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Old 08-24-2007, 12:19 PM   #1
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We have a 2002 Itasca U35 Suncruiser with 56000+ miles. Two days ago, after leaving Teslin, Yukon Territory on our return home, we travelled about 10 miles and heard a scraping sound.

A quick check in the rear camera disclosed a wandering toad. We stopped immediately and went to check. We found that the hitch had dropped down on the passenger side. When we stopped, the momentum of the toad bent the hitch in and down.

We have a regular receiver hooked in addition to a drop hitch to accomodate the Blue Ox tow. Both have keyed pins and I could not get either off due to a bad back and the wife couldn't get them un-hooked.

I found some assistance who did manage to get the hitches disconnected and we drove separately the 100+ miles to Watson Lake.

There I found a shop (Watson Lake Auto) and the gentleman who runs bay 5 said he could fix it. He leases the bay and, I am sorry to say, I didn't think to get his name but he was a lifesaver.

He dismounted the hitch from the frame and showed me that the bolts holding it to the frame on the right side had FALLEN OUT. He also said this was the second Winne product he had repaired for the same problem.

He showed me two steel spacers which were placed between the hitch and the frame and which had been mis-installed. They were not totally on and in fact, just slid over the mounting bolts. These came off the left side...the two for the right side had fallen off some where along the line.

When they finally slipped off, it left the bolts totally loose and they dropped their nuts (they were still in the frame channel) which BTW, were the lowest grade possible. The bolts fell out and, hence the problem.

I advise all owners to at least check the hitch mounting to make sure it is tight and secure.

I do NOT claim any liability to Winne. After all it was merely a potentially dangerous glitch and the hitch is somethng that should be checked periodically by the owner.
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:19 PM   #2
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mesa, AZ USA
Posts: 1,806
We have a 2002 Itasca U35 Suncruiser with 56000+ miles. Two days ago, after leaving Teslin, Yukon Territory on our return home, we travelled about 10 miles and heard a scraping sound.

A quick check in the rear camera disclosed a wandering toad. We stopped immediately and went to check. We found that the hitch had dropped down on the passenger side. When we stopped, the momentum of the toad bent the hitch in and down.

We have a regular receiver hooked in addition to a drop hitch to accomodate the Blue Ox tow. Both have keyed pins and I could not get either off due to a bad back and the wife couldn't get them un-hooked.

I found some assistance who did manage to get the hitches disconnected and we drove separately the 100+ miles to Watson Lake.

There I found a shop (Watson Lake Auto) and the gentleman who runs bay 5 said he could fix it. He leases the bay and, I am sorry to say, I didn't think to get his name but he was a lifesaver.

He dismounted the hitch from the frame and showed me that the bolts holding it to the frame on the right side had FALLEN OUT. He also said this was the second Winne product he had repaired for the same problem.

He showed me two steel spacers which were placed between the hitch and the frame and which had been mis-installed. They were not totally on and in fact, just slid over the mounting bolts. These came off the left side...the two for the right side had fallen off some where along the line.

When they finally slipped off, it left the bolts totally loose and they dropped their nuts (they were still in the frame channel) which BTW, were the lowest grade possible. The bolts fell out and, hence the problem.

I advise all owners to at least check the hitch mounting to make sure it is tight and secure.

I do NOT claim any liability to Winne. After all it was merely a potentially dangerous glitch and the hitch is somethng that should be checked periodically by the owner.
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:42 AM   #3
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Pat, thanks for reminding us to check all bolts in these critical areas on a routine basis. Glad to hear that there was no major damage or anyone injured from the reciever coming loose. Take care and have a great summer.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:17 AM   #4
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FYI, in 2003 I bought an Itasca Spirit and during inspection found two hitch bolts loose.. I subsequently traded it for an 04 Journey and found no problem with those hitch bolts.
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