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Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-07-2010, 1:51 PM Reply   
Im goin camping next month and my friend is taking his diesel to tow the 5th wheel, and i was going to take my truck to tow the boat, but now he's saying he doesnt want me to take my truck because the hitch was installed by UHAUL ( it was on it when i bought the truck used) He says that they are prone to break off from the truck while in tow, we are only towing the boat about 65-70 miles, what are your guys opinions on this?
Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-07-2010, 2:09 PM Reply   
My 6-cyl ~4500 lb tow rig tows my ~4500 boat trailer combo with a u-haul hitch. I've gotten about ~7000 miles on 65 round trips of about ~110 miles. I've wondered about the hitch and asked every garage mechanic if that hitch looked strong enough. They were not concerned (but maybe I should be).

The hitch has not been my trouble spot:-- that has been tires. Maybe this winter I'll jack them off the ground.
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-07-2010, 2:10 PM Reply   
Typically I would say their receivers are as good/bad as most any other shop..... and the installation.

But: http://www.dontuseuhaul.com/
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-07-2010, 2:20 PM Reply   
bill, just watched that video, damn that would be scary, im not sure if i was clear, im not using a uhaul trailer, im towing my friends boat, which is a 1998 ski nautique dd, it will be empty except our boards, not even any gas in it. i think the boat weighs around 2500 lbs when it has gas and is wet. I would be towing it with my dodge ram 1500. It is the receiver that is from uhaul, i need to get a different adapter for his trailer ( i only have a 4 prong, his is 5). So im going to take it to the shop he had his reciever/hitch installed to pick that up, while i am there, im going to ask them to check mine out and see if it all looks sturdy and good to go.
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-07-2010, 2:45 PM Reply   
Yea, I was clear that your talking about the receiver, not a trailer. But I imagine the details your buddy heard about Uhaul receivers breaking off could be distorted or somehow grouped in with all their other products.
I Googled "Uhaul receiver break" & came up with dozens of hits, some not even close, some just people like yourself asking if it's true. It basically looks like it's all being blown out of proportion based on one or two incidents.
And since it's his boat, he calls the shots. Having his shop take a look at it is a good idea though.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-07-2010, 2:57 PM Reply   
yeah, i googled it as well and wasnt really able to find anything at all specific, he told me i can take his moms truck, but i dont really feel comfortable taking that, i cant stand the way it drives, just feel more comfortable taking the truck that im used to driving every single day haha. ive asked probably close to 15 people what their thoughts on this are and they have all said the boat is so light that they can garuntee nothing would happen, but i still think im gonna have the shop look at it, so that he knows his boat will be safe haha.
Old    Brett (bmcgee)      Join Date: Nov 2007       10-07-2010, 3:12 PM Reply   
I wouldn't be too worried about the hitch itself breaking, but I might take a look at how it's bolted to the frame. You might hop under there and take a look at what grade bolts were used and make sure they used lock washers/nuts. I had a hitch installed on my truck a few years ago and I ended up replacing all of the hardware the shop used (not UHaul btw) with grade 8 bolts/washers/nuts. An easy way to see check what bolts were used is to see how many grooves are etched into the bolt head. A grade 8 bolt will have 6 grooves. I probably wouldn't want anything less than Grade 8 and it's pretty easy to swap out the hardware if you need to.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-07-2010, 3:31 PM Reply   
not exactly sure what you meant by checking the grooves, so i went out front and took some pics of the hardware, hopefully you can tell me which grade these are.
Attached Images
   
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-07-2010, 3:32 PM Reply   
WOAHHH, sorry those are so huge, loaded them straight from my phone
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-07-2010, 3:46 PM Reply   
Those are the nuts. Need to see the bolt heads.

Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-07-2010, 3:47 PM Reply   
I think but could be wrong that Brett means raised ridges radiating in a star pattern ... on the heads of the bolts.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-07-2010, 3:59 PM Reply   
ohh okay, sorry for the pics then haha, i'll try and see if i can figure out the grade, cause i dont think i can see the heads of the bolts, i'll check tho
Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       10-07-2010, 4:11 PM Reply   
Drive to your local welder and have him make the hitch one with the frame. You should have done this already. This will make Francis happy and make the receiver capable of holding more than your drive line.

I'm guessing a 20$ bill will cover it.

I suppose it's a Southern thing.
Old    John M Hall (skyski1)      Join Date: Jan 2008       10-07-2010, 6:47 PM Reply   
Welding sounds like great advice. I doubt that anyone would ever want to take a receiver hitch off a truck anyway. You might also want to take a look at the quality of the tow ball. I saw one snap once and it was not under much stress at the time.
Old    Brett (bmcgee)      Join Date: Nov 2007       10-07-2010, 8:49 PM Reply   
Yep, Johnathan's got it right. Sorry if my explanation was a little vague, its been a long day...
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-07-2010, 10:37 PM Reply   
my friends dad is actually a welder, he worked for the studios for like 30 something years, maybe i'll ask if he can weld it. im still gonna go by the shop and see what they have to say about it. unfortunately like i said before i cant check the grade of the bolts due to how they are positioned. Do you guys think i would be alright for the trip tho?
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       10-08-2010, 6:01 AM Reply   
I wouldn't sweat it, looks like a decent hitch to me an welds don't look like crap. Your friend is paranoid. I am too, but only so far as to look over any work on my vehicles I pay anyone else to do. That hitch looks fine to me. If you're really concerned go ahead and tighten all the bolts and repalce if they're not grade 8, or weld it to the frame. Personally I wouldn't sweat it. Hitch looks decent and is securely bolted to the frame. It's not gonna fail pulling a fairly light boat.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-08-2010, 2:39 PM Reply   
i dont think there is anything wrong with it either, especially for the size boat im pulling, its only 20ft and barely weighs anything, now if it was like a 247 or an x45 that may be a different story haha
Old     (HighVoltage)      Join Date: Aug 2010       10-08-2010, 5:57 PM Reply   
Just make sure you hook you hitch up right and you'll have no problems.

Old    Tallredrider (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       10-08-2010, 6:08 PM Reply   
I am surprised that no one has mentioned that receivers come in different classes based on the weight that they are meant to carry.

From the Uhaul site:

Hitch Measurements

Class 1 (Class I) trailer hitch
Trailer hitch with capacity of up to 2,000 lbs gross trailer weight and 200 lbs tongue weight.
Class 2 (Class II) trailer hitch
Trailer hitch with weight-carrying rating of up to 3,500 lbs gross trailer weight and 300/350 lbs tongue weight.
Class 3 (Class III) trailer hitch
Trailer hitch with weight carrying rating of up to 5,000 lbs gross trailer weight and 500 lbs tongue weight. Also sometimes used to refer to a hitch with any 2" receiver, regardless of rating.
Class 4 (Class IV) trailer hitch
Trailer hitch with weight carrying rating of up to 10,000 lbs gross trailer weight and 1,000 - 1,200 lbs tongue weight. Although many times any hitch with a capacity greater than 5,000 lbs gross weight is referred to as a Class 4.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-08-2010, 11:58 PM Reply   
the specs on mine say that it has a tow rating of 10,000 lbs. so i guess its a class 4, i dont know why he is worrying so much. but its still his boat. im just hoping i can change his mind, because i feel more comfortable using my truck.
Old    Jeff DeVeer (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       10-12-2010, 1:12 PM Reply   
That hitch looks pretty much identical to my OEM Dodge hitch on my '04 Ram which IIRC is rated for 6,500 by itself or 10k with a weight distributing hitch. Sounds like your friend is being a bit silly. Claiming that a brand of hitch in general is prone to breaking off with no facts to back it up doesn't make any sense. U-Haul makes hundreds of completely different designs and classes for different vehicles. I can't imagine that there would be some sort of consistent fault that affects all of the different variations that wouldn't be immediately apparent with a quick google search.

BTW some Dodge's have that same style of hitch but it's welded to the crossmember from the factory. Others have it bolted on from the factory. Mine is bolted. Also, if it's just for one trip you don't have to get the 5 flat wiring harness installed. The 5th pin is just for the automatic surge brake lockout solenoid (Keeps the brakes from resisting when you try to back up). You can just plug it in with the 5th pin hanging off and the lights will work fine. Then when you have to back up you can flip the connector over (leaving the ground hanging off), turn on your parking lights in the truck and that will activate the solenoid. I did this for a while until I had the time/desire to upgrade my wiring.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-12-2010, 9:21 PM Reply   
/\/\ thanks for that info about the wiring, i gotta ask my friend tho since its his boat, he is crazy picky about stuff, which is understandable, but some times a little over the top as you all can see haha.
Old    Joe B (sailing216)      Join Date: Oct 2007       10-14-2010, 2:41 PM Reply   
Your friend is paranoid. We are close to the 5k hitch rating and no problems for 3 years. Only about 250lbs tongue weight tho. I do check it out for stress fractures on the welds.

I did see a moomba XLV that bent the uhaul hitch. That's a sign you might need to upgrade.

I agree about the welding job, not necessarily the product.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-15-2010, 11:50 AM Reply   
well i have convinced him to let me use my truck, but he wants me to buy the adapter for the wiring, not a big deal, thanks for the help guys, this thread was a big part of what made him change his mind haha. thanks again
Old    Trace (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       10-16-2010, 11:59 AM Reply   
Your friend sounds like more trouble than he's probably worth. It's hard to enjoy riding with people that are that uptight about their rigs. It is silly to make you buy the 4-flat to 5-flat adapter -there are no resulting safety issues that could affect his precious boat.

IT'S JUST A BOAT.

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