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Old 06-29-2017, 10:10 PM   #1
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Missing cotter pin in hitch

We just pulled our 25' FC 200 miles & when we got home the cotter pin was missing from the tow vehicle hitch. Is it because of the weight of the trailer that kept the bolt from sliding out of the hitch while we were towing, or were we just lucky? How could that cotter pin fall out, or could it break? We know it was there when we hooked up the trailer. We have Equal-i-zer sway control hitch bars & we crossed our chains. Should we invest in a locking hitch bolt next time? Thanks for you input.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:22 PM   #2
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Yes, the weight of the trailer kept the pin in. My guess is some joker pulled your pin out. I drilled the pin hole out to a larger size. I put a padlock in the pin's place.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:05 AM   #3
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If the pin was defiantly in and secure when you put the hitch head into the receiver then I side with CRH, someone pulled it out. I've not heard of a pin simply coming out. We also have an Equalizer and have in excess of 75,000 miles with it, pulling three different trailers on two different trucks.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:09 AM   #4
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It is possible that the pin was pushed out. The large pin that goes through stinger can rotate under load. If the cotter pin is in a certain direction it can be forced out. Someone on here a few years ago had a post about how this can happen. I'll try to find the thread.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:53 AM   #5
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Here is something to think about.

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Old 06-30-2017, 05:23 AM   #6
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Buy a lockable pin. I left my pin out accidentally and my AS pulled out the receiver. Luckily, it happened two streets from my house and I was going slow around a corner. Dropped down the the Equalizer shank. Trailer's power jack ran into the Tundra bumper and dented it and ruined the jack which dented the propane cover. I had to replace the jack and eventually purchased a new propane tank cover. Luckily no damage to the Airstream. Can't imagine what would happen if it pulled out going 60mph.

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Old 06-30-2017, 05:46 AM   #7
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Buy a lockable pin. Keeps someone for stealing the hitch and/or airstream with hitch attachrd
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:22 AM   #8
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After reading this I think I will go back to the lockable pin. Had one. Did not really like it. But I have had people fool with my hitch with a bad intent once. I apparently parked where they wanted to skateboard so they tried to mess me up. Maybe I will just have to put up with the extra inconvenience. I have never seen a cotter pin just come out but I think it could happen. Or rust through and break?
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:53 AM   #9
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For what it's worth I've had a lockable pin break with no load on it. Had a lockable pin holding a triball hitch on to our bronco rear hitch. Luckily when the pin broke we heard the triball hit the pavement and stopped to investigate. The pin broke at the machined down area of the pin where the locking head grabs on to. I still prefer the locking pins over the non locking but I do inspect them now for cracks or any warping.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:44 AM   #10
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I check the pin whenever I stop, and I never leave the hitch on the truck when not towing.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:15 AM   #11
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Missing cotter pin in hitch

Lockable pin is the way to go, unless you misplaced the key at a critical time (don't ask how I know this). Be aware that lockable pins, even decent ones do not hold up to a 3/8 TNi coated drill bit in a cordless drill for more than a few seconds. (Don't ask how I know this either...)

Locks are for honest people and casual tamper prevention.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:15 AM   #12
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Wow, you were lucky!
I always use the locking ones, not because I worry about the snap pin falling out (until now) but I worried about my ball and shank being stolen.
I guess a rock or branch could have made a perfect hit on the pin in the perfect position and pushed it out, but it's equally hard to imagine someone taking it. Of course, it's the new millennium, so anything's possible.

As far as misplacing the key, I'd be the perfect candidate. So I have zipper pencil bags in various colors for keys. RV keys in the blue bag, trailer keys in the tan bag, motorcycle keys in the red bag. I MUST put them back or I'll be going crazy searching. Then when I need a key, I just grab the correct bag.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:35 AM   #13
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I would like a lockable pin that has an airplane cable lanyard so that when I take the stinger off after a trip O don't set it on the bumper and leave it lying on the road somewhere the next time I drove the truck.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goal15 View Post
I would like a lockable pin that has an airplane cable lanyard so that when I take the stinger off after a trip O don't set it on the bumper and leave it lying on the road somewhere the next time I drove the truck.
Dana
That should be doable. I'm thinking a large ring terminal like for a car battery and a hitch pin that's made for a larger receiver. Crimp a section of stranded cable between.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Lockable pin is the way to go, unless you misplaced the key at a critical time (don't ask how I know this). Be aware that lockable pins, even decent ones do not hold up to a 3/8 TNi coated drill bit in a cordless drill for more than a few seconds. (Don't ask how I know this either...)

Locks are for honest people and casual tamper prevention.


That's why I bought one keyed to my truck...
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:43 AM   #16
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I discovered the Tundra hitch is larger than a standard 2".
It's not the receiver size, but the 2" box receiver is wrapped in another layer of steel. I was determined to find a "Made in the USA" lock, so I bought the
C.T.Johnson (RH5-XL) 5/8" Hitch Lock
which is made for a 2 1/2" receiver and I added some 5/8" garden hose washers to take up any extra length.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bel73 View Post
Here is something to think about.

He never mentions to push the safety pin all the way through past the middle indentation to where the big loop is on the hitch pin.
This way, it would have to work past both indentations on the safety pin to fall out- effectively taking at least twice as long to fall out.
I have a locking hitch pin- not because the normal ones are unsafe, but to prevent someone from stealing the hitch head shank ball assembly.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goal15 View Post
I would like a lockable pin that has an airplane cable lanyard so that when I take the stinger off after a trip O don't set it on the bumper and leave it lying on the road somewhere the next time I drove the truck.
Dana
I've done that very thing. One the very first trip with our AS two summers ago, after unhooking and removing the hitch, I laid the "L" pin and wire clip on the back bumper. I completely forgot about doing that and we drove to a restaurant about 6 miles away, which included about a mile on I-81. As I walked around the back of the truck both the pin and the wire clip were both laying there on the bumper. How they did not fall off I still don't understand. Maybe the "force" was with me since it was my first trip. I now have a spare pin and clip in the glove box of the truck!
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:54 PM   #19
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We use a locking hitch pin ... always have. They are not expensive. We have two sets of keys...one is just for the trailer ... the other is for the house and the truck. The hitch pin key lives with the truck keys, so I always have it handy when it's time to put the hitch on.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:58 PM   #20
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DEFINITELY time for a lock !
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