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Old 11-08-2008, 04:27 AM   #1
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Here is a trailer hitch-frame problem we had this summer.

We were towing a Saturn Vue with 2002 Holiday Rambler Vacationer...traveling on I-10 from FL to CA...occasionally we would hit a bad spot in the road; some parts of I-10 are perfect, other parts are rough owing to the expansion boundaries.

Near Phoenix (on 95 just off the I-8 bypass) we went over an abrupt low spot (almost like an inverse speed bump); we heard some loud reverberations and decided to have a look...to our amazement we found that the bottom of the frame had pulled away from frame on both sides.

We disconnected the Saturn Vue, and my wife drove it while I drove the RV...we got frame fixed temporarily at a welding shop in Woodland CA; and then resumed our trip (with Saturn Vue in tow) to OR where we had the largest heavy hitch we could find installed on the RV. The new hitch had a long reach to both the top and bottom of the RV frame; the shop beefed up the original frame and the new hitch was bolted to the top, side and bottom of the RV frame.

See pictures of the damaged frame.

First picture, right side

Second picture, hitch position while welds frame and installs gusets to additional strength to the frame.

Third picture, left side

The remainder of the trip (about 5000 miles and return to FL) with the new was trouble free.

On first look the original hitch looked rugged enough; however it was bolted only to bottom of the RV frame and I should have recognized that the hitch should have been bolted to all parts of the rear frame. It seems that as we would drive over bumps the force of the hitch-tow bar system steadily acted to put undue force to the bottom of the frame until it broke away from the main vertical section of the frame. The hitch appeared to be an aftermarket hitch and really not suited for use on an RV.

Hemi





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Old 11-08-2008, 04:27 AM   #2
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Here is a trailer hitch-frame problem we had this summer.

We were towing a Saturn Vue with 2002 Holiday Rambler Vacationer...traveling on I-10 from FL to CA...occasionally we would hit a bad spot in the road; some parts of I-10 are perfect, other parts are rough owing to the expansion boundaries.

Near Phoenix (on 95 just off the I-8 bypass) we went over an abrupt low spot (almost like an inverse speed bump); we heard some loud reverberations and decided to have a look...to our amazement we found that the bottom of the frame had pulled away from frame on both sides.

We disconnected the Saturn Vue, and my wife drove it while I drove the RV...we got frame fixed temporarily at a welding shop in Woodland CA; and then resumed our trip (with Saturn Vue in tow) to OR where we had the largest heavy hitch we could find installed on the RV. The new hitch had a long reach to both the top and bottom of the RV frame; the shop beefed up the original frame and the new hitch was bolted to the top, side and bottom of the RV frame.

See pictures of the damaged frame.

First picture, right side

Second picture, hitch position while welds frame and installs gusets to additional strength to the frame.

Third picture, left side

The remainder of the trip (about 5000 miles and return to FL) with the new was trouble free.

On first look the original hitch looked rugged enough; however it was bolted only to bottom of the RV frame and I should have recognized that the hitch should have been bolted to all parts of the rear frame. It seems that as we would drive over bumps the force of the hitch-tow bar system steadily acted to put undue force to the bottom of the frame until it broke away from the main vertical section of the frame. The hitch appeared to be an aftermarket hitch and really not suited for use on an RV.

Hemi





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Old 11-08-2008, 05:17 AM   #3
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Is that point that broke the only conection to the frame?

I went up on hidden Hitch website and the don't show that hitch for MHs. I think somebody didn't know what they were doing when they mounted that.
Try
http://www.hiddenhitch.com/
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:17 AM   #4
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That doesn't look like a factory install, it was probably an after market lash up. Not good at all... IMHO
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Motorhome Frame Failure During Towing </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good Grief!! Your title sounds like the MH frame separated from the coach body.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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There have been other reported hitch failures with the tubular type hitch.

The drop in the tube and the drop hitch adapter apply too much torque to the mount in some cases.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:17 PM   #7
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Dirk,

Yes, the tub showed evidence of twisting..., HEMI
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:43 PM   #8
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As Dirk said, the tubular Hidden Hitch has a long history of problems when used with a drop hitch adapter. It puts stress on the mounting and it breaks loose. I have talked to several people who had the same problem and two of them lost their toads.

It looks like you have a good fix and should never have another problem.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:44 PM   #9
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Interestingly enough, I was playing golf with an RVer who had a similar problem on his coach, but the hitch broke completely away and his Jeep took a solo trip out into the Wyoming wilds. Apparently, his hitch failure was identical to your's. Fortunately, he was on his way to the manufacturer's rally and they really stepped up and repaired everything (including the car) at no cost.

I came home and double checked my hitch that same day.
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:43 AM   #10
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Holiday Rambler :: Vacationer :: 2002
Holiday Rambler Vacationer 2002 Recall Notice


Defect in TRAILER HITCHES

Problem:
ON CERTAIN CLASS A MOTOR H0MES BUILT WITH GASOLINE ENGINES, THE FRAME EXTENSION LOWER FLANGE MAY CRACK ALLOWING THE HITCH TO BEND AND POSSIBLY SEPARATE FROM THE MOTOR HOME.

Result:
THIS COULD RESULT IN SEPARATION OF THE TOWED VEHICLE.

Corrective action:
DEALERS WILL ADD AN ADDITION OF TWO PIECES OF ANGLE STEEL TO THE FRAME EXTENSION AND HITCH MOUNTING POINT IN ORDER TO REINFORCE THE FRAME EXTENSION FLANGE FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 15, 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MONACO AT 877-466-6226. NOTE: THE ENDING MANUFACTURING DATE FOR INDIANA BUILT MOTOR HOMES IS MARCH 8, 2002 WHILE THE OREGON BUILT MOTOR HOMES WERE BUILT THROUGH NOVEMBER 2002. THE FEDERAL ID LABEL LOCATED ON THE WALL NEXT TO THE DRIVER'S SEAT SPECIFIES IN WHICH STATE THE MOTOR HOME WAS BUILT.

This potentially affects/affected 2086 vehicles/units.

Date owners notified by manufacturer:20070215.

Manufacturer campaign (recall) number:20070215.

Manufacturer: MONACO COACH CORPORATION.

Beginning date of manufacturing: 20000905.

End date of manufacturing:20021105.
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