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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Question about GM hitches bending upward

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surveyorjp

Missouri

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Posted: 03/02/10 07:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just returned from our first outing of the season which is our yearly trek to Montauk State Park and the opening of trout season. The weather was quiet, but a bit cool, and the fishing was okay, but we had a great time and look forward to the rest of our camping season!!

My old Ram, performed flawlessly as usual for the 200 mile round trip, as did my brother in law's 06 Silverado. However, as he was hooking up this morning to head home, I noticed a distinct upward bend in the receiver on his truck. It is the factory GM receiver, and I recall reading about folks having issues with these, some of them having catastrophic failure. I mentioned it to him and he acknowledged he didn't think it looked right either.

My question is, is there a website or somewhere that I can look for more information about this GM hitch issue and what advice I should offer him? I told him I would research the issue on the internet and he said he would appreciate any info I could dig up. So, I ask the rv.net folks, where can I locate some detailed info about this? He is planning on asking the GM dealer about it as well. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.


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SuperdutyII

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Posted: 03/02/10 07:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do a Google or Yahoo search on the words: "GM Receiver failure". You will get several hits.

ktosv

Grand Rapids, MI

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Posted: 03/02/10 07:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How heavy is he towing? A 4000# hybrid or is it an HD and is he towing a 9000# bunk house?


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Terryallan

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Posted: 03/02/10 08:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktosv wrote:

How heavy is he towing? A 4000# hybrid or is it an HD and is he towing a 9000# bunk house?


Why does it matter? bent is bent, and broke is broke, no matter what it weighes.


If bent , or broken. Replace it. however. I thought the "defective" GM hitches were on trucks older than 06.


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Keith99RS

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Posted: 03/02/10 08:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

ktosv wrote:

How heavy is he towing? A 4000# hybrid or is it an HD and is he towing a 9000# bunk house?


Why does it matter? bent is bent, and broke is broke, no matter what it weighes.


If bent , or broken. Replace it. however. I thought the "defective" GM hitches were on trucks older than 06.


IIRC they used the same hitch design right up until the new body style came out.


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ktosv

Grand Rapids, MI

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Posted: 03/02/10 08:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

Why does it matter? bent is bent, and broke is broke, no matter what it weighes.


I think if you did a search on the forum, you would find that people who have had issues were towing much heavier loads then those of us with several years of towing 4000# trailers around.

Now, I am not saying that those who have had issues were overloaded. However, someone trying to slow down/stop while turning with a 9000# trailer in tow is going to load that hitch drastically different then someone towing half the weight in the same situation.

I recently replaced my hitch because I have gone up in weight. The thing I found interesting was that my safety chain bracket (part of the gusset piece that holds the pin box) was bent (I hadn't noticed it until the hitch was removed from the truck). I can only think of two ways that happened. The one time that our truck was stuck in a snow drift and was pulled out using the hitch and or I turned to sharp of an angle and bent it with the safety chain (hard to believe I didn't have enough slack in that type of situation). Basically, I feel my bent bracket was self inflicted. My question about the weight leads to that...was it self inflicted damage (no offense ment to the owner). If he is towing a 3000# trailer, the risk of failure is much less and in my opinion the defect might have been self inflicted. Now, if he is towing a 9000# trailer they will join the majority of the people who have had issues.

A picture of the defect could speak a thousand words.

targaboat

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Posted: 03/02/10 08:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How does a hitch get bent upwards?


Fly Boy

Golden_HVAC

Fairview OR, USA

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Posted: 03/02/10 09:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I sure hope that your brother either decided not to tow the trailer home until he gets another hitch, or hopefully made it home OK.

Yes the GM hitch has a quick release option, it seems the tubing is not thick enough and it fails, releasing the square part.

Many have replaced their GM hitch with a more substantial one, with square tubing from the frame rails to the center of the hitch. One owner said the factory hitch was about 15 - 20 pounds lighter than the replacement hitch.

IF the hitch is still in once piece, take it for a test drive, and film the hitch from another vehicle. Watch it going through bumps, and over a railroad track if you have one on a 4 lane road nearby. Then take the same route with the new hitch. I think you will find that film interesting. There is a lot of flex in some factory hitches, while the replacement is rock solid. You probably don't even need the chains for the equalizer bars as tight, to get the same effect.

I think what was happening is the weight distribution bars caused the thinner round tubing to "Wrap up", twist when put under a load.

Good Luck,

Fred.

LIKE2BUILD

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Posted: 03/02/10 09:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

surveyorjp wrote:

My old Ram, performed flawlessly as usual for the 200 mile round trip, as did my brother in law's 06 Silverado. However, as he was hooking up this morning to head home, I noticed a distinct upward bend in the receiver on his truck........He is planning on asking the GM dealer about it as well.

In all likelihood the GM dealer will do nothing about it. Most likely they will assert that he has towed too heavy or improperly adjusted his WD hitch and caused the problem.

The best thing he can do is just replace the hitch with a standard, square tube style hitch and move on. My '04 2500HD used to porpoise a LOT with the OEM hitch. When I changed to the Curt Magnum V, with the exact same WD setup, the porpoising is virtually non existent. The problem is GM decided to use the bumper brackets as part of the weight carrying and weight distributing food chain. There are too many brackets and fasteners in all these parts and it allows for a great deal of vertical flex in the receiver tube. If your BIL's receiver is pointing up, it means it has become over flexed and now everything is weakened.

You didn't say if your BIL's truck is a 1500 or a 2500HD. So, below are hitches I would recommend for these trucks, whichever one he has. Both of these hitches do bolt to the underside of the bumper, but they don't rely on the bumper for vertical support. Nearly all of the torque transfer to the frame comes from the square cross tube in the hitch.

Valley Class IV for GM 1500
[image]

Curt Magnum V for 2500HD
This hitch is a beast and I am very happy with the one on my truck.
[image]

KJ


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Golden_HVAC

Fairview OR, USA

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Posted: 03/02/10 09:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

targaboat wrote:

How does a hitch get bent upwards?


Hi,

If you look at this post, and then look at the top one, and go down to the one posted at 6:46 PM. The author writes that there is 1,700 pounds of upward force on the spring bars, and this is pushed down on the hitch ball, swinging the hitch receiver in a upward direction, because of the way the bars are trying to move the hitch head.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/14265335.cfm

If you are still wondering, take the hitch, put it on the truck, and put in one of the hitch bars. Bring it up like you would to attach it to the trailer "A-Frame" and consider there is about 500 pounds of strain on each chain. You can see that the hitch head is swinging upwards, and in this case, the whole receiver is swinging upward due to the weakened hitch.

My guess is the hitch round tubing is not thick enough, so it twists like a beer can. The problem is that the center of the hitch is known to detach. Also look for cracks around the receiver. This did not effect any of the 1999 and earlier GM factory hitch that was made with square tubing. Something about that round tubing that is causing problems.

One post said the "Quality Inspector" was expected to inspect 45 hitches a hour, 8 hours a day, so the welds might not have the best inspection on them after the fifth hour of the day. In reality, if the inspector finds a problem, then techs are brought in to adjust the automatic welding machines.

I did post a lot of pictures of 5 - 8 GM trucks that had failed hitches. But someone asked me to stop posting those same pictures over and over again.

Good Luck,

Fred.

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