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Old 07-10-2018, 09:56 AM   #1
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Reese 20k Pro Series Failure

My Reese 20k Pro Series Hitch failed catastrophically (bought new 4 months ago). It was properly hooked up and all pull tests and pre-trip inspections were completed, properly, as per my normal routine.



I pull a 43 ft Jayco Northpoint with a 2015 GMC 3500 DRW Denali. We went through the campground and into the dump station. No issues noted. Left the dump station and started to leave the campground. As we were going up a slight incline turning slight left, the locking mechanism failed, letting the king pin loose, and the fifth wheel landed on my bed/tailgate. Enough damage to replace the bed. Minor damage to the camper.


If this had occurred ten minutes later, we would have been on the interstate and the results would have been much different. Needless to say, I'm replacing the hitch today with a PullRite.


I'm not posting this to bring down the Reese empire, or anything like that. I only want people to be aware that this hitch failed. Personally, I will never buy another Reese, but that is only for my own peace of mind.


The technicians at the dealership said there is nothing I could have done differently to prevent the failure. It just happened. I guess due to a faulty part, or weld, or whatever.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:03 AM   #2
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OOoooooooooooooooo!!!!!
You are going to get a lot of questions here!!
Like what failed? Where exactly was the part that failed? Did it break or bend or become dislodged?

Do you have pictures?

Hitches just dont fail. Usually its operator error. We all make mistakes.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:14 AM   #3
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A few questions if you please:
1) This is a 'double jaw' hitch
2) Latch was down in groove of handle...closed
3) What 'part' failed
4) What was response from Reese


Per Reese:


We are the only company online that offers you a Lifetime Guarantee on all of the products we offer. That's how important your business is to us. We want you to be satisfied at all costs. If a product that you've purchased from us breaks or becomes defective within your lifetime, simply contact us with proof of purchase and we will replace it free of charge. It's that simple!
(Customer is liable for any costs to ship products to or from our location. Customer is not entitled to reimbursement of any labor costs incurred to replace the product.)
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:01 AM   #4
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Clarification

The service department at my dealer is checking out the hitch today. I will have photos and know what exactly failed once I have a report. I haven't talked to Reese yet, as I wanted to wait for the dealer to submit their report to them.


It definitely was NOT operator error. When I took it in, they took one look at it and said, yes, you had some kind of failure in the mechanism. When I told them I had hauled it all over the campground and everything was fine, and then it dropped, they said there was a problem with something in the mechanism that failed. I was very concerned that I may have done something wrong, and they said it appears I did not.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
A few questions if you please:
1) This is a 'double jaw' hitch
2) Latch was down in groove of handle...closed
3) What 'part' failed
4) What was response from Reese


Per Reese:


We are the only company online that offers you a Lifetime Guarantee on all of the products we offer. That's how important your business is to us. We want you to be satisfied at all costs. If a product that you've purchased from us breaks or becomes defective within your lifetime, simply contact us with proof of purchase and we will replace it free of charge. It's that simple!
(Customer is liable for any costs to ship products to or from our location. Customer is not entitled to reimbursement of any labor costs incurred to replace the product.)

1) Yes
2) Yes, and locked.
3) I will know more after they finish inspection.
4) I haven't notified Reese. Dealer is taking care of it. Insurance company is addressing the issue with Reese as well, as soon as they have the report.


I wouldn't in a million years take another Reese hitch. I don't care if they sent me 10. The dealer is installing a PullRite. They gave me full credit for the Reese hitch.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:11 AM   #6
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It is very normal thinking to not want another Reese hitch, I agree with your feelings.
Just be very relieved it did not happen at speed, as you mentioned.
Will be very interested in what Reese responds with after the breakage is assessed.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:21 AM   #7
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Reese 20k Pro Series Failure

The only time Iíve seen Reese hitches fail is when the lock pin Isnít installed, they like to roll the locking bar open....also a reason I donít own one

Definitely interested in seeing pictures
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoops View Post
My Reese 20k Pro Series Hitch failed catastrophically
I'm not posting this to bring down the Reese empire, or anything like that. I only want people to be aware that this hitch failed. Personally, I will never buy another Reese, but that is only for my own peace of mind.
The technicians at the dealership said there is nothing I could have done differently to prevent the failure. It just happened. I guess due to a faulty part, or weld, or whatever??
Sorry to hear of your incident.
We're very glad no one was reported injured!
It will be interesting to hear what forensics reveal. Please let us know what the insurance underwriter reports.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:39 PM   #9
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Hitch failure

I bought a new B and W Patriot 18k. Had it installed on an Dodge ram 3500. First time I used it, hooked up, locked handle, pulled out of the storage yard, dirt with ruts. Got about five miles down I 90 doing sixty when I heard and felt a hell of a thump. Looked in the rear view mirror and I had come unhitched. Only thing keeping the fifth wheel on the pick up was the tail gate. Got to the side of the road, raised the fifth wheel, finished removing the tail gate,
hooked up again and drove home like I was driving on eggs.
I figure it had to be my error, but I can't figure out how I drove that far with it hitched. Not that many ways to hitch a fifth wheel, it's either hitched or it's not. Generally if it's operator error, it comes undone as soon as you move the rig.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoops View Post


It definitely was NOT operator error. When I took it in, they took one look at it and said, yes, you had some kind of failure in the mechanism. When I told them I had hauled it all over the campground and everything was fine, and then it dropped, they said there was a problem with something in the mechanism that failed. I was very concerned that I may have done something wrong, and they said it appears I did not.

I had to ask. Nice to hear you are getting it looked at.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:58 AM   #11
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I had problems with the signature or Elite series Reese single jaw type
Jaw was locked and safety pin in place pulled about 50 feet and then opened dropped the camper on the truck $6000.00 of damage
What I found, the safety latch does nothing only a pin that moves when the king pin touches it not part of the lock!!!
I now have a Curt Q24 and the safety latch is part of the locking system
And Blue Ox bed saver installed on the hitch!
Will not own another Reese 5th hitch
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:24 AM   #12
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Update to the situation. Pictures attached of the hitch after it was taken off the truck. Also a couple of when it happened at the campground. The service manager provided me a report that said it was a "failed coupling latch allowing trailer to become disconnected from the fifth wheel". They are sending it to Reese for further examination. You can see in the photos where both jaws are out of alignment and bent. The mechanism underneath that moves them into place is also bent slightly. This was enough to allow the kingpin to dislodge from the jaws. Scary stuff. On the plus side, my new PullRite Super 5th is awesome. I don't see any way the design on the PullRight can fail in the same manner.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:15 PM   #13
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Hitches don't fail ?? That's funny. Granted 90+% of the time it is the operator but to say they don't fail is to say that perfection has been reached in the manufacture of fifth wheels.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:21 PM   #14
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Sometimes you can high hitch where the pin is sitting on top of the locking mechanism but not in the hole.. Did that in a Semi once hooking up at nite. Drove a long ways , when l saw it l liked to have had a Heart attack just thinking about what could have happened. Extremely lucky .
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