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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Bent WD snap up bracket on dual cam setup.

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Frozen001

Central, NY

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Posted: 07/21/21 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So on our way to Tennessee, I bent the drivers side WD snap up bracket for my Reese dual cam setup. I believe it was caused when we left a gas station that had a down hill to the road and then the road was up hill, creating a “v”. I was also truning and it must have put a lot of pressure on that side.

I got a replacement, but a couple of questions:

When the bracket bent it led a small dent in the box where the bolt that was holding it place was. What should I do about this? If I had to guess it is about 1/4” deep and maybe 1/2” circle. I can snap a photo tomorrow am and post.

What can I do to prevent this other than staying clear of that odd entry/exit. I see Reese make a heavier bracket with gussets on them… is it worth replacing my current two with these? As a side note… I posted about a month ago about the drivers side seeming to have more tension that the passenger side. Not sure if those event and that are related… but makes me wonder.

[image]

* This post was edited 07/21/21 08:35pm by Frozen001 *


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BarneyS

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Posted: 07/22/21 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That exact thing has happened before and posted here on the forums. I have not taken the time to look it up but the take-away from the discussion is that Yes, the V formed by the intersection of the driveway and road PLUS the turn you were making put too much pressure on the snap up.

You have a couple of choices to prevent it in the future. I would probably do both if the tongue weight is over 1000lbs.
1. Purchase the heavy duty brackets that have the reinforced top part.
2. Thru bolt those brackets to the frame. Reese has approved this for heavy tongue weight trailers.

I would not worry about the dent in the frame.
Barney


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Frozen001

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Posted: 07/22/21 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Barney always a great source of information. I would of picked up a pair of gusseted brackets but the only place around here that would sell me just the brackets did not have them.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 07/22/21 12:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BarneyS wrote:

That exact thing has happened before and posted here on the forums. I have not taken the time to look it up but the take-away from the discussion is that Yes, the V formed by the intersection of the driveway and road PLUS the turn you were making put too much pressure on the snap up.

You have a couple of choices to prevent it in the future. I would probably do both if the tongue weight is over 1000lbs.
1. Purchase the heavy duty brackets that have the reinforced top part.
2. Thru bolt those brackets to the frame. Reese has approved this for heavy tongue weight trailers.

I would not worry about the dent in the frame.
Barney


spot on. anyone with a tongue weight of 1000lbs or more needs the HD brackets with the gusset or through bolts. It's not a "if" but more likely a "when" especially if your in the 1200-1500lb tongue weight.

And once the bracket is bent it is toast. bending it back takes heat and then it is to soft and will bend again.

they are available online from places like e-trailer etc.


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msmith1.wa

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Posted: 07/22/21 08:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Definitely bolt them.I bent one of the reinforced brackets because I didn't bolt it. I have 1700lbs of tounge weight.


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Frozen001

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Posted: 07/23/21 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yea… not nodding my truck to fix what is not an issue… I am not in the camp of air bags, and never will. as others have said, and what I suspected, heavy tongue weight on the lighter weight brackets.

JBarca

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Posted: 07/25/21 09:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Frozen001 wrote:

As a side note… I posted about a month ago about the drivers side seeming to have more tension that the passenger side. Not sure if those event and that are related… but makes me wonder.


Hi,

You already have the answers to the bent snap up, I'm commenting on the one bar seeming to have more tension.

What size WD bars are you running and are they the trunnion style? While both the round bar and the trunnion bar hitches can have this effect, the trunnion bar style may have more of it.

For the trunnion bar hitch head, the head trunnion lug sockets are forged into the head. The trunnion head on the WD bar is cast steel and may be forged as well. And then there is the WD bar itself that is forged. And not to forget, differences in the snap up chain lengths, and the snap up bracket. All those mating parts are not machined where they fit together. As such, the WD bar locks up under load in the hitch head when the WD chains become tight and under load. Those unmachined parts are not exact. The lock up point on the left WD bar and the right WD bar in the hitch head can be/most likely will be, at a different spring load on the WD bar due to those small differences of unmachined parts. This creates a level of more tension on the one side.

I notice this issue most with my 1,700# WD bars then the 1,200# bars or even less on the 800# WD bars. I have several hitch setups on campers/trailers all using the DC.

The heavier rating of the WD bar, the stiffer it is, so a slight difference in lock up angle in the hitch head allows you to "feel" this difference easier when hitching up. When using the pipe on the snap up bracket and applying a small amount of snapping up tension to the WD chains, you will show/produce the feel of this. What little tension you can create with that pipe against a 1,700# WD bar is not much. You have to jack the camper and truck way up to get the WD bars on to relive some of the high spring load. Same goes for the 1,200# WD bars, even the 800# bars in many cases. That small, but yet, felt difference in WD snapup should not really affect the operation of the hitch.

I have my camper on level concrete and the truck too and can feel this difference. If the trailer axles and the truck axles are on uneven ground creating a slight axle angle against truck and camper, then the snapping up feel can also be found. This is more from one WD bar being down hill or uphill in relation to the other due to the axles not all being on parallel ground as the A Frame is not parallel the the hitch head in its normal setting.

Reading that, does this now explain how you "feel" one WD bar harder to snap up then the other?

I mark all my DC WD bars left and right so the cams and WD bars wear as a set and always put them on the same side. The same WD bar is always harder on the drivers side on my truck with the camper in my sig. The smaller campers and the flat bed trailer are different which side is a stronger feel. They all have different hitch heads, WD bars and snap up chain sets.

Hope this helps

John

* This post was edited 07/26/21 06:40am by JBarca *


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mr_andyj

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Posted: 07/26/21 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, on the other hand... The bracket is the weak link on your system and cheapest to replace, so do you want the bracket to be stronger than the trailer frame, or the hitch cradle, or the chains ???

As far as the dent the bolt put in your trailer frame I would not be too concerned about that, having not seen it of course. Steel is able to take one bend and still retain strength. I doubt this dent will ever matter, but as far as putting the new bracket where the dent is may or may not matter, as long as it is able to tighten and stay in place then you are good.

Of course when you turn one chain/spring is tight and the other is loose. However, if when level and straight one is still loose and you are not able to remedy with moving chain links up or down then you can get a bolt-on chain link (the name escapes me, but is the oval links you might attach the safety chains to the receiver hitch with) that is 1 1/2 times longer than the chain link on your WD bars. This will give you ability to fine tune the tension so instead of making 1 link adjustments you can make half-link adjustments.
Simply link chain link #3 to link #5, skipping 4 and this will add a half link length to the system. Do this ONLY on one side. This might be enough to even out the tension on the bars.
Make sure the link you are adding in is strong enough, so just get a big fat one.
You can test the tension by hooking it up one or two links looser so you can feel with hand and see if the two are equal tension, as under full load it will be so tight you cannot tell. Or lift one bar up, measure the height gain. lower, lift the other side up, measure, compare...

The way to avoid the issue is to drive across those driveway dips at an angle such that you are not making such a sharp up/down bend between the angle of truck and trailer.
OR take WD bars off.

What is happening is that when you make such an angle that the bars are pulling the tongue up such that the rear wheels of the truck are getting unweighted (headed to the truck rear wheels coming off the ground) and the weight is transferred across the bars to the trailer frame (and the hitch on the truck side) and all that weight is on the trailer frame at the point the bracket is bolted on. Lots of stress to the trailer frame. I was always afraid mine would bend the trailer frame at the bracket so I removed the bars when I got to washed-out dirt roads.

For me, I finally gave up and put on air bags as the tongue weight was still within my limits. I like the bags way more.
Perhaps a combo of air bags and WD bars would work for you (or any truck suspension stiffening system u choose). Stiffer truck springs and a lesser tensioned WD bars so you do not need to rely so much on the bars. This would give you more wiggle room before the bars bent or broke something.

Used WDH for sale....

Frozen001

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Posted: 07/26/21 01:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, John… thanks for all the information. What you described is what I feel, I have 1200lbs trunion bars, and I have Had them marked driver/passenger since back in 2010 when I purchased these. I started without the DC then moved to the DC same year. I have 5 links under tension to return the truck front end to its unloaded height. This is with I want to say three or 4 teeth in head tilt. I spent a while getting this setup as always, between changing head tilt and number of links under tension. These bars are on their third TT. After this trip I am considering moving to an equalizer set up simple to gain some ground clearance. At another point leaving a parking lot, this time with a gutter and a large road crown the bottom of the cams hit. I could decrease the head tilt to gain some clearance but I likely would have to und up with only 4 links under tension and I fear I might get a binding situation in tight turns. One thought I also have is I wonder what my true tongue weight is when loaded. Another thing to check when I return home. This is our first long distance trip with this TT, as COVID limited our travel last year. It tows nice and straight, very easy towing actually.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 07/27/21 04:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like JBarca I have my bars labeled "passenger side" and "drivers side" If I lay them side by side they are NOT identical, close but not identical. so I spent time setting the brackets etc. up to match each bar as perfect as possible. And then keep it that way by labeling them.

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