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Author Topic: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem  (Read 1993 times)

Frank B

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2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« on: March 28, 2017, 07:41:50 AM »
I did a search of the forum for hole elongation in ball mount hitch assemblies, and only found this:

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,66720.msg611527.html#msg611527

I have this issue after only 3 seasons with a class 5 Reese Titan hitch and receiver.  This is a 17K lb hitch assembly, so hardly a lightweight piece of scrap. The pin is the correct 5/8" diameter, but I pull a 10.5K lb 30' Arctic Fox.

I have two further questions:

1)  The above linked thread gives another link to various devices designed to limit the movement of the ball assembly in the receiver.  Some appear to just stop the pin itself from rattling (coil springs on the pin).  Others attempt to immobilize the ball assembly in the receiver (clamps or wedges).  Anyone have experience with the different types offered?  (clamp, wedge, etc.)

2)  How can I get the current hole elongation fixed for a reasonable price?  A local welding shop recommended by my RV dealer seemed to have little in the way of usable fixes, offering only to weld 1/4" plates on each side of the receiver tube, and not offering to weld the elongated holes smaller, and re-drill them first (which would seem to me to be the proper way to do it).

Thanks for any experience anyone can offer.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Elkhounds

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  • Dave & Michelle with Ruger & Elcee
Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 07:50:33 AM »
When we had our TT I got a 2.5" bar to replace the 2" bar on our Equalizer hitch.  Seems to me that getting the right size bar and not using the adapter would greatly reduce this issue.  Not sure why there are not more of them available.
2015 F-350 SRW Platinum 6.7 PowerStroke
2017 Columbus 320RS

ksbowman

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 08:01:27 AM »
Why not drill the holes out to 3/4 and use a hardened bolt for your pin. If it elongates again then do the weld and drill ( more expensive fix) option?

lynnmor

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 08:21:24 AM »

How can I get the current hole elongation fixed for a reasonable price?  A local welding shop recommended by my RV dealer seemed to have little in the way of usable fixes, offering only to weld 1/4" plates on each side of the receiver tube, and not offering to weld the elongated holes smaller, and re-drill them first (which would seem to me to be the proper way to do it).


It is difficult to weld up the holes and get them in the proper location.  A drill will follow the imperfect hole left after the welding.  Then there is the issue of dressing the weld up inside the tube.  It can be done, but it will take a skilled welder and more time than you might want to pay for.  When it is all done, wear will start again, just as it did from new.  The 1/4" plates would be ugly and cheap, but it will work as long as you have a pin for the 1/2" wider receiver.

jubileee

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2017, 08:49:17 AM »
I repaired a couple of my receivers by welding hardened washers on the sides. Two washers each side is close to 1/4". I don't know how much the welding effects the hardness of the washers, but it works for me. I don't pull an rv trailer I just have a lot of older equipment with receiver hitches.

Frank B

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 10:52:15 AM »
Elkhounds: It is a 2.5" bar that I have that holds the ball.  I do not use an adapter sleeve.

ksbowman: An idea.  The honkin' big cast iron bar that goes in the receiver has a 5/8" hole in it as well.  Would have to drill that through at the same time.  Probably doable with a big enough drill.

lnynnmor:  Understood. I figured that doing one hole at a time, then drilling it from the opposite side  using the bar inside the receiver as a drill guide might do it. I would still have to have the plates welded on to keep it from happening so quickly again.  However, it looks like this is just the nature of the beast from what I am reading.  Holes are going to elongate -- period.  Bad design.  :(  I have a friend who is a professional welder.  Maybe I better talk to him.  Get him to do the welding, and I can do the drilling...

jubilee:  Thanks for the practical advice.  I thought too that washers would be the simplest and easiest.  Didn't realize that you can get hardened ones.  If I get my friend to do the welding, I may well give that a try.  After all, they come pre-drilled.  :)



NOW:

Any experience  on what works best to keep the bar from moving around in the receiver and causing this whole issue in the first place?

Thanks for the practical advice so far.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Elkhounds

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  • Dave & Michelle with Ruger & Elcee
Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 12:32:42 PM »
Elkhounds: It is a 2.5" bar that I have that holds the ball.  I do not use an adapter sleeve.

I misunderstood and thought you were looking at putting the 1/4" on each side of the bar to make it 2.5".  I guess I would try the washer idea as well.  Good luck.
2015 F-350 SRW Platinum 6.7 PowerStroke
2017 Columbus 320RS

jubileee

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2017, 12:47:47 PM »
Quote
[Any experience  on what works best to keep the bar from moving around in the receiver and causing this whole issue in the first place?
/quote]
You could use a grade 8 bolt that is long enough go thru complete hitch and have all the threads outside the hitch. Add a couple of washers and tighten up to 200 ft/ lbs. or so. This might take the slop out out of what you're working with now. Kind of a pita to hook and unhook

boatbuilder

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 01:26:57 PM »
Welding and redrilling the holes as you planned and adding the extra thickness on each side will definitely help the elongation.  The extra thickness will reduce the pressure on the tube of the hitch where the pin bears.
Charlie

Rene T

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 01:35:48 PM »
Get a piece of 2-1/2" bar stock and drill a 5/8 hole in the center. Then just cut them off 1/4" thick. You'll need two of them. Then using a 5/8" bolt and nut, just bolt the washers onto the receiver through the hitch, then just weld the washers. You could also use square stock 1/4" thick. Don't drill clearance holes.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

RedandSilver

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 06:24:32 PM »



NOW:

Any experience  on what works best to keep the bar from moving around in the receiver and causing this whole issue in the first place?

Thanks for the practical advice so far.

Frank.

What is making the holes elongate is too much play between the clearance hole and the pin size.

If you drill out the plates and drill the holes only .005 bigger then the pin you will have much less elongation.
Part of it depends on how hard the steel you are using is.  Obviously there are things you have to know about before just drilling away.
IF IF IF you could find some tool steel that could be flame hardened after drilling the holes - that would be best.
You want the pin to go in kinda hard with almost no play.  Do this and you might never have to do this again.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter

Rene T

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 06:45:22 PM »
If you drill out the plates and drill the holes only .005 bigger then the pin you will have much less elongation.
Part of it depends on how hard the steel you are using is.

Chances are if drilling a hole with a 5/8" (.625") drill bit, it will be a little oversize. If you can't get the pin through the holes, just use a rat tail file to open them up a couple of thousand's.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Old Blevins

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 11:18:29 AM »
Any experience  on what works best to keep the bar from moving around in the receiver and causing this whole issue in the first place?
You might take a look at your weight distribution adjustments. I had a problem with my hitch bar banging in my receiver when I stopped and started, and was researching how to immobilize it.  I found my WD was not properly adjusted.  This transfers hitch weight from the rear wheels of your TV to the front wheels by lifting up on the hitch bar.  That torque creates significant friction of the hitch bar inside the receiver which, in turn, reduces the acceleration force on the hitch pin and hole.  Once I got mine adjusted to transfer a few hundred pounds to the front axle, the banging stopped.
Jim
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2006 Silverado SRW 1-Ton 4WD Diesel
2006 Arctic Fox 29V
1985 Brawley 2-Horse Straight-Load Trailer

Frank B

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 10:34:15 AM »
Old Blevins:

Quote
That torque creates significant friction of the hitch bar inside the receiver which, in turn, reduces the acceleration force on the hitch pin and hole.

That is possible.  I may need to pull the chains up one more link now that things have 'settled in' over the past 3 years.  I had them up one link higher when it was all new, and I was spinning the back wheels on takeoff in the wet, so I backed them down one link.  While the whole assembly sits more or less level with the setting I have been using, it may have sagged a bit.  I'll try that on the next trip.

Thanks!

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Frank B

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 11:34:31 AM »
Old Blevins:

Yeah, didn't work.  Hiking the chains up one more link took so much weight off the rear wheels that I can easily spin the tires on takeoff.  Lack of weight on the rear wheels can be dangerous, so I'll have to find another way to fix the hole elongation problem.

There are some clamp type devices on the market that are supposed to keep the bar from moving in the receiver, but I am not sure how they work.  In the meantime, I'll get a friend to weld the holes smaller one side at a time, then use the bar as a guide for redrilling the hole the right size, again, one side at a time.  Then I'll get him to weld some washers on each side to thicken the load bearing surface.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Old Blevins

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2017, 12:25:25 PM »
Frank, you are absolutely right - you sure don't want the WD over-adjusted.  Good call.  Hopefully a clamp will prevent future problems with the elongated hole.
Jim
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2006 Silverado SRW 1-Ton 4WD Diesel
2006 Arctic Fox 29V
1985 Brawley 2-Horse Straight-Load Trailer

TonyDtorch

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2017, 08:27:29 PM »
like it was said above I'd use a file or detail grinder to clean up the holes,   then loose that Pin.. and replace it with a good quality nut/bolt with good flat washers...and tighten the billy crap out of it.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 08:31:12 PM by TonyDtorch »

Frank B

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Re: 2.5" receiver hole elongation problem
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2017, 08:59:44 PM »
Tony:

Quote
replace it with a good quality nut/bolt with good flat washers...and tighten the billy crap out of it.

Has merit.

The only problem is that the crew/long 1 ton truck is already over 20' long, and the 1700 lb capacity 2.5" tow bar and ball are also long and monstrous, making my long truck even longer. When stopped, I often remove the bar and leave it attached to the trailer.

Still, it has merit.

Thanks.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar