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Old 10-29-2015, 01:48 PM   #21
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I'd need a few more pictures or maybe one of the whole part to tell for sure, but INHO that failure didn't happen just because you were pulling out of a parking lot... that problem started years ago and not from normal usage... the weld didn't break, the weld pulled away the "parent material".... meaning it ripped away from the original steel tubing or plate.
Hitches are put into a bind when we put load on them.... not load as in weight, but leverage as in trying to back up or pull ahead while turning.
My guess is that someone jack-knifed that hitch at one time and it ripped almost to failure years ago.... and it just let go on you this trip.
I'm glad no one was hurt and you got yourself all fixed up and on your way.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:06 PM   #22
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Ok, so my mechanical engineering brain (Aerospace Engineering to be exact) points this issue to be a direct result of not only improper maintenance, but also metal fatigue and possibly a defect during the manufacturing process.

It appears that the rust permiated very deep throughout the entire weld assembly. It also appears that the set screw was torqued consitantly causing outward pressure from the adjustment washer retaining bolt. (the wear point on the shank in the picture). What probably happened was once the rust started creeping into the weld, it caused a hair line fracture. As you consistanly torque the set screw to keep it tight, you were inadvertently causing the crack to become larger and larger. This eventually fatigued the metal causing a catastrophic failure. Think of it like you were slowly wedging the plates apart each time you torqued the set screw to tighten it.

The indications that this occured is due to the more widespread rust on the lower outer corners while the upper edges appear to be what failed last. This would be consistant with a slow uppward pressure tear originating from the mid-bottom.

I've rotated the picture to give a better view of how the damage looks.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:20 PM   #23
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Just to add in my two cents worth. We've owned an equalizer hitch for well over 15 years now and it has towed everything from my house trailers, to my race car trailers. I feel overwhelming confidence when I'm towing with that hitch. Of course, my other half is also diligent in maintenance and checks everything over from front to back, top to bottom before I'm allowed to leave with a vehicle. Last year , we purchased a ball trailer and used the chain type hitches and load bars to tow it while my husband towed the car trailer with the equalizer. I felt so unsafe towing with the other set up. We've since sold the trailer and returned to 5th wheels and still use the Equalizer to tow the race car. I've not heard of anyone having the same problem that you've had. I'm so thankful that your damage wasn't more severe but I also think that when you see rust around joints on welds, it would behoove us to check them out to ensure that there isn't a deeper problem.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:24 PM   #24
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I lost a trailer once, at highway speed. Seems the nut that holds on the ball underneath came loose and the ball came off. Trailer went with it.
The chains held, but I was dragging the trailer on the interstate until I could stop. The trouble is that if you stop with a loose trailer, the trailer is still moving> I had to slow down while watching this trailer in my mirror always threatening to ram me from behind.
Good news was that I got a new nut (at 3 in the morning no less) and was on my way with minimal damage.
Moral of the story...If this happens to you, keep your cool and maintain control. Second advice...check the torque on the ball nut!
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #25
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Third advice...carry an extra ball.... there like $20
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:45 PM   #26
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I have that exact same set up for my bumper pull toy hauler and my car hauler. I'm going to agree a little bit with IronCobra...
My hitch system uses the stabilizing arms that slip into the hitch housing and attaches by a couple chains to the trailer tongue. The hitch bolts to the stinger by a couple of high strength bolts and pivots a little bit until the whole thing is adjusted correctly.
When the whole thing is adjusted properly, there is little that can go wrong. But that weld didn't just fail...it was made to fail long ago by improper use or adjustment at sometime in it's life....
I'm glad no one was hurt and no real damage happened...
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:31 PM   #27
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Can anyone here identify this as an Equalizer hitch? If you do what model is it?+ I am curious I would like to see this first hand, both pieces of the break.
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:39 PM   #28
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We had a similar experience with a MH towing an 18' cabin cruiser. The hitch was a factory installed receiver type with a 2" ball. On returning home on the interstate, we heard metal scraping and thought a tail pipe had come loose. We slowed down gradually and got to the shoulder. On inspection, the hitch had failed and dropped the boat trailer onto the caster jack. We cranked the boat off of the hitch and then lifted the hitch up and it completely broke off the camper. The safety chains were attached the the part that broke off. The gods were with us on that day.
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:38 PM   #29
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Catastrophic Equalizer hitch failure

The pictures are both sides of the break. One side shows the shank, and other is the ball mount. The ball mount is cast steel and it is welded to the bracket that attaches to the shank. It is a 10,000 lb Equalizer brand hitch installed by RV Wholesalers when I bought the trailer. It has never been jackknifed or in an accident of any type.

The 3/4" bolts go down thru the ball mount and then thru the bar sockets. When the weld failed, the ball mount dropped down and back and sheared off the bolts. They were laying on the street beneath the trailer.

Equalizer wanted the hitch back from the dealer that replaced it, so I don't have it anymore. Had the accident been worse I would have held on to it. They offer to do anything but replace the head. This picture shows the ball mount with the broken weld on the back.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:23 PM   #30
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This is why I have a Blue Ox Swaypro hitch.
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