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Hitch clunk - not your typical towing / hitch / receiver question


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Hey guys,

 

I traded in my 2014 5.3 Crew cab Sierra (leased) for a new 2016 Denali. Basically the same truck but with upgraded Denali package and 8spd trans.

 

When towing my boat (fully loaded its about 7k lbs) both trucks pulled it great. However, after braking, stopping, or slowing, upon acceleration you can hear and feel a significant "clunk" from the hitch receiver. I believe the its the receiver causing the issue. There is about a 1/2 inch of slop in the receiver. Is that normal?

 

Here is my tow setup:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OKYSWWU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

 

 

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There are a few places that you could have some "slop".

 

One is between the ball and the coupler on the trailer.

 

A second is in the holes for the clevis pin in both the hitch and the receiver as well as the clevis pin being worn. Check all of these to see how much play there is.

 

A third is a difference between the outside measurements of the hitch and the inside measurements of the receiver. There are shims available to take up slop in these measurements.

 

A slight amount of slop in ALL of the areas can greatly magnify the sound and 'feel' of any of them that you would notice individually.

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Most reciever hitches I've been around have a little slop. They don't want someone with a thick powder coat on their ball mount to not be able to fit it. And since a lot of people leave their hitches in, it saves dealers from having to unsieze them.

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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Check the brake fluid reservoir on your trailer. I had that noise recently on my tandem trailer knew it wasnt the hitch and just by accident i checked the brake fluid level it was almost bone dry. refilled it bleed the lines and its all quiet now. That GEN Y hitch looks interesting havent ever seen that one.

Edited by crankman
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https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Accessories/Boone-Outdoor/93347.html

 

That's one example. Lots of folks go a much more simplistic way and drill a hole through either the bottom or side of the receiver, weld a nut to the receiver, and then thread a bolt into the nut and through the hole after installing the hitch. Tighten it down so it doesn't slop around and you're good to go.

 

Some folks swap out the clevis pin for a 5/8" Grade 8 bolt and tighten it down after installing the hitch. This also supposedly removes some of the slop.

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Don't want to state the obvious, but make sure you're using the right size ball. Had a buddy that wasn't too familiar with towing and mentioned that there was a ton of play. I looked at it and saw they towed with the ball that's 1 size too small. Should have been the 2" and they were using the 1 7/8".

 

I saw a video on Youtube where a guy welded around the where the receiver fits into the hitch and slowly ground off until there wasn't any play lift. So he basically just added metal and then removed little by little until it was just loose enough to insert and remove but was still very tight when in the hitch. He welded the top and the sides. Just grind off the paint or powdercoat, fix the welds and then paint over.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the same issue and concern with my 2007 sierra pulling 32' travel trailer. I thought it was also defeating half of the weight distributing hitch. I purchased the curt HD hitch. I had at one time video of my oem setup and i could lift the ball up 1-1/2" by hand because of the slop. with the new curt hd hitch that was reduced to 1/2" or less. still hear a bit of clank back there but well worth the money. got it from etrailer good price and quick.

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Been there, had that. Caused by play in the receiver. You will never have a receiver that is tight enough to seal the gap because they expand and contract with temps aswell as deform (to an extremely small extent) due to load and the amount of dropor raise the hitch has. Another reason is because not every receiver is made equal so making a hitch to certain spec and expecting every single manufacturer to match it won't happen. Coatings can cause them to be thicker. You also wouldn't want a real tight hitch because rust can seize it up. Use this http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Accessories/Roadmaster/RM-061.html

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  • 6 months later...

Was your old truck a 2 inch receiver and the new truck a 2 1/2 inch receiver? that would account for the half inch of slop in the receiver. They make an adapter to use your 2 inch hitch in your 2 1/2 inch receiver, it slides into your receiver then you hitch slides into it then both are pinned in as usual Not sure i that i saw one at wally world in fact.

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Get a lock down hitch clamp. It's the best thing ever.

 

https://www.amazon.com/LOCK-DOWN-Tightener-No-Wobble-Stabilizer-Carrier/dp/B015TLZXB0

 

 

Beat me to it! Yep, one of those will usually do the trick.

 

And I have to agree with John's comment... the OP mentioned 1/2" of slop. My first thought was a 2.5" receiver instead of the regular 2" receiver, but I didn't think they put the 2.5" on 1500. if they did, might have been an assembly line error or they are doing something new.

Edited by Cowpie
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