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Old 05-23-2016, 11:59 PM   #85
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Must be a faulty flag/ pin hole for it to latch and NOT be locked. Only issue we have is UNHOOKING trailer, the jaws will NOT release when handle is pulled out. I use a rubber tarp strap to HOLD handle out when unhooking trailer. All these comments certainly make me doubt my choice of hitch. Never liked the TOTALLY welded design. Can not be adjusted or disassembled.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:40 AM   #86
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Have been watching your post closely since you started it, as I have the exact same hitch, I have had a almost identical concern with my hitch. While heading to Arizona last fall with new truck and new hitch, after hooking up the second day, everything went normal, or so I thought. We put on 600 miles that day, and the whole day we experienced excessive noise and chucking on rough interstate sections. We unhooked that night and rehooked the next day, and we experienced no noise or chucking that day.
What I realized that day scared the heck out of me!! The hitch wasn't completely closed the day before, but how can that be?? The lock pin was in place! Does the hitch have a primary or secondary latch? Not that I could see. But from that day forward I made sure to look and see that the actual hook was closed the same as it was with no pin in it after tripping it by a hammer handle. The conversation about the mid hitch hookup is making sense to me now. Now I make sure to adjust the trailer height so that the pin skid plate hits mid ramp behind the latch opening forcing the head and truck down to make sure the plate and head are tight together as to not hit the jaw at a angle with the pin. I'm thinking that one day I hit it too high and the head and pin were not quite parallel, it tripped the latch and flag and bounced back because the head wasn't flat against the pin plate.
I've had no problem since but now I'm concerned since I am installing a flex air pin box and the unloaded angle of the pin isn't flat until you load it or let the air out of the bag.
I like you still have no explanation why the lock pin will go in without being latched fully, looks like a area Reese needs to seriously look into. Maybe if enough people find this a problem, it will force a recall
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:48 AM   #87
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This morning I read again this entire post, looked again at your pictures and realized exactly what I had done that day that I had all the noise and chucking. I had mid pinned my hitch, the jaw closed but didn't latch, and I installed the pin in the hole in the lever but missed the flag hole as the lever wasn't all the way in. Unbelievable that I had done that but now I see how. The biggest reason I bought the Reese hitch was because of the puck design direct to the frame and the wrap around jaw design which is supposed to be safer than 2 half jaws. Now I'm not sticking up for Reese but that design saved my butt that day, but realizing it wasn't latched still gives me nightmares. The only thing keeping the jaw closed was the spring tension of the head mechanism. I can see that in the right turning circumstance it could force the jaw open and unhook the pin, then snap shut again. Kind of like pulling with a open hook tow rope, fine when you're pulling on the hook but comes unhooked when coasting or turning.
Now knowing what happened, I've regained a little more confidence in the hitch, but I am going to be much more careful with the flag and pin system. I bought a tire step to gain a better visual angle of the flag and pin system and will make sure the arm is all the way in by marking a line on the arm when it fully engaged. I think most of my problem was a bad visual angle, reaching over a dually fender and box side on tip toes to put the pin in.
In closing I hope Reese is following this post and realize this is happening and come up with a updated design for the flag system that can't possibly be left not latched properly. It needs a double latch gate on the arm to insure that the arm is fully engaged and can't install a latch pin or padlock until that is achieved, something similar to Pulrite's system.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:58 PM   #88
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Haha, no I wouldn't trade a China hitch for a Mexico hitch, but with my Reese, the base legs were made in Mexico and the 5th wheel was made in China, worst of both worlds. Also the other comment about being hard to disconnect the Reese sometimes. I found once you are stopped, if you can't pull the handle to disconnect it's because the kingpin is putting pressure on the jaw mechanism. If you move your truck just a little in the opposite direction you stopped in, that will release this pressure putting it in a more centered neutral position and the handle usually releases easily then.

Let me try to explain a little better because I think this is such a potential danger for those who have this type hitch. I'm not even completely jamming just Reese, but mainly this single jaw hitch design. The handle/jaw will not fully close unless the hitch is properly seated and the tab inside the hitch well is pressed forward by the kingpin. The metal flag on my hitch is not faulty, as I said, the hitch itself is not even mechanically faulty, it's the design that can allow this to happen.

What happens in a mid-pin with this hitch, is the handle/jaw closes, within about 3/4" of completely, but stays open enough for the safety pin hole to not yet reach that metal flag that slides under the safety pin hole, blocking you from inserting the safety pin. When the handle/jaw is fully open, you could put the safety pin in if you wanted to, but it is just going thru the handle. The issue is, you are able to put the safety pin in at any position from fully open to all but 3/4" closed. The only time you wouldn't be able to put the safety pin in, is when the hole is over that metal flag with the handle/jaw between 3/4" open to completely closed. When its fully closed and seated properly, the kingpin presses the tab inside the hitch well and moves the metal flag from beneath the safety pin hole so you can insert the safety pin. Any other time, you can insert the safety pin, but it is just going thru the handle serving no purpose. Well, except for blocking your handle/jaw 3/4" open when it hits that closed metal flag. You would think that even being open 3/4" it wouldn't come apart, but under the right circumstances like I was in, stopping in the middle of a tight left U-turn and then restarting, that put enough torque and twist on this partially open hitch to allow the kingpin to pop out.

That's why this is easily missed and so dangerous. You will see the handle closed and jaw around the kingpin. Unless you are measuring it, or marking the fully closed position like Snappy said (great idea), it looks properly closed. In this incident when I connected, I know the pin box was lower than the hitch plate, and rode up it as I backed in. I always get out and double check when they are just about touching to make sure the pin box is at the right level and lined up straight. It still didn't seat correctly and mid-pinned, which caused the jaw to jam against the kingpin, not allowing it to completely close. Maybe I backed in too hard and it bounced up a bit as the jaw was closing, I just don't know how this could happen. But I was still able to insert the safety pin because even though almost closed, the safety pin hole had not yet reached the metal flag, so I was just inserting the pin thru the handle like I could have when the handle/jaw were fully open, or anywhere in between. All that did was insure the handle/jaw would stay blocked open, when otherwise it would have probably seated with the movement once I started towing. Double defectiveness.

I hope that helps explain and pray none of you or people who have these and don't even know of the danger, get hurt. For the first time I used my brand new (see below) Curt 24K (half the price of a Reese 26K), to tow my trailer to be repaired. I love it! It has a window where you can see color coded positions the handle/jaws are in. Red is fully open, yellow is ready to couple and green is fully coupled with jaws locked. And I say jaws, because it has two jaws that come together after wrapping around the kingpin. Never ever another single jaw hitch for me. The safety clip can only be installed if the jaw is fully open (red) or fully closed and locked (green), because there are indents in the handle in these positions that the safety clip has to set down into. Because of that, I don't see how it is possible to make the same mistake with this hitch. It was a snap to hookup and disconnect, very clean and complete handle/jaw movements.

I think I will send this whole thread to Reese and Ford now that I think this is the cause. Maybe they will give a crap then, but I doubt it. Be safe!
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Old 05-24-2016, 07:04 PM   #89
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Ok.....I now understand what happened. I tried doing this with my hitch and I DO see what you mean now. Thinking about selling mine and getting a B&W .
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:47 AM   #90
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I do love my B&W Patriot... this hitch is rock solid and is made in the USA.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:48 AM   #91
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Great choice on the hitch. I have been extremely happy with my Curt. Face it, it is a global economy. Why do these products suck? The guy complaining about foreign products (cummins) has a truck that was built in Mexico, but I don't see his bashing RAM on here. Just sayin....
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:02 PM   #92
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What's that saying, If it saves just one life it's worth it! So glad this thread will at least make some aware of a potential danger, and help prevent it from happening to them. I looked at the B&W and talked to my hitch guy, he said it and the Curt were both solid good hitches, made in the good ole USA. I went with the Curt because I think the B&W didn't have one rated as high for weight, being 24K. Don't know if I will ever need one rated that high, but figured bigger was better. I know a lot of people are happy with their Reese hitch, I was told the 26K I had was the beefiest and best hitch out there. It might be, but I think I've covered the design flaw I didn't know it had, which could have been fatal.

For your viewing pleasure, I have attached photos of my truck and trailer that were involved here. Both 2015, Ford F-350 dually and Cyclone 4100. Thank you for all of your suggestions and input on here, it has been very helpful. Best wishes for your fun and safe travels!
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:35 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by raineman View Post
Great choice on the hitch. I have been extremely happy with my Curt. Face it, it is a global economy. Why do these products suck? The guy complaining about foreign products (cummins) has a truck that was built in Mexico, but I don't see his bashing RAM on here. Just sayin....
My RAM is "assembled" in Mexico. I wish it was not. But it is built with mostly US made parts.

Just compare the Curt and B&W side by side that is enough to decide B&W. B&W is simple and solid to hitch. I have hitched RAM/Curt and it has to be just right, the relative that has the RAM 25K does NOT like his.

Ask anyone that has had a Curt then went to a B&W they will tell you the B&W is by far a better hitch. You won't hear the opposite.

Both are 25K.

Curt 4 grade 8 "maybe" bolts holding head. B&W 8 grade 8 US Made made bolts.

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Old 05-25-2016, 07:42 PM   #94
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Tombstoner, your hitch guy is full of Barbara Streisand if he is telling you your new Curt hitch is Made in "good ol USA".

Don't believe me???? Please call curt and report back. Their web site is VERY deceiving. ALL Curt 5er hitches are MADE IN CHINA.

Let me know what you find out.

I would use a 20K B&W in a Ford truck any day before I would use the higher "RATED" Curt or even the REESE that is Mexican Made.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:12 PM   #95
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Vindication!

I received notice from my amazing insurance company USAA, that they have made a final determination that I am NOT at fault in this incident! I knew I wasn't but finally having them believe me and say it is incredible. I guess all my time on this was worth it.

They are arranging to have their engineer inspect the hitch and if he believes that this incident was caused by a manufacturer design issue, then USAA is going after Ford for the damages. The fact that a Reese technical department employee is the one who told me about this mid-pin possibility with this hitch had a lot to do with their decision. Reese basically admits there is a design flaw which can allow for the hitch to not connect properly, and that is virtually undetectable until it comes apart. Understanding how this happened, I know that it is very possible my trailer could have disconnected at any time, including freeway speeds, and the results could have been fatal. Why would a manufacturer continue to sell a hitch they know has a possible fatal defect?!?

If Ford continues to sell this hitch after my incident and notification, they are equally complicit when someone gets killed because of this faulty hitch design. I'll make sure that is known far and wide. So I'm sure the end of this story will be months or years down the road, if it is headed for litigation. But, I'm not at fault, I didn't do anything wrong. Reese makes a worthless, possibly deadly hitch. If you have one and this doesn't convince you to replace it, that is truly a shame.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:36 PM   #96
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Something I forgot to mention to the OP-your truck is beautiful. Thought you should know.
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Old 05-29-2016, 05:43 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Tombstoner View Post
I received notice from my amazing insurance company USAA, that they have made a final determination that I am NOT at fault in this incident! I knew I wasn't but finally having them believe me and say it is incredible. I guess all my time on this was worth it.

They are arranging to have their engineer inspect the hitch and if he believes that this incident was caused by a manufacturer design issue, then USAA is going after Ford for the damages. The fact that a Reese technical department employee is the one who told me about this mid-pin possibility with this hitch had a lot to do with their decision. Reese basically admits there is a design flaw which can allow for the hitch to not connect properly, and that is virtually undetectable until it comes apart. Understanding how this happened, I know that it is very possible my trailer could have disconnected at any time, including freeway speeds, and the results could have been fatal. Why would a manufacturer continue to sell a hitch they know has a possible fatal defect?!?

If Ford continues to sell this hitch after my incident and notification, they are equally complicit when someone gets killed because of this faulty hitch design. I'll make sure that is known far and wide. So I'm sure the end of this story will be months or years down the road, if it is headed for litigation. But, I'm not at fault, I didn't do anything wrong. Reese makes a worthless, possibly deadly hitch. If you have one and this doesn't convince you to replace it, that is truly a shame.
I get slammed all the time for saying that there is something wrong with a lot of REESE hitches. Most all the trucks with bed damage are REESE that I have seen.

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Old 05-29-2016, 12:24 PM   #98
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Just wanted to say thanks. Reading this post made me more aware of the possibility of hooking up wrong. Made me check & double check my hookup and I caught a high pin hookup that I might not have noticed before this thread. Will be much more careful and double check myself from now on..............thanks
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