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Old 05-16-2010, 04:32 PM   #1
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Angry Bent Hitch Inquiry

Just got home from a weekend of camping and after unhitching the trailer I noticed that the "sway control" ball on the hitch was bent. I wanted to know if this ever happened to anyone else and what they did to fix it. The only thing I changed during this outing was that instead of using the 3rd chain leak on the weight distribution bars I went to the 4th chain link. Would this have caused the issue? I take off the sway bar before I back up so this is the only thing I can think of. Examing the area to where it was bent it looks like there is crack so I'm going to have a local hitch shop check it out before I head out on my next outing.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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Hope that is a warrantee fix. Needs to be replaced.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:18 PM   #3
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Question; do you use the chain and bars setup, such as the Reese dual cam and the side friction sway controller, as well? I found that I didn't need the friction control after using the chains at a few different positions. That side brake must have really been tight, or you may have turned too sharply with that attached. The book recommends removing those when turning sharp corners, such as in a campground.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Yes, I use the chain and bars setup, such as the Reese dual cam and the side friction sway controller when towing. Before I do any backing I remove the sway controller arm and if I'm moving the trailer locally (Not on the freeway) I won't even put it on. Is it possible for the chain and bars and bend that side when backing up sharply? Reason I ask is that in order for me to back it into my driveway I'm at a pretty sharp angle and maybe that did it. Would trailering the trailer at the 4th chain link instead of the 3rd cause the head to bend as well? I tried to lookup a phone number to contact Reese and can't find a working number. I'm scheduled to go camping again this weekend so it looks like either I will need to get one from a RV Dealer by me or a Local Hitch Company. Any help would be appreciated so I don't repeat this mistake again? Everything went well and nothing broke until I discovered this.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:09 PM   #5
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You hit the hitch head with something, in my opinion. If the brake had been totally locked, it would have bent the brake arm or the small ball. That hitch hit something, and probably won't be covered under any warranty. Also since it is broken/bent in the up direction, I would be looking at the top of the trailer tongue to see if there was any damage there. One thing to check, hook the trailer, take it out on the street, then back it in. Have someone watch the hitch both ways. Do this with the broken hitch, not a new one that will be in your future. I would HIGHLY recommend against any repair. It appears to be cast, and is almost impossible to weld correctly.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:27 AM   #6
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You could also switch the anti sway bar to the other side and use the other ear,You will have to move the other ball as well though and i think windrider is right something hit that part of the hitch hard to break that ear like that i dont see any other damage to the hitch
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:37 AM   #7
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I have no idea what would of hit that hitch to bend it up on that side. No visible damage seen on the truck nor the trailer. I always wash the trailer before and after camping so any damange like this would of stood out. I'm going to make a few calls and stop by a few places for a hitch head replacement. Would the chains being to tight and the angle to which I was backing up bend that hitch head ear? Is it possible that maybe there was a weak spot in the metal on that ear that when the force of backing up caused it to bend? I'm just throwing these causes out there because I don't feel it was hit with something. I didn't back into anything and the truck was backed in by my camper the entire time I was camping ruling out that anybody else hit it leaving the only cause to backing up. Maybe something from the road kicked up and bent it and if that occured I'm sure there would be other damage to the trailer tongue or trailer itself. Seems to be a mystery. Anyone know of good place to get a replacement head like the one shown above??
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastlakeRoo View Post
I tried to lookup a phone number to contact Reese and can't find a working number.
Try 800-632-3290.

That is plum scary. That is an area that shouldn't have that much stress on it compared to what the tongue and trunnion bars exert.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:44 AM   #9
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Since the bars on the Reese attach to the inside of each side on the hitch, I wouldn't think the chain/bars assembly could bend the hitch out there. I think it would have had to be the friction brake attached to the ball. But, at least on mine, the thickness of the metal on the friction brake is a lot thinner than the hitch! But you have no physical damage on the brake, so it would appear something had to have hit the hitch. Is there any paint chipped, or dents/gouges in the hitch that may indicate some road hazard hitting it? I always stop in front of my house to remove all of the bars and the brake when I used to use that, before attempting to back in my rig. The instructions recommend that, also. Good luck, and hopefully, you'll figure it out! And, as stated above, you can move the brake assembly to the other side, to keep from buying a new hitch. Theyr'e not cheap! Randy
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:13 AM   #10
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I have the tech's at my local dealer plus cequent group (makers of reese, pro series, draw tight) looking at the photos shown above. None of them have ever heard of the ear bending like that. I want to reiterate that the friction brake is ALWAYS removed when backing up to prevent suck things from occuring but in my case it did without the friction brake installed. I'll keep you posted on the final outcome.
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