RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-20-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
CentralMePistol's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 194
Warning; Check Your Hitch!

So as I start this story every one is fine and problem is solved.
Go check your hitch receiver on your truck. Look it over for rust, even check the back. Done? Go do it first then finish reading.

Back... ok. So today as a pulled into a rest area and made a small corner I hear a “PING” and then metal dragging. I go a few yards and my wife says, oh that was the car behind us keep going. We are hurrying with a screaming 18 month old who wants lunch. I think, ok, and go a few more yards. Nope, that dragging sound is US!
I stop right there and get out to look... the WDH has popped a bar clean out of its mount and the whole hitch was leaning to the side. Like not straight. Seriously. Bent down to the right and at a funky angle. OH. CRAP.
A trucker behind me leans on his horn but I stay put. I get down and start looking things over... the bend was in the receiver and hitch itself. Oh boy... this can’t be good. As I look closer sure as a bear poops in the woods- the hitch tube above the receiver is bent and cracked.
Darn it.
I limp into the RV area and park it. Look things over again... why in the Willy whacks did this happen??Well as I’m checking it over I feel the back and... a hole- where there shouldn’t be one! Fiddle sticks!
I crawl under and there it is- the whole tube had rusted through! Pipe finally gave and it was bad news. It must have been slowly dropping down and bending away. When it gave the last bit it must have changed the pressure on the WDH bar and let it fly. Thank god we stopped for lunch when we did. No really, say thanks for me again- I have been all day. If that had let go on the highway things could have been disastrous for me and everyone around me!

Short part of story; called around and found a nearby u-haul that had a hitch in stock. Left the wife and kiddo with the gene and headed out. They were great! From break to back on the road- 2.5 hours total. (U-haul in Augusta Maine- Zach came through for us!)

So my moral? Go outside and check your hitch for rust and damage- might just save your life.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9833.jpg
Views:	550
Size:	351.7 KB
ID:	213007
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9834.jpg
Views:	489
Size:	404.6 KB
ID:	213008

Other details people will ask. 2012. No other outward signs. Yes a I love in Maine. Yes we use a lot of salt.
__________________
2018 Cherokee 274DBH
2012 GMC Sierra 1500
4x4, Crew Cab, 5.3 KDL HD Cooling, 3.42 ratio
Recurve R6 WDH w/Sway Control & SumoSprings

Days Traveled:2019-37 / 2018-30
CentralMePistol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 08:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
SeaDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,857
That didn't happen overnight and should not be a surprise to you. Like anything else a rig needs to be looked over from stem to stern.
__________________
Retired Navy
Jake my sidekick (yellow Lab) 10/04 - 05/20
2017 RAM 2500 CC 4X4 Cummins Diesel
2016 Flagstaff 26 FKWS
AF&AM & El Korah Shrine of Idaho
SeaDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 08:36 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
CentralMePistol's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDog View Post
That didn't happen overnight and should not be a surprise to you. Like anything else a rig needs to be looked over from stem to stern.


Thank you captain obvious. Hence my warning to others to look in a place one normally might not inspect for damage. I have driven it all summer, 30+ days of travel without any other sign. Yes, I am lucky it happened when it did.
If you inspect the every inch of your truck on a regular basis you clearly have more time to kill than most of us.
__________________
2018 Cherokee 274DBH
2012 GMC Sierra 1500
4x4, Crew Cab, 5.3 KDL HD Cooling, 3.42 ratio
Recurve R6 WDH w/Sway Control & SumoSprings

Days Traveled:2019-37 / 2018-30
CentralMePistol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 08:56 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 5,357
I can honestly say I have never in my life...which has been quite long...seen a hitch rust out like that. I had a 1979 F150 that I sold in 2008 and the hitch was still good.
TheWolfPaq82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 09:58 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Iwannacamp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 7,849
I agree. That hitch should have lasted a LONG time before rusting away. Really the frame should go before that metal.
__________________
2017 Puma 297RLSS
2005 Ram 2500 4X4 diesel SMOKER!!
I love puns, irony and tasteless jokes...
born in Texas.... live in Arkansas
Iwannacamp is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 10:02 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
SeaDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralMePistol View Post
Thank you captain obvious. Hence my warning to others to look in a place one normally might not inspect for damage. I have driven it all summer, 30+ days of travel without any other sign. Yes, I am lucky it happened when it did.
If you inspect the every inch of your truck on a regular basis you clearly have more time to kill than most of us.
My hat is off to you that you are warning others, thank you. What you failed to consider in my response is that It matters not how many days you traveled but that actually looking at your rig is important. Its no different then doing a preflight on an aircraft you should do a pre-travel on your rig. To me the amount of time spent is equal to the value of the cargo I am transporting. I'm glad and happy the outcome from your experience was positive good luck to you.
__________________
Retired Navy
Jake my sidekick (yellow Lab) 10/04 - 05/20
2017 RAM 2500 CC 4X4 Cummins Diesel
2016 Flagstaff 26 FKWS
AF&AM & El Korah Shrine of Idaho
SeaDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 10:07 PM   #7
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 12,986
Was that severely rusted area above the square receiver tube hidden by the bumper?
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '17=30 '18=51 '19=58 '20=98
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 10:12 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Oaklevel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,610
Thanks for reminding me, I had a receiver with serious rust issues a few years back but none my newer ones have issues but it is good to check them often.

I also use u-haul when I put on a new receiver. They are a great kept secret. Cheaper than most in this area too.

__________________

2005 Dodge 3500 Cummins
2017 Wildwood Lodge 4092 BFL
1966 Mustang GT
1986 Mustang SVO
Lillie Spoiled Rotten Boxer Mix
Oaklevel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 10:15 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Berryville, Arkansas
Posts: 1,053
Wow! Glad that didn't cause a bad accident. I'll bet you drive on roads with lots of salt.
__________________


2012 Cedar Creek 36CKTS Touring Edition
2015 Ford F-350 CC DRW Lariat
Joe_GA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2019, 11:26 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
JPin AZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralMePistol View Post
Thank you captain obvious
__________________
John
2003 1500 Avalanche 384,000 miles
2011 Rockwood ROO 23SS
JPin AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 12:04 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,616
So what does the rest of the truck's frame look like?

GM hitches leave a lot to be desired anyway. I replaced my stock one on my 99 Silverado with a much heavier duty unit.
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 12:53 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: MN
Posts: 34
Wow, that looks really bad. I can't believe that's off a 2012. I live in MN and we use lots of salt as well. I've never seen anything that bad, even on much older vehicles. You're very lucky.

I also question whether you'd be able to see the extent of the rust with that hitch mounted on the vehicle.
__________________
2020 Cherokee Grey Wolf 18MT
TV: 2014 RAM 1500 5.7 Hemi
campermatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 03:26 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
frank4711's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: North Port Florida
Posts: 2,050
Yep Salt ... but here in Florida with the humidity you can feel the rust .... Thanks for reminder "obviously" in a place that was not obvious ... Captain out
__________________
Frank & Cindy--- (SOB) 5th Wheel ---2019 Ram 3500 Cummins 6.7 SRW 4x4 8' bed--- Payload 4394------Remi & Sage camping pups---TST 507 TPMS ... B&W Patriot 18K---3.73 axle ... Predator 3500---2019 48 days ---2020 28 days Camping
frank4711 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 05:29 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Daycruiser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Crossville,TN
Posts: 572
I used to live in Maine and they have mandatory vehicle inspections and a lot of that inspection is to look for rust that would affect safety. I'm a tad surprised that a vehicle inspector didn't at least mention the rust perforation on the hitch. They used to give me $_it about my slightly wider than normal tires on my truck every year.
__________________
45 Years RVing and no end in sight.
2018 Ram 3500 SB Limited, CC, 6.7/Aisin, 4X4, SRW. Comfort Ride Energy Absorbing Hitch.
2020 Cedar Creek Hathaway 34IK, Reese 19K Sidewinder PB.
Daycruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 05:33 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 5,357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_GA View Post
Wow! Glad that didn't cause a bad accident. I'll bet you drive on roads with lots of salt.
I'm in the mid-west...Nebraska and we use a ton of salt and brine every winter and I never had a hitch rust like that.
TheWolfPaq82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 06:34 AM   #16
Site Team
 
KyDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 9,201
I remember in the bad old days I had a Chevy Montecarlo that the bumper rusted out from behind. The chrome still looked pretty good right up to the day it fell off because the stiffiner behind the visible bumper wasn't really painted hardly at all and it totally rusted away.

We are all glad your hitch waited to fail at a slow speed. If it had parted at 70 while you were in traffic--- night mares are mad of this!
Thanks for sharing!
__________________
Peace!
Dan & Rita D
2017 Nissan Titan 5.6L King cab 4wd
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41, 2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-44, 2017-63, 2018-75, 2019-32, 2020-41
KyDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 06:43 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Dave Lyon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oshawa, ON
Posts: 932
That's why I'm a devout believer of annual spray-on rustproofing - the entire truck, door panels, undercarriage, fuel lines, hitch....all of it. $150 a year well spent.

This doesn't negate visual inspections, but, will sure prevent that amount of corrosion.
__________________
Dave, Southern,ON



2017 GMC SLT HD All Terrain Crew Cab (6' 6" Box) 2012 Roo 23SS
E2 Trunnion WDH (1,000 lb / 10,000 lb)
Dave Lyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 06:46 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 5,357
I'm curious as to the "Brand" of that hitch. Possible design flaw that's trapping dirt, salt, water inside the tube or was there a defect that allowed water inside that area.

As I posted earlier. I installed a Reese hitch on my 1979 F150 in 1980. I sold the truck in 2008 and the hitch was still in good shape. I was still pulling a camper at the time I sold it.
TheWolfPaq82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 06:59 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
CentralMePistol's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 194
Warning; Check Your Hitch!

Sorry SeaDog... I was feeling a bit snarky last night.
To answer a few questions; the location of the break was on the forward facing side. Tucked between the bumper and spare tire... IMO it’s a place you wouldn’t think to look unless you just read a long post about some poor sap that almost caused a serious accident.
The rest of the truck underside has normal surface rust. Nothing major that you wouldn’t expect from a truck out of the northeast.
And finally. Yes, something I wish was caught in the inspections I do every year- however: those inspections have a specific check list. And while I don’t specifically know it’s not on there- I doubt that the back of the hitch is on there. From the rear of the truck everything looked fine... still had the black paint you can see in some of the pictures.
__________________
2018 Cherokee 274DBH
2012 GMC Sierra 1500
4x4, Crew Cab, 5.3 KDL HD Cooling, 3.42 ratio
Recurve R6 WDH w/Sway Control & SumoSprings

Days Traveled:2019-37 / 2018-30
CentralMePistol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2019, 07:22 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 314
Salty roads the cause? As another poster said, I check my hitch components every time I tow. Doesn't take a lot of my time to do so!
__________________
2014 Ram 1500 HEMI Lone Star Edition
2018 Coachmen Freedom Express 248RBS

Roberte52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
check, hitch

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:33 PM.