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Old 05-28-2005, 10:01 PM   #1
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Question AS Hitch problem

I have a 1986 25' AS that has developed a strange hitch problem. Normally when one hitch's up, when you release the lever located on top of the tongue it lets the attached plunger go down into the hitch and lock onto the ball. You can then lift the hitch with the jack to install the equalizer torsion bars. What is now happening with mine is that regardless of what I do, the plunger no longer goes all the way down on the hitch. I can still lift the hitch to install the torsion bars, but there does seem to be some front to back play in the ball hitch that was not there before.
Has anyone ever seen or heard of this problem, or a possible solution for it?
Happy Trails from AirBud
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Old 05-29-2005, 12:21 AM   #2
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Sounds to me like you need to clean it out real good and put in fresh grease. Without proper lubrication or if grit gets in it will stop latching and unlatching the way it is supposed to.
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Old 05-29-2005, 01:01 AM   #3
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I had a problem where I was barely able to get the lever lifted to release the ball after driving 3 hours to a campground. Actaully I could not get it. Took the camp neighboor's he-man grip to release the lever. Got lucky that time.

My new procedure is to completely clean all grease from the ball socket, ball, distribution bar ends and sockets each time we return home. Then new greese is added when we leave.

Been fine since.
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Old 05-29-2005, 11:25 AM   #4
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Cool

Thanks for the information, as soon as it stops raining here in North Texas I will give it a try and let you all know how it turns out.
Happy trails
AirBud
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:00 PM   #5
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Coupler lock

It is wise to replace the coupler lock mechanism every 10 years or do.

They can malfunction, in spite of their simplicity.

The cost of a replacement kit, is peanuts, compared to the problems that a person could get into, especially on a trip.

Andy
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:10 PM   #6
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I just cleaned it up real good and put it back together. It does seem to work a little better, but it is still not working correctly. I have taken note of your replies and have ordered the Coupler Repair Kit from Inland. This, of course, is a part of my unit that I really need to work properly. Thanks to all for your help.
AirBud
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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Just did a search for coupler lock failure and found this thread.......so I'm posting my problem/question here. For the past 3 months (off and on), I've had problems releasing my Equalizer hitch and ball from the coupler lock. The last time, I couldn't release it at all and had to leave it on the trailer and pull the receiver lock pin to release from the TV. I called my dealer service center and discovered that there is a set screw that had backed out causing an improper angle of the ball into the coupler. I tightened this screw, but still could not unlock the hitch. I will probably have to change out my coupler lock mechanism. I routinely apply white grease to the ball, so lubrication has not been a problem. I suspect dirt/grime has accumulated in the hitch mechanism. Just how do you get this out? I'm not looking forward to hitching up next time because I'll have to align the Equalizer hitch to the TV receiver opening.
Any thoughts on how I can release the ball from the coupler before I try to hook up again to take to the dealer for repair?
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:52 PM   #8
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The last time I went out it took alot of effort to unlatch the ball. I put a small amount of hitch greese on the front of the lever itself where it pivots on the frame to pull on the workings. Works like new again.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:16 PM   #9
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Hitch problem

A hitch is a very simple mechanism. When you lower the lever it allows a pawl to slip under the ball to lock it in place. When you lift the lever it draws the pawl upward into a position where the hitch can be lifted off. I can only think of two reasons the pawl would not raise: 1. The lifting lever has become disconnected (if so it would be loose and move quite freely). 2. The pawl has become wedged somehow in the channel that it travels in and is not raising enough to be lifted off the ball. I might suggest that you try to look at the underside of the hitch (the pawl would be located on the rear underside of the ball inside your trailer hitch) and see if it has risen to a point where it clears the underside of the ball. If not, you might be able to force it up using a hammer and some kind of a punch. Once you do get it out, I would suggest you install a new pawl kit.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:26 AM   #10
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Since we are talking coupler mechanism issues here, does anyone know the proper size coupler lock to be used on a 1996 25' Excella? I see that they come in various lengths (i.e. the space that slips between the cylinder heads) and am not sure what length to buy. I would do the obvious and measure it but the trailer is about 500 miles away from me right now awaiting pickup. In addition I plan on taking InlandRV's advice and replacing the entire mechanism.
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandvm
Just did a search for coupler lock failure and found this thread.......so I'm posting my problem/question here. For the past 3 months (off and on), I've had problems releasing my Equalizer hitch and ball from the coupler lock. The last time, I couldn't release it at all and had to leave it on the trailer and pull the receiver lock pin to release from the TV. I called my dealer service center and discovered that there is a set screw that had backed out causing an improper angle of the ball into the coupler. I tightened this screw, but still could not unlock the hitch. I will probably have to change out my coupler lock mechanism. I routinely apply white grease to the ball, so lubrication has not been a problem. I suspect dirt/grime has accumulated in the hitch mechanism. Just how do you get this out? I'm not looking forward to hitching up next time because I'll have to align the Equalizer hitch to the TV receiver opening.
Any thoughts on how I can release the ball from the coupler before I try to hook up again to take to the dealer for repair?
I would get some brake cleaner spray, and thoroughly clean out the crud with it. Spray it with WD 40 once it releases, and then with brake cleaner again to clean it without the hitch ball.
Then, let it dry and apply hitch grease to all the internal parts. Worked for my 63.
Or, replace it...
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:10 PM   #12
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Thumbs up Good tip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
I would get some brake cleaner spray, and thoroughly clean out the crud with it. Spray it with WD 40 once it releases, and then with brake cleaner again to clean it without the hitch ball.
Then, let it dry and apply hitch grease to all the internal parts. Worked for my 63.
Or, replace it...
Good information "uwe"!
I'll try it tomorrow.......as I'm going to the RV storage area . And at $2.59 a can......it's a cheap fix! I'll let you know how it went!
Thanks again!
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:41 PM   #13
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I was fortunate. I found a masterlock combo pack that has two locks: 1) a hitch lock, and 2) a coupler lock which can adjust two several widths.
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:47 PM   #14
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I'm happy to report the brake cleaner spray can did the trick........I got the hitch off the coupler mechanism! I suspect I'll have to replace the coupler mechanism on the trailer because I drove it with the ball at the wrong angle for too long and I think it's bent permanently. Anyway I think it may be covered under my warranty.......the service dept said it's no big deal to replace it!
Thanks again "uwe" for your suggestions!
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