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Towing and Hauling Towing, hauling, hitches, and trailer discussion can be found here

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Old 12-29-2016, 09:57 AM   #1
dangerous06
 
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Lost trailer

Well for the second time in a month I dropped a trailer! First one I thought I did something wrong the latch was still latched and the hooks closed??
I'm running a 20k Reese 5th wheel hitch.
I was making an up hill left turn and the trailer popped off crushed the bed but the tailgate caught the trailer from going down the hill! Nothing apparent like a ghost pulled the handle release! That cost 7000 to repair!
Well yesterday I hooked up to a brand new trailer checked everything made sure the clip was locked and pinned checked the hooks they were closed did a pull test trailer brakes on all was good until.......
Was backing down a driveway had to cut it hard right over uneven driveway and POP Trailer released smashed the bed ripped thru my new 5th wheel tailgate and proceeded to slide down the driveway and into a tree with emergency brakes applied! that ones gonna cost 20k to repair!
My question is WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?
Again the hooks were closed the latch was engaged and still pinned!
Is there a defect Reese isn't talking about? Found a dozen other such stories online! Would think there would be a recall if it was so frequent. Has anybody had experience with Reese or know someone that dealt with this situation?
Do I have any recourse?
I've been towing professionally for 20 years so yes I know what I'm doing!
Throwing this hitch in the trash only two years old!
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:03 AM   #2
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Damn man, time to trash the Reese. Never heard of anything like this.

Sorry about your bad luck.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:24 AM   #3
PRINCETON_JAKE

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I sure like my cheap hitch with the slide bar. No way it could come open. I've always been scared of those clam lock jaws
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:26 AM   #4
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using the proper sized ball?
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:54 AM   #5
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Have a "professional" look at it, make a written statement that says you aren't at fault, and send take it to court if you have to. I damn sure wouldn't be paying for something like that.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:55 AM   #6
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To be clear are we talking actual 5th wheel or goosneck ball in bed?
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:45 AM   #7
Chris Tobin
 
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No safety chains???
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:08 PM   #8
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No safety chains???
That's what I was going to ask.
I've had one pop off at my house(bent the pipe when it did).But safety chains caught it. This was my fault though truck and trailer went for a ride and trailer hit a tree.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:00 PM   #9
06 DIESEL
 
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A few things that come to mind.

Safety chains?
Have you checked the ball to see if it is worn or out of round?
How many miles has the ball been used for towing?

Towing balls have a lifespan, they get worn and need to be replaced, especially if you are towing professionally.

I have had to replace the hitch part of one of my trailers because it was worn and would pop out without releasing the safety catch. I am sure that if you take a brand new ball and the old worn one you will find that they do not measure the same.

I had a gooseneck pop off once, safety chains caught the trailer an inch from taking out the tailgate. I got in a hurry and forgot to latch the safety, 100% my fault.
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Last edited by 06 DIESEL; 12-29-2016 at 01:01 PM.
 
Old 12-29-2016, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRINCETON_JAKE View Post
I sure like my cheap hitch with the slide bar. No way it could come open. I've always been scared of those clam lock jaws
x2! Although it sounds more like the op's is "popping up" out of the hitch.

Last edited by Big Boy Toys; 12-29-2016 at 01:08 PM.
 
Old 12-29-2016, 02:01 PM   #11
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You say the latch is closed on the release lever correct? You sure you're not high hitching? If you use a lube plate, they have different thicknesses, possibly using one too thick and high hitching without knowing? I have heard many stories of Reese's dropping 5th wheels, but never heard a first hand reason "why".
 
Old 12-29-2016, 07:00 PM   #12
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Not a goose neck! I wish 5th wheels had chains! Just bought a bed saver Blue Ox BedSaver - YouTube and new 5th wheel assembly!
No lube plate or was it high hitched! Only turned and front tire on embankment twisting frame a bit.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:19 PM   #13
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I bet a gooseneck setup would allow for alot more misalignment, do you stay with fifth wheel for weight?
 
Old 12-29-2016, 09:42 PM   #14
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To Clarify I transport 5th wheels mostly but do everything as needed! Goose neck bumper pull if it has wheels I've moved it!
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:18 PM   #15
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Most cheap 5th wheel hitch plates are only designed to pivot fore to aft, not side to side.
The nice, expensive, (read: heavy duty) ones are fully articulating.

Beware of some cheaper 5th wheel hitches!
ALWAYS check the weight ratings on them, I've seen a few with only a 12k rating, which aren't really designed for much more than a light RV trailer.

Now, most of the cheaper (even Reese) 5th wheel hitches I see use a locking, spring loaded latch/pawl, which can be either worn or ripped out by a simple incline move like you described.
These are not designed to be used repeatedly for heavy side inclines, as they will bind the kingpin against the lock bar, which causes the bar to bend and rip the latch/pawl assembly.

IMO, if you're hauling a multi-car trailer, or an equipment trailer, using the 5th wheel style hitch, no matter if it's fully articulating, or not, would be my absolute last choice.

BTW, per DOT regs, ANY trailer is REQUIRED to manufactured with safety chains, 5th, wheel, gooseneck, tagger, pintle, ALL are supposed to have safety chains.
If they don't and DOT snags you, it sits until you put approved ones on it.
If a trailer manufacturer is "making you" move these with no safety chains, they are not in compliance and you should refuse the job.

Mark.
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Last edited by Mark Nixon; 12-29-2016 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Safety chains.
 
Old 12-30-2016, 08:08 AM   #16
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What is the reason the tandom axle equipment trailers which weigh more use gooseneck and the campers use fifth wheel?
 
Old 12-30-2016, 08:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Nixon View Post
Most cheap 5th wheel hitch plates are only designed to pivot fore to aft, not side to side.
The nice, expensive, (read: heavy duty) ones are fully articulating.

Beware of some cheaper 5th wheel hitches!
ALWAYS check the weight ratings on them, I've seen a few with only a 12k rating, which aren't really designed for much more than a light RV trailer.

Now, most of the cheaper (even Reese) 5th wheel hitches I see use a locking, spring loaded latch/pawl, which can be either worn or ripped out by a simple incline move like you described.
These are not designed to be used repeatedly for heavy side inclines, as they will bind the kingpin against the lock bar, which causes the bar to bend and rip the latch/pawl assembly.

IMO, if you're hauling a multi-car trailer, or an equipment trailer, using the 5th wheel style hitch, no matter if it's fully articulating, or not, would be my absolute last choice.

BTW, per DOT regs, ANY trailer is REQUIRED to manufactured with safety chains, 5th, wheel, gooseneck, tagger, pintle, ALL are supposed to have safety chains.
If they don't and DOT snags you, it sits until you put approved ones on it.
If a trailer manufacturer is "making you" move these with no safety chains, they are not in compliance and you should refuse the job.

Mark.
Huh, none of our fleet of semis ever had or came with safety chains and dot has never said anything
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:46 AM   #18
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Lost trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Nixon View Post
Most cheap 5th wheel hitch plates are only designed to pivot fore to aft, not side to side.
The nice, expensive, (read: heavy duty) ones are fully articulating.

Beware of some cheaper 5th wheel hitches!
ALWAYS check the weight ratings on them, I've seen a few with only a 12k rating, which aren't really designed for much more than a light RV trailer.

Now, most of the cheaper (even Reese) 5th wheel hitches I see use a locking, spring loaded latch/pawl, which can be either worn or ripped out by a simple incline move like you described.
These are not designed to be used repeatedly for heavy side inclines, as they will bind the kingpin against the lock bar, which causes the bar to bend and rip the latch/pawl assembly.

IMO, if you're hauling a multi-car trailer, or an equipment trailer, using the 5th wheel style hitch, no matter if it's fully articulating, or not, would be my absolute last choice.

BTW, per DOT regs, ANY trailer is REQUIRED to manufactured with safety chains, 5th, wheel, gooseneck, tagger, pintle, ALL are supposed to have safety chains.
If they don't and DOT snags you, it sits until you put approved ones on it.
If a trailer manufacturer is "making you" move these with no safety chains, they are not in compliance and you should refuse the job.

Mark.


I'd trust 5th wheel over gooseneck. Our semis see to do fine with the "forward and aft" only motion. No safety chains either an the pin locks by a spring which only holds the gates from spreading, doesn't slide behind the 5th wheel pin to lock it in place. I'm gonna take a guess and say something is worn out an op doesn't know it and it caused issues or wasn't fully locked in place.
 
Old 12-30-2016, 09:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRINCETON_JAKE View Post
Huh, none of our fleet of semis ever had or came with safety chains and dot has never said anything
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram12vcummins View Post
I'd trust 5th wheel over gooseneck. Our semis see to do fine with the "forward and aft" only motion. No safety chains either an the pin locks by a spring which only holds the gates from spreading, doesn't slide behind the 5th wheel pin to lock it in place. I'm gonna take a guess and say something is worn out an op doesn't know it and it caused issues or wasn't fully locked in place.
X3, I used to work out of a Navistar/International Chassis Test Facility and we had fore-aft articulating plates and no safety chains. Maybe Class 5 to Class 8 are different than the light duty stuff? The only times we had failures were either with user error, worn parts, or in Alaska with frozen parts.

My experience with light duty 5th wheel towing is a single RV 5th wheel 20-30 times, so I'm sure they're different and i'm just not familiar enough with them.




Also, that Bed Saver is pretty sweet.
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Last edited by CorneliusRox; 12-30-2016 at 09:13 AM.
 
Old 12-30-2016, 09:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Nixon View Post
BTW, per DOT regs, ANY trailer is REQUIRED to manufactured with safety chains, 5th, wheel, gooseneck, tagger, pintle, ALL are supposed to have safety chains.
If they don't and DOT snags you, it sits until you put approved ones on it.
If a trailer manufacturer is "making you" move these with no safety chains, they are not in compliance and you should refuse the job.

Mark.
Is there somewhere that says this for ALL fifth wheel trailers? I have never heard of this, and have never seen a fifth wheel camper with safety chains, other than one with a gooseneck adapter.

Last edited by PSUCE; 12-30-2016 at 09:33 AM.
 
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