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Do weight distribution hitches wear out?

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  • Do weight distribution hitches wear out?

    Hello

    Soon after getting the trailer I ordered and installed a weight distribution hitch: the CURT 17051 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch - 800 lb from Amazon.

    I tried to research a good system that will work for me in the long term but couldn't decide - all of them seem to have both good and unpleasant qualities. So I went with the cheap one.

    It worked well enough, I comfortably pulled the Transcend 247BH for 3 months, probably near 20000km.

    But gradually over the three months it looked as if the bars lost some of their spring. At the beginning I had a hard enough time putting them on on the 2nd link, and now I could probably put them on the 5th link, if that didn't make the chains shorter than the minimum the manual insists.

    On the 4th link the system seems to still function in terms of helping with the bouncyness (that's why I got it in the first place) but the truck is far from level. I'd say the rear is sagging about 5cm compared to the front.

    When I set it up late last year I'm sure the front and back sunk almost the same amount with the trailer on.

    There are some scratches on the bottoms of the bars. There were 2-3 times I was not expecting the big reverse speed bump on the road.

    And there are a couple of dents on the ball mount where the coupler ran into it - probably from turning too much, even though I thought I paid attention with every back-up.

    Without the trailer weight I can wiggle the bars quite a bit inside their mount. I don't remember whether that was the same when the system was new. Could those holes have stretched out? It's really thick steel.

    I started greasing it a couple of weeks into the trip when I realized that I won't be able to install or remove them if I let them continue to rust.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions about this situation - either what caused it or what I can do about it or what my next system should be.
    2021 Transcend 247BH

  • #2
    Yes. Parts wear our. I just replaced the head on my BlueOx SwayPro because the bearings in the bar mounts were worn out. Probably 30k miles on it. On an older EazyLift the star wheel rusted away so the tilt could no longer be adjusted. I’ve had chain u bolts wear out. Things go bad over time.
    2022 3100RD
    2019 F-150 V6 Twin Turbo 10 speed
    Over 55 years TT towing

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    • #3
      Hi Andrew.

      It is certainly possible that you may have some wear or metal fatigue. I'm not familiar with that model of hitch though. I use a Blue Ox WDH. It's five years old, and the spring bars have just as much tension as they always have. If the hitch is under one year old, I'd sure contact Curt and see if there is an issue covered by the warranty.

      Jim
      GDRV Forum Moderator
      GDRV SW USA Rally Support Coordinator

      Jim and Ginnie
      2017 Reflection 297RSTS

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      • #4
        First thing to know is your tongue weight. GD list the trailer at 6,995 lbs. 15% puts you at just over 1,000 lbs. You may have too light of a WDH and have stressed the bars to the point of yielding (unintentionally).

        When you say 2nd link, you are referring to the loose end and not the bar end correct? (I always count from the bar). Have you changed the way you attach the system, I.E. are you using the tongue jack to left the rear of the vehicle vs brute force?
        Joseph
        Tow
        Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
        Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
        South of Houston Texas

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        • #5
          First thing to know is your tongue weight. GD list the trailer at 6,995 lbs. 15% puts you at just over 1,000 lbs. You may have too light of a WDH and have stressed the bars to the point of yielding (unintentionally).
          Oh, I assumed 10% for the tongue weight. I'll have to see if it's written down anywhere in the trailer. That 5% sure makes a big difference!

          When you say 2nd link, you are referring to the loose end and not the bar end correct? (I always count from the bar). Have you changed the way you attach the system, I.E. are you using the tongue jack to left the rear of the vehicle vs brute force?
          Yes, I mean from the loose end.

          I haven't changed anything. I always lifted the rear of the tow vehicle with the tongue jack. Isn't that what you're supposed to do?
          2021 Transcend 247BH

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          • #6
            Good to know you have not changed the loading procedure as this could be part of the issue.

            The dealer showed me to lift the rear with the tongue jack. Never felt that was a good idea, so instead I chose to figure out how to get the bars tight on my WDH (Blue OX) by letting the trailer coupler just touch the top of the ball, then lift the TV with the chains. Releasing was a bit of a game, but my jack liked me for it.

            Expensive, but a better alternative to the chain system: https://store.lci1.com/straptek-weig...-system-335852 (Howard pointed them out to me, but I have no need for them).
            Joseph
            Tow
            Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
            Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
            South of Houston Texas

            Comment

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