my Highlander's Curt hitch broke again! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-01-2012, 10:50 AM   #15
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You could have a metal fabricator add another heavy strap under the muffler. It would have to be "bolt on" so it could be removed. If it were done in such a way as to add stiffness to the cross member, it should buy you more time before failure.
Russ

Could the exhaust pipe be turned down before getting to the hitch cross member? If so you could modify the hitch to have the tube go all the way accross. The exhaust is easy to modify, provided there is room.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #16
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The OEM hitch is a different design than the after market hitches. It "blends" into the bumper such that the attachment points do not need the loop around the muffler. And, being at bumper height, the OEM hitch is higher off the ground preventing any scraping with the ground. The OEM hitch is expensive compared to after market hitches but does not have any issues that come with the after market hitches.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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That's interesting about the OEM hitch, I haven't noticed one (either they really do blend in, or they're so expensive no one buys them, not sure which!).

I found a Draw Tite "Max-E Loader" model that has vertical pieces on both sides. I'm going to see about getting one of those. I did think about having the existing hitched repaired and reinforced, but the labor would probably come close to the cost of the new one (about $225).
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:26 PM   #18
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I had a Curt hitch on my Chevy 1500 van, it rusted out in Michigan, I replaced it with a Curt catagory 1V, the old one was a 1996 model
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:14 PM   #19
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I think U-Haul is the King of Hitch installers.
Why not try them?
I have used their hitches for years.
Towing everything from 6 horse trailers, stock trailers to my Lil Bigfoot and have never had a problem.
John
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Perhaps after market "bolt on" accessories should be avoided and owners should purchase vehicles with factory hitches. Not aware of any OEM failures.
\

I agree, I'm thinking the weight rating of 5,000 lbs is with the factory towing pkg and not after market
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Kimble View Post
I had a Curt hitch on my Chevy 1500 van, it rusted out in Michigan, I replaced it with a Curt catagory 1V, the old one was a 1996 model
RUST! that's my problem with the Curt hitch on my Escape I have scraped and repainted it several times and it is only 6 years old. the Drawtite on my Ranger still looks good after 11 years.

While this is the only problem I have had with the Curt, I will buy a Drawtite next time. I have owned Reese and others as well over the years and the Drawtite has been the best so far. My Escape has towed my Scamp 13, or less, almost exclusively. My Ranger has towed everthing including my car dolly, car trailer, Scamp, utility trailer and other closed and open trailers.
I have never seen a broken ClassIII hitch before, but that design IS rather unique.
BIG THANKS to Mike for the reality check! Thanks too for the pictures and the narrative. You have surely caused a lot of "safety checks" on a lot of hitches and their attachment points
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Perhaps after market "bolt on" accessories should be avoided and owners should purchase vehicles with factory hitches. Not aware of any OEM failures.
Ya think the Toyota hitch is not bolted on? Likely time to think again, in fact in most cases, aftermarket hitches use factory supplied attachment points and are engineered to meet or exceed OEM specs.

This case is an anomaly, in engineering, capacity, or build quality.
No cause to indict an entire industry with a reputation which is at least equal to OEM.
I have no doubt that my Ranger could be crane lifted using an eyebolt on a drawbar as the only attachment point to my aftermarket Drawtite hitch.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #23
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A look at my hitch

After this thread I went out and inspected my hitch for cracks and bolt tighteness.

Often when metal fails it's due to repeated metal flexure. Flexure is part of every hitch and occurs continuously. For example when one leans against a brick wall, the wall flexes in response to your weight. Every hitch continually flexes due to applied forces.

The danger comes when things are allowed to flex too much. This can happen when bolts loosen.

While inspecting my Curt Hitch it was obvious that the muffler side is hard to check and the bolts hard to tighten, partially hidden by the muffler.

I'm not saying this was Mike's issue but rather an observation while inspecting my hitch.

Actually in the process of checking I was able to tighten two bolts about a 1/4 turn, maybe I'm stronger than when I installed the hitch.

I also took some time to check the weld areas of the hitch. Everything looked fine.

Certainly I will check the hitch more frequently now due to Mike's post.....
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Perhaps after market "bolt on" accessories should be avoided and owners should purchase vehicles with factory hitches. Not aware of any OEM failures.
Jim, how many vehicle factories do you think actually make the hitches they install?
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:50 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
I think U-Haul is the King of Hitch installers.
Why not try them?
I have used their hitches for years.
Towing everything from 6 horse trailers, stock trailers to my Lil Bigfoot and have never had a problem.
John
I have a U-haul hitch and although it appears to be sound I am worried as after 4.5 years its is showing a lot of rust!!
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #26
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The Draw-Tite 75726 that I'm getting can be seen on etrailer or on Draw-Tite's site. It is listed at 750 lbs. tongue weight. The vertical piece on the driver's side will help support it on the damaged side. That will give me a little more wiggle room and peace of mind (note that I do not intend to try and take advantage of it with more tongue weight!). The place I'm buying from will weld the frame cracks and install the receiver for $100 extra... seems pretty reasonable for a certified welder and all. By Wednesday evening my Highlander should be ready to tow again, and I'll feel confident in it again. But a more frequent inspection routine is in order, too.

My dear son is studying engineering and has taken classes in such things as mechanical metallurgy. He took my trailer weight (fully loaded) and distance from axle to ball, added a center of gravity height estimate of 3' and a braking deceleration of .6G, and came up with an extra 650 lbs. of downward force being placed on the receiver in a hard stop. He thinks something like this may have started a crack which grew to the eventual point of failure.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #27
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Carol,

I simply carry a can of spray rustoleum with me and give any rust I see a spray. This holds true for my tow vehicle and trailer frame as well.

When we had a motorhome I sprayed the bottom every year, a nice summer day project. It always made the mechanics who inspected our Motorhome each year feel good about our rig.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post

My dear son is studying engineering and has taken classes in such things as mechanical metallurgy. He took my trailer weight (fully loaded) and distance from axle to ball, added a center of gravity height estimate of 3' and a braking deceleration of .6G, and came up with an extra 650 lbs. of downward force being placed on the receiver in a hard stop. He thinks something like this may have started a crack which grew to the eventual point of failure.
But if the trailer has brakes, it will (sorta) pull back on the hitch.

Yes, additional nose-down weight will happen, but it will be much easier on everything than adding nose-down weight AND g-loads while braking hard.
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