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-   -   Warning; Check Your Hitch! (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f12/warning-check-your-hitch-192546.html)

CentralMePistol 08-20-2019 08:22 PM

Warning; Check Your Hitch!
 
2 Attachment(s)
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.
Attachment 213007
Attachment 213008

Other details people will ask. 2012. No other outward signs. Yes a I love in Maine. Yes we use a lot of salt.

SeaDog 08-20-2019 08:30 PM

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.

CentralMePistol 08-20-2019 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeaDog (Post 2167455)
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.

TheWolfPaq82 08-20-2019 08:56 PM

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.

Iwannacamp 08-20-2019 09:58 PM

I agree. That hitch should have lasted a LONG time before rusting away. Really the frame should go before that metal.

SeaDog 08-20-2019 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CentralMePistol (Post 2167458)
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.

5picker 08-20-2019 10:07 PM

Was that severely rusted area above the square receiver tube hidden by the bumper?

Oaklevel 08-20-2019 10:12 PM

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.

:signhavefun:

Joe_GA 08-20-2019 10:15 PM

Wow! Glad that didn't cause a bad accident. I'll bet you drive on roads with lots of salt.

JPin AZ 08-20-2019 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CentralMePistol (Post 2167458)
Thank you captain obvious

:roflblack::roflblack::roflblack:

babock 08-21-2019 12:04 AM

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.

campermatt 08-21-2019 12:53 AM

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.

frank4711 08-21-2019 03:26 AM

Yep Salt ... but here in Florida with the humidity you can feel the rust:roflblack: .... Thanks for reminder "obviously" in a place that was not obvious ... Captain out :roflblack:

Daycruiser 08-21-2019 05:29 AM

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.

TheWolfPaq82 08-21-2019 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe_GA (Post 2167519)
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.

KyDan 08-21-2019 06:34 AM

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!

Dave Lyon 08-21-2019 06:43 AM

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.

TheWolfPaq82 08-21-2019 06:46 AM

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.

CentralMePistol 08-21-2019 06:59 AM

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.

Roberte52 08-21-2019 07:22 AM

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!


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