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Old 09-25-2019, 12:46 PM   #1
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About that new Demco Hitch

I just within the last week or so bought a new 2020 FC 25, to be pulled with my F150 Ecoboost V6. It had this fancy-dancy new Demco hitch, for which the Airstream dealer provided absolutely no explanation other than "it's just like all the other hitches." I hooked it up and unhooked it a few times, using the same procedures as all of the other hitches and it worked fine.

When I finally got it home last night, I did a brilliant job of backing into my narrow driveway and declared myself one of the Masters of the Universe ... until I found out that the hitch was jammed and I couldn't release the truck. I tried everything, multiple times. Nothing worked. I finally called the dealer's service department and was told to do things that are impossible with this hitch, none of which had any effect.

So I shot off a desperate e-mail to Demco at about 6:00 last night. They answered by early this morning, and I was on the phone with a Demco hitch guy by about 8:30. I was unhitched within an hour of working time.

Anyone who buys a 2020 Airstream FC--and probably other models--is going to have the Demco hitch. IT IS NOT LIKE OTHER HITCHES. The mechanism is different and the unhitching procedure is totally different. And Airstream's dealers don't appear to know anything about this hitch, to judge from the two that I talked to.

The good news is that Demco's customer service and technical support are excellent. I suggested that they post here to become part of the knowledge base, because everyone who buys an Airstream this model year is going to have to deal with this hitch, and not find anyone to help. (This is not an advertisement for Demco: if you have a 2020, you already bought a Demco hitch.)

Demco, are you out there?
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:54 PM   #2
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Thanks for the invite! Glad to be here !
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:58 PM   #3
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Good morning afternoon everybody

I am the product manager for Demco Trailer Components division, located in Boyden IA. I though i would come here and field any questions or concerns that may arise from the new airsteam coupler choice.


A little back story on Demco, we are a family owned and operated business based out of Boyden IA. We have been in business for over 50 years and we have a pretty diverse line of products that we offer ranging from Agriculture, RV, Rental, Semi Trailers and of course Trailer products. We have been in the coupler business for just over 20 years now. I invite you all to check out our website at demco-products.com

As Far as the coupler goes on the 2020 Trailers,

The Coupler is an EZ- Latch coupler produced right here in Boyden IA. The design allows for the coupler to auto latch as you drop it over the Hitch Ball. This makes for an easy and quick hookup. The design by nature is a safer the the traditional coupler. The EZ-Latch is a spring biased closed system where as the traditional is not and requires secondary measure to keep it closed.

What this means as far as everyday use -
Just drop the coupler over the Hitch ball and your good to go,you do not need to remember to put a pin in it. If the ball is in the socket and the Composite handle is down you are ready to tow. When the coupler is latched and on a ball, it acts for lack of a better term, like a Chinese finger trap. The harder the ball is pulled out the tighter the clamp is held in place.The coupler is tested to SAE standards without a pin in place. We do provide a hole in the side of the coupler that is meant for anti-theft purposes while towing.

Few more points of information that may answer some questions floating around out there.

The plastic handle- The Black Composite handle is much more than just plastic. It is a impact modified Nylon 6/6 that comes with a Lifetime Warranty. Hit me up on this if you have issues I will take care of you if you do happen to break it as nothing is indestructible We have a youtube video that offers some more info but i do not believe i can post any links yet without approval look it up at our Demco products channel

Hooking and unhooking - Hooking is pretty well covered above, Back under the coupler drop it down and that is it. While the coupler is going over the Hitch ball, you can watch as it is lowered. The Handle will rise up and when the ball is in going into the socket it will fall back in place when the ball is seated in the coupler. This is when you know everything is as it should be. If you happen to back to far under and the handle doesn't fall back down completely. Give the truck or trailer a little push or just pull the truck forward and that should do the trick as the handle will fall into place. Un-hooking is just as easy. First thing you want to do the is pull the lever to the up position and go about jacking the trailer up. Important note- since our coupler is the opposite as most, jacking the trailer part way prior to flipping the handle up can lock the coupler in the closed position.
Sometimes if you have a situation where the truck is pushing against the trailer or Vice-versa, the coupler will not want to open. In this case you need to block the wheels on the trailer and pull the the vehicle forward to relieve the pressure and it should open.


Maintenance, Lube and Adjustments-
Our coupler requires no lube, no maintenance and no adjustments. A periodic visual inspection is all that us need. You can lube the ball socket if you wish to but it is not required.


Lastly- The form is pretty large and I'm sure i will not catch all the Demco related posts. So feel free to send people my direction if they have any questions or concerns
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:13 PM   #4
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Nice, Demco.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:21 PM   #5
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Question to DEMCO. Will the hitch work any differently when connected to a Hensley or ProPride? Even though the hitch is rarely removed from the ball, the hitch is often lifted slightly to allow lubing of the ball. Also, if the DEMCO hitch is not removed from the ball for years at a time, will this impact its performance?

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Old 09-25-2019, 01:28 PM   #6
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Hmmm.... very interesting. Sounds like a frustrating several hour ordeal but glad it all worked out in the end.

I don't have said coupler but have noticed them on other trailers. Seems odd that Airstream didn't make the implementation of the Demco product a bit more seamless. Your dilemma with the dealer is about par for the course unfortunately. Except for a few notable exceptions we make an effort to avoid dealers since it seems to us they don't know much and don't care what your problem might be. A sure case of "show me the money" - after the trailer is sold who needs customer service?

Looking at the demco-products.com I see a few variations of the EZ Latch coupler. In order to avoid confusion perhaps Demco would be willing to post a few pictures, maybe even a video, so we'll understand the features and benefits of the system.

Thanks
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:59 PM   #7
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We have the Demco hitch on our new 2020 Globetrotter that we brought home yesterday. It worked without any problem hitching or unhitching and not having to secure the coupler with a pin is one less thing to remember. Thanks to the Demco rep for all of the info on the new hardware.

To Belbein: What, specifically, did Demco tell you was the problem you encountered when unhitching and what exactly did they have you do to remedy it? FWIW, even with the old style latch couplers if there was tension on the ball the latch could jam and require that the TV be moved slightly to release it. Was that your problem or did you start to raise the trailer before releasing the latch or....
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:08 PM   #8
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In regards to the Hensley and Pro-Pride Hitches- our system is not effected. The coupler is still working to keep the ball in the socket. The forces seen by the coupler may have changed because of how these hitches work ( i have not personally seen any specifics, stats for these hitches) but they do not disable or change the effectiveness of the Ez-Latch's ability to contain the ball. Also the fact that ball is rarely removed is not a concern.

That being said the Ez-Latch system is not being used when you have a setup like these.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Hmmm.... very interesting. Sounds like a frustrating several hour ordeal but glad it all worked out in the end.

I don't have said coupler but have noticed them on other trailers. Seems odd that Airstream didn't make the implementation of the Demco product a bit more seamless. Your dilemma with the dealer is about par for the course unfortunately. Except for a few notable exceptions we make an effort to avoid dealers since it seems to us they don't know much and don't care what your problem might be. A sure case of "show me the money" - after the trailer is sold who needs customer service?

Looking at the demco-products.com I see a few variations of the EZ Latch coupler. In order to avoid confusion perhaps Demco would be willing to post a few pictures, maybe even a video, so we'll understand the features and benefits of the system.


Thanks
I work with many Trailer OEM's ( trailers not RV's) and no matter how much effort they put into the switch, it never is as easy as it seams. I started conversations with Airstream many months before the 2020 models came out. So hats off to them at least starting the process early. I have seen OEM's spend tremendous amounts of time to Educate at the dealer level, to only have it fall on deaf ears.

I have a youtube video for the Ez-Latch operation. The title is-Ez-latch Coupler. Sadly i cannot yet post a link as im not a trusted member yet.

I also attached a flyer that I use ( hopefully that come through) I'm a bit new to posting in a forum.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf EZ latch flyer.pdf (2.02 MB, 10 views)
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:12 PM   #10
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OK, I now have the trailer on the ball. If I use the trailer jack to lift the trailer to attach the weight bars, will the hitch release and NOT allow this ?
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:33 PM   #11
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If the ball is in the socket and the Handle in down. Jacking up the trailer will not pull the ball out
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demco View Post
I have a youtube video for the Ez-Latch operation. The title is-Ez-latch Coupler. Sadly i cannot yet post a link as im not a trusted member yet.

This is the Demco Ez-latch video and if you click on the Demco Products next to their logo you will go to their channel and all videos are listed.

Not affiliated, just interested.

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Old 09-25-2019, 03:46 PM   #13
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Really--it still seems odd?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Seems odd that Airstream didn't make the implementation of the Demco product a bit more seamless.
I'm just jaded, I guess. It seems par for the course.

Demco, on the other hand, has really impressed me with its customer service and responsiveness. Maybe we could start a campaign to have Demco buy Airstream.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demco View Post
If the ball is in the socket and the Handle in down. Jacking up the trailer will not pull the ball out
What about the video that was posted by Lamar on 9/19 in "New 2020 Demco Hitch Separates" showing a disconnect while removing the WD bars? His comments in post 7 sounds like its to be replaced?
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:51 PM   #15
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What Demco told me--and what he said a few times above, although he didn't underline it and put asterisks and exclamation points--was that the ball retainer only releases when there's weight on it. So when he said (I can't quote it exactly) that releasing the handle is the first thing you do, that's the first thing you do when you're parking, after taking off the sway control and weight distribution hitches and before removing the weight from the ball using the jack. That's really, really different.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
What about the video that was posted by Lamar on 9/19 in "New 2020 Demco Hitch Separates" showing a disconnect while removing the WD bars? His comments in post 7 sounds like its to be replaced?


Under normal circumstances it takes many thousands of pounds of pulling force to remove the ball from the coupler when it is latched.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:41 PM   #17
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About that new Demco Hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demco View Post
Under normal circumstances it takes many thousands of pounds of pulling force to remove the ball from the coupler when it is latched.


Copying video provided by Lamar. Looks like typical disconnect procedure for this type WD hitch.

https://youtu.be/1eLG_v6rD-A[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
So when he said (I can't quote it exactly) that releasing the handle is the first thing you do, that's the first thing you do when you're parking, after taking off the sway control and weight distribution hitches and before removing the weight from the ball using the jack. That's really, really different.
Apparently I'm missing something. The emphasis above is on the fact that with the Demco coupler you apparently should lift the coupler handle before removing weight from the ball using the jack. How is that different from the procedure with a standard coupler? I have always released the coupler latch before using the jack.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:24 PM   #19
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About that new Demco Hitch

Even my old style 2007 Airstream hitch can hang up on me when it wants to. At times its taken a bit of force on the metal parts and some chocking and fiddling to get it to release. Stuff hangs up.

It took several tries to unhitch it the first time whilst my son and I tried to pull the latch up without sliding it first. Safety lock defeated an expert engineer and a well-trained Army Officer. Such is life if you dont read the directions...or even see the little stamped arrow and text well filled with paint!

Even as simple as my ProPride stinger has hung up on me unless I get the weight off it just right. Mechanical stuff can be cantankerous when it wants to.

The Demco design is simple and clever, easy to hitch, but I can see that a bit of off-angle pressure will hang up the pawl that makes it work. Grease may help, and careful positioning may as well.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:27 PM   #20
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The hitch works great once you figure out a few tricks.
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