my Highlander's Curt hitch broke again! - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-03-2012, 09:32 PM   #43
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Trailer: Boler 1984
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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.
That gave me a laugh
"How come you bult the house crooked?"
Oh, That's OK the painter will cover it up.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:11 PM   #44
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Floyd,

I've never heard of a trailer battery charge system. What does that consist of?

Thanks

Norm
Sure you have... Mine consists of a heavy guage wire, a circuit breaker , a 30A LED rocker switch, connected through the RV plug to the trailer's battery.
Some folks prefer to go "automatic" by adding an Isolator.
You may not use the same term, but I bet you charge your battery when underway... don'tcha??
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:30 PM   #45
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Name: Joel
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I'd be complaining to Curt on this issue also, but i'd complain and request a new hitch, if you don't trust it, sell it and buy a different brand one. it would be a good idea I think to weld in that extra bolt on plate to the damaged side also. and I'd weld that crack back together also and weld in some reinforcement in that area also. what a bummer tho.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:55 AM   #46
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I do have the factory tow prep package on my Highlander (so it is "properly equipped"). I made sure it was one of the options on the unit I chose to dicker on. The hitch receiver and wiring plug are not part of that package, though.

Russ, as heavy as that steel is, I think you're right about the flexing.

Downward force on the trailer's front in a stop is the same as that experienced in the car or truck. You brake, the nose goes down. The trailer is no different. Even if it has brakes, it noses down. A downward force is being exerted on the tongue when that happens. Meanwhile, the tow vehicle's back end is exerting a bit extra upward force as it's front goes down.

My trailer brakes quit working a couple of months ago, and it took me a week or so before I could spare it to have it worked on. Perhaps the extra force of the unbraked trailer pushing on the receiver started that crack. I hadn't thought of that until just now.
Mike,
Whether the trailer has brakes or not shouldn't be able to fail the hitch. The hitch should be able to handle the forces in all directions, since in normal use the hitch would see pushing, pulling, rising, and falling. Before installing the new hitch it would be good insurance to clean all the paint away from the cracks in your vehicle's attachment points. The metal should be straightened if needed, then tig weld the cracks. They use very thin sheet metal to form those structural members. The strength relies on the sheet being flat without any deformations or ripples. Your idea of adding a vertical tab to the hitch on the drivers side is a good one if it can be accomplished. Curt would have added that if it was easy. There may not be any attachment points added by the automaker to the side of the member. If not you could drill clear through both skins with say a 3/4" drill. Then cut some 3/4" od. bushings to pass through the member and weld them to the member. Then add your vertical plate to the hitch, drill it and bolt through the bushings and bracket. The bushings will keep the member from crushing under the torque of the bolts, and transfer forces from the hitch into the factory member. These kind of repairs are difficult due to lack of space for drills and tight welding quarters. You have to be mindful of heat transfering into the vehicle interior too because of the unibody construction. It can melt sound deadening materials, or destroy carpet padding if you're not careful. Disconnect your vehicle battery before letting anyone weld on your car. Paint the welds with Rustoleum. I hope it all works out well for you. It has to be a bummer to hear your trailer sliding along the pavement behind you!
Russ
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:30 AM   #47
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Carol,
While considering the Subaru, yes some models are made in US, other's I was told were imported. Not sure whether it was the Forester or the Outback being US made.
Mike,
You say you have the towing package but you added wiring and hitch? I wonder what the package consisted of? Do you have the full size spare?
All these comments about what persons have to "Add" to their vehicle to allow it to tow add's credibility to the issue of purchasing a vehicle with a factory tow package. There is nothing to add except sometimes a brake controller. It even includes a full size spare as part of the package. In Floyd's case he wanted to upgrade from a 4 pin to a 6/7pin connector for electric brakes, I have vehicles with a plug in adapter that goes from 7 pin to a 4 pin , the other direction. Depends on what type of trailer you are using.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:27 AM   #48
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Mike, If your going to keep this as a TV I think it would probably be worthwhile to take it to a muffler shop and get the tail pipe rerouted then have a welder modify the hitch to eliminate the fancy footwork to get around the exhaust. Good luck, Bill
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:57 AM   #49
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Battery Charging System

Sure you have... Mine consists of a heavy guage wire, a circuit breaker , a 30A LED rocker switch, connected through the RV plug to the trailer's battery.
Some folks prefer to go "automatic" by adding an Isolator.
You may not use the same term, but I bet you charge your
battery when underway... don'tcha??

Floyd,

From your original post I thought you had some 'block' you bought to perform the system.

I can charge the battery from the car but hardly every use it with the Solar Panel in place. I may need it more when I get to Seattle or Donna's Oregon. The only difference is I use a fuse instead of a circuit breaker.

Thanks for the reply,
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #50
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Ruscal, the attachment points are already present; see my photo in post #1, it shows two 'rubber' plugs which are in the two threaded holes.

Jim, I no longer recall what was in the tow prep package exactly. Probably the same in '08 as now, if someone cared to look it up on toyota's site. I do have a full size spare down there.

Bill, the hitch is ordered (should have come in today, but didn't) and I won't mess with a brand new hitch. If I were going to mod a new hitch, why not just buy the OEM one? But really I'm optimistic that this brand should be designed stronger and should last longer. I suppose if I had waited 2 or 3 days and read some of the comments here, I would have opted for OEM this time just to see what it looks like and how it would fare... but too late, the hitch was ordered and I won't back out of a deal.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #51
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Name: Laura & Rick
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Mike, here's what is included in the Highlander towing prep package:
"5,000 pound towing capacity, heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, 200 watt fan coupling, transmission oil cooler with water cooler, 150 amp alternator and prewired harness."
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #52
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In my years working for Toyota and Honda I NEVER saw a vehicle come in with a hitch.
We did order some with what is considered a factory tow package which was the required additions to the vehicle it self. Coolers, alternators or larger radiators.
To complete the tow package we sent the vehicle out if the buyer wanted a hitch.
Most Toyotas and Hondas are built in the United States, Canada or Mexico.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:12 PM   #53
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Toyota Tundras are manufactured only in the USA. Toyota plants in San Antonio, TX and Princeton, IN both manufacture the Tundra with the engines being manufactured in Huntsville, AL.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:33 PM   #54
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I'm with Mike, reroute the exhaust and buy a good hitch.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:52 PM   #55
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I'm with Mike, reroute the exhaust and buy a good hitch.
I think Mike would be money ahead to buy the OEM hitch instead spending money trying to reroute the exhaust. Bear in mind that the only direction that the muffler can go is down the muffler and the muffler would be a lot closer to the ground. There is no other place for the muffler unless the spare tire is removed.

on edit, looking at etrailer, all after market hitches have a C / U loop. So rerouting the exhaust and still using an after market hitch would not accomplish anything. The only hitch that does not have the C /U loop is the Toyota hitch.

A suggestion is to repair the frame by a body shop and get the OEM Toyota hitch.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:50 AM   #56
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It is possible that backing the trailer up with high angles in tight spots has put stress on the weld.
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