Warning re Hitches
I want to pass on my recent experience.
As part of my garage build, I had to clear everything out, including the numerous motorcycles, basically a gaggle of old SOHC CB750s and my dormant track bike.
Seeing as my Kendon motorcycle trailer can only handle two at a time, it meant 3 trips to our son's house to get them into his garage.
The third trip just had the track bike on it.
Now get this, their street is a wee uphill gradient, so after light braking I stopped along the curb.
I glanced in the mirror and noticed the trailer angle seemed weird, as in tipped downwards at the front.
Hmmmmmm, how could that be?
I checked immediately, and to my horror, discovered that the hitch mounting bolts and their rectangular load distribution plates had broken through the aluminum cross beam our Maxima has behind the bumper molding, and was levered down such that the ball stud was resting on the pavement.
The hitch was a Class 1, sort of T shaped, with the leg projecting forward to the spare wheel well, and the top of the T bolted to a structural cross beam.
The hitch was designed so that the bulk of the forces were being transferred to the structural beam.
The hitch's forward strut which was bolted to the spare wheel well floor was fine, although the 'floor was distorted some by the strut having levered against it as the back of the hitch went down.
The hitch was installed almost 15 years ago.
My examination indicates galvanic corrosion of the dissimilar metals as aggravated by a road salt and crevice resident water created electrolyte, as being the root cause.
(OK, one could say the root cause was the stupidity of bolting steel to aluminum for such an application, environmental factors included.)
IF you have any kind of hitch whose mounting relies upon bolting to aluminum structural components of your vehicle, check it for soundness!
I was so lucky, mine broke free with a light trailer load, under gentle braking from less than 30 mph.
I didn't even want to contemplate the result of such a hitch failure with fully loaded trailer at highway speeds and heavy braking.
This is my contribution for the day!