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Old 02-12-2019, 12:07 PM   #1
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Hitch receiver- bolt or weld?

I own a 2014 Sanibel and just bought a Curt adjustable hitch receiver to mount on the back frame. Has anyone bolted a receiver to the frame, or had one welded? I would like to bolt it, but am concerned about the frame cracking around the bolt holes. Each side has four one half inch bolts to secure it. The trailer has an I channel frame, and I could have it welded if necessary to avoid problems, but prefer bolting. Thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:16 PM   #2
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I own a 2014 Sanibel and just bought a Curt adjustable hitch receiver to mount on the back frame. Has anyone bolted a receiver to the frame, or had one welded? I would like to bolt it, but am concerned about the frame cracking around the bolt holes. Each side has four one half inch bolts to secure it. The trailer has an I channel frame, and I could have it welded if necessary to avoid problems, but prefer bolting. Thoughts? Thanks.
You didn't mention what class receiver hitch it is or what you intend on towing/carrying. I would have a GOOD welding shop weld one on. They could also reinforce/gusset the frame properly for the type of weight you intend on holding/pulling.

Up until 2013? Lippert/Prime Time used to put hitches on the rear (look at old brochures). I think they stopped because owners were over loading the limits of the hitch and causing frame issues. I inquired when we bought ours and was told that installing one would void the warranty unless a Lippert certified welder did the install. We never did put one on.....yet.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:47 PM   #3
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I think either would suffice.
Receivers are bolted on most units that come with one from the factory.

I've drilled and bolted and also welded many things to various frames throughout the years from receiver hitches and 5th wheel/gooseneck hitches to snow plows, salt spreaders, railroad adapters, fuel tanks and tag axles and never experienced a frame cracking from the mounting holes.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:58 PM   #4
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I think either would suffice.
Receivers are bolted on most units that come with one from the factory.

I've drilled and bolted and also welded many things to various frames throughout the years from receiver hitches and 5th wheel/gooseneck hitches to snow plows, salt spreaders, railroad adapters, fuel tanks and tag axles and never experienced a frame cracking from the mounting holes.
I kind of prefer drill/bolt method myself. Even though I've welded to frames in the past with bolts I know what the strength of the fastener is and don't have to worry if I cleaned everything properly and got good penetration. Also, no sparks/slag falling in my belly button
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:00 PM   #5
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Unless you're hanging a lot of weight on the hitch I'd bolt it on. Less stress on the frame than all the heat required for welding.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:00 PM   #6
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Towing what?

Just a bike rack bolt her on! Welding to the paper thin steel might cause more issues.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:30 PM   #7
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I own a 2014 Sanibel and just bought a Curt adjustable hitch receiver to mount on the back frame. Has anyone bolted a receiver to the frame, or had one welded? I would like to bolt it, but am concerned about the frame cracking around the bolt holes. Each side has four one half inch bolts to secure it. The trailer has an I channel frame, and I could have it welded if necessary to avoid problems, but prefer bolting. Thoughts? Thanks.

First, cracks don't originate from holes. You actually drill holes in many things to STOP cracks. Secondly, the bolts will squeeze the mounting brackets into the frame creating a ton of friction- in essence spreading the load to the entire plate area. As long as you make sure the bolts are torqued properly and check them on occasion, I'd argue that's by far the best method. One piece of advice- whatever you're intended use is for the hitch- do NOT allow any play at any connection point. Jarring (impact)- not weight- is your real enemy. If you don't think so- get yourself an 8lb sledge and attempt to PUSH it into a brick. Then get a small claw hammer and hit the brick. See the point? An anti rattle device will keep that play out and seriously reduce the amount of stress that hitch sees. If hauling bikes, make sure they are strapped down and cannot move.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:40 PM   #8
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I appreciate all the responses. It is a class three receiver, very heavy, and just going to use it for a bike rack and maybe eventually a carry rack with a small generator. Going to go with bolting.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #9
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I appreciate all the responses. It is a class three receiver, very heavy, and just going to use it for a bike rack and maybe eventually a carry rack with a small generator. Going to go with bolting.
I've got a Crusader and the same hitch. I bolted mine on. Slightly frustrating getting stuff aligned in the box frame part but it works well. I only carry bikes, several thousand miles now and no issues. Good Luck
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:50 PM   #10
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I appreciate all the responses. It is a class three receiver, very heavy, and just going to use it for a bike rack and maybe eventually a carry rack with a small generator. Going to go with bolting.
Oh forgot to mention...on some gas station/transition enter/exits areas it might drag. Mine has a few times, nothing crazy. I upgraded trucks and now it's worse so I am lifting the trailer (lippert correct track system).
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:57 PM   #11
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Nowadays they make vehicle ready hitches for most any vehicle made. I prefer to bolt the hitch to the frame rather than stress the frame by overheating it. If i was sure that the frame was made with American steel i would be okay with welding. Now you can only guess where the steel came from
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:09 PM   #12
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Maintain Proper Torque on Bolts

I agree with those who favor bolts, assuming they are the right type for the job; but as dustman_stx cautioned, you will want to regularly check the torque on those bolts to ensure they do not loosen during travel. Our best friends lost their hitch, bike rack, and bikes on their way to Maine one fall. Thankfully, no one was injured when all this steel/metal fell off the TT and on to the highway. They had not checked the torque in a while, and lost big because of it. Note, that particular hitch manufacturer recommended BOTH bolts and welding.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:48 PM   #13
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My bolt-on:

Heavy duty rear hitch receiver for hardside

It's worked for 20K miles with no problems.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:27 PM   #14
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Thats why use use Grade 8 hardware and Locktight. Use the locktight that requires heat to remove.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Moochie6903 View Post
I own a 2014 Sanibel and just bought a Curt adjustable hitch receiver to mount on the back frame. Has anyone bolted a receiver to the frame, or had one welded? I would like to bolt it, but am concerned about the frame cracking around the bolt holes. Each side has four one half inch bolts to secure it. The trailer has an I channel frame, and I could have it welded if necessary to avoid problems, but prefer bolting. Thoughts? Thanks.
You may also want to contact Forest River with your VIN# and get confirmation first to see if your exact unit was built with a heavy duty back bumper.

Not all RV's (even with the same model number) coming off of the assembly line come with them.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:08 PM   #16
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Bolt it on like its supposed to be.
Re tighten a time or two when first using it.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:04 PM   #17
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Thats why use use Grade 8 hardware and Locktight. Use the locktight that requires heat to remove.
Any grade is plenty strong. Even a single 1/4" "junk" bolt in shear is insane. Grade 8 will be stronger, but less ductile. Better? Debatable... Blue loctite is fine too. Why make things difficult later on.
I was always taught that a properly torqued bolt will not lose. Though my snowblower disagrees.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:56 AM   #18
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Any grade is plenty strong. Even a single 1/4" "junk" bolt in shear is insane. Grade 8 will be stronger, but less ductile. Better? Debatable... Blue loctite is fine too. Why make things difficult later on.
I was always taught that a properly torqued bolt will not lose. Though my snowblower disagrees.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:13 AM   #19
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I added this to my Toy Hauler to tow a trailer with another SxS on it. Towed from Texas to California AZ, NM and back with no problems.

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Old 02-13-2019, 04:05 PM   #20
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You may also want to contact Forest River with your VIN# and get confirmation first to see if your exact unit was built with a heavy duty back bumper.

Not all RV's (even with the same model number) coming off of the assembly line come with them.

2014 Sanibels came without a rear bumper. Sanibels manufactured that year, prior and up to 2017? had full fiberglass rear caps & no rear bumper. So, any hitches would have only have the frame to mount it on.
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