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Old 05-12-2022, 05:35 PM   #1
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Angry Hitch on Dodge promaster 2022 chassis

I bought a 2022 Winnebago Travato on a 2021 Dodge 3500 pro-master chassis. The hitch is rated for 3500 lbs towing, 350 lbs tongue weight. I put a Hamar AL 300 handicap vehicle Lift that weighs 105 lbs, with a swingaway system (so you can swing the lift out of the way to open the rear doors) that weighs 40Lbs, and carried a Pride Victory 10 electric scooter that weighs 185 lbs, for a total; weight of 330 lbs. THE HITCH BENT!!! on a 1050 mile trip, and worse, Winnebago is saying they won't warranty the hitch. Now, there is nothing in the book, or on the hitch stating do not use with a system to carry a power wheelchair or scooter, and I had this system on a Jeep Wrangler with a 3500 Lb rated hitch with no problems for over 3 years when we towed it behind our 40 foot bus. Needless to say, I am more than a little bent out of shaped at Winnebago right now! Anyone have any suggestions or opinions on whether or not I did something wrong here?
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:27 PM   #2
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If it's worth the money to you, I'd speak with a lawyer.
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU (sold @ ????) - 2016 Sunstar 26HE (sold @ 4600 miles) - 2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)
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Old 05-14-2022, 07:27 AM   #3
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There's a difference between 350 pounds right on the hitch ball and 350 pounds a couple feet or more from the hitch. The torque created by the load being extended from the hitch can greatly exceed the rating.
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Old 05-14-2022, 07:35 AM   #4
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Yes, hanging 350# out 2 feet from the ball doubles the stress on the hitch due to the increase lever arm.

Put a 4# bag of sugar directly on your fist and you can carry it fine. Now hang the bag of sugar on a 2 foot long stick and see the additional stress on your wrist.

And to compound the issue, running down the road adds additional dynamic loading on the hitch which can be several times more than the static load.

If you look at the hitches on your other vehicles, you will see that they are more robust where they attach to the frame. The Travato is a light duty vehicle.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot, retired mechanical engineer
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:34 PM   #5
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Isn't the hitch a chassis component? Unless Winnebago installed the hitch, it seems like your beef is with Stelantis or whoever owns Dodge these days. Maybe that is why Winnebago won't do anything?

I hope you can find a good fabricator to install a stout enough hitch for your needs. Good luck!

Currently: 2018 Midwest Automotive Designs Weekender MD2 (Sprinter 3500 ext 170 wheelbase) Previous rigs: 2014 Itasca Cambria Class C; 2000 MCI 4500e bus conv. American Coach; 2007 Fleetwood Rev. class A; 1990 Prevost XL bus conv. by Country Coach
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Old 05-16-2022, 03:57 AM   #6
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Hitch update

1. The hitch was put on by Winnebago at the factory. It's an after market hitch made to fit the Travato by Curt.

2. I had this Hamar lift on 3 different vehicles, 2 of which were 3500 lb rated, one a 2017 Jeep Wrangler, the other a travel trailer with a factory hitch - a Forest River Rockwood 2109S trailer, with ZERO issues.

3. The Winnebago dealer knew I needed something stout enough to carry my mobility scooter, and THEY INSTALLED IT FOR ME.

4. There is a half page in Winnebago's manual about towing cars and trailers, NOTHING about these lift devices, yet they still deny it's warranty, that it is my fault. In fact, Winnebago said take it up with the dealer, who is the one who sent me to Winnebago!
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Old 05-16-2022, 06:18 AM   #7
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It's a shame someone installed a hitch without understanding your load requirements. I wouldn't use the fact that you got away with overloading the hitch on other vehicles as an argument for why you should be able to do it on your van. And exceeding the weight capacity of a hitch by at least double is not going to be covered under warranty. Chalk this up to a lesson learned.
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chassis, dodge, hitch

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