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Old 07-29-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
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got my etrailer.com WD hitch.. Have question

Since Kitty was worried about me using that one-piece hitch head, we got etrailer.com's kit #54980. According to the site, it was supposed to include hitch head #58167 and shank #63970(1,400/14,000)

What came in the kit, was shank #54970(1,200/12,000)

I called etrailer's customer service and was told that they'd ship the right parts to me and let me know how to ship the wrong one back to them.

A little while after the call, the service rep called us back. She told me that the 54970 and 63970 were the same part, even though they were both labeled differently.

She also directed me to the Reese homepage and had me look up the part number 54970. The results shocked me, when I saw that the shank is actually rated for 1,500/15,000 WD.

While I had her on the phone, I also looked up part number 63970. Interestingly enough, it is also rated for 1,500/15,000 WD.

As far as Reese is concerned, they are the same shank. Any ideas, from the consensus?

Anyway, I put together that kit and had mine and Kitty's trucks side by side. With the ball mount in the same shank holes, our hitch balls are the exact same height!

Hopefully, we will get a chance to set my truck up on the Sunline, on Friday evening.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Re: got my etrailer.com WD hitch.. Have question

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver
A little while after the call, the service rep called us back. She told me that the 54970 and 63970 were the same part, even though they were both labeled differently.

She also directed me to the Reese homepage and had me look up the part number 54970. The results shocked me, when I saw that the shank is actually rated for 1,500/15,000 WD.

While I had her on the phone, I also looked up part number 63970. Interestingly enough, it is also rated for 1,500/15,000 WD.

As far as Reese is concerned, they are the same shank. Any ideas, from the consensus?
Gary, back when you originally posted that you were ordering the shank and head, I looked at my shank which also turns out to be a 54970. I did the same thing and looked them both up on the Reese website, same as you and got the same surprise. Interestingly enough, I purchased mine in March of 1999 when we took delivery of our T-2453.

I have no clue as to why Reese has two different item numbers assigned to essentially the same product.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:41 PM   #3
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Hi Gary

See here off mine




Now look here off the Reese website. Which is what I think you bumped into

Part Number: 63970 (Now Available)
Description: Wt. Dist. Shank, 15,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,500 lbs. (TW), 12" Length & 10,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,000 lbs. (TW), 13" Length

Finish: Black Powder Coat

Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Weight Carrying: 1500/15,000 lbs.(TW/GTW)
Weight: 15 lbs.

Size: 14.5" L x 8.25" W x 1.88" H

Package Type: Bulk



And here



Part Number: 54970 (Now Available)
Description: Wt. Dist. Shank, 15,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,500 lbs. (TW), 12" Length & 10,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,000 lbs. (TW), 13" Length

Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Weight Carrying: 1500/15,000 lbs.(TW/GTW)
Weight: 15 lbs.

Size: 14.5" L x 8.25" W x 1.875" H

Package Type: Bulk



They do not yet list a 63970 in the 2009 catalog but do list it on there site like you said.

http://www.towingproducts.com/catalogpdf-r/6-wd.pdf

I know about a year ago they started using the wording “Uprated” on many components. And that shank fell into that category. It was also about the same time they came out with a 1,500# Trunnion bar set selling it as the ultra WD kit and still on a 2” shank set up. My Towbeast, now back to Titan naming, is 1,700# and is a 2 ½” shank. So they needed a 1,500# 2” shank to use on it.

The real unknown here is what did Reese do to break the barrier on a 2” shank to get 1,500#?? Years back before Cequent bought everyone up… Drawtite had a 1,400# 2” shank. Reese only had a 1,200# shank. Now they are combined brands and no longer competition. The old Reese PN's started with a 50,000 series, Drawtite, a 3000 series. Now we have a 60,000 series.

So the real question is, did they actually change the material of the 54970 to get it from 1,200 to 1,500 or did they change the test method used in rating them? And what is up with the 63970???

Reese has a 1800 tech service hot line 1-800-758-0869

I hear what Etrailer told you, however before I would assume a hitch part is rated 300# heavier then the sticker, I would want to hear it from Reese. They also have email I do believe. I would also ask them what changed to allow then to rate a prior 1,200# shank now be a 1,500# shank? Was it they never had a 1,500# set of WD bars to go with it and just never rated it that high but now they do? Reese use to in the not so long ago, stop at 1,200#

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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Re: got my etrailer.com WD hitch.. Have question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Collins

Gary, back when you originally posted that you were ordering the shank and head, I looked at my shank which also turns out to be a 54970. I did the same thing and looked them both up on the Reese website, same as you and got the same surprise. Interestingly enough, I purchased mine in March of 1999 when we took delivery of our T-2453.

I have no clue as to why Reese has two different item numbers assigned to essentially the same product.
Yeah, I have no idea either... I'm just glad it turns out to be rated higher than it was labeled!
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
I know about a year ago they started using the wording “Uprated” on many components. And that shank fell into that category. It was also about the same time they came out with a 1,500# Trunnion bar set selling it as the ultra WD kit and still on a 2” shank set up. My Towbeast, now back to Titan naming, is 1,700# and is a 2 ½” shank. So they needed a 1,500# 2” shank to use on it.

The real unknown here is what did Reese do to break the barrier on a 2” shank to get 1,500#?? Years back before Cequent bought everyone up… Drawtite had a 1,400# 2” shank. Reese only had a 1,200# shank. Now they are combined brands and no longer competition. The old Reese PN's started with a 50,000 series, Drawtite, a 3000 series. Now we have a 60,000 series.

So the real question is, did they actually change the material of the 54970 to get it from 1,200 to 1,500 or did they change the test method used in rating them? And what is up with the 63970???

Reese has a 1800 tech service hot line 1-800-758-0869

I hear what Etrailer told you, however before I would assume a hitch part is rated 300# heavier then the sticker, I would want to hear it from Reese. They also have email I do believe. I would also ask them what changed to allow then to rate a prior 1,200# shank now be a 1,500# shank? Was it they never had a 1,500# set of WD bars to go with it and just never rated it that high but now they do? Reese use to in the not so long ago, stop at 1,200#

Hope this helps

John
As soon as time permits, I will call them and get "The rest of the story"!!
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:01 PM   #6
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The discrepency I see in the description is in the heights... although I wonder if that 1/200th of an inch makes any difference at all in the actual application of the part... doubt it.


Part Number: 63970 (Now Available)
Size: 14.5" L x 8.25" W x 1.88" H

Part Number: 54970 (Now Available)
Size: 14.5" L x 8.25" W x 1.875" H

Probably something that somewhere along the lines go revamped with a new inventory system or construction method and clarifying and changing it got overlooked.

Take care,
Lode
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:33 PM   #7
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Jason

It is common to round 1.875 to 1.88 in the machine tool world when talking things of fractional tolerance in decimal. Trust me the 0.005" you will never find in that cast steel shank....
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Hi Gary

See here off mine




Now look here off the Reese website. Which is what I think you bumped into

Part Number: 63970 (Now Available)
Description: Wt. Dist. Shank, 15,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,500 lbs. (TW), 12" Length & 10,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,000 lbs. (TW), 13" Length

Finish: Black Powder Coat

Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Weight Carrying: 1500/15,000 lbs.(TW/GTW)
Weight: 15 lbs.

Size: 14.5" L x 8.25" W x 1.88" H

Package Type: Bulk


And here



Part Number: 54970 (Now Available)
Description: Wt. Dist. Shank, 15,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,500 lbs. (TW), 12" Length & 10,000 lbs. (GTW), 1,000 lbs. (TW), 13" Length

Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Weight Carrying: 1500/15,000 lbs.(TW/GTW)
Weight: 15 lbs.

Size: 14.5" L x 8.25" W x 1.875" H

Package Type: Bulk


They do not yet list a 63970 in the 2009 catalog but do list it on there site like you said.

http://www.towingproducts.com/catalogpdf-r/6-wd.pdf

I know about a year ago they started using the wording “Uprated” on many components. And that shank fell into that category. It was also about the same time they came out with a 1,500# Trunnion bar set selling it as the ultra WD kit and still on a 2” shank set up. My Towbeast, now back to Titan naming, is 1,700# and is a 2 ½” shank. So they needed a 1,500# 2” shank to use on it.

The real unknown here is what did Reese do to break the barrier on a 2” shank to get 1,500#?? Years back before Cequent bought everyone up… Drawtite had a 1,400# 2” shank. Reese only had a 1,200# shank. Now they are combined brands and no longer competition. The old Reese PN's started with a 50,000 series, Drawtite, a 3000 series. Now we have a 60,000 series.

So the real question is, did they actually change the material of the 54970 to get it from 1,200 to 1,500 or did they change the test method used in rating them? And what is up with the 63970???

Reese has a 1800 tech service hot line 1-800-758-0869

I hear what Etrailer told you, however before I would assume a hitch part is rated 300# heavier then the sticker, I would want to hear it from Reese. They also have email I do believe. I would also ask them what changed to allow then to rate a prior 1,200# shank now be a 1,500# shank? Was it they never had a 1,500# set of WD bars to go with it and just never rated it that high but now they do? Reese use to in the not so long ago, stop at 1,200#

Hope this helps

John
John - the photo in your post has a pic of the shank that i think is what i am looking for. Is the other pic with the bar # 54917 the same bar ?
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
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John is on vacation, so you probably won't get an answer until next week.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

I found the shank (#54917) at the former Sunline Dealer where we purchased our first Sunline. It is identical to the one in Johns pic. We even worked out a deal, $40 and my used shank (#54970) for the #54917 (slightly used as well) . Considering to buy one locally i was looking at $140 - $162 over the counter, i made out rather well. The dealer mounted the new shank for me to my measurements, and when we got home we hitched the truck up and everything sits nice and level . We will be taking it for a weekend trip next weekend, i had it out for a test ride and i am very pleased with the setup. It's a pleasure towing the 2053 compared to the Fleetwood we had that was much heavier. We are already planning a Spring Break week in the Virginia/Maryland area. Man.... i can't wait to get on the road again !!
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:15 AM   #11
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Jeff, glad to hear you found a deal and it is working well for you.

I found out long ago that RV shops and trailer shops all will wheel and deal on towing system parts like shanks, ball platforms, weight bars, etc. Reason being is that they all seem to take them in trade for customers who, like you, got the wrong item the first time around. They then can wheel and deal with the slightly used stuff for the next person that walks in the door. Some are looking for a trade-up and some are just looking for a deal on used towing gear. Either way, both the shop and the customer end up happy.

I suspect most trailer shops have a small pile of this stuff. So it's worth looking about before buying new.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB2004 View Post
I found the shank (#54917) at the former Sunline Dealer where we purchased our first Sunline. It is identical to the one in Johns pic. We even worked out a deal, $40 and my used shank (#54970) for the #54917 (slightly used as well) . Considering to buy one locally i was looking at $140 - $162 over the counter, i made out rather well.
Jeff

I see you made out well. That 54917 is one of Reese better shanks in my book for a WD hitch. It gives you a lot of fine adjustment to level out the TT.

$40 is a bargin. It's all steel, unless someone bent it or messed up the 5/8" pin hole you can't kill the thing under normal use.

John
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