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Old 07-13-2005, 05:32 PM   #1
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After driving 5 hours last weekend to a northen va. campground, which was in the mountains, as we were turning into a tight camp spot our 5er came loose from the reese hitch. Lucky we were only going 1-2 mph so damage is limited to about $5-6 K between the 5 er and our truck. Anyone else have one of these come loose? I've pulled this thing about 15K miles and this is the first problem. yes all the latches were hooked. Hitch and units are 4 years old.
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Old 07-13-2005, 05:32 PM   #2
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After driving 5 hours last weekend to a northen va. campground, which was in the mountains, as we were turning into a tight camp spot our 5er came loose from the reese hitch. Lucky we were only going 1-2 mph so damage is limited to about $5-6 K between the 5 er and our truck. Anyone else have one of these come loose? I've pulled this thing about 15K miles and this is the first problem. yes all the latches were hooked. Hitch and units are 4 years old.
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:35 PM   #3
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didn't cme loose, but I had a Reese 15K hitch and when I pulled the latch to relese the latching mechanism the handle came out and parts flew all over the place.

I replaced it with another Reese and am now getting another new Reese hitch. I personally think Reese is a great hitch. BTW - I have a 16K for sale if interested.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:02 PM   #4
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The latch to lock the release handle is the only thing keeping the jaws shut. Did this latch work out of the groove and allow the jaws to push the release handle out enough to let the king pin slip out? I've read other posts of this happening, with major damoage as you have. I use a padlock on my latch to prevent this event and to prevent pranksters from pulling the latch at rest stops, which has happened also.
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:33 AM   #5
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You stated all the latches were hooked? Was the jaws closed and the handle locked in the groove? Possible cause hi-hitch. Pin sitting on top of jaws . As other stated handle not in groove ,but jaws do not close after opening ,without pin pushing the jaws closed. If all keepers ,pins ,parts are in place and the jaws locked and having the handle in the grooved slot and locking L shaped locking keeper locked in place with wire or pad lock .Its impossible to have the pin come out as its flanged with a half inch thick flange just like the big rigs. Never heard and pin braking or the flange braking . Think about it ,investigate .You will note if you push down on one side of the jaws there will be some movement down about 1/8"FROM THE OTHER SIDE JAW PART THE WEIGHT OF THE PIN COULD HAVE HELD ALL THE TIME OF THE TRIP AND THE TURN COULD OF CAUSED THE RELEASE OF THE PIN FROM A PARTAL OK UP OF THE JAWS. You must look and make sure the pin is locked in the jaws by looking at the flange and the jaws ,some paint the jaws white .There was a poster that said his hitch let go the same way ,and Reese after much debate was said to give him a new hitch and I think it was just public relations reason,to do that .That is if that,was the truth as stated,by Him.Look in the Archives for this post and more . Skipper entry level over fifty years.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:12 PM   #6
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It's time to get a better hitch. Take a look at Pullrite 5vr hitches. Yes they are expesive but the latch mechanism is not a bar or jaws that close on one another. It actually cams all the way around the hitch pin this ensures the pin is actually hooked.
You still need to lock the hitch realease handle as others have said to keep pranksters from releaseing the hitch.
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Old 07-15-2005, 09:28 AM   #7
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I don't have any experience with any other hitches and I'm not trying to put down any of the other hitches, but... When I was cruising the internet forums while trying to decide which hitch to buy I went to the various manufacturers' web sites and tried to find diagrams of how their hitch mechanism worked. The one that I chose based on its absolute foolproof simplicity was RBW. It has a bar that shoots across behind the pin and once the bar is in place there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY, short of a catastrophic structural failure, that the trailer can come unhitched.

(Just my opinion FWIW.)
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:23 PM   #8
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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 dremelts:
I don't have any experience with any other hitches and I'm not trying to put down any of the other hitches, but... When I was cruising the internet forums while trying to decide which hitch to buy I went to the various manufacturers' web sites and tried to find diagrams of how their hitch mechanism worked. The one that I chose based on its absolute foolproof simplicity was RBW. It has a bar that shoots across behind the pin and once the bar is in place there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY, short of a catastrophic structural failure, that the trailer can come unhitched.

(Just my opinion FWIW.) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I guess that from what you have now learned, that no hitch is "Fool Proof"
You should have also learned that the bar type will wear over time do to slop and triing to hold a round peg with a straight bar
I'm NOT putting ay of the manufactures down either but if what you say is true then you had either a catastrophic failure or someone unhooked your trailer and and then replaced all of the locking pins and such or you had HIGH hitch when you hitched up and did not catch it
You make the call
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:37 PM   #9
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I read a post on one of the Dodge Ram boards the other day about having the same thing happen. My response. . .that's scary. I now check my hitch over very closely, everyday. I'm on the road with um all day every day. Be Safe.

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OTRPU
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:57 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"> I now check my hitch over very closely, everyday. I'm on the road with um all day every day. Be Safe.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I also check my connection every time I stop. My dealer, many years ago, recommended a lock on the latching handle for protection. He had a customer have his unlatched while at a rest area. Seems like some out there think that is funny. Its not that big a deal to throw a lock on the handle and it could save you a ton of money.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:18 AM   #11
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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 SuperGewl:

Well, I guess that from what you have now learned, that no hitch is "Fool Proof"
You should have also learned that the bar type will wear over time do to slop and triing to hold a round peg with a straight bar
I'm NOT putting ay of the manufactures down either but if what you say is true then you had either a catastrophic failure or someone unhooked your trailer and and then replaced all of the locking pins and such or you had HIGH hitch when you hitched up and did not catch it
You make the call </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

SuperGewl,

Are you confusing me with the original poster? I have never had a hitch failure.
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Old 08-02-2005, 05:36 AM   #12
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I have 2 Reese hitches. My first is a 15K Pro with the bar much like the RBW. I think it is a great hitch because of its simplicity and ruggedness. However, it might not be the best choice for someone that tows a LOT because of the formerly stated reason of wear. With proper lube and maintenance it works very well.
My second came on my 01 Dodge Dually. Its a 20K with a jaw design like the original poster's hitch. All of that style Reese is pretty much the same. Mine was well used and had LOTS of gease in all the pivot points to the excess. But a potential problem was that both of the springs were broken. These are very heavy springs. One keeps the jaws closed and the other drags the handle to one side to engage the groove when open. I got replacment springs from Reese and installed them with the aid of a brake spring tool.
Sorry for the long windedness but after working on the 20K hitch, I can't see how anything less than total mechanical failure or pilot error could allow the hitch to release. Putting a padlock on the latch would certainly assure that the handle couldn't be pulled accidentally or intentionally. Even if there was contact of the pin box to the handle, the handle should bend out of the way if the latch is secured.
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Old 08-02-2005, 12:59 PM   #13
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My RBW hitch is very good and I would not have another hitch. So what if the bar wears from contact with the pin, if it wears too much replace it. After more than 50,000 miles of use and a few hook ups by me where the trailer was too high which caused the open latch lock to break I had to replace the the actual top portion of my RBW hitch. The failure was noticed when the hitch refused snap closed when I backed the truck under the trailer. There was visual evidence that some wear had occurred to the locking bar. The wear was less than 1/16" deep on a 2" thick bar. Not a problem.
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:25 AM   #14
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Our inlaws had thiers come loose, the day before they sold it. He went to pick it up to wash it for the new owners. In his case, he hadn't used his rig in awhile, and he had set his hitch over to the side, under some trees, and I really think he needed to clean a grease it before he used it, but it was a short trip, (.9 mi.) so he thought he'd be fine. NOT! Too much rust/ trre sap built up. He usually pinned his handle but this one and only time he didn't. The lock mechanism didn't snap all the way closed. The only thing that kept it from getting away was the pickup bed deformed and the tailgate crunched shut, like a beer can, and it couldn't be opened anymore. He has a heck of a time getting it back up on the hitch, and when he did get it home, he had to block the wheels good and rip it thru the tailgate.

A body shop that worked on alot of boats fixed the glass so good, we knew where the bad spot was and couldn't find it. The bed had to be totally replaced.

And no, the guy didn't buy it.

Moral, I don't think this would have happened if he would have cleaned and maintained his hitch better, which I hope everyone is doing.
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