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Old 08-06-2008, 10:35 AM   #1
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Coupler installation method

I am about to replace the bottom flange plate on my hitch coupler. Somehow the PO bent the back side of it where the safety chains are attached. The coupler is an Atwood part #81911. For those of you who may have the same on your trailer, is it welded or bolted on?

Mine is bolted on the a-frame and in my research to see if there is a specific torque value for the bolts, I have been told that this coupler should only be welded and not bolted on. The coupler is original equipment.

Any ideas???

Thanks, TB
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:43 AM   #2
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I replaced my coupler with the Atwood. Three Way campers in Atlanta welded it on and I wouldn't have thought about bolting it on. In fact, I haven't ever seen one bolted to the A-frame.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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Yep, it needs to be welded on by a professional, certified, welder.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinbender View Post
I am about to replace the bottom flange plate on my hitch coupler. Somehow the PO bent the back side of it where the safety chains are attached. The coupler is an Atwood part #81911. For those of you who may have the same on your trailer, is it welded or bolted on?

Mine is bolted on the a-frame and in my research to see if there is a specific torque value for the bolts, I have been told that this coupler should only be welded and not bolted on. The coupler is original equipment.

Any ideas???

Thanks, TB

Couplers are "always" welded, never bolted.

Airstream has "never" installed a bolted coupler since they have been in business.

Andy
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:11 PM   #5
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Hi Pam,

Ask Kevin, he would know.... or you could take it to ODM.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:13 AM   #6
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ANDY, Eyes don't lie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Couplers are "always" welded, never bolted.

Airstream has "never" installed a bolted coupler since they have been in business.

Andy
This trailer must be a "one off" early Bambi 16 footer. I have seen this trailer with my own, "vision assisted" eyes. It has never been modified since it left Jackson Center. IT WAS bolted on-- even though JC can't find any records of ever having built this unit. It seems AS does a lot of experimenting, even today.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:27 AM   #7
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This trailer must be a "one off" early Bambi that I have seen in person. It has never been modified since it left Jackson Center. IT WAS bolted on-- even though JC can't find any records of ever having built this unit. It seems AS does a lot of experimenting, even today.
If that's the case, I would do 2 things quickly.

1. Get a new coupler, and while your at it, increase the ball size to 2 5/16", instead of the original 2 inches.

2. Find a good welder to install it, prior to your next trip.

Andy
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #8
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Smile coupler fix

Thanks for the concern about the coupler. I knew it was an odd bird so I did my research and got it all straight.

The coupler that was bolted on has long ago been replaced with a new one that is properly welded on according to the coupler OEM instructions. No need to increase size as the original was a 2 5/16" with correct weight rating, just a different part #. Towed about 1700 miles and lived in for 3 months since then, all is fine.


Happy New Year,
TB
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