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Old 11-16-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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equalizer hitch bolt snapped

I noticed today that a bolt on the mount on the camper has snapped on my equalizer hitch.. It is the part that the bars go on that is attached to the camper. the L bracket. The mount is welded to the frame and the bolts that hold the L bracket on sit behind the mount.

I wish I would have taken a picture.....

Has anyone else had this problem? what was your solution?
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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I think the bolts supplied are basic Grade 5. If you want stronger bolts, use Grade 8.
I also think your problem was caused by welding the bracket to the frame. Welding does not allow for any movement at all, and the bolt is the weakest part, which broke. If you want to limit slippage, use one bolt through the A-frame. This still allows for a bit of "wiggle" when under stress.
For this reason, you're likely better off to stick to a grade 5 bolt, and forget welding the bracket to the frame.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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Yep,
I've never had a bolt snap, but got into a bind a couple times and had i side slip out of position.
Usually makes a significant noise which makes me check set up.
I was thinking of bolting through frame, but abandoned the idea because I want things to slip versus bending frame.
I have to agree with previous poster, L Bracket shouldn't be welded to frame.

Did a dealer weld this or did you. I don;t recall anything in the installation instructions recommending welding.

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Doug
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slabat View Post
I noticed today that a bolt on the mount on the camper has snapped on my equalizer hitch.. It is the part that the bars go on that is attached to the camper. the L bracket.....snip
Are you referring to a "Equal-i-zer" brand WDH, because they have a component called an "L" bracket???

Bob
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:40 PM   #5
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What part of the equalizer hitch could you possibly weld to the frame?
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldermike View Post
What part of the equalizer hitch could you possibly weld to the frame?
Some folks refer to a standard WDH as an equalizer hitch, which in this case I have seen the snap-up brackets welded to the TT frame.............. but .........

I believe the OP is referring to an "Equal-i-zer" brand WDH which doesn't have a snap-up bracket (the reason I asked the OP to clarify) .

As others have mentioned, in the case of an Equalizer WDH I never ran across the "L" bracket welded to the frame.

Bob
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
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it is the equalizer brand hitch that I have. The L bracket is not welded to the frame but the bracket that it attaches to is welded to the frame and you need to get this off to get to the bolt that holds the L bracket on ....one of these snapped, there are two on each L bracket. I did have a dealer install the hitch and am not sure why they welded it to the frame on the camper.

Correct, if its the same design as mine they are studs that hold the L bracket.
It comes with two bolts that squeeze the back plate and stud plate to the frame.
The L brackets mount onto the stud plate. Nuts and washers then tighten the L brackets onto the studs.

I think you're saying the stud plates have been welded and the rear of those studs are hidden or now welded between stud plate and frame?

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Old 11-16-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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Since a picture is worth 1000 words, here is how the link plates and "L" bracket are assembled. The link plate would have been the item welded to the frame, and the two shorter bolts are the ones being discussed.
Attached Thumbnails
scan.jpg  
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slabat View Post
snip....... I did have a dealer install the hitch and am not sure why they welded it to the frame on the camper. .......snip
Unfortunately, that dealer has not followed Equalizer's instructions. Although the installation manual does not refer to bolting through the frame or welding, their technical support do suggest using a thru-frame bolt to limit slippage, but not welding anything.
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:45 AM   #10
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slabat, get some good photos (and keep them) so you have your conditions documented and available. There are some other things at stake here. I used the same hitch you have now on my last TT without any problems. The frame mounted brackets were applied with bolts over and under the frame of the trailer. The only reason I could see for someone wanting to weld the bracket on is there was no room for the bolts, such as interference with a propane tank mount, battery box, etc. That condition should be corrected by making room for the bolt - not welding the bracket.

There are some good posts in this forum (from some time ago) you could search about hitch connections to the TT frame. People were discussing there application with forum member greenenvy, a professional hauler. Basically, they need to be easy on and off and not mark the frame when your hauling new trailers to a dealer.

If it were mine, I would contact http://www.fastwaytrailer.com/e2/hitchstyles.php, and get their expert opinion. Also, I would contact the frame manufacturer to discuss welding on the frame in that area.

... don't know how much weld you have. If the brackets are minimally "tacked" on, they could be easily removed, ground / filed smooth, and be ready for another use. Also, check the TT's frame where the weld is.

If you can't remove the brackets without damaging them, your hitch is incomplete for re-use or resale. Also, if you decided to sell, I think most TT buyers would not want the brackets welded to the frame. It doesn't sound like you have a serious problem, and could be easily corrected with a little time and money. Which, IMO, should come from the dealer that did the welding.
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