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Old 04-19-2016, 01:58 PM   #15
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Yes...grease on the jaws and moving parts of the plate. NOT on top of the plate.
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:53 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions, I will keep you updated on how this progresses.

As far as no grease, I was of the understanding that a lube plate replaces the need for any grease. I have never had any issues with it, heck of a lot cleaner and certainly wasn't the cause of this failure. Good idea to have it on the moving parts, I will do that.

To clarify, the jaw did not open and release the kingpin. The locking arm and jaw were in the closed and locked position and the safety pin was still installed and clipped. The kingpin popped out of the locked hitch which remained in the towing configuration. I didn't see any defects to the kingpin or the 5th wheel afterwards, which unless there is something else I haven't seen, is going to make my claim less believable.

The main gouges to the hitch plate were caused by this incident when the unsupported pin box slid back after the kingpin came out. The trailer landed on the left side rail of my truck bed and the only thing that stopped it from detaching from the truck was when the pin box impacted the closed tailgate which held.

The other scrapes to the hitch are because when I connect the trailer at the storage yard, I have to back in at about a 45 degree angle because there is another RV parked in front of my trailer. The corner of the pin box always contacts first causing the scrapes. But on the connect before this incident, I was able to back straight up to the trailer because we were at a Nascar in-field. The lower part of the pin box was in the contact zone of the hitch and the hitch raised the trailer slightly like its supposed to when I connected. Everything looked and felt normal, no light between the pin box and the hitch. And this hitch has a metal flag that blocks the safety pin from being inserted if the hitch isn't seated properly. I don't think it is possible to high pin it and still be able to get the safety pin installed, which I did. It is pretty idiot proof.

After I connected, I made several tight turns getting out of the in-field and drove about 60 miles on freeway, stop and go traffic and surface streets. If this were not connected properly, I don't think I would have made it out of the in-field, certainly not all that distance.

The comment about an 18K hitch with a 18K trailer might be the cause, but I don't think I was over weight. But good suggestion in getting a higher rated hitch than trailer. Even though I would think if you put 18,001 lbs on an 18K hitch, it wouldn't fail, I would think they are rated lower than what they can handle. I don't know what the trailer weighed. It is 15K empty and I wasn't hauling any toys, the waste tanks were empty and about half full of fresh water-50 gal = 400lb. I don't see how I could be over weight. I really believe the hitch is faulty and with enough torque on it, this can be the result. However, it could have some defect I'm not able to identify. Either way, I will never tow with this hitch or any Reese hitch again.

Speaking of, when I contacted Reese, who you would think would be very concerned about a possible product failure, they informed me that because it was factory installed by Ford, it's their problem. What?! Ford told me that if I repair or replace anything (trailer/truck/hitch) before they inspect it, they will deny and close my claim. With all this hassle, if I knew I did something incorrect, I would just chalk it up to brain fart and move on. But if I am to be believed, this hitch really failed when properly connected. If I were Ford or Reese, I would be very concerned. If I were one of you towing with a Reese hitch with my family's safety at risk, I would be terrified.

So I lose the use of my trailer and get to drive a bent truck for the minimum of two months Ford says it will take to investigate. If this thing really failed and this forces a recall, I guess it is worth it. If this hitch would have failed at freeway speeds, I'm sure the weight of that trailer would have taken my truck with it, or it would have ended up in my lap.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:12 PM   #17
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My undamaged truck and trailer...
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
You still need "some" grease on the king pin and jaws. Yes ?

The PTFE plate handles the weight, not the thrust on the pin.

You know why grease has been around for ever ? It works.
No need to get snarky there twin. I was referring to the plate as others were.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:19 PM   #19
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Nice rig. Hate to see equipment damaged.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:37 PM   #20
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Only way I can fathom the pin coming out with the jaws still in locked position, is something broke between the jaws and the locking arm.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:38 PM   #21
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wow
awaiting what ford and reeese find
it looks ODD to say the least like the pin was not seated past the jaw.
did you measure the pin in regards to the jaw.

i had my reese for over 20 years and never had a hitch king pin to pop out.
good thing you weren't hurt of loose the trailer going down the road...
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:48 PM   #22
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I have this exact hitch...they are fool proof....can't put the lock pin in unless fully seated
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:01 PM   #23
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As much as you will probably not believe it but, looking at the marks on the top of the locking jaw, and the bright metal around the bottom of the king pin, IMO it looks like you had a "High Hook" incident. Yes you drove 60 miles made several turns etc, and did not unhook. A High Hook situation might not release right away until undue stress like a tight 180 turn at you home. Also with the weight of the king pin pushing down on the locking jaw it might have looked like you had a normal hook-up when checking the locking handle from the side. With 20+ years driving semi IMO there's only one way to double check to ensure you're hook-up right and not high hooked, and that's to get right in between the truck and trailer and shine a light in on the king pin and locking jaws.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:03 PM   #24
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Yep....high hitched is still possible. ...
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:24 PM   #25
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I really do appreciate all of your inputs, even if it puts me at fault for this. I sure want to know how it happened.

I am methodical in how I hook up. Before I ever put the tailgate up after connecting, I visibly inspect to make sure the jaw is in place around the kingpin. It was, as well as every other aspect looking correct. Could it have been in a locked position and still have been high pin? With this hitch, I don't think it is possible. There is a tab inside the hitch receiver that has to be pushed forward by the kingpin to open the metal flag I mentioned that covers the safety pin slot. If the pin is too high it wont connect with the tab, it has to be properly seated to be allowed to insert the safety pin. To be honest, I can imagine what a high pin is, but don't think I've seen it. I assume it is when the pin sits too high in the hitch, but if it did that, it wouldn't be properly seated either right? There was no daylight between the hitch and lube plate and the 5th wheel was flat and level. Snickers104 if you have the same hitch, could you check that out next time you hook up? I don't think you can install the safety pin unless everything is properly seated.

If I did connect improperly, it wasn't at all clear there was anything wrong and that means I could have easily not hooked up correctly before. And if they are selling these hitches to idiot non-pro haulers, how can it look and feel connected properly in every way, and not be. That is pretty scary in itself.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:33 PM   #26
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My hitch looks exactly like your picture when latched and pinned..have you tried opening the jaws and see if anything broke?
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:37 PM   #27
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A theory I have, is that you did hook it up correctly.

It looks like some gauling on the pin and jaw.

If the pin bit into the steel gouge in the hitch, it could have screwed itself up thru the hitch.

The underside of the hitch needs to be examined for bent pins or bushings on the jaw hinges.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:03 PM   #28
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Could it have been in a locked position and still have been high pin? With this hitch, I don't think it is possible.
Any hitch can be high pinned...even a pro grade big rig SAF-Holland or a Holland/Binkley or any RV hitch brands or jaw types.

Quote:
If the pin is too high it wont connect with the tab, it has to be properly seated to be allowed to insert the safety pin. To be honest, I can imagine what a high pin is, but don't think I've seen it. I assume it is when the pin sits too high in the hitch, but if it did that, it wouldn't be properly seated either right?
A high pin is when the bottom of the pin just contacts the hitch jaws enough to close it as your backing under the pin. The jaws can close with the normal clunk and from all appearances looks like a normal hook up.
However as others have said the pin is setting on top of the jaws and with 3500-4000 lbs of weight it may take a while before the pin slides off the top of the jaws.
A tug test and a actual visual will catch a high pin. A high pin may pass a tug test but the visual will catch it.

The loading yard I sub'ed in had a rule. If you were caught not doing the tug test and a visual you were fired on the spot.
Tug test is best before the trailer is lowered on the truck. The visual is to confirm the pins flange is below the jaws and the jaws are closed. This can only be done from behind and under the pin box. High pins happen....even to pros when we get lax in our hooking up procedures. Yeah I've had it happen....but I caught it before drive away.

With all the scars on the top of the jaws and hitch plate and pin it will be interesting to hear what Ford and Reese have to say.
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