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Old 04-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
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Reese Dual Cam Problem..

When attaching the Reese HP Dual Cam frame plate to a tube style TT A-frame (Jayco standard) Reese recommends using the supplied "flanged head thread forming screws" to mount the frame plate. Well, after 6 years of use one of the screws just won't stay tight, no matter how often I torque the screw back down (50ft-lbs). I've also noticed a witness mark suggesting that the frame plate may be moving a little when the screw loosens.... not good.

I guess my 1,200lb loaded tongue weight is winning this battle, so looks like I'm going to drill through the A-frame tube and use bolts/nuts in lieu of the thread forming screws. This way I won't find myself in a situation with a WDH frame plate failure.

Side view of Reese HP Dual Cam frame plate attached to my TT A-frame with existing thread forming screws:



I made up two new backer plates each 1/4" x 6" x 6", drilling two 17/32" diameter clearance holes in-line with the clearance holes on the Reese frame plate. The backer plate will insure that the TT A-frame tube won't collapse when I tighten the new bolts/nuts. My A-frame is 6" tall, so the 6" tall backer plate will rest firmly against the upper/lower radius corners of the A-frame tube which is the strongest part of the tube.

I'm using 1/2" x 3 1/2"lg grade 8 bolts/nuts which will insure that nothing will move once they are tightened down. I plan to install them when I pull my TT out of storage in the next few weeks, then will have to drill a few more 17/32" diameter clearance holes through the A-frame tube. Frame plate backer plates are painted and ready to go:



A few years ago I used the backer plate method to bolt my snap-up brackets in place to eliminate any potential issues with them do to my heavy tongue weight. The following pic shows my snap-up backer plate installed:



My Reese HP Dual Cam has preformed extremely well over the years, and has been a reliable source of sway control whenever a sway event occurred.

Bob
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:25 AM   #2
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Bob, question: I just picked up a used Reese HP Dual Cam hitch a couple of weeks back. I have yet to install it but that's not for lack of enthusiasm. Long story. Anyway, in reviewing the installation instructions, I didn't note where the snap-up brackets had to be bolted to the frame like the cam brackets do. Is this something you recommend?
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:46 AM   #3
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My Reese dual cam had the screws missing in the box. Reese over nighted them to the dealer but the dealers plan was to use grade 5 bolts. Tack weld a wire to each of the bolts and pull them through the channel and out the hole, then put the nylock nut on the outside. Of course washers inside and out. This method eliminates any possible crushing of the channel by applying pressure on both sides. Fortunately the screws arrived but good to know about all the methods of repairing the problem.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quahog View Post
Bob, question: I just picked up a used Reese HP Dual Cam hitch a couple of weeks back. I have yet to install it but that's not for lack of enthusiasm. Long story. Anyway, in reviewing the installation instructions, I didn't note where the snap-up brackets had to be bolted to the frame like the cam brackets do. Is this something you recommend?
On my last TT I had a major failure of the snap-up bracket which actually damaged the frame. My fix was to also put a backing plate for the snap-up bracket and bolt it to the frame. I would highly recommend bolting the snap-up bracket to the frame if you have a heavy tongue weight.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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My tongue weight when last measured was 600 lbs but I have since added a 2nd battery and a toolbox to the A-frame so I have to weigh again. I'd guesstimate though that it's around 675 lbs now. The GVWR of my TT is 6k#. I'll be using 800# trunnion style spring bars with the hitch that's rated at 12k#.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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Mike,

The Reese HP Dual Cam instructions will not reference bolting the snap-up brackets to the A-frame, that is an unrelated issue.

In cases with the heavier loaded TT tongue weights (1,200lbs plus) there exists the possibility of the snap-up bracket saddle moving along the top of the A-frame, and in an extreme case even bending the bracket itself. Reese recommends bolting the snap-up bracket in place to address any snap-up bracket failure.

Bob
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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I talked to a guy over at Cequent Tow Products who I guess own/sells Reese, DrawTight, and maybe some other products. He sent me a bag of self-threading bolts for the cam brackets... however, I did notice he sent eight and from the installation instructions, I only need four, hence the question.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #8
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The other possibility I'm thinking about is building a U channel bracket for the dual cam. The U bracket would fit over the top like a saddle so added downward pressure wouldn't stress any of the bolt or screw holes. Plus using 1/4 inch thick plate would certainly prevent crushing their thin channel on the Jayco TT.

I suspect that is why Reese went to the screws instead of bolts because they were afraid of crushing the light weight tongue material on most of the TTs.

My tongue weight is also about 650 pounds and I have 800 pound trunions. However, I don't have very many miles on my TT yet.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
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snip....... however, I did notice he sent eight and from the installation instructions, I only need four, hence the question.
Mike,

I see where the screw count would raise the question. It's good that you received the new/latest thread forming screws, Reese had a bad batch for a brief period of time (around a year ago) that could shear under some conditions.

Bob
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:31 PM   #10
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Bob,

Through bolting should solve the problem. I guess after years of hard work those screws can work loose and slightly enlarge or strip the hole in the frame making them impossible to keep tight.
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