Reese trunion latch pin

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jrazky

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I recently purchased a used Reese trunion style WD hitch, and found when it was delivered a broken trunion latchpin.? My question is how essential is this piece??

By the looks of it the latchpin does not look like it really does a whole lot by the nature of it's size, i can see it keeps the trunion bar from falling out but does not look like it would really stop anything. . .

What is the true purpose of it and is it absolutely essential for towing?

thanks
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm not familair with that itch so don't know, but you can be sure the manufacturer didn't put the part in just for the heck of it. If non-essential, they would have left it out and pocketed the cost savings.  Have you called the dealer or Reese and asked for a replacement yet? Since it's a new hitch, the owe it to you.

If the pin appears insubstantial, my guess is that it is a retainer rather than a load-bearing pin. Probably just to keep the trunnion from sliding out of position due to vibration, which would definitely be a problem.
 

jrazky

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Sorry it's new to me but not new, here is the link to the Reese parts list:

http://www.reeseprod.com/support/support/pdfs/parts_std_trunnion.pdf

Its part number 27.  I know what you are saying about if it wasn't supposed to be there they would not have put it on, but by looking at it it doesn't look like it would stop anything bad from happening if things were going wrong, if that makes sense.  It's held on by a bar that is maybe 1/16" of an inch thick.

Any other thoughts?  I would call Reese but it's too late until Monday.

Thanks
 

Jim Dick

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jrazky said:
Sorry it's new to me but not new, here is the link to the Reese parts list:

http://www.reeseprod.com/support/support/pdfs/parts_std_trunnion.pdf

Its part number 27.  I know what you are saying about if it wasn't supposed to be there they would not have put it on, but by looking at it it doesn't look like it would stop anything bad from happening if things were going wrong, if that makes sense.  It's held on by a bar that is maybe 1/16" of an inch thick.

Any other thoughts?  I would call Reese but it's too late until Monday.

Thanks

Is this pin attached to the bracket and moves up and down? If there's one on either side it is there to keep the load leveling bars in place at the trunion. Without out it there is a possibility that the bar might vibrate loose. They aren't substantial but will stop it from jumping out of the slot. I'd get it replaced before using the hitch!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There really isn't any sideways pressure on the trunnions - any motion from the spring bars is in the vertical plane.  The trunnion latches are merely to keep the trunions from slipping out of the slot and are probably mostly needed before the spring bars are tensioned. Once the springs bars have 500+ lbs of pressure on them, the trunnions probably aren't slipping anywhere.

My apolgies re my previous post - I missed the fact this is a used hitch.  I would bet that you could pick up a replacement latch at a local hitch shop.  The Reese/Drawtite WD brand of hitches are popular and the trunnion mechanism is probably common to several models.
 

jrazky

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That makes sense, thanks for the replies.  I got this hitch and the Reese dual cam sway bars for dirt cheap and just wanted to make sure I was not getting myself into trouble or got screwed.  I can't see this being a difficult repair and I will take it to the local RV place Monday to get repaired. 

On another note, how difficult is it to install?  I have the directions and they don't look too difficult but again, I don't want to get in over my head. . .But i don't necessarily want to pay someone to do it if I can handle it myself.
 

Carl L

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jrazky said:
I recently purchased a used Reese trunion style WD hitch, and found when it was delivered a broken trunion latchpin.? My question is how essential is this piece??

By the looks of it the latchpin does not look like it really does a whole lot by the nature of it's size, i can see it keeps the trunion bar from falling out but does not look like it would really stop anything. . .

What is the true purpose of it and is it absolutely essential for towing?

The sole purpose for the widget is to hold the trunnions in the gudgeons while you mount the spring bar into the lift.    It is nice but not essential.    My portside latchpin has been missing since about 1999.    It makes little difference, a little juggling holds the bar in while you raise the chain lift.  Once lifted, the torque applied by the tensioned spring holds the trunnions in just fine.


 

jrazky

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Thanks Carl, so I gather it is safe to tow with this missing, I figured as much but wanted to be sure.  I would obviously like to have it repaired but I feel better about the hitch and not getting ripped off for buying a broken hitch. 

So now my only question is how hard is it to install? 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Installation: do you already have a 2" receiver on the tow vehicle?  If so, that end is easy - just slip the hitch into the reciver and inseert the lock pin.  If not, you need to mount the receiver and that is usually custome-designed for particular make/model of tow vehicle. If you got one with the hitch, chances are it is intended for a different brand of vehicle and won't easily fit.  That means drilling holes, maybe making or changing brackets, etc.  Its easier to buy a receiver designed for your vehicle.

On the trailer end, it should be a basic bolt-on operation on the trailer A frame.  That's pretty straight-forward.

You can get common questions answered on the Reese web site - see http://www.reeseprod.com/index.htm and click the Info tab.  Installation instructions are available via the Support tab.  The basic design hasn't changed in years, so even if yours is an old one, the current instructions should be useful.

You need to adjust the tension of the spring bars properly for your trailer. If you don't know how to do this, check the instructions and/or ask here for help. It's a crucial to the weight distributing aspect. It's possible the bars you got with the trailer are too light or too heavy for your trailer, but that can be determined only by installing and tensioning them.
 

jrazky

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I have a F350 with the tow package so that is no issue on the truck end, and looking at the instructions it does not look to rough.  I purchased a Prodigy brake controller and I think other than mounting the hitch I am in good shape.

My 28' TT is around 5500 lbs dry weight with a tongue weight of just over 500.  The WD hitch I got is 1000/10000, i did not know you could get too much hitch.  Is this hitch within the limits for my trailer?
 

Carl L

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jrazky said:
I have a F350 with the tow package so that is no issue on the truck end, and looking at the instructions it does not look to rough.? I purchased a Prodigy brake controller and I think other than mounting the hitch I am in good shape.

My 28' TT is around 5500 lbs dry weight with a tongue weight of just over 500.? The WD hitch I got is 1000/10000, i did not know you could get too much hitch.? Is this hitch within the limits for my trailer?

500 lbs is a bit light for a 5500# tare weight.  Have you actually weighed the trailer?  With traveling payload (water, propane, and junk) on board?  11-15% of laden weight is a better ratio for trailer stability.  My TT with a 4650# tare comes in at 750# tongue weight laden, as actually measured. 

Is 1000 lbs the spring bar rating?  If so it matches mine and they have worked just fine with my 750# tongue weight for a lot of years.  You want a spring bar rating higher than the TW.  However, too high can do mischief to an inadequate frame on a light weight unit.  Too light a rating is going to raise problems in adequate weight distribution and camming action in a dual scam anti-sway system.
 

jrazky

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No I have not weighed it, I have no idea how.  So how do you weigh it?

The bars are rated at 1000#

I am just going on the word of the previous owner, I am new to all this so all of your information is definately helping me out! 

Much appreciated

Josh
 

Jim Dick

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jrazky said:
No I have not weighed it, I have no idea how.  So how do you weigh it?

The bars are rated at 1000#

I am just going on the word of the previous owner, I am new to all this so all of your information is definately helping me out! 

Much appreciated

Josh

If you have a trailer that weighs 6000lbs GVWR then you would need 600lb bars. A general rule of thumb is 10% of the GVWR for the bars. A 7000lb trailer would need 800lb bars. I say that as we get 600lb, 800lb, and 1200lb bars at work. There are others in between. If you have 1000lb bars with a 5500lb trailer you have more than enough. They'll hardly be working. Of course, now you can move up to a heavier trailer. :)

 

 

jrazky

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Thats the advice a friend of mine gave me!  Buy a bigger hitch because you know you will upgrade and at least you can save the money on a hitch  ;)

Our first trip is next weekend, we are going close to home so we can get zoomied WHEN we forget something essential we will be 15 minutes round trip!

I can't wait, will let you know how it goes. . .

Wish us luck

Josh
 

Carl L

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No I have not weighed it, I have no idea how.  So how do you weigh it?

I use a small hydraulic scale to measure it directly.  It is the same type that are used to weigh and balance aircraft.  See  it at the bottom of the page at http://www.sherline.com/lmbook.htm#refrn16.

The other way is to drive the trailer on to a truck scale.  Drive so that the trailer is on the scale and the truck's rear wheels are off it.  Weigh the trailer.  Now unhitch the trailer so that the trailer jack is over the scale.  Raise the coupler off the ball being sure that the jack rests on the scale and the truck's wheels are off it.  Take the weight again.  The difference between the first and second weight is the tongue weight. 

The hydraulic scale is easier. 
 

Lou Schneider

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I got this hitch and the Reese dual cam sway bars for dirt cheap and just wanted to make sure I was not getting myself into trouble or got screwed.  I can't see this being a difficult repair and I will take it to the local RV place Monday to get repaired.

On another note, how difficult is it to install?  I have the directions and they don't look too difficult but again, I don't want to get in over my head. . .But i don't necessarily want to pay someone to do it if I can handle it myself.
There's one additional adjustment needed when installing the Dual Cam Sway Control.  Bolt the saddles (the part that goes under the arms) onto their approximate locations on the trailer A-frame.  With the rig level and facing straight ahead the cams should be centered in their saddles (the  indentations in the ends of the trunnion arms).

If needed, release the tension on the arms (lower the jack stand first) and slide the cam assemblies forward or backwards to center the cams in the saddles when the arms are properly tensioned.

You can use a 5 ft. long 4x4, two blocks and bathroom scale to read the hitch weight.  Place the trailer tongue onto the hitch ball so you can raise the tongue jack off of the ground.  Make a bridge under the tongue jack with one block on the ground, the other on the bathroom scale and the 4x4 in between.  If you place the tongue jack so it is 1 ft. from the block on the ground and 4 ft. from the block on the bathroom scale, when you raise the trailer off of the hitch 1/4 of the weight will be placed on the scale.  Multiply the scale reading by 4 to get the tongue weight.
 

jrazky

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Okay so I got everything installed, what a pain because of the propane tanks mounts.  Had to do a fair bit of drilling and grinding to get the U bolts to sit right, overall not too bad but I wish I could start one project and have it go smooth and not bang my knuckles and mutter obscenities under my breath.

Oh well it was all a distant memory after a good beer buzz underneath an oak on my first trip out. . .

Thanks for all the help!

Josh
 

Jim Dick

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Josh,

Propane tanks get in the way a lot. We've had to actually move some of them on new coaches. Not fun when they're welded in place!!!
 
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