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Old 08-10-2012, 07:03 AM   #1
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reese sidewinder problems

have had a reese sidewinder for about a year, took first long trip, and pivot was groaning, i called support and the guy said to loosen bolts, and spray a little lube, (using a "straw") to get in the tight space..... it worked, for less than 100 miles, after that, it groans worse than before. called tech support again, different guy, said it doesn't need lube, did i screw up lubing in the first place ? oh yeah, the first guy said to torque the 4 bolts to 70 lbs, the second guy said 45 lbs.... googled manual, says 45 lbs, anyway, any ideas how to get rid of groaning and stiffness of pivot point ?
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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I asked dealer to install a sidewinder on my rv, but mine is a quick and nimble. apparently reese acquired the brand after I bought mine, in 2008. Dealer said it will take about 500 miles of towing before it gets loose enough for me to swing it out of the way after unhitching, to prevent head injuries and such to those kids who like to fride their bikes near it. I have even had the dealer recheck it. I have towed my rv around 1000 miles since buying the new king pin assembly and it still cannopt be swung out of the way when not in use. Once I did get it to swing out of the way, but had extreme trouble getting it back where it needed to be for hitching to truck, and dsamaged my front compartment door in the process. I havde concluded that the sidewinder I have is a very good product for shorter bed trucks. I wish now, that I spent a bit more money and bought the model with shock absorption.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by still-learnin View Post
I asked dealer to install a sidewinder on my rv, but mine is a quick and nimble. apparently reese acquired the brand after I bought mine, in 2008. Dealer said it will take about 500 miles of towing before it gets loose enough for me to swing it out of the way after unhitching, to prevent head injuries and such to those kids who like to fride their bikes near it. I have even had the dealer recheck it. I have towed my rv around 1000 miles since buying the new king pin assembly and it still cannopt be swung out of the way when not in use. Once I did get it to swing out of the way, but had extreme trouble getting it back where it needed to be for hitching to truck, and dsamaged my front compartment door in the process. I havde concluded that the sidewinder I have is a very good product for shorter bed trucks. I wish now, that I spent a bit more money and bought the model with shock absorption.
You may need to loosen the main pivot nut and pry the pinbox down and lube both sides of the wear plate per instructions on pg 7 of manual.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 10K Revolution Sidewinder Instructions.pdf (532.2 KB, 1525 views)
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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You may need to loosen the main pivot nut and pry the pinbox down and lube both sides of the wear plate per instructions on pg 7 of manual.
UPDATE: Just loosened the pivot nut down about 1/2" and found out you don't pry the hitchpin down. Ended up hooking a 5,000# cargo load strap to it and my truck and finally got it turned 90°. Still couldn't get it to turn without wrapping a rawhide strap around the hitchpin and using a 24" pipe wrench with a 3' cheater bar on it and working it back and forth at least 10 times it finally dropped down about 3/8". Enough to use a spray can of lithium grease and a straw to thoroughly lube the entire surfaces of the wear plate and the pinbox. Finally got it all tightened and now to see if it helps. We've towed this trailer over 2,000 miles and the hitchpin still would not swivel by hand, so what the dealers tell us that it will loosen up in 500 miles is not quite correct. We are getting ready to tow from Concord, NC to Hershey, PA in about 3 wks and will see what happens. Would have loved to have been able to drop the hitch pin completely off the pivot bolt and lube the bolt also, but I just gave up after spending 2 hrs doing what little I did. Might try it again when I get some assistance when my son gets back from PA.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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so far, i've just loosened the 4 bolts at the pivot point (on top of turrent), it drops down about 1/4 in, and allows to lube with a straw in a white lith grease can. this solves the groaning, but less than 100 miles, then the groaning starts again. when bolts are loosened, i can easily rotate the sidewinder from side to side. went to colorado for a month and put on 4k miles, and had to loosen and lube every stop. next thing i'll try, is take everything apart, lube turrent and wear plate, and try again.........
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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My Sidewinder Experience

I have used a Sidewinder for 3 seasons. If you tighten the touret holding bolts to 45 foot pounds, as recommended by Reese, you cannot easily rotate the king pin box (the box (arm) the king pin is mounted on). I made a long pole from a shovel handle that i can use to rotate the king pin arm. I must use this pole to rotate the box (arm). If you can rotate the box (arm) I suggest you have not tightened the holding bolts enough and may create a safety problem with this hitch system.
Overall, I believe this hitch system is not safe. I would not recommend its purchase.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:51 PM   #7
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...Overall, I believe this hitch system is not safe. I would not recommend its purchase.
But yet you use it? Your belief of it being an unsafe system is based on what engineering/testing you have participated in by registered engineers? Please furnish facts/testing data to support your claim.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
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sidewinder

turns out I got bad info from a tech...... he told me to tighten bolts to 70lbs... at the time, I didn't have a torque wrench, and he said to tighten as much as it could. (at 6'2" and 300 lbs, it was pretty dang tight) it made all kinds of groaning and noise when turning......... called reese, they said 45 lbs...... and shouldn't have to lube...... anyway, got a torque wrench when I got home and went to 45 lbs, works like a charm........ I just check bolts with torque wrench after driving a few hundred miles, (when reach destination)....... only drawback to the sidewinder hitch is..... have to align perfect to hitch, and not have hitch in any bind when unhitching....... overall can't complain since I got the bugs worked out, and peace of mind when jackin' into a tight place, not worry about blowin' out the back window..... at 45 lbs...... I can move the king pin a little buy hand, but not "spin" it from side to side, reese said that is what to expect........ thanx for your response.......... greg
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #9
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turns out I got bad info from a tech...... he told me to tighten bolts to 70lbs... at the time, I didn't have a torque wrench, and he said to tighten as much as it could. (at 6'2" and 300 lbs, it was pretty dang tight) it made all kinds of groaning and noise when turning......... called reese, they said 45 lbs...... and shouldn't have to lube...... anyway, got a torque wrench when I got home and went to 45 lbs, works like a charm........ I just check bolts with torque wrench after driving a few hundred miles, (when reach destination)....... only drawback to the sidewinder hitch is..... have to align perfect to hitch, and not have hitch in any bind when unhitching....... overall can't complain since I got the bugs worked out, and peace of mind when jackin' into a tight place, not worry about blowin' out the back window..... at 45 lbs...... I can move the king pin a little buy hand, but not "spin" it from side to side, reese said that is what to expect........ thanx for your response.......... greg
Other than the bolts that attach the pin box to the trailer, I only have 1 nut that can be tightened. Had it inspected in Goshen by the 2 engineers that designed the hitch and they took it apart, cleaned it and DID NOT LUBE IT, put it back together and it hasn't made a sound and we towed it another 3000 miles. Still can't move it by hand. Have no problems aligning it from an angle or unhooking on an angle. BTW, the large pivot nut is supposed to be torqued to 80 lb/ft and then tightened to the next slot in the castellated nut and pinned.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:18 PM   #10
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I have to ask, since I don't know. Is the Sidewinder hitch similar to, or the same as, the Reese Revolution hitch?
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