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Old 07-06-2022, 09:55 PM   #1
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Model: 30.2
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THOR #17882
Hitch bolts sheered

Scary story! I was towing my toad 4 down and while driving I heard a noise when rounding a corner on 95. Luckily, I had the rear camera on and saw my bike rack that was attached to the drop hitch was canted and so I pulled over and inspected. Thank goodness I did. One side of the hitch had completely separated. All bolts gone. Both my e-brake and back up cables were attached to the hitch. Super bad I now know! If you only attach to the hitch and it goes there is nothing to stop your toad. My dealer is ordering a new hitch. I donít know if it was faulty bolts or what.

I have a 2019 Thor ACE 30.2 with 10k hitch.

Question to the forum. Should I have the new one bolted and welded? I am super nervous about towing but must as we need a vehicle. I was towing a jeep under weight limits of the hitch.

See pics.
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Old 07-06-2022, 10:12 PM   #2
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It's always the weakest link which fails first... here it was your bolts. I'm considering having my hitch welded to the frame to avoid reliance on "bolts of unknown hardness". If you had a bike rack on there too, the twisting force may have been a contributing factor.

I'd go with welding for a more permanent fix. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-06-2022, 10:14 PM   #3
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The Thor techs could have swept the floor and used the wrong grade bolts when they installed the hitch;
Or used the right bolts and neglected to torque them.
At least the hitch metal didn't rip as we've seen before.
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Old 07-06-2022, 10:34 PM   #4
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Yeah…agree. I am researching weld right now
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Old 07-06-2022, 10:35 PM   #5
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Agree. Scary never the less.
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Old 07-06-2022, 10:36 PM   #6
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Bolts were gone, or bolts were sheared?
Two very very different things.
One is lack of maintenance, the other a failure absolutely unrelated to Thor.
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Old 07-06-2022, 10:54 PM   #7
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ACEs normally have 8,000 lb hitch rating for towing but only a 1,000 to 1,200 lb load for hitch weight depending on the year. Hitch drops and extensions greatly drop the usable loads. A 6" extensior can only support 400 lbs at the end because of the twisting effect. These are static loads. A dynamic load (as in bumpy loads) can cause failure at lighter loads. Hitch bolts, nuts and washers should be grade 5 bolts because of crack propagation with dynamic loads. I suspect the problem the bolts were not properly torqued and only tightened with an air or electric power wrench.
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Old 07-06-2022, 11:03 PM   #8
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Beau,
Does Thor install hitches or does the company that alters the frames do it?
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Old 07-07-2022, 12:12 AM   #9
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Hitches have been bolted on vehicles forever. I would stay with the bolts and inspect them for tightness before every trip. Ever since reading about the hitch failure on this forum I have inspected by hitch before every trip. I treat it like checking the tire pressure. Just something I need to do.
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Old 07-07-2022, 12:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayslearning View Post
Scary story! I was towing my toad 4 down and while driving I heard a noise when rounding a corner on 95. Luckily, I had the rear camera on and saw my bike rack that was attached to the drop hitch was canted and so I pulled over and inspected. Thank goodness I did. One side of the hitch had completely separated. All bolts gone. Both my e-brake and back up cables were attached to the hitch. Super bad I now know! If you only attach to the hitch and it goes there is nothing to stop your toad. My dealer is ordering a new hitch. I donít know if it was faulty bolts or what.

I have a 2019 Thor ACE 30.2 with 10k hitch.

Question to the forum. Should I have the new one bolted and welded? I am super nervous about towing but must as we need a vehicle. I was towing a jeep under weight limits of the hitch.

See pics.
It looks like the bolts fell out. If bolted properly there shouldn't be a problem. Remember it has a 10,000 pound hitch, that doesn't mean it can pull 10,000 pounds. Look at the numbers for your motorhome, it might only pull 4,000 pounds, it all depends on the motorhome. I could put a 10,000 pound hitch on a 4 cylinder pickup truck, that doesn't mean I could pull a 10,000 pound trailer. Order a new receiver, it might take you an hour at most to install. You learn by fixing your own rv, you might even notice that there are wires everywhere and need to be tied up. Or broken ground connections that need to be fixed. You might even find a leak that needs fixing. I have never seen a receiver as easy as that one looks. Good luck. Etrailer says their hitches are grade 5 or 8 depending on application
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Old 07-07-2022, 01:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayslearning View Post
Scary story! I was towing my toad 4 down and while driving I heard a noise when rounding a corner on 95. Luckily, I had the rear camera on and saw my bike rack that was attached to the drop hitch was canted and so I pulled over and inspected. Thank goodness I did. One side of the hitch had completely separated. All bolts gone. Both my e-brake and back up cables were attached to the hitch. Super bad I now know! If you only attach to the hitch and it goes there is nothing to stop your toad. My dealer is ordering a new hitch. I donít know if it was faulty bolts or what.

I have a 2019 Thor ACE 30.2 with 10k hitch.

Question to the forum. Should I have the new one bolted and welded? I am super nervous about towing but must as we need a vehicle. I was towing a jeep under weight limits of the hitch.

See pics.
You have an 8,000 pound hitch and fully loaded you can tow 5,000 max
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Old 07-07-2022, 01:26 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the reply’s. I have a receiver on order with Thor now. I will no longer use a double drop hitch. I will take the advice and ensure torque spec every time I roll out. I agree that lateral forces may have played a part.

Lastly, it was raised here about maintenance, I clearly see some rust in the area where hitch was attached. Could have been loose bolts all along and not torqued.

Thanks everyone
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Old 07-07-2022, 01:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
The Thor techs could have swept the floor and used the wrong grade bolts when they installed the hitch;
Or used the right bolts and neglected to torque them.
At least the hitch metal didn't rip as we've seen before.
Thor MC had nothing to do with the hitch installation. It is part of the MorRyde modification. Thor MC writes the specification and MorRyde sources and installs it. Just like the F-53 chassis. Ford designs it and warranties it, Detroit Chassis assembles it and sources all items not provided by Ford Truck plant in KY.
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Old 07-07-2022, 02:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Johnson View Post
You have an 8,000 pound hitch and fully loaded you can tow 5,000 max
True fact.
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Old 07-07-2022, 02:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayslearning View Post
...I have a receiver on order with Thor now....

Thanks everyone
How was it damaged that you need a New one? I can't imagine.

Why would you install ANY item that wasn't an upgrade?

It supposedly failed. Why buy a proven failure?

Based on the story and the ordering through THOR instead of searching for alternatives, I'm going to suggest a professional do the installation.
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Old 07-07-2022, 02:32 AM   #16
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Why do you need a new receiver? Yours looks undamaged, like it just came apartÖ.
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Old 07-07-2022, 03:01 AM   #17
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The still connected side may be mangled.
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:33 AM   #18
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Towing Scary Story

In the spirit of learning, I have always connected my e-brake to the hitch where the emergency cables snap on. Now I see the error in my ways. Where is the safest place to attach the brake cable?
Thank you for sharing your story and thanks to the legends on this forum for the thoughtful feedback. Us rookies can a lot from this post.
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:17 PM   #19
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These from a few years ago were frame failures.. (Not mine) Looks like failed while braking...
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by robebur View Post
In the spirit of learning, I have always connected my e-brake to the hitch where the emergency cables snap on. Now I see the error in my ways. Where is the safest place to attach the brake cable?
Thank you for sharing your story and thanks to the legends on this forum for the thoughtful feedback. Us rookies can a lot from this post.
Yep, that's so easy to do as you have the the sturdy rings right there and there's no other "ready to go" place to connect it.

On my ACE it's easy: I have a steel rear bumper with access to the hollow interior so it's just a matter of drilling the right size hole and installing a stainless eye bolt with washers and nyloc nut, tightening it up, and you're good to go.

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