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Old 04-23-2016, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadfast View Post
Those of you that are having success with this hitch in your Chevy, that is great. I really liked the hitch myself. The reason for the post is to say if you go heavier, up to the advertised 5,000 pin weight, you may have the same problem we did.
Just curious, what are you hauling that has a 5000 lbs pin weight? That sounds like it calls for a semi!
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raineman View Post
Just curious, what are you hauling that has a 5000 lbs pin weight? That sounds like it calls for a semi!
Our Mobile Suites 38PS3 has a loaded pin weight above 4,500.
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Steadfast View Post
Our Mobile Suites 38PS3 has a loaded pin weight above 4,500.
nice rig!
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:40 PM   #18
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This is NOT a B&W problem as was stated. Many of the GM beds actually have a camber to them. One guy actually ground his spacers to fit the curve in his bed.

This will happen again unless corrected.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:51 PM   #19
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I went back and checked the original installation instructions and the spacers are installed as shown....with the wide side down. For narrow ribbed beds you can flip the spacers over. I still can't see how a heavy pin weight can deflect the bed down because there is no weight on the spacers. Glad you like your new hitch.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:14 AM   #20
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Looking at the OP's picture it seems the spacer keeps the hitch plate off the bed surface. The hitch has a plate bent in an upward direction. The spacer dose in fact carry weight if it's too tall. I see no bending or crimping on the bed rib surface to the left of the hold down bolt. Why is that. This is water over the dam but I would have tried to place the hold down bolt as far to the left as possible. That's the the most rigid point on the hitch. The slot for the mounting bolt gives you that ability. I would have put the spacer under the bed ,over the cross beam and bolted thru the "high" corrugation surface.
I think the bending occurred because the spacer was high, and the 5er got a hard tug forward. Think about the downward leverage that's applied to the rear of the hitch ,,, MHO

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Old 04-24-2016, 09:54 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cummins12V98 View Post
This is NOT a B&W problem as was stated. Many of the GM beds actually have a camber to them. One guy actually ground his spacers to fit the curve in his bed.

This will happen again unless corrected.
This ^^ is correct. Some of the GM beds have a crown in them. With the Companion removed from from the bed, place a straight edge length ways in the bed and you will see it is not completely flat. Some are worse than others.

Rich
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:11 AM   #22
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From my experience any hitch at max or near max will fail. My Pull Rite sheared the base bolts. I believe one should never go over 85% rating of a hitch.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:33 AM   #23
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I hadn't realized that B&W had changed the base of the turn over version. I have the older and 18,000# turnover base plus the puck style, 20,000 pound for the current truck, neither of which have ever caused a problem with the exception of a stripped u-bolt, and replaced by B&W at no cost. The B&W supplied Gr2 center pin bolt was replaced before first use with a 1/2" Gr8, a heavy flat washer and a bit of antiseize on the threads

By the photos shown, that base suspended in the air is a recipe for failure as the steel fabrication will be subjected to low cycle fatigue as the 5er's load works the assembly. It has to be mounted flush on the bed.

The reported weight of that 5er, GVWR is 19,000 pounds and based on the usual rule of thumb of 20% of the total weight being on the pin, is about 3800 pounds. That can vary by a lot depending on how you are equipped and loaded and may be above the 5K pin weight max for that B&W and the 19K GVWR may really be more too, again, on what you carry --- and right at the limits of that hitch if not over.

This is the old style base which may actually be stronger:



(Yes, the bed mat came out)
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:00 PM   #24
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"This is the old style base which may actually be stronger:"

The base you show is a 18K Companion that was designed when the beds had much more strength to them. I had the exact same hitch in my 98 RAM then transferred it to my 11 HO RAM Dually. I was towing a 36' MobileSuites right at it's limits and also had 4,500# pin weight. After some time my base actually bent and the bed actually had small dents where the front of the base placed pressure on the bed when stopping hard.

I contacted B&W they sent me a new base and hard rubber strips to place between the base and the low part of the bed. That allowed the pressure of the base to be directed to the hard rubber strip and then to the bed cross rails.

About that time B&W developed the 20K Companion base that has the adjustable strips. The B&W 20K is a good product and if bent there is a bed problem as mentioned with some cambered GM beds.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:20 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Rich1961 View Post
This ^^ is correct. Some of the GM beds have a crown in them. With the Companion removed from from the bed, place a straight edge length ways in the bed and you will see it is not completely flat. Some are worse than others.

Rich
This is what B&W told me also. Their next fix was to shave down the plastic runners to fit the contour of the bed as someone else has mentioned. I had had enough and pulled it out. I don't want to have to worry about my hitch failing.
As far as weight goes, no hitch maker should advertise a weight limit unless the hitch can handle it, period. I did not exceed the advertised weight limits. There should be a built in buffer to boot.
The plastic rail looks elevated off of the bed in the picture because the hitch failed and bent. With a new base, it looked flush with the bed.
It was my intent to share my experience with others to make them aware of what can happen. Knowing this, if I were looking for a new hitch for my new Chevy I would shy away from the B&W Companion. A buyer shouldn't have to customize the hitch to fit in the truck bed.
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:51 PM   #26
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I agree with Steadfast, you shouldn't have to re-engineer the hitch mounting to guarantee it's maximum performance. Parts in the box for the intended vehicle should be all you require for a satisfactory safe installation. Second thing , any hitch with a stated max working load should have a buffer as someone mentioned above. I think the bending failure can be eliminated if there is a gusset type shape to the formed base plate. OR, maybe they should DE-RATE the darn hitch. MHO

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Old 04-25-2016, 08:19 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Cummins12V98 View Post
This is NOT a B&W problem as was stated. Many of the GM beds actually have a camber to them. One guy actually ground his spacers to fit the curve in his bed.

This will happen again unless corrected.
Well, I see it differently. It's not a GM problem either. As another posted stated, a hitch should not have to be reengineered by the installer, whether it is professional or the consumer. What B&W (and/or) any other manufacturer should do is state that their hitches should not be used in certain vehicles, in this case, GM with the so-called cambered bed design, or redesign the hitch at the factory so it will fit. All hitch manufacturers should provide all of the required hardware to install the hitch without any modification whatsoever prior to installation. What do you think would happen if the hitch is modified in some way to "make it fit" and something would happen down the road a bit? Do you think that the consumer would be not held accountable? It's bad enough to have to fight to sometimes have warranty items covered.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:48 AM   #28
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Well, I see it differently. It's not a GM problem either. As another posted stated, a hitch should not have to be reengineered by the installer, whether it is professional or the consumer. What B&W (and/or) any other manufacturer should do is state that their hitches should not be used in certain vehicles, in this case, GM with the so-called cambered bed design, or redesign the hitch at the factory so it will fit. All hitch manufacturers should provide all of the required hardware to install the hitch without any modification whatsoever prior to installation. What do you think would happen if the hitch is modified in some way to "make it fit" and something would happen down the road a bit? Do you think that the consumer would be not held accountable? It's bad enough to have to fight to sometimes have warranty items covered.

I agree with you and the others with similar sentiments 100% on this. When the manufacturer says "yes, this product is made for your specific make, model, and year of vehicle" that should be it. No asterisks, no "custom" alterations to make it work, just install it and go. I'm happy with my B&W companion, but it dropped right into my factory pucks and was designed so that appropriate adjustments could be made, as it should be.
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