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Old 10-20-2015, 05:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rlhembel View Post
Has anyone had a problem with the base plate bolts sheering off from the tow vehicle chassis, causing the entire base plate to fall away from the tow vehicle including the bumper of the tow vehicle?
I suspect your installer did not use thread lock or torque the bolts as stated in instructions. I have installed over 15 Roadmaster tow brackets and never had a problem with any bolts coming coming loose or bolts shearing. The bolts shearing was probly caused by it being loose working back and forth.

Walt & Will
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by walt2137 View Post
I suspect your installer did not use thread lock or torque the bolts as stated in instructions. I have installed over 15 Roadmaster tow brackets and never had a problem with any bolts coming coming loose or bolts shearing. The bolts shearing was probly caused by it being loose working back and forth.

I agree 100% as I said in my post, these things happen because of poor installation. Use the proper grade bolts, torque to spec and use a thread lock. They will be there forever.

Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:28 PM   #17
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I inspect both the baseplate and the tow bars once a year. I re-torque the base plate bolts and disassemble the tow bar and check for cracks.
2012 Jayco Greyhawk FK
Flat towing 2008 Miata
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:11 PM   #18
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i installed roadmaster base plate on my honda fit in 2012, no issues so far. op's issue is very unusual, maybe due to: 1) the installer over torqued and severely damaged the bolts; 2) your toad is extremely heavy the shearing force exceeded the bolt material's limitation; but unlikely. just a guess.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:41 AM   #19
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Most of you are missing the point. When things are bolted together, the idea is to squeeze them together tightly enough that they don't move. Bolt shear is not what keeps them from moving, the friction between the two parts is what stops the sliding.

If the force on the joint exceeds the friction force, the parts move in relation to each other, wearing off a little bit of material, making the next slide easier and so on. Eventually the movement starts elongating holes and hammering the bolt and unscrewing the nut. The end result is the joint comes apart.

The way to prevent this is to use the best bolts possible and as many bolts as possible. In the case of base plates, substituting Grade 8 bolts torqued to 100 ft lb (for 1/2 inch bolts) with hardened flat washers instead of the supplied Grade 5 at 60 ft lb increases the clamping force by 50%.

And then there are the split lock washers supplied by Roadmaster. About 30 years ago, a NASA study reached this conclusion:
The lockwasher serves as a spring while the bolt is being
tightened. However, the washer is normally flat by the time
the bolt is fully torqued. At this time it is equivalent to a solid
flat washer, and its locking ability is nonexistent. In summary,
a Iockwasher of this type is useless for locking
Another study showed that the split lockwasher was actually worse than no washer at all and made the joint deteriorate faster.

That's why you won't see any split washers on Cars, Trucks, Airplanes or almost any modern equipment. The combination of proper bolt selection and hardened flat washers are far superior to split lockwashers. And you won't see anything in your owner's manual about retorquing all the fasteners on your car every 3,000 miles. Why the RV industry persists in using split lockwashers is a mystery.

They best thing anyone can do is throw away all the grade 5 bolts and nuts and lockwashers provided with your baseplate and replace them with Grade 8 nuts and bolts and hardened flat washers and torque them properly.
John McKinley
2007 Damon Daybreak 3060, Ford 16,000# Chassis,
Ford C-Max Hybrid Toad , Suzuki V Strom 1000cc
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:55 PM   #20
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I agree, grade 8 bolts and nuts, flat washers, locktite and double nuts, if you have room. I believe the factory bumper of my 95 Wrangler will come loose before the tow plate!
Happy Trails!

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