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Old 07-03-2022, 11:59 AM   #1
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Default Bent Trailer Hitch/Stow Away angle?

Hi:

I have had this Stow Away box for about 4-5 years. It has always pointed down away from my PW lexor. I believe the hitch is a Curt class 3 rated TW of 500lbs. I believe the hitch maybe bent or at least not level?

I am considering changing the hitch to an OEM. OEM is rated at TW of 500lbs. It is classified as a class 4 but #s are same as Curt class 3? The Curt class 4 will probably not fit because of the PW build out of battery box, etc.

I have never put more than 100 lbs in the box. Box does not rattle or seem lose. I bounce it and the entire van moves. It seems very secure but am concerned about the appearance. Is this a safety issue?

Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2022, 12:36 PM   #2
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Something does not look correct in my opinion. Although it is working for you currently, I have never seen any type of hitch accessory that was designed with that result in mind. It almost seems like the unit does not go into the hitch far enough if that makes sense. If it were pushed in further it seems like it might straighten out so to speak.

Or the hitch just can’t handle the weight as you are thinking is the case.

That being said, I am no expert and possibly it is completely normal and designed that way for reasons unbeknownst.
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Old 07-03-2022, 12:40 PM   #3
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That's a Promaster van, right. The van is unibody construction. There is no frame that hitch is bolted to. The thin sheet metal box structure that hitch is bolted to is failing. Eventually it will crack and the receiver will fall off. It is a safety issue.

Folks have reinforced the mount by having plates welded on to the "frame" and hitch. I don't know how well that works.
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Old 07-03-2022, 01:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
That's a Promaster van, right. The van is unibody construction. There is no frame that hitch is bolted to. The thin sheet metal box structure that hitch is bolted to is failing. Eventually it will crack and the receiver will fall off. It is a safety issue.

Folks have reinforced the mount by having plates welded on to the "frame" and hitch. I don't know how well that works.
Thanks for input. I have seen on FB Travato site, someone in Texas came up with a solution/bolt on. I do not know if this would work on PW. Under flood build out is different.

I have posted my photo on FB PW forum. Some people have their boxes parallel to ground. Others are like mine. Interesting, even owners of different van manufacturers have this pointing down?
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Old 07-03-2022, 01:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by KurtFranz View Post
Something does not look correct in my opinion. Although it is working for you currently, I have never seen any type of hitch accessory that was designed with that result in mind. It almost seems like the unit does not go into the hitch far enough if that makes sense. If it were pushed in further it seems like it might straighten out so to speak.

Or the hitch just canít handle the weight as you are thinking is the case.

That being said, I am no expert and possibly it is completely normal and designed that way for reasons unbeknownst.
Interesting input. There is only a single hole for the Stow Away to seat. The hitch pin has to go thru this hole. No option to shove swing arm deeper into hitch.

Thanks
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Old 07-03-2022, 01:48 PM   #6
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One solution that works well is to support the load from the upper door hinges.



Notice the two blue straps that run from the upper hinges down to the carrier. That takes a lot of the load off the end of the "frame" rails.

I think the OP needs to inspect the mounting of that hitch to his van. Cracks at that point are not uncommon and that stowaway is really canted.
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Old 07-03-2022, 02:05 PM   #7
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Could you drill another hitch-pin hole in the stow away arm so it could be pushed in farther? From the pictures it looks like you may be able to go 4" closer to the spare tire.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:00 PM   #8
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the hitch/ receiver should be parallel to the ground, any angle means it's "broken"


as above, explore the structure to which this is mounted


most hitch and installs are rated- if yours has failed at a load under the rating take it up with the manufacturer/ installer.


In the meantime I'd rig an aircraft cable or chain "safety" so that if the box falls off you don't kill anyone.
or leave the box at home.






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Old 07-03-2022, 03:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
One solution that works well is to support the load from the upper door hinges.



Notice the two blue straps that run from the upper hinges down to the carrier. That takes a lot of the load off the end of the "frame" rails.

I think the OP needs to inspect the mounting of that hitch to his van. Cracks at that point are not uncommon and that stowaway is really canted.
I have seen this solution on FB Travato forum. Wanted a cleaner look.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
the hitch/ receiver should be parallel to the ground, any angle means it's "broken"


as above, explore the structure to which this is mounted


most hitch and installs are rated- if yours has failed at a load under the rating take it up with the manufacturer/ installer.


In the meantime I'd rig an aircraft cable or chain "safety" so that if the box falls off you don't kill anyone.
or leave the box at home.








mike
Really do not want to kill anyone. What is chain "safety". I have an appointment at dealer on July 7 to look and evaluate it. I believe I will be removing the Curt class3 and replacing with OEM rated class 4. I have read the class 4 by Ram is much stronger.

I have read about this "hitch sag" from other sources.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:11 PM   #11
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Could you drill another hitch-pin hole in the stow away arm so it could be pushed in farther? From the pictures it looks like you may be able to go 4" closer to the spare tire.
Yes, that would/could be a solution. I want the safest/cosmetic solution. Will probably just upgrade to a class 4 hitch by Ram(OEM) part. Have read it is much stronger than Curt class3 hitch.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rlum View Post
Really do not want to kill anyone. What is chain "safety". I have an appointment at dealer on July 7 to look and evaluate it. I believe I will be removing the Curt class3 and replacing with OEM rated class 4. I have read the class 4 by Ram is much stronger.

I have read about this "hitch sag" from other sources.
Donít replace the hitch. Thatís not the problem. Itís the chassis thatís failing, not the hitch. The hitch isnít bending, the sheet metal ends of the sheet metal frame are cracking off.

Also, I donít think RAM makes a hitch for the extended chassis only for the shorter wheel base van.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:56 PM   #13
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chain safety:



chain from the frame of your vehicle to the frame of the stowaway so that if the hitch fails- the stuff is attached to your van giving you time to pull over


as opposed to your stuff dropping on the road in front of other vehicles


I'm sure you've seen ladders, bikes n stuff on the road. consider the consequences of a failure





* with any safety chain it can't drag on the road, sparks cause fires


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Old 07-03-2022, 04:29 PM   #14
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These hitch carriers are damage waiting to happen on a unibody van. A stronger hitch will just increase the damage. The big problem is the carriers are so often overloaded by a factor of 2x or 3x. People think that if the hitch or carrier is rated for a certain weight that they can load that much into it. They neglect the incredible bending forces applied by the carrier being cantilevered.

If you want to haul more stuff, get a small trailer.
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Old 07-03-2022, 07:33 PM   #15
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These hitch carriers are damage waiting to happen on a unibody van. A stronger hitch will just increase the damage. The big problem is the carriers are so often overloaded by a factor of 2x or 3x. People think that if the hitch or carrier is rated for a certain weight that they can load that much into it. They neglect the incredible bending forces applied by the carrier being cantilevered.

If you want to haul more stuff, get a small trailer.
No hauling for me. Only used to connect a Stow Away cargo box. Never weighted down by more 100lbs. Others have the same box as me. Same van from PW but one year newer. 2017? These people are not experiencing any hitch sag? They tell me, they have the Ram OEM class 4 hitch. Their boxes are parallel to ground without sag. So it seems someone is experiencing the van with box like it was designed.

The Travato owners have the Curt class 3 hitch like me. Most of them have figured out a way to support the hitch. Some have placed attachments on upper door hinge and ratchet straps around the box. Others have installed two additional brackets to the tow hitch and bolted/or welded to promaster frame. These travato people are very, very innovative.
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Old 07-07-2022, 07:01 PM   #16
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Based on your photo the hitch seems to be fine (to be confirmed by your dealer today?). It appears to be the arm of the stow away that is angled down relative to the hitch. One reason could be that there is a lot of clearance and the weight and anti rattle U bolt are pulling it down. I have a different carrier and it has always angled down, I now support it with straps from the upper hinges as someone else has suggested. I did not get the stow away because of its high empty weight.
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Old 07-07-2022, 07:37 PM   #17
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Based on your photo the hitch seems to be fine (to be confirmed by your dealer today?). It appears to be the arm of the stow away that is angled down relative to the hitch. One reason could be that there is a lot of clearance and the weight and anti rattle U bolt are pulling it down. I have a different carrier and it has always angled down, I now support it with straps from the upper hinges as someone else has suggested. I did not get the stow away because of its high empty weight.
I have looked extensively at the hitch. It seems it is angled down? If I put a level on it, it appears unlevel. Rescheduled appointment today for tomorrow. Wanted to make sure dealer had the OEM class 4 hitch in stock. He is suppose to bring in today?

I have posted this question on FB PW forum. People who have the OEM hitch say theirs is parallel to ground? They are not seeing any hitch sag.

The OEM is rated for 510bls TW. Curt is rated 500lbs TW. About the same. Curt is considered a class 3 and OEM is rated class 4? I have read where the OEM is a much beefier piece. It actually weighs in at another 15lbs more?
On the FB travato forum, many people have used attachments to hinges, etc. There is a person in Texas who actually sells reinforcement plates which can bolted or welded. I believe the Curt maybe over rated and not really capable of handling the 500lb TW?
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Old 07-08-2022, 09:05 PM   #18
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I noticed the same problem on my Carado Banff PM2500. My bike carrier dropped at least 2 inches after a 2,000 mile trip. Iíve had several other people with Travatos say the same thing, get the Texas guy part. Well today I took off the receiver hitch because I am expecting a Draw Tite receiver any moment now. Here is what I found, 1/4 inch steel tearing and bending. I strongly suggest fully replacing the receiver with a more robust receiver.

Draw-Tite 76050 Class 3 Trailer Hitch, 2 Inch Receiver, $180 on Amazon or etrailer and in my opinion a better design. This receiver was recommended by etrailer as a replacement to the Curt Industries OEM receiver hitch. It was really easy to remove the OEM hitch and should be equally easy to install. There are plenty of good videos on YouTube on how.
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Old 07-08-2022, 09:17 PM   #19
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Two more photos showing the fracturing. It is on both sides.
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Old 07-09-2022, 12:40 AM   #20
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Two more photos showing the fracturing. It is on both sides.
Replaced my Curt class 3 with Ram OEM class 4 hitch today. Dealer sold and installed it. Ram OEM is a class 4 and weighs in at another 20lbs heavier.

No more hitch sag.
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