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Old 01-15-2019, 02:46 PM   #1
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According to this, you may want to check you hitch

Just saw a post with pics over on Thor Motor Coach Issues and Complaints about a hitch ripping out from an Outlaw while towing a Jeep. I think I will scoot under mine and take a close look. Link is below.


https://www.facebook.com/groups/1801...5222412196317/
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:59 PM   #2
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You have t join the "pity party" to see the posts there. Can you copy and paste the post here with details?
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:05 PM   #3
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I'll give it a try.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:10 PM   #4
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Charles T Flood shared his first post.
2 hrs
We have 2016 outlaw towing a Jeep, just had our frame rip and hitch drag on ground,very dangerous, please check where your trailer hitch attaches to frame. Talked to thor,and Transportation safety office, thor will not respond, Not looking for them to do anything but make sure they get the word out. NOT HAPPY WITH THOR!!!!

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Looks like some rust could have been involved or defective material. Does not look like a weld let go.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:31 PM   #5
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I'd like to see some pictures of the rest of the hitch but d@mn that sure doesn't look like a hitch built to take 8k lbs!

First observations... It was cracked for a LONG TIME. Look at the rust in the end of the break vs. the fresh metal at the other end. Meaning if anyone did routine hitch inspections, or at least glanced under once in awhile, they would have seen that cracking long before it let go.

Rust was a minor factor, but it still shouldn't have failed with that amount of rust. It looks like the hitch simply wasn't triangulated properly and the tongue weight just kept working on those connections, ripping the frame like paper. That frame is extremely weak at that bend, and it's really too thin to take those stresses also. All it needed to help reduce that chance of ripping would have been to weld a plate across the end of the frame angle. Just like a piece of paper, it's easy to rip if it's not supported on the end. Crease a piece of paper and then fold over the end and it's a lot harder to rip the crease.

What we don't know... Tongue weight? Jeep weight? Hitch/dolly arrangement? What does the rest of the hitch look like?

This actually ties in with my comment in another thread about towing extra vehicles. It's not something that should be taken lightly. (ugh. sorry!) I've seen SO MANY trucks come through our dealership with loose hitches, loose hitch ball nuts, scary looking setups, etc. I happened to be walking by a truck towing a boat in a store parking lot and me being me, I glanced at the hitch. I thought I saw threads between the hitch ball nut and hitch. I actually went over and tried to turn the nut. IT WAS ABOUT TO FALL OFF!!! (I tried to find the owner and left a note on his window so maybe he wouldn't kill somebody out on the road.)

Here's a question for ALL of you towing something behind your RV... When was the last time you even LOOKED at your hitch much less put a breaker bar on something as basic but vital as the ball of your hitch? Yeah, that's what I thought.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:10 PM   #6
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You might look at the length of the drop on the ball on the hitch as factor. I would say that anything over 2" would seriously degrade the pull rating of the hitch but not the tongue weight. The combination of a long drop, a heavy vehicle with power steering and sharp turns puts a tremulous force on the welds. Fillet welds are not particularly strong to a twisting force.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:20 PM   #7
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Looks kind of like this one:
CAUTION!!: Double Check Trailer Hitch
and this
Towing Hitch Broke off!!!
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:15 PM   #8
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There was an excellent thread on this exact subject a few months ago...someone that's search savy will find it and post the link. I agree, until he/she posts pictures of the real story/the "other side", it would be tough to jump on this weak wagon. Most hitch issues can be tracked down to the loose nut behind the wheel.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:47 PM   #9
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Finally got around to checking out my hitch and glad I did. Looks like Thor ran out of bolts and left out the 3rd bolt on each side of the hitch. So, I dropped by the hardware store and got a couple and installed them. It may have been ok with two bolts, but if there are three holes................. better safe than sorry.
I removed and relocated the wire tie.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcr1010 View Post
Finally got around to checking out my hitch and glad I did. Looks like Thor ran out of bolts and left out the 3rd bolt on each side of the hitch. So, I dropped by the hardware store and got a couple and installed them. It may have been ok with two bolts, but if there are three holes................. better safe than sorry.
I removed and relocated the wire tie.
Attachment 15453
I hope you used at least a grade 5 bolt, or better a grade 8!
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmtech16450yz View Post
I'd like to see some pictures of the rest of the hitch but d@mn that sure doesn't look like a hitch built to take 8k lbs!

Here's a question for ALL of you towing something behind your RV... When was the last time you even LOOKED at your hitch much less put a breaker bar on something as basic but vital as the ball of your hitch? Yeah, that's what I thought.
That is scary to think we have the same year and model Thor.
But your question, maybe not for most folks, but I took ours completely off.
No signs of cracking on it or the frame.

I had the hitch off, because I installed a spare tire carrier, in the void area behind the rear axle.
I made it fit in the frame so it could rotate down to the ground for the spare's accessibility.
I took a 6" long piece of 1" square bar, drilled and tapped three 5/8" holes, and made the tire carrier line up and bolt to it, after the tapped holes piece was welded to the hitch while on the bench.
I used six new socket head 1/2" bolts to replace the hitch onto the frame, which are rated higher than a grade 8.

I believe ours is stronger now since what I have done to it!
It looked strong to begin with.

But, I guess I am somewhat like you, I kind of comb through it all making changes where I think changes for better should be, although I think you go further than I do, or know how to.

p.s. I just received my 5 Star tune kit yesterday, still reading the instructions, I want to be sure I am doing it correctly.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
I hope you used at least a grade 5 bolt, or better a grade 8!
Right on. The existing bolts are grade 5.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:56 PM   #13
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For the logical question asked: I visually inspect for cracks/abnormalities every time I get ready for track along with checking tire pressure on trailer and testing lights. I check bolt torque every quarter. I put grade 8 bolts in the empty holes when I bought it.

To me it looks like something was inherently wrong. It appears hitch assembly was bolted to bottom of frame rails and rail bottom section ripped away from side of rail. Interesting that hitch stayed mounted and did not fully rip away. I would be curious as to how everything on ball was configured. Maybe too much drop, too much tongue weight or just too many big bumps with heavy tongue or big drop. Not surprised at separation of formed rails, boxing that area would have shared load to top/sides.

As I understand it, is not uncommon on big overhang RVs towing big enclosed trailers. They make a trailer toad unit to absorb tongue weight which may be okay static but see major overload in operation depending on terrain.

It also did not really look like a new issue from large version of pics.

I'd be curious to know if it happened progressively or all at once.

Great it did not cause accident or major issue.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
I hope you used at least a grade 5 bolt, or better a grade 8!


Last time I bought a truck I paid the dealer to install a class 3 hitch before delivery. It was designed to bolt on with 8 bolts but there were only 5 holding it on. The others didnít line up precisely enough for the bolts to go through so they just left them off. 10 minutes with a rat tail file fixed it easily enough. I fussed at the dealer and his response was that ďthese things are so over engineered that itís not a problem. We do it all the time and never have a problemĒ!
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:34 PM   #15
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...I fussed at the dealer and his response was that “these things are so over engineered that it’s not a problem. We do it all the time and never have a problem”!
I guess that's why he has Comprehensive General Pliability insurance coverage...
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
Last time I bought a truck I paid the dealer to install a class 3 hitch before delivery. It was designed to bolt on with 8 bolts but there were only 5 holding it on. The others didn’t line up precisely enough for the bolts to go through so they just left them off. 10 minutes with a rat tail file fixed it easily enough. I fussed at the dealer and his response was that “these things are so over engineered that it’s not a problem. We do it all the time and never have a problem”!
At least you have the skills, know how, and fixed it properly.
Like you, I feel if it has bolt holes to hold it, there should be a bolt torqued in each one, and of a proper grade.
Their "never had a problem" may bite them in the butt one day.
IMO, that stuff shows poor quality workmanship on their part.
To let it get out the door like that, disgusting!

I was taught young: The quality of your work, is a direct reflection of your craftsmanship!

Experiences of my own, similar to yours here, is what led me to fixing most things myself, and generally over engineering the fix!
Makes you mad sometimes.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
Their "never had a problem" may bite them in the butt one day.
IMO, that stuff shows poor quality workmanship on their part.
To let it get out the door like that, disgusting!
I agree: shops that say this, and "They all do that: it's normal."; should be avoided...
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:39 AM   #18
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Sometimes I worry that I am becoming cynical in my old age. I truly donít want to turn into a curmudgeonly old man but on the other hand a fellow can only put up with just so much of this sort of......stuff!
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:52 PM   #19
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Absolutely nothing wrong with paying attention.

Safety starts with the individual. I am what some consider overly concerned regarding anything involving people getting harmed.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:07 PM   #20
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A lot of hitch issues stem from the drop downs, extensions and other modifications made to them other than direct, laterally loaded towing. The back and forth loads placed on an over extended drop down can weaken a hitch over time. Most manufacturers will tell advice to consider any extension a 50% reduction in capacity.
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