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Old 09-22-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
frano
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Reese Dual Cam Hitch

We have a Reese Dual Cam hitch with sway control (1200#) attached to our 2012 Keystone Vantage 32FLS. The brackets holding the cam assemblies (one on each side of the trailer tongue) are attached using two 1/2" bolts threaded into one side of the frame. My problem is that the right side bracket frame holes have stripped and the bolts can no longer be tightened, thereby creating a loose bracket. My thought was to clamp the brackets to the frame and weld them to the trailer frame. Has anyone had this problem with the Reese Dual Cam and found a fix? Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
Bob Landry
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If it's possible to get to it, I would go into the frame with a nut and lock washer. If that's not doable, welding would be preferable over doing anything that might weaken the frame.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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The frame is a boxed frame and the ends under the tongue are plated and welded shut so getting a nut in there is not an option.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:08 PM   #4
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Then I would consider welding it. You can't just reposition it, as the location is a critical measurement for proper operation. You also do not want to through-bolt it as drilling completely through the frame would likely weaken it. I read a post a while back by a guy tha did that and Lippert voided his warranty.

Another possibility is to go through the bottom of the frame with a hole saw that would allow you to get in with a nut and wrench and then have a plate welded on the bottom to cover the hole and reinforce the frame where you cut it. I think that would fix the problem without compromising the integrity of the frame.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
Tom N OH
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I welded mine, being careful not to get the frame too hot at any point. Solved the loose bolt problem 100%.
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
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Too bad you can't use some type of exspanding bolt like for drywall or concrete that as you tighten it up it snugs up tight.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frano View Post
The frame is a boxed frame and the ends under the tongue are plated and welded shut so getting a nut in there is not an option.
Mine is similar. Not trusting the threaded bolts I found it was easy to remove the plate at the tongue end of the boxed frame, just tack welded at the corners and a sawsall made quick work o the welds.

then I made a plate of 1/8" steel with bolts welded to the plate with the same hole centers as the bracket. welded another nut at 90 degree angle so I could put a piece of threaded rod on the plate to hold it in position and then bolted the cam brackets to the plate with grade 8 bolts. Works like a charm.

then removed the threaded rod and tack welded the plate at the end of the box frame.

The other option is to use the bolt holes on the BOTTOM of the cam bracket instead of the side. Rather than using the self tapping screws,drill and tap for the bolts.

Last choice is to weld to the frame.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:54 AM   #8
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Go to a bolt distributor or hardware and ask for a thunderbolt. They are like a wall anchor but used for concrete and steel.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:00 AM   #9
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Have used these to fix a few trailers http://www.simplifiedbuilding.com/solutions/boxbolt/
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmracer View Post
Mine is similar. Not trusting the threaded bolts I found it was easy to remove the plate at the tongue end of the boxed frame, just tack welded at the corners and a sawsall made quick work o the welds.

then I made a plate of 1/8" steel with bolts welded to the plate with the same hole centers as the bracket. welded another nut at 90 degree angle so I could put a piece of threaded rod on the plate to hold it in position and then bolted the cam brackets to the plate with grade 8 bolts. Works like a charm.

then removed the threaded rod and tack welded the plate at the end of the box frame.

The other option is to use the bolt holes on the BOTTOM of the cam bracket instead of the side. Rather than using the self tapping screws,drill and tap for the bolts.


Last choice is to weld to the frame.
How about some photos?
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richf28 View Post
Go to a bolt distributor or hardware and ask for a thunderbolt. They are like a wall anchor but used for concrete and steel.
So they actually make bolts like I said earlier? Cool
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Landry View Post
How about some photos?
well, since everything is back together and the front welded back on, no pictures, but here is a description of what I did.

First:
What you need
1) two pieces of flat mild steel flat stock, roughly 1/8" x 4" x 12"
2) 4 grade 8 bolts same size/thread as is on the bracket now
3) 4 square nuts for the bolts above. (square bolts are easier to weld) preferably w/o any coating. If cad or other coated you will need to grind off the coating prior to welding
4) lock washers and flat washers for #2
5) a 12-18" piece of 1/4" or so threaded rod
6) two nuts for the above (5)

how to install.

remove the existing cam arm brackets
clamp the flat stock on the inside of the cam arm brackets. make sure it is spaced far enough above the bottom to clear the inside bottom of the A frame tube.
Drill clearance holes, same size as the existing clearance holes in the cam brackets. Now you have a flat stock that should have the holes perfectly lined up with the existing cam arm bracket.
using the new bolts and square nuts, install the bolts and tighten down on the nuts through the cam arm bracket and new plate. Try to end up with clearance around the bolt through the clearance hole.
tack weld the square nuts to the plate.
remove the plate with the tack welded nuts and complete welding the nuts to the flat plate.
verify the fit when your done.
to make it possible to install the flat plate, thread a nut on the threaded rod and tack weld the nut to the flat plate with the square nuts. nut on the same surface as the square nuts.
remove the threaded rod and complete welding the nut.
repeat for cam arm #2
Now you can thread the rod onto the nut and have a way to position the flat plate inside the A frame.
If the A frame has a plate welded onto the end near the ball, remove the plate. In my case it had 4 spot welds and I could slide a sawsall blade inside the joint and cut the joint.
Now, you will need to ream out the existing holes for the cam arm bracket in the A frame to allow clearance for the bolts. A unibit works well.
clamp the cam arm bracket aligned to the existing holes to the A frame. if needed ream out the holes for clearance.
slide the plate you made into position with the threaded rod and align with the cam arm holes.
thread the new grade 8 bolts through the cam arm bracket into the square nuts and torque down. with this configuration you can REALLY torque the bolts if you want to. the plate will distribute forces and you will end up with high clamping forces.
remove the threaded rod, repeat on side two and replace the cover on the a frame if you want to.

I've seen other ideas using spacers, going through both sides of the tubing on the a frame etc. but wasn't comfortable with them. For me, my approach seems to pass the "smell" test and I expect it to hold up under any expected use conditions.

BTW I run almost 1500lb tongue weight on my trailer. Although the design of the cam arm brackets in reality put very little force on the attaching bracket. there is for aft force as the bars ride in the cam, but very little vertical force on the bracket. the snap up bracket is what sees the vertical force.

Not as good as pictures, but hope it helps understand what I did.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:56 AM   #13
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I ended up drilling through both sides of the frame and installed 3.5" grade 8 bolts, washers, and locking nuts. Since the bracket bolts are close to the bottom of the frame tubing, there's plenty of strength to torque the bolts without compressing the frame member. These brackets are only 14" or so from the front of the frame and it's boxed at the end for additional strength. Hopefully this will work. At least now I'm stressing both sides of the frame and not just one side and the brackets can't loosen and strip out. Thanks for all your inputs.
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