On my previous trailer, I had a older version of the dual cam system that was clamped to the trailer frame and I loved it. It worked prefectly. But with this new trailer and the new version of Dual Cam, I am a bit miffed.
I have now bent my fair share (6) of snap up brackets. These are the heave duty ones with the gussets welded on. I have a 1250lb tongue weight, and use the 1500 lb bars.
First off, the nitwits at the dealer installed the snap up bracket about a inch or so off. Not a killer, but still a small factor.
I finally decided to figure out the problem and solution myself instead of letting the dealer have at it again.
After now having taken everything off and carefully inspecting the parts, putting it back on and inspecting operation completely, I now know that while the concept of how the hangers (and cam brackets) operate is a interesting piece of elementary geometry and engineering, the execution of those principles into real life is pretty much a failure with this new design.
These things MAY work for you IF you have a lighter tongue weight, IF you are lucky enough to get stuff that is manufactured properly, and IF it is installed perfectly.
For the geometry of the bracket to work properly in holding on to the frame, the snap up brackets must have a 90 degree bend to fully contact the side and top of the frame. It isn't 90°.
I have found it to be more of 95 to 96°. This means the top of the bracket is only touching on the outside of the top of the frame. This also means the pinch bolt is preset 5°to 6° out of perpendicular to the frame. A classic case of poor manufacture.
The dual cam pivot brackets have exactly the same problem as example one. With the brackets not bent at 90°, it puts the postition of the cam arm farther out than it should be, AND at a slight angle to the bottom of the spring bars. The spring bars now ride on the cam on one side, without full contact accross the bar. There is a dig on the outside of the cams instead of rubbing marks acccross the entire cam.
The gussets that are welded onto the snap up bracket to reinforce it for heavier service are a joke. The design does reinforce the main part of the bracket, BUT does not reinforce the major stress points at the pinch bolt flange and the two bolt positions on the side of the frame.
Even though the above issues are pretty bad, they are not enough by themselves to cause the brackets to bend in the manner that they do. The way they are bent after failure is a pretty clear indication of what is going on. As with a lot of things, It takes several failures in a system to lead to a big failure. All of the above examples contribute to allowing the weight on the chain to bend up the bracket as follows:
The snap up brackets are a example of a "cam over" device. That is, once you pull the brackets into position, the weight on the chain is pulled down between the hinge points of the bracket arm and the frame of the trailer. When you put the safety pin in the hole and there is ample weight on the chain, the pin is pretty much not needed except to ensure the cam will not come out when you are hitching or unhitching it.
Now here is the killer. When the chain is snapped up, it DOES go into a cam over position. BUT JUST BARELY. I have assembled the chain to the bracket (no bars), and the cams arms. without the safety pin in place on the snap up bracket, I carefully placed heavier and heavier weight on the snap up bracket arm. It took less than 60 lbs to cause the snap up bracket to fly out of position.
When doing the same with the bars, they would not stay no matter what unless the pin was put into place while holding the arm up with the tool.
If the cam over was far enough, the weight on the chain would actually be trying to PUSH the snap up bracket arm toward the frame. As it is, the cam position fails due to slop, and the chain shifts weight to the outside of the arm pivots and it tries to PULL the bracket away from the frame.
Now mind you, this is with parts that are all in good working order, not bent or damaged.
In my opinion, whether by shoddy workmanship, poor QC, bad design, or marketing problems brought out by needing to get rid of a ton of badly made parts they cannot return, this version of the Reese Dual Cam system as a whole is really not a decent system to have.
The thing that really gets me about all of this is that it is a preventable issue. I cannot believe that Reese is letting this kind of junk on the market. One thing I noticed is that there are no engineers to talk to. I have a feeling that they hire out their design and then just manufacture. R&D seems non existant in that company. All they say is that should not have happened. Here is a new pair. THAT is not customer service. That is making customers quiet. (note: Reese customer service department has always been professional, courtious and all around excellent to me. It is not their fault! They just have limited ability.)
Customer service is sitting down and figuring out WHY so many people with their products have the same issues, and figuring out how to fix it.
Now it is time for me to get out the welder, plasma cutter, grinders, etcetera, and try to fix this problem on my hitch.
Either that or junk it and go with something else.
Reese used to have good R&D. I think they invented many of the concepts that are used in weight distribution systems, and did a lot of work to develop such systems. In the late 80s I worked for Weiser Lock, a place that had a 750,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Huntington Beach CA, and was bought out by Masco Industries, with Reese one of the sister companies, and I was able to buy Reese hitch at a employee discount price.
Masco moved Weiser Lock to Tucson because of lower cost to manufacture, and sold off the commercial lock business, Falcon Lock, to a private company, who later sold out to Schlage, (they took the patents and fired everyone, sold the machines, and buildings.). Last I heard about Weiser Lock it was sold to Black and Decker, who moved it to Wisconsin.
Masco was a company that could suck the company dry, and then sell off it's parts, while making the corporation rich. They might have done the same thing with Reese. I know that Reese has been importing products from China for years, but did not know the quality had gone downhill so much.
Hey Fred...I used to be one of those suit guys (Acquisitions manager) dealing
with technology companies and IP...but hated being surrounded by these kinds of
Sr VP who hired or promoted me into that position was a cool guy. Harvard MBA
but knew he and the like didn't know squat about the IP they were dealing with
So he kept me around just to keep him up to speed...but then he lost a political
war and the new Sr VP and I didn't get along (I'm not a MBA) so got laid off
How does this fit this thread?
Well both you guys are experiencing and lived the truth with the 'American' way
of doing business, generally speaking that is
Take Facebook. A local corporation who just IPO'd and what a fiasco that was, is
They didn't 'need' the money raised via IPO, as they bought my old campus
which was listed for $350 MILLION before their IPO. So they had and still had
plenty of cash on hand.
The IPO was mainly to line the pockets of their VC's and exec's.
So if Reese got caught in that cycle, can see how the 'bean counters' sold out
to make millions. Then the 'new' owners were just corporate raider mills to
lay off their crown jewels...the folks who actually knew their product
Hire out is right on.
During my tenure at that level...was constantly arguing that they were out sourcing
their crown jewels and paying 'them' to become peer competitors with our own IP
Schlage used to have a huge factory in South San Francisco and my parents butcher/grocery
shop fed tons of their workers. Saw how disruptive it was their lives and to
then hear of calls asking 'how did you do that' with no offer to pay them for
Maybe some pic's of that new setup and maybe we can kibitz a bit...
-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...
on my dual cam with 1700lb bars, and over 1400 on the bars, with the HD brackets I haven't had an issue. In fact with the full weight of the bars on the cams, it stays over center on the snap up bracket.
However I agree with you the angles aren't as close as they should be and it doesn't fit as well as it should. A classic case of not taking into account "springback" in the specified bend angles on the bracket during mfg to insure the final angle is what you want, not the inital bend angle. I bent one of the non HD brackets pretty easy with the pre 2010 design which I'm sure I did with the bar hitting the cam. So far, switching to the post 2010 design I picked up enough clearance to keep from hitting a cam and avoiding a bend bracket.
Also, I think there are two versions of the HD brackets. I've seen some with the gussett going only over the main part of the bracket but not down over the pinch bolt position or down past the square holes for mounting. The classic poor design you mention in item III.
On the HD brackets I have the gussett goes past the pinch bolt and down past the square holes with weld fillets at the end of the gussett. This will keep the bracket from bending at the points it normally bends at.
The other design IMHO does nothing to reinforce the bracket and keep it from bending. It will just bend at the square holes and the backside bolt.
One thing Reese should do is make the brackets for a standard frame instead of having a bracket wide enough for a frame that few folks have.
and one of my cams exhibits the problem you pointed out, it wears on one side only with a flat spot, while the other side is square and wears evenly across the face of the cam.
2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison
I'll try to get some pics tomorrow to show what is going on.
I recently made some diagrams to illustrate the issue for a different thread. I thought I would post them here too for future reference of anyone that finds this thread.
The Reese dual cam brackets that hold the cam arms are bent wrong from the factory.
It has been this way since day one on mine.
To illustrate the problem and how they screwed up the manufacturing, I drew some diagrams showing what the bracket should be in comparison to what I have.
The first diagram shows the bracket as seen by looking at one end. (or crossection) The one on the left is bent at 90° at the corner, as it should be by design. The one on the right is bent at 95° and represents the brackets that I currently have.
The next diagram shows how this affects the proper positioning of the cams. It is the dual cam as seen from the front of the trailer. On the left is the properly designed unit. The cam is nearly right under where the snap up hook would be.
The one on the right show the 5° offset in the bend. As you can see, the cam is positioned outboard of the frame. This will cause the chain to be at a outward angle and not straight down.
The snap up bracket has a similar bend angle problem. I do have the heavy duty brackets and bend them up every time.
This is purely poor manufacturing on the part of Reese. I highly doubt that they will own up to it amf fix the isssue for anyone with the bad brackets. But it would be nice if they acknowledged the problems and worked with us to straighten out the mess. Moderator edit to reduce picture size to forum limit of 640px
maximum width.( I tried to resize it again by resizing and cropping the source but it would not stick. soz, housedad)
I`ve got over 15,000 miles on my DC system and they work flawlessly! never an issue. they will wear into the cams over time. they work as advertised and I would recomend them to anyone! I alos have 1200lbs tongue weight!
Son Brandon 11yrs
Daughter Marissa 10yrs
07 Cherokee 32B
02 Excursion 4X4 V-10 4.30 gear 5Star tuner Y-pipe mod Hellwig sway bar
Reese HP dualcam Prodigy brake controller
A bad day of camping is
better than a good day at work!