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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Hitch longevity

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Veebyes

Bermuda & Maryland Eastern Shore

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Posted: 04/16/19 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another post got me to thinking about this one.

What sort of lifespan can one expect out of a hitch? 10 years old here. About 150 nights per year on the road. At least 60 hitching cycles per year. 12,000-15,000 miles per year. Never damaged. A bit of WD40 every so often. 18,000# hitch with 13,000# loaded trailer. Well under limits. No complaints about it.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 04/16/19 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, look it over periodically, clean and lubricate the moving parts but really not a lot of wear and tear cruising down the road.


Tammy & Mike
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Second Chance

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Posted: 04/16/19 08:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually, there can be a good bit of wear if there is significant pin weight. It all depends on how well you maintain the hitch and the miles (including road quality) on the rig. The manual for our PullRite OE 18K calls for pulling the head and greasing the load-bearing points at specified intervals. This turns out to be about twice a year for us (full-timers with about 12K miles per year). I can tell there's over 3,000 lbs. on the pin when I pull things apart (shiny areas on the load-bearing surfaces), but keeping things clean and well lubricated, the hitch looks like it's got a lot of life left in it.

Rob


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Tyler0215

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Posted: 04/16/19 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WD 40 is NOT a lube. It does do good job of cleaning old lube off.

Veebyes

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Posted: 04/16/19 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tyler0215 wrote:

WD 40 is NOT a lube. It does do good job of cleaning old lube off.


Actually yes, you are correct. WD40 is fish oil based. Has no real staying ability. My usual goto product is something called Boeshield. Been using it on my boats for years. Developed for Boeing, it becomes a waxy substance after a few hours. Another product, LPS 3 is somewhat similar.

Second Chance

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Posted: 04/16/19 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Veebyes wrote:

WD40 is fish oil based.


Common myth.

bpounds

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Posted: 04/16/19 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't think anyone can predict how long a hitch will last. All you can do is inspect it, clean it, and lubricate it. If it is a hitch that uses springs, pay particular attention to those. At 10 years I would consider just replacing the springs, since you can't really know when a spring will snap. And always store your hitch with the springs in the relaxed position, not locked open for example.

If you've got any of the air loaded hitches, you have a whole nother level of concern.


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bpounds

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Posted: 04/16/19 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Veebyes wrote:


Actually yes, you are correct. WD40 is fish oil based. Has no real staying ability. My usual goto product is something called Boeshield. Been using it on my boats for years. Developed for Boeing, it becomes a waxy substance after a few hours. Another product, LPS 3 is somewhat similar.


None of those are a good lubricant for your hitch. Good corrosion preventatives, but not much lubricant value.

I use motorcycle chain lubricant in a spray can. Sprays out easily through the straw, right where I want it, penetrates well, and then sets up and clings. Doesn't attract dirt once it is set.

jerem0621

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Posted: 04/16/19 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it’s a Reese, Andersen, or a Curt it should be replaced before you even open the box.

If it’s a B&W it’s good till infinity. When society ends there will be only a few relics of humanity...The great Pyramids and all the B&W hitches. I mean, come on, they have their own fan club and everything.

In seriousness, I would not replace the hitch, I would maintain it...replace the springs and jaws if needed. These pieces of equipment are expensive and should only be replaced by want or by need.

Thanks!

Jeremiah


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RobWNY

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Posted: 04/16/19 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know if my choices of lubricants are right or wrong but I use Blaster White Lithium Grease on the jaws and pivot points before each use and I have a grease zerk fitting on the underside of my B&W that gets some Red N Tacky grease once a season. On the pin I use a Lube Plate. It keeps things from getting messy because I don't have to grease the plate itself


If God didn't want us to eat cows, he wouldn't have made them out of Steak and Cheese.

Life is a lot like a baseball pitch. Sometimes you get a fast ball down the middle of the plate and sometimes you get a curve ball in the dirt.


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