in question in this thread is a sliding 5th wheel hitch, normally used when towing a 5th wheel RV with a short bed truck to allow sufficient clearance between the truck cab and the front of the RV in sharper turning situations.

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Old 07-31-2008, 09:09 AM   #11
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Fortunate it came apart on what looks like a little road through a camp ground, as opposed to out on the freeway...
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:49 PM   #12
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here's one to raise the hairs on your neck.

This goes back a few years but I got a new hitch. It is a Reese 20K and uses the pins to hold the top half of the hitch to the base piece. I don't know the technical names for these parts. The dealer installed the new hitch and I went and picked up the truck and trailer. I did my usual "lock the trailer brakes manually to make sure it is locked" and no problem. Drove about 25 miles and parked the trailer in the storage lot. I drove home and climbed into the bed to check a few things. I noticed the technician did not put those top pins in. I nearly collapsed in fear when I saw that. Imagine what could have happened at 55 MPH.

I drove right back to the dealer. The tech turned white as a ghost when I told him. He is an excellent tech in everything he has ever done. It was one of those things that he didn't check and neither did I. And it could have been a disaster. My older hitch had that big-a** 2" pin that held the two pieces together. I never thought to even look.

Well that is something I check EVERY single time I tow now. I make sure they are in and secure. Once hooked up I still lock the trailer brakes and step on the accelerator to make sure the hitch is locked.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:13 AM   #13
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John,

I regret to admit that I had one of those moments myself. The B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch we use has a safety pin that locks the release handle to the hitch frame after hitching up. I pulled our 5th wheel from Austin to Houston and got to the RV storage lot to unhitch - only to find that the safety pin was dangling from its chain. I had gotten distracted while hitching up and never put it in. I guarantee you - all the thoughts of what could have happened were running through my mind!!

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Old 08-02-2008, 06:51 AM   #14
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That I think is built into the B&W, that leverage tends to keep the thing locked when there is a load on the jaws...
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