Tightening hitch/lug nuts - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-09-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Cathi's Avatar
 
Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
POBox 1267, Denison, Texas
Posts: 796
Tightening hitch/lug nuts

We have had RV places tighten bolts on the hitch after finding parts loose (not the hitch into the receiver but other parts). We still find that it tends to have parts that are not really tight. Do others have this?

We have had a shop loosen our spare since we could not get it out ourselves if necessary. Do you all use a torque wrench on your trailer wheels each time out? What if the lug nuts are too tight? is that good because your wheels are sure to stay on? Or bad?
__________________

__________________
Cathi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 08:10 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Thomas G.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kinga DeRode
Trailer: For Sale Or Rent
Rooms to Let 50 Cents
Posts: 5,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy View Post
..... We still find that it tends to have parts that are not really tight. Do others have this?
It is good practice to make sure the ball is tight in the adapter. You can buy a large wrench it fit it relatively cheaply. Turn the adapter 90 degrees so you can use your body weight.
Quote:
We have had a shop loosen our spare since we could not get it out ourselves if necessary. Do you all use a torque wrench on your trailer wheels each time out? What if the lug nuts are too tight? is that good because your wheels are sure to stay on? Or bad?
I don't use a torque wrench, but I'm an experienced mechanic. A torque wrench is a good idea.

Too tight is bad;
  • You can't get the lug nuts loose when you need to
  • It damages the threads
  • It can warp the brake drum
__________________

__________________
UHaul and Burro owners, join the UHaul Campers on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/529276933859491/
Thomas G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
rabbit's Avatar
 
Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
Posts: 2,548
Lots of things in life are governed by a customary and accepted but unmeasured standard. All wrenches are torque wrenches in the sense that the length or lever arm of the wrench limits the application of exertion which can be applied to force one inclined plane against another (the threads of threaded fasteners). An automotive T-wrench with four arms and four lug-nut sizes is one of these. I have no idea how many foot pounds a small gorilla can get out of one but certainly enuf to get a stud to snap every once in a while. Considering it's sized for use by an average human being on a very specific job, it's the right tool for the job. When you hear the nut squeak you're on the edge of thread galling or deformation. Threads can be overtightened by air wrenches on a high setting; threads can be seized by oxidation welding. Knowing precisely how much force should be applied will not put the tune in your head but if you want to invest in a torque wrench to assure precision, that's OK.

The usual cures for the problem of vibration loosening in threaded fasteners are lock washers, serrated washers, jam or nylok nuts, liquid threadlocker preparations, safety wiring in extremely critical equipment. Most of the stuff I see loosen on trailers (and automobiles) are self tapping blind fasteners (screws) or small machine bolts retained by nuts of minimal bearing such as Tinnerman nuts.

jack
__________________
rabbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
I suggest stopping by a well known local tire shop and ask them to tighten your lug nuts to the proper torque. Properly torqued lug nuts seldom come loose. Can't say I have ever had it happen in over 50 years of driving...
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 09:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Cathi's Avatar
 
Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
POBox 1267, Denison, Texas
Posts: 796
Thanks, guys. We do have a torque wrench and I was wondering if people always used theirs every time they go out. And if a shop had put on the lug nuts so tightly that the owner could not budge them, then should they be loosened. The shops seem to have a bad habit of tightening them so that the owners cannot get them off.

If someone were to put a torque wrench on a lug nut that cannot be budged, I guess he can tell if there is the minimum torque such as 90 ft./lbs. but I also guess that the torque could be past the max. No way to tell.

I take it from what you are saying, Tom and Bob, that it is better to have any lug nuts that won't budge loosened, and torque them ourselves, than to wonder what the torque number is and whether it might exceed the max. If your properly torqued lug nuts have not come off in 50 years, well, that must be the way to go!

Jack, we will have to have a look at the washers. We thought of buying one of those great big wrenches for those bolts but it didn't seem worth it.
__________________
Cathi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 10:08 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
rabbit's Avatar
 
Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
Posts: 2,548
I missed or overlooked your reference to the ball/stinger connection in you first post, Cathy. I agree that big honkin box end (what Walmart peddles with their Reese stuff) is OK. Except for one Reese stinger which has a hex depression which locks the base of the ball on the upper side of the plate, you actually need two wrenches--one on the wrench flats above the plate and one on the hex nut below. And I personally haven't seen many 2" balls which don't have a 1" lock washer on the threaded shank. U-Haul usually installs a ball on their rental stingers which has a shank pierced for a cotter key below the hex nut, so I assume they think a ball COULD get loose. I've found that a pair of large pipe wrenches works just fine for installing balls on stingers unless you're a little worried about denting the pretty chrome plating. I think Tom gives you good advice to put the stinger in the receiver sideways and then install and tighten the ball as there's a bit less wrench juggling against gravity that way.
__________________
rabbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,064
Hi Cathy, I carry a breaker bar ( $15 sears) and socket(s) for those overtightened lug nuts. Even when properly torqued, lug nuts can freeze up. Add a piece of pipe and there shouldn't be much you can't undo. Raz
Attached Images
 
__________________
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy View Post
We have had RV places tighten bolts on the hitch after finding parts loose (not the hitch into the receiver but other parts). We still find that it tends to have parts that are not really tight. Do others have this?
If you're talking about the coupler itself being "loose" on the ball:

Couplers do occasionally need tightening, and I recommend that you learn to do so yourself...also, it should be kept greased, not only for the preservation of its own parts but for that of the ball.
And by the way- both the ball and the coupler can wear out and may eventually need to be replaced (or rebuilt, for some couplers).

Francesca
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Cathi's Avatar
 
Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
POBox 1267, Denison, Texas
Posts: 796
Raz, thank you and we will look for that. Expect to get it.

Francesca, I should have put up a photo. We have an adjustable hitch with plates and bolts that seem to become loose. I will keep your comments in mind though on the coupler. No, thank goodness, it's not loose.
__________________
Cathi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2012, 08:10 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: george
Trailer: FunFinder
Missouri
Posts: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy View Post
Raz, thank you and we will look for that. Expect to get it.

Francesca, I should have put up a photo. We have an adjustable hitch with plates and bolts that seem to become loose. I will keep your comments in mind though on the coupler. No, thank goodness, it's not loose.
Cathy,
A photo of the hitch and bolts that are coming loose would help us make some solid recommendations to cure that problem. Done correctly, with the right fasteners, torqued to the proper specs, they should remain tight in normal use. In other words, if they are coming loose, something is incorrect and needs to be addressed for obvious safety reasons.
__________________
gmw photos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 06:12 AM   #11
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,064
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
Cathy,
A photo of the hitch and bolts that are coming loose would help us make some solid recommendations to cure that problem. Done correctly, with the right fasteners, torqued to the proper specs, they should remain tight in normal use. In other words, if they are coming loose, something is incorrect and needs to be addressed for obvious safety reasons.
Very true. They should not be coming loose. Also a drop or two of this stuff can't hurt.
Attached Thumbnails
image-3844193446.jpg  
__________________
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 06:29 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
The first time we purchased tires for our motorhome, the installer asked us to bring the motorhome back after driving 25 miles so he could re-tighten the tire's lug nuts.

As a result of this little lesson, we re-check our bolts. As well we regularly (monthly) check the tightness of the bolts holding our hitch and ball.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 11:06 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: george
Trailer: FunFinder
Missouri
Posts: 455
Not to overstate all this, but for safety sake, proper torque values for bolts is critical. Under torque obviously can and likely will result in parts coming loose. Over torque can stretch a fastener in a way that can stress it to the point of failing.
Regarding some specifics, consider these torque values on my BlueOx swaypro. The cross bolls that holds the hitch head to the stinger are 3/4" grade 8 bolts. BlueOx specs these to be tightened to 300 lb-ft.
Now consider the ball itself. The ball I use has a 1 and 1/4" shaft. 450 lb-ft is the specified torque. You read that right....and THAT is a lot of torque. Most folks don't have a torque wrench that goes that high, so you should take it to a shop that can tighten these to the correct value. I'm lucky that my son's best friend is a heavy truck mechanic, so he has "big tools". If you don't know someone with the tools, swing by a truck repair shop. Many times these guys will do this for you for free....or you can toss them a $20 bill, and everyone is happy.

Raz's point about using loctite is a good one. Specifically he shows us "242" which is what you would want to use.

And for sure, Norm's point about regularly checking nuts and bolts for proper torque certainly falls under the category of routine maint. I crawl around under our trucks periodically and check things like the bolts that hold the hitches to the frame, etc.
__________________
gmw photos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 11:56 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 2012 Chevy Silverado
Michigan
Posts: 1,305
So the lesson here is get your nuts tight and keep them tight. Right?
__________________

__________________
rgrugg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stripped lug and lug nut? FlyboyTJ Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 07-04-2012 11:55 AM
acorn nuts sfoss Modifications, Alterations and Updates 4 03-03-2012 05:23 PM
77 Trillium with missing nuts! Bobaton Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 10 01-19-2012 11:56 AM
Speed Nuts Mike Bromley Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 5 04-30-2010 09:15 PM
Rivets and Acorn Nuts Steve L. Modifications, Alterations and Updates 6 11-16-2005 09:36 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.