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Comfort Ride hitch issues


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Can the bushings/sleeves be removed?  The weld in the second pic is not completely around the tube and appears to have been 2 seperate welds.  If it has lasted this long, I would think that replacing that with new weld, certainly continuous around the tube, and with good penetration, should let it live another long life.  It would be best to grind out most of that old weld before rewelding.

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The bushing are pressed in and will not survive welding temperatures. ETs used pressed in bushing from date one.

sBEGcydl.jpg

We fabricated a special tool to take them out.

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Only used it on new ones if for some reason they were not lining up right and needed to be reseated. Old ones we would drive in a small flat blade screwdriver between the bushing and the wall, break them up, remove them in pieces and replace these with new ones.

 

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Truck blew an engine. Market value $10K, used engine replacement $12K, in-frame $18K. Got a grand for it to take it away, got parted out. Last I've seen it it was going to Jamaica, they bought the carcass, needed the cab. Once we moved to Florida the reason (snowbirding) went away. After two trips in 4-5 years, it didn't make any sense to own the rig anymore. But what glorious memories, experiences and friendships had over the 45 years of RVing. The start of it all, in military surplus tent, Oskosh fly-in.

6DXLRPvl.jpg

That kid, wife is pushing, is now 49 years old with two teenage daughters. Tent lasted two years, replaced by commingling RVing and flying

Zs2Xku7l.jpg

 

Edited by phoenix2013
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  • 2 weeks later...

The reinforced hitch (2 plates and one angle iron) has held up from Nashville to S Carolina, to Maine, to Colorado, to Washington.  I'll have to check out the other failure point around the bolt.  We pulled the Teflon bushing before we welded in all the reinforcement pieces.  Hitch does have a 1/2" or so of fore/aft play, which I hope isn't the beginning of that hole elongating, or those welds starting to give.

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On 10/6/2020 at 5:18 AM, Parrformance said:

Thank you Henry, I am just three years older than that kid the wife is pushing around.

The pictures bring back some great memories of my childhood camping with an aunt and uncle willing to help my single mom raise a couple of snot nosed brats.

 

Parrformance, this was was just the tiniest example of of our memories generated by 45 years of RVing and half a millions miles all over this country and Canada. Perhaps we need to start a separate thread to showcase people's "adventures", I bet you it would go for pages upon pages with scores of "contributors" .

We just finished another "adventure of ours" at the HDT Rally, reconnecting with old friends and making many new ones. However, on the subject at hand, lots of folks were familiar with this thread, which created a discussion of its own. Cole Brockenicky from New Horizon mentioned that one of his fifths tore  away from a ComfortRide and was only saved by a tail gate. Is this another incident, or is this the same shown above.

go66plSl.jpg

tgTM9UKl.jpg

Also, at the Rally, there was a ComfortRide, literally ready to go anytime. The shaft bushing were completely gone, horizontally and laterally and he was concerned about making it home 200 miles away. I have a video of its head movement on my phone, I need to figure out how to post it. There was a comprehensive discussion of the  ComfortRide issues, once I gather the details I'll post it.

A mention of "teflon" bushings is made above. I don't know what type of bushings ComfortRide uses and maybe this is just an assumption that these are teflon. But if these are tefton, it is a wrong material to be used in this application. Teflon is very slippery and can withstand high temperatures (hence teflon pans), but it is very soft and does very poorly under high loads or particularly poorly under impact loads.

Edited by phoenix2013
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  • 4 weeks later...
7 hours ago, trimster said:

So... with this thread ricocheting all over the map, is there a conclusion about the Comfort Ride hitch? Good? Bad? Once you get one, fix it? Stay away from this puppy?

Trimster,

Hard to say.  We’ve had lots of “opinions “ and you know what opinions are.  Some good, some bad.  Comfort Ride is not the only hitch to have failed so would you say they are all bad?  I’ve re-read every reply in this post and what we’re lacking is ANY explanation or reply from someone associated with Roadmaster or Comfort Ride.  I would urge someone from either or both  to do some damage control and maybe transparently address this incident and proposed fixes for the future.  MDT’s and HDTs are probably their primary customers.  I personally, as well as several folks I know,  had failure of an ET hitch.  The issue was recognized, re-engineering was instituted, and seems to have solved the problem.  So would I say ET’s were bad— of course not.  Remember most internet reviews/discussions only discuss the bad less common the good.

Edited by SuiteSuccess
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12 minutes ago, DJohns said:

x2 on hearing from to people that made the hitch that failed. Damage control or more bad reviews.  I will say with my ET  that nothing moves inside my rig, up front or in the interior.

Nothing moved in our trailer either, until the ET hitch dropped it.... Twice.....

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It was a fabrication error when the hitch was built. Henry had gone in to get new wet bushings and sleeves in his knees and was out of commission when my hitch was built. The individual that put mine together built a total of one hitch by himself, mine....

It dropped our trailer the first time in Hutch while getting weighed by Trey and Susan. I visually checked everything but thought it must have been my fault somehow.

The second time was in North Carolina with David and Sondra. That was after a visual look, backing twice, 2 tug tests and then climbing a steep hill to get out of the RV park. At the top of the hill, it turned loose. I KNEW it wasn't my problem then.

I drove a hunk of wood behind the lock block and VERY carefully drove back to Georgia and tore the hitch apart. The problem was obvious when I gutted the head and the next call was to Henry. He took one look at the picture and agreed with me about what happened.

To Henry's credit, he agreed to fix the damage to the trailer and sent me a new head for the hitch. I will admit that I didn't just put it back together though. I did quite a bit of machine work to the head and frame to solve some other things I was seeing happen.

One big change was an easier safety lock system to prevent the lock block from ever moving on its own again and replacing the link rods with something I was more familar with.

Why am I telling you this? No matter what hitch you have, they can ALL have issues. Comfort Ride, Trailer Saver, ET Hitch or any other hitch can fail. It is up to the owner to watch, listen, and feel what is going on when towing.

Preventative maintenance and a pre and post trip inspection will prevent a LOT of issues.

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1 hour ago, GeorgiaHybrid said:

It was a fabrication error when the hitch was built. Henry had gone in to get new wet bushings and sleeves in his knees and was out of commission when my hitch was built. The individual that put mine together built a total of one hitch by himself, mine....

It dropped our trailer the first time in Hutch while getting weighed by Trey and Susan. I visually checked everything but thought it must have been my fault somehow.

The second time was in North Carolina with David and Sondra. That was after a visual look, backing twice, 2 tug tests and then climbing a steep hill to get out of the RV park. At the top of the hill, it turned loose. I KNEW it wasn't my problem then.

I drove a hunk of wood behind the lock block and VERY carefully drove back to Georgia and tore the hitch apart. The problem was obvious when I gutted the head and the next call was to Henry. He took one look at the picture and agreed with me about what happened.

To Henry's credit, he agreed to fix the damage to the trailer and sent me a new head for the hitch. I will admit that I didn't just put it back together though. I did quite a bit of machine work to the head and frame to solve some other things I was seeing happen.

One big change was an easier safety lock system to prevent the lock block from ever moving on its own again and replacing the link rods with something I was more familar with.

Why am I telling you this? No matter what hitch you have, they can ALL have issues. Comfort Ride, Trailer Saver, ET Hitch or any other hitch can fail. It is up to the owner to watch, listen, and feel what is going on when towing.

Preventative maintenance and a pre and post trip inspection will prevent a LOT of issues.

As I mentioned in another post, "regardless how good the thing is, you think, it can be improved". During our "collaboration" after the sad event I discussed with Dave the shaft material I was utilizing in the ETs, he suggested another. We discussed the fact that in Gen 1s, prior to re-engineering the saddles and supporting the shafts differently,  the upper shaft would shatter internally in the tube under certain conditions. Comparing my material to his suggestion, mine was superior, hard as hell with nitrided coating 80 times better then chrome coating. What Dave suggested  was softer chrome plated shafts. We came to conclusion that the stuff I was using was "too good". The hardness was actually working against it. The upper shaft sees the majority of the initial impact from chucking and hardness and impact are not friends, hence a fatigue failure after a period of time. Hardness is essential where there is a lot of wear either from rotation or linear motion (hydraulic cylinders), there is no wear in ETs, The rotation that the shafts see  is about 15 degrees, if that, but impact it's constant. All ETs have Dave's material in them, since our "discussion".

Edited by phoenix2013
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here is what was done with my hitch. Bottom completely boxed in. I am sure there will be plenty of comments on this. Given the pics of the damaged hitch, this is what the welder recommended.

 

RTMfLuZl.jpg

 

Edited by Chuck
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2 hours ago, Chuck said:

here is what was done with my hitch. Bottom completely boxed in. I am sure there will be plenty of comments on this. Given the pics of the damaged hitch, this is what the welder recommended.

 

RTMfLuZl.jpg

 

Looks good to me, but what do I know. 

Edited by SuiteSuccess
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